Calling the MyResistance.net community a passionate bunch would be quite the understatement. In addition to providing a ton of great feedback on the Resistance titles (which has helped tremendously for things like patches and DLC), several go to great lengths to demonstrate their love for the franchise. Izy Cheung is just that kind of fan.
The 20-year-old from Calgary recently flexed her creative muscles with Resistance in mind, making a spot-on replica of the Marksman, a long-range weapon that made its debut in Resistance 2. We recently had a chance to chat with this extremely talented costume and prop maker about constructing this tool of destruction.
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself?
Izy Cheung: Um, I’m not really sure what to say. I was always that kid that stuck out in a crowd, even when I wasn’t trying to. I’ve always had a very curious and creative mind growing up, which wasn’t always for the best, as it’d get me in trouble whenever I took something apart to see how it worked. So now that I have the resources and know-how, I can use my creativeness and build my beloved characters through costumes and really make them come to life. Aside from my addictive costume making and the obvious passion for video gaming, I love to play field hockey and draw. Other than that, I’m pretty much a hermit and an anti-social freak, unless my friends literally dragged out of my house. Ha-ha.
You’ve said that this is actually the first weapon prop that you ever created. Why start now?
I’ve always wanted to do a costume that had a sweet prop, and the Chimera seemed like a good place to start. And seeing as a Chimera is my next major costume, I couldn’t very well go without a gun!
I know it probably wasn’t a good idea to have my first prop be the awesome Marksman, but I always love a good challenge. I am very pleased with the outcome produced, having lacked a background in prop making.
Why go with the Marksman for your first Resistance weapon?
Of all the Resistance weapons, the Marksman is my all-time favorite; I’m a sniper at heart. Some would suggest I go with the Fareye instead if I’m a sniper, but the Marksman does more damage, has the orbs as a secondary fire, and just looks the coolest out of all of them. I totally fell in love with this gun at first sight (I really like my guns!!).
You said it took roughly 100 hours of labor to create this prop. What were some of the toughest parts of putting it together?
Actually, overall it wasn’t too bad; just a bunch of cutting and gluing. Aside from a couple wounds of stupidity (Be safe: Don’t cut a wooden dowel with a butcher knife, kids!!) and a messed-up sleep schedule, it wasn’t too hard to make at all.
The hardest thing was trying to find some decent pictures to work off so I can get it as accurate as possible. I spent hours on end just looking for something as a reference. I ended up finding one art concept I could use. So I took my camera, turned on my TV and starting playing, pwnd some Chimera, and took some pictures of their weapons (which I later used to go kill their buddies with, ha-ha, suckers!).
This prop doesn’t weigh nearly as much as the Bullseye we have at Insomniac—how did you keep it so light?
It was the types of materials that I chose to make it with. I could have made it with heavier materials, but I figured: If I’m going to be carrying this thing all around conventions and other such places, I don’t really want to be hauling a 30lb gun. I needed something light-weight, sturdy, and materials that were easy to work with. So I chose to make the majority of it out of craft foam.
You’re a self-admitted Resistance fan, especially of the weapons. What’s it about this franchise’s arsenal that you find so appealing?
That’s a bit of a tough question; probably because they’re shiny. Ha-ha, just kidding. In all seriousness, I just really love the overall design of each of them. They’re well thought-out, have an amazing design, super creative in their functions, and they make things go “boom.”
Have you ever thought about making a prop based on a Ratchet weapon?
I haven’t gotten into Ratchet quite yet; I have a slight OCD problem and when I get obsessed with something I love, I stick with it for a long time and focus on just that. Ha-ha. Eventually it’ll phase out, but in a couple months I’ll probably be playing it again like it’s a shiny new game. I’ve played the campaign a dozen times and I’m still not tired of it.
But I’m sure if I put down Resistance long enough to pick up Ratchet, I’d probably end up making something from it, too. The idea of making a Ratchet costume would also be really, really cool.
What’s the next Resistance weapon you’ll make? And what’s this we hear about you creating a Chimera mask?
Well, there’s just so many to choose from! Of course I plan on making them all, but I’d like to make my favorite ones first: Wraith, Fareye, Auger, LAARK, Bullseye, and the Pulse Cannon (Oh I can’t wait to do the Pulse Cannon!! It’s going to have so many shiny lights on it!!). And with each new weapon I do build, I plan to make it better than the last and each will have cool features like the Marksman.
Ah yes, my Chimera costume. I’m not just making the mask, but the whole thing—from six-eyed goodness to the heat stacks glowing. It all started with one late night of gaming and a crazy idea, as I sat there sniping down Ravagers, I thought, “Man it’d be cool to do a Chimera costu–….hey, maybe I should… I could…nah, but that’s a crazy idea…but then again I AM crazy…THAT’S IT! My next costume is going to be a Chimera!” So I started the madness and begin working on my Chimera costume. I have already completed a few pieces of armor, so I decided to take a break from the armor and work on a gun, the Marksman.
It’s funny, because people are getting excited over a gun and are thinking, “crazy Resistance fan makes shiny gun,” but what they don’t know is that it’s really a small part of a whole Chimera costume yet to come. Well, two to be exact. I’m also making one for a friend (he’s roughly the same size), so I’ll have my own Chimeran army…of two! Ha-ha.
The response to the gun has been amazing. I can’t begin to imagine what it’ll be like when people find out/see I’m doing a whole Chimera costume!
Have you thought about a career in making props and costumes?
I have, actually. I’m looking into exactly what kind of schooling I’d need for that. But quite frankly, I hate school. And I don’t believe that school can teach you something like prop and costume making to its fullest extent. A “hobby” like this really requires field experience and just going out there and making stuff at your own skill and pace.
But as a career, I would love to do that! I wouldn’t even do it for the money or fame, just for the pure love for making costumes. Just even talking about costumes and making them really gets me excited. And when asked a question that is costume-related, you can’t get me to shut up when I give an answer. Ha-ha.
What’s the best way people can check out your creations and what you’re currently working on?
My website is a good place: http://www.hyokenseisou.ca/.
Really, I’m on a number of sites so it’s not too hard to find updates on costumes and such. Various links are on my homepage, though. But, I am far too lazy to update my site on a regular basis, so the best way for a current update is probably on my youtube, which also has the occasional tutorials. Another good place for picture updates would be my cosplay account on Deviantart.com.