Weaponry masters


POSTED: Thursday, April 02, 2009

Getting the costume right is just one element of cosplay. For some characters the weaponry is also an essential identifier, but chances are, you can't just walk into a store and buy a battle flail or war ax.

Florence Matsuoka, president of Hawaiian Graphics, noted the dilemma of local cosplayers in the early days of Kawaii Kon.

“;Some were walking around with weapons that looked really heavy and bulky. Others were mostly thrown together, made out of corrugated cardboard. After three days of watching people lugging them around, it seemed there could be something better.”;

Matsuoka, who'd put her creativity to use as a mask maker and Halloween enthusiast, turned her attention to constructing swords, knives, spears and battle axes that are realistic looking but light enough for Kon attendees to carry around during the daylong event.

“;I wanted to do something. I wasn't sure how, but I thought if the hardware looked more realistic, it would be pretty cool and definitely add to a costume, because a lot of people had the costume but didn't have the accessories. It's not like there's a costume show that has all the accessories.”;

Hawaiian Graphics hosted a demonstration of weapons making last week Friday at its Beretania Street store.

The Foamcor can be cut in the desired shapes with an Xacto knife, then coated with acrylic paint in metallic finishes.

“;Plus, because it's made of Foam, it's safe. You won't hurt anybody or poke somebody in the eye.”;

Those who are interested in learning more can always direct questions to staffers at the store, which maintains a Web site with the complete instructions for creating a battle ax: www.hawaiiangraphics.com/battleaxe.

The site also offers a schedule of art classes ranging from drawing to beginning airbrush.

“;We want to show people how to use the materials we carry, how to be creative,”; Matsuoka said. “;During the holidays people want to know how to make their own crafts, gifts and cards. It's just a way to share more ideas.”;