Introduction: Luigi's Mansion 3 Costume
As an 80s kid, I played my fair share of video games - Atari, NES ... and of course many a time spent at arcades. The appeal faded as I got older and spent more time playing drums, high school, working, girlfriends ... then college straight into adulting.
I revisited the medium around 2007 with the acquisition of a PS2 ... Enjoyed playing Guitar Hero with friends and then Lego Star Wars and some Batman game solo. Screen time tapered off again as I got back into the cover band and then wedding band scene.
PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, NES Classic ... none of those sirens lured me towards the rocks. The Nintendo Switch however ... that was rather enchanting. Mostly because I could play it on the large TV (eyes are getting old) AND as a handheld, but also for the games. Not only could I revisit young BALES favorites like Double Dragon, Contra, Punchout, and Castlevania, but I could also try new games.
Hollow Knight was my first purchase and I enjoy it, but I am terrible. For a positive spin on the situation, I'm really good at dying. If I ever make it to the Trial of Fools, I'll probably never make it past. It's become painfully obvious that I need a slower and easier game, which is where my love affair with Luigi's Mansion 3 comes into play. While I don't get video game obsessed these days, it's an awesome game.
As Halloween 2020 approached, I wasn't in the mood and figured this would be a good year to skip - let the costuming batteries recharge. Then of course mid October rolls around and I start getting the itch ... dreaming of EVA foam and contact cement. Once the idea of a Poltergust G-00 entered my head and I started visualizing the fabrication, I knew the battle had been lost. I started tinkering on the 18th and burned a week of vacation on the 26th ... still barely making it per usual.
EVA foam mats
PVC pipe and fittings
1/8" craft foam
Plastic paint can
LED puck lights
Spray paint - black, red, green, silver
Barge contact cement, superglue, hot glue
Luigi hat and glovoes
Step 1: Poltergust: Gooigi Cylinder
The Achilles' heel of this project, as least as far as I'm concerned, is the clear cylinder portion of the vacuum assembly. The dimensions of that part determines the scale for everything around it. I did find a 6" diameter x 8" high acrylic cylinder online, but it was $29 and that seemed excessive. Most trashcans were tapered, pretzel/cheese ball containers had raised details, and windshield washer fluid containers were too short. Acrylic sheeting was too brittle to be bent into a nice cylinder and I even searched around locally for a broken canister vacuum to cannibalize, but not luck.
I decided to try 3 liter bottles from the dollar store. The soda inside was terrible, so the drain enjoyed that sugary mess. My plan was to remove the two ends, make a vertical cut, and then wrap the plastic around a foam disc at either end. Unfortunately, once the bottle was cut, it just curled up on itself and proved to be too thin.
The next idea was to just make a foam cylinder and paint it green, so I looked around the basement for a cylinder I could use for scale and acquire dimensions. A paint can was pretty much perfect - too bad they don't make clear paint cans. Wait a minute ... do they make clear paint cans? A quick internet search said affirmative.
Does Michael's carry them online? Yep.
Does Michael's carry them in store? Yep.
Are there any at the store a block from the house? Yep ... 3.
Dimensions are 6 1/2" diameter x 8" high.
One quick trip to Micheal's, 5 minutes, and $6.39 later ... I had my Gooigi cylinder. Few minutes after that and the handle was removed with bolt cutters ... voiding any hope for a return.
Step 2: Poltergust: Cylinder Endcap
The bottom of the paint can is the top for the prop, so we need to make the foam end cap for the bottom. This started with a 6 1/2" diameter disc, which I pretty much hacked a rabbet into with a razor knife and Dremel [Fig. 2&3]. Definitely not my best work, but I wanted it to seat down into the lip of the can instead of just resting on the thin upper edge.
A smaller disc gets laminated onto the inside face of this rabbeted disc. The original plan was for an internal green painted foam disc to socket onto this and act as the goo inside the chamber, but that was soon abandoned because my brain wanted working lights [thanks a lot brain]. This initial smaller disc was 4 7/8" diameter and a central 3 1/2" ring was marked because it gets removed, so why waste contact cement [Fig, 4&5]. A bamboo skewer was used to keep the parts in centered alignment during glue up, which it a technique I use often [Fig. 6]. The 3 1/2" center was roughly removed with a razor knife [Fig. 7] and even though it isn't shown, I sanded cleanly to the line using the oscillating spindle sander (OSS).
The outside face of the rabbet disc gets built up/out with three layers of foam, which is tapered. I started with the lamination and trued up the disc using the oscillating belt sander (OBS) [Fig. 8&9] before laying out two more concentric rings - 4" and 5" [Fig. 10].
The 5" ring was my taper target. The bulk of the material was removed with a razor, OBS used to sand to the line, and a sanding block used to remove tool chatter [Fig 11-13].
The 4" ring was the core to be removed with a razor and then sanded to line at the OSS [Fig. 14]. It was then glued to the rabbeted disc [Fig. 15].
Note: When using contact cement, I recommend wearing a respirator and having good ventilation. I ran my air purifier as well as an exhaust fan.
Step 3: Poltergust: Cylinder Plug
The 4" hole now needs a plug and it's comprised of six foam layers:
-A 4" layer
-Two 3 1/2" layers
-Three 2 1/2" layers
The 4" and 3 1/2" layers get laminated together and become the friction fit plug [Fig. 2&3].
The 2 1/2" layers get laminated and trued up on the sanders [Fig. 4&5].
Note: My method for truing disc from this point forward became sanding close to the line using the disc sander and then taking the final passes with the OSB. The disc sander is very aggressive and too easy to sand past the line .. ask me how I know.
A 2" hole was drilled through the top layer using a Forstner bit, disc sander used to shape a taper, and then a 3/4" drilled through the middle layer of foam for visual detail [Fig. 6-8].
Note: The blue tape gave me visual reference for the taper target because seam lines can be hard to see.
I marked center on each assembly, punched a hole with an awl, and used a section of skewer for a centering pin [Fig. 9&10]. I cleaned up/broke the edges with a sanding drum on the Dremel [Fig. 11] and then assembled all the components for a first look [Fig. 12].
Step 4: Vacuum Attachment: PVC Wand
With the heart of the operation fabricated, it was time to move onto the second most exciting part ... the creative momentum builds confidence while for the future design problems I have yet to solve . Detailing every measurement could get overly involved and boring, so I've included "exploded" photos with measurements at the end of the step for those interested in the nitty gritty details. For the rest of us, I'll stay more high level.
The wand is a mix of 1/2", 3/4", and 1" PVC pipe and fittings, with the addition of 1/8" craft foam .. and some doweling for structural reinforcement [Fig 1&2].
Note: If you need a slip coupler, but the store doesn't have them ... you can just sand away the internal ridge using an OSS [Fig. 3].
The Top/Side/Left Hand Handle:
There is a handle with a 90° bend. Filling the 1/2" PVC pipe with dry concrete, heating, and bending [Fig. 4] ... still failed with a kink. Alternate plan was to use a miter joint, but knowing that would be weak for PVC alone, I also made an internal corner with 5/8 dowel stock.
1. Miters in the PVC and dowel were cut using a sled on the table saw [Fig. 5].
2. Dowel was wood glued and brad nailed [Fig. 6].
3. Dowel was inserted into the PVC and adhered with superglue
4. End of the handle was capped with PVC board, sanded flush, and then wrapped with craft foam for raised detail [Fig 7-10].
The Back/Curved/Right Hand Handle:
This part is made from 3/4" PVC stock - two 45° fittings, two couplers, and pipe for splicing [Fig. 11]. The trigger is EVA foam and was cut/shaped to fit the space, as well as my fingers. I just started with a basic shape and carved away at it with a sanding drum on the Dremel until it felt right. It was adhered to the PVC using contact cement [Fig. 12-14].
The curved handle into the straight run seemed to flex, so I added internal strength by way of a dowel. It was sanded down to fit and adhered with copious amounts of contact cement and superglue [Fig. 15].|
Most of the PVC joints were secured with PVC cement, but there is a non-glued joint for changing attachment, which will become apparent in future steps.
The remaining pictures in this step are measurements.
Step 5: Vacuum Attachment: EVA Nossle
The vacuum nossle is made from EVA foam and I broke it down into two sections - the top arch and the flair.
The bottom plate is 3" x 7" with a 1 3/4" centered hole [Fig. 1].
The arch is 5" x 7" with a 1 3/4" centered hole.
These were glued together as seen in [Fig. 2].
Arch end plugs were cut to fit - 2 layers for each side - and glued in place [Fig. 3&4].
The PVC wand was glued in place and a 1/8" foam donut was added to cover the PVC to foam transition [Fig. 5]. The ends were tapered using the OSB [Fig. 6].
The long sides are 1 3/4" wide x 11" long - 45° cuts along both long edges [Fig. 7&8].
The short sides are 2 5/8" wide x 5" long - 45° cuts along both long edges.
Center was found and the top widths were marked by holding them against the arch assembly [Fig. 9].
The best way I found to make the compound miter cut, was to just hold each piece flat against the cutting mat and make the cut vertically [Fig. 10&12].
The top edge of each side was glued to the bottom edge of the arch, leaving the corners to run wild ... which they did [Fig. 13-16]. The corners were then glued together.
The bottom plate is 5" x 11" and in order to keep the pieces separated during glue up, I used printer paper. One short side was adhered ... then the other ... then the long sides [Fig. 17-20].
On the bottom plate, I measured in 1" from each edge and removed that material [Fig. 21&22].
A 1" wide strip of 1/8" craft foam was then run around the perimeter to hide the edge seam [Fig. 23].
With all the parts fabricated, I was able to cut down the PVC length to a visually appealing scale [Fig. 24&25].
Step 6: Flashlight Attachment & Trigger
As previously mentioned, the wand contains a non-glued joint for attachment options ... the first being the vacuum and the second being the flashlight.
The PVC sections for the flashlight are 1" and 1 1/2" pipe. Turns out that if you add a ring of 1/8" craft foam to a 1" pipe, it fits perfectly into a 1 1/2" pipe. Anyway ... the PVC pipe coming off of the The Back/Curved/Right Hand Handle is 1/2" and turns out that if you reduce the outside diameter of a 1/2" coupler using an OSB, you can get it to fit inside of a 1" PVC pipe [Fig. 1]. In the end, you get a perfect socket for swappable attachments.
1/2" nub of the Back/Cured/Right Hand handle sockets into the 1/2" T fitting of the vacuum end.
1/2" nub of the Back/Cured/Right Hand handle sockets into the internal/concealed 1/2 coupler of the flashlight end.
The coupler was pushed into the 1" pipe to the desired depth and then locked in place with superglue [Fig. 2&3]
The flashlight dome is made from five layers of laminated foam. I started with 4 layers, drilled out a center hole with the largest Forstner bit I have (2") [Fig. 4], then used the OSS to enlarge the hole to 3 1/4", which is the diameter of the LED puck light. The fifth layer was then glued in place [Fig. 5].
The dome was shaped with a combination of the disc sander and OSB [Fig. 6]. A sixth disc was added to serve as the socket for the PVC pipe. It's diameter is 3" and the top edge was rounded on the OSB [Fig. 7].
Lastly, I added a 1/2" wide strip of 1/8" foam to the bottom edge of the flashlight dome [Fig. 8].
Step 7: Poltergust: Shell
Exciting parts aside, it was time for the largest component more challenges ... it was the remaining part, so I really had no choice. I started with line drawings which would no doubt make a draftsman cringe [Fig. 1&2]. I know CAD would be the way to go, but it just doesn't click with me. Even SketchUp frustrated me to the point of returning to pen and paper.
A quick note on templates:
My goal is always to start with sketches to produce templates, which then perfectly transition to the final medium, but that doesn't always work out. For this project, I made a run at a temple, which was a failure. The alternate plan was to Frankenstein a working foam mock up [Fig. 3], dissect it to make templates, then cut new/better parts for the finished product.
Tip: While flailing through the prototype stage, it became apparent that sewing pins were far superior to gluing/cutting/re-gluing parts [Fig. 4].
Once I had my FrankenVac [Fig. 5], I cut it up to make templates, which were then transferred to foam and cut out [Fig. 6-8]. Side panels, back panel, bottom panel, front contoured panel, and back contoured panel. It's interesting to see how so much work can go into something that seems so easy to an inexperienced viewer/fabricator [Fig. 9].
Glue up was surprisingly expedient:
1. Side panels connected at the top. I didn't trust the seam, so I re-enforced with a 1/8" strip [Fig. 10&11].
2. Bottom panel attached to the back panel [Fig. 12].
3. Side panels attached to the back and bottom - starting at the top ... then the bottom edge ... then working out from the middle. Bamboo screws were used to keep the parts from touching. [Fig. 13-15].
Step 8: Poltergust: Vents
The vent stock is a four layer lamination of foam. A 45°cut is made on the edge and each subsequent layer is set back from the layer below. My set back is around 1/4" or 5/16", but it doesn't matter as long as you stay consistent [Fig. 1-3].
A line was drawn parallel to the front face at your desired thickness. You can see my first line wasn't thick enough and the layers would've separated, so I moved it back [Fig. 4].
As you can see from the foam part, I made a slew of layout lines in order to find the final dimensions, which I then transferred to my template [Fig. 5]. The openings ended up being 1 5/8" wide x 1 7/8" high.
The vent stock was cut to size, inserted from the back to ensure they were flush with the front panel face, and secured with hot glue [Fig. 6-8].
Step 9: Poltergust: Cylinder Supports & Side Lamination
The front panel was glued onto the Vac assembly ... then the back contoured panel, which supports the back side of the paint can [Fig. 1]. That revealed an unforeseen problem - a big empty, unsightly void.
The resolution was a panel underneath the cylinder and I opted to make it removable in case I ever wanted to use/needed access to that space in the future. It would be a good place for audio hardware - sound effects and/ore music.
Foam runners were glued to the inside of the body assembly, which created a slot or dado to hold a panel [Fig. 2-4].
With the cylinder in place, the vac body looked a bit "wimpy" - lacking width and a sense of weight, so I added a second layer to the sides/top. I enlarged the template, cut proud of the line and glued the sides together as before [Fig. 5&6]. This time I started at the top and just worked my way down each side. As planned, there was excess foam at the bottom and along the front edge, which I just trimmed off with a razor and flushed up with the drum sander on the Dremel [Fig. 7&8.
Step 10: Poltergust: Wheels
I ran through size options for the wheels and decided on 5" for the tires and 4" for the hubs [Fig. 1]. The hubs have some removed sections, so I used a compass to lay them out on the template, which was then transferred to foam for fabrication [Fig. 2&3].
The tires were a 2 layer lamination. Bamboo skewer to keep them aligned during glue up, then rounded with the strip sander and OSB [Fig. 4]. A 3/8" hole was drilled through the center for the axle using a Forstner bit.
The hubs looked rather flat on the wheel, so I added a 2" disc for a raised detail.
My assembly method was to temporarily attach a 3/8" dowel to the center of the hub with a dot of hot glue, then feed the rod through the center of the 5" disc. It was a quick and effective way of keeping the parts centrally aligned [Fig. 5&6].
Step 11: Poltergust: Hiding Seams & Adding Trims
To hide seams, I applied a layer of 1/8" craft foam to the bottom, as well as the back [Fig. 1&2]. In retrospect, I should've added a layer to the entire front panel in order to hide the side lamination seam ... lesson learned.
For the bottom trim, I cut a 2 3/4" wide strip of craft foam a bit longer than necessary to wrap around the front and sides [Fig. 3]. The front panel template was used mark the vent location and those areas were removed [Fig. 4]. It was glued to only the front panel at this time because the sides need to be cut/shaped around the wheels in a future step [Fig. 5].
A strip of foam was wrapped around the perimeter of the wheels to hide the lamination seam [Fig. 6&7].
For the arched front face, I cut an oversized piece of foam and stuck in in place. Excess material was removed with the razor and cleaned up with the Dremel [Fig. 8-10].
Step 12: Poltergust: Wheel Flange
Wheel location was determined by eye. I wanted them to sit beyond the back edge enough to look like the assembly would roll, but not be uncomfortable during wear. This ended up being 2 1/2" in form the back edge and 3 3/4" up from the bottom edge. The 3/8" was drilled with a step bit to reduce the chances of it wandering [Fig. 1].
The wheels were put on, so I could determine the position of what I'm calling the wheel flange - notice the side trim piece is under the wheel. It's a 1/2" wide strip of foam with a 45° edge. I laid it out by eye and held it in place with sewing pins. This enabled me to pull measurements for transference to the other side, as well as mark out the cut line for the craft phone and reference lines for glue application [Fig. 2&3].
Note: There is a strip of 1/8" foam temporarily pinned to the wheel. That enabled me to position the strip tightly against the wheel during layout and end up with a small gap in the final product.
The trim was cut to final shape and adhered to the vac body. Once that was affixed, the flange strip was glued in place [Fig. 4&5]. I ran it past the back edges, so that I could flush it up with the back edge using a razor and the Dremel.
Step 13: Poltergust: Fan Housing
The fan housing is a two layer lamination of 4 1/4" discs, which were rounded with the sanders [Fig 1&2]. It kind of tapers, but it's more of a gradual round over. The strip sander was too aggressive, so I ended up running it through with a bamboo screw and then letting it spin against the running OSB [Fig. 3]. It actually works quite well - bit slow, but fun to watch.
The center needs to be removed, so I marked an offset using a shop made marking gauge [Fig. 4]. The center was drilled out using my largest Forstner bit and then enlarged to the line using the OSS [Fig. 5&6].
Two trim pieces go under the fan housing and those were cut from 1/8" craft foam.
Trim #1: A 5" circle with a 3" wide rectangle extending from it [Fig. 7].
Trim #2: A decagon which is 4 1/2" face to face. I skipped the compass layout and just printed and image from the internet, which I used as a layout mat [Fig, 8].
For easy alignment, I drilled a 1/4" hole into the center of each trim piece, as well as the bottom of the vac body. Then a 1/4" dowel could be used to keep all the parts centrally aligned.
Trim #1 was glued first. It wraps around to the front and gets some angular cuts between the vents. Trim #2 followed [Fig. 9]. The fan housing is last. Scraps from the version 1 flashlight ended up being the perfect alignment bushing [Fig. 10-12].
Step 14: Poltergust: Fan Propeller
I overthought the fan propeller for awhile in advance, but it ended up being a pretty enjoyable part to make.
For the central hub, I used 3/4" dowel stock. The part has 7 fan blades, so just like I did for the decagon, I printed out a heptagon and used it as a layout mat [Fig. 1]. The holes were drilled using the drill press and a v-block to keep the dowel from rolling around. It was cut to length at the table saw using the small parts sled, a 1/4" hole was drilled into one end for the axle, and the other end was rounded over using the OSS .. and a power drill for fun [Fig. 2&3].
It took 3-4 attempts to get a blade shape that was visually appealing and small enough to fit into the fan housing [Fig. 4], but once I had it, I made a template and cut seven of them out of 1/8" foam [Fig. 5]. The mounting rods were cut from bamboo skews using the bandsaw and a different small parts sled [Fig. 6](v-block cameo).
Contact cement was applied to one side of the blade foam, skewer placed on one end, then the foam folded over on itself [Fig. 7&8]. The blades were secured to the hub with superglue - two drops for each did the trick [Fig. 9].
Step 15: Poltergust: Hose Port
The hose port ... honestly, I winged it. I traced a spray paint can for the outside diameter and the center hole is 1 1/2". One of the rings was cut in half and reduced in width to make the upper portion of the port [Fig. 1-3].
Once I was happy with the port placement, I marked and drilled a 1" hole in the center [Fig. 4]. a 1 5/8" length of 3/4" PVC pipe was glued into this hole [Fig. 5].
A sanding drum on the Dremel was used to break the sharp edges and shape the upper partial ring thing before attaching the port to the vac [Fig. 6].
Step 16: Poltergust: Handle
The handle is a 12" length of foam with ends sanded to around a 25° bevel [Fig. 1]. The 6" center portion is 2" wide and then the 3" end sections taper to 3" wide [Fig 2].
A 45° sliver is removed at this tapering transition point, so that the part can be glued into its angular shape [Fig. 3].
To further reinforce the angular shape, hide the glue seams, and cover the textured surface ... I added a lamination of craft foam [Fig. 4]. It was cut oversize, adhered, then cut and sanded flush.
It took quite a bit of fumbling to determine the placement of the handle as it as hard to hold in place and then free up a hand to make the position. I actually had to make a few marks and then test the fit of each set, which worked nicely. With the decision made, the handle was glued on one side at a time [Fig. 5&6].
Step 17: Poltergust: Straps
The straps are repurposed webbing assemblies from promotional fleece blankets. My company closed an office several years back and everyone took the blankets, but ditched the straps. I took them and have been using them on projects ever since [Fig. 1]. I didn't even have to trim them up - just remove a few clasps and I was good to go. The lengths were 17 1/2" and after gluing in place, the exposed lengths were 16".
Attachment locations couldn't have been easier.
For the top straps, I just went above the internal foam cylinder supports. A slot was cut with a razor, strap pushed through and glued down with contact cement [Fig. 2-4].
For the bottom straps, I cut the slot right above the bottom layer of foam, pushed the strap through, and glued it down.
At this point, I decided to make foam buckle covers. They are 1 1/2" wide x 2 1/4" tall. A center channel was carved out using the strip sander and then they were glued over the plastic clasp [Fig. 5]. The sides looked horrible, so I added a layer of 1/8" craft foam to hide the crimes.
To match the design of the game, a 5/8" x 2 1/4" rectangle of 1/8" foam was adhered to the front face [Fig. 6].
Note: It was near impossible to open the clasps and when trying, the foam was smashed/deformed. I ended up removing rectangular areas of foam for finger access, which can be seen in the finished photos.
Step 18: Prep, Plasti, & Prime
In some areas I had been a little less that precise when it came to Barge application and experience has taught me that will telegraph through paint. Barge thinner applied to a rag will remove the reside without releasing parts, nor damaging the foam [Fig. 1&2]. After any residual thinner had evaporated, I heat sealed all foam surfaces using a heat gun. You can see the pores of the foam close as heat is applied. Keep the heat gun moving or you'll start to burn or even melt the foam.
Note: When heating foam, I recommend wearing a respirator and having good ventilation. I ran my air purifier as well as an exhaust fan.
After masking off all the PVC parts, as well as the plastic paint can, I applied multiple LIGHT coats of Plastidip to all foam surfaces until I had even coverage - probably 3-4 coats. Do not get greedy or you will get runs - multiple light passes .. trust me. [Fig. 3&4].
Once the Plastidip had cured, gray primer was applied to all of the parts [Fig. 5]. Multiple light coats until I had even coverage. This was followed by a base layer of black.
Once the black was dry, I masked off again to paint the wheel hubs and hose port gray [Fig. 6-8].
Step 19: Poltergust: Hose
While painting I was concurrently fabrication the hose, which is made from a split cable sleeve - aka braided wire sleeving or mesh cable wrap. I acquired it during an office closure, used some for my Ghostbuster Costume [1984 Version], and still have quite a bit remaining. I had a length already at 52", so that's what I used.
One end was pushed into a 3/4" PVC coupler, a section of 5/8" dowel used as a retention plug, and then superglue applied to lock it in place.
The wrap was fed onto a 3/4" pipe to keep it at a fixed diameter while rings of foam were secured using contact cement. The rings are 2" wide x 5" long and I chose to overlap the seam for strength - then taper the seam using a sanding drum on the Dremel.
Finishing/painting was comprised of: Heat sealing, Plastidip, primer, black paint, gray paint.
The 3/4" pipe was removed and a 3/4" coupler attached to the opposing end using the same process as the first.
Overall length of the hose ended up being 53 1/2". If I had it to do over, I'd add 6-8".
Note: Anytime I had to paint indoors due to rain, I wore a respirator and had good ventilation. I ran my air purifier as well as an exhaust fan.
Step 20: Painting: Metallic
After letting the painted foam parts cure overnight, I unmasked the PVC parts of vacuum wand and flashlight parts .. then masked any foam sections [Fig. 1]. Primer was applied, followed by a black base coat [Fig. 2].
Next, any sections of the PVC which were to remain black were masked. The vacuum body was masked to only expose the fan housing, as well as the vacuum end of the hose [Fig. 3].
Not pictures are the foam buckle covers, but they were part of the party.
Metallic silver was applied in 3-4 light passes [Fig. 4-6].
Step 21: Wheels, Buttons, & Trim
For the green recesses within the wheel hubs, I used a green acrylic paint. Had the green film arrived early (that will make sense shortly), I would've used that instead by sandwiching it between the foam layers.
For the power buttons, I used foam. Sections of sharpened copper pipe work well as punches for foam. This one is 1/2" and was sharpened on the OSB. The buttons were heat sealed, primed, and then a few coats of red.
For the red on the propeller, I used acrylic paint. Masking the individual blades was a hassle and I didn't want to risk pulling up metallic paint when removing the tape.
The final trim detail was on the top bend of the wand handle. I laid it out in place and shaped it until satisfied. It was attached with contact cement, masked, heat sealed, primed, black base, then metallic silver.
Then of course a group photo of all the currently finished parts.
Step 22: Painting: Red
Back to the vac. Components to remain black or silver were masked and many light passes off red were applied for even coverage. I'd say 5-6 coats wouldn't be an exaggeration when it comes to red pigments.
My order of spraying which seemed to work the best was inside, front, back, bottom, sides. I also moved fast enough to keep a "wet" edge.
It was left to cure for several hours before unmasking and the few areas of bleeding onto the back were easily touched up with a detail brush. I'd just spray a bit of black paint into a small pool on some cardboard and move quick.
Lastly, all of the components were moved upstairs to cure out in a warmer space.
Note: This Krylon ColorMaxx paint is awesome. It's ready for the next application in a minute and dry to the touch in under 10 minutes. The Rustoleum I've used previously remained tacky for at least half a day. Highly recommend.
Step 23: Goo & Illumination
As mentioned early on, my brain became fixated on the idea of illuminating the costume with remote controlled LED puck lights - one for the flashlight and one for the Gooigi cylinder. The catch was that I needed green transparent material ... turns out it's easily acquired online.
This 12" x 48" roll was $5.99 and is said to be for headlights, tail lights, and fog lights. I don't know where that would be legal, but that's not my jurisdiction. One side is adhesive, so it either needs to be adhered to a clear plastic layer, or just fold it onto itself like I did.
I started with peeling back the film and sticking the first few inches of either end together. I then clamped this end between a few boards, so I'd be able to retain tension as I slowly removed the film while working down the full length of the film [Fig. 1&2]. This method seemed to work as I ended up with very few bubbles, which were ok since they added to the "Goo" effect anyway [Fig. 3]. The two short edges were cut straight and then the 12" dimension cut down to 7 5/8" The film was then rolled into a cylinder which perfectly slotted onto the retention discs and I used packing tape on the back seam.
Note: You could skip the retention rings and just wrap the film around the inner diameter of the paint can, but I liked the look of the gap between two cylinders.
In order to seal up the holes left by the paint can handle, I opted for small screws. I cut off the heads with bolt cutters, sanded them smooth on the strip sander, and then attached with superglue [Fig. 4].
Several assembly and modification rounds and I had ended on an illuminated chamber.
Mod 1: The light was too noticeable, so I painted it green [Fig. 5&6].
Mod 2: Light was still noticeable, so I built a foam ring to hide it [Fig. 7&8].
Mod 3: Ring was too noticeable in shadow, so I painted it green - not perfect, but better.
Mod 4: Top ring was too noticeable, so I covered it in aluminum tape to reflect more light [Fig. 9].
Step 24: Poltergust: Assembly
I had been looking forward to assembling all of the pack components to see everything come together ... I wasn't disappointed.
The propeller was placed into the fan hub and the small retention foam disc glued to the end of the 1/4" dowel on the inside. Initially, I planned on using superglue, but ditched it for fear of inadvertently locking all of the parts in static place. Hot glue worked just fine and the propeller can easily be turned [Fig. 2&3].
The wheels were also attached to the dowel axle with hot glue. I figured if it didn't hold, I'd switch to contact cement - it held just fine. One wheel was glued to the axle, dowel feed through the vac body, then the opposing wheel glued in place. The wheels can easily be turned and move in tandem [Fig. 4&5].
The bottom plate is a friction fit, so just place one side within the slot and then flex the opposing side into its slot. This did wrinkle the paint, but there was no cracking [Fig. 6]. There really is no need to remove this unless future modification are made. I could see that being a space for sound components - music, effects, vacuum sounds, etc.
Step 25: Poltergust: Vinyl Strap Wrap
I saved this design/detail decision for the end - leave the straps as black webbing, or wrap them in brown vinyl .. time being the overall deciding factor.
This vinyl was left over from my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle [Michelangelo] costume and I have about a yard of material left.
Upper Strap Sections:
I started by cutting 4" wide strips, which were then cut to the required length [Fig. 1]. The front face of the strap was glued in the center of the strip, inside edge folded over and glued to the back face, then the outside edge folded over and glued down. Then keeps the visible seam concealed as much as possible [Fig. 2-5].
Note: The blue tape was both a reference line and a clean glue line.
Lower Strap Sections:
I used the same folding method, but since I wanted to retain the ability to shorten the straps, I couldn't glue the vinyl to the webbing. I opted for a slip cover method. 4" strips at 10" lengths ... folded around the webbing and adhered to itself with hot glue.
Velco was added to the back of the foam buckle covers, which will help keep the pack from slipping down my pack. This will become clear soon.
Step 26: Barred Pipe, Shutoff Valve & Candy Chute
In between coats of paint and still having a few days before Trick r' Treat, I went further down the rabbit hole and started fabricating props.
A 14" disc with the center 10" disc removed - leaving a 2" wide ring. 1 1/2" wide foam strips were glued around the inside perimeter [Fig. 1]. Lengths of PEX were cut using the bandsaw [Fig. 2] and inserted into the foam at the half and quarter division locations. Holes were drilled in the center of the foam strip using a 1/2" step bit [Fig. 3&4].
A 16" disc with the center 11" disc removed - leaving a 2 1/2" wide ring. 4 1/2" wide foam strips were glued around the outside perimeter [Fig. 5]. 2" wide foam strips were then glued around the outside top edge to create the lip/flange [Fig. 6]. A foam segment was added to the inside, so that I could easily hang it on a wall [Fig. 7]
A three layered lamination of 7" discs [Fig. 8]. A compass was used to draw circles with a radii of 1 3/8" and 2 1/2", as well as divide the circle into 6 equal segments. Those markings were used to remove three areas of foam and make it look like a valve handle [Fig. 9]. A 1 3/4" disc was glued to the back center as a spacer and a short length of 1/4" PEX glued into a center hole, which acts as a peg for attaching it to the candy chute [Fig. 10]. Edges were cleaned up and rounded with a sanding drum on the Dremel.
A 46" length of 4" PVC pipe with a 3" wide ring of foam glued around one end [Fig. 11]. It gets screwed to a wooden bracket/hook for attachment to the retaining wall [Fig. 12]. Since I had to have a hole in the front of the pipe for access to top screw, I enlarged it to 1/2" and that's how the shutoff valve idea was conceived [Fig. 13].
All parts were heat sealed, Plastidip, primed, and black base coat .. then onto colors.
Barred Grate: Metallic silver [Fig. 14&15]
Pipe End: Green [Fig. 16]
Candy Chute: Green
Shutoff Valve: Initially green, but looked horrible. It was changed to metallic silver with red for the outside edge and back [Fig. 17&18].
The barred grate was attached to the pipe end with a blop of hot glue within each quadrant.
Step 27: Glamour Shots
My Poltergust G-00 in all it's glory. Few glue joints could be tighter, flashlight sanded better, hose a bit longer ... but I think it's fantastic overall.
For those interested in the numbers, this is how it shook out.
$12.60 2 packs of foam (Harbor Freight)
$6.39 plastic paint can (Michael's)
$5.99 green plastic film (Amazon)
$1.91 green paint (Michael's)
$8.08 PVC parts (Lowes)
$18.98 Puck lights (Amazon)
$5.98 Plasti-Dip (Lowes)
$3.98 Primer (Lowes)
$4.98 Black (Lowes)
$3.98 Green (Lowes)
$3.98 Red (Lowes)
$6.28 Silver (Lowes)
Already had contact cement ($25) & thinner ($25), superglue ($3 10pk at Harbor Freight), hot glue (Dollar Tree), 1/8" craft foam ($8 at Micheal's, vinyl, PEX, PVC pipe
$21.99 Luigi hat & gloves (Amazon)
$42.99 Overalls (Dickies.com)
$3.33 Shirt (Michael's)
Step 28: Trick R' Treat
For Trick r' Treat night, I set the stage per usual.
The candy chute was attached to the retaining wall with a plastic bin underneath. The grated pipe was hung on the front of the wall. Then I screwed my Halloween 2x4 into the side wall for attaching LED clamp lights.
It was a slow year, which I expected. I'd say we had between 10-15 groups - ranging from 1 - 4 kids. A few of the adult regulars did stop by to see if I had made anything and went out of their way to tell me how much they enjoy seeing what I come up with each year. Pictures got shared to some local social media groups.
Maybe I can find an excuse to wear it some more ... probably won't fit in it after I eat all the leftover candy.
Step 29: Videos
Step 30: Templates
I've scanned all my templates and combined them into a single PDF, which is available for download right here.
Since I didn't want to cut up my templates, some of them are in two parts/two pages. However, I included a splice line, so they can be aligned and taped together.
Also keep in mind that I didn't template everything. Circles can easily be drawn with a compass and other parts I just designed on the fly - the vents, vacuum port trim, etc.
If you make additional templates and want to share them with future prop/costume makers, send them and I'll add them.
Runner Up in the
1 Person Made This Project!
- JosephM422 made it!
4 months ago
Thank you so much for this Instructable! My son was thrilled with his Poltergust G-00. I added programmable LEDs to the wheels and the Gooigi cannister. I mainly followed your instructions except for the following:
I used a layer of acetate to stick my green vinyl to and then I coated the inside with Mod Podge mixed with a little bit of white paint to make it semi opaque.
I used a dishwasher hose for the vacuum hose. This was a mistake as it's a bit too rigid. I'm going to remake it with conduit mesh.
I was very pleased to find a 90 degree bell end elbow at my local hardware store which I used instead of the two 45 degree couplers for the hose handle.
I found a weird copper fitting that I can't remember the name of that I used for the small handle on the hose. I cut some plywood discs that fit inside the 1/2 inch T coupling and around the copper piece and I slathered it all in JB Weld. It's held up well. Then I just had to spray it silver and add some EVA foam.
I had an old PC fan that I cut apart and used, rather than crafting my own.
I made a back plate out of leather, cotton and 1/2 inch upholstery foam. It's mostly glued down has hook and loop holding it down at the bottom to give access to the electronics/battery in the bottom of the Poltergust. I made the straps out of a matching vinyl. The strap buckles are made from some plastic side release buckles that I glued a rectangle of EVA foam on and painted silver.
Reply 3 months ago
This looks amazing and I like the modifications.
Question 5 months ago on Step 8
This is fantastic, I started trying to make a cardboard one until I found this! Yours is great, and I know it was a lot of work bringing it to us all! I am probably doing something wrong, it’s not in your build design at all, when I print the pdf it is coming out smaller than it’s supposed to be. The michaels paint can wont fit in the cutouts. Seeing that, I measured your 5” wheel since that was marked what size it should be and it’s actually 7/16” too small (4 9/16” diameter). So the whole thing has somehow shrunk when I printed it. Could you tell me what program is recommended to open it to print? I don’t know if on my end it’s creating margins or something that shouldn’t be there or what it is. I am sure it is user error on my end, but I’m not sure how to reprint and fix the problem. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time!
Reply 5 months ago
Sounds like it might be a setting issue regarding the printer. Maybe auto-scaling to fit the page or something. Maybe there is an "actual size" setting. All printers seem different, so trying to troubleshoot blindly is difficult.
I'd mess with settings and just test print a page which has an item you know the dimension and can measure - like the wheel.
On my end, I just put my physical patters on the scanner bed because I'm old and don't make digital patterns.
5 months ago
This is amazing! I'm making one for my son for Halloween. It looks as though the Gooigi cylinder is just sitting in the frame, not glued in place. Is there anything securing it? I plan on adding addressable LEDs and sound so I want to be able to access things in the future if I need to but I'm worried about the cylinder flopping out.
Reply 5 months ago
Mine is just a friction fit. I think you could modify the design to incorporate concealed neodymium magnets or "industrial strength velcro."
Reply 5 months ago
Thanks for the quick reply! I have both of those on hand so I should be able to rig something up.
Question 6 months ago
Hello, for the hose how did you keep the cord wrap black? Did you mask off before painting the foam part or did you paint after?
Answer 6 months ago
I masked it off with tape. Hard to tell in the picture, but the cord wrap is an open mesh and that would be a drippy mess with paint.
Tip 10 months ago
I tried this out, adding crinkled cellophane to the inside of the cylinder adds a better glowing green goo effect. But keep the green film as well.
12 months ago on Step 2
Hey I'm really having a hard time with understanding pt. 2 to this project
Reply 12 months ago
The text directly references pictures within each step to help visualize. Other than that, you'd have to specify.
1 year ago
Using some of your templates, and a dome one bought from Etsy, I was able to make a Poltergust 3000.
1 year ago
Hello, I've contacted you about patterns via YouTube under my family's channel BeCos We Can Cosplay, and I wanted to show you what I have so far. The only thing I'm doing differently is making the hose from 1" PVC cuts and corrugated tubing.
I like yours alot more than the Volpin Props one that was made for Nintendo, because it's perfectly sized for cosplay and not a mascot costume.
Reply 1 year ago
That's looking great! I ventured into the attic last night for my templates. Today I scanned them and have put them into a single PDF, but the site isn't letting me upload the file - "unknown error."
I'll see if it lets me send it to you via direct email on Instructables.
I didn't template everything because circles are easy to draw with a compass and a few things were designed on the fly (vents, vacuum port trim).
Reply 1 year ago
could I get those scans as well? I am looking to attempt this amazing build.
Reply 1 year ago
The templates are available for download at the bottom of Step 30
Reply 1 year ago
do you know what size they're supposed to be printed in for scale?
Reply 1 year ago
I scanned them as is - 8.5x11 sheet ... no funny business.
Reply 1 year ago
thank you for being helpful and responsive. I have them printed now, but did you use 1" foam for the shell sides and back and 1/2" on the front stuff? It's hard to zoom and try to read what's on the frankenstein model.