Ensign Ro Costume
(original part posted 7/28/18)
I'm not sure exactly what prompted me to decide to
cosplay Ensign Ro from Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG).
Part of it was that
I was involved with a Trek fan group
for which I sometimes
needed multiple Trek costumes for multiple-day events.
Alas, my budget is always limited, and I'm very selective about what
I want to spend my time on.
I had several "general crewmember" cosplays,
but I wanted something more specific that would
be interesting to me.
When I thought about Ro (pictured at left),
I realized she was a good match
for my criteria.
- Uniform: I normally think of myself as
a science officer, so I already had a blue TNG uniform, but not red.
However, TNG uniforms are fairly
easy to find
(e.g. on amazon),
and reasonably priced, so I got myself a red one.
- Hair: Ro has short dark hair, too short for
me to use my own, so I'd need a wig. My memory told me she
always wore a wide headband, and I knew of an eBay seller
(Wildcat Wigs) who had what I was certain was a perfect
headband wig, so I ordered it. What I found in my research
though, was that my memory was faulty; Ro actually only
wore the headband in one episode ("Rascals", pictured right).
Well, no biggie: I think most people would agree that
the headband is still pretty iconic for her.
But, her headband there was red. Mine was black. I considered
doing something to cover my black headband with red, until I
considered that it would need to be an exact match for the
red of the uniform, making it much easier said than done.
I decided that it was not unreasonable to assume she'd probably
have had a black headband too.
- Earring: Ro is Bajoran, and in their culture
it is traditional to wear a single fancy earring that connects
near the top of the ear as well as at the lobe. (The pics here
don't show it too well, alas.) I actually already had a couple of
very similar earrings, which I'd picked up at an art festival
a long long time ago (like, 20 years ago).
- Nose: The other thing Bajorans are known for
is their nose ridges. As alien identifiers go, it's not too bad.
But, I'd seen other folks in my Trek group do the
Bajoran nose thing with what I believe was a commercial
prosthetic, and I did not care for the way it looked.
So I researched other alternatives on
I found one that showed how you could make the ridges
out of rolled-up tissue paper applied with spirit gum,
and I experimented with doing that last Halloween, but
I found it problematic.
I found another video that showed how to do it using straight
makeup, without any prostheses, and I experimented with that
also. I was able to get something I thought looked OK for Ro's
above-the-eyebrows ridges, but the nose itself just wasn't
The I found another video that showed how to make a
prosthetic out of Tacky Glue, and tried that. My first try
wasn't so good, but it was encouraging enough for me to
try again, and the 2nd try I was pretty pleased with. I
also tested out the beauty makeup I needed to balance out
the rest of the face with the nose.
So, it all came together shortly before Supercon 2018,
so I wore it there for the first time.
Here's a pic of me as Ro, with buddy Guinan:
(below part added 9/21/21)
The last year and a half of pandemic times has had me sorting through lots of stuff
in the house, as well as working on various crafty projects, including cosplays.
At some point I found an old T-shirt that was a slightly cooler shade of red than
most of the others I'd seen, and I decided that it was close enough to the costume color
that I could use it to update the headband for Ro.
I cut a section of the T-shirt off the bottom and stitched it directly to the
headband of the wig, figuring the T-shirt fabric would be able to stretch along
with the wig headband.
Again, ready shortly before Supercon, so tested it out there and it worked great:
I should add that,
as I was walking around at the event, I actually had 2 people come up to me wanting to take a
picture with me. They recognized my character, even though I was wearing the mask
(this was still pandemic times, so masks were required).
And by the way, the mask was made by me especially for this costume.
(Another note: at this event, we had a new person in our group who was a makeup artist,
and she did my makeup, which included doing the eyebrow ridges with scar wax.
I still have some experimenting to do so I can do the makeup well on my own.)
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