I'm really excited to be interviewing Hotshot Cosplay. He is an amazingly talented prop maker and he's constantly experimenting with new techniques and methods. Read his interview right here!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I have been going to conventions for years and have always been interested in the cosplays and how they were made, specifically the Halo Spartans. In 2012, I decided to make my first armour set, Commander Shepard from Mass Effect.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
Hotshot was my old gamer tag and I always liked the name so I wanted to continue using it.
What do your friends and family think of your hobby?
At first they thought I was crazy trying to make armour out of foam, but as they saw the progress, they became more interested. They still think my ideas are crazy at times, but they are super supportive. Most of my friends now are cosplayers!
You stream your creative builds on Twitch. Can you describe the platform for people who might not be familiar?
It is basically a live video stream from my workspace with a chat function. It is like a live how-to video. You can also watch archived videos from previous builds.
People use social media every day. How do you think Twitch varies or benefits you/your viewers as a platform?
It allows me to connect with people and answer questions about my projects or general cosplay in real-time. I really enjoy having the open forum with my viewers and getting to hang out and get to know them.
How do you choose your next cosplay?
It is a balancing act of dream cosplays and what is going to be relevant. It is a never ending list! With Ironman, I couldn't stop thinking about how badly I wanted that suit. So even though it took thousands of hours, it was all worth it and something I have wanted to accomplish since I was a little boy. I mostly choose cosplays that I think are bad ass or have new techniques I want to try.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
This is probably the hardest question to answer because I have so many projects that are in various stages of completion! My most completed and next to debut is Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars Rebels. Dan of Lostnights and I have formed Team Cosdads and we have some epic secret cosplays planned!
What is your favorite material to use for making cosplay armour and props?
EVA is the easiest and most affordable material I have used, so it is usually my go to. Although for helmets I really enjoy the detail and finish of pepakura. For smaller props I like 3D printing and bigger props insulation foam.
What is your favorite resource when it comes to making cosplays and props?
The RPF.com is a huge resource I use for learning new techniques or finding patterns. Google has all the answers and is great for reference pictures. I also use the Cosplanner app to track progress and lists of things I need to accomplish.
What is your dream cosplay?
I would love to have an entire squad of Republic Commando's (Delta squad). I also really want to make Dart in his dragoon armour from Legend of Dragoon.
What is your favorite cosplay you've made?
My Titan from Destiny. It is the most comfortable and mobile suit I have made. It was also made completely from scatch without the use of patterns. It was also a lot easier to scale the armour to my body when compared to programs like pepakura.
What cosplay did you put the most time into?
My ironman suit took the most time. It was about 6 -8 hours a day for 10 months. It is fully made from bondo and fibre glass. It also has Jarvis (a voice command system) to operate all the servos and LEDs.
How long does it typically take for you to craft a prop from design to final product?
It depends on the size and detail. On average, I can usually get a prop done in one to two weeks.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that other's can learn from?
I still make tons of mistakes, which you can see on Twitch! But that is an integral part of learning new things. My bigfwst piece of adcixe, if you are going to try Pepakura, I recommend not starting with a full suit. I had to throw away a lot of completed pieces because of shape and fit, which was a lot of time and money down the drain. Start small and learn the craft fully before moving on to bigger and more intricate pieces.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Just do it! Sitting and wishing and planning out cosplays will never get you any where, you have to get hands on. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something or that it is a crazy idea. I have made several cosplays and props with scraps of anything I could find. It is the creative and innovative side of cosplay that I love the most.
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
I also enjoy taking on commissions for other people as it allows me to work on various creative projects that might not necessarily be something I would have done on my own. No idea is too crazy and I am open to collaborate on all kinds of things.
Where can we find you on all things social?
I am on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as Hotshot Cosplay and on Twitch as Hotshotldsh. I am always available to answer questions or to consult on your own projects as well! Don't hesitate to send me a message!
Amazing! That's all I have to say. Commission him for your own high quality cosplay needs, or check out his crafting streams on Twitch!