Cosplay Confidential: Wendell Smith

Wendell Smith is the most prolific of the cosplayers I’ve talked to since kicking off this segment as he’s halfway to 100 costumes. He shares how he started off as a Jedi to portraying the villain who had a memorable cameo in Marvel’s The Avengers in this week’s Cosplay Confidential.

Name? Wendell Smith, Sr (Scorpking Costuming)

Wendell as Mace WinduHow did you get into cosplay? In 2009, one of my best friends said let’s dress up for Halloween… I had planned on getting my kids into costume anyway, but we ran with it. We are both Star Wars heads so I dressed as Mace Windu, with my kids as Luke and baby Leia… Him and his fiancée at the time were Darth Maul and another Jedi. Following that we hit up the Baltimore Comic Con and I’ve been hooked since. I’m still friends or acquaintances with most of the folks I met that first year. By the time we hit that ComicCon I ended up with three more Jedi/Sith costumes and almost 10 lightsabers…

Wendell cosplayHow long have you been doing it? I’ve been cosplaying “officially” since 2010. However, I still look back to Halloween 2009 as my true beginning.

What was your first costume? My first costume was a version of Mace Windu… I hunted Ebay for the different pieces, and put it all together with my plastic toy retractable purple lightsaber.

What’s been your favorite? I have 40-50 costumes now… I have a number of favorites; and they range all over the spectrum of comics, anime, graphic novels, movies, and ultimately my imagination… Current favorite is Thanos. I have two versions and he has been fun to portray…

Wendell as Lizard

What was the hardest costume you’ve done? Hardest costume can be difficult to say. There are some that have been super complicated, but fun so the difficulty wasn’t really that bad… Yet I have 3 costumes I can think of that I’ve redone two or three times each because certain aspects didn’t come out correct or the colors were just off… The hardest over all Nick Fury Jr in the Cap America suit.. Redid the top of that costume four times, and I’m going to do it over yet one more time…Wendell as Thanos

Then there’s a character called Despot. The first time… the colors were waaaaaaaaaaaaay off. The last three times putting the costume together I end up changing techniques and finally got it looking the way he should look.

Then there was the first version of Thanos. I changed material types twice before settling in a velvet feel spandex and a metallic colored pvc covered spandex. Sewing the pvc material was interesting to say the least… My last difficult costume happens to be a new Spidey variant that another friend pointed out to me. Let’s just say I do not like stripes and triangles too much anymore.

How much do your costumes take to make? Overall it depends on the character. Some characters have been real easy… Go online, select size, pay money and wait for delivery… (that doesn’t always go as it should) Others I spend $20-$30 on materials and spend the rest of my time sewing. Then there are my Star Wars costumes… Cheapest may have been $400. The most expensive close to $1,500 dollars.Wendell as Umbrella goon

How much time does it take to make an average costume? That depends on the costume. Avg spandex maybe a week or two. If I am really short on time… 1-2 days. Anything with armor could be a week to 6 months. My IGOR Ironman suit took 4-5 months. My mando took almost a year, due to waiting on materials, parts, delivery of promised items…

What makes it so rewarding? The rejuvenated creativity; the friendships I’ve made; the other activities I’ve been involved in since becoming an active cosplayer… and the traveling from Con to Con just having fun…Wendell as Shadowcat with Lockheed

Do you have a regular group you partner up with for costumes? I have a group of friends I normally meet up with. From time to time we come together with a planned grouping… For example, we’ve done a Rules 63 version of the Xmen. There were about 30 of us who participated in the group with 20 or so actually finishing our costumes and showing at two major Cons; NY Comic Con in 2012 and Philly Comic Con in 2013. We made a pretty big splash both times.

Then there is a group of us who are bringing back the G-Force/Gatchaman group in grand fashion. This group is interesting because none of our characters are under 6 foot, which makes the group imposing… It’s pretty cool… Then there’s one last group which I actually fell into first because of my love of Star Wars, the former Jedi Guardians, who are stage combat performers… with lightsabers…Wendell as a Mandalorian

What would you say to people who have thought about doing cosplay, but haven’t quite worked up the nerve yet? To those who have not cosplayed and would like to get into it… Go to a con!!! If you feel a little awkward when it comes to wearing a costume… Do something simple… There are many costumes that are simple suits and a red tie… or a Victorian gown… or better yet just a pair of jeans and a green tee shirt… Hello Shaggy!!! Go out, meet people, and have fun… One of the last things I’d share is to do it for yourself!!!!Wendell in gender reverse X-Men team

Do you have a website people can check out more of your costumes? They can check me out on FB. Most of my costuming pics are open to the world to view… Then there is also my fanpage Scorpking Costuming;

  • keith

    the last one is just so damn cool. a black gender swapped storm and cyclops and well done.. good job. lady cy is kind of hot lol. and as I typed this I realized they did that for all. but those two stood out. like if storm was middle age dude I could see that. still look like storm would shock the hell out of you.

  • keith

    and a cute gambit…

  • So cool! I wish I had the focus and skillz to do this sort of thing. I can’t believe he has 100 costumes!!! How does he decide which one to take to each Convention?

  • Yeah. I love the concept and looking at everyone’s take is very cool.

    Back when DC Comics were really interesting, they had this alternate world where the heroes were gender swapped so Batman was Batwoman, Superman = Superwoman and Wonder Woman was Wonder Man, etc. It was pretty cool and I fun premise.

  • Me too. I find it so fascinating!
    I’d think it’s cool to have so many options he could literally go…I’ll wear that one!

  • Gender switch Justice League