Hudson Valley Ghostbusters

Hudson Valley Ghostbusters, Inc, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping our local community and having some fun along the way

Cosplay Prop Emergencies: The Art of Keeping Gear Going with Superglue and Sheer Will

I hope everyone has had a great summer so far! It's been a great past couple of weeks of nerdy hijinks for me. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling up north to Ticonderoga, NY, for their annual Star Trek convention. I was off duty, so instead of rocking my usual Ghostbuster gear, I donned some futuristic space spandex instead (I did feel a bit like I was cheating on franchises, though). I had the pleasure of meeting the 802 Ghostbusters of Vermont who were part of the convention, a great bunch of people who took a lot of time to talk shop with me about all of their awesome props. They also hosted a panel talking about all the improvised ways they build and fix their gear, including several scratch built packs from the 2016 Ghostbusters film which looked pretty amazing in person.

This past weekend was a big one for HVGB. We were invited to be cosplay guests in Schenectady for the second annual Fandom Fest at the beautiful and historic Proctors Theater. We had so much fun seeing and talking to all the great vendors, guests, and all the attendees! I saw so many amazing cosplays, including a hand built robot from the new Lost In Space reboot, and tons of amazing looking anime characters whom I have to admit I had no idea where they were from. I talked to several cosplayers about how they built their costumes and how they fix it on the fly. Fandom Fest even had a dedicated room with supplies for cosplay repairs, which I thought was very cool.

All of this brings me to the theme of this post. Props not only take a lot of work to create, no matter how you go about it, but if you are also using said props for more than just one or two occasions, like my team and I do, it takes a lot of work to keep everything going! Fandom Fest was a particularly rough weekend on my gear. One of my favorite pieces of kit is my smoking Ghost Trap. I think it's safe to say it's a fan favorite at events, but man, that thing is holding on with glue and a prayer at the moment!

We had a very exciting photo shoot on the main stage with a beautiful replica of Ecto-1, owned by Nick and Jenna Aurelio from Massachusetts. The photographers wanted to get a bunch of shots with the whole group in front of the car, and they wanted my trap smoking the whole time. Unfortunately, in doing so, I cooked my mini fog machine inside the trap. Now I have to pull it apart and figure out how I can fix it to keep it working for another day.

I also broke a part of my Ecto goggles while wearing them on top of my head. We won't go into the embarrassing details of my clumsiness, but I'll say superglue to the rescue for the temporary fix. I'm currently 3D printing the replacement part as I write this for the permanent fix.

So if you're new to cosplaying, I always recommend having a little emergency kit on hand for field repairs. Mine consists of pliers, superglue and accelerator, zip ties, and a multi-screwdriver with a bunch of different size bits. Most importantly, don't panic! I've learned over the year and a half that I've been a Ghostbuster that breaking gear is absolutely going to happen, and every time it does, I get better and better at keeping everything alive to troop another day!

Stay crafty out there!