Part 1: The Helmet
Warning: For the duration of this Instructable I'm going to assume the reader (you) knows a little about the R&C series, because why else would you want to know how to make a Ratchet costume.
Helmet Material List:
Foam floor mat
Electroluminescent (EL) wire
Two part epoxy
Helmet Tool List:
Step 1: The Helmet Begins
To begin, I purchased a bargin basement motocross helmet from Amazon.com for about $40. I probably could have gone out and found a used one for cheaper, but the outdoors and contact with other people frightens me. I will be modifying the helmet a bit so it was necessary to remove the foam core. This was surprisingly easy, which I guess is why this particular helmet was so cheap. The foam just slid right out the bottom of the helmet in one piece.
Next, I needed to size the ears. I took a piece of wood and freehand drew a couple ears until one looked right. I cut out two different size ears and layered them to give it a little more depth so they wouldn't look like wooden ears glued to a helmet.
Step 2: Ears 1.0 (fail)
I wanted to show this failed attempt because I worked so hard on it that I need to tell someone before I round-filed it. A catharsis moment i guess. So thank you reader for contributing to my emotional well being.
Step 3: Ears 2.0 (WIN!)
Using the wooden ear as a template I cut out multiple foam shapes and layered them as I did the wood version. After the layers were bonded I coated the whole thing with wood glue. The wood glue, so I was told, would seal the porous foam, and make a harder shell. It did both. 2 points XRobots.co.uk, 0 points My skepticism.
Step 4: Helmet Preparation
I fitted the ears and took a second to make sure the bottom contour of the ears fit snuggly against the helmet (I did a horrible job of this). After I was satisfied with the look and size of the ears I put the helmet on and sat down to play R&C for a few hours while pretending to BE Ratchet.
Step 5: Ears Continued...
A side note: PlastiDip smells to high heaven. I'm sure it says that somewhere on the can but I like to plunge headlong into things like this with no regard for the small details. Be warned, if you use this stuff in poorly ventilated areas like say...your dining room table, your whole house will have a chemical fume smell that won't go away for hours. Don't judge me, a summer day in Vegas is awful even in the shade. Its like 105 degrees in my garage right now and the sun has been down for 3 hours.
After the PlastiDip dried I put the ears back on and used a strong epoxy to glue them in place.
Once the epoxy set I filled the gaps underneath the ears with basic silicone, and drilled a few holes for the lighting that will come later.
Step 6: Helmet Primed and Painted
Our design is "based" on the Hyperflux armor. It is not meant to be an exact copy, so I asked my son what color he wanted the suit to be based around. He chose green. For some reason I saw the black helmet and visualized a circuit board type design. It may not jive with any of the game, but I think it works.
Step 7: Time for the Magic!
When I reinserted the foam core I cut it into pieces and left out a small portion to make room for the EL wire power supply. The foam core is an inch and a half thick so there is plenty of room for the EL power supply without having it poke you in the head.
I considered adding a face piece out of clear plastic with eye shaped EL wire loops so that at night my son could see out and it would still look like the eye's on the armor. However, I think it would have made it a little too difficult for my son to navigate darker areas of the neighborhood.
Stay tuned for part two: Body Armor