Hey all, since I came here for inspiration and tips in the first place, I thought I'd share the results of my "Star Trek: Wrath of Khan" Khan Noonien Singh outfit that I made for my costume birthday party this past weekend!
The build took about four days the week leading up to the party, with a lot of shopping around for bits and pieces in the few weeks beforehand. Finding the right fabric, and cheaply, was the most time-consuming part of this project - if money is no object, I'm sure someone could make this much more quickly; the whole thing cost me under $45.
- Wig is a pale blonde mullet wig: Couldn't find a platinum or grey one, unfortunately, but this one had the shape and was close enough. In the movie's opening scenes, his hair has a slightly blonde tint to it, so I was fine with it. In the future, I might find some way to dye synthetic wig material.
- Tunic is made from scratch from a dark orange polar fleece, with a little padding in the quilted collar: I traced fabric panel patterns from a regular button-down, slim-fitting shirt of mine, leaving about an inch of extra space on the edge and changing the edge on the front panels to account for the double-breasted front and to show the massive amount of Khan/Montlebahn cleavage necessary. I also added a very large and wide piece of equilateral trapezoid-shaped fabric at the neck of the back panel, which I rolled with some padding, tapered at each end, to create the collar. I rolled the padding down to double-width of the final collar, quilted the collar sections in 1.5" widths, and then folded it under itself and attached the sides of the collar to the two front panels, after I had assembled the tunic.
The extra padded detail is created by cutting a piece of fabric in the shape and then rolling pieces of fleece and fixing them with glue to create the quilting. Make the rolls twice as long as the width of the fabric and, after affixing, wrap the ends around to the back to create a closed quilt. No padding is necessary, as the fabric acts as it's own padding at this size. Then simply sew the accessories onto the main tunic, or wrap to make cuffs. The tunic lines are just long strips of fabric hot glued to the tunic.
The fleece was a blessing on several levels. It's incredibly easy to work with; it lets you easily manipulate and shape it around the curves of the collar and when folding/padding the collar itself. It is also very comfortable and warm, despite being full of holes and missing an arm; while some of my party guests were chilly (my apartment can get cold), I was quite toasty.
- Necklace is phone wire, washers, electrical tape, hot glue, cardboard and paint: I didn't have the time or money to order the Starfleet belt buckle or necessary authentic electrical fittings (ferrite rings, eight pin octal tube socket, euro 4 pin din, etc...) so I just cobbled it together by stripping old phone wire and wrapping it around three washers of various sizes, and cutting, taping and painting cardboard for the buckle.
- Belt and Buckle is silver poster board and brown pleather: The buckle still needs to be aged/weathered/sealed, but it's just silver posterboard/light bounce card cut to look like the prop. I got it from B&H, our local photo/video store, but I'm sure art supply houses would have it.
- Wrist Device is stripped ethernet cable, brown pleather, silver poster board, velcro and hot glue: Last minute addition to the costume, I cut out a wrist band from the pleather I had, cut a rectangle of silver poster board, cut two slits in the short ends and threaded the pleather through. Then I simply partially stripped an ethernet cable and hot-glued the plug end onto the poster board, along with some other electronics looking thingies. TIP: When cutting the ethernet cable, leave some of the casing intact; you can then divide this into adjustable cable holders that you can slide up and down the length of the exposed wires to keep them together. Then I just stuck a piece of self-adhesive velcro as a clasp.
- Glove is black leather hot glued with black and metallic fabric: Just a spare, black leather winter glove I had lying around and it happened to be the right hand. I lucked out on finding a fabric with metallic triplets running along it to simulate the metallic beading on the actual prop. (I also got more to make Khan's Ceti Alpha V desert mask, but ran out of time.)
- Chest Sash is a brown leather belt, key rings, stripped ethernet cable and hot glue: This is just a 99-cent store belt with partially stripped cable threaded through the holes and key rings threaded through the wires. The wire is glued down by the outer casing to the belt on the back, so you can still adjust the wires for size. This is not a photo accurate prop, but it worked well enough for the party. You could easily use these same materials to do the build properly by flipping the belt so the buckle's on top, cutting away the rectangular buckle and replacing it with a half circle ring from a shoulder bag or purse, embedding a ring, etc... I simply had time constraints.
"Who has my copy of MOBY DICK?!!"
Final budget broke down to this, approximately:
Orange fleece, 2 yards: $16
Mullet wig: $10 (including shipping)
Silver light bounce poster board: $7
Brown pleather, 1 yard: $5
Hot glue: $4
Key rings: $0.99
Black and metallic material, 1 yard: $0.99
Glove, wiring, velcro, padding, cardboard, paint and other miscellany were free, scavenged or on hand. Dark brown pants are from Old Navy, but could be from any, old thrift shop.