What’s better than a cosplay photoshoot? A cosplay photoshoot with a story!
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“Clank… CLANK!” a young sounding voice shot out, through the clearing where I was trying to grab water to bring back to the village. A lightly armored yellow-furred creature ran past not soon after.
“Ratchet, tic, right?” I asked, putting aside my pot… which, in his haste, he shattered to pieces with his tail as he whipped around.
He frowned for a moment. “Sorry,” he mumbled weakly, looking at the damage.
“It’s tic just fine, tic,” I said, shooing him off.“I’ll just tic take it to the Zoni to fix.”
“Have you seen Clank?” he demanded, once he’d been assured there’d been no real damage done.
“Robot, about 70 centicubits tall, Blarg-made…” he started before trailing off. “I followed his tracer here…”
“I tic saw something metallic that way,” I said, outstretching my hand to an old log.
Ratchet huffed and ran towards where I’d pointed, skidding to a halt.
“Clank, buddy, no…” he mumbled, picking up what was clearly a robot, before growling low. “I’ll fix you. And then I’m going to find the guys who did this to you.”
Ratchet pulled out a toolkit from a matter decompressor on his glove, biting down on one screwdriver he muttered he needed while pulling out more tools.
“C’mon,” he muttered through clenched teeth. “Let’s wake you..”
“Ra… chet?” a weak tinny voice asked.
Ratchet frowned. “Your optics aren’t even lit. Just sit tight, pal. I’ve got you.” His face softened, and he let out a breath he probably didn’t realize he was holding.
“You any good with repairs?” he asked, turning to me.
“Bah. The only mechanical stuff any tic Fongoids touch touch is helping the Grummels unload their tic stock at the trading port,” I replied.
“Can you hold things for me at least?”
“Just tic tell me what to do.”
A few minutes of near silence later as Ratchet dug around Clank’s insides, punctuated only by “Hold”, “Let go”, and “Take this”, Ratchet levered his screwdriver to wedge the small robot’s access panel back into place. “Best I can do for now, pal. Your arms and legs are stuck until I can get you back to the ship.”
“I wish I knew what happened,” Clank replied, before being drawn tightly into a hug.
“Some Angorians yanked you off my back while we were in the arena,” Ratchet muttered. “I chased your signal down here.”
“You do realize that this is likely some sort of trap, then?” Clank said incredulously as Ratchet pulled him tighter.
“Oh, yeah, pal, way ahead of you. I’m uh, kinda using you as a shield for the poor Fongoid behind us right now,” Ratchet hissed. “I’ll get you fixed up at Al’s if they start shooting.”
“How very kind,” Clank replied dryly. I scuttled in behind the pair, now fearing for my life, as the robot popped open his maintenance shutter, letting Ratchet slip a hand inside while still holding on tightly.
“Ready?” Ratchet muttered, his face obscured by digging into Clank’s head.
“Whenever you are, Ratchet.”
“Count of three, hit the deck,” Ratchet whispered back at me. “Got it?”
“One, two, three, NOW!” he cried, as he swung the robot over his shoulder onto his back as he revealed what he’d pulled from Clank, a blaster pistol, carefully letting off ten shots to spots in the forest.
He held the blaster steady as he perked an ear, shooting off one more shot towards the old stone bridge.
“Thanks for the cover,” he said, turning back to Clank, before looking at me. “Stay down. I hear ship engines, and that means reinforcements. Where would they be coming from?”
“There’s tic only one decent place to land ships around here, up the hill. They would be coming down from there, and tic crossing the stream first, before hitting the village.”
“Thanks.” Ratchet squatted and stretched himself out, loading another cartridge into the pistol.
“Thanks for the help,” I said, flat on my stomach behind some brush and a log. “It would be tic terrible if we got hit by another attack.”
“Nefarious’s goons, right?” Ratchet said. “Clank, you weren’t there for that. He kidnapped an entire village. Or Vorselon did, really, but they were being sent to one of his work camps. Ugh.” Ratchet spat out the end of his sentence. “I’m getting real sick of cleaning up after these self-righteous jerks.”
“You really did grow up quite a bit while I was incapacitated,” Clank said smugly, as Ratchet perked an ear again, listening for sounds only a Lombax would be able to hear.
“Just… shut up,” Ratchet replied, playfully, as he hunched down tighter and let of a rapid stream of twenty or thirty blasts, snorting and listening to the groans of Angorians and robot alike. “You’d think my arena opponent would realize that stealing you away would make me a better fighter, not a worse one.”
“This is over a petty arena squabble?” Clank asked, as Ratchet put the pistol into his matter compressor.
“Petty? Hah. You remember the DreadZone fights?” Ratchet asked in turn, standing up and barking out a laugh.
“And the Angorians are far worse,” Clank responded. “Ratchet, I need a few minutes to recharge my battery, if that is all right with you, before we travel.”
“Yeah, no prob,” Ratchet said, as he unhooked the robot off his back, setting him on a log, swinging over to sit down himself.
“You good?” Ratchet asked.
“Unbalanced, without the use of my legs to counterweight,” Clank replied honestly. “But you are assisting with that.”
“You should be safe to go, uh…” Ratchet said, looking down at me from my spot behind the log, as I stood and brushed dirt from my tunic.
“Neff,” I supplied.
“There’s nobody else around to bug you within at least five kliks, Neff. All the hired idiots have shuffled back towards one of those Grummel traders to heal, trust my hearing on that one. Right now, you’ve got a clean shot of going home, and honestly, even after those guys restock on nanotech, I doubt they’ll come back. I hit ‘em all in the worst possible spot,” he added with a wicked fang-bearing grin.
Ratchet looked over at Clank.“Battery?”
“Half a standard hour,” Clank replied, drowsily. “It would be more prudent to idle longer, however…”
“Just go into sleep mode proper. I’ve got your back.”
Clank nodded, powering down.
“I’ll stay,” I replied, as I began picking up the pieces of the shattered pottery, rolling them up in my burlap shoulder bag. “At least until its safe for you tic to get moving yourself.”
“Thanks,” Ratchet said, voice heavy as he settled into the log, tail thumping against Clank’s feet. He leaned the (temporary) alloy paperweight into his side, yanking off his helmet and sighing. “I thought I’d lost him again.”
“Vorselon split up the people he abducted,” I commented, settling next to Ratchet on the ground at his feet. “You saved the tic people still on his ship, but…”
“There were more?”
“We’re still missing about tic forty,” I responded, glumly.
“We’ll get them back,” Ratchet said sharply. “Let me get back to my own ship, fix up Clank, but… we will get them back. I am so sorry. I wish I’d known sooner.”
“It is. No man left behind.”
“No person left behind,” Ratchet reiterated, patting Clank’s head with his right hand, smiling softly. “We’ve already had to lose someone important to each of us. That’s not your job.”
“Much better,” Clank mumbled, as he slowly booted up from his partial charge.
“Didn’t want you in direct sunlight, you’d get too hot to carry.”
“I am now at twenty percent; it is more than sufficient for the time being.”
“Good. Let’s move,” Ratchet said, swinging Clank back onto his armor. “Climbing that hill’s the fastest way back to where I parked. Ready?”
“I will tic at least see you off,” I replied.
Clank squinted at me from Ratchet’s back. ”You really should be returning back to your village. This is quite steep.”
I watched Ratchet deftly pull himself up the incline, Clank looking down at me the entire way.
“Stay safe,” Clank shouted down, once they reached the hill’s peak.
“Yes tic sir!”
Ratchet turned around and looked down.
“Yo, Neff!” he shouted, with confidence. “We’ll be back soon. With everyone.” He shook his head. “I’m going to need a bigger ship.”
“And that is how you offend Aphelion,” Clank commented.
“When she can fit more than a minifridge in her cargo bay, then we’ll talk,” Ratchet joked, pulling out a strange device he snapped on his wrist. “Later!” he cried, shooting a beam of green light from the device before flying off into the sky, whooping as he was pulled along by the tether.
So. I made a thing. Ratchet and Clank cosplay took about six months total (and I’m still building props, like a Mr. Zurkon, Tankbot, and a Groovitron Glove) but this was my first actual cosplay shoot with purpose. Apologies for the really bad fanfic to go alongside... but it was easier to do this shoot (which was grueling... it was like 90• Fahrenheit in that suit, plus I was actually hiking a gosh-darn mountain with 60 lbs of gear) with a script of sorts in mind.
Q: Did you build everything and how did you do it?
A: Yes, and you can find my build log right here:
Q: How do you see out of it?
A: The eyes are one-way mesh. But I’m legally blind anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much to me.
Q: How heavy is it?
A: About 30-40 pounds, including Clank. Ratchet’s head is the heaviest because of the helmet.
Q: How does Clank stay on your back?
A: He’s a backpack with removable straps. When he’s off, straps can come out (they thread through the bolt on his back). When he’s on, the backpack straps are pulled through the holes in the back of Ratchet’s armor and over the leather vest (yes, those holes in the armor are part of the original design in game). It’s no different than wearing an actual backpack.
You can see part of the straps under my armpits if the arms are raised, but they’re made from the same material as the vest, so you really need to look closely. I tried neolydium magnets, but they just didn’t keep Clank steady and upright.
Q: Does the hatch really open?
A: Yeah. It’s large enough to fit that green toolbox inside. It’s a functional backpack.
Q: The lights?
A: He really does have LED’s in him. It’s 3 LED per eye, on a 6 AAA circuit. The batteries last 48 hours without a change. The chest plate and shoes for Ratchet also light up, 6 AAA and 4 AA total.
I did, however, do some extra work in post; it was too sunny to really see the lighting. It’ll be more visible indoors, like at a convention.
Q: What about Clank’s eyelids?
A: Clank’s eye plates are replaceable, and I’ve made a few that can be swapped out: open, squinting, and Klunk’s red eyes as well. We swapped out 3 different plate sets for the shoot (teal open, green open, and green squinting). No corrections were made in photoshop for these.
I need about twenty showers.
Ratchet and Clank
divisionten: cosplay builder and model, photo retouching
Ginger Liz: lighting
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