What self respecting nerd wouldn't want to be a character out of Team Fortress 2 for Halloween? There are plenty of options, but given my physique (or lack thereof) I decided I'd try my hand at the Heavy.
The costume itself is fairly straight forward, but to be convincing it requires two things that aren't likely to be ready at hand: a mini-gun and a bandoleer of extremely large bullets. A simple google search will turn up plenty of other people's attempts at the same thing, but they all seem to lack something... craftsmanship!
Seeing that I decided, as any good instructables junkie would, to make the best effort possible and document the process for anyone else who wanted to do the same.
All together the costume will probably cost about $75, assuming you have all the tools but none of the parts, and take about 20-25 hours to assemble. Time consuming, sure, but totally worth it.
The first step, before even looking for materials, was to spend an hour or so looking at all the best source images I could find and sketching out my design. Even if you plan to follow my design to the letter I'd recommend doing something similar, I find it helps immensely to have a really good mental picture of the problem at hand before starting.
Step 1: Parts List
I won't lie to you, there are quite a number of things that go into making this costume, but the fun things in life are rarely easy.
3" PVC pipe x 3 ft (approx)
1 1/4" PVC pipe x 12.5 ft
1" PVC pipe x 10 ft (approx)
1/2" PVC pipe x 5 ft (approx)
4" PVC pipe joiner x 2
4" to 3" PVC coupler
3" PVC endcap x2
3" PVC flange
1" PVC extender
1" PVC flange
1/2" 90 degree PVC elbow joint x 3
1/2" PVC endcap x2
1/2" PVC screw in end cap
1 1/2" thick Extruded Polystyrene (EPS) foam
1/8" thick 2" wide steel x 12 inches
5/16" threaded rod x 1 foot
5/16" handle nut x2
Flat large head steel screw x 6
Plastic bucket (fairly large)
Metal plates (ideally with holes) x4
Round surplus aluminum pipe
90 degree stovepipe elbow bend
Paper mache supplies
PVC Pipe Cement
Various bolts, screws, and nuts