I know. I know. I have been dumping Ratchet stuff on you guys for the past six months. This is a bit different.
I’ve bee building all this stuff with a singular purpose: to make a costume for NYCC’s Eastern Championships of Cosplay. Okay, I lied, two purposes.
I’m building this first for the Eastern Championships, and when the movie and game come out next year, use it like I currently use my entry from last year (Rocket Raccoon)- for charity work.
My entry into NYCC’s Eastern Championships last year, Rocket Raccoon, attending a charity breakfast for a cancer patient in Bensalem, PA.
I’m so lucky to be able to have my skills to do this- and use my work after I’m done on the con floor- cheering up sick kids or doing fundraisers for others. Ratchet- wether he gets into the Eastern Championships or not, will be doing stuff in the Philadelphia area early next year surrounding the movie, including participating in a charity stream for the very hospital where I was diagnosed with ocular albinism 27 years ago.
I’m a larger girl. I am not the typical ‘anime’ waif shape or the super heroine curvy hourglass. I am legally blind. But I still cosplay, and the smile on that little kid’s face is why, right there.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks.
The answer is an interesting one: it was my first console game, and it’s one that I was never able to beat until this year (well, sort of).
It’s not a particularly hard game series (except possibly the first one, mainly because you have no weapon progression and no armor/health upgrades), but I’m legally blind. I got it about 12 years ago, not long after the red-box version of the game came out for the PS2. I never made it past Blackwater City (about 1/3 of the way through the game or so) no matter how hard I tried. My coordination was just that bad, and I eventually shelved it. Yaaaaay blindness!
Fast forward to about 8 years ago. I tried again, and made it to Gaspar, about halfway through. Got stuck again due to my reflexes, or lack thereof, and shelved it again.
Fast forward to two years ago. I finally pulled it out of storage and played with a friend who was feeling down, who was a fan of quirky space stuff. We got to the Gadgetron HQ before I graduated and moved away, the final quarter of the game.
Last year, I moved again, and got my own place. Bought a PS3. When the Ratchet and Clank trilogy was on sale in January for 5$, I snagged it. I promised myself I’d actually beat the damn game. I got to the final battle with Drek, ran out of ammo... and rage quit to the second game, and have since beat all nine other titles.
So, yeah. This is kind of a big deal for me. Ratchet and Clank is the physical representation of me overcoming my disability, and that’s pretty damn awesome.
It doesn’t hurt the movie comes out next spring (when I started building him back in January, it was still slated for this year, but it’s been shifted to next April). And it’s this film costume I created and am submitting for the competition!
Movie poster.... good view of the side mesh on Ratchet’s pilot suit, and the dirt on his shoes, which I painted on mine after making them.
Ratchet smirking. I modeled the mascot head off this image, which you can see better in the photos below of the finished costume.
If you notice, I made one major and one minor change from the movie costume- I made the gloves from where the seam splits on the back of the hands orange to match the top of Ratchet’s flight suit instead of the brown. It just looked better, and took to fake dirt more easily. I also put the two metal snaps on the harness horizontally (side by side) instead of vertically; they looked much better aesthetically.
Clank was a mish-mash of the different styles over the years. I liked the feet from one game, the head from another, the chassis from a third. I didn’t make movie Clank, because I could not find good images for him from the movie on Ratchet’s back. He’s always staring on his own, with the limbs out instead of compacted.
One of the more recent games, Clank’s head became rounded with a black top grill (that separates when he flies, a propellor comes from there). I liked this head design more for its smooth lines and rounded, friendlier shape.
The classic body, with the neck piece suspended over a small dark metal dip, lust looks better, especially when Clank turtles his head inside his neck cavity. Round pegs don’t look good in square holes! The feet in this version retract, in too, though, and I don’t really like that. Nor do I like the head. At all. Here’s Clank “open”, for better detail, but I did his “closed” version below it so you could see that his hands squish into his sides, knuckles in.
In later games, when he compacts, his fingers stick out and I think it looks weird. I made the fingers originally to match the Tools of Destruction model but didn’t like the look at all!
So I used the feet from Tools to round out Clank. See what I mean about his fingers sticking out in this model? And I love his feet here, they look like little irons!
Ontario St. Comics gave us a space to take some cool shots, both in the store, and ‘repairing’ some of his classic cars. Ratchet is a mechanic, after all.
Since the Tankbot was built from a kit and not from scratch, I did not include it in this video. Here is the Groovitron, the Mr. Zurkon voice box, and my tail, in action! HUUUUUGE Thanks to James Carolan for his expertise and help. He did the electrical hardware for the voices, I did the software. I did the electronic lights for Clank and the tail controls, but I’m not the best with speakers. GO TEAM.
Proving to you that there is, in fact, a human in there. A lady, no less! Quark would be so confused by this, I’m sure.
The Philly cosplay guild, and me trying on all of my pieces to make adjustments.
I made two versions of Ratchet, this one for NYCC, and a second one based off his costume in the games. Here’s how I built that one, including the head, tail, and Clank, which are used in both versions of the costume
Here’s how I made Ratchet’s movie flight suit
Here’s a breakdown of what was made entirely by me, what I got help on, and what was purchased, it exceeds the 50% mark needed by the rules.
Mascot head: Made by me with no help
Pilot hat: Made by me with no help
Flight Suit: Made by me, friends helped hold things in place as instructed.
Belt: Made by me with no help
Harness: Made by me, friends helped hold things in place as instructed.
Shoes: Purchased shoes to use their soles, cut off rest of shoe and made all of the rest of the shoe from scratch
Gloves: Purchased base gloves to disassemble for fingers, made gloves from scratch from palm up
Tail: Made by me with no help, including tail movement.
Tankbot: Built from an existing robot kit, slightly modified, by me with no help. Tankbot walks of its own ability via a remote control.
Clank: Made by me including all electronics (his eyes), friends helped hold things in place as instructed.
Groovitron music prop: Purchased disco ball, modded by me, programmed audio. Friend made circuit and speaker system inside of ball.
Mr. Zurkon (not pictured, almost completed robotic prop): Built prop from scratch and programmed audio. Friend made circuit and speaker system.
Here is the list of materials that went into the costume and props, in no particular order:
Yellow fun fur 2 yards (Ratchet’s head, tail, arms)
White fun fur, 1/8 yard (Ratchet’s tail)
Orange bottom weight 1.5 yards (main shirt)
Dark orange Kona cotton 1 yard (shirt detail)
Blue sport mesh 1/2 yard (Shirt detail)
Jean fabric 2 yards (pants)
Dark green jean-like cotton bottom weight 1.5 yards (Pants)
Brown satin 1/8 yard (shirt detail)
Brown pleather 2.5 yards (kneepads, boots, harness, gloves, hat)
Dark brown stretch pleather 1 yard (boots, goes, hat)
One navy XXL T-shirt, cut up for fabric (cheaper than buying the navy jersey off the bolt) (shirt)
Buckram window screen 1/8 yard (eyes)
Googly eyes (all the rivets on hat, boot buttons, Clank)
4 yards black cotton piping (shirt)
3 in. black elastic (pants, belt)
1 roll reflector tape (harness, belt, boots)
2 emergency stairwell lights (Clank)
EVA floor mats (Clank’s body)
Yoga mats (Mr. Zurkon’s body, Clank’s jaw)
Plastic drinking helmet (Mr. Zurkon’s head)
10’ foam florist ball (Clank’s head)
Foamies (Clank’s ‘busted’ head detail, eye plates, Ratchet’s harness, boots)
Kid’s prize machine capsules (antenna balls on Clank and Mr. Zurkon)
Disco ball (Groovitron prop)
1 sony speaker system, cannibalized for parts (Groovitron prop, Mr. Zurkon)
2 voice chip microchips (purchased, but programmed by me, one in the Groovitron, one in Mr. Zurkon)
1 spider robot kit, modded (Tankbot prop)
Alcohol based dyes in brown, orange, yellow, white, and red (dyeing Ratchet’s fur)
Glues, thread, velcro, snaps, hook and eye closures, soldier, electrical tape, duct tape, spray paint, acrylics, shoe polish, buttons....
Ginny Price: Second set of hands, photography assistant, general ‘bounce ideas off of’ person
James Carolan: Soldiering
Katie Lynn Carolan: Moral support, held stuff
Emi Lo: Photography
Carla Serrano: Photography
Diomira Keane: Photography assistant
THIS IS WHAT I’M UP AGINST AT NYCC?!
Hoooo boy. Think I’m gonnna need a bigger gun, right pal?