Borderlands Psycho Cosplay – Pepakura Mask – Part 1


Needless to say, the most iconic and recognisable figure of the Borderlands video game series, is the Psycho. And by extension, the most recognisable part of the Psycho is the mask.

Whilst it is possible to purchase the masks online, I have decided to make my own mask using Pepakura (Japanese Paper Craft), and then hardening it using resin.

I intend to use this blog to document the steps I am using to create my mask. The steps are as follows:

  1. Making the 3D model
  2. Printing
  3. Cutting out
  4. Gluing
  5. Hardening
  6. Sanding
  7. Painting

There may be several other steps to this process around the hardening, sanding and painting phases, but as I have not made it this far yet, I have no idea as to whether or not they will be needed.

Step 1 – 3D Modelling

I have a simple piece of Pepakura software installed on my computer, and you can search online for a number of models people have created for a variety of projects. I found one online years ago, and loaded into the software.


The model I chose however was designed for somebody with a much smaller face than myself, and was only going to print on 6 pages of card. I had to adjust the model and rescale upwards by a factor of 32% to create a mask in my size.

Once I had achieved this, it was time to print.

Step 2 – Printing


The next step is critical. Depending on how much work and effort you are going to put into the mask at a later stage, it is important to make the right decisions at this stage.

The following must be decided upon prior to printing:

  • Card gauge
  • Textures
  • Edge IDs
  • Number of Pieces

The card gauges you decide to use make the difference between the a wearable mask, and a pile of mush. Normal paper is too thin for a mask, as it is too soft and absorbent, meaning that it will warp when you try to glue it or harden it. Meanwhile, the paper must not be too thick as to clog up your printer. I have decided to go with a 110 GSM card, which is the thickest I could buy at Staples.

Textures are also important, depending on the amount of painting you want to do after completion. As I am colour-blind, I find it difficult to match colours, I have decided to print the textures as seen in the 3D model. If you do not include the textures, you get a white page with black lines on it, without any colours or details. The primary consideration you need to make at this point is the amount of ink that this process will use. BEWARE!

Edge IDs allow you to work out which flap connects to which edge. This is like paint by numbers. As this is a simple project, there are only about 100 edges and flaps. I have therefore decided, as I also do not which to do much repainting, that I will not be printing these, but I will be using my screen as reference.

The number of pieces in the project will depend on the complexity and time it will take to cut out and assemble the mask. I have chosen this particular model, and reduced the number of initial pieces from 30 pieces to about 15. This will require more scores when assembling, but fewer cuts when cutting out.

Next up I’m going to be cutting out and gluing the pieces together.

Borderlands Psycho Cosplay – Gloves


The first part of my costume, the brown leather glove, has arrived.

I have blown up a picture and posted it above, which shows that the Psycho wears a brown leather glove.

This actually took the most time to find online for several reasons. The first is the fact that this is not actually a fingerless glove. The thumb, index and pinky fingers of the glove has been removed.

I recognised these not as biker gloves, but as driving gloves. Once I realised this, I searched online for some inexpensive (being the operative word in this sentence), brown, leather driving gloves.

£8.99 on eBay later, I had found and ordered myself a pair of them. I will only use one of the gloves, but I intend on removing the two fingers and the thumb from the right-hand glove and using it in the costume.

Below is a photo of the gloves which have arrived. I won’t be amending them yet, just in case my costume needs to change.IMAG1984

As you can see, the colour is nearly perfect, and the back of the glove has the large hole, and knuckle holes. So all in all, I think I’m onto a winner here.

My First Cosplay – Borderlands Psycho – Part 1



The Back Story

Recently (last week), I attend the Manchester Film and Comic Con. This is by no means my first convention, but it is certainly the best one I have been to in years.

As well as chatting with one of my heroes, I also saw some amazing Cosplay, which got me thinking.

I have in the past dabbled in Pepakura (Japanese paper craft), and even attempted a Halo Master Chief costume once. This had me thinking about whether I could create something simple and effective, on a budget.

I am a huge fan of video games, so tried to think of the most simple video game character imaginable… and then I saw Borderlands advertised in the window of HMV.

The Psycho


The most iconic character (aside from Claptrap) in the series is the Psycho. Psychos are common enemies who are found throughout the game, and are essentially shirtless, masked maniac-bandits.

I’ve chosen this particular character for a number of reasons. The first, it is a simple and cheap(ish) costume to make. The second, is that the elements used to make this character can be reused in different costumes. And finally, there are variations of this character which I can work on if this is successful.

Costume Elements

There are several parts that make up this costume, some of which I have taken some creative licence with.

I used the photograph from the top of this blog post as reference to create my character from, to give you an idea of what I need.

The elements are:

  • The iconic Psycho mask
  • A vest (lets face it… I’m a fat geek who lacks the physique for this character)
  • Arm wraps
  • Arm guard
  • Orange High-Vis trousers
  • A brown leather glove
  • A silver knee pad
  • Brown leather straps (on the legs)
  • An Axe
  • Boots

In addition to this I have decided to add some Wastelander spikes to the lower trousers (think Mad Max), which will ultimately add a bit extra to the character.

Like I said, I have also decided to add a vest to this outfit. This serves several purposes. The first is, I do not have the physique for this outfit. The second is, for anybody who has ever attended a convention in the UK, it is FREEZING in many of these venues. And the final reason is for comfort; If I have to wear a backpack, chafing will be inevitable.

The boots I have again taken some creative liberties with, as I have a pair of Mad Fish shoes which look more Post-Apocalypse than plain boots.

The final change I have made at this stage is the axe. There are a number of blueprints online for the iconic axe used by the Psycho (see the middle picture on this post), which involves the use of MDF. Despite the fact that I can in fact make one of these with little issue, there are rules at the conventions which prohibit the use of certain materials in the use of weapons used in cosplay. That said, I decided to order a LARP axe until I have gained some insight on working with foam.

The mask is going to be done with Pepakura, which I will be printing out, cutting, gluing, and then hardening.

Watch this space.

I’m back!

That’s right… I’m back!

For those of you who follow this blog, you’ll have probably noticed a 13 month hiatus.

So, what have I been up to?

When I first started my blog over a year ago, I set out some goals including, moving out from my parent’s house, getting a new job, earn some professional qualifications, get a new hobby, and make some friends.

… Missions accomplished!

I started my new job, which is essentially my dream job as an IT Trainer. I’ve mainly been absent from blogging due to the amount of work, travel and study the job involves.

As part of the job, I attained my Microsoft Office Specialist 2013 Qualifications in PowerPoint and Outlook, my Microsoft Office Specialist Expert Qualifications in Word and Excel, and overall my Microsoft Office Master Qualification.

I also started playing X-Wing in Huddersfield on a Tuesday night  and have since played in many tournaments. And I have even come in the top 5 twice.

I also moved house!

Not only did I move house, I moved to a new town. I now live in Huddersfield, which seemed like the logical choice as that is where my social life seems to have gravitated to, and where my work takes me on a regular basis. I moved on the last Friday in February, and I’m settling in nicely. In addition to that, I have a log-burner in my living room… TOTALLY worth it!

So why am I back?

Well, my job previously only had me working away (in terms of overnight stays) about once or twice a month maximum, for no more than one night at a time. Unfortunately, times are changing, and as of next week, I will be living in a hotel room for 5 nights a week, for about 3 months. And what better way to kill the time than blogging and playing the Xbox One.

I have also recently decided to give Cosplay a go. It seems a bit random, but I recently went to Manchester Film and Comic Con, and now I’m hooked! So watch this space!

Bargain Bin Movie of the Week – Week 7 – Afflicted (2013)

So Netflix has been trying to shove this film down my throat for the better part of three weeks now. Although it looks to be a new film, and it is highly rated on Netflix… I have never heard of the film, or the people starring in it. Like last week, I am reviewing this as I am watching this.


Afflicted (2013)

So first of all, this is a Found Footage horror film. For those not familiar with this term, Found Footage was made popular by The Blair Witch Project (1999) and has since spawned its own genre. This in itself immediately spells out disaster from the word go. The only decent films from this genre are the the aforementioned The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2007).

The second imminent disaster spelled out by this film is that it is written, directed, shot, and starred by Clif Prowse and Derek Lee. As we have seen from our very first Bargain Bin Movie of the Week Deranged, this can lead to bias, meaning that regardless of how bad the acting is, or how bad the shot is, the people involved cannot see this, and produce some real crap.

And finally, the name and description of the film suggests that this is supposed to be similar to other movies in this genre, namely [REC] (2007) and the English-language remake Quarantine (2008).


The plot to the film is that two Canadian friends, Derek and Clif go on a around-the-world trip, after Derek is diagnosed with Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) which is a brain disorder where the arteries can haemorrhage in his brain at any time, killing him.

Derek and Clif go on a night out in Paris where they try to hook up with women, and Derek meets a girl called Audrey, who goes back to his room with him. Clif and his friends find him scratched, bitten and unconscious on the bed.

After this Derek becomes ill, he cannot eat, he cannot sleep, and he is getting worse when in direct sunlight.

He then begins to develop superhuman strength, agility and heals really quickly. On the way to the hospital he ends up getting in a fight, and is seen licking human blood off of his hands. After posting the footage online of the fight, Clif successfully works out that Derek is becoming a vampire.
They try animal blood, and blood from a butchers, and even try to steal from a blood bank and ambulance.
Not to give too much away, but lots of people die, and it becomes very cliché from then on.
Overall, it was not badly executed, and the special effects aren’t that bad, and the cinematography is good considering there is not much there as it is a Found Footage, one-camera affair.
So I will give this a:

B-Movie Rating of: 4 out of 5

Am I a Cumberbitch?


On Friday night, my girlfriend and I sat down to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness with a box of chocolates and half a pint of Baileys each. This is in itself a welcome and rare treat for me for three reasons; first because I rarely drink (since I got my first car in July 2012 I have sat down on an evening with a drink less than a few handfuls of times). Secondly I love Star Trek and Zoe doesn’t (yet she suggested we watch this particular film). And finally, I love watching Benedict Cumberbatch.

At this point Zoe called me the most peculiar term I had heard in a long time… A Cumberbitch. Until that moment I had never even heard the term, and therefore was unsure whether to be complimented or insulted by the comment.

So in the spirit of the 21st Century, when life throws me questions, Google had the answers. And I have spent a good few hours looking up what a Cumberbitch is…

Apparently there are several key qualities that a Benedict Cumberbatch fan needs to possess to be considered a Cumberbitch. And these are:

A High IQ: Due to the complexity, depth and sophistication of the roles he plays, Benedict Cumberbatch fans need to be blessed with a fair few brain cells. Seeing as though I managed to graduate with a degree in Psychology, and do not struggle to understand the more complex of his roles, I will admit to falling under this category.

Internet Skills: Apparently in order to be a Cumberbitch, you need to possess the skills to create websites, and social media pages to obsess about Benedict Cumberbatch. Now I will give myself 50% marks for this. Yes I possess the pre-requisite internet skills and yes I create a blog which on occasion speaks of Benedict Cumberbatch, but this is not a blog DEDICATED to him.

A Fondness of Obscure Films: It is a requirement for the aspiring Cumberbitch to not only like the bigger budget Hollywood films of Benedict Cumberbatch, but also enjoy the more obscure things he is in, and buy tickets for upcoming, more obscure films he is in. Unfortunately, I also fall into this category, not just because I love obscure films, but I have been to see both National Theatre Live versions of Frankenstein based solely on the fact that he was in it, and I have tickets to see him in Hamlet in October via the National Theatre Live.

A Love of Crowds: Cumberbitches can seen in their droves outside of theatres, and events where their hero is, simply forming a crowd, yelling, screaming and swooning at the mere mention of his name. I can safely say, 100% that I do not meet this criteria.

An Interest in Politics and History: Many of Cumberbatch’s roles are historical in nature (War Horse, Sherlock, Imitation Game) and Cumberbatch speaks of his political beliefs, which many may find hard to follow. Now although I have a firm understanding in the History and Politics of Cumberbatch’s roles, I do not actually care or have an interest in History or Politics in general. So once again, I’m out.

A Good Sense of Humour: Much of the humour in Cumberbatch’s roles, and the interviews he has, is either obscure, or tongue in cheek. It is therefore important to have a good sense of humour, if not a very intelligent sense of humour. I can say that I believe I have a good sense of humour, and take every opportunity to share a bad joke with those around me.

Patience: Due to length of time between Cumberbatch’s performances in the National Theatre Live, and seasons of Sherlock, or series of film, such as The Hobbit, it is important to have patience. Now some may argue that I am a very patient person (hence my new job as a training consultant, which requires patience) but then again, I am also a Binge-Watcher, and therefore prone to being very impatient when it comes to films. So in this instance, I give myself a 50% mark again.

Keen Attention to Detail: This refers to the Cumberbitch’s keen attention to details specifically relating to Cumberbatch, such as when he is going to be in another film, when Sherlock is being released in the UK, and whether he is wearing a new shirt. I have been blessed with an amazing memory. I can recall much of what I have read or seen with ease. So in some respects, I can tell you when Sherlock is coming out in the UK, or when his next film is, BUT I do not go actively seeking this information. So once again, another 50% mark.

In addition to the eight recognised criteria, I have added two criteria of my own:

Being Female: Almost all of the Cumberbitches I have read about or encountered are female. Although there are male Cumberbitches out there, they are few and far between. Last time I checked (which was about 10 seconds ago) I still had a pair of fully functional testes… Therefore I do not meet this criteria.

Wearing Cumberbatch Fan Attire: Many of the Cumberbitches, I see online proudly sport there “I am Sherlocked” t-shirts or Deer Stalker hats, or Smaug shirts. Although I do own fan shirts for many films and television shows which I am a huge fan of (Firefly, Serenity, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Big Bang Theory) I do not own a single item of clothing relating to Benedict Cumberbatch, or any film he has been in. And if I do, I am either unaware of it, or unaware that he was affiliated with the film. Either way, I do not intentionally own any item of clothing designed to express my fan status towards Benedict Cumberbatch.

So looking at my original question of Am I A Cumberbitch? I think the answer is a resounding NO. However, I do get 4 1/2 points out of a potential 10 on the Cumberbitch Scale (I just totally make that up by the way). I can say that he is probably my favourite actor, and I am a big fan, but I wouldn’t go as far as labelling myself as a Cumberbitch.

End of an Era


Well, its official… I finished my last day at my now old job!

Its really strange now that I’ve left. When I went, everybody yelled goodbye after me… It was both comforting and sad at the same time.

To add to my growing anxiety over the situation, my girlfriend kindly pointed out that I am technically unemployed for the next 2 days, as my new contract starts on Monday!

I am setting off to my leaving do in a few minutes, but I wanted to test out the WordPress App on my tablet. So if the formatting looks odd, its because of the tablet.

I may do another update before Monday. Until then… Watch this space.

Tales From Memory Lane – The Best Birthday Cake EVER!


It will probably no longer come as a shock to you that I am complete and total geek. And my long suffering (it’s been just over a year, so she can have the prefix “long-suffering”) girlfriend indulged in said geekiness by baking me the most AMAZING cake for my 29th birthday.

As many people may have guessed, I am a HUGE Big Bang Theory fan, and Zoe is to a fan also.

So she constructed the cake in the pictures above and below.

For anybody who is not a fan of the Big Bang Theory, I’ll give you a bit of background:

Episode 14 of Season 3 is called The Einstein Approximation, which sees Sheldon trying to work out why electrons behave as though they have no mass when travelling through a graphene sheet. In a sleep deprived state, Sheldon breaks into an indoor children’s playground to use the balls in the ball pool to visualise the electrons. When Leonard goes in to get him out, Sheldon hides under the balls and pops up sporadically to shout “BAZINGA!”. Hence the concept of the cake.

The clip can be viewed here.

The cake was made from chocolate with layers of butter cream, and iced with white icing around the edge. The centre was hollowed out by several inches, and a bobblehead of Sheldon was placed inside (he currently resides on my TV in my bedroom). Then two or three family bags of peanut M&Ms (known in my house as Garys after the advert , see the video here- “I think he’s going to eat Gary!”) which are my favourite.

The overall effect was AMAZING and the cake tasted as good as it looked!

Thank you Zoe for the AMAZING cake!

Oldies But Goodies – American Pie (1999)


To kick off my new feature I decided to review American Pie (1999). Anybody who knows me would have guessed that I would review Alien as it is my favourite film of all time. HOWEVER, I have a very special affinity with this film, as it was actually the first film I purchased on DVD with my own money (in a 2 for £25 deal at Virgin Megastore with Deep Blue Sea).

I have watched this film dozens of times, with and without the Director’s Commentary.

The film is about a bunch of teenage boys in high school, from several cliques who make a pact to lose their virginities before they graduate.

The main character of the film is Jim, played by Jason Biggs. Jim is single, hopeless and has very intrusive parents. Jim’s jim-american-piedad played by Eugene Levy is the only character to feature in all 8 of the American Pie films, and although awkward and somewhat blunt, is a touching character as he tries to cement his relationship with his son.

Jim’s best friends are Finch, Kevin, Oz, and Stifler, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein and Sean William Scott respectively (This may be the first time anybody has used the word “respectively” when describing the characters of American Pie).

Finch is the utter nerd who is trying to be more mature than he really is, and ultimately finds his dream woman in the form of Stifler’s Mom (played by Jennifer Coolidge).

Kevin has a girlfriend Vicky played by Tara Reid, whom he has been going out with for years. They have gone most of the way, but have not quite made it to fourth base. Vicky is waiting for the perfect moment for them to have sex, whereas Kevin just wants to get laid. It is actually Kevin who devises the pact to lose their virginities which spawns the entire premise of the film.

Before I carry on, an interesting note is that it is Kevin who contacts his brother (played by Casey Affleck, who is uncredited for his role) for sex advise, who imparts with him the knowledge of the Book of Love, which in turn spawns the eighth instalment of the American Pie franchise American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. Another quirky thing to point out, is that in the scene featuring Casey Affleck, the three men in suits in the background are actually Paul and Chris Weitz (the film’s directors) and Adam Herz (the writer of the film).

Oz is actually a lacrosse playing jock, who happens to be friends with Jim, Finch and Kevin, which in itself is a refreshing change from the nerds v jocks stereotypes seen in many teen movies. When we first see Oz, he uses the line “Suck me beautiful” on a college girl he meets, who tells him to get in touch with his sensitive side and stop being a dick. Another interesting fact is that the line “Suck me beautiful” was actually used by a guy Adam Herz went to college with, and being the epic failure it was, was put into the film. Subsequently, Oz joins glee club and meets Heather, played by Mena Suvari, with whom he falls in love with.

american-pie-beta-house-stifler-24And finally, there’s Steve Stifler. This was the first proper acting role for Sean William Scott, who pulls this character off perfectly. Stifler is the guy everyone either loves, hates, or loves to hate. He is the OTT jock, ass, joker, prankster, and party guy. The guys don’t know why they have him around, but over the course of the four films with the original cast, they all realise how dull life would be without Stifler. He pulls pranks on everyone, including putting laxatives in Finch’s coffee, and throws wild parties at every turn.

In the first party scene, there is an extra, played by John Cho. At the time of this film, John was a nobody. However he had a line. This line has since become the thing of legends. And the line: “Dude! Chick’s a MILF! Mom I’d Like To F**k!” From that moment forth, the word MILF became a common phrase. It spawned it’s own brand of pornography. And it catapulted John chointo the limelight. The extra known as “Milf Guy #2” later became Harold Lee or Harold and Kumar fame. Still not sound familiar? How about Sulu from Star Trek (2009) and the sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the soon to be announced sequel. The red shirt has finally earned his stripes. My hat goes off to you John, live long and prosper!

And back to American Pie!

So anyway, a number of madcap escapades ensue with the goal of getting laid. Included in this is a scene where Nadia the 4-americanpieforeign exchange student, played by Shannon Elizabeth (who was also in the B-Movie Jack Frost which I reviewed the other week) gets naked. This however is not the reason for mentioning this scene… oh no… there is geeky trivia involved. In this scene is a band in a garage, who have a pet monkey. This is actually Blink 182, who do several songs on the soundtracks for the majority of the films. And when Jim jumps a hedge there is a woman in the background… that’s Jason Biggs’ actual mother!

There are a number of really awesome scenes, and some geeky trivia. But I don’t want to spoil too much. But I would seriously recommend this film.

New Feature – Oldies But Goodies


It’s about time that I created a new regular feature on my blog. As much as I love reviewing the bargain bucket stuff, I want to include some of the films I love.

I was recently going through my DVD collection, and I am starting to convert it to Blu-Ray, which has gotten me thinking.

So, I will endeavour to put up a review of some of my favourite films, as and when I update my collection, or find a film I really love and want to share.