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This past year I’ve been¬†working on a¬†‘War Doctor’ costume¬†my first Doctor Who cosplay¬†and it’s finally coming together. Okay, so it looks more like Kevin Smith/Silent Bob than Sir John Hurt/War Doctor right now, but that will soon change.

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Growing up, I was a big fan of Tom Baker‘s 4th Doctor. I loved the hat, the scarf, and the wackiness of that version of the character. It was on PBS and it’s the only version I had ever seen on screen until David Tennant/10 in the new WHO. Yep, I had missed Christopher Ecclestons season of the 9th Doctor when the series was brought back and had to go back and catch up before moving on to Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.

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Since then my wife Nicki has picked up a lot of the older series on DVD. It’s been a lot of fun to see how the the show has evolved over the years, but how they’ve also managed to keep a lot of it the same for over 50yrs now.

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Nicki is a big Whovian, too. She is amazingly good at Doctor Who trivia, and has been on a WHO panel the past few years at MidSouthCon in Memphis, TN.

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We’ve traveled to Hunstville, AL the past two years for ConKasterborous¬†(2014 and 2015). It’s a great con and we’ve had a blast there. It’s a smaller con, but growing. It’s actually the size con I mostly prefer these days. Less crowded and more face time with guests.

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I’ve set up in Artists Alley each time we’ve been (just going as a fan/cosplayer this year).

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We had great table neighbors, bought some cool stuff, enjoyed meeting other fans, and even met a couple of the Doctors (Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy).

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They’ve also had some folks there dressed as the War Doctor. I really loved the look of this Doctor, and thought of all the ones running around in the cosmos, this one I might could pull off.

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I love the audio book Doctor Who: Engines of War¬†and listened to it in the car on my way to and from work for about a week last year. I’m a big fan of John Hurt (Aliens, Space Pirates, Harry Potter, Hellboy, The Elephant Man).

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Thanks to Christopher Eccleston not wanting to reprise his role as the Doctor and¬†appear in Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013), ‘The Name of the Doctor“, “The Night of the Doctor“, and “The Day of the Doctor” all have Sir John as a regeneration between Paul McGann‘s 8th Doctor and Eccleston‘s 9th.

35c27214c9238493da45eb7316462e07Programme Name: Doctor Who - TX: 23/11/2013 - Episode: Day of the Doctor (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 13/11/2013 - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY EMBARGOED FOR USE UNTIL 13th NOVEMBER 2013* PLEASE DO NOT PASS ON THESE IMAGES TO 3rd PARTIES. The Doctor (JOHN HURT) - (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrabs

Picture shows; JOHN HURT as The Doctor and BILLIE PIPER as Rose Tyler in the 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the Doctor

I started collecting reference photos and pieces for my costume after attending ConK2015.

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We stopped in at the Unclaimed¬†Baggage Center in Scottsboro, AL. It’s about 45min or so away from Huntsville, AL. There I found pants and a shirt, plus an extra pair for a future steam-punk cosplay.

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The shirt wasn’t exactly the same as the one on TV, but it had the same feel and look, VERY comfortable, and at a good price. I figured it¬†was close enough and going to be covered up by a vest, scarf, and ammo bandolier and if I find a better one later I can switch it out. I also figured the War Doctor wouldn’t be wearing the same shirt everyday of the Time War. It went on for quite a while. ūüėČ

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I went online to look for a scarf and a sonic screwdriver. As far as I could tell the screen used scarf was cashmere, and the ones I found were $60-80 or more. I found the same pattern in a throw from Target for around $20-30, and it’s big enough that I can make a few scarves out of it. The sonic I searched for on Amazon and Entertainment Earth. I honestly don’t remember which place I found the best price- but it was around $20. It’s a toy replica, but does make sounds. I’ll probably age it up a bit.

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Next up, I actually lucked up! I stopped in at our local Goodwill here in Hernando, MS one day after getting my hair cut in the same shopping center. I love to shop there for Halloween costumes and other items I may need to look worn or don’t mind distressing/aging/ripping/bloodying myself.¬†I had stopped by several times before looking for a long leather jacket and black boots, but had no luck. Looked online and saw some for $80-200 or more. $80 was doable, but wanted to keep looking before I bought a new jacket. I had some short boots that could work,¬†and found some Magnum boots online (around $80), but thought I’d keep looking and hopefully get lucky at Walmart, Target, or Goodwill. Getting my haircut proved to be a very lucky day indeed! I not only found a long leather jacket and a pair of black SWAT boots, but they both fit and were a great price- $29.99 for the jacket, and $14.99 for the boots (steel toed, too!). I did my happy dance and took them up to the check out counter.

War_Doctor  Programme Name: Doctor Who - TX: 23/11/2013 - Episode: Day of the Doctor (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 13/11/2013 - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY EMBARGOED FOR USE UNTIL 13th NOVEMBER 2013* PLEASE DO NOT PASS ON THESE IMAGES TO 3rd PARTIES. The Doctor (JOHN HURT) - (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrabs

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The jacket isn’t brown like the War Doctor’s, but it has a slight brown tint to it, and I had seen someone else paint a black one to look like a well worn brown one. I’d airbrushed leather jackets before when I worked in t-shirt shops so this is something I’m familiar with. His lapels are a bit wider, but the length and fit was what I needed.

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For the vest and gaiters I found some great material at Jo Ann’s in Murfreesboro, TN, and at Hobby Lobby in Bartlett, TN closer to home. Found the buttons and buckles at Hobby Lobby, too. Be sure to double check the price of your material- they can be put in the wrong spot. One leather I was looking at while shopping at Jo Ann’s was marked $10.99yd but when I looked at the ticket it was $34.99! I wouldn’t have minded a dollar or two difference but 3X the price marked…uh, no.

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The suede (at Jo Ann’s) and leather (from Hobby Lobby) I ended up picking out both ran about $9-10yd. The suede isn’t the same color as the Doctor’s vest- been hard to tell exactly what color it really is from photos, and I’ve seen cosplayers with everything from brown, to red, to green. I¬†thought this¬†would contrast nicely with all the dark browns and red and it has a nice soft hand feel to it. I really dug the texture of the dark brown leather for the gaiters/spats.

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Won’t take a lot of aging for them. Also, the vest and gaiters will work for any steam-punk costumes I’d like to do later. I’m really liking how the colors are all¬†working together and will feel a bit aged and worn.

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The vest lining and back had cool spirals on them and reminded me of the opening of Doctor Who. It’s also lightweight and has great color variation in it which gives it an aged look. I liked the buttons because they looked aged, too. Bought some wooden ones I’ll paint to replace the smaller plastic ones on the jacket. Did some counting after I got home and it looks like I’ll need one more 3pk of vest buttons, and another pack of wooden ones. Should give me a spare or two if I need them for repairs later. Will keep the plastic ones in case I need to paint them for future costumes.
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Bought a couple pocket watches, too. The one on the left I found online for around $10 or so. The one on the right I bought from Odd Duck Studios at the River City Comic Expo in Little Rock, AR. I think it was around $20. I really dig both, and my just swap back and forth on them at cons.

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Next up I need to buy a 3 prong belt, an ammo bandolier, which I’ve seen a few online. I’ve¬†asked¬†my sister help me sew the scarf, gaiters and vest (she made my Beetlejuice costume).

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Last thing left to do will be to¬†age and detail everything, and watch John Hurt again as the War Doctor to get down his voice and mannerisms. I’ll be back in Part 2 to talk about all of that.

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Oh, and below are some links to past blogs about ConKasterborous and my cosplaying.

Confessions of a Closet Cosplayer

WHO Dunnit? ConKasterborous 2015

Lin WHO? My Time in Artists Alley

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See ya again soon!

Lin

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