Everyone that I interacted with was super hyped that someone made Franky Shogun. Apparently there weren’t many running around. I did make it to the Rave on Friday night and once I got in everyone started chanting “Franky ! Franky ! Franky !” One awesome thing that happened outside of the con was that I got invited to a One Piece photo shoot at Anime NYC this November. A rep from the Funimation and Viz Media both reached out to me on Instagram and offered to fly my wife and I up to attend. So I’m pretty stoked about that.
Honestly, I’ve been trying to complete Franky for the better part of three years and the only real inspiration to make him came from my love of the anime One Piece and my furious need to make huge cosplays. As for why I took him to Katsucon, it was purely because my wife and I are on staff each year and once I put two and two together I buckled down at the beginning of January 2020 and cranked him out in less than a month.
Franky was put together mostly with hot glue. My normal adhesive is barge contact cement but, I had limited funds after buying the EVA foam so I had to make do with what I had on hand. The main soup can of Franky is constructed of 3 hula hoops with 8 sheets of EVA foam to make up the body. The frame inside is honestly a jerry rigged harness made from a 2×4 and the remnants of an old tattered backpack.
I didn’t have a whole lot of time to make it comfortable so I settle on just making it functional, I have another con coming up soon and have plans to renovate the inside to make last devastating on my shoulders. The shoulders I made out of paper mashie using a one part water two parts wood glue mixture and bounty paper towels, I figured the absorbent nature of the paper towels would soak up the mixture better then paper and make for a rock hard exterior.
The arms have a 2or base the connects at the elbow with a door hinge and the forearm is also made from EVA foam. The hands were very tricky as I wanted them to be articulated, after watching a few dozen videos I realized there was no real inexpensive was to do it that had been uploaded so I ran to Home Depot and grabbed what I thought I could make work. I landed on springs, tiny hinges, string and tiny eyelets.
It took a few hours but by the end I had two function hands that looked amazing. I really wanted to work LEDs into him somehow so I put them in the center logo of the straw hat crew and hooked it up to a battery pack, then a simple LED strip behind the eyes. The head is detectable because of low doors and is just made from EVA foam and a styrofoam cone. Lastly the the back piece is simply made from EVA foam. All pieces were cut with a box knife and referenced by images I found on Google.
Cosplay has really given me my dream job aspirations. After delving into cosplay my world of crafting has completely opened up and my love of prop making has flourished. I frequent YouTube videos like Evil Ted and tested and have found that my dream job would be to make prop and costumes for Weta Workshop. Weta Workshop has made the props and costumes for nearly every major blockbuster movie for the last two decades, movies ranging from the matrix to the lord of the rings and even all the marvel movies. If I was given a chance to work there it would be a dream come true and through cosplay, I hope to one day achieve that goal.
I have truly learned to love myself through my craft. I never had many hobbies or talents growing up and that did a number on my self esteem. Now I have this wonderful hobby that lets me express my creativity and love for prop recreation and it helps me find like minded individuals that want to build each other up. For a long time, I was just going through life without a purpose or any aspirations in life and now I have a life goal and a community full of excellent people that want to lift people up through their craft and that seems pretty life changing in my opinion.