Cosplay fun with the Stringer family

Anne Stickney
A. Stickney|12.15.11

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Cosplay fun with the Stringer family
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When I ask cosplayers, "How did you get into cosplay?" the answer most often given is that they attended a convention, saw someone in the costumes and decided to create a design based off their characters or a character in game. Well, today I've got a submission that happened to be the other way around entirely! After last week's amazing tauren cosplay, I was sent this amazing female tauren costume along with a whole host of others from 30-year costuming veteran Susan Stringer.

Susan didn't start out playing WoW; it was her son Jake's dwarf hunter costume that inspired her to try her hand at creating a WoW character. One thing led to another, and Susan picked up WoW and started playing for herself, eventually completing the costume you see above. For the Stringers, both cosplay and WoW are now a family activity.


I'm not an oversized male tauren, but I am that super-rare female tauren played by a 50-year-old mom. Both my sons played WoW, as did many of my friends. My younger son is an Alliance dwarf, but we try to forgive him for that. He was the first in the family to wear a costume of his toon to Dragoncon when he was 15 years old. We put the costume together out of assorted things we found around the house. My husband did make the gun for him and we modified a mask. His wire rimmed glasses are actually his real prescription corrective lenses. I was intrigued by the costuming aspect of the game and laughed that I should be a cow! No one could say I was to fat to be a cow. My son grumpily corrected me that they were tauren!

I started working on a tauren costume even though I didn't play the game. It wasn't turning out very well. As a 30-year veteran of convention costuming with a list of awards as long as my arm, I could do the actual clothing, but I just couldn't get the feel for the head without playing the game.... so I started playing with three characters: a tauren shammy named Polyurathain, an orc hunter named ScarlettP for my old, pre LoTR - LARP character who was based on my old AD&D game character, and my blood elf warlock whose only real function has been to make bags for the others.

Later, we found a pair of plastic motorcycle gas tank covers and just knew that they would make great
WoW shoulder pads. We bought one of the commercially made male orc masks and started working on an orc costume for my older son. When my preconvention home hair dye job turned purple instead of red, I knew I needed to throw together a copy of my female orc, ScarlettP and accompany my son. The reaction to the costumes was very encouraging, so I started pulled out my prior failure at making a tauren and started over again.

By this time, the uber-awesome tier 3 Earthshatterer costume that I had started was no longer available in the game, but it was so pretty that people loved it any way! I keep hoping that with transmogrification, I'll finally be able to get it in the game ... if only we get to the point that I can copy an NPC's outfit, because the main quest giver at the start of Vashj is totally wearing my dress!

We are now planing on making Poly the tauren shammy a new outfit, recycling the head and hooves as well as dragging my husband in as an undead warrior. My older son will be doing his first cross gender costume as his game female orc rogue. He has already chosen his fake guild name "G.I.R.L." which stands for Guy In Real Life. My younger son will do a faction change and join us as a goblin priest. As a set of 4, we thought it would be funny to tell people we were "LFG, need tank."

Thanks for reading! Play nice!

Susan Stringer

Thanks for the submission, Susan, and for the amazing pictures -- be sure to send in any future costume work, too!

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