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Picture of Dusty Crophopper Halloween Costume
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My wife and I decided to make our son a Dusty Crophopper costume for Halloween, but we wanted it to have a little something extra. So, I made a motorized propeller.
 
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Step 1: Materials Needed

* cardboard (I used diaper boxes)
* duct tape (plenty of it, and the right colors)
* hot glue gun and glue
* razor knife (and a couple of blades)
* spinning propeller candy toy.
* soldering iron
* electrical tape
* styrofoam egg
* epoxy (I used clay epoxy)
* buckets for nose and tail (dollar store trashcan for tail, empty pretzel container for nose)
* aluminum foil

Step 2: Extend Prop From Trigger

Picture of Extend Prop From Trigger
I first had to take apart the toy so that I could solder in longer wires and put the button remote from the prop. After soldering in the new leads, I cut the case apart, keeping the battery compartment with the switch.
Next, cut a hole in the nose cone bucket and insert the prop. I used clay epoxy to attach the prop housing.
Cut the styrofoam egg in half to make the prop cone shape.

Step 3: Shape Basic Body

Picture of Shape Basic Body
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BODY:
To give a better shape I pushed out the sides and used rolled up piece of cardboard box as a brace in both the front and back of the body.
Attach the braces with the hot glue first, then cover the attach points with duct tape.
Cut a circular hole matching the bucket for prop motor in the front of the box. Cut a hole in the back of the box to push a plastic trashcan through. After pushing the bucket and trashcan through the holes, use the hot glue gun to attach them to the cardboard.

WINGS:
Using rectangular pieces of cardboard, fold over the long edge leaving about an inch gap rounded in the front and touching the ends in the back. This will make the shape for the wings. Do this twice.
Next, hold the wing up next to the body to mark what to cut out to be able to insert the end of the wing. Before inserting the wing, cut the side of the end to be inserted so that it can be folded up and used to support the wing on the inside. Insert the wing, fold up the tabs and duct tape to the inside.

TAIL:
Use small rectangular pieces of cardboard to form the shape for the tail wings and vertical fin. I pushed the pieces to the trashcan in the back to form them as close as possible to the desired shape.

Step 4: Build The Prop

Picture of Build The Prop
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* Cut the blades out of sheet foam
* Put a blade against prop nose and curve it upward. Mark it with a pen and use the mark to cut a groove for blade.
* After cutting all three grooves for the blades, cover the nose with aluminum foil gluing it on the back side. Once it's attached, push the foil into the grooves breaking through the foil.
* Insert the blade and use the hot glue to attach.

Step 5: Apply Duct Tape Base And Design Layer

Picture of Apply Duct Tape Base And Design Layer
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Using the white duct tape, apply a base layer especially over joints and curves to define the shape.
When getting ready to start the finish layer be sure to use scissors or a razor knife to cut the tape to leave a cleaner edge.
First apply all the white tape, overlapping some where you think it should end.
Begin applying the bottom edge of the orange tape. Try to keep the line as smooth as possible over the curves of the body.
The blue accents go on next. apply them carefully as there is no layer going on top of them to clean up the lines after the fact.
Last are the decals. These my wife made for the project using black contact paper and cut them on her cricut. She designed them on the computer.

Step 6: Adding Safety Features

Picture of Adding Safety Features
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To help make the costume more visible in low light (if the orange isn't enough), I added glow in the dark duct tape accents under the piston and wrench logos and added holders for glow sticks to the ends of the wings.
The glow sticks were from Target's dollar spot and came with end caps. I cut the end of one cap for each side to let the glow stick slide through. They were attached to each wrong with the hot glue gun.
When it was all done, and put a green stick in the left wing and a red one in the right to simulate a real plane's lights.

Step 7: Fitting And Straps.

Picture of Fitting And Straps.
For holding it on my son, I created straps out of the orange duct tape.
After fitting it on my son with just the two straps, I realized it needed soothing to keep them from separating to the sides and sliding back. We created a shorter cross-strap and made it attach with velcro so that it was adjustable on the go.

Step 8: The Eyes (Aka The shirt)

Picture of The Eyes (Aka The shirt)
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To really finish the design, my wife designed and printed on transferable fabric the eyes for Dusty. Then the fabric was sewn onto an orange shirt to match the body.
The eyes are designed to look like the Pixar style and bring life to the character.

I am including two different "dusty" eyes files. One is a .pdf file of the eyes I used to create my son's shirt. It does not have the orange color on the eyelids, because we sewed fabric eye lids on.

The second file is a .jpg of the eyes with eyelids if you wanted to print the whole thing.

We created his shirt by printing the eye design onto printable fabric found in the sewing section of Hobby Lobbby (Their 40% off coupons are great).

we then cut the eye shape out of the printable fabrics and sewed on orange fabric eyelids. (I used a print out on plain paper of the eyes as my pattern for to cut the eye lids.

Once the eyeslids were cut out and sewed over the printed fabric eyes. We sewed the whole thing onto an orange shirt like a patch. (this could be done with an iron on shirt if sewing is not your thing. I had a friend help me with the sewing :) )

Step 9: End Result

Picture of End Result
Here it is. Sorry there weren't more in depth photos in the process, but I forgot until after some steps were already done.
Hope you enjoyed the instructable.!
kalyn20061 year ago
Cute!!
sokiboi781 year ago
nice work!
Adorable! Great use of recycling as well!
ecsaul231 year ago
cool! Great job parents!