It starts with research. I spent hours reading about others’ attempts to make Sam Flynn’s costume. Mostly on Instructables, Cosplay forums and YouTube. I was so impressed with the time, effort and amount of money people spent on trying to make their costumes. Some wanted something to wear to a fancy dress party, others were attending a Cosplay forum where very high standards of custom clothing are always expected, and then there were just people who fancied the challenge of making the costume, with no particular event in mind to showcase their craft but just the prospect of owning a Tron costume motivating their hard work.
I’d like to credit them all but there were simply too many. Off the top of my head, the following people are responsible for giving me the most inspiration:
But I salute you all, fellow creators.
Onto the costume itself. A lot of attempts seemed to use a boiler suit or leather biker clothing. In my opinion those costumes looked too baggy. If you look at Sam Flynn’s cotume, it’s pretty tight fitting, obviously custom made. I saw a behind-the-scenes clip once of Garrett Hedlund putting on the costume (actually someone else had to put it on him) and that cemented in my mind that it needed to be a tight fit. So I thought of using a wetsuit as the base. For the lights, I’ve seen some pretty amateur efforts using glow-sticks – the kind that you see at raves, but they’re quite inflexible. The obvious choice of technology is electro-luminescent (EL) wire and tape. This was the technology used in the film, so why not? I’ll tell you why not – it’s expensive. But it’s worth it. Next, I decided to use sheet foam for the panels that would be worn on top of the wetsuit and house the EL lighting. The foam would be attached to the wetsuit using a mixture of velcro, superglue and fastenable straps. Finally, the Tron identity disc. You can buy the toy from the US over the internet. Some modification would need to be made to get the lights to stay continuously on – then the real challenge would be how to mount it onto the suit.