The first step was going online seeing how previous individuals tried to pull off the costume and taking away the likes and dislikes of what those individuals did. it was MANDATORY for US to look as AUTHENTIC as possible even down to the platform we stood on and weapons/props we held . We wrote down all needed clothing materials and props and set out to locate these items spending the least amount possible. Do not worry about buying cheap props because the paint and color scheme in the long run will make them look realistic. The 5 stores used to locate ALL necessary clothing and props/materials were a local army surplus store, Goodwill, Party city, Lowes hard store, dickblick.com. Gather your cloths and props and get ready to rock and roll. For those 21 years or older, we recommend your seasonal samuel adams to assist in moving the project along ;)
Step 1: Priming Gear & Props
I want to first start off by giving complete HONOR and RESPECT to all who have served and are currently serving in our MILITARY FORCES. Our freedom exists because of you and we don't take for granted what you have done for us while we were doing this project, THANK YOU. We picked up real army jackets at the army surplus store for a steal at $24.99. We also decided to splurge on a couple patches because believe it or not they do pop out and give jacket more realistic look. The pants were wayyyy to much $85-$95 and we found those at the Good will brand new for $9.99 which was a steal. We also found the boots at the Good will for $13.00. We picked up the helmets at Party City for $19.99, the grenades for $2.00, dog tags for $2.00 and the knife for $2.00. I also purchased the bullets for $8.00 and machine gun for $10.00...Splurge on the better helmets at Party city like we did, they look realistic and better than the $9.00 cheap plastic ones that don't fit your head anyway. FIND a coupon always online for Party city, we found a 20% off which came in handy to save $$. We grabbed a gallon of Kilz primer at Lowes for $20. If you don't use primer obviously the paint will just get soaked in the cloths. Prime away on ALL cloths and gear, we chose to use a paint sprayer to get the primer as even as possible.
Step 2: BOOTS & PLATFORMS
If you want to actually look like a Plastic Toy Soldier on the platform and be able to move around at the same time, the BEST IDEA ever ( Big Props to my wife who came up with idea) use a YOGA MAT!!! I had one, as did my buddy laying around the garage. They were super easy to cut (USE GOOD scissors) and were easy to attach to our boots with Gorilla glue. Cut the yoga mat shape of golf course, with boots spread out to whats comfortable to you. Glue boots on the mat and hold for about 3-4 mins making sure secure for each boot then let dry. Was dry in 10 minutes easy. make sure the boots are secure before you prime them. .
Step 3: Paint All Cloths & Props
We recommend once you have primed everything let dry a full day. IMPORTANT. The jackets and pants will be extremely stiff. Put the jackets and pants on to stretch out and break up creases in the pants because you will want to touch up those areas with primer again. One cloths & propsare dry you are ready to paint. We were reluctant to give up our paint color for our own reasons, but we figure when we win YOU WIN! Believe me, not any green paint works contrary to what some others tried. SUGGESTION. Go to Dickblick.com for best prices for the paint needed which was a Liquitex Acrylic paint-HOOKER GREEN. You will also need to purchase Liquitex Gloss to add to all paint (makeup only ) to come out shiny and plastic.NOTE: it is Removable even though it states it is not. You will need to water down the paint a little while mixing to spray. We used a PVC pipe and an attachment part for the bazooka gun and used a water bottle with a snow cone cup taped on for a make believe mortar which came out perfect. Start Spraying cloths and props and let dry a day. AFTER ALL CLOTHS and PROPS are dry Spray Liquitex Gloss two coats and let dry.
Step 4: Paint Application to Hands & Face
We again used Liquitex Acrylic paint-HOOKER GREEN. You will also need to purchase Liquitex Gloss to ADD to (makeup only) to come out shiny and plastic. NOTE: it is Removable even though it states it is not. Mix the paint and gloss in a contatiner and put in a small bottle. It took about 45 mins to put on and lasted pretty much the whole day only having to re-aply on some areas of our hands and face only where helmet strap rubbed and from holding gun and grenade for tons of pictures people were taking.
Step 5: FINAL PRODUCT
This is how we came out, judge for yourself.