The morning dawns early on day three of FanX. The night before I had put rainX on the inside of the helmet so it would not fog up*. I also had laid out my motorcycle gloves and black snow boots. Everything is ready to go.
This morning the first panel is Billie Piper, so my daughter and I get in line with thousands of other con hopefuls an hour and twenty minutes early.We meet a lot of nice people in line. Next to us is a whole family in Whovian Cosplay. They consent to a picture. We are standing in a sea of Whovians and I am in a bright orange jump suit. It doesn’t take long to be noticed and pose for pictures. This is the only part of the day, surrounded by Who fans, when I’m not asked if I’m that girl from Aliens.
Billie Piper’s panel is lovely. She is funny and real and we so appreciate her traveling the globe to hang out with seven thousand Who fans here in the mountain desert of USA.
Later in the day I stop to take a photo. A couple hours later we get a text from my husband that my photo has been posted on the con’s Facebook page.
Before Carrie Fisher’s panel I stop to talk to a guy dressed like Boba Fett about his armor build. His armor is made out of some sort of PVC sheeting and he tells me how to do it. I’m intrigued and ask lots of questions. He is cool about it. I ask for a picture and he calls over some of his buddies. This happens! My daughter and I have a fun afternoon meeting all kinds of people and taking lots of pictures. Our con is huge, like 80,000 people from all types of fandoms. I learn that either you know what this Doctor Who suit is or you don’t. People that knew were super excited about it.
I wait in line for an hour to enter the cosplay contest. I get to know my neighbors, a teenage girl dressed as an anime character, some guys from a video game called Borderlands, a guy from Halo**, a girl from Portal, another from League of Legends, a bunch of characters from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and fittingly, a guy dressed as David Tennant.
The judges are impressed by my helmet. They tell me that it is the best paint job they have seen all day. The fact that I didn’t sew my suit from scratch is a mark against me. I’ll find out later that I didn’t make it through to the stage round of the competition, but I did learn a lot, met some new people, and had a great time. And I had this great photo taken (top of page).
All in all, I had a great time wearing my Sanctuary Base 6 Space Suit. On the way home my daughter (who was wearing a Legolas cosplay she had sewn) were talking about our cosplay plans for the next con. I’m thinking Missy.
*A week ago when I put on the helmet with the suit I realized I had not accounted for breathing. So in a scramble I cut an air hole in the back and installed an old laptop fan, hooked up to a battery pack. It didn’t help a lot but it helped a little. Next time I design a helmet I’m going to keep respiration more in mind.
** The guy with the Halo armor had built it out of paper and fiberglass. It had some really nice angles but he said it was a really hard material to work with. He was impressed by my helmet, especially how light it was (it is really light). We swapped stories and he’s convinced to try EVA for his next build. I thought fiberglass would maybe be useful if you had to build something really angular or geometrical.