This page is designed to give you just some of the many resources that I have undertaken throughout my years of crafting the artwork seen on this site. They are only suggestions and it is going to be an ever changing list with many add ons as I remember something I used and/or will have found something new to promote for helping with future projects.
Forums and other informative websites
- The RPF (Replica Prop Forum) – This is my favorite website that brings the largest community of artists together that love anything prop and costume related. I love their slogan “craft your fandom”. You will find great help with some of the best artists I’ve come to know by asking questions and commenting on their work. Because it’s so large they only take on new members periodically, but more often than not so no worries. You are still able to look through and read the threads without logging in as a member.
- 501st Clonetroopers.com – This forum does require login and member status to view the site, but it’s easy to sign up and you can immediately then browse through. It is by far the best place to go to know exactly what you need to make your clonetrooper costume. The 501st takes detail seriously which is another thing I love about it. You’ll know what the paint and colors to mix to get the perfect hue on striping, you’ll know what and where to get specific decals, and they have intense tutorials on how to fit, cut and fabricate your raw vacuum formed costume together. They also warn you of re-casters and low quality, dishonest sellers of armor that are out there.
- The Colonial Fleet Quorum – In the same tradition as 501st Clonetroopers forum, The Colonial Fleet Quorum requires membership to view certain parts of the site as well, but again, it’s easy to do. The content is Battlestar Galactica driven and is an all-you-need resource for costuming the many different uniforms and suits, weapons and props from the show, particularly the re-imagined series from the Sci-Fi channel. I have to say that I’ve met more friends here and got to know them on a personal level and several of them have helped me with connections in the business. Great people, great site!
- Statue Forum – Even though I haven’t done many small scale statues, this site has become a regular stop for me because I’m always amazed at how incredibly accurate some artists can make a miniature look real. There is a great deal of How-To threads especially with painting that I love reading and learning on the forum.
- Sideshow Collectors – Another primarily statue based forum that I had to mention because Sideshow statues are arguably the best quality out there.
- SkullKnight.net – Another favorite of mine that introduced me to the amazing world of Berserk and graphic novels or manga. My friend Derek that I gave a shout out to on the home page moderates the merchandise section of the forum and him and I collaborated several projects together after some of the characters from the books. I also met another terrific friend from this sight, Piraan, whom I made the full scale Skull Knight costume for. The Creation Station section of the community forum is quite inspiring as fans showcase there own artwork from the novels.
Commissioned made costumes and props for sale
- Midwick Armory – “…is an independent costume company and costumer’s resource, specializing in high quality replicas and custom creations. Midwick Armory came about in 2009 when Geoff relocated from Seattle to Columbus. Specializing in high quality replicas from the 2003 Battlestar Galactica series, he quickly branched out into other pop-culture universes. In recent years, Midwick has expanded to include the talents of Erin and Anders as it seeks to broaden its capabilities and become a resource for people trying to develop skills of their own.” I had the privilege to develop a friendship with Geoff in the beginning and watched his business and the demand for his skills grow exponentially. He, like me, encourage and try to help others make their own costumes. Him and I have examples of one another’s work and support the quality produced by each other.
- Anovos Productions LLC – Anovos Productions produces screen accurate replicas and costumes from several popular universes such as Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and Marvel, etc… They, too, have some of the best quality costumes you can find. Most Cons I’ve been too has an Anovos booth there and it has been an awesome eye candy experience.
- Youngknight Props Studio – I’m so happy to be highlighting Leslee’s Studio as you can see for yourself the amazing high quality and completely accurate armor and suit builds from various fandom films such as Iron Man, Power Rangers and The Man of Steel. When I list something in my resources page here it’s because I have used, shopped, or read and experienced these outlined titles and I’m incredibly excited to say that Leslee is custom making my Man of Steel super suit which is the best suit out there to be acquired.
Books and Videos
- The Book of Foam Armor by Svetlana Quindt of Kamui Cosplay – A wonderful how-to book on using EVA Foam for building armor for Cosplay. She makes it easy to understand and gives you the confidence to be able to dive right in the next adventure you have with EVA foam. Includes how to make the ever so important patterns for accurately shaping and fitting foam to your body and a list of tools and materials to complete the job successfully.
- Tom Savini’s Grand Illusions: Books I and II – These were the first true tutorial type books I read when I wanted to become a special effects makeup artist. The two books have been recently combined into this one volume. I learned more here then I can say and I got my first introduction to molding here. Those of you that don’t know, Tom Savini was a pioneer in the field of SPFX with the early slasher 70s and 80s horror movies like Dawn of the Dead and Friday the 13th.
- Scream Greats Vol. One – Video featuring Tom Savini’s horror makeup effects and his stunt, directing and acting gigs. I’ve only seen it available on video cassette and it is rare to find. Total inspiration and incredibly informative.
- Men, Makeup, and Monsters – This book is more of a biography that gave me an incredible sense of motivation to get started with my goals. It features Hollywood’s masters of illusion and FX like Dick Smith, Rick Baker, Stan Winston, Tom Savini, KNB EFX Group… with several others.
- Clonetrooper 101 – Tips for assembling your Clonetrooper Replica Armor
- Fangoria magazine publication – I got more reference photos of my favorite makeups here than anywhere else.
- Make-up Artist Magazine – This magazine started 20 years ago right after I finished makeup school and has been a great source of tips and inspiration.
Stores and websites for specialized materials used
- TNT Cosplay Supply – For the best quality EVA foam during cosplay builds I highly recommend this website for your foam and foam application needs.
- The Monster Makers – I absolutely love this web shop as it has all the SPFX supplies that I’ve ever looked for from clay, to foam head armatures, to liquid latex to poor up a mask from a mold, to adhesives, etc…
- Ben’s Paint Supply – Primarily a central Florida based business, but they do have a web presence so anyone can shop here. They specialize in automotive paints and auto body supplies like Fiberglass, bondo, sand paper and air tools and spray guns. I probably spent more money here than any other store combined! Not cheap, but high quality products. It’s just the nature of the materials to be had so prices reflect it.
- Reynolds Advanced Materials – Only a dozen locations across the country and I am lucky to have one here in Orlando, but you can shop online as well so no worries. If you are lucky enough to have one locally you can experience the great show room and maybe even take a seminar on mold making. Here is where I get all my sculpting, mold making, and casting materials. Silicone ain’t cheap so this is another store with pricey items, but again it’s just the nature of the materials to have on hand for a successful finished project.
- Skycraft Parts and Surplus – a walk in store for Orlando patrons, but has a web presence, that has all things electronic from switches, LEDs, resisters, circuits, wire, motors, etc…I could waste an entire day just shopping looking around in here. Locals know what I’m talking about.
Stores for building materials
- Lowe’s or Home Depot – An absolute necessary place to go for all things hardware, building supplies and even some paint and tools for fabrication.
Store for crafting and fabric supplies
- Jo-Ann’s Fabric store – I used Jo-Ann’s a lot for getting padding and cloth material to line the inside of the Viper helmets I made. I also would shop here for Halloween and Christmas craft supplies.
- Michaels – Mostly for Christmas and Halloween.
- Hobby Lobby – Mostly for Christmas and Halloween.