Cosplay Family Spotlight: 5NOVCreations

Reading Time: 7 minutes
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Fallout Family. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

Cosplay is becoming more and more popular around the world and at conventions. I’ve personally found a lot of joy and personal confidence doing cosplay at conventions, and the number one reason I started was as an activity with my son. After seeing a great panel about Cosplay Families at Rose City Comic Con a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to parents and families who cosplay and spotlight them here on GeekDad!

Cosplay Family Spotlight is a new recurring segment where I interview and spotlight a cosplay family. This week, I interview 5 NOVCreations. Interested in participating? Leave a comment here or reach out to me on twitter @billythebrick.

GeekDad:
How many members of your family are involved in cosplay?
DM:
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Vault Boy and Dweller. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

The whole family is involved. Myself (DM) 41, my wife Jade (JM) 39, daughter Kendall (KM) 12 and son Jackson JLM 10. I run the family cosplay page 5NovCreations

JM:
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Lady Deathstroke. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

Doug does all the building in the family, but I have just started learning some of the basics of prop construction which is fun.

KM:
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Samurai Boba Fett. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

I love doing cosplay, and now I am starting to do my own sfx makeup for characters.

GeekDad:
How did you and your family get into cosplay and prop/armor making? Did one particular member start it or did you all jump in together? What was your first cosplay?
DM:
Around four years ago we all went to a Supanova convention. At the time, my daughter was a massive Doctor Who fan and asked me to make her an Amy Pond cosplay. My son wanted to get in on the action and requested a Green Lantern costume, which I bought. My mother taught me how to sew and use a sewing machine when I was a child, so it was easy enough to get a lend of a machine to make a little Amy Pond police uniform. For the props, I am an electrical engineer by trade; however, my father was a mechanical engineer, and I grew up in a machine shop around cars, bikes, and fabrication machinery. This became the perfect blend of skills to start with cosplay and prop making. Therefore, I became the builder and the others would throw ideas at me. The following year the kids wanted to go again but this time asked my wife and I to dress up with them. Our son chose the theme and it was Assassin’s Creed. This became our first family cosplay and we all loved it.
JM:
At first I was a bit apprehensive about cosplay as it was a bit outside my comfort zone. However, when I saw how much the kids enjoyed it, I started to loosen up a bit. Doug has always had a “no sexually explicit or exploitative” designs for myself or my daughter so she could see it was about the art and design.
KM:
It all started with the Amy Pond cosplay, and it grew from there.
GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite cosplay of yours? A favorite group cosplay you’ve done as a family?
DM:
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Turkish Assassin. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

Turkish Assassin. Mainly because of the level of detail and different types of medium used. As a favorite group, it has to be our Fallout 4 family group.

JM:
Fallout 4 Vault Dweller. The shoes were so comfortable. The Fallout 4 family is my favorite.
KM:
Merida from Brave. It was one of the first dad made for me. Fallout for the group.
JLM:
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Grodd and Reverse Flash. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

Reverse Flash. It was so cool. Fallout group is my favorite because I look so much like the Vault Boy! Haha.

GeekDad:
Speaking of group cosplay, do you always try to cosplay together? Or do you all do your own thing?
DM:
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Star Wars Samurai. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

If we are going to do anything, we do it all as a family. The kids decide on the genre or character, and then I try to come up with compatible cosplays for my wife and me. Even though I do all the construction, my wife and kids help out as much as possible and feed me with the ideas to finish. In the past, we have done a Star Wars Samurai group, a Fallout family, a DC Heroes and Villains, and an Assassin’s Creed group. It doesn’t feel as much fun if we do different themes and builds. I find it easier to blend a set of builds together so they all flow.

GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite piece that challenged you?
DM:
My favorite piece was the cowl for the Reverse Flash. This was a huge challenge as I had to learn how to sculpt the cowl, make a two piece mold, and how to pour a latex cowl. The second most challenging piece was the set of Star Wars Samurai armor as it was all hand laced together and was based on traditional samurai armor plans. This involved cutting and drilling all the plates individually and lacing them all together. It worked out to be around 20,000 holes and 160 meters of lacing between the four builds by the time I was finished.
GeekDad:
What’s your favorite “medium” to work in (sewing, EVA foam, resin casting, etc.)?
DM:
Sewing is by far my favorite medium. It was one of the first skills I learned, and I am teaching my kids how to sew. I have expanded to embroidery, so this goes hand in glove with the sewing skills. I loved seeing my daughters face when I would finish a new dress like the Iron Man dress or the TARDIS dress. Ground up construction from purchased patterns to modifying and making my own patterns, I love the challenge and seeing something appear out of a roll of material. It’s very satisfying.
KM:
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Zombie Jean Grey. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

I asked Dad to sign me up to the Stan Winston online school so I have to say makeup and latex work. The webinars are so cool, and I can take my time with them or mum and dad can help me. I like to use Jackson as my test dummy. Haha. Recently I did a Zombie Jean Grey with Dad’s help that I was really happy with.

GeekDad:
It’s been a while, but I used to do quite a bit of scale model building and I see a lot of similarities in techniques between small-scale building and prop and armor building. Have you ever done any scale modeling or smaller scale builds?
DM:
I was a big fan of models when I was a child, and now that I have started building 3D printed props, it’s all coming back.
GeekDad:
Most of our readers are parents and, like me, want to share their geeky interests with their kids. I’ve been doing father and son cosplay with my son since he was born. Do you have any suggestions on how parents can get their kids interested and involved with cosplay and fabrication?
DM:
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Samurai Darth Vader. Photo by 5NOVCreations.

I have always been a big geek around comics, sci-fi, and pop culture, so our house is full of that sort of thing. The kids were always going to be exposed to it. However, the things I liked weren’t always going to be what the kids liked, so it became a job of working out what they enjoyed and connect with them on that level. Even if I wasn’t in love with their decisions, I tried to show as much enthusiasm as possible so they felt like I was as invested as them. This way it became a game of give and take, and we have as much fun as possible together. My kids love seeing the end result, so they like to hover over me whilst I build, and I get them to help out where they can, so they can learn and feel invested in the end result. It really comes down to as much encouragement as possible to fan the flames of their creativity.

GeekDad:
A lot of us geeks would love to do something we love as a full-time job. Do you have another job besides cosplay and prop making? If so, what is it? And do you have any tips for our readers on how to work towards a passion becoming a full-time “career”?
DM:
My full time job is as an executive in an international construction company where I run all the Planning and Project Controls aspects of the company. My work has me travelling on airplanes a fair bit, so I don’t have as much time to dedicate to cosplay as I like. I see cosplay as a way to connect with my family, and specifically my kids, so I can make the most out of the time that I have at home. That’s to say in between the kids sporting activities, school, and time they spend with their friends, it becomes a juggle. The way I try to plan it in my head is that there is a balance between work, home, and play. You can’t give more time to one without taking from another. Work is a fixed time that I can’t take from or I lose the main avenue of income to support my family. That leaves home or play, and since I am trying to add to play, I have to take it from home. Within the home bucket there is housework, sleep, kids schoolwork, and other family duties. For me that leaves sleep as the only place I steal from, so I do a lot of work once everyone has gone to bed. I don’t think I would want to make cosplay a career, because I only put as much effort in to the builds because they are for my family. Seeing their faces when I bring one of their ideas to life is worth more than gold.
GeekDad:
Something along the lines of “Being a geek isn’t about what you love but how you love it,” is sort of the new geek mantra. Do you have anything, besides cosplay, that you consider yourself a geek about?
DM:
Loving my family. That’s the greatest passion of mine ever.
KM:
Books. I love everything about books.
GeekDad:
What upcoming conventions do you have on your schedule that people could see you at?
DM:
Jackson and I are going to Brisbane Supanova but then it’s a big break until the con season starts again here in Australia.

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