This edition of the Cosplayer Spotlight features Collin S. Royster, a 24 year old from Henderson, KY (which, according to him, has a population of about the size of Dragoncon)!
COMIC ATTACK: What inspired you to get into costuming?
COLLIN ROYSTER: I’ve always enjoyed making things or just having items that no one else has. I took art classes throughout school and enjoyed the whole creation process. In December of 2006, I met a person that has influenced me the most when it comes to my costuming /prop making. I met Madison Crafton through mutual friends. At this time he had a full blown Darth Vader suit. He let me wear it one night around the neighborhood and ever since then I have loved the feeling of being certain characters.
CA: What costumes do you currently own?
CR: I currently own a Darth Vader ESB, Halo Master Chief suit, Ghostbusters jump suit, and an AVP Predator.
CA: How many of your costumes/equipment are homemade??
CR: I have entirely made my Halo turret, Halo Flamethrower, a Batman Begins Mangler, a Batman Begins holster, Lightsabers, and an R2-D2. I have made parts of the suits that I own, but being in the costuming/prop making community really lets you see what is out there and who has the best of the best. If I have my mind on a suit or a prop I want to make, I usually check around to see who has made the costume or prop already. After studying what’s already out there, I know what I am up against. This facilitates the creation process and answers the following questions: Should I just buy a kit? Do I need to make the suit or prop from raw form?
CA: On average, how long does it take for a costume to come together?
CR: It really depends on the costume you’re making and what resources are available to complete the suit at hand. If I buy a kit, I can usually get it done within a month or two. If I am building everything from scratch it could be a week or a year. The Flamethrower took me 3 ½ weeks to put together and since then it has been showcased on HawtyMcbloggy’s website, Bungie.net, and Halo Waypoint.
CA: Any new projects you’re working on?
CR: Of course I have new projects going on! I can tell you some of the things that I have in the works, but not all of my creations. I am upgrading my Halo armor to some flex foam parts. This will give me added mobility and comfort. I am also working on my fiancé’s ODST suit. I have other things going on as well, however, at this time I do not wish to share all of the details until they are completed and ready for their debut.
CA: What conventions have you been to in costume?
CR: Hmmm… Well there are quite a few. I’ll mention the major ones that I have attended: DragonCon, AdventureCon, Wonderfest, Star Wars Celebration V 2010, and ConNooga.
CA: Which ones are you looking at attending in the future?
CR: I am always looking forward to Dragoncon in Atlanta, GA. I hope to attend GenCon this year and [San Diego] ComicCon sometime in the future.
CA: What has been your favorite moment with costuming?
CR: It is really hard to pin point one great moment. I guess the parades at Dragoncon are pretty amazing. They leave such a great feeling after the fact. Another moment that sticks out is when I was in my Iron Man MK3 suit and I stopped an entire parade just by walking near it. The attention that these suits get is really amazing.
CA: Have you got the Iron Man suit to fly yet?
CR: When I had the Iron Man suit, I loved it to death. It looked identical to the movie and really was an eye catcher. When you are in a suit that is that elaborate, it really starts to take away from the experience. The Mk3 Iron Man suit had all the bells and whistles except mobility, which makes it far from flying.
CA: Will we ever see you in a fully functional Warthog?
CR: Yes! I will one day have a fully functional Warthog. I want to start off smaller and work my way up. I intend on making a Halo Ghost first and then a Warthog. However, there are a lot of obstacles I have to overcome to even get started on such an ambitious project like that. It may be a few years before I get started on that one…
CA: Have you ever had any awkward moments while in costume with fans or any equipment malfunctions?
CR: Yes I have had a few awkward moments in costume…at DragonCon one year I was in my Halo suit, walking, and my lift in my boot just fell out. So it was pretty embarrassing but luckily I wound up hobbling back to the room to fix it.
CA: What’s the average cost to put together a complete costume?
CR: For me it really varies depending on the suit. I would say a good round number for an armored costume of some sort would be around $1000…maybe more, maybe less.
CA: What do you do in “real life,” and what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
CR: I work at a machine shop called RMS (Roystersmachine.com; Roystersproduction.com). I am in charge of the Wire EDM Department in our shop… It is really the best job someone like me could ask for. It gives me the ability to create anything out of metal. These machines use a .010 Dia Brass Wire and Electricity running through it to create an arc. When the wire gets close to the metal it will burn its way through. These machines can hold a tolerance of +-.0001. Imagine taking one of your hairs and splitting it into three pieces. Then taking one of those three pieces and splitting it into ten pieces. One of those pieces would be really close to .0001. That is the accuracy involved in this, [it’s] really amazing. My other interests involve mainly my job; it consumes around 50 to 60 hours of my time every week. There are a lot of variables that come into play with my job.
CA: What do your co-workers and family think of your cosplay?
CR: Everyone I have encountered with this seems to think it is pretty awesome. My Family initially was really negative about it and thought I was wasting my time, but after proving myself they really think it is a neat hobby.
CA: You have this awesome quote on your Facebook page, “I am god among my creations, yet I am nothing more than you.” Where did you get this quote, and what does it mean to you?
CR: I said that to someone wanting to get into costuming. After saying it I really didn’t know the power of that saying until thinking it through again. To me this means that I can be a god to the things I create. Meaning I can create or destroy anything I have control over. But at the same time I am equal to anyone in this world and knowing that there will always be [a] better. Knowing I am not the only person creating costumes/props gives me the desire to search for those people who are creating bigger and better things.
CA: Do you have a fan page or website where people can see more of your work?
CR: I used to have a fan page a year or so ago and it is still reserved: www.des0late.com. I plan on getting it rolling again sometime in the future, but for now to see any of my work I would say Facebook is the best source.
CA: Any closing words about costuming or cosplay in general?
CR: Costuming is a art it is something that most people want to do but do not have the desire to pursue it. It just takes a little time and effort to get the things you want in life. The quality you put into something reflects the quality of person you are. [Also], I am in the 501st legion and was the KY state captain of 2009.
Check out some past editions of the Cosplayer Spotlight, and stay tuned for more interviews and photo galleries!
This interview was assisted by guest journalist, Daniel Fabrizio.
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