Unicorn Race 2019

Another weekend away with Skye. Photos by Jade Tatsuko.

Yui’s 2018 review

2018 marked the 2nd anniversary of my life as a kigu and was full of fun, events, and meeting lots and lots of friends:

Spring

We started the year with a long weekend latex retreat away in the country. Skye and I took over the hotel reception for a while.


Next was the local Glasgow Anime event, Raicon. I think Yui looks a bit like IF from the Hyperdimension Neptunia games so I cosplay her sometimes. For this Raicon I wore a new IF outfit taken from the Sega vs Hard Girls game.


In May me and Jade went to Anime North in Toronto. Anime North attracts a lot of kigus from around the world because as well as the convention there is a lot of off-con fun and trips organised by Neko Niko. This year we attended BBQs, bowling, and the highlight was certainly the trip to Niagra falls. Everyone was so friendly to us, I’d love to return one day.


Summer

Straight back to the UK and we were off to Yorkshire Cosplay Con in Sheffield. We’re always made to feel so welcome at this Con and so Kigus travel from around the UK to meet at it. It’s great to spend a couple of days at the Con, and during down-time spend time chatting and having fun, food, and card games with friends.


This Summer was so hot in Europe so to cool down Jade and I visited Luka in France and had a great weekend hanging around her pool. She even made me coffee like a good maid should.


Back to UK and an off-meet with Convoluted (here wearing Juniper), Jun, and Nora. We visited a Scottish castle ruins and the weather was kind to us.


At J-Con, a Derby Anime event, I danced to the tunes of Nyokee in my LED skirt. It was also the first outing for my new kig, Coconut from Nekopara, made by DAME Kigurumi. Jade wore her Maple mask and together we had lots of catgirl fun.


Back to the November Raicon in Glasgow and another outing for the Nekopara kigus along with Convoluted. Coconut got recognised so much and so many people wanted our photographs.


Autumn

More latex for Halloween with my new petticoat and a 3D printed necklace.

I really love my 3D printer which I got at the start of the year. I’ve made necklaces for Halloween, Bowling, and Christmas, and buttons and other parts for my cosplay outfits. The most ambitious project was the LED skirt for my magical latex girl outfit which has 3D printed LED sleds that slide into pockets in a custom latex circle skirt.


Next up was another long latex weekend away in the country with Skye and another hotel for us to help run. I’m so happy with this chlorinated latex swing dress which BlackSheepLatex designed just for me with my input; it’s covered in cute hearts. Would you like to visit a hotel where all the staff are all Animegao Kigurumi?


Winter

And, just like that, 2018 was nearly over. Just time to fit in a weekend event with a couple of dozen European kigus in Derbyshire. Tennis Anyone?


Throughout the year I did some streaming on Ezcapechat, not quite at the 2017 level when I was on several times every week. We did manage to get in some games of Fibbage though.


We hope 2018 was good to you too.

On behalf of both myself and Jade we wish you peace and prosperity for 2019.



Photos in this post were taken by Jade Tatsuko, Keital, Perrine, Hoson, Dominic, Naomi, Grimmothy. Also many thanks to everyone else who took photos of me or was a handler.

Kigton Hall 2018

A weekend away in the country with Skye. Photos by Jade Tatsuko.

J-Con 2018

We went down to Derby for J-Con in August 2018. This was a really fun con. On the Friday evening I wore the Magical Latex Girl outfit with my new LED skirt and got to dance to some great live music from Nyokee.

On Saturday my new girl, Coconut from Nekopara, made her first public appearance. It was great being recognised, everyone loves a catgirl.

Photos: Jade Tatsuko, Cloud Tied, Dominic

Paris 2018

In August 2018 we visited Luka in France and had a fun weekend hanging out around the pool. Luka even said she’d be the maid and comb my hair and make tea, but she was far too mischievous and spilt the tea and went to rest in the hammock.

You just can’t get the staff these days.

Photos by Jade, Luka, and automatic-camera-chan.

Making the Magical Latex Girl Layered LED Skirt

I love to transform into a magical latex girl.

I also love making things, 3D printing, LEDs, latex, arduinos, and of course Animegao Kigurumi. So I decided to combine them all into a fun project, a layered circle skirt, made over a couple of weekends.

The final skirt is bluetooth accessible and can run various programs such as patterns, sound to light, and a rather special mode based on a hand-held accelerometer.

I’d attached LED strips to leather before, by using the long strips you can buy that have WS2812B fully-addressable RGB LEDs on them and sticking them to the leather. But latex, being stretchy, posed some new challenges.

After some experiments with strips I decided instead on making a 3D printed tray and using individual LEDs.  You can pick up 50 of the LEDs very cheaply from Aliexpress or ebay.  Using a tray adds some rigidity which protects the wiring and helps the LEDs stand out around the circle skirt, and also lets me position them wherever I like.  It makes the strips easier to take in and out of the skirt, and there is still a tiny bit of flexibility along the length.

Since this is a skirt overlay to sit on top of another circle skirt, I decided on a triangle pattern, with 7 triangles (making 7 strips), with each strip being between 6 and 7 LEDs (somewhat randomly). If you think of Madoka Magica that was the rough idea. This meant the strips needed to be 275mm long, which also meant they could be printed in one piece on my CR-10.

Using OpenSCAD for design after a few attempts I was able to print a piece that a WS2812B single LED would snap into. Then I made a strip with a bevelled edge so it can be easily threaded into the latex. Each tray took a couple of hours print time in white PLA:

Here is the OpenSCAD source code for the tray.


The 7 LED strips are wired in series, so the “data out” at the end of the strip runs back up to the top and into the “data in” of the next strip. This complicates the programming a little but saves having lots of extra snaking data wires.

I hooked everything up with 26AWG silicone coated wire which was a good compromise between size and ability to handle the current: If all 50 LEDs were set to white at the same time then the first power wires would be carrying 3Amps, but the wires are short and the patterns rarely have all LEDs on at the same time, and even less likely to all be white, and my battery wouldn’t be able to handle that anyway.

The control box is powered by an ardunio-like microcontroller. I used a DFRobot Beetle because I happened to have one around and they’re small and cheap, but any Ardunio board would do. Hooked to the Beetle is a MSEQ7 graphic equalizer IC  connected to a sparkfun microphone board with auto gain control.  Using a chip for the graphic equalizer rather than coding it makes the programming so much easier.  Also hooked to the Beetle is a HC-05 bluetooth (normal bluetooth, not LE) module.

Power is provided by a small rechargable USB battery. I got this one at a trade show so I’m not sure it’s capacity, but it easily can run the controller and LEDs for many hours on a charge. The controller and electronics were housed in a 9V battery case I had spare.

Knowing the length of the triangles for the skirt, and my waist size (minus 10% for stretch) I drew up a pattern in Inkscape and used it to cut out the latex. Because there are 7 triangles it didn’t separate into sections well, so I just cut it complete out of a single piece which also saved adding a seam. I added a 5cm waist band to the top.

Here is the Inkscape file of the pattern I used.

After marking all the holes Jade helped me punch them out, using a leather punch over some hardwood.  This was far more effort than it should have been and I’ve since learnt that the “Prym” punch pliers work amazingly well for making perfect small holes in latex.


Originally each LED tray was going to slide down into a complete latex pocket, enclosed on all three sides, but this was a failure.  It was almost impossible to get the trays into and out of the pocket. The idea is to be able to remove the electronics to add to different skirts in the future, or to fix any issues, or just to allow the skirt to get cleaned and shined.

What worked well was adding little strips of latex behind each of the LEDs. This protects the underskirt from anything metal that might cause a stain as well as pressing the LED against the front of the skirt.

A few people have commented that I could reinforce the latex around the holes using cotton tape then it won’t stretch, but I’ve found that it really isn’t needed and if something does move and the hole doesn’t quite align, the LED still shines quite well through the white latex.

A pocket was made to hold the battery and control box with a small hole to not muffle the microphone too much and that pocket was attached to the back of the skirt.

Adding a few bows and we’re done!

Source code and patterns will be updated on github

Since making the skirt I upgraded it removing the thick connectors and wires between strips and replacing them with tiny JST connectors instead.   The patterns I use rarely have many of the LEDs on at once, so thinner wire is just fine.  I also added a button to change modes as getting a phone out and connecting to the skirt takes too long for a quick change.

For the future I’m going to cut the skirt down the back seam and add poppers to save having to stretch it over hips and undoing and reconnecting the connectors when putting it on, this will help if having to take it on and off like when getting a taxi or sitting down somewhere.

Christmas 2017 UK Meet

A short weekend break away for Christmas where I met many kigus from around Europe, some old friends, some new friends.

Photos by Cloud Tied, Jade Tatsuko, Dominic, Skye, Jack, and me.

Kiggington Manor

A weekend away in the country with new friend Skye.

Photos by Jade Tatsuko.

Making a latex swimsuit

Our good friend TLC Latex came to visit to teach me how to make latex clothing. I needed a swimsuit, so we decided to make a custom one in the common style with double-opening front zip.

After learning the basics we started by making a “block pattern” of my sizes. We then made this pattern into a swimsuit design, transferred it onto a .6mm latex sheet, cut it, and assembled it. The zip was actually salvaged from an old catsuit that had perished some years ago and we added in the extra zip pull. It took most of the afternoon for us to make it.

Later Jade Tatsuko helped me add an applique of “Yui” to the breast. The fit is really good, but I would slightly update the pattern to have a higher neck, and maybe alter the cut of the legs. We didn’t get around to adding a hem to those, but they might look nice with some ruffles!