Introduction: Daft Punk Tron Helmet & Suit

For the past couple of years my brother and I have been attending a festival held on the Isle of Wight in the UK called Bestival http://www.bestival.net/ . It's a brilliant friendly festival with an emphasis on people going in fancy dress (if they want to) linked to a different theme each year. Last year's theme was 'Fantasy/Fantastic' (or something like that!) which as you can imagine was pretty much the widest theme you can think off and there were a lot of amazing costumes. We went with some EL wired tuxedos and top hats and we were blown away by the interest and attention they received and we got to chat to a lot of really nice people in the process. We even featured on Channel 4's coverage of the event (for about 2 seconds!)

Anyway - in the spirit of bigger and better for this year (theme being 'rock and pop heroes/divas') we toyed with the idea of re-creating the daft punk outfits from Tron Legacy...then we decided it would be too hard and take too long...but decided to do it anyway!

Materials used:

Approx 5 metres of 25mm EL ribbon and associated inverters per outfit
Suitable jacket and trousers
self adhesive mirror sheet
black chrome vinyl sheet
thin acetate sheet for the visor - also car window tinting film
2 strips of 'car sidelight' LED's - the ones that are supposed to make your ride look like an an expensive Audi
LOTS of duct tape
couple of 8x AA battery holders
wiring
2 x empty drink cans
plasticard and thin card
bendable metal strip
2 part epoxy resin
silicone sealant
thin copper tape
strong black foam double sided tape used for attaching car badges etc.

Tools:

scalpel
scissors
laminating machine
hairdryer
soldering iron / solder
sharpie pen
lots of tea
soldering iron

Step 1: - the Helmet

We decided between us that I would make the Thomas Bangalter helmet - fortunately Zachariah Cruse had already done an excellent job of this https://www.instructables.com/id/DJ-hero-Chrome-Daft-Punk-Helmet/ which made my job a lot simpler!

I made a few adaptations but overall the method is pretty much the same...I cut the bottom from some coke cans to make the ears and covered the coke design up with mirror sheet - I also made a slightly wider rim around the visor as can be seen in the pics - this is to make the visor a little more secure, this needs to stand up to a day at a dance festival! So I'm not going to go in to massive detail on the helmet as it's already been covered - I'll include some details on the pics themselves but if there's anything you want to know - just ask :D

Step 2: - the Jacket

I imported the EL ribbon from China myself as it's still pretty expensive to buy here in the UK - It was made to order in 1m lengths 25mm wide. I needed a way to cut and join the ribbon, something which took me quite a while to work out. In the end my method was:

- attach the end of the strip to a flat surface - like a window, with gaffer tape.
-Use the hairdryer to heat up the strip so you can peel away the backing of the strip to expose the underside - if you try without heating then it will just destroy the electrical tracks as you pull it off. With the backing off you can cut the angles required to get the shape on the front of the suit.
- connect each piece up with some of the foil tape before running it through the laminating machine to seal it back up again - as you look from the rear you can see the two tracks to which you need to make the electrical connections - on these long strips there is one around the outside of the strip and one down the middle - as long as you maintain these tracks with foil tape you can make any shape you like really...

To make the shorter arm and shoulder strips you just cut the strip to the length you want and then before resealing it put in two copper foil tabs one on each track - then when it's laminated  cut a small square out from the laminating sheet with a sharp scalpel blade to reveal a patch of the foil tab which you can then carefully solder to, to attach the power.

I used A4 laminating pockets which were cheap but meant doing the chest pieces in sections but you can buy laminating material on a roll which would mean you could do it in one piece. You can't solder directly to the EL strip - anywhere you need to solder to you need a strip of foil tape...

Step 3: - the Trousers


So I decided to make the trousers a little more simple than those you see in the original picture, but I still think the overall effect is pretty good.

I've included a few more detailed pictures concerning how to join the EL strip so check out the picture text for more info.

I've still got a few things to finish off including tidying up all of the internal wiring and routing it all into a bum-bag (not seen in the UK since the 90's, also known as a 'fanny-pack' hehehe) so check back soon...


Comments

author
angryrobot17 made it! (author)2013-10-09

Where did you get el tape?

author
o__o made it! (author)2012-10-17

Whats the measurements for the mouth? Nice helmet by the way. :)

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Dsanders2014 made it! (author)2012-10-13

Alright alright dumb question but I'm going to ask it, so if I buy El wire (ribbon, belt, whatever) I can cut it then solder it together and it will still function properly?

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cblair3 made it! (author)2011-12-09

Could you send me a link for the LEDs or the helmet so tell me where you got them and but them together and in the helmet, thx guys!!! also the link for the EL ribbon,

author
supersnake25 made it! (author)2011-12-03

Will pay for one
make a offer

author
garrettg20 made it! (author)2011-11-03

Where did you buy the chrome helmet you used?

author
adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-11-04

Have a look at this other instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/DJ-hero-Chrome-Daft-Punk-Helmet/  for the link :D

author
rnasrallah made it! (author)2011-10-25

so if you fold the paper correctly are there no gaps in it? if not then what did you use to fill in the gaps?

author
adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-26

There will probably be gaps which you can cover up with a bit of fancy cutting of the mirror vinyl and maybe some silver coloured silicone sealant - it's used on stainless steel in kitchens/bathrooms etc - the colour isn't a perfect match but it helps to tie it all together and looks a lot neater - hope this helps! :)

author
rnasrallah made it! (author)rnasrallah2011-10-26

Helped a lot mate! Much obliged! Ill make sure to up load a picture of my finished product!

author
rnasrallah made it! (author)2011-10-25

Oh and about what size did you print out the template that you used for the cardstock, mine is wayyy to small I think

author
adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-26

I printed mine out at 90% of the original Luchofunk templates...

author
rnasrallah made it! (author)rnasrallah2011-10-26

mine seems way to small, is that normal before you have it on the helmet ? (its in the mail)

author
elawler1 made it! (author)2011-10-22

How much did it cost total? And would you consider making a costume if I were to pay you for parts and labor? Because my friend and I want to be this for Halloween but we're horrible at wiring and would probably ruin it haha

author
adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-26

I'd have a guess at about £150 per suit all in for the materials...I wouldn't be able to make one for someone as it's all a bit experimental and I'd feel pretty bad if it stopped working soon after you got it! Give it a go! :D

author
TofuCube12 made it! (author)2011-10-22

This is absolutely incredible. Congratulations for successfully bringing these characters into real life! I managed to make a Tron deadmau5 outfit, but mainly using reflective tape. There's nothing like wearing Tron attire and feeling awesome about it!

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-26

Thanks for your comment, the Tron thing is totally true! :D - loving the Tron Deadmau5 outfit - looks ace!

author
sd2kool4u made it! (author)2011-10-23

thanks guys : ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmN8o1Iqh5w

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-24

Great stuff! It looks ace!

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klimb made it! (author)2011-10-21

So, it wouldn't be weird to be kinda turned on by this would it?

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-10-22

Nah, It's pretty much the effect I was hoping for :)

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viihus made it! (author)2011-10-03

that helmet used

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sd2kool4u made it! (author)2011-09-29

where did you get your jacket i looked everywhere and cant seem to find my size :(

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-09-29

The jackets were from Primark - reduced to 10 quid in the summer clearance - usual price would have been 20 I think. Happy hunting!

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arram087 made it! (author)2011-09-20

really great stuff.

any instructions on how to make the Guy-Manuel helmet?

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-09-24

Hi arram087 - my brother made that one and I've asked him to post it so hopefully he'll get around to it soon! It's based on the replica Boba Fett Star Wars helmet you can buy for around £20

author
NAGYbomb made it! (author)2011-09-02

Hi, Adamu25 - great work! Few questions about the lighting:

Helmet LEDs:
1. Could you see out of the helmet when you were done inserting the lights and they were illuminated? / How did you make that work?
2. What power source is required to run the LEDs? / How long do those car lights stay illuminated?

EL Ribbon:
1. Is "EL Tape" the same as the "EL ribbon" you mentioned?
2. Can you please provide the place you sourced EL from? (I need to order some, too!)
3. Is all of the EL lighting daisy-chain-connected to one battery source? / What type of battery(s)?
4. How long does it stay illuminated?

I know that's a handful of questions to answer, but I would REALLY appreciate your professional feedback and experience! Thank you!!!

author
adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-09-03

Thanks a lot NAGYbomb :)

Ok here goes:

Helmet

1.Vision is reduced by glare but with all of the LEDs placed towards the bottom of the visor (leaving a gap to see out of at the top) and shielding inside the helmet made from more black duct tape to block any of the light from shining back in to the helmet you can improve things - I also intend on putting a switch in to easily turn the eyes off when moving about - you could even wire this up to be in your sleeve/palm - then you could flash people! I think the nose vent design is also made to allow you to look directly downwards out of the gaps, beacause, well, you can!

2.The LEDs are rated at 12V - for my entire suit I have two 8xAA holders - one set powering the trousers and helmet and the other set powering the jacket - I've had the same set in throughout all the construction and testing process and I left everything powered on the other day and it ran for 70 mins before I turned it off with no noticeable change in brightness...

EL ribbon/tape

1. Yes, same thing!

2. I found a few sellers in China through alibaba.com and got a quote from a few of them - I've deleted the emails sorry so I can't give you the exact name...

3. All of the EL is connected to two inverters (supplied with tape) either soldered in or using 'Y' leads -'Y' leads are a hell of a lot easier!

4. Again, it's all powered off 16 AAs (suit and helmet) but it doesn't seem to be too scary on power consumption.

I need to update the instructable regarding joining the multi-piece strips on the front of the jacket and the thighs - obviously the joints are the weak point and I found that when the ones on the trousers particularly were flexed around the thigh it broke the contacts - the solution was to wire each piece of the strip individually with linking wires on the rear, that way each piece has it's own supply so hopefully won't fail - with hindsight I'd do the jacket ones like this too - It saves you messing about with tiny bits of foil tape between the sections too...more photos to follow soon...

author
NAGYbomb made it! (author)NAGYbomb2011-09-16

adamu25 - this feedback (and the time you took to write it) is greatly appreciated! Thank you!!!! Once again, awesome job on the entire project!!! I'll be certain to let you know if I have additional questions.

author
timnitro made it! (author)2011-09-13

ya this is the best man better than anything i found on this site !!!!

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cclime1 made it! (author)2011-08-26

How much LEDs did you use? (LOVE the Helmet.)

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adamu25 made it! (author)adamu252011-08-28

There are two strips of the kind used for 'pimping' your car headlights - they are doubled over, i think there are probably about 90 led's in there or thereabouts

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cclime1 made it! (author)cclime12011-09-13

Thank you! and if you dont mind, can you also tell me hw did you make the visor for Guys helmet?

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timnitro made it! (author)2011-09-13

so for Halloween this year im going as Thomas banger from tron. this is regarding the adjustments you made for the helmet. 1. can you see out of the helmet 2. im 15 would i have to buy a smaller helmet 3. can you give me instructions on how to make these adjustments and lastly. 4.do the led's you use for the visor already come soldered and ready to go

author
Zachariah Cruse made it! (author)2011-09-08

Thanks for the shout out! I obviously love daft punk, so when I saw this I stopped by to check it out. I'm glad my guide was helpful to you in your project! It looks awesome!

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mattfixall made it! (author)2011-08-24

GREAT JOB

I LOVE IT

author
dtrofski made it! (author)2011-08-15

hahaha

its so cool being your brother!!!

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