Rounding off the two months of insane busyness, last month was the return of the Manchester MCM Expo. This was my third convention, and my second attempt at cosplaying; this year I was Erza Scarlet, from Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail.

And here’s a photo of me, in costume and (sort-of) in character.

The skirt was made by my mum. The armour is made from craft foam, shaped and trimmed using my own self as a mannequin, (and that was every bit as hilarious and awkward as it sounds, by the way), hot glued together and then spray painted. It took around three days, in total.

Not bad for my second attempt at cosplay ever, (if I do say so myself) though, the armour gave up the ghost on the journey home, so I’m gonna re-build it and use something more flexible than craft foam this time. Stuff kept sliding down my arm or coming unstuck.

The convention itself was an improvement on last year, using the bigger hall instead of squashing several thousand guests into a room roughly the size of my house, (which is not a big house). It was still crowded, but I sort of expect that out of any convention popular enough to turn a profit.

Bigger seating and rest area, (though the food was still extortionately priced) and guests I’d actually heard of. For some reason the Manchester Expo guests are almost always sports stars, I guess to try and broaden the appeal? However, they did also have Warwick Davis and Vic Mignogna (So many Ed Elric cosplayers!).

Most of the floor space was given over to the artists’ alley, (some of whom were freaking amazing) with the usual Tokyo Toys, cosplay props stall and a couple of others selling figures and merchandise. One thing I noticed (and was pleased about) was the much smaller amount of obvious fake merchandise on display, whether this was by accident or design I don’t know, and yes, I’d rather they weren’t there at all. But if I’m gonna get ripped off, I like the other person to at least put some effort into it, y’know?

I didn’t see much of what was on the stage; its size and placing meant that things got very crowded in that corner of the room and we were mostly too tired to do more than limp down to the carpark by the time the masquerade started.

The cosplay this year was amazing, and I spent a good few hours just wandering around taking pictures. There were a couple I didn’t manage to get shots of, because either I had my hands full or I was making costume repairs, but I’ve seen them floating around online since. ๐Ÿ™‚ There were ridiculous numbers of Thor and Loki cosplayers, (most of them female), and a lot of young cosplayers or cosplaying families, which was both adorable and nice to see.

I also had my photo taken a good number of times, though I’ve only seen two of them since; so if anyone has photos of me, please do e-mail them to me!

So, in summary; Expo was awesome, I’ll definitely be back next year, hopefully in a new and improved Erza Costume.