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Disney Planes Dusty Crophopper Costume

Designed and constructed by
Jeff Robertson

Step 1: Determine the Airplane Size

1. First, determine the size of the airplane needed for your child based on his/her measurements. My son was approximately 7”L (front-to-back) x 12”W (side-to-side) x 36”H (total height). Based on these dimensions, I designed his airplane fuselage (including cockpit) to be approximately 48"L x 16" W x 17"H.

Step 2: Design the Airplane

2. Using Dusty Crophopper images as reference, design and draw the various airplane parts (fuselage, wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, propellers, and cockpit). For my design, I created my drawings using drafting software to facilitate the layout and scaling of the airplane. After all the parts are drawn, print the drawings to 1:1 scale. For large drawings that can not be printed to 1:1 scale on a single sheet, print the various portions of the drawing on multiple sheets and then tape the sheets together to obtain the complete 1:1 scaled print.

Step 3: Cut the Cardboard

3. Next, attach the drawings to cardboard using tape. Cut the cardboard along the drawing lines with a case cutter, utility knife, or X-acto knife.

NOTE: Dusty’s front and side cockpit windows are cut out of the cockpit cardboard piece. An appropriately-sized piece of cardboard is hot glued to the backside of the front cockpit window. The layered surfaces will give the impression of depth once the eye decals are installed. Two appropriately-sized pieces of clear acrylic plexiglass are hot glued to the backside of the side cockpit windows to mimic real cockpit windows.

Step 4: Fuselage Assembly

4. After cutting out all the airplane parts, start assembling the fuselage. Attach the individual fuselage cardboard pieces together using hot glue.

NOTE: Duct tape can be used on the interior surfaces for extra durability. Packaging tape can be used on the exterior surfaces to smooth out corners.

Step 5: Cockpit and Horizontal/vertical Stabilizers Assembly

5. Next, attach the cockpit and horizontal/vertical stabilizers to the fuselage using hot glue. These parts are surface-mounted to the fuselage.

Step 6: Exhaust Pipe Assembly

6. Using two short 3/4” PVC pipes (approximately 2-3” long), a 3/4” PVC 90 degree elbow, and a 3/4” PVC cap, create the exhaust pipes. Cut a hole in the fuselage in the approximate location shown. Using PVC cement or krazy glue, assemble the two short PVC pipes and 90 degree elbows first. Insert these sub-assemblies into the fuselage holes. Then, apply hot glue to the inside of these areas. Next, install the PVC caps to the PVC pipes from the inside to secure these exhaust pipes in place.

Step 7: Propeller Assembly

7. The propeller assembly is made up of cardboard for the propeller blades, 3/4” PVC pipe, and a cardboard witch’s hat that I picked up at a craft store for the spinner. The tip and base of the witch’s hat was cut off and a 3/4” PVC pipe was installed inside of it. I cut holes into the spinner and installed the propeller blades into these holes using hot glue. I installed 1/2” PVC pipe from approximately 6” in front of the fuselage to approximately 12” behind the front of the fuselage. Using hot glue, the 1/2” PVC pipe is mounted inside a hole in the front of the fuselage and also inside a hole in a piece of cardboard that is mounted inside the fuselage. The propeller assembly is then installed onto the 1/2” PVC pipe. Using PVC cement or krazy glue, install a 1/2” PVC cap to prevent the propeller assembly from being removed. The propeller assembly should spin easily without coming off.

Step 8: Wing Assembly

8. Next, assemble the cardboard wings. Cut out the approximate shape of the wings in the fuselage. Install one wing inside the fuselage and hot glue it to the interior surface of the fuselage. Using hot glue, install a piece of 3/4” PVC pipe inside the wings to provide rigidity. For my son’s airplane, which is approximately 55” wide wingtip-to-wingtip, I used a 36” long piece of PVC. Next, install the other wing using the same method as above; ensuring the PVC pipe fits inside the cardboard wing.

Step 9: Painting the Airplane

9. The airplane is now ready to be painted. I applied several light coats of white acrylic gesso primer to provide a good base for my paint. The use of primer is a good idea since paint tends to warp cardboard. I then painted over the primer with standard acrylics. I used silver metallic acrylic paint for the propeller spinner and exhaust pipes to give them a metallic/chrome look. Also, I printed all the decals on glossy paper and attached them to the airplane with krazy glue.

Step 10: Mounting the Airplane

10. Next, determine your method of mounting the airplane to your child. Since my child was small, I had to attach the airplane to his tricycle using tie wraps. For larger children, you can attach suspenders to the airplane and let the child wear the airplane around their shoulders. Just be aware of the airplane’s weight distribution and center of gravity.

<p>Thank you so much for your idea and instructions! I made Dusty for my son to wear on Halloween and he was thrilled - it absolutely made the day for him!<br>I used a diaper box as the core/frame for the fuselage and assembled Dusty around that. The body was made from cardboard and dowels and I used duct tape for the &quot;paint&quot;. I created a harness out of suspenders and a set of wooden dowels for him to wear the costume, and while I wasn't able to motorize the propeller, I did manage to make it where he could manually operate it from inside his costume (it was free to spin as much as he wanted).<br>Thanks again!!</p>
Thank you! Made this with a harness for my son to wear and it was perfect! Really structurally sound, too--he wore it all night long and other than some bent propellers it still looks great. I turned his little sister's push car into Dottie the forklift.
<p>Thank you for posting this tutorial! I made a smaller wearable version with straps for my 1 year old. I didn't use the PVC pipe but it still came out pretty stable because it's so small. I just need to paint it. Thanks again! </p>
Could I pay you to make this for my son? He LOVES Dusty!
<p>This is adorable. You did an amazing job!! The craftsmanship is so good!</p>
<p>Oh boy... You have just ruined my life...</p><p>I want to be a kid again!!! xD</p><p>Absolutely loved it! Great ible jeferob!</p>
<p>This is the cutest thing ever. Sorry your son wasn't into wearing it, I bet he will want to all of a sudden, just not when _you_ want him to ;-)</p><p>I love that your step 3 wasn't &quot;cut out the design with a laser cutter&quot;, 'cos as much as I love CNC tools, it's great to show people an amazing project that anyone has the tools to make.</p>
<p>Using the tricycle is a good idea for smaller children for several <br>reasons. Mostly so he can zoom around the neighborhood and show off his <br> airplane! I come from a family of pilots and can certainly imagine one <br> or more of my nieces and nephews being a plane next year. Great <br>Instructable!</p>
<p>Thanks. I thought the tricycle-mounting was a good idea too, but I guess my son did not. He refused to ride in it on Halloween. I believe it was uncomfortable for him since I had to replace the tricycle seat with a small pillow in order for the airplane to fit on the tricycle. Anyway, thanks for the comment.</p>
<p>Really cool! What would be awesome is if you hooked up the tricycle's pedals to the propeller, so that would turn when he pedaled. Nice work, this looks great!</p>
<p>That is a great idea. However, the extra time and effort that it would have required would have made me even more upset when my son decided that he didn't want to ride in it for Halloween. Ugh, kids...</p><p>Thanks for the comment.</p>
<p>great</p>
<p>That is awesome!</p>
<p>This is adorable!</p>
<p>This is completely amazing!</p>

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