Dredge Cosplay; A saga in the traditional sense. [Day 0]

Banner saga was a game that captured my interest in a way that few games do. I haven’t been one much for video games in the past few years but this one stuck with me grid based tactics games feel like board games, they feel like wargames…In many ways they play like them too.

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Banner saga had a lot of things going for it, the art style; the sprites are clean and the animation smooth and simple, it sells it well. The music was done by Austin Wintory of “Journey” fame, he is a master at his craft.  It’s setting is a world like that of Norse Mythology but also not quite Norse… all the gods are new and unique…and dead! The fantasy races are not that of Elves and Dwarves but of Varl and Dredge and Valka. The Varl all male and each individually crafted by their god stand 8ft tall, and have great horns sprouting from their heads, very cool.  Then there is your adversaries…

The Dredge

What are the Dredge?…grey skinned humanoids wearing stone armor, speaking in strange sounds and seemingly emotionless fighters. These are the antagonists in Banner Saga and as we play we learn more and more about them…but their design is great I really want to dress up as one. But there’s not a lot of detail defining them in their game-sprites or in cut scenes, I might need a little more to go on…

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When’s the next opportunity to cosplay? The inaugural PAX Unplugged in November.  That will be a great opportunity to get dressed up…but going as a Video game character to a Board game convention…faux pas.

Luckily I can kill two birds with one stone here:
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A company I really like called Megacon Games made a skirmish board game about the banner saga world! They made some really beautiful miniatures that also gave a bunch more detail to the design of Dredge armor and clothing.

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So I went and bought a set of the miniatures! YAY! More stuff to paint. Here is Alex F. learning to use an airbrush and priming a Dredge warrior in a dark grey so he can be painted.

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I also went and picked up some EVA foam at Costco to make the armor plating.

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This will be my first project like this so the plan currently is to model the helmet in Blender and be able to make templates. I need to do some scaling and the vast majority of the work will be done in the amateur cosplay making techniques widely available online.  I can’t wait to get started, I dropped into the Discord channel of the Banner Saga team everyone seemed excited about an idea like this.

[Day 0] Frankenstein’s Monster Tower: Something old, Something New, Something Borrowed…

In the process of discussing weird and unique replica firearms, we managed to land on the topic of the playing of Rainbow Six Siege and in general modern computer games and how I have been utterly incapable of playing anything released in the last n years. My laptop is a great machine that has dutifully served for the entire tenure of my education, but it was never the top of the line gaming machine. It’s done a fantastic job each and every day, it survived the failure of it’s primary SSD/HDD (never buy Seagate, a lesson learned long ago but this machine came with one OEM, also never buy hybrid drives). It still limps along running everything it did before the failure now using a 320 gigabyte spinning drive salvaged out of an even older laptop. Never throw anything away:

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Dillon’s Stack of Hard Drive

But I digress. The lifespan of this computer is drawing to a close and at some point in the near future it will die unexpectedly.

So…in lieu of me purchasing anything to replace this machine Matt B. has suggested I build a desktop, something I haven’t had since before High School (for those who are counting that was 2005). I swore off desktops due their their total immobility; when was I ever going to be working from home? Also I had to bring my machine to the twice-annual LAN parties we were throwing! Who wants to lug a desktop to an event like that? This lack of desire was compounded and my recent lack of excitement about playing video games. (Painting, Biking, Camping, School, these all took priority.) So we took a look at laptops, something in the $1200 – $1300 range would be an excellent and somewhat future proof machine.

But $1200 is not money I have to throw around right now especially not before I know my work situation. So it looks like taking advantage of the Rainbow Six $15 deal was going to have to wait, and I’d see about getting a new machine when I had settled into working, at the latest hopefully some time in August. But…

It was noted we could build a desktop machine much cheaper then a laptop. Sure, that’s always been true, a larger machine means more space to use less efficient components, less proprietary parts meant better pricing for wholesalers and distributors.

We started to talk spec’s and price, sure it’s appealing but I’ll always in my heart of hearts want a laptop as a primary machine. So to he’d sweeten the deal Matt offered his 2 Nvidia 660 ti GPU’s. They were just sitting around gathering dust I could have them if I financed this project. What a good friend…Matt must really want me playing video games? o_0

Well that’s all fine and dandy but I’d still be on the hook for another $500 of components, power supply, sound cards, hard drive, RAM….

Uh…Processor, Mother board:

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Here are those exact components you needed…

Turn’s out Dillon L had his old motherboard from his last upgrade lying around, complete with an i5-2300K processor which I’m told will be a big step up for me. After re-negotiating a trade for a quality firearms replica so we can keep playing bbwarz on the reg and we’re more then halfway to a new computer. Unbelievable. It’s almost too good to be true!!

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Womp womp womp….

Oh no, that loose capacitor should probably be attached to that board somewhere? Well before we order anything we’re going to have to figure out if we need a mother board too, Dillon is going to bring the board to campus and is going to try and solder a new one in it’s place. (Trust these guys, they are masters at electrical stuff).

I might even be able to contribute to this project too with my last gasp as a CMU student I’m going to secure a copy of Windows 10…for the price of free!
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I have a monitor and keyboard lying around…

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Hello darkness my old friend.

Apparently I’ve been told this whole project should max out at less then $300. That’s basically a no brainier if it will run Adobe Photoshop®, and render images in Blender (ɔ).

Look out for edits to this post with a parts list, and future postings about the progress on the Frankenstein’s Monster Tower.

Signing Off.