Published Feb 9, 2019
Cosplaying Paul Stamets
Stamets cosplayer gets the ultimate compliment... from Anthony Rapp
By Sound of Cosplay
I think many fans can relate to the experience of feeling a connection with one or more characters in Star Trek. I felt, from the start of Star Trek: Discovery, that Paul Stamets reflected me personally and I really felt represented by him. So, as a cosplayer, I wanted to embody the character myself.
Actually, as the first few episodes of Discovery streamed, I actually had created a Command uniform. But as soon as we met Lt. Stamets I decided to cosplay him. The mistakes I made with that first uniform taught me a lot, even if it went into the bin and I started anew.
My process in the past has been intuitive: I’d make a paper pattern and go from there. This time, I had to plan everything right down to the smallest details.
The specific placement of zippers, stitches and overlapping fabrics all came easily.
The striped silver embellishments and delta panels were much harder, as they are three-dimensional. A friend recommended creating the striping with cheap faux-silver leather, which I did, but I had to become inventive for the delta pattern. After many attempts using different techniques, I achieved the desired results by using a stencil (each individual delta was hand-cut) and puffy silver paint. It was an arduous process, but I loved the results, and now I could assemble the garment.
Lastly, I made the shoes by combining two separate pairs together and then adding the fine details.
But my cosplay was still incomplete without the right props. The first I made were the Spore Drive Implants, which were constructed by molding thin sheets of hard foam with a dremel.
Next up was the Prototaxities Stellaviatori sample tube, which I made from a water bottle, bathroom silicone and string lights.
I work to an extremely tight budget, so I mostly use materials I already have at home. I’ve also made a case for my phone that makes it look like a PADD.
Dressing can take a while, partially because the uniform is very tight, but mainly because of the makeup, which helps shape my face more in the likeness of the character. My favorite and most important details are Stamets’ fair eyebrows and lashes, which I believe are defining features and key finishing touches.
Cosplay, to me, is a fully tailored experience, right down to the smallest specifics, and these include adopting the characters mannerisms. It transforms a costume into a cosplay. I naturally gesture a lot, so I just had to learn to express in the same ways that Stamets does.
The culmination of all these things is what brings realism to the cosplay, so it’s as if the character walked directly out of a scene from the show. It’s a tribute which allows me to connect to other fans and even the actors, making conventions my favorite weekends out of the year.
The most unbelievable experience and the definite highlight of my fan life so far was meeting Anthony Rapp himself, who was genuinely excited about my Stamets cosplay. There truly is no bigger honor.
Becoming Stamets was three months of hard work, but so worth it.