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Unread 01-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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Large Prop Etiquette

I am a first time cosplayer and new to the website. I have made many costumes and incidental props before for friends, but I have never worn or carried them. I have been pretty fat for most of my life, and I have only just recently lost enough weight to feel comfortable being on display.

My chosen character has a very large and very important prop (a kind of zither-like stringed instrument, roughly 4.5 ft wide when all is said and done) that is carried horizontally in front of her. I have rigged up an attachment to a corset-type arrangement so that it can appear to 'float' instead of having a neck strap, which means I will not be able to remove it and carry it vertically easily.

As if the awkward size of the prop is not enough, the far edges of it are kind of delicate wings. I have constructed similar things largely from insulation foam board and friendly plastic with a dowel frame and this will likely be no different, so it is not particularly sturdy. A bump will likely be okay, but if someone oblivious walks into it, it will break.

Historically when I have made such a delicate thing, I have run interference for my cosplaying friend, preventing glomps and ushering the oblivious around it. There will not be anyone to do that for me this time.

Suggestions? Should I save the large prop for the masquerade (I'm not 100% sure I'll do the masquerade), even though it is an important part of the cosplay? Should I just stick to less-populated areas of the con? My apologies if this has been asked before, I did a perfunctory search and found nothing useful.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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id prob make two of them, one for masquerade n one for regular con walking around. also just ask one of ur friends to make sure they dont bump into it (we rotate on that based upon what props we have) also is there a way that you could undo the corset attachement piece?
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Unread 01-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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The general consensus is as long as it doesn't impact anyone per se. But as it goes, each con has their own rules about such huge props, so I would suggest going with what's allowable for the most strict con.

As someone who has walked with huge wings (6' closed; 16' open) from conventions as small as Anime World Chicago and as big as Anime Expo, I'd recommend look for groups that are at least 3 people shoulder to shoulder and walk behind them. You don't have to be a member of the group, they just have to act as your bulldozer and plow through the crowd a path for you. If you're unable to find groups of three walking shoulder to shoulder, two will suffice, you just have to walk sideways close enough to them.

Now for photos, people are usually nice enough to give someone with a huge prop, specifically wings, a lot of room for photos. Walls are usually the best place since you can be there for long period of time and not bother people. But if you must, the floor is still very doable, just gotta stake out your spot quickly.

Still, you should come up with a way to quickly remove the prop from your body quickly enough in case of emergency.
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