"The Trek ramblings of a geeky Drag Queen"

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Creating 7 of 9 for a convention

It's rare I go to a convention these days without Cosplaying. The women of Star trek are legendary and plentiful but for a Drag Queen, the glamorous females in Trek shows are few and far between. They may be beautiful, but more often than not, they are neck to toe in boiler suit like uniforms. For a Drag Act, it's all about exaggerating those feminine features like curves, lips, legs and eyes so my Cosplay options have always been rather limited. It was inevitable that one day I would have to tackle the Seven of Nine look and decided to do so for Destination Star Trek Frankfurt. It was a time consuming and expensive process, but here is the final result and how it was achieved...

As with all my Trek costumes, it starts with images and screencaps of the outfit in question, and where possible, stills of the actual screen-used garment in it's natural state without TV lighting and colour tampering. Usually I find these images on auction site archives where the original outfit has been sold after production had ended. These kinds of sites carry detailed pictures taken from all angles and close ups of seams and linings.

Seven's catsuit was relatively easy for the costume-maker to replicate but it was the under-garment which gave Seven her ribbing which was the fiddly bit. Again, the corset had previously been sold at auction and images were plentiful...
 
Front and back view of 7's under-garment


Whilst visiting the First Contact Day event in Leicester, I browsed a fabric shop as a Drag Queen would and spotted a stretchy blue matt Lycra with a sparkly fleck running through it. It immediately reminded me of Seven of Nine's outfit and so I bought up enough to one day have the costume made. It sat in my dressing room for over a year until I decided it was time for a new Cosplay. Below is the design sheet which I sent to the costume-maker (along with a few clips on DVD of the costume in use on TV so he could get a feel of how it moved and creased)...

Seven of Nine mood board (the text description of detail was taken from the auction of the original outfit)

One of the most difficult aspects of the 7 of 9 costume is the facial implants she wears.  I thought I had found the better quality ones available online and ordered them (£16 for the eye piece and the cheek star), but when they arrived, they were lacking in detail and the paint job was basic. I decided to have a go at making my own and created some clay replicas, followed buy a mold and ultimately the latex prosthetics. I finished them off with a four-colour paint job and sponge texturing and was very pleased with the result - so much so that I now offer them on my eBay. The hand-piece was a lot of trial and error, but I found the best result came from cutting the tips off rubber Halloween witches fingers, popping them on the ends of my fingers and painting liquid latex over them and down and around my hand. After two or so hours with a useless hand held in the air drying, I peeled off the latex and finger tips and treated it to the same paint job as the face pieces.



One of the things which I've noticed other Seven of Nine Cosplays lack, is the unique built in footwear that is seamless to the costume. I can understand why people struggle with this as it requires very exact measurements of some very unusual places. No matter how we tried it, we couldn't get the fabric to sit tight around the ankle whilst the shoe was pulling on it and I really wanted to get that 'sprayed on' look for the costume. To get around it, we cheated a little and separated the shoes from the jump suit and opted to cover them with the same fabric. This was achieved by painting the shoe with PVA glue, stretching over the fabric and jamming the excess between the shoe leather and sole using a  screw driver. Unless you're planning to end up with your ankles up the side of someones head, then the join between costume and footwear is virtually undetectable (plus has the added benefit of being able to take off your shoes when you've been on heels all day, which I found a great relief).


In my regular Drag work I prefer hair which is high, big and bold, however, Jeri Ryan has quite a natural looking style, a simple French twist and cow lick quiff. As a man, using my own hair was out of the question (I have none!) so the front hairline of the wig had to be a very high quality lace front one. I found that the colour 'Honeysuckle' was a perfect match for Jeri Ryan's natural colour.  The wig was done by a professional wig-dresser from a selection of screen captured pictures.


All in all, the whole look was very successful, especially enjoyed by Gates McFadden (Crusher) who asked for a picture which she later Tweeted, Marina Sirtis (Troi) who complimented me on my Camel's Toe or lack of, and Connor Trinneer (Tucker) who wolf whistled at me from his signing table!

The cost of the combined ensemble was approximately £350.



So, what's next for Misty in the world of Star Trek Cosplay? Well, I'm inclined to bring back the big hair and wild Gagaesque wardrobe so my initial thought is Lwaxana Troi.

See you in Space Trekkies!

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