The Tale of Two Panels

Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter
Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter

The Military Sci-Fi Media (MSFM) Costume Contest was held on Friday at 7PM in Westin Chastain D–E. This contest had some tough competition in the time slot with a few other such contests running at the same time. For those unfamiliar with the MSFM track, it celebrates military-themed shows and universes such as Stargate, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica (both incarnations), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Babylon 5, and many more. Attendees and competitors were certainly dedicated. There were two categories—group and individual—with judges Callie Kelley, Deanna Higgins, Lauren Faits, and Wil Nix.

In addition to the winners (list below), the judges also invited attendees in costume to talk about the making of their costumes as well. This led to a discussion of costuming techniques, tips, and tricks. The audience participated as much as the judges. For this costuming newbie, this was the most interesting part of the panel. Some of the top tips follow.

  • Spray fabric softener makes for a “super-duper” wig detangler
  • King-sized sheets from Goodwill make for great practice and costume fabric
  • Fabric/craft stores will often match competitors coupons. These coupons are often good for 40% off a single cut of fabric… no matter the length—to include entire bolts
  • Use baking soda to remove superglue from unwanted surfaces
  • Titan is the most heavy duty superglue you can get. Just be careful because it doesn’t come off anything
  • Don’t overcomplicate things
  • Tide To-Go pens are great when working with light fabrics
  • Heating PVC pipe with a heat gun—outdoors—will allow you to bend it to create curves
  • Don’t let your insecurities stop you from cosplaying/costuming
  • Pick one part of your costume that you are most proud of and focus on it
  • YouTube has a lot of tutorials that you can use for things you may want to make

Overall, the MSFM Costume Contest was every bit as interesting as these reporters were expecting, but for a totally different reason.

And now, the winners!

Group: Firefly—Erin Burnett as Kaylee Frye, Will Richardson as Malcom “Mal” Reynolds, Julia Richardson as Inara Serra, Chris Richardson as Jayne Cobb, Amy Richardson as River Tam, and Daniel Reed as Hoban “Wash” Washburne.

Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter


Individual: Eric Engler as Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica (1978).

Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter
Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter

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