Cosplayers are certainly the people that stand out at any SciFi event and specially at the Sci-Fi Weekender as they walk around in costume and character.

Some are professional cosplayers and others are those that can spend up to 12 months creating a costume that will wow onlookers and hopefully help them win best cosplayer at the end of the weekend.

There have been some amazing costumes this year and with so many taking part to have fun over the weekend, it was amazing to see what people were coming up with for their outfits.

Video by Lee Howard

During this years Sci-Fi Weekender, I’ve seen plenty of Doctor Whos, a rather scary Penny Wise the Clown, The Avengers, Weeping Angels, a green screen Jar Jar Binks, a fantastic Daenerys Targaryen (with dragon) and so many more.

Cosplayers Go In For Final Showdown At Sci-Fi Weekender

Last year I sadly missed the Cosplayers final, but this year I made sure I caught it and I’m so glad I did. On the Saturday night, Robert Rankin (in his rather fetching suit and cat ears) and Mrs Rankin, took to the stage to introduce the finalists for this years show.

Robert Rankin SFW5 (Photo by Karen Woodham)

And what a great collection of finalists they were, I particular liked the Hawkman and the gender role reversed Han Solo and Slave Leia, what a brilliant idea.

Han and Slave Leia (Photo by Karen Woodham)

So Robert, led then on, where they did their stances etc, thennitnwas down to the judges, who had a tough job deciding a winner, so much so that Robert and Mrs Rankin had to do some little comical songs.

Then when the judges came back it was down to the audience to applaud for a winner of the audience award and the winner was brilliant, it was “Death of Rats” aka Cherrybomb (Su Haddrell)

I caught up with Su on Twitter for a little chat.

What made you decide to go with Death of Rats?

The group I went to the Sci Fi weekender with last year wanted to do a group cosplay. Discworld was a popular choice and we could all cobble something together relating to one character or another. Cosplay is half making things from scratch and half scrounging from other things you’ve got. I went with Death of Rats as a costume idea because I’m small. I tend to choose costumes that suit my frame – I haven’t got the height to pull off epic female character costumes. I’m a bit of a stickler and like my costumes to be as accurate as I can. I knew Death of Rats would be an unusual but popular choice and people would get a kick out of being able to spot the character. It’s great fun to get a reaction from your audience, particularly Pratchett fans.

How long did it take you to make the costume?

From research to finished costume, about six months. I spent a lot of time looking for the right image I wanted to emulate, finding the right patterns I wanted to use for each part, saving the money to buy a tonne of fabric, and then putting it altogether.

I sewed the gown and cloak and sourced the scythe materials and my other half, Andy, made the skull/helmet from a heat mouldable nylon based plastic called polymorph and painted it with acrylic.

The blue LED lights in the eyes were the final touch and I think they absolutely make the final costume, turning it from average to epic.

Do you have any experience in costume making?

My first costume was Leeloo from the film The Fifth Element and that was mostly cobbled together by buying bits from eBay. It got such a great reception at the SFX Weekender I really wanted to do it again with something more complex.

I had some basic sewing experience and my Mum walked me through pattern reading and how to follow one to make a garment. I ended up making the gown and cloak for Death of Rats and the cloak and hat for Rincewind the Wizard.

What was the first thing you thought when you won at SFW5?

I was having a lot of fun on stage cheering the other cosplayers on and getting the crowd going so in all honesty my first thought was RAAAAARRR!!!! Then I really wanted to go and find Andy and my friends and share a rum with them – which involved hunting them down through the entire complex, so I kind of missed out on the congratulatory cosplay fun that was going on around the stage.

It was great fun to get the crowd cheering and celebrating the awesome costumes on show. I ended up making friends with the chap in the Space Marine suit as we had mutual costuming issues and we ended up helping one another out. I love meeting people and making friends like that.

I see from your Twitter you mention “Rule 32 Cafe”, can you tell me a little more about that?

Rule32Cafe is a project my team and I have been working on for nearly two years now. We’re aiming to bring a geek events venue to Worcester – somewhere to eat, chill out, play games and watch a movie, but also somewhere for events and day conventions. We’ve been struggling with finding a suitable property within Worcester due to issues with landlords and the renovation of old properties.

In the meantime we’ve been arranging events like Geekmeets and Games days which have been very successful. So much so, that we formed a Not For Profit organisation called Rule32Promotions and are holding our first day convention in Birmingham.

Lawgiver: A Celebration of Dredd will be held on Bank Holiday 5th May and guests include the co-creator of Dredd; JohnWagner, as well as artists and writers, and most of the crew who worked on the award-winning fan film Judge Minty. Tickets and further information available at

A massive thank you to Su, winner of Sci-Fi Weekender 5’s Cosplay final, for that little interview.

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Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds, an avid blogger and photographer. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UKs Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham