Monday, 23 September 2013

The Rocket Pack

Can't have the Rocketeer without his rocket pack! But first I had to decide if I wanted to go with the look of the comic or the one from the movie....of course the one from the movie is pretty wicked looking - whiiiiich also means a more complicated build. I was already on kind of tight timeline and I had decided to put most of my efforts into making the iconic helmet, so I decided to keep it really simple.

     After some perusing of the interwebs I found THIS Instructable by user ModMischief.  It gave me a great starting point for my own.  I started the same way: two pop bottles, a mouthwash bottle, some poster board (could have used a cereal box or something similar but I didn't like that it had a crease in it) and cardboard. I cut off the very bottoms of the bottles and wrapped some of the poster board around it to elongate the tube part (hot glue it together!).  I made the two cones on the top of the bottles with the poster board as well, just make a circle, cut a line to the center point, pull in and form a cone, glue it together.

     Next, I hot glued a piece of card board between the two bottles and slapped on a couple layers of Mod Podge to seal it so it would paint well.  Then I cut the mouthwash bottle in half (height-wise) and cut a circle where the label used to be on the front of the bottle. To make the fan part I glued some toothpicks in to the circle I just cut out, and again, sealed them up with some Mod Podge.  Now, the actual fan: I bought a small hand held fan from the dollar store, took it apart, used the cage bit as a cradle to keep it in place (for when I was ready to glue it in), and spray painted the blades of it copper. After that I cut a toilet paper tube in half, cut a whole in it (the width of the neck of the bottle), and used it to cover what was the opening of the bottle so I could use it as a connector piece. Once again, I Mod Podged the TP tube so it'd paint up well, then I put it aside for the time being.

     Heading in to the final few details: I used a piece of thermo-plastic to shape the little bubbles on the side of the rocket pack, used drops of Mod Podge to create little rivets and what not, and found some small-ish yogurt containers to place inside the tube for the rockets.  Then I gave everything an undercoat by spray painting it black.  After it all dried, I spray painted the mouthwash bottle/TP tube part (without the fan inside!) silver, glued the cage/cradle bit with the fan inside in to the bottle, and then glued the bottle onto the cardboard that is the rockets mid section.  I spray painted all but the yogurt containers silver and after it dried placed them back in the tube and glued them in place.

     As for the straps, I just picked up a purse with leather handles at a thrift store.  Cut off the handles and hot glued them on with a crap ton of glue! Didn't want them going anywhere.

And TA-DA!! Rocket pack complete!

Simple - yet effective.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My first major cosplay! - The Rocketeer

     The Rocketeer was one of my faaaavourite movies as a kid. I've always felt that he was an underrated character. I loved that he could fly and, just as awesome - the art deco style of his costume (yaaay! 1930s and 40s)! For some reason I got it in my head that this would be a fairly simple build, despite the fact that I have never really constructed any type of helmet before. I've sewn a bit and thrown together simpler costumes with clothes and other items from the thrift store, but not a scratch build.

     SO! I did what you should do when starting any new cosplay project - research and reference pictures!!! I re-watched the movie, pulled out my comic books, looked at other peoples costumes, and Googled aloooot. Other helpful sites: YouTube,, Instructables, Replica Prop Forum again, just a simple search will bring up some great resources.

The Basics

     I bought the pants new for about $20 as I couldn't find a decent fitting pair at my usual thrift stores.  The boots were an EXTREMELY lucky find at a Value Village (second hand store in Canada), like, a week or so before the Con. To be perfectly honest I had already bought a pair online that were similar-ish to his but as soon as I saw those ones I HAD to buy them.  I'll use the other boots for something else ;)

     The jacket was, again, something I hadn't really taken into consideration on how I was going to do it when I decided upon this cosplay.  Fortunately, I have a very creative boyfriend (whose also into cosplay) who has a sewing machine. The basic leather jacket was something I found at Value Village. I figured I could keep looking for another leather jacket in the same colour, cut out the back, and make the front flap.  But, as the weeks went on, drawing closer to the Con, I didn't think I would ever find another jacket.  So we started looking at fabric stores that sell leather or vinyl. We couldn't find anything locally so I searched online only to discover a wonderful website called Discounted Designer Fabrics.  You can order FREE samples from them before laying down any money, which is great when you're trying to match a material AND colour. As you can see I found a pretty close match.

     So I ordered the fabric, it came in, and my lovely boyfriend made a pattern out of some newspaper and sewed me up a front flap.  I bought some snap buttons to use as a means of attaching the flap but the vinyl was too heavy/thick to keep it on the jacket so we ended up putting some velcro on both sides to keep it on.

     The gloves I bought new ($6!) at a store that was going out of business and the ignition buttons I made out of some craft foam, pen caps, some Mod Podge to seal, and silver paint.

Next up! The rocket pack.....

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Site is Born!

     So I've decided to try my hand at blogging.  I'm not the most proficient at communicating and when I do I can tend to ramble, so hopefully this will help hone that skill (at least a bit, anyways).  As for the theme of my blog, not entirely sure of that either.  I figure I'll start and see if I can keep up with it in the first place and just go from there. 

     In the meantime, enjoy my ramblings!!