Inspired by other Green Army Men found on Instructables, I decided to do my own, with a twist. I went full authentic with Army Surplus gear!
Step 1: Essentials
Visit eBay, or your local Army Surplus store, to locate the following...
- BDU top & bottom
- M1 helmet liner ... not the actual metal pot, but the lightweight inner liner that contains the webbing.
- Lightweight balaclava
- Plastic facemask
- Combat boots
If you're a good shopper (especially on eBay), you can get this gear pretty cheap because there's so much of it available. For example, I got the helmet liner for much cheaper than a plastic toy helmet.
Be patient, know your prices, and bid when the time is right!
Step 2: Accessorize
Personalize your costume with accessories and weapons. I chose to be "radio guy", so this is what I went for...
- LC2 load bearing gear
- Toy plastic grenades
- Binoculars (old Sears ones seem to be common)
- PRC6 radio shell (I got really lucky finding one of those cheap, you could build a simple radio using the right size cardboard box and an old telephone handset)
There's lots of options for weapons and such. Use your imagination, or search other "Green Army Men" costumes for their ideas. ( Plastic Green Toy Soldier with Flamethrower Costume )
Step 3: Grey Primer EVERYTHING
This is the step everyone wants to skip. Don't. Primer neutralizes the various colors of all the pieces of your costume, and gives you a good base for your green paint to adhere to.
One spray can and one quart will do one costume. with paint to spare. DON'T try to do a costume with spray paint alone. All the cloth will soak up the light spray like a sponge. Spray cans are expensive, you'd need many.
Use the spray for the non-cloth items, and paintbrush for clothing. Just slap it on liberally, there's no great artistry involved here. You know you're done when everything is grey.
Step 4: Meadow Green Everything
Paint everything green. Get a can of Meadow Green, and have your paint store mix up a quart to match. I've provided the color code on my can if that helps.
One spray can and one quart will do one costume. with paint to spare.
Spray can for non-cloth items, paintbrush for cloth. Again, apply liberally.
Step 5: First Look
Frequently asked questions...
1) Does it look like plastic? Yes
2) Does it crack where you move? Although the overall costume is stiff (as it should be to look like plastic), there is flex to the paint,
3) How do you hide your eyes? After several experiments, I found the best solution for me was to wear sunglasses... they fit comfortably behind the mask I had.
4) Base or No Base? A base absolutely completes the look, and can easily be made with a piece of cardboard. Since we were walking around a lot, we dispensed with the base. However, if your situation allows it, a base is a great addition.
I've provided lots of photos so you can see as many details as you like.
Step 6: Deploy!
Recruit a squad of like minded friends.