Photo by Eric Wann
I have been blown away by every single cosplay that I've seen come out of Pinnacle Custom Cosplay, and I can not wait to start this interview. Full foam armor sets are not easy to create, which makes her work all the more impressive.
Now without further ado, here is Marissa of Pinnacle Custom Cosplay
Of the cosplays you have done, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite is definitely my Halo Spartan. It always pulls the best reactions at conventions, it's comfortable to wear and I have so much fun wearing it! I love being hidden behind the helmet and seeing the reactions that people have as I walk past them, especially the kids, they always get so excited when they see me!
If time and cost weren't a factor, what is your dream cosplay?
If time and cost were no issue I would love to have an Iron Man mark III suit. I'm a huge Iron Man fan so it's on the list of armor I want to make one day. If it could be fully functional that would be awesome too!
Photo by Eric Wann
Are you more comfortable with sewing or armor making?
I'm 100% more comfortable making armor. I have a sewing machine, and I took a class in high school so I'm sure I could struggle my way through it if I needed to, but I honestly don't enjoy sewing. I think it takes a lot of patience and I don't have that! Give me some foam and I can make something cool!
Are there any tips you've picked up along the way that has made crafting easier that you can share?
I would have to say you need to do your research and ask lots of questions. If you see someone around with cool armor and want to know how they made certain pieces just ask! We love getting asked those kind of questions and sharing our knowledge. There's always something new to learn from other people, so don't be scared to ask! Also, just keep building! The more you make, the better you get. When I built version 1 of my Spartan two years ago it was nothing like it is now but I just kept making things and eventually got to where I am now. I am by no means an expert builder, but I have gained a lot of tricks and techniques for doing things over the years.
Old on the left, New on the right. Same helmet, but a world of difference!
Why do you cosplay? What about it brings you joy? :)
I cosplay because I love taking the characters I love and turning them into real things. It's a fantastic creative outlet for me and a challenging one as well. I also love cosplaying because it makes other people so happy! I enjoy the reactions I get at events from people of all ages because it makes all the hard work totally worth it. I've also met a ton of amazing people who I am happy to call cosplay friends! Conventions are a nice time for us to hang out and catch up with each other.
Another big thing has been the awesome opportunities I've had which I wouldn't have been able to do if I wasn't cosplaying. I was in a live action Red vs Blue episode, I've done a fun Halo fan film (link here https://youtu.be/Ar48LTNrz00)I've done some events for Xbox, Microsoft and the Halo Championship Series.
The Anvil Station group at the Xbox booth during San Diego Comic Con this July. Photo by XBox
What is a favorite memory from doing cosplay? Maybe a convention experience, a challenge you overcame, meeting a hero, etc?
I don't think I can pick just one! Every convention or event has a different highlight. Most of my favorite moments happen when I'm able to interact with cosplay friends or do fun photoshoots. I will say there is always at least one kid who gets a picture with me at every event that makes the whole thing totally worth it!
Who are some of your favorite cosplayers and why (and where can we find them?)
I've been a big fan of Svetlana Quindt (Kamui Cosplay) since I started! She has some incredible costumes and she keeps doing bigger and better things! Ive bought a couple of her books and they helped a lot! She also has some great tutorials on YouTube as well! (YouTube, Instagram and Facebook is KamuiCosplay)
Another favorite is Ted Smith ( Instagram, YouTube is EvilTedSmith). I found his stuff when I was starting out and he has a lot of great videos on foam work from beginning to advanced techniques. If I get questions about where to start, I usually send people his way! I also met him at a convention last year and he was such a nice guy!
What are some of your favorite cosplay resources?
Good ol Google is always your friend! You can find so much on here! There's also lots of Facebook groups for costuming that help out as well (Halo Props and Anvil Station are a good one if you are interested in Halo costuming).
If you are fortunate enough to live by a Harbor Freight, I absolutely swear by their cheap retractable snap blades for cutting foam. Every time I go there I buy at least 10 packs! They also sell the large EVA foam floor matts there, and they are pretty cheap so you can't go wrong!
Photo 1: Kraken Con, Photo 2 by Eric Wann; First version of my Spartan to the current (except there is a new helmet now!)
Where can we follow you online, and are there any other projects or platforms you'd like to promote in this interview?
We are a group of Halo cosplayers focused around finding new friends who share the same passion for Halo as us as well as having fun at conventions and other events. All skill types are welcome! We just want to have a great time and make new friends and do fun Halo related things!