Instructables

Inspector Gadget Costume with Motorized Helicopter

FeaturedContest WinnerContest Winner
Picture of Inspector Gadget Costume with Motorized Helicopter
gadget.jpg
gadget2.jpg
gadget3.jpg
gadget4.jpg

Go go gadget COPTER!

This moving Halloween costume was made almost entirely from recycled and thrifted materials. It was a serious crowd-pleaser -- I walked into a bar and everyone started chanting "Go Go Gadget" until I switched on the helicopter and the entire bar started cheering. You too can be this awesome!


I started collecting materials for this costume the weekend before halloween. It probably took 8-12 hours to construct, over the course of a few days as the spray paint needs to dry overnight.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
IMG_2390.jpg
IMG_2391.jpg
To make this costume, you need:

Thrifted, found or borrowed:
- a gray or beige trench coat
- a blue necktie
- a white collared shirt
- blue pants (I wore jeans)
- mens' dress shoes (it looks properly cartoonish if they are a bit too big)
- brown gloves (I wore my work gloves)

Thrifted:
(These will get destroyed, so don't borrow them)
- a classic fedora (~$3-$8) (If you can't thrift it, get a cheap foam one from a costume shop.) Brown, gray or beige will look gadget-astic.
- a 1980s-era battery operated shoe polisher with detachable heads (~$3)
(check on ebay if you can't thrift it - get one like this)
- two old bike grips (see if a local bike shop has some they don't want)

From the hardware store:
- two 3' long, 1/2" diameter aluminum tubes (~$8 each)
- glossy orange spray paint (~$5-7)
- white universal primer spray paint (~$5-7)
- a tiny amount of gray or silver universal spray paint (optional)
- three wooden paint stir sticks
- a screw (I used a random drywall screw I had around)
- a small electrical flip switch ($3)
- 8 feet of relatively thin, flexible copper insulated electrical wire (~$2)
- a roll of electrical tape ($1)

From the recycling bin:
- a cardboard box about 16" long
- an empty cereal box
- two empty plastic 500-yard thread spools
- three empty jars or oatmeal tins with lids
- a wire twist tie

From a craft store or your stash:
- around a 20"x20" piece of black faux fur ($1)
- a small sheet of sticky-back felt ($.50)
- a bunch of hot glue sticks
- a tube of strong glue (like e6000)
- four AA batteries (for the shoe polisher)

Tools:
- needle-nose pliers/wire cutters
- a tiny phillips-head screwdriver (you can find it at a hobby shop)
- a regular-sized screwdriver
- a hot glue gun
- a dremel tool
- Structured Tooth Tungsten Carbide Cutter attachment for dremel (cone or taper)
- cutting attachment for dremel that will cut aluminum and plastic
- drill bit attachment the size for your screw for the dremel (or just a separate drill)
- a vise or vise grips
- a sturdy table or workbench
- a piece of scrap wood of some kind, at least a foot long (I used a mini ironing board...)
- an x-acto knife
- a utility knife
- a ruler
- sewing pins
- helpful: a smartphone and an angle-measuring app

Safety:
- a spray paint mask (this is under $20 and really important for your health)
- safety glasses

This took around 8-12 hours over the course of a week to fully construct. I'd set aside several evenings to work on this costume.
1-40 of 52Next »
graviton21 year ago
I love this costume so much that I made go-go gadget legs, and go-go gadget arms. Check out the video of the pneumatic legs, and carbon fiber 8 foot arm
http://www.fienup.com/project-4/?x=1
mmeflipote2 years ago
This is amazing! I'm trying to replicate, but I've been unable to find the aluminum rods (I asked at Home Depot but they couldn't locate any). Where did you find them / what are they normally used for?
prixprix (author)  mmeflipote2 years ago
They are aluminum tubes, they were at home depot (or lowes maybe?) in the section with the small (2' to 3' length) metal bars and rods and tubes.
rmwilson2 years ago
There are some great you tube videos of go go gadget arms, .... That extent automatically ..... I am dying to figure out a way to make go go gadet telescoping stilt legs....it's got to be phenumatic or electrical to be cool..... Any ideas....
dave X102 years ago
Awesome! I made the Inspector Gadget costume based loosely on your plans. I didn't have a shoe polisher so I used and old toys motor which a mounted to PVC pipe handlebars. I bought the hat at a Halloween Costume shop for $6 and invested less than $10 in the entire outfit. I worked on it the afternoon and evening before and then the day of the party [where I wore the costume]. Inspector Gadget was a big splash, and I was very proud of the fun (and easy to wear) costume. THANK YOU for sharing!
prixprix (author)  dave X102 years ago
Awesome, I'd love to see pics of how yours turned out!
inspector gadget is still alive!!
llaven2 years ago
jajaja, i love it!!! thank you for share!
sassimo033 years ago
Holy propeller Gadget! lol.. Great job. That show brings me back... Anywho, I also like your cool vid too. Keep up the good work!
...back....to the movie, or the old cartoons?
So I had this exact idea this year, and let me tell you, you rule! I am so excited that there's an instructable for this! I was a little lost on how to start. I'll have to share pics when I am done. :-D

What's this years costuming genius? Halloween is the best! heehee
alcurb3 years ago
"Missed Halloween by this much !"

Get Smart reference aside, the copter project is very cool and looks easy to replicate. The model in the pictures seems like she's having a great time.

I want to see Mo Mo Gadgets! 
prixprix (author)  alcurb3 years ago
Thanks! I wish I could have done tons of gadgets... Next year, figuring out how to make all of the gadgets magically pop out of the hat.
I've always wanted to make the various Claws that have shown up in different Gadget incarnations.

There are only really two that come to mind: the original, cartoon one, which looks more like something found on a suit of armor, and the movie one, which in my mind is quite a bit cooler...a big pincer attached to a prosthetic.

I designed a *three*-taloned one a long time ago. Might be too complicated.
Could she be considered as "Gidget Gadget"?
Just don't call her "Evil Gadget" behind her back. ;)
Wouldn't it be great to run around town and look at everyones reaction! Ah what fun I could have with that! great job
I'd probably get beaten up, knowing my luck.
ha! thanks for the good laugh!! well if you get beaten up then use some of the other gadgets!
Oh, that is just too awesome!!!!!!

Here, I got one for you--you should do one with the "extra hand" next. My idea involves taking a cast of your own hand, putting a white (yellow?) glove on it, and sticking it onto a flexible gas line. I would advise you to BUY the gas line rather than borrow it from your oven...more expensive ($25 at Home Depot) but less risky. ;) If you're at a Halloween party at a bar, you could make the hand so that it looks like it's holding a glass.
prixprix (author)  Sharaz Destler3 years ago
Cool idea- post some photos if you make it!
Sadly I'm not in the Go-Go-Gadgeting vein at this present moment. I have a suitably Gadget-ish coat, but I need it for the Tenth Doctor. So, no plans to build it, but I have the whole thing basically worked out in my head. One thing I can tell you is that you'll need a kind of "skullcap" or something sturdy enough to attach the gas-line. Check out the second "Gadget" movie, with French Stewart in it--there's a scene where he's got a Gadget Blender coming out of his hat...and it's a physical (not CGI) prop. You might get some idea of where I'm coming from with that.
TL:DR
Congratulations on your win!
This is an absolutely brilliant costume; I can't wait to see what you come up with for your next one. Maybe something that involves a shiny new Singer...
Well done!
prixprix (author)  PenfoldPlant3 years ago
Thanks! Already thinking up new ideas... I wish halloween came more than once a year! Your aliens costume was amazing.
Pilantoo3 years ago
Nice! If I saw it before Halloween I would've tried making it...
lol i'll make it anyways...
prixprix (author)  Pilantoo3 years ago
There's always next year!
boha3 years ago
Great photos/directions! Epic reproducibility.
prixprix (author)  boha3 years ago
Thanks, glad you liked it!
jabronie253 years ago
I love inspector gadget! Great build too
prixprix (author)  jabronie253 years ago
Thanks! Your lego men are super fun too.
Jayefuu3 years ago
This is great :D
prixprix (author)  Jayefuu3 years ago
Thanks! I love your ninjabreads!
M.C. Langer3 years ago
I'm in love...!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars!!!!!
agis683 years ago
Great job. 5/5 for sure...you should add some extra in next version like extra expanded hands or some light source...brilliant
prixprix (author)  agis683 years ago
Thanks! I did have other gadget plans- I made flashlight gloves, actually, (it involved a mini-booklight shining out of the index finger) but having multiple gadgets was cumbersome and distracted from the copter awesomeness... when you have a spinning helicopter on your head, flashlight gloves are pretty underwhelming...

I think telescoping poles might work for the extendable arms.
agis68 prixprix3 years ago
you have some right about that, another thing I was thinking after your reply, is to add an electronic lighter in your glove or something like extra bionic eye...but the initial project counts positively. keep working:)
Love it. :) I loved the Inspector cartoons. My mother was not amused when I chose it as my lunchbox of choice. lol Love to see another female embracing the awesomeness that is Gadget. Great job!
prixprix (author)  WingsandFences3 years ago
Thanks! ( and I have a Get Smart lunchbox :) )
Honus3 years ago
Awesome job! Looks like you had a ton of fun. :)

This would make a great costume for one of my boys- they really like Inspector Gadget.
1-40 of 52Next »