As soon as I saw the name “You’re so Bane” I immediately liked Tom’s sense of humour, and then when I saw his costumes, to quote James Earl Jones, “Impressive”. His commitment is impressive too, personally, I doubt I could even lift some of those costumes!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi everyone, I’m Tom, I’m 30, from north Wales, and have been cosplaying for around 4 years now
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
It was actually a few of my friends asked if I would like to come, I have always wanted to go and when a local one came on in Wrexham I jumped at the opportunity to go, I decided to dress as my favourite character Bane (the comic version, I think I have too much hair for the Tom Hardy version lol)
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
Mostly the characters I like to do are generally big characters, or funny characters, I like to keep a mix of heroes and villains, Bane is my main one as that’s had a lot of work gone into it, and with my size people often say it looks impressive, but I have also done, Dr. Doom, Ron Burgundy, Rune King Thor, 60ies Thor, LOBO, Elsa (yes I did a drag version and sang let it go for people too), and currently working on a few projects which will hopefully all be ready soon, with MCU Thor, Johnny Bravo, Thanos, Beta Ray Bill.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Most Challenging for me was Bane and Thor as it was made from mostly old car parts that I had laying around my garage, and some electrical equipment, but the challenging thing for both of them was changing my diet and gym routine in order to keep my size but tone up in order to do these characters justice
But the most enjoyable has had to be Ron Burgundy, when I’ve been walking around with people shouting “well that escalated quickly” or “IM IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION” makes my day every time, especially after a photo shoot when I get to say to the photographers you stay classy and if nothing else it gets a little giggle.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
Bane – crafted the helmet out of a pair of sun glasses, some fibreglass and body filler, brake hoses, hose pipe, electrical boxes, and LED lights. The body filler and fibreglass were moulded to shape and sanded smooth, then the lenses were popped out using a bench grinder, I cut them to shape taking off a few mm at a time to make them perfect, it was painted then glued in place with two part epoxy, the sides were then drilled and using epoxy again, fitted with brake hosing I sprayed green, and some hose pipe I sprayed green, then attached via some electrical conduit connectors to the helmet and the arm pieces are two outdoor electrical boxes sprayed green, and fitted with a lithium polymer 12v battery, and some LED strip lights, the venom tanks were made out of EVION bottles that I sprayed black and filled with warm water and green highlighters to make it look toxic.
Thor – this was a bit of a mix match, as a friend of mine makes metal LARP gear so he taught me how to do the basics and then made the patterning on the armour and I welded what needed welding together, my sparkly pants (or disco pants as I call them) were made by Alterations Chester a good friend of mine runs that and she has been making clothes for me for years.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
Probably Wales Comic Con, because it’s my local one and it was my first one but there are a few, MCM Birmingham because that was the first con where I met all of my what I consider more then just cosplay friends, and London MCM because seeing a con on that scale was genuinely amazing.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
It has to be at Wales Comic Con in April, when me and Jack Shimmin went as Anna and Elsa, as we were walking around a few of the celebrities they had there asked for pictures with us for the life of me I can’t remember who now, and then as we walked off we heard someone shout, “OMG its Anna and Elsa” and as we turned around we heard “WHY HAVE THEY GOT BEARDS” , or at the same convention someone looked at us and went these costumes are amazing and look at the size of Elsa biceps (my ego inflated more so than usual at that point lol)
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
Mentally it’s not tiring at all, if a photographer comes up to me and asks me for a picture I take it as a compliment that they like my work so much, but physically it is sometimes, mainly due to the fact I do big muscular characters I feel like I should strike a pose and tense up to show definition which is fine once or twice but throughout the day it takes its toll on you but it’s worth it, we all suffer for our art sometimes.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life? Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Cosplaying for me has been amazing its opened a some amazing doors for me, such as giving me some parts in local films which has led on to some bigger things, and helped me meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
As for advice, don’t be afraid to try it, and when you decide to start making your costumes don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help.
Photographs Courtesy of:
Unmadesugar (Keith Williams) – Bane (Digital Edit)
Pages I run and pages I’m a member of that help charities and organise photo shoots