Happy Friday heroes, we have another Cosplay Cafe for everyone. Making his debut is Based Tyborg, a fantastic dude who’s work I recently discovered and I had to get him in the cafe. So without prolonging this any further, let’s get to know Based Tyborg.
1. What were you like growing up? What were some things you were into as a child/ teenager?
Honestly, and this is gonna surprise a lot of the people who know me now, I was a bit of a wild child. Like when I was in middle/ elementary school, I used to get in a lot of fights over frankly, dumb stuff (lol)! I think there was a turning point around 13 where I was just like “There’s got to be a better way you know?” and I ended up mellowing out a lot. I have no clue if I would have gotten into cosplay if I had stayed on that path (it didn’t stop me from joining an unofficial fight club in high school, but that was more high stakes sparring than anything). As for stuff I was into, pretty much everything nerdy I could get my hands on, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Harry Potter, Anime, and MMORPG’s. I was a super fan (and still am honestly). I never got into DnD when I was younger sadly, mainly because I just didn’t know it was a thing.
2. Did those things influence who you are today?
Oh absolutely! Like, I legitimately don’t know if I would be the same person if I hadn’t gotten into Harry Potter (like I got fan-fiction deep into that and still read it) because it was my first book that had me fall in love with fantasy, magic, and all that other nerd stuff. Like all of the media I’ve been involved in since I was little has shaped me into the person I am, and shaped the values I have today. I wouldn’t have anywhere near the patience I do for just, life, if not for getting into Pokémon and other video games, and understanding that failing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up, and you can always dust yourself off and try again. Also, the usual anime tropes of, you should always look out for the people close to you, and taking small steps to start out is how you get to do anything important, like that’s just me day to day at this point.
3. How was Colossalcon for you this year?
It was probably my best con so far, or at least top 3 (and I’ve been conning since 2013). I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted just in terms of like activities (and honestly, that’s con culture, especially big cons), but I hit the masquerade, the water park, and attended the Formal Ball for the first time ever. It was an amazing time. Also, I have to admit that half the reason I go to Colossal/ Daishocon is the amazing drinks, and I definitely enjoyed them this year. I will say with the controversy surrounding Colossal-con and the photographers of that weekend (and the backlash of people angry that black cosplayers are “seeing something that isn’t there”) I was there. I saw it very clear, and we need to do better as a community.
4. What went into making your Hunk cosplay? I’ve been wanting to make him myself but since I’ve never cosplayed before I’m nervous trying such a big project.
Hooo, Hunk was kind of insane, he was a bit of a speed build, I did the entire thing like 3 months before Acen 2017 (and built the gun in the month before). It was a lot of EVA foam, contact cement, tears, and hot glue. In all seriousness though, it was mainly just patterning the armor correctly; making sure I was doing 5 layers of paint on everything to make the colors and shine pop, and then bumbling my way through making the gun. I can promise it looks very intimidating as a project, but if you work your way from the bottom up, slowly but surely, you can definitely do it. I’ve been actually wanting to do a video or guide on how I did it, and I plan on remaking it sometime soon so I’ll have to be honest. Also, if you want detailed guides on how to do large build for props and armor. Resources that have never failed me are Youtubers/ Cosplayers like Punished Props, Kamui Cosplay, Coregeek Creations, and Tested. They will go in depth as much as humanly possible to show you how to approach the intimidating world of EVA foam. They do use a lot of high tech, expensive stuff, but they do have videos showing how to make stuff when you don’t have those high tech machines.
5. Continuing from there, are you excited for the upcoming season of Voltron Legendary Defender?
Being completely honest, I am, but also with just coming back from Colossal and being exhausted, I will probably wait a bit before binging the entire thing. Honestly I have a lot of opinions about the show and the community, but one that I’m never going to hold back on, is that Hunk really doesn’t get the love he deserves from the show and the community. Also, I’m still bitter about the Voltron Coalition Rally episode where they used him being large as a punchline (do better).
6. Off topic question, favorite food?
Without a doubt, French Fries. Like I love most fried things, but I’m on a self imposed quest to find the best french fries wherever I end up traveling.
7. Back on topic, what is one thing you love about the cosplay community?
I love the fact that you can approach it however you want to, and still find amazing friends in the community. Like I’ve been there with con crunching up until the night before to finish up this armor build I’ve been working on for like 4 months (usually Cyborg). I’ve recently took my foot off the pedal a bit and have done more casual cosplays because it’s a lot less stressful, expensive, and a hell of a lot more comfortable; but either way it goes, when I go to a con and I see a cosplayer dressed up in something I just have to compliment them. There’s that instant connection over both, staying up the night before the con and having hot glue burns because your not always paying attention that late. Also, holy crap cosplay is expensive and finding that jacket for this cosplay sucked, but there’s this one site where you can get stuff a bit cheaper, just the shipping is a bit long. Finally, everyone understands when you do take that step back and focus on other financial stuff, but you can still have an amazing conversation about fandoms and favorite characters and ships, like cons just feel like home.
8. Any advice for someone getting into prop/armor making? Given your Hunk and Cyborg cosplays. I figured you would have some good pointers for beginners?
Yes absolutely. You are going to mess up like a LOT, but learning from those mistakes. Watching streams of people making things, like the ones I mentioned above, where they go into depth about painting techniques, brushes you should have, different methods of sealing foam, you name it will consistently improve your technique. Like I made my Cyborg cosplay with animated LEDs back in January in kind of a rush job (for Ohayocon 2018), and I know for fact I could make it twice as good now, because of the things I learned while messing up doing it. Also, when you kind of find yourself stuck in a rut technique wise (like I’m an armor one-trick at the moment) force yourself to do a cosplay with something you’ve never tried, like sewing, leds, or even sculpting. It’s going to suck, and you might not like the finished product of what your doing, but the experience you gain in trying something new is honestly invaluable. Also, people can always dm me if they need help with something and i’ll do my best to get back to them with tips; we are all in this together, Wildcats!
I honestly think of crafting as kind of like a skill tree in an rpg, like right now my foam work is like 15, but my sewing is like 0. The best part is that we honestly have the rest of our lives to level up; so what’s the rush? There will always be another con.
9. What is a convention you would like to attend one day? Whether as a guest or attendee.
DRAGONCON! I’M GOING THIS YEAR AND I’M SO EXCITED! I can’t even imagine guesting (a dream come true tbh), but I’m going as an attendee. A bit of background, I used to watch Beatdownboogie cosplay music videos of Dragoncon back in like 2014 when I was dreaming about cosplaying, so it’s really come full circle for me.
10. Can you hint at any cosplays you’re currently working on?
The person people always think is the Fullmetal Alchemist, Hoshido’s brother, Order of the White Lotus, “Believe in the me that believes in you”, and _____ Rushes in.
11. What conventions can people find you at this year?
I’m going to be at Anime Midwest, probably Matsuricon, Dragoncon, and Youmacon. There is a possibility of Daishocon too, and that’s looking like it for now. People can always check my Instagram to see which con is next!
12. Final question, anything you want to say to your fans?
To be honest, I’ve never really thought about having like fans in the traditional sense, but I absolutely have people who support me, and to those people I say, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, because cosplaying is not easy, but whenever I get a message from someone complimenting one of my cosplays, or a comment on a post on Instagram my heart feels so goddamn full. It is all I want, to impress and show for at the end of the day, so when you see my next big armor build or huge prop, just know I’m keeping everyone personally in mind when making it. Like I in my mind I say to myself, “I can’t wait to see what they think of this!” I love you all!
As always the links above are where you can find Tyborg on the internet. Be sure to give him a follow and support his work. Until the cafe opens again, I’m still XBen3000 and I’m out!