Jan 6, 2013, 4:02 PM - Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Thought I was past due for a good costume progress thread, so I thought I'd share this one.
Randomly discovered this series on Netflix a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. Decided the character of Cullen Bohannon would make a pretty cool costume, but I wasn't convinced until they hit season 2 and the upgrades that went along with it. It didn't hurt that I already have the pants and had fabric on hand that would make a good stand-in for the coat.
Sadly I didn't decide to start doing progress shots until I had nearly finished the frock coat. This is the piece I started on. I had a few yards of a heathered charcoal wool twill that I used for a movie I worked on last summer. I also had recently corrected my personal frock coat pattern when I did an "on the fly" Series 7 doctor frock for Dragon Con. Here's the nearly finished frock. I still need to add buttons, buttonholes and give it a final pressing.
The gun and holster came next. The gun posed a unique problem.
In the show they repeatedly refer to Cullen's sidearm by name. He carries a Griswold & Gunnison Civil War revolver. Upon researching where to get a decent Griswold replica I ran across some info that the gun actually used onscreen is not a Griswold, but rather a 1860 Colt Army. Upon reviewing several screengrabs and watching the show, even in scenes where they show the gun while using it's name, it is in fact a Colt... So rather than try to correct the screen flub, I went with what they actually used. Picked up a Denix replica on eBay for decent price and started on the holster.
The type of holster used is called a "Mexican double loop." Finding this info helped get more research on how to build it. I began with several stages of mock up for it. After I got the pattern I wanted (though I've since retweaked it, and may remake it if I have time) I transferred the mock up to the leather, cut it out and did a little gentle wet molding to shape it to the gun.
I spent the weekend cleaning up the leather and dying and finishing. Was introduced to a "new to me" product called "Gum Traganth" that I used for the raw sides of the leather to great effect. My new favorite product.
Next was the belt and suspenders. Belt was pretty straightforward. went with 2" wide, extra long strip of cowhide that I picked up at tandy. Dyed, beveled, finished, easy peasy. The suspenders were a little more in depth. Lots of 1" strips of 3-4 oz. hide I had laying around. Picked up some buckles that looked similar to his from tandy and started building.
Also pretty straightforward, just with more bit n pieces. Got everything together minus the elastic in the back. Just need to find that and stitch everything together on the industrial at work.
Here's all the accessories achieved during my weekend long drunk crafting session:
So that's where I am now. Other items to tackle:
Knife and sheath
Blue linen shirt
Grey leather vest
I've a pair of Frye Campus boots to use as a base for his. I haven't found anything that exists in the real world to match, so I'm assuming they're a custom job.
Leather samples, knife parts and wig are all in the mail heading my way right now.
The shirt I already have, if I can find what I did with it. I just need to dye and distress it.
I have a similar hat already as well. Just needs decorated and distressed.
Jan 7, 2013, 3:13 AM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Time to start growing a manly beard.
Jan 7, 2013, 10:50 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
That's the easy part. I scrunch my face up real good and hair starts growing. Now if I could just make it the right color without mascara...
Minor update. Still waiting on the handle parts, but went ahead and started the knife sheath. This blade is pretty. I almost hate to take the edge off of it.
Jan 7, 2013, 11:39 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
awesome work! looking forward to seeing this done!
Jan 7, 2013, 11:50 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Jan 8, 2013, 4:40 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Awesome as usual. I really need to continue watching that show again.
Jan 9, 2013, 12:28 AM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Got my sheath finished. Now just need the knife parts to come in. All the parts are currently in the mail though. So that might be my weekend project.
ANNNNNND because I can't leave well enough alone. I went ahead and remade the holster to correct some of the mistakes I made with the first. Much happier with it now.
Looking to get some work done on the hat tomorrow.
Jan 10, 2013, 8:53 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Pulled a hat out of my personal stock that will make a good stand in until I get a good one.
Jan 12, 2013, 10:23 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Another quick update. Looking at images and discovering a bunch of hanky linen I had in my fabric storage, I decided to go ahead and make the shirt. This image shows the shirt immediately after construction, and after the blue dye bath. Still need to do buttons and buttonholes.
Jan 18, 2013, 9:34 AM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Got a new pair of boots to stand-in/be the base for whenever I can get to it. I think I'll be okay with just dying these down to the right color for now. If I continue the costume, I'll think about how to make them more SA.
Jan 22, 2013, 3:03 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Mate, lovin ya work! The missus and I have been big fans of the series since it started and I was struggling to find information on the holster so thank you. Were gearing up to build a small diorama of the men building the railroad and I was researching the gun and holster to hang under it.
Looking foward to seeing your progress!
Jan 23, 2013, 12:48 AM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Started the vest tonight. Down to vest, knife and a few dye notes.
I lucked up and found this distressed grey leather to make the vest out of. It's really pretty close. The same taupe ground with grey overdye. Though sometimes the grey gets rather blue. I tried to cut around the blue as best I could. Also, a bit on the heavy side at 3 oz. Fortunately my industrial Pfaff at work handles it quite nicely.
Started with the laughing moon Victorian vest pattern from the pack that has the frock coats in it. Mocked it up and ended up altering it pretty severely. Now wish I had taken pics of this process.
Here we are as of tonight. My goal was to assemble the back and get the pockets done in the front. Here's a couple pics of my insanity. Four, count em, 1, 2, 3, 4. FOUR single welt pockets. In 3oz leather... Never again!
Feb 1, 2013, 10:25 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Slowed down a bit on this project. Slammed it together just so I could wear it to a Victorian themed wedding at Chattacon last weekend and ended up not being able to wear it because I had to help the bride finish her wedding dress 2 hours before the wedding.
However, this gives me time to continue tweaking. Currently I have finishing the knife and getting the wig knocked out. More pics to come on the now finished vest, but today... Wig!
I picked up this wig online to start with. The main issue I'm having with it is that the lace front is too dark for me. It is, after all, made for black women. Most of the more reasonably priced, easier to find wigs are. Just a bigger market I guess... So this will need replaced soon. But it has provided a good training ground...
I gave it a quick trim to get it the right length. You always want to start out longer than you really need (Unless, of course, you find the perfect style right out of the box). Then cut and style your way to the end result.
I gave it a try after cutting and immediately noticed how full the wig was. Like watermelon head huge! One thing you need to know about wigs is that they are made with WAAAAYYY too much hair. So I started removing wefts. I'm about halfway through, but I've been basically going down and removing every other weft. Wefts are what mass-produced wigs are made from. They are tracks of hair that look sort of like fringe, that are just layered one on top of the other on a mesh cap.
So that's where I am right now. Going to continue this so I can go ahead and get a head measure and get my hat made. Then explore a lighter lace wig.
Knife should get finished this weekend.
Nov 13, 2013, 11:13 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Everything in here looks amazing! I just signed up for this website just so i could talk to you about it lol. I love the show and ive been looking for cloths like Cullen for a long time now. I have a similar vest and pants but I'm having a hard time finding a Jacket. Are you selling any of the things you have? or maybe the Patterns to them?
Nov 14, 2013, 11:50 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
Sadly no. I plan to keep this around for awhile, and even after I get my specific use out of it, the pieces are pretty useful for other things. There isn't much call for me to copy the pattern for resale, so it would be pretty substantial charge to do a copy for what may be only one individual.
Nov 19, 2013, 1:06 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
This is amazing stuff! Please email me at email@example.com if you want to sell any of it!
Nov 19, 2013, 2:11 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
This is a really nice costume you have going here. My wife and I discovered it in the spring and like it very much.
As for others looking to make an outfit like this I wonder if they have tried any of the civil war sutlers. I have done reenacting for years and many of the clothing suppliers make other period clothing as well and since the show is not too long after the civil war I figure it a good starting point. Hope it helps. One I used a lot was the quartermaster shop in Michigan. Great quality items.
Nov 19, 2013, 9:39 PM - Re: Hell on Wheels Cullen Bohannon Costume WIP
I guess I should have said that I am always open for commission to make any of these pieces...
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