Intro: Angel of Death Grim Reaper Costume
I built and wore the Angel of Death Grim Reaper Costume for the 2013 Nyc Halloween Parade. I wanted the Reaper to appear to be walked out of the fires of hell still simmering. Looking for souls!
I made the wings with 2 full sets of real medical grade human plastic bones. You can get these bones from www.skeleton-factory.com. I dissembled the arms and rearranged the bones to form the wings. I used 1/4" bamboo to extend the wings. I used the fingers of the hands to create the wing tips. I used liquid latex and cotton for the wings skin. Using thin wire to add strength and positioning. The wings are rigged to an army "Alice" backpack frame. This frame also supports the LED Lighting, fog machines, a speaker and LIpo Batteries.
I made the cloak out of several layers of different transparent textured fabrics. I cut holes and painted the fabric with Latex paints to make the cloak look like its been burnt and worn. I also using hot glue for the cob-webing texture. The hands are also medical grade plastic bones and latex sewn onto black gloves. I used 6” platform boots, football shoulder pads, and a bike helmet to make the reaper stand over 6’8”.
The scythe is made from 1" Insulation foam, fiber glass, 1' aluminum flat stock, a tree branch, and latex/spray paint.
I have over 650 LED flicking inside the costume simulating burning coal.
I used 3 sets of 216 Vinkerman Angel Teardrop LED Lights (Red, Orange, and Yellow). I found these lights cheapest at Meijer.com.
I also used 6 Ikea JANSJÖ LED USB lamps (Black and White covers). I used two black USB lamps for the face light and four white USB lights to light up the wings. I used Rosco Gel to color those LED's.
I controlled these LED's with 5-MCBRF-4A Single Color LED Mini Dimmer with Dynamic Modes - RF Remote from Superbrightleds.com. I used one for each LED strand and the wing USB lights by color and the other two for the two different color face USB lights (Red and Yellow). I did this because I wanted control of the flicker effect for each color and the face light. So all LED's won't flicker at the same wave length and speed. I could have used just one but I didn't want to see any pattern in the flicker. These controllers have multiple flicker effects to switch from. These Micro controllers are pretty neat and are a good price.
I powered all of this with 2-3 Cell Lipo 5000ma batteries. I used one battery for backup.
For the smoke effect I used 2-Look Solutions Tiny FX Tiny Fogger Fog/Smoke Machine with their own Lipo batteries and fog juice jug each. One mounted on my backpack and one on the bottom of my cloak shooting into a looping vacuum hose sewn into the cloak with holes spaced 6" apart. I wired both foggers to a 2 channel control switch leading to my right arm. Allowing me to add fog when desired.
I also used a Jambox mounted in my backpack for the cracking of fire sound effect. I connected through bluetooth to my iPhone that played the sound effect. I kept my phone in my pocket.
I also used a cheap voice disguiser mounted on the shoulder strap to make my voice deep and demented.
Experience of being in costume:
I felt like a rockstar in this costume. I could only walk about 3 feet before the crowd would stop me and ask for pictures, many proclaiming I was best in show and praising me for my meticulous dedication to detail. Those who were not able to get my pic would chase me down the street to get me to stop.
I believe in the small details in everything I create especailly my costumes. Even the details that most people wouldn't even notice. To me, this is what makes an epic costume.
Hope you enjoy this years halloween costume. You can also see the video I put together here on www.deadtreeconcepts.com