by Ian Austin
Look out behind you!
Following the success of out couple's costume from last year where we went as the Maitlands from Beetlejuice with their stretched out faces, My girlfriend and I had to up the anty on our a couples costume this year.
The project we chose was to go as the icon xenomorph and Lt. Ellen Ripley from the ALIEN movie franchise.
First off, the easy one:
- an actual flight suit
- Wooden pieces and pin backs
- foam board
- Insulation board
- wood scraps
- elastic band
- various electrical wire
- wooden dowels
- Aluminum water bottles with screw-tops
- Battery operated flaming torch
- Wooden dowel
- screen sandpaper
- cardboard tube
How, you ask?
For the flight suit I sewed the shoulder patches on by hand. I used the black velcro strip, cut to shape and then painted to make her crew wings patch. There was also an insignia pin which I made by painting a small, round scrap of wood with the proper emblem and then glued a pin-back onto it.
For the flamethrower it was really important to me that the flam actually flickered. After scouring Halloween stores I found the battery operated torch which I used for the nozzle of the gun. The body of the gun was a block of insulation foam from Lowes which I covered with foam board to make the long, main body of the gun. The hump on top I cut out of foam board and hot-glued together.The screen on that shape is made from a piece of screen sandpaper cut to shape.
I carved the handles out of foam and drilled a hole out of the top of them and inserted the wooden dowel. I then made a hole on the bottom of the gun to insert this into and hot-glued into place.
For the fuel tanks I cut a short length of dowel to fit through the hole in the cap. I marked where each of these would go on the underside of the gun and drilled them out with a Dremel drill. The cap and dowel piece was hot glued into place on the underside of the gun and, when dried, I screwed the tanks into the caps, allowing them to hang down below the gun. The surface texture of the flamethrower was made from cast-off pieces of wood from a company that makes laser-cut doll houses. These pieces were hot-glued onto the surface. I then drilled a hole in the front of the gun and inserted the torch, then drilled a small hole in the nozzle and inserted a smaller wooden dowel to act as the port for the wire of fuel. I then cut holes in that dowel as well as the aluminum tanks and inserted lengths of wire into them and glued into place. A short length of cardboard tube that was used to roll carpet was glued to the back to make it look authentic, then the whole thing was primed and painted white.
The Not-so-easy part:
- second-hand fleece vest
- hot glue
- insulation foam
- second-hand bicycle helmet
- upholstery foam sheets (1/2")
- vacuum cleaner hoses
- foam backer rods
- insulation tubing
- plastic tubing
- PVC pipe
- epifoam sheets and blocks
- nylon straps
- black cord
- corduroy fabric
- fleece gloves
- wooden dowels
How'd I do it?
1: I took the foam insulation and glued it together into a large block using liquid nails and let dry overnight.
2: I drew the main shape of the head I wanted on the side and roughly cut out the shape using a drywall saw. I then used a razor blade to continue to cut the foam to shape.
3: I used sandpaper to sand the dome smooth. I then used a Dremel drill to carve out the mouth and other details on the head.
4: The head was painted with several layers of black enamel paint to make a crust over the foam. A slight silver finish was sprayed on the dome afterwards. Details n the mouth and sides of the head were dry-brushed on with grey paint. Teeth were painted silver.
5:I drilled out the center of the bottom of the head. I took the Bicycle helmet and cut off the sides, leaving essentially a foam mohawk that could
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