Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

NERDSociety: Hello! I can’t thank you enough for agreeing to be interviewed for NERDSociety. Could you start off by giving us the name you go by?

Steampunk Cylon: Folks online may know me as Steampunk Cylon but my actual name is John D’Antonio.

NS: First off, you just got back from Katsucon. Share with us about what that event is and how was it? (Check out some photos of one of his recent costumes at the con: an Umbrella Agent) 

Umbrella1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

Umbrella2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: Katsucon is an anime convention held in the D.C. area once a year and is usually the first anime convention most people attend for the year. I don’t necessarily follow anime but I do love this convention. It’s my second year to Katsucon and it gets an outstanding turn out of people who enjoy costuming. When you go or see pictures online you will also notice a diverse collection of different costumes that cover anime, video game, comic book and TV personality characters. The convention lasts three days and the party never seems to end. Panels on anime-related topics run non-stop; there is an arcade room and other events that occur through the evening. There are so many places inside and outside the convention to take photos too. This year sort of stunk with the limitations of going outside due to the snow but it did not stop everyone from having an awesome time there. Katsucon is definitely one of my top favorite conventions to attend.

NS: When did you start cosplaying? Who were some of your role models?

SC: The first time I started costuming in public was at Wizard World Philly 2012. That’s when I completed the Steampunk Cylon costume. The entire costume was made of cardboard and papier-mâché and ended up becoming a fail before I reached the front door of the convention. Just my luck it started to rain from the time I left my car to the actual convention center. I was a bit upset and brought my costume back to the car and threw it into the trunk. It took me three months to put that sucker together too! I had no clue what I was doing either. The helmet was still good so I returned and walked around that day like a dork wearing it and waving to people.

SteampunkCylon1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

Before I stepped into the realm of costuming I attended Monster Mania and Wizard World in Philly pretty much every year. I loved these conventions because I was able to check out the guests, vendors and was fascinated by the people that would actually show up there in costume. Dale Harvey’s costumes were always outstanding; they were so freaking huge and I would stand and stare at them: simply fantastic. Michael Knightmage Wilson is another outstanding individual who would show up on scene and look bad ass. Freddy Nova is someone else who can also do a gender twist on a character and manage to make it look badass plus sexy at the same time. All three of these people I was able to become friends with online and they have helped me one way or another in going in the right direction in creating the costumes I have done.

NS: Do you cosplay for fun or has this become something that you’ve taken beyond being a passion?

SC: Costuming has absolutely become a major passion for me. In fact three close friends of mine have formed a group known as the Moonbase and we feel we have taken costuming beyond the walls of the convention. Now, the reason why I feel it has become a passion is due to the fact we have started to put together photo shoots, video humorous skits and assemble props for everyone else to view and become a part of. We do our best to share what we know with folks who need help and also gather information to develop our group’s work.

NS: I want to express my total surprise that you did some amazing Masters of the Universe cosplay. Are you a personal fan of MOTU and what made you decide to make an accurate Horde Prime costume based off the figure?

SC: I had joined a She-Ra group right after attending WW Philly ‘12 that was getting together for New York Comic Con 2012. This group had been forming their cosplay months beforehand and had characters already gathered. I originally wanted to be Hordak but at the time that character was taken and the group was looking for more opportunities to have a different character which was totally understandable. Since Hordak was not an option at that point I wanted to be someone just as boss, so my friend Paul D. had shown me an image of the Horde Prime figure that Mattel put out the previous year at NYCC and I instantly fell in love with it. I had no clue how the heck I was going to make it (Horde Prime) but I knew who I was going to be for NYCC! The group was cool with me being that character and it was a go! Three months later I had the first version ready to go. It was shoddy looking but I got the general idea down. Horde Prime became a work in progress and continued to improve the more and more I worked on it.

HordePrime1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

NS: Share with us your process, from start to finish, in becoming Horde Prime?

HordePrime2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: In the cartoon Horde Prime was nothing more than a voice behind a greenish fog and a metal fist so I needed more information if I was going to make anything. Horde Prime started off with pictures I was able to get online; images of different angles that where available from different web sites. With the picture I had I started to break down his armor piece by piece. If you go to my Facebook page and look at the Horde Prime album I actually have pictures step by step on how I put it together. I would take a ruler and scale up each piece then trace it out onto poster board and then use that as a template. With that template I would cut down the pieces of foam and then glue them to form the different shapes I needed. Wal-Mart and Harbor Freight came to know me more and more with the supplies I would collect from them to complete this beast. The hardest part for me was the actual breast plate. I must have redone that piece three times before it was ready for NYCC. Even after NYCC I redid it one more time just because I was not happy with it. There was A LOT of trash during those months.

NS: Another MOTU related cosplay that was beyond fun to view was your Evil Lenn (a play off of Evil-Lynn) character. At first glance I thought this was the Faceless One (shame on me) but what was your inspiration to give a male take on a female character?

EvilLenn3 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: I have been contemplating to do a gender twist on a character for some time. The popular sight of seeing our female friends turning a male character into a feminine and sexy looking character was an interesting concept to me. What I wanted to do was the exact opposite. It was a bit challenging especially with Evil Lyn/Lenn because I wanted to do it, but how to do it without having people thinking it was the Faceless One. I figured I’d keep the cowl and her staff but make a masculine version of her armor and (should) be able to pull it off. The debut of the piece was at NYCC ‘13 and it did turn some heads. Some folks were confused but others were able to identify and appreciate the costume.

EvilLenn2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

NS: As you mentioned, most of us have seen women give a female take on a male character, but I just think it is very cool that you created this Evil Lenn persona. What other female characters are on your radar (if any) that you’d like to give a male interpretation to?

EvilLenn1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: I do have plans to create another female character. I won’t reveal too much until I get the ball rolling on this project but everyone is more than welcome to follow me on my FB page. I hate to jinx myself but it has happened in the past so for now I’ll leave you with the suspense that I will be creating a popular character in male form.

NS: Sounds really good! Let’s move onto another fantastic costume. Your Alley Viper is some impressive stuff. What went into that character and how fun was it to watch the G.I. Retribution premiere in cosplay?

AlleyViper1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: Alley Viper was my favorite G.I. Joe action figure growing up. One of the unique things about each action figure with G.I Joe is that you will find multiple variants of each character. With Alley Viper in particular you will find that there are 13 or 14 different ones now. The original design I had for Alley Viper was to make a version that has not been made yet. In my head I titled it “Arctic Strike Alley Viper”. I liked the way it turned out and I have that image available on my page. It’s the one with the black helmet, shield and the grey and white digital camouflage. I wanted to join this costume club known as the Finest too.

TheFinest1 1024x634 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

The Finest is a unique club because in order to get in you need to have your costume spot on to what is canon so I had to do some tweaking. The version you see now is the outfit from P.O.C. series.

AlleyViper2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

Once I was accepted into the Finest one of our first events we did was the actual G.I. Joe Retribution premiere. Security was pretty tight there at the theater all for good reason. It happened at a time when there was an incident at a movie theater out of state where a young man took the lives of innocent individuals in a violent manner. The theater manager allowed us to set the table up and all but we were not allowed to bring any of our prop weapons in or be masked in any way. In fact we had an armed police officer stand at the front door watching us the whole time. Anyone who knows their G.I. Joe knows that 10% to 50% of your costume can easily be made up of weapons. So with all of our weapons and masks in the car we suited up and greeted everyone coming in to the theater. The guests coming into the theater were excited to see us there and we still had a great time. After the show was over the manager allowed us into the theater and we did candid shots too. All in all we had a good time and put out some exposure for the club.

NS: I’m curious about your photo shoots and “character profile cards.” How much input do you have in the creation of those cards as well as the various poses and direction for the various photo shoots you have been in?

SinEater2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: Usually our photo shoots are organized either between Rob and me at the convention or off site somewhere we checked out that just so happened to look cool. Rob would usually have the plan on what is going down and we put our input into the shoot and then we get the ball rolling. We do our poses based on the environment we are in and possibly what we would see on a comic book cover.

Stryfe2 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

The character profile cards originated back in middle school when my brothers and my friends would hang out at the swim club; we all collected these Marvel Universe cards. We simply loved them because of the art work and because of the information they had on each character. When I made the Horde Prime costume one of the frustrating things I would encounter would be that people would question who I was and I would have to talk through that darn helmet that would muffle the heck out of everything I said. So I created this plan to use the Marvel Universe idea for each one of my characters. I put together a custom trading card that gives a brief bio on the character, image, and link to my page. So if folks wanted to find me because they took a picture or whatever it’s all there on the card. It has always been a success and it’s great now because we have been developing a series of cards now with all the different characters we have done.

NS: Marvel cosplay seems to be a second nature to you. What are some of your favorite Marvel characters that you have become?

SinEater1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: Personally my favorite character has to be Sin-Eater. It’s a comfortable costume to wear as well. Sin-Eater is not a well known character yet but it makes it more exciting to be able to educate others on who he is and what role he played in the Spider Man series. When you do the research on Sin-Eater you are going to find out that he’s this sadistic serial killer. We embraced that character and made him into a knowledgeable weirdo of a guy that frequently hangs out with She-Hulk. It must be the green and purple connection they share but we plan to put out a lot more skits this year and do more shoots with them together.

Trapster1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

Trapster: Another Marvel character come to life by Steampunk Cylon.


Stryfe is another character I like being, but not exactly wearing due to the costume being huge! It’s a little more than four feet wide so I either need both doors to be open when I walk in some place “which looks boss as heck when you have a 6ft cape trailing you” or do the sideways shuffle and hope you don’t poke anyone’s eyes out.

NS: Wow. That sounds like an amazing costume, which leads to my next question: how did you come up with the Stryfe costume? It is a very impressive display, did it take long?

Stryfe1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: Rob, Foxx and I were all sitting at a Waffle House talking about our next project. I’ve wanted to be Cable for some time at this point. Cable was another character I loved growing up but the one thing stopping me is that there were already five plus Cables out there already. I wanted to do something original so Rob pitched at me, “Why not do Stryfe?” Rob was like, “He’s a Chrome Horde Prime!” I was instantly sold! On top of that Cable is his clone or vice versa depending on what you read so it was a win-win for me! The first version of that costume took a good three months. I modeled it off an image from the Messiah Wars book. I wore that version only once though at WW Philly ‘13. I was just not happy the way it came out so I redid the torso again and gave it more of a 90’s look to it with the three spikes and baby blue abs. Redoing the torso took another month. I am still not 100% percent happy with it so there will be more renovations with it until it’s just right. I want to improve on its mobility so we should see a renovated Stryfe towards the end of summer if not sooner.

NS: After looking at your Sentai Ranger photo shoot, I am wondering, are you part of any cosplay groups? Do you gather with friends and other cosplayers near you, or do they come from all over the world?

Ninjor1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

SC: I am new to a group known as Facebook Rangers. Usually with Power Ranger costumes we meet up at conventions such as Otakon or Baltimore Comic-Con. The harbor there makes for great scenes to shoot. Inside the group I am pretty sure we have members from around the world.

Ninjor2 1024x636 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

NS: Who are some of your biggest supporters?

SC: My biggest supporter happens to be my mother. At first she was not a big fan at all, but once she started seeing pictures of everything we have been doing she gave me the respect and offered me the room needed to expand our production. My team at work starring Ryan, Lynne, Mills, James, Deb and Randy are another group of supporters for me. They work with me when I have upcoming conventions and are flexible to help me out in covering shifts when I am not there. Also there is my team at the Moonbase starring Rob Hexevo, Teeny Foxx, and Echo Endless. These guys are always helping me out with suggestions and sifting around concepts.

Moonbase1 Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

The Moonbase team


NS: Do you ever experience any challenges with cosplay? What are your joys?

SC: Most of the time when I do my work I find it very relaxing and it allows me to open my mind and dissect images I see and reassemble them in a physical manner and then finalizing your project and then being able to put it on.

NS: Can you give us any sneak peeks about any upcoming projects you are working on?

SC: There is the MOTU character I have a lid on. I will be making a new Sentai costume this year that I will have ready for Otakon. It’s going to be one of two ideas I have. I don’t want to say anything until I can confirm I can complete it. A new version of Sin-Eater is in the mix, more details on that later on. Towards the end of the year I would like to have an Old School Nick Fury too.

NS: Sounds like you will be very busy in the coming year! Any other passions besides cosplay?

SC: I do have an obsession for the collection of classic Game Boy video games. It’s been ongoing now for several years. Going to Cons never seems to help stop my addiction because I am always finding another game I’ve never heard of, some bootleg or an overseas version of something I already have. The supply seems to be endless so unless I go completely broke it’s going to be an ongoing passion. I also kayak during the spring and summer. It makes for a nice escape for an hour or two down the river. Going on road trips with my friends and hitting up diners and buffets happen without question.

NS: Where can we find you?

SC: You can check out my main costuming page at:

Our team known as the Moonbase can be found at:

If you are interested in the G.I.Joe group I am in please go to:

NS: All right, that about does it for this latest cosplay interview brought to you all by NERDSociety. A big thanks goes out to Steampunk Cylon for taking the time to be interviewed. It was a pleasure getting to know him. Stick around folks as there will be even more interviews and other great stuff soon. Take care.

pixel Cosplay Interview with Steampunk Cylon!

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