I am wearing my version of Uncle Sam. A “Zombie Uncle Sam” costume designed,built and worn by myself. I wanted to do a zombie costume this year and as I was building the base of it. I thought it would cool to make him Uncle Sam, since the state of politics are the way they are now. I built this costume to march in the 2017 NYC village Halloween parade. It was well received to say the least. I love Halloween. I love to build amazing detailed scary costumes. I see it as a art form and an outlet for my creativity. Something you don’t see in pictures is the smoke come off my back.
When I make a costume its starts with a small idea and then by doing research of that idea. I look for Images that I like and take reference from. I usually start with one Idea by the end it morphs into something a bit different. Kinda Like a drawing from the mind. So to say how I made this. Well... That comes from within and it constantly changes as the costume grows. So its hard to explain completely. Years of playing around with these mediums help a lot. I would say start simple and build it like a you would a house. I lay a foundation and then step back and take a look. Then I decide where to go next. One step at a time. Pay attention to the small details. That can really make a costume. It takes a lot of time and patiences. I hope my creations inspire the next artist to go up and beyond the rest.
Step 1: Building Materials
I used bones from a plastic skeleton, liquid latex, zip ties, hot glue, acrylic paint, cotton fabrics, fake white hair, LEDs, wires and lithium batteries. And creativity. Oh and a tiny fog machine by look solutions helps!
Step 2: Building Process
First, I bought a high end skeleton online. Taking only the upper torso, I cut the ribs down the sides. To make two halves. Then I used a heat gun to flatten down the ribs to help fit around the Military style vest I use as a base of the costume. I attached the ribs to the vest by drilling holes in the ribs at the ends where I cut them. And attached with zip ties. After front and back were attach I used a mixture of stretchy cotton and latex to make the rotting flesh on the ribs. After it all dried I painted with Brown acrylic paints. Wiping away paint with a cloth to make desired look. Then I distressed a white dress shirt and a military jacket with a pair of scissors. Then I hot glued the cloths to the skeleton. I used latex and red acrylic paint to make the guts between the ribs of the zombie. I coated all the skeleton bones and guts with a acrylic clear coat.
I then added some LEDs behind the rib to give it depth. I used 3 in the front and 4 in the back. Placing the lithium battery in the left pocket. Soldering all wires together to a connector. I also added a tiny fogger in the right pocket connected to a hose that wrapped around the back to the spiral core.
For the hands I took the hands of the skeleton and glued them to a pair of long black gloves after making them look like the rest of the bones.
For the mask I took a simple skull mask and added latex and paint to it. To make it look like the rest of the body, A decaying corpse. I added white hair to the head and added a white goatee.
For the top hat, I took a black top hat and spray painted it white. I took blue and white fabric to make the stars and band around the hat.
For the Pants, I just took some white pants and distressed and painted them with red paint.
And final to be extra tall I wore 6” platform boot.
Step 3: Final Note. a Little About My Passions and This Particular Costume
I have always had a passion for the theatrical and the idea of Halloween since I was a little boy. Once combined, these passions ignited a love affair of equal parts quality and ingenuity. Designed to frighten the hell out of innocents these works of art are nothing less then perfect. I take pride in the smallest details. Each and every project is a labor of love and a chance to top the last creation. I continue to design and create the magic of the Halloween season while working at my day job as a IASTE Local One Broadway lighting technician. I look forward to collaborating with others that have the same passion I do.
I was mobbed by 1000's of people on the streets of NYC. All wanting to take a picture with me. People couldn't get over it. Professional and amateur photographers alike. I was even interview by multiple media platforms. The night was really exciting. But the best part was throwing out fake money to the kids along the parade route. They were scared and happy at the same time. The spirit of Halloween for me!