Cosplay isn't just about wearing costumes. A lot of the time stuff like weapons and armour is required, and it's times like that you need to call a guy like Bill Doran.
Bill - a cosplayer himself - works under the name Punished Props, and makes a living (yes, this is his job) building and selling replica gear, mostly from video games.
He's also a cosplay author, having published several books detailing how to create badass armour and weaponry that look just like the real thing. Or, would, if the real thing was actually...real.
Bill also did good work last year making this video that addressed, nice and clearly, some of the nastier sides of the cosplaying community and people's reaction to it (espsecially on the internet).
We've featured Bill's work here on Kotaku before, but his entire range of stuff is so good I felt it deserved its own shout-out.
You can see of Bill's stuff (and buy blueprints and even unpainted gear) at his studio site.