Last night’s nearly all-nighter was sponsored by Mountain Dew and Monday at Work is Going to Suck. It took me about five hours to pencil in the grid lines, outline the squares with a paint pen and fill them in with acrylic paint. The reward was well worth the effort (and subsequent fatigue). I’m going to keep this post short since I’m absolutely exhausted and can’t think straight.

Checker grid penciled in.

Checker grid penciled in.

Checker grid penciled in.

Checker grid penciled in.

Checker grid outlined. Dots added to centers to prevent me from painting the incorrect square.

Checker grid outlined. Dots added to centers to prevent me from painting the incorrect square.








SNPR (Sniper) stenciled to front panel of kilt.

SNPR (Sniper) stenciled to front panel of kilt.


Below are a few more photos highlighting my progress on the kilt P-51 conversion. At this point however I don’t think my kilt looks like a P-51 but more like a tank. I suppose that should have been expected since the kilt is drab green a P-51 was usually unpainted and silver colored. I was attracted to the checkered pattern on the nose cone and it was my intention to add checkers to the bottom edge of my kilt. After painting and weathering the kilt for almost six hours I’m not sure I still want to do that.

It’s currently midnight and while listening to classic rock I’m thinking that maybe I was emulating the wrong WWII vehicle. I think I should have been looking at a M4 Sherman tank. This of course makes more sense since my character is grounded and not a pilot. I’m not worried though, the kilt looks fantastic regardless of what I was emulating.

I look forward to putting it all together and for possibly the first time being truly fully Dieselpunk.

Pocket showing chipped paint and grime.

Pocket showing chipped paint and grime.

Changed the buckles color from brass to titanium.

Changed the buckles color from brass to titanium.

Here's my serial number inscribed on a pocket flap.

Here’s my serial number inscribed on a pocket flap.

In addition to overhauling my Dieselpunk costume this year we get new patches. With the help of Colonel Shrike, I designed and ordered new patches for the squad. Shrike has been asking for a Unit Patch for a couple years and we finally delivered. We have been buying our patches from Color Patch for as long as we have been Dragonfly.

The large patch below is our main cosplay patch. The orange patch is our unit patch. And lastly the blue shield patch is to celebrate five years of Dragonfly Armory membership. All three patches have a little art deco flair in their designs. I accomplished this through the use of art deco fonts and motifs.


A week before Dragon•Con and six nights before everything has to be packed and ready to go. Seems like a good time to start building this year’s costume. As mentioned earlier this year I’m going to emulate the P-51 Mustang and painting those designs onto my kilt. My kilt was purchased from Damn Near Kilt ‘Em and I have to admit I was hesitant about defacing the kilt.

Now that I have started painting I feel exciting with how it’s starting to look. Tonight I masked off the bottom three inches of the kilt pleats and painted two coats of Martha Stewart Crafts Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish since I ran out of paint. Tomorrow, I’ll finish the silver and add the yellow (or maybe black) checkers.


Taped off kilt edge.


One coat on the left, two coats on the right.


First coat of paint.


Painting on first coat.


Martha’s silver paint and a foam brush.


In just over a week we will be packing the SUV with all our costumes and weapons and hitting the road — 12 hours from Maryland to Atlanta. Road Trip!

I’d be lying if I said that my costume was finished, I am sure I will be adding the final touches in our Westin hotel room. But no matter, the process of all our work, time, creativity and sweat culminating at Dragon•Con is well worth the effort and wait. Looking forward to drinking with all our friends, partying with new ones and basking in the glory of The Geek.

Dragonfly Armory

Dragonfly Armory in the woods during Dragon•Con 2014. ©Tony Ferguson Photography



I just decided, two minutes back, this year’s gun will be called SNPR15 as in Sniper 2015. The rifle is a modified Nerf Longshot. First I primed the prop with Rust-Oleum®’s Black Primer. Color was painted on using Testors Model-Master‘s paints. I used Medium Green, Red-Orange and Blue Angels Yellow. I took my time and used a small brush. I also tried my best to cover up all Nerf logos and branded wording. Obviously people will recognize the Nerf as it is a popular model, but I would like to give them pause if possible.

IMG_7710 IMG_7709 IMG_7707 IMG_7706

A New Beginning

Welp, here we are. Another year and another opportunity to impress fans and muggles alike. There are a few weeks left before we pack up the SUV and drive the 12 hours to Atlanta and Dragon•Con. A few weeks left to finish up all the prop work and costume building. To be honest, I didn’t actually start and of my construction until two days ago. No time, well very little of it. No pressure.

In past years I have recycled my costume and made brand new guns, BFG. However, this time around I’m going to switch it up a bit. I’m going to go the route of Shrike and modify an existing gun, as in a NERF and build a new costume.

BFG (Big #@$%! Gun)

A few weeks ago I purchased a used Nerf Longshot CS-6 as my base and will be adding bits and pieces to it to make it, well, mine. I enjoy building guns from scratch and creating my vision, building something unique and one of a kind. This year however, due to motivation and subsequent time restrains I’m taking a different route and so far I am feeling good with my progress. I will post progress photos in a future post.

My Costume

My costume in the past few years has been very Army, but unfortunately not very “punk.” After evaluating my costume during the 2014 Dragon•Con I came to the realization that without my gun my costume doesn’t scream Dieselpunk on its own. So this year I start new. I bought a new, less expensive, kilt which I will feel fine with modifying. I plan on sewing material to it, adding hits of color, stenciling numbers and more. I have been looking at the P-51 Mustang from WWII as inspiration for my costume. My plan is also to mix in non-period specific fabrics into the WWII looking costume. As you may or may not know, in late August, early September it is brutally hot in Atlanta. In the past I have always been extremely hot in my costume to the point of insanity. For this reason, I incorporate a kilt in my costume. In addition to that though, I want to add areas of mesh fabric to my shirt to help vent unwanted heat and humidity.

For those of you that are interested – NodeXL is a Social Media analytics tool that can be used to track hashtags on twitter. Dragonfly Armory is interested in all things dieselpunk, even the hashtag! Major Kite did an analysis of the most recent 1,000 tweets and found that there are distinct communities in the #dieselpunk tweets right now. Below is a graph. Let us know if you have any questions, and of course check us out on Twitter @DragonflyArmory