Well, it's Halloween again!
Last year, my work schedule made me miss out on the opportunity to make my kids' crazy ideas into costumes. So when my schedule looked promising this year I asked the four monsters what they wanted to be. Three of them were easy, Dr Who (eleventh doctor), Steve from Minecraft, and the Phantom of the opera. But then my youngest, who you might recall was the driving force behind the Xenomorph costume, decided he wanted to be a character from his new favorite movie, Pacific Rim. Not satisfied with being the main robot character, Gipsy Danger, which there are a couple of costume examples already floating around the internet for, he wanted to be the Australian Brawler, Striker Eureka! I couldn't find anybody who has attempted this craziness yet so, .. I turned to my favorite costume media, cardboard! And jumped right in. All in all, whith Paint and all other accessory parts this costume cost me about 25 bucks.... not bad.
Step 1: Making the chest
Striker Eureka has such a distinctive jutting chest I thought I'd start here. I cut a piece of cardboard for half of the upper chest then just used it for a template and cut the other half. all of the pieces are just cut as needed and hot glued in place...Ah, hot glue, where would I be without you. I snuck behind a local mini-mall and scavenged the cardboard out of the recycling dumpster. Any guesses where these pieces came from?
Step 2: Now the back, T-90 angel wings!
Striker Eureka has these large wing structures on his back, not sure what they are for but the Wiki calls them T-90 angel wings and says the are for stability in burst combat.... not sure about that, but they do look cool. After cutting a back plate I made a few boxes a few circular shapes for the jets. of course they need louvers too. After I thought I had it done I realized that the lower section is longer so I added a couple of skinny pieces to the bottom of the wings.
Step 3: Strikers head
To make a Jeager Head I started with a plate cut in a oblong shape, Striker has kind of a flat head anyway, then added thinner cardboard plates for the front. Striker has somewhat of a concave face area so I had to make it out of two pieces cut so the made an inner joint in the middle which is indented from the outer joint. Once again hot glue holds everything together. Once I had the top and the front I made some strips of cardboard and, with my son holding it on his head, measured and attached the back pieces. If you run the cardboard strips over a sharp edge like the edge of a counter they will give you a nice smooth rounded shape. the round accents you see are the bottoms of paper cups which I cut out, the bigger circles are hot drink lids. I cut up some drinking straws for accent pieces on top of the head too. I found some gold cellophane at the dollar store that I figured would work for Strikers distinctive gold visor. First money spent!!! $1.00! I cut a piece of scrap clear plastic off of some packaging and glued a doubled sheet of cellophane to the clear sheet., then glued the whole mess in. Departed from my beloved hot glue, and used my other beloved glue, Goop.
The visor is a little crinkly from the cellophane, but I kind of like it.
Step 4: Let there be light! LEDs to be specific
If you have seen the movie, you might remember the distinctive red and blue lights on Strikers chest. I wanted that look! After a couple of aborted attempts I thought about these oversize straws that my wife had bought, sure enough there were red and blue ones. I needed LED's but didn't really want to go out and buy them individually. A local thrift store solved that problem with a play piano with LED lighted keys. $1.00, Red LED's galore! I cut the battery box and switch out of it too. Couldn't find any scavengeable blue LED's though so I broke down and bought two high intensity blue LED's for $3.00 a piece. Total cost now? $8.00
I had to cut the light boxes into the chest piece. More hot glue and we are in business. Yes the wiring is a bit of a spider webby mess.but it works.
Step 5: To arms! to Arms!
Striker 's arms are some of the cooler parts of him, I love the finned elbow guards and the round saucers on his shoulders, not to forget the double blades at the end of his arms. The elbow guards I drew freehand, well, with a ruler. I had to trim them down a bit because I forgot I wasn't making this for me... but for my mini-me. to add the extra dimension to them you just need to cut a smaller shape for the outside , then make strips to fill in the space, mounted at an angle of course. The shoulder discs are paper plates glued to cardboard oblongs, with a separator disc glued between them You may notice in some of the pics the discs are glued directly to the upper arm boxes and in later pics they are lifted away at about a 30 degree angle. I liked that better. Had to buy some Jersey gloves, $1.00 that is just cereal box cardboard cut into diamonds and glued to the gloves.
Ok, now I had to buy some paint. The grey is just cheap grey primer, the gold and silver paint is a little more.
Paint, $15.00 Total so far? $23.00 Still not Bad! The arm blades are cut out of an old Rubbermade tote lid. then sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard. Silver accents make them look sharp.
Step 6: Get a leg up.
The legs are pretty simple, the feet started out as a $.50 pair of worn out DR. Scholls from the thrift store, with a quick cardboard and hot glue treatment they become Jaeger feet. The cardboard is glued to them at a couple of strategic locations. I had to cut a slit in the heel of the shoes in order to make them easier to put on. The lower and upper legs are just boxes cut down and glued back together in the right proportions. some decorative touches and paint and we have Strikers legs. My son can even walk in them.. just not fast.
The belt is 100% Cardboard with a front and back plate. I scavenged some Velcro off of some old knee pads for a closure.
The Chest plat and Back plate also fasten together with Velcro at the shoulders and under the arms. I used wide masking tape to smooth some of the joints before painting, it actually gives it a welded panel looks that I ended up liking. If you take a wide black marker to any corrugated edges, the black color hides the cardboardiness of it quite well. The black hooded shirt is a recycled old costume, I did paint some grey accents on the belly region. We needed to pick up a tight pair of black pants though.
$2.00, Total final cost? $25.50
Close to the cost of a ready made costume from Walmart, I think this one is cooler though.
Oh, time to complete? Two weeks of evenings and weekends.
But, I had the time already.
Step 7: Finished!
The mobility isn't great, but he can get around, lift his arms, beg for candy and look pretty cool, what else could you want?
Maybe fight a Kaiju or two? Maybe next year.