Even if the leadup was a bit stressful, the convention in Columbus, OH was a smashing success for everyone involved. I traveled with SELehcar , goddessofmonsters , and CrystalCircle who provided invaluable help in handling Zinogre. Without their support, it wouldn't have been possible to navigate the halls, much less put the suit on. Thanks, everybody! (Okay, so maybe the Hunter Hunter quest failed but that's beyond the point.)
Friday - Onward, Team!
Oh Budget, your rentals are bletcherous. The van was grody and required vacuuming prior to departure. Once we got underway around 0935 EST, the ride down was smooth, or at least as smooth as Ohio highways get. Finding a parking spot took some time, the Hyatt's garage was full so we parked in the Chestnut Street garage around 1300 and walked over to the Hyatt Regency and convention hall via the Habitrail. We checked into the con, I did my on-site cosplay judging registration, then we grabbed a quick lunch and whiled away some time until check-in. I took care of stuff at the front desk, then we made two trips to get the luggage and the suit prior to the opening ceremony. We kept seeing but not directly encountering someone cosplaying as a Hunter in Zinogre armor...
After dinner, I suited up in the room and walked the con concourse with JM and CC as spotters. We ran into Josh Cambrian, who told us to come by the next day and pick up a print. In addition, someone with a Steadicam rig shot a video of me and tried to help us catch up with the Hunter...who had just doffed his armor and taken off for a panel. For those of you who want to wear heavily padded monster/fur suits, good cardiovascular fitness and decent arch support insoles are a must. The concept of MunchCon (a convention-themed version of the Munchkin! card game) struck me while we rode the elevator back up to the room.
Before we all headed off to bed, me and SEL picked up some milkshakes for the group, and I strolled the hallways and wandered through the arcade while trying to wind down.
~2 hours in suit
Saturday - Fight, Otaking!
Slept well but someone's snoring woke me up around 0530, so after some efforts to return to sleep I left the room and went out to absorb the early morning convention ambience while waiting for the restaurants to open up. Snow began to fall as I talked to someone on the steps of StairCon and ate pancakes.
My judging slot was early, at 0930. Craftsmanship, Journeyman Division. The judges were pleased with my portfolio and I was able to stash my suit in the cosplay lounge for later retrieval. We picked up smoothies and went off to browse the vendor floor, I caved in and bought a Wild Liger kit and a few Zoids Wild gachapons, and picked up a Josh Cambrian print of a sleeping Zinogre.
After The Very Goofy Panel, we grabbed the suit from the Cosplay Lounge and set out to explore the halls during peak time. I'm sorry about getting cranky during the fur photoshoot, conflicting instructions for a slightly broiled cosplayer who can't hear or see particularly well can be a bit vexing. Not that herding cats and dogs and dragons and minotaur druids is easy, but seriously, we really should have started with a plan first. More hall-walking, more photos, more stompy, sweaty fun, then into the showers.
A brief dinner break, and then me and SEL dragged him down to the main ballroom for the Masquerade. Well, the dress rehearsal for the Masquerade, followed by the Masquerade proper. It was fun seeing the skits from both sides of the stage. Both me and the seraph were the oddball large costume people who had to use the ramp and approach from the opposite side. I took home Best in Show for Craftsmanship, certificate, a bag of vendor swag, and a cash prize of reasonable sanity...and ranked up!
Once the show was over and I walked out of the ballroom in suit with the entourage, the Squee attacked. I think I had my Warhol or two worth of fame...not bad for some out-of-work electrical engineer from the Western Reserve. Squared off with some Sentai, went claw to blaster with a Knight of Ren, mugged around with some furries, and achieved some Internet Points™. I'm not sure how long it took, but I was pretty beat by the end of it. Another trip to the showers, and then we had cheese fondue and fruit salad with the other cosplay and skit competitors at the after party. Then bed.
~5 hours in suit
Sunday - The Road Home
Slept like a rock. I was dreaming about Zoids /Zero when the alarm went off at 0600 and we mobilized. A slightly slick road, on bald tires and through a smeared windshield. We left the hotel just after 0730 and arrived at home shortly before 1100. Everyone was returned to their respective homes, goddessofmonsters caught her Lyft, and I returned the van. Gas mileage was poor, ~21.2 MPG as versus the rated 25-27, burned something on the order of 15.2 gallons for the trip. Zinogre now sits in the fourth bedroom, drying. SEL lies in bed, napping. I sit here, typing and formatting the AAR, head buzzing with thoughts of the future and slightly worrisome amounts of caffeine.
goddessofmonsters , don't let me forget to scan and return your cel. I'll get a rigid mailer or some cardboard to protect it tomorrow.
Photos will be up as soon as I have time to decompress and collate everything. Remember, I'm reachable via Twitter at twitter.com/TankaaK Hopefully I'll see some of you at AnthrOhio in May and G-Fest this July, and I'll return to merely stalk the halls at Ohaycon 2020. Expect a return to competition in 2021, that whole Zoids thing is stuck in my mind. Perhaps an EZ-016 Zaber Fang/Saber Tiger...
No suit time
Notable Aspects of Ohayocon
Photoshoot Area B Petting Zoo
Ocean of Otaku
Condensation Graffiti Removal
SELehcar "It's more like Konbanwacon."