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Author Topic: COSPLAY 101: A Beginners Guide  (Read 47043 times)
Darth Jaximus
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New to the Ultrasabers and Saberforum community19.


« Reply #105 on: August 22, 2019, 10:56:46 AM »

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I started making my own costumes two weeks ago. Iíve made a Jedi Knight, grey Jedi, Dooku cape, and palpatine robes all with zero experience. Watching a few how to videos and practicing with a sewing machine and itís amazing how easy it can be.
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Darth Jaximus
Knight Apprentice
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Force Alignment: 6
Posts: 30


New to the Ultrasabers and Saberforum community19.


« Reply #106 on: August 22, 2019, 10:57:45 AM »

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My sabers:
-Dark Apprentice V4 LE x2, Initiate V4 LE, Apprentice V4 LE x2, Dominix V3 LE, Aeon V3 LE, Dark Sentinel V3 LE

Wishlist: Dark Prophecy V3, Bellicose, Archon V2.1 (BVA), Manticore (AB), Consular, Menance CE x2 (BR - Maul staff), Raven, Lost Gray (AS), Fulcrum (AS), Grand Master, Archon V3.1, Dark Mantis (BR), emperors hand (VA)

Darth Jaximus
Knight Apprentice
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Force Alignment: 6
Posts: 30


New to the Ultrasabers and Saberforum community19.


« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2019, 11:01:02 AM »











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My sabers:
-Dark Apprentice V4 LE x2, Initiate V4 LE, Apprentice V4 LE x2, Dominix V3 LE, Aeon V3 LE, Dark Sentinel V3 LE

Wishlist: Dark Prophecy V3, Bellicose, Archon V2.1 (BVA), Manticore (AB), Consular, Menance CE x2 (BR - Maul staff), Raven, Lost Gray (AS), Fulcrum (AS), Grand Master, Archon V3.1, Dark Mantis (BR), emperors hand (VA)

Makubex
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Posts: 109


тнərə ιѕ no darĸ ѕιdə, nor lιgнт ѕιdə.


« Reply #108 on: November 05, 2019, 02:43:17 AM »

Greeting fellow Jedi & Sith. If you are reading this then you are obviously interested in getting involved in cosplaying. However, if you are anything like me, you might have found the whole concept scary and confusing at first with no clear starting point. There are thousands of pages all over the internet dedicated to cosplay. I found that many of them are more geared towards the more experienced cosplayer rather than beginners, so I thought I would make this post as a guide to help you out.

This is more a guide for those who are new to cosplaying. It will include some information about the history of cosplaying and some handy tips and advice on things you will need to consider when making your costume. It is not a collection of places you can go to buy costumes or accessories, although there is a link to a saberforum thread that does have such a list (see bottom of the post for links).

PLEASE NOTE - I am by no means a professional cosplayer or costume designer. I have just done a LOT of research into cosplaying and wanted to share what I learned with other newbies. If you were undecided before about cosplaying, hopefully you might be inspired to actually do it.

MASSIVE THANKS - To both Darth Justicar and B1ondeange1 for their contributions. You're both awesome!!
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What is Cosplaying: A Brief Introduction
The actual word "cosplay" was invented by a Japanese reporter in 1984 as a portmanteau of the English terms "costume" and "role-play". Nov Takahashi was sent to report on the goings-on of the '84 WorldCon, being held that year in Los Angeles, CA. He coined the word to help describe what he saw going on at WorldCon - people wearing costumes in the halls, and a stage masquerade featuring the biggest and brightest of the costumes of the weekend.

Even though cosplay as a pastime was around long before that weekend in 1984, the term has been used ever since and thanks to the explosion in geek culture and lots more media coverage, the pastime has increased massively in popularity.

(For more information on the history of cosplay
http://www.strangelandcostumes.com/history.html)


Who can Cosplay?
                            Says it all really.

Things to consider - Many people have been put off from even attempting to cosplay because of fear of ridicule/comments from others. You may encounter so-called "purists" that are not fans of universe crossovers, mashups or crossplay (women cosplaying as male characters for example) or people cosplaying as a character of a different ethnic origin. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you have a right to cosplay as absolutely any character you want to and never let anyone tell you differently. We're all fans and should be as inclusive as we can and you will find the vast majority of people you meet or chat with online are supportive and welcoming.

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Why do people Cosplay?
Everyone has there reason for wanting to cosplay. For some it is an outlet that allows them to learn new skills and express their creative side. For others it is a great way of meeting and networking with like-minded individuals. And some even do it to raise money for charity or to be a real life superhero for the day.

Whatever the reason for wanting to cosplay there are certain factors that need to be considered, most namely time, money, effort and overall, love. Even though for many cosplay is a hobby, it is a big commitment. However, for many it is worth it for a chance to showcase your love of a character, a movie universe or tv series and enjoy the satisfaction that comes of making something and having your efforts acknowledged.

Having a definite plan and a budget in place before you start can help you avoid over-spending and stopping the costume build before it is complete due to frustration.

Things to consider - Cosplay is supposed to be fun. It is okay to be nervous when attending a Convention for the first time as you can take some friends with you for moral support. Also, you might want to think about joining a costume group on Facebook. It's a great way to connect with other people and make friends with people who you can arrange to meet up with at a specific conventions.
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STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MAKING A COSTUME
1 - Choose a costume
Believe it or not, this is a difficult stage in cosplay because a lot of people don't know what to cosplay or have difficulty deciding on some; there are so many great characters to choose from.

In Star Wars, you have choice between creating an original character or choosing one from canon. It's best to choose a character that you admire or are REALLY familiar with. Some people choose a character they physically resemble to dress like. Then you must ask: "which costume?". Some characters appear in several different costumes or costume variants. And finally, what kind of level of detail do you want to go to?

If you're a beginner with no experience of costuming, the easier the costume the better! Never underestimate costumes that look easy; they could turn out to be a nightmare.

Helpful hint - I found creating and writing down a full character backstory incredibly helpful when designing an original character.

2 - Research, Research, Research
Research is key. Go online and save pictures from as many angles as you can find. Also try and find drawings, sketches or screenshots, anything that you think can be of use. Numerous pictures makes it easier to create a costume that is as accurate as possible.

It also helps to find pictures of other people who do cosplay; it might inspire you with new ideas. Also, reference pictures are very useful when you need to purchase matching items (you can show the pictures to people and say "I need that wig" or "I need help finding that cloth" when you're shopping for materials).

Asking people questions on the forum is also a good way of finding out how they made/where they bought certain items.

Helpful hint - Probably the best website to find information on both canon and old expanded universe characters is www.starwars.wikia.com

3 - Budget
When it comes to cosplay I think there are three levels:

i) Beginner Ė the individual just wants to dress as the character.
ii) Intermediate Ė the individual wants to dress as a character, but make the overall aesthetic unique to them. Elements of the costume are bought and adapted or made from scratch.
iii) Advanced Ė Most of the costume is made.

As mentioned before, while cosplaying is a hobby, it can become expensive. But that depends on the kind of character you want to do and how much detail you want to include.

Some costumes have been made very cheaply using household items like painted cardboard. Some costumes have been professionally made by costume designers. This is where budget comes into play as well as your skill level/confidence sewing & glueing things.

3.1 - Bought vs Made Costumes

Not everyone enjoys sewing or spending years making a suit or armour. Some people are not comfortable or have no experience sewing. Therefore, one option for them to cosplay is to buy a costume or have a costume made for them rather than make it themselves. However, some people decide to challenge/push themselves and make the costume themselves.

Benefits of bought costumes:
There are two kinds of costumes you can buy; generic costumes and custom made.

Generic costumes are similar to a Halloween costume. You can find them on eBay and other sites. They will generally be mass produced and most likely won't be top quality. However, if you think it is better than what you can do, it is a quick and easy option.

Custom made costumes are made for you by costume designers. They can make a reality any costume design you can think of. The costume will be made really well with quality material and take anywhere from a few weeks to  a couple of months to make.

Benefits of making costumes (taken from a post written by B1ondeange1)
a) Cost
b) Fit- I have always had troubles getting clothes to fit my body shape properly, being female and all, and most off the shelf costumes are not designed for women who are that little bit bigger.
c) Satisfaction and enjoyment - I love making my own costumes and challenging what I am capable of.

PLEASE REMEMBER - There is no "right" or "wrong way!

3.2 - Monitor your spending!
Whether you decide to make your costume or have it made for you, just remember, whether you spend a lot or a little money on it doesn't mean it will or will not be good!  

If you are making costume, set out a chart of all the materials you'll need according to your references (cloth, paint, thread, footwear, wig, straps, leather etc) You may find out that the costume is currently out-of-reach with how much money you have, so plan wisely!

4 - Timing
Timing is everything. It is never too early to start making your costume. Measure the time between today and the day of the convention. General rule of thumb is to allow about 3-4 months to make a costume depending on how much time a day you spend on it. Although, it never hurts to finish it early (working last minute is NOT a fun thing to do).

One option is to get a calendar and write down what you plan to do on certain weeks and months (i.e. Spend this week sewing the pants, spend the next week sewing the shirt, spend the next month making the mask etc).

5 - Materials
Make a shopping list of everything you need for your costume. If you cannot get everything in one go, use your calendar (as mentioned in step 4) to determine what materials you can get right now.

There a number of craft stores and markets where you can pick up the materials you need. You can also get creative by visiting charity/thrift shops and purchasing cheap items that can be upcycled and used as part of your costume. That's a great way of getting material (sometimes very unique and original material) very cheaply.

Handy Tip: - Beware of what you buy. Some materials might be toxic, break easily or could become sun worn very easily. Also, each convention has rules about costumes and props. Make sure you are aware of what they are.

6 - Construction
Now is the time to buckle down and make the costume. There will be times when you get frustrated or stuck. Don't get disheartened. Stick to your plan and think about the end game - attending a convention in your very own costume.

7 - Completion
Once the costume is finished, take lots of pictures and post them proudly on the site.

8 - Go to the convention and have fun!
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Trolls

"You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." ― Dita Von Teese.

There will always be people who will rudely criticise you or make derogatory comments. Sometimes the criticisms aren't even about the costume or the character, but rather about things such as racism, sexism, slut-shaming, fatshaming, shaming cosplayers in wheelchairs, shaming cosplayers with visible physical indicators, and other forms of discrimination.

Talented cosplayer Darth Justicar had this to say on the subject when I asked her opinion:
"I almost wish I didn't have to write this last part, but there is something else I wanted to say about ladies in cosplay, from a female perspective.  Unfortunately this is a real problem I perceive in the cosplay world, and some of it owes to the way female characters are often depicted in the media.  It has to do with the overt sexualization that often feels as though it is expected of women.  Personally I wish we saw fewer instances of women feeling like they have to bare a lot of skin or make themselves uncomfortable to receive anyone's esteem.  It is not a requirement.  

For me, there are clear limits on what I would do.  If I would not feel comfortable if pictures of me somehow leaked out and were seen by my coworkers and boss, I won't do it.  Not to mention my area's cons are in the cool seasons and I am not about to freeze for fashion.  I also take the character's own emphasis on sexuality into account, even though I am playing a male character, since if there is one thing I personally cannot stand, it's sexualizing an outfit for absolutely no reason.

In a nutshell, there is more than one approach for ladies in cosplay.  But just like with accuracy, make sure you are completely comfortable with what YOU are doing, and do not ever feel the need to settle for other people's expectations."


*********

Obviously derogatory comments are tantamount to bullying and such things are never acceptable, but it can be a massively blow to confidence if you are on the receiving end of such comments.

If it happens at a convention, thankfully many of them take great pride in being safe spaces, with strict guidelines in place, and security on-site to assist with situations. If someone ever says or does something that makes you uncomfortable, tell them, even if they're wearing a media or staff badge, or a celebrity guest, tell them. If it happens online reporting, blocking and banning are useful tools, so never be afraid to use them.
 
Haters gonna hate. This is a topic I could write about for hours, however, keep in mind that trolls are very much in a minority; the rest of the cosplay community and convention going public will no doubt appreciate your costume, so wear it with pride.
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List of handy sites/saberforum threads
Costume buying guide - A place where you can find costume designers/websites for your costume
http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=11068.0

Guide to specific Star Wars costumes - A place where you can find information on making specific Star Wars costumes
http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=13555.0

Belt pouch tutorial - Cosplaying as a Jedi or Sith? You'll need a pouch. Why not make your own.
http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=14403.0

Star Wars costume groups - Offical Lucasfilm approved costuming group that raise money for charity
501st/Rebel Legion - http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=15850.0

Sith costuming group - A costuming group that welcomes original Sith costumes
The Dark Empire - http://www.thedarkempire.org/

Movie Costumes - An interview with the costumer design from Star Wars: The Force Awaken
http://tyrannyofstyle.com/star-wars-force-awakens-costume-design



Holy moly guacamole Darth lord!!! Honestly points to u! This was not only informative but, you also I think kinda calmed my anxiety of the whole cosplaying not only as a hobby but more of a passion... Iíve actually always wanted to cosplay... but I actually wanted to get hands on somewhere in my own outfit to get started... but 0 sewing experience well maybe a 1/10 I did learn to sew buttons in elem school >.> lol other then that nothing... your guide gave me an idea and at least a place to begin my adventure. Thanks a bunch for this!
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Darth Knox
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OVER 9000!!
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(Dark points only) Do not hesitate. Show no mercy


« Reply #109 on: November 05, 2019, 11:01:09 AM »

Holy moly guacamole Darth lord!!! Honestly points to u! This was not only informative but, you also I think kinda calmed my anxiety of the whole cosplaying not only as a hobby but more of a passion... Iíve actually always wanted to cosplay... but I actually wanted to get hands on somewhere in my own outfit to get started... but 0 sewing experience well maybe a 1/10 I did learn to sew buttons in elem school >.> lol other then that nothing... your guide gave me an idea and at least a place to begin my adventure. Thanks a bunch for this!
Hi Makubex. You are very welcome. That's kind of why I wrote it, to help anyone who is new to cosplay but is a bit apprehensive about the whole thing.

I'm glad you found it helpful and I look forward to seeing pictures of your future cosplay.

BTW - this is one of the pictures that was deleted:

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Makubex
Knight Officer
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Force Alignment: 6
Posts: 109


тнərə ιѕ no darĸ ѕιdə, nor lιgнт ѕιdə.


« Reply #110 on: November 05, 2019, 11:34:58 AM »

Hi Makubex. You are very welcome. That's kind of why I wrote it, to help anyone who is new to cosplay but is a bit apprehensive about the whole thing.

I'm glad you found it helpful and I look forward to seeing pictures of your future cosplay.

BTW - this is one of the pictures that was deleted:





It might be awhile... I plan on ordering some parts and hand crafting others... but it seems it will be a long project... I been eyeing a certain sexy assassin that hits home for me ( Iím 98% always an assassin in mmorpgs)  but after reading your post I figured I can buy certain custom pieces and learn from how it was made details and such and kinda slowly learn to do it my self down the line in the process.
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Darth Knox
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OVER 9000!!
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Force Alignment: -1891
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(Dark points only) Do not hesitate. Show no mercy


« Reply #111 on: November 05, 2019, 11:50:15 AM »

It might be awhile... I plan on ordering some parts and hand crafting others... but it seems it will be a long project... I been eyeing a certain sexy assassin that hits home for me ( Iím 98% always an assassin in mmorpgs)  but after reading your post I figured I can buy certain custom pieces and learn from how it was made details and such and kinda slowly learn to do it my self down the line in the process.
Well, there's no rush. I spent 4 months working on my Halloween costume (after doing a fair few months of research in various distressing techniques). Your way definitely seems like you will come up with something amazing, once it's finished.
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Makubex
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Force Alignment: 6
Posts: 109


тнərə ιѕ no darĸ ѕιdə, nor lιgнт ѕιdə.


« Reply #112 on: November 05, 2019, 12:34:57 PM »

Well, there's no rush. I spent 4 months working on my Halloween costume (after doing a fair few months of research in various distressing techniques). Your way definitely seems like you will come up with something amazing, once it's finished.

Iím one with the force.. the force is with me...I hope...lol! Only thing I wonít be able to do are the armour pieces unless I learn to foam base...and cast-setting... Iíve hand made swords and stuff as a teen sooo should be kinda similar maybe just not as much pressure... I dunno... Iíll figure it out..
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Darth Knox
Knight Commander
OVER 9000!!
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« Reply #113 on: November 05, 2019, 01:52:03 PM »

Iím one with the force.. the force is with me...I hope...lol! Only thing I wonít be able to do are the armour pieces unless I learn to foam base...and cast-setting... Iíve hand made swords and stuff as a teen sooo should be kinda similar maybe just not as much pressure... I dunno... Iíll figure it out..
Google is your friend. There are a lot of tutorials out there about use foam to create cosplay things. Trial and error and get creative. Go forth and conquer the galaxy!
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Darth Logos
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« Reply #114 on: November 05, 2019, 02:21:12 PM »

Holy moly guacamole Darth lord!!! Honestly points to u! This was not only informative but, you also I think kinda calmed my anxiety of the whole cosplaying not only as a hobby but more of a passion... Iíve actually always wanted to cosplay... but I actually wanted to get hands on somewhere in my own outfit to get started... but 0 sewing experience well maybe a 1/10 I did learn to sew buttons in elem school >.> lol other then that nothing... your guide gave me an idea and at least a place to begin my adventure. Thanks a bunch for this!
Those that can't make....shop. Or know someone with skills.
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Dk Initiate V3(CG)  Manticore CE*(SY)  Dominix LE V3(AB)  Bellicose*(GB)  Dk Arbiter*(VA)  Dominix V4(BR)  Emperor's Hand*(DVA)  Aeon V4(GB)  Dk Initiate V4 (HP)  Project:BOOYA!

Darth Knox
Knight Commander
OVER 9000!!
*********

Force Alignment: -1891
Posts: 11683


(Dark points only) Do not hesitate. Show no mercy


« Reply #115 on: November 05, 2019, 03:08:39 PM »

Those that can't make....shop. Or know someone with skills.
True. But there is an innate satisfaction from wearing something you made tailored-fit to just you.
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Makubex
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тнərə ιѕ no darĸ ѕιdə, nor lιgнт ѕιdə.


« Reply #116 on: November 05, 2019, 07:05:30 PM »

Those that can't make....shop. Or know someone with skills.

Bahaha yeah thatís me right now.... lvl.1 craftsmith... gotta purchase me some NPC items and decompose eM maybe and hopefully gain some blue prints or materials I can use to craft and gain my lvls... hahahahaha
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Darth Knox
Knight Commander
OVER 9000!!
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Force Alignment: -1891
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(Dark points only) Do not hesitate. Show no mercy


« Reply #117 on: November 06, 2019, 12:43:28 AM »

Bahaha yeah thatís me right now.... lvl.1 craftsmith... gotta purchase me some NPC items and decompose eM maybe and hopefully gain some blue prints or materials I can use to craft and gain my lvls... hahahahaha
Nobody was born doing anything. Everything we can do is a learned skill. As long as you gave vision of what toh want yo make then I have no doubt you'll be able to achieve your goal, even if it's a combination of homemade and shop bought parts.
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Makubex
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тнərə ιѕ no darĸ ѕιdə, nor lιgнт ѕιdə.


« Reply #118 on: November 09, 2019, 05:46:58 PM »

Nobody was born doing anything. Everything we can do is a learned skill. As long as you gave vision of what toh want yo make then I have no doubt you'll be able to achieve your goal, even if it's a combination of homemade and shop bought parts.


Okay... sooo Iíve delved deep into cosplay making and materials
Soooo I donít got a 3D Printer... and I scoped out using resin moulding casts and well tools are
Kinda expensive would be good if I did it for hobby business... and then I discovered foam.... easy cheap
Practical and pretty durable... especially since I can metal plate em!
For people starting out on handcrafting their cosplay armour Iíd recommend foam first... itís very forgiving
And very cheap.... like... insanely cheap... not to mention it becomes a personal attire u can literally mould your armour to fit only you.. and the time frame is days-weeks faster... not to mention.. you can save 500$ on ordering and 800$ on your overall outfit >.> just a thought and some things I found out researching...
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Darth Knox
Knight Commander
OVER 9000!!
*********

Force Alignment: -1891
Posts: 11683


(Dark points only) Do not hesitate. Show no mercy


« Reply #119 on: November 09, 2019, 06:59:30 PM »


Okay... sooo Iíve delved deep into cosplay making and materials
Soooo I donít got a 3D Printer... and I scoped out using resin moulding casts and well tools are
Kinda expensive would be good if I did it for hobby business... and then I discovered foam.... easy cheap
Practical and pretty durable... especially since I can metal plate em!
For people starting out on handcrafting their cosplay armour Iíd recommend foam first... itís very forgiving
And very cheap.... like... insanely cheap... not to mention it becomes a personal attire u can literally mould your armour to fit only you.. and the time frame is days-weeks faster... not to mention.. you can save 500$ on ordering and 800$ on your overall outfit >.> just a thought and some things I found out researching...
Creative out of the box thinking coupled with using existing know-how and stuff from around the house. Always nice to see when the creative bug takes hold of someone. Have fun!
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