Cosplay Profile – Winry Rockbell, Fullmetal Alchemist

  • The costume – This was an awesome cosplay to start my career off with. It was my first year at an anime convention, and Fullmetal Alchemist was insanely popular in the States. I was a blonde at the time, and I have always been a skinny girl, so this would be a fairly easy costume to create as my first ever cosplay. I chose Winry’s mechanic outfit that she is most commonly seen in throughout the anime. This cosplay debuted at my first anime convention, Sakura-Con in 2005, and re-debuted at Sakura-Con in 2012 just for giggles. I did have to wear a wig though (not a blonde anymore!) and it didn’t work as well ^_^;;
  • The parts – For all the parts of her costume, I will start at the top of her head and work my way down: 1) Maroon bandana, 2) Black tube top, 3) Very worn leather gloves, with a brownish/greenish tint to them, 4) Lavender coveralls, rolled down and tied at the waist, 5) Sandals or loafers for shoes

  • The research – I managed to score a Winry figurine in her mechanic outfit from my job at Suncoast, and the colors were very similar to what she was wearing in the TV series. From my first cosplay, I learned that figurines can be very reliable in a lot of cases where you can’t see the back of the costume in a game or series. Though commonly, colors between the manga and the animation differed, I decided to go with the more common color combo from the anime. I look online at Cosplay.com and saw a whole mess of Winrys wearing all different colors: bright red bandanas, brown or blue coveralls, and frankly, I was very confused with where people were getting their color ideas for this costume. I stuck with my figurine and the screen shots from the series.

  • The construction process – This was a very easy costume to put together. The hardest thing was getting coveralls that would work. I didn’t want to any pieces of my costume to be inaccurate, so I bought some size small white coveralls off the internet, and dyed them in my washer. I used standard purple Rit dye, and I just didn’t let them stew for very long. They came out a perfect shade of lavender to match the animation color. I bought some maroon fabric at Jo-Ann’s and ripped it in a couple spots to make it easier to tie around my ponytail. The tube top was a cheap score from Hot Topic, off the clearance rack. It had a little cherry decal on it, so I just folded it in half, and that actually helped to keep it from falling down. With my first run of the cosplay, I tried to make some fancy orange sandals that matched my figurine. I threw them away after Day 1 because they kept falling apart. Instead, I used some brown clogs because they were more comfy, and with as baggy as my coveralls came out to be, you couldn’t see the clogs anyways. I borrowed some really worn gloves from my tech theater program at school, and my teacher said they were so worn out that i could keep them for my cosplay. The wrench was another item I borrowed, and was eventually told to keep because it went so well with my cosplay.

Photos 

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In the beginning, there was a cosplayer…

Welcome to the beginning of Red Leaf Cosplay!

Red Leaf Cosplay started in 2004 with a cosplay of Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist. The cosplay debuted at Sakura-Con 2004, my very first anime convention. With the popularity of Fullmetal Alchemist that year, my cosplay was very popular and I received tons of comments and photo opportunities.

As the years followed I created several more popular cosplays, including Asuka Langley Sohryu’s plugsuit from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Misty from Pokemon. After graduating from Portland State University with a BA in Theater Arts, with an emphasis in props, I used my collected skills from over 10 years of doing stage props to make my first cosplay prop, an Adam Gun for my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock (see photo above). This became another cosplay to receive rave reviews from the convention public for authenticity and theatricality.

As time has passed, the potential for making cosplay and prop creation a career has come to the surface. I don’t enjoy theater as much as I used to, what with the demand for hundreds of props per production, little time for artistic detail, and the underwhelming support and appreciation for all the work that I do. Cosplay has never failed me in the element of challenge, appreciation and admiration from total strangers, and the lift of self esteem and pride in my work that has come as a result. This site will be the foundation that collects my work from over the years,  my processes and research that have contributed to the finished product, and the portfolio that leads me to a professional career in cosplay, modeling and prop making.

-KLR

Theater Resumé

West Salem High School  

  • Spring 2003 – Prop Master – Little Shop of Horrors – Directed by Lori Van Dreal-Clark
  • Spring 2004 – Prop Master – The Miracle Worker – Directed by Lori Van Dreal-Clark
  • Spring 2005 – Prop Master – Bye Bye Birdie – Directed by Lori Van Dreal-Clark

Chemeketa Community College

  • Winter 2005 – Prop Master – Epic Proportions – Technical Director – Terry Rohse
  • Spring 2006 – Collaborator/Assistant Scene Designer – The Quintessential Interpretation Project – Technical Director – Terry Rohse

Portland State University/TASO

  • Fall 2008 – Prop Master – The Triumph of Love – Directed by Karin Magaldi
  • Winter 2009 – Prop Master – Sophocles’ Electra – Directed by Devon Allen
  • Spring 2009 – Prop Master – Minutes from the Blue Route – Directed by Josh Spencer
  • Spring 2009 – Prop Master – The Odd Couple – Directed by Dug Martell
  • Fall 2009 – Prop Master – The Tempest – Directed by William Tate
  • Spring 2010 – Chorus Member – Hamletmachine – Directed by Ben Roberts

Portland Center Stage

  • Winter 2009 – Fall 2010 – Intern at PCS Scene Shop under Erik Olberholtzer

Portland Public Playhouse

  • Fall 2009 – Prop Master – Tomfoolery – Directed by Bruce Hostetler
  • Winter 2010 – Prop Master – A Christmas Story – Directed by Dustin Milberg

Working Theater Collective

  • Spring 2010 – Master Electrician – Peaking – Directed by Nate Harpel

Bag and Baggage Theater Productions

  • Fall 2010 – Prop Master – The Glass Menagerie – Directed by Marion Ross

Misc. Work

  • April 2008 – Cirque du Soleil: Corteo – Scenic Property Crew, Portland, OR
  • May 2010 – Cirque du Soleil: Kooza – Scenic Property Crew, Portland, OR

Education/Training

  • High School Diploma: West Salem High School    06/2005
    Graduated with National Honors in Academics and Technical Theater
  • Associate Arts Oregon Transfer Degree: Chemeketa Community College  06/2007
    Influence in Arts and Letters
    Graduated with National Honors Phi Theta Kappa
  • BA in Theater Arts: Portland State University   06/13/2010
    Graduated with National Honors Alpha Psi Omega
    Technical Theater Track
    Focus: Stage Properties
    Skills: Trained to work with a variety of tools and saws, some woodworking, experience in casting, mold making and crafting with foam, stained glass, slumping and fusing, knitting and hand piecing

Cosplay Resumé

Cosplays

  1. Winry Rockbell, Fullmetal Alchemist – debuted Sakura Con 2005
  2. Askua Langley Sohryu, Neon Genesis Evangelion – debuted Sakura Con 2006
  3. Princess Ashe, Final Fantasy XII – debuted Sakura-Con 2007
  4. Misty, Pokémon – debuted Kumori Con 2008
  5. Little Sister, Bioshock– debuted Sakura Con 2010
  6. Sage Wolf Horo, Spice and Wolf – debuted Sakura Con 2011
  7. Siddartha (Undead Female Priest in Absolution Regalia), World of Warcraft – debuted Sakura Con 2012
  8. Megumi, Burst Angel – debuted Sakura Con 2013
  9. Jean Grey, X-Men: Evolution – debuted New York Comi Con 2013
  10. Horo (Green Dress), Spice and Wolf – debuted KatsuCon 2014

Cosplay Props

  1. Cross Punisher, Trigun
  2. Adam Gun, Bioshock
  3. Grand Magister’s Staff of Torrents, World of Warcraft

There will be profiles to follow for each of the cosplays and props posted above. Each posting will come with photos, research involved, construction process and oh, so much more! Stay tuned!

-KLR