Introduction: RATCHET AND CLANK: Costume for Halloween / Cosplay Videogame

About: Graphic Designer/Physicist in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. I specialize in Photoshop fantasy creations. I always need some work if you need something designed. My website has contact information

This will be full instructions on how I made Ratchet and clank with his wrench and the goldfish sonic eruptor burp gun weapon. I wore this to Anime North in Toronto May 30, 2010.



Two click lights or Lids of some kind for eyes
Two plastic bowls
Sports equipment (shoulder pads, leg pads, helmet, faceshield, snowboard bindings, kneepads)
leather gloves
scrap thin wood
fur (yellow and brown) half yard yellow, 4 inches brown
pooh stuffed animal
Two old computer Mice
tent window mesh
3 cans silver spraypaint (optional gold and blue, green)
hot glue
needle and thread
ffew dozen nuts and bolts washers, assorted screws
cheap masquerade mask
small angle brackets
yard of 1" dowelling
small doweling for connections (or a chopstick or two)
Several wooden cup shapes with 1" holes (I got at surplus cupboard handle store)
wooden wheels or equivalent
dollar store plastic toys for nuts and bolts
thin wire
some wired object for the tail (i used a long stuffed animal type flower)
duct tape
nerf gun
goldfish stuffed animal or equivalent
pipe clip or piece of tin
cheap mount climbing rope clips or keychain clips.


carpet/jack knife
drill (small bits and 1" bit)
glue gun
screwdrivers various

cost at thrift store prices <$200

Step 1: Building Clank

Clank  is Ratchet's robot buddy, who helps him out with various things, and rides on Ratchet's back like a backpack. In reality he snugs up his arms and legs like a turtle while being carried, but for showiness we are going to build him fully extended so he can be identified better.

When you attach him, make sure he sits straight up and down and low enough for you to move your head back without hitting HIS head. His feet should not ride on your butt or the will break off, so they must be fairly far forward.

Step 2: Clank's Body and Head

The hardest shape to find is his body, but I got lucky and found a hard plastic mailbox toy at a thrift store, anything vaugely the right shape can be used, or you can make one out of wood or foam etc.

I used two dollar store bowls for the head and jaw. The kind I got were a hard glass-like plastic, that fractured when I drilled the holes for attaching the eyes, main support, and neck, so be careful what you get, closer to tupperware would be best, thick but not brittle. I needed them to be hollow to get to the eye batteries but if you don't need that you can use something the right shape that is solid.

Sand everything smooth and spraypaint it on a sunny day in thin coats.

Step 3: Clank Head, Eyes, Neck

For the Eyes, I found 2 click lights that were round and used batteries. I wanted them to light up later so i kept them functional. When I opened them I found there wasn't much room to screw them to the head but I shoehorned  2 bolts into the nooks beside the circuit board, I put the nut inside clank's head.

To keep the bolts of the eyes accessible I had to allow access inside the head, so I stuck the two bowls together with a really long bolt that I was hoping would go all the way through, but was a bit short so I added a new support inside and kept the butterfly nut on top of the head for easy access. This mistake turned out to be usefull, since it was not in the way of the neck attachment then (yay for poor planning that helps!)

The full head was screwed onto the dowel (always use washers) through all the plates and the hole in the bowl (always predrill)

For stability of the bowls and because they seemed to crack easily, I make 2 circular plates out of  1/4" thick wood paneling ( actually the wooden back of an old tv I think) that I bolted together through the bowl itself, and the spacers for the long butterfly bolt, and IT'S small plate. See diagram.

The neck was about a foot of 1" dowel (that turned out to be Hardwood, which was really difficult to drill and screw, BUY SOFTWOOD if you can.

I later added some "bolts" to the side of his head, that I should have drilled at this step.

Step 4: Clank's Airvents

Clank has airvents in his belly. I couldn't find a light version of this that was small and cheap, so I faked it. I got an old double light switch plate and cut some wooden rectangles from the side of a wooden clementine orange box I found in the neighbour's garbage. Spraypaint everything silver first. The lightswitch alread has 4 holes to mount it, so I used them and bolted it to the belly.  The wood wouldn't hot glue to the belly properly so i took some cardboard and glued some fabric onto it and undid the bolts and bolted through that. Then the wooden slats of the vent hot glued on just fine.

Attach this first since it is the hardest to get to, and you don't have to deal with the fragile arms and legs or neck.

Clank has a small black box between his legs too. I found a black soap dish box and bolted it on at that time as well.

Step 5: Clanks Legs

The legs were the fun part. I found some wooden shapes at a surplus cupboard hardware store. They were turned wooden bead shapes about 1.5" long with most of the inside hollowed out like a cup. They fit the dowel I had perfectly. This allowed me to screw the upper leg to the cup, and the lower leg fit INTO the cup which I glued. This made life easy, since attaching a joint is difficult to do when you can't screw them. It also hid all the hardware.

Two 3" -ish long wooden dowels made the upper and lower leg bits. They were screwed and glued together. Cut the ends off at 45 degrees so the legs dangle bent on the body

I used computer mice for feet (empty the electronics, wheel and cord out) which were already grey and black, i sanded and painted over the dell logo.  The hole where the wheel goes was in a useful place so a small hole in the bottom and they just screwed onto the dowel.

The screw on the top went through the bottom of the body and they held firm.

Step 6: Clank's Arms

The arms were constructed like the legs. 2 pieces of dowel and a wooden cup. I added a wooden wheel at the shoulder to make it look nicer and look like it was a swivel joint. The hands themselves I pondered back and forth what to make them out of, trying plastic and other things, but under time pressure ended up just cutting out simple shapes with my jigsaw out of some pine plank, and "beveling" all the edges but whitling them with my carpet knife ( since i didn't have a router and it was fast). Sand all the edges again (I was sitting in the front doorway of my house where there is a lot of concrete and I used that as sandpaper most of the time, since the wind kept blowing away my actual sandpaper, it was also faster).  The fingers and palm I attached using an old chopstick I kept cutting up to make doweling. Drill a hole in each side, insert the chopstick chunk, and hotglue. (don't lose the small chopstick in the hole they are hard to get out. check the depth with the long chopstick first)

So the basic construction is hand, forearm, cup, upperarm, wheel, body.  I put a long screw from the inside of the body through the wheel and the upper arm. Make sure you predrill that angle correctly. I did it wrong 6 times and had to get more 1" dowel and recut and repaint it all, which cost me a whole day.  Doh!

The screw was long and allowed the arm to swing. Make sure you put a washer on the body inside plastic is in fact "plastic" and screws tend to pop through if you pull them, after a while. The swinging turned out to be a good idea since i banged them on doors a lot. This would also be useful in a bar with idiots who will grab his arms first I am sure. (covering them with thumbtacks would be a good preventative measure)

Step 7: Clank's Neck Onto the Body.

This was actually the hardest part to figure out. The mailbox didn't have a "top" on it to drill though, so there was nothing to attach the neck to at the top. The bottom I cut long enough to sit on the bottom, so i screwed a long screw straight up through the bottom, for extra stability i put a small angle bracket on it to keep it from spinning around (at arrows).  But what about holding the top?

After humming and hawing for a few days, I discovered some hard building block foam I had gotten at at garage sale that was 2 inches thick. I was planning on just drilling holes through several pieces and then gluing them, but when playing with that one got stuck when I put it in sideways! Eureka!
I just used a couple of pieces that were cut exactly to bridge the sides and since it was slightly flexible, I could get it in and it held really tight.

I also got lucky that I had just inherited a bit and brace that happened to have a 1" drill bit. (Thanks Grandpa) The bit was antique of course so it wouldn't fit in my new handdrill, so I used the bit and brace itself. The bit and brace was REALLY comfortable to use and worked better than my new drill, it didn't skip or slide around, it just dug in and held where you put it, nice and slow. Cool experience, and Environmentally friendly too!

Step 8: Attach Clank to the Backpack

I wanted comfortable straps for carrying him around all weekend, so I cut the bag front off of an old school backpack, and bolted clank to the rest.

The mailbox didn't have many nice attachment points at the bottom, so after drilling and bolting the backpack to the top into two holes, (put washers on the backpack side too), and making sure it sat straight, and measuring where the bottom bolts should be. I decided to put two more angle brackets onto the bottom of the base of the body. I just bolted the pack bottom to them (behind his leg)

Test it out to see if it sits straight, and doesn't interfere with anything.

Step 9: Weapons: Sonic Eruptor/ Burp Gun

Ratchet can earn a very reconizable gun called the "Sonic Eruptor", it is an orange creature, on the end of a gun that burps/gives mating call, and destroys his enemy. It puffs up its cheeks when it charges and does more damage.  It just happened to be the same colour as the part I used for the tail, so the cheeks were just sewn on and stuffed with packing foam.

When looking for the correct creature I actually found a goldfish stuffed animal on the first try at shopping. It was expensive but I couldn't pass it up. Finding a Nerf gun turned out to be the harder thrift store find but I got one at the last minute.

I took out all the unnecessary guts from the gun to make it lighter (no longer shooting rockets...sigh) but looked about right, and was the right colour too.

I just wired the fish right to the frame in a few minutes.

Step 10: Weapons: Ratchet's Wrench

Ratchet upgrades his wrench for every game, but it has a distictive shape, is mostly silver and has cover for his knuckles. The knuckle cover was tough, but i found a toy half tambourine, that i cut up and attached to the long 1" dowel. The head of the wrench I cut out of a plank and beveled with my carpet knife like the hands. The crosspiece was dowel and the wooden cups from the arms and legs made attaching the tbar easy since i could glue one inserted side and screw and glue the working end of the uprights.  Attaching the tabmourine was trickier but aI had some small copper pipe mounts that I cut in half and drilled a new hold into.

Having experience with long wearing of costumes, I knew I had to keep one hand free, and I had a wrench and a gun,  so I decided to attach the wrench to some loops onto two mountain climber rope clips I got at the dollar store onto my pant belt buckle loops. This let the wrench hang in a convenient spot while I did other things and i didn't have to keep setting it down. The straps I used were long enough that when the papparzzi were taking pics, I could grab it and hold it out a bit, and look like it wasn't hanging but being carried, then i could drop it again and carry on walking around.

Step 11: Ratchet's Armour

The hardest part to find cheaply in May was the hockey shoulder pads, that I can usually get for 5 dollars closer to halloween when i usually collect them for various future projects. Being the beginning of summer, I had to get them outside of the thrift store market,  and got them at a "used sports store" and they were 25$ which is way more than I wanted to pay, but at the last minute I bit the bullet. (I much prefer the garage sale by bitter divorced wife sale of male sports equipment!)

I ripped the padding out of  some old hockey pants for the hip and tail armour, I had some old kneepads, I then got lucky on some snowboard bindings to make silver hover boots that I stole for 3$.   Everything got spraypainted silver which ate up 2 cans of silver spray paint.

I added some blue sections to the chest part, with some paint i had.

I used a batting helmet with the brim cut off, with a hockey visor for the helmet.

Step 12: Ratchet's Tail

Ratchet is a Lombax which looks kind of like a tiger so his tail is yellow and brown stripes. I had found a 3 foot long stuffed animal flower thing (probably from a carnival prize) at a thrift store. It was a strong wire inside which was perfect. I cut strips of fur out and sewed them together by hand while watching tv, then put it over the length of the flower like a sock.
I had gotten lucky and found a close out sale of GLAM TRIMZ which was various shades of yellow 3" wide strips of fur trim. I got a few inches of brown fur at the same place for decoration.

I didn't have any longer fur, for the tip and was running out of time so I sacrificed a frufru style dog stuffed animal from a gift store just for the fur. It was a satisfying murder (I hate yappy old lady dogs -- well not my definition of a dog really, if you step on it and it dies, it wasn't a dog anyway it was a glorified rat)

I got lucky on the flower colour and used the petals for the cheeks of the sonic eruptor goldfish. later i cut off the entire flower head and bolted the wire to the butt armour.

The tail is posable.

Step 13: Ratchet's Mask Structure

I originally was going to construct the whole face the proper way, but got lucky and found a winnie the pooh stuffed animal with an oversized head. I gutted it and sliced open the back it was perfect and the right colour to start wtith so I could be sloppy with the fur. I cut off the body, and nose and attached a snout from another animal. I supported it with some camping mat foam in the form of a small open box shape. I stuffed the remaining areas and then sewed the nose back on top from the original pooh. I cut a hole in the bottom of the chin/neck and covered it with a small piece of tent window netting so i could breath.

I wore the head to see where my eyes were and cut the holes there. After a round about experiment painting 2 magnifying glasses as eyes, i hated them and couldn't see, so i re-engineered the eyes using flat fun foam from the dollar store (like construction paper but thin foam for kids crafts) For the pupil I used tent window mesh which is both opaque black from a distance and invisible at short range. so you can see out but hey can't see in. very useful. I cut out some nice cartoon eye shapes with highlights. They didn't have green foam so i painted some blue foam quickly and it worked out fine. I hotglued the foam eyes on and it worked great. I had lots of vision, but wearing glasses is still a pain, since the tend to fog up on a hot summer day. Halloween should be better.

Step 14: Ratchet's Face Teeth, Eyebrows

It took some stitching but I covered the face with the fur strips by hand. Sewing onto the winnie the pooh base. Around the mouth I left some seam area so the teeth could be stuck underneath. I used dark brown fur for the eyebrows (carefully, his expression changes drastically depending on size and angle,  a few degrees either way and he can go from normal to frightened or ticked off angry. Funny how much emphasis our visual cues change our opinions of people.

The teeth were a long strip of funfoam cut out with teeth part way through. I stuffed them up under the allowance of the gumline fur and hot glued them there to the fur. (top and bottom). He looked funny, and although ratchet doesn't seem to have lips in the game I rolled a thin strip of the fur material inside out and put a roll of it on the bottom gumline. That made it much better and gave him that weird grin that ratchet always has.

Really funny thing, without the nose you would swear it was a homer simpson mask. yet another visual cue humans can't get over.

Step 15: Ratchet's Ears

I used some golf club head  covers that I had to support the ears. I unrolled the foam in them and cut them to a kite shape that folded into the ear triangle shape. I sewed fur in the correct stripe pattern (Ratchet has 3 brown ear stripes) while they were flat.

I was half hour from leaving deadline with no sleep and couldn't figure out how to actually attach them to the helmet. Then almost giving up, I found a masquerade mask that I was originally going to use to structure the face. I cut it in half and used 2 angle brackets to bolt it to the helmet. I folded the ears around the triangles of the mask uprights and they held pretty well, since the mask was wavy. I took some wire and clipped the corners of the ears together really tight and the waviness of the mask held the ears firmly in place. The flexible plastic of the mask let the ears bang around and flex without tearing off.

Step 16: Gold Bolts

No Ratchet and Clank would be done properly without the fun feature of the game, so I had gotten some kids construction toys (wrenches and bolts) from the dollar store and painted them gold, so throw around when I went out to cosplay.

I was planning ot make space gloves for him including the Groovetron disco ball, but I ran out of time, so I used my trusty antique motorcycle gloves that I wish I had 100 pair of, since they are so useful.

I had lots of fun at Anime North in Toronto, and everyone seemed to want to take pictures. Hope you had fun reading this too.

The end.

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