War Doctor: Done done

The completed War Doctor, photographed by Jon Racasa

I completed everything on the costume I needed to and was able to take it out for a spin at the Central Coast Comic Con (C4) last weekend. It was comfortable to wear for two full days, and it was extremely well received. In all ways a success.

I got through just about every item in my punch list: coloring the gaiters and adding a button, styling the wig to look less wind blown, adding a chain to the waistcoat and darkening its buttons, cleaning and conditioning the coat, tying down some loose items, and weathering everything. I didn't take a lot of photos of the final steps, but I did get a couple while weathering the pants.

I was using a wood rasp on the polyester pants and only making minor wear marks

While working with the rasp, I realized that the cement garden border I was using for support was a better weathering tool.

Weathering was an interesting process. Boots, gaiters, pants, and belt were all taken outside and pounded against asphalt, dirt, and bricks. The boots, gaiters, and belt all showed good wear and looked well used. The pants were another matter. They are polyester and seemed to  stand up to all sorts of abuse. At one point, I used a wood rasp on them, and they only showed a bit of damage. But, while rasping them, I realized I was using a very rough cement garden border as a base of support, and rubbing the pants directly on the cement finally left the pants looking worn.

The dirt and wear marks that I was finally able to achieve after scraping on the cement wall.

Finally, I added a bit of makeup. I used some face paint to whiten my eyebrows and the dark bits of my mustache and beard (okay, there wasn't a lot that needed additional whitening). I was able to highlight the hair without whitening the skin, and it matched the white in my beard. I also hadn't shaved or trimmed my beard for awhile, so I looked scruffy and worn out. Exactly what I'd expect an old and worn thin War Doctor to look like.

In the end, there were only a couple of things I didn't get to, as well as a couple of compromises I made in the costume. They weren't ever noticed, or at least nobody commented on them, so I'll put them on the list of low priority changes to make in the future.

In the end, I had a fantastic time interacting with the convention goers and other cosplayers. There was a Dr. Who fan group from Arizona (Az TARDIS) with a booth where they had several home built props including a Tardis, a Tardis' console, a remote controlled Dalek , and a remote controlled K9 unit. We ended up having an impromptu Dr. Who meetup/photo session and they couldn't have been more gracious and fun.

My final notes for the War Doctor cosplay are:

  • tighten up the sonic screwdriver holster because the screwdriver kept slipping out
  • replace the polyester pants with cotton or wool pants
  • shorten the coat
  • replace the waistcoat with a double breasted, bronze colored, velvet one
  • make the wig look like wet hair

None of these are critical, and so I declare the War Doctor cosplay done, done