Cosplay Family Spotlight: Foam Friction Cosplay

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Skyrim Nords. Photo by Brandon Klemets Photography.

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 Foam Friction Cosplay. I recently met this great family at RenCon. Not only was their armor spot on, they won Best in Show at the cosplay contest, and they are the nicest people!

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?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
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Murray and Jusdia. Photo by Foam Friction Cosplay.

All of us cosplay. The kids and I are more involved than Mom. It’s only the three of us who don the armor for now. We did get her to wear a costume at RenCon. There is myself Murray (Dad), 44, my son Mason, 18, and my daughter Jusdia, 16. We all share the same FB page, Foam Friction Cosplay.

GeekDad:
How did you and your family get in to cosplay and prop/armor making? Did one particular member start it or did you all jump in together? What was your first cosplay?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
Halloween has always been big with our family. The house both in and out was always over the top. With our learned skill sets, it seemed only natural to make the jump. It was me who came to the rest of the family and said that we are going to Emerald City Comicon! 2016 was our first. That was it! We picked a theme and went to work. We wanted to be together, so we picked a common theme, that being Skyrim! We felt very wary about cosplay at first. When we arrived at ECCC we did not know just what to expect. We were welcomed with open arms and learned it takes two hours to move 20 feet. We also learned having Mom out of costume and working as our handler was a big benefit. It was unexpected that our costumes would be such a big hit. Being as a group or team, we felt more confident and safe.
GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite cosplay of yours? A favorite group cosplay you’ve done as a family?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
Being that we are very new at cosplay we have only done Skyrim! We have future plans to step in a different theme, but for now we are working on three new Skyrim costumes for ECCC 2017. At the moment, Skyrim is our favorite due to the diversity of the armor, and we seem to be doing well at making it. We enjoy to cosplay as a band of warriors who you would see in the game! We plan on continuing as a team, no matter what the theme may be.
GeekDad:
Speaking of group cosplay, do you always try to cosplay together? Or do you all do your own thing?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
We prefer to cosplay as a group. We find it beneficial because we are all working on the same theme. Each of us has developed our own unique skills in making the costumes, so we have been helping one another to get things done. As a father it has been a great way to stay connected! With the kids in their teens, we all know how hard that can be to keep them close. Through cosplay we still share a common interest and goal when cosplaying. Also, working together as a team teaches unique skill sets that are not taught as much anymore, and will help them in the future when they join the working world.
GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite piece that challenged you?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
Our challenge has been making the cosplay work in a manner that is realistic and not cumbersome. We have been teaching ourselves not only to make it look like the character that we are portraying but making it functional!
GeekDad:
What’s your favorite “medium” to work in (sewing, EVA foam, resin casting, etc.)?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
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Naked foam armor. Photo by Foam Friction Cosplay.

So far EVA foam and Worbla has been our favorite! Sewing has not been a problem either as I am an Automotive Upholsterer. We just started to use Epsilon, and we would like to start casting and resin work in the future. We were so honored to have won the 3D printer this year at RenCon. Can’t wait to see where that takes us.

GeekDad:
It’s been awhile, 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?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
The kids no, but I did a ton as a kid and late teen right into early adult. You are right. There are many skills that have helped me teach the kids new techniques like weathering. Upholstery has helped in a huge way in templating! All our armor has been created by us and not computer assistance.
Mason: For me I do a lot of 3D modeling in my Visual Digital Arts studies. It gives me a clearer picture of how to put things together. Unwrapping 3D models into UVs is basically the same thing as template creation.
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?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
We started late! Sadly, I wished we had started sooner like you. It would have been fun making mini epic costumes. Lol. I do know that my kids will take these experiences with them to their own family someday. I look forward to doing this with my future grandchildren.

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Mason and Jusdia working on their helms. Photo by Foam Friction Cosplay.

How to get them in the game? That’s a hard question. Generally, our kids do follow us in our own interests, or we follow them. That is an area where we have been fortunate as parents. Whether they want to be creative is to me the hard part. Fortunately, my wife and I have always been builders and makers. Our kids have always helped in what they could for their age. They learned to want to take and show ownership in what they make. When I first had the kids build their EVA armor, I had them make something of their own creation. No known character! This way you could do no wrong of have something to compare it to. This built the basics in building cosplay and did not discourage them in their ability. Now they feel confident in their own skills and have begun building their favorite characters all on their own. As they grow, they do not need as much assistance from me, but we are still spending time together!

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?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
Jusdia: books, Movies, and video games that have a story like Skyrim, Witcher, and Fallout.
Murray: building old cars and creating custom interiors for them.
Mason: digital visual arts, special effects, and green screen.
GeekDad:
What upcoming conventions do you have on your schedule that people could see you at?
Foam Friction Cosplay:
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Yes, that’s foam. Photo by Foam Friction Cosplay.

We would love to meet other families and people who cosplay. Right now we are building three new Skyrim cosplays that we plan on showing at ECCC 2017! We definitely will be returning to RenCon as well. Fan Expo will also be on the list. However, we really like the smaller cons. Being that we are still newbies, we don’t know all the stops, but if you follow our page, I’m sure we can meet up! Sadly, we do not know too many people in Canada who cosplay. Most of our cosplay friends are proudly American, and we enjoy coming down and meeting up with them. We would love to attend more so if you all could suggest a good Con to attend, please send us the info on our page.

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