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Unread 10-10-2012, 12:24 PM   #1
tymersplosion
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Giant props...How do you deal with it at the con?

(I hope this goes here...)

Hi all! For NYCC this year, I'm a fem red pyro. (Here) It's awesome. I've spent a lot of time building a flamethrower for it, and it's pretty...Well, substantial. Fairly bulky.

NYCC is pretty crowded, and I know I'm going to run into some issues with this. How do you guys handle having a big bulky prop at a con? I want to put it in the coat check when I'm in the dealer's room, but at the same time my cosplay is incredibly lame without my flamethrower. Additionally, I customized my flamethrower by using a helium tank as the propane tank, and cutting it open for storage. So by checking my weapon, I'd also lose access to a lot of my stuff.

Thanks everyone! Mods: I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place. I wanted opinions from people who do a lot of prop making, and this seemed like the forum to go to.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
2DLogic
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There's really just so much that you can do to deal with having props of an unwieldy size, most of it being pre-planning.

Know your venue so you don't get caught in small, high traffic areas. Plan photoshoots in open or outside areas. Create harnesses/holsters when possible. Have a friend to act as a handler. Plan ahead for times you may need elevator access. ect.

Make sure you know, and abide by, your con's size/weight/material restrictions on props as well. Larger items are magnets for attention, but they're also magnets for scrutiny. That said, if you know you're in the right, don't be afraid to point it out. Keep a copy of the policy on you, pulled up on a smart phone, ect to back up your claims.

Another option to actually creating these massive, difficult to manage props that I've seen get positive reception is to make a super deformed or plushie version of the prop. Aside from scaling down the prop to a smaller size, you really just have to suck it up and deal with the negative aspects of carrying around a behemoth.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #3
DarkCloudInc
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Agreed. A lot of planning and knowing the restrictions of the conventions goes into the design of the props from the get go as far back as a year.

I have huge wings that span wide enough to block convention halls; but knowing the rules, I've engineered the wings to collapse within a 6" space from my body. Using this, I've been able to walk through some of the busiest dealer halls like Anime Expo which gets 45k+ attendants annually. Also, a lot of technique goes into walking while traversing through the halls and dealer halls such as walking behind groups of people who are practically locked in arms.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 01:15 AM   #4
Millions_Knives
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with these larger builds
i like to have someone with me
in some cases even 4 handlers so i can get my event
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Unread 10-11-2012, 03:01 AM   #5
AshofRebirth
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Can't stress it enough.. pre-planning. So much. Figure out exactly how you're going to make it. Nothing sucks more than finishing and realizing.. "oh wait, I have no way to take this to the convention because I lack the right vehicle and I actually needed to have this abled to be disassembled into pieces.." And it's alot harder, and more work, to split an already done prop into pieces than to have it split at the very beginning. Make sure you're able to get through doors and go through elevators.. If that means you need to have your prop fold up or disassemble, then it's probably best to do it.

Also, make sure you have a sturdy base or core. Once you go past a certain size with props, gravity and laws tend to want to pick fights with you lol. Things that you could get away with with a small to medium sized prop, become amplified when you increase in size.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
Chipface
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Also, figuring out a way to holster is would be a good idea. If it weren't for the tank on your back I'd suggest just adding a strap to the flamethrower and slinging it over your back when walking around.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
tymersplosion
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Excellent! This is making me very confident. I already built the flamethrower, and it has a shoulder strap which goes underneath the tank, which can be easily unclipped.

The con is this weekend, and it's my second year attending. For the most part, there are no tiny spaces that are hard to navigate. I'm also going to stay away from the dealer's room as much as possible...

According to the con rules, I'm allowed to have it! I even emailed the show manager about it, and I'm going to print his email out to snub anyone who says I should leave.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Definitely helpful for making sure my mental checklist is complete.
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Cosplay History:

NYComicCon2011- Dahlia Hawthorne, Phoenix Wright
Steampunk World's Fair 2012- Steampunk explorer with awesome jetpack
NYComicCon2012- Fem Red Pyro, Team Fortress 2

In Progress:

Steampunk World's Fair 2013- Steampunk military captain with fully articulated leather gauntlets
Default cosplay- Sally Jupiter, Watchmen
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