Chief Jim Hopper Costume and Props Thread


TwoLuckyFish

New Member
Wow. OK, you guys have been so helpful! In a future post, I'll provide some pictures of my "build".

First, my inspiration: My dad passed away earlier this year, and one of the items I inherited was his Smith & Wesson Model 66, stainless, 4-inch barrel. The next time I watched Stranger Things, I realized..."Hey, I have that gun!" It's an odd way to start a costume project, but there it is.

Second, my costuming history and approach: Back in high school (class of 1983; I was a total nerd, including D&D), a friend and I built Star Trek: Wrath of Khan uniforms. This was when you had to craft and fabricate things like rank pins, Starfleet belt buckles, and of course the uniforms themselves. We were perfectionists. It was painstaking work to make them look EXACTLY like they did on screen. I'm amazed our seamstress didn't fire us, but she was the mom of a classmate. After that, I did a few other costumes back in my 20s, but stopped doing any serious costuming (we didn't call it "cosplay") by 1990 or so.

So now, here I am, with a job, a family, leadership roles at two nonprofits, etc. I'm definitely NOT aiming at a "screen-perfect" presentation. I want it to look "good enough" and be recognizable to people familiar with the show. Oh yeah...without spending too much.

Even trying to keep it simple, I thought about giving up several times. But I got lucky in one or two critical areas, so here I am, definitely doing it, and in the home stretch. And of course, the reality is that my dad's Model 66 will stay at home. :)

More later! Thanks again...
 

Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
First, my inspiration: My dad passed away earlier this year, and one of the items I inherited was his Smith & Wesson Model 66, stainless, 4-inch barrel. The next time I watched Stranger Things, I realized..."Hey, I have that gun!" It's an odd way to start a costume project, but there it is.

So sorry to hear about your dad.

That is a very nice keepsake to have of him. I know it might sound strange to some, but not to me. Just about the only thing I have of my grandfather's, who fought in WWI, is his Colt 1911 (made in 1913, no grip safety).

Second, my costuming history and approach...when you had to craft and fabricate things...

I can relate to that part too! Like so many others I was blown away by Star Wars when it came out in 1977. As Halloween 1977 approached I desperately wanted to dress as Darth Vader. There was nothing available to purchase, so I scratch-built a Vader costume. My grandmother sewed the fabric parts and my dad (an electrical engineer) made the boxes with working lights.

Happily this isn't the case with Hopper!! Every item he wears is available. In many cases the exact things used in the show can be had cheaply including the uniform shirt, the pen, the hair tie, the watch. All three of those together were less that $50. (The shirt is widely used by many agencies, I got a nice used one for $25 on Ebay.)

Then there are things that replicas of varying quality can be had inexpensively including the badge, the name-badge, and the patches.

Lastly there are Hopper things that are readily available but pricey, including the hat ($650) the boots ($300-400) the pants ($100) and the holster. For the "close enough" people, all of these have fairly accurate, and much less expensive, substitutes.

For example there are several companies that make copies of that Red Wing boot style. Mine are by Gravel Gear, cost $50 new, and are super comfortable. My current hat is a Stetson Stratoliner in Caribou which is possibly the closest off-the-shelf equivalent of the Hopper hat. Genuine Tex Shoemaker holsters in that colour are fairly rare, but Don Hume made a very similar style.
 
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TwoLuckyFish

New Member
IMG_20191020_174641501.jpg

I'm still waiting on some patches to arrive for the shirt. I had the shirt already...when I remembered it, that was the moment I decided I would go ahead with the project. I play in a pipe band, but we have completely moved away from these khaki shirts, so it was just sitting in my downstairs closet. It has pleated pockets. Boo hoo. Good enough!

I have started wearing hats over the past few years, and have gradually been "upping my game". Up to now, I did not own a Stetson, nor any fedora. This was the biggest cash outlay, but one I had no trouble justifying. This Stratoliner will get worn! It's such a beautiful hat, I can't justify removing the band. Good enough!

The holster isn't right, of course. I was not willing to spend $100+ on a real Tex Shoemaker that I would only wear with this costume; I was willing to settle for an inexpensive used border patrol style holster that positions the gun correctly; on the hip, not the belt, and canted forward slightly. Brown if I could get it, basket-weave if I could get it. So I'm cruising eBay when this one crossed my eye. It's a Don Hume H800 holster with black basket-weave leather. It pivots like the holster Rick wears on Walking Dead. BTW, this feature makes it much more comfortable when sitting down. Other than the color, though, the really big variance from Hopper's holster is the presence of those 12 cartridge loops on the top. Honestly, I kinda fell in love with that; it's sort of a 20th-Century holster with a little cowboy aesthetic thrown in. For the price, I couldn't pass it up. My dad's Model 66 fits in it great, and...folks...I just gotta say...this rig feels NICE on the hip. :cool: My family has been very patient with me the past few days. If I don't find something more Hopper-accurate in the $20-$30 range, this will have to be...Good enough!

I'm going to wear some khaki slacks, belt, and boots I already own. Again...Good enough!
 

Riceball

Master Member
The holster isn't right, of course. I was not willing to spend $100+ on a real Tex Shoemaker that I would only wear with this costume; I was willing to settle for an inexpensive used border patrol style holster that positions the gun correctly; on the hip, not the belt, and canted forward slightly. Brown if I could get it, basket-weave if I could get it. So I'm cruising eBay when this one crossed my eye. It's a Don Hume H800 holster with black basket-weave leather. It pivots like the holster Rick wears on Walking Dead. BTW, this feature makes it much more comfortable when sitting down. Other than the color, though, the really big variance from Hopper's holster is the presence of those 12 cartridge loops on the top. Honestly, I kinda fell in love with that; it's sort of a 20th-Century holster with a little cowboy aesthetic thrown in. For the price, I couldn't pass it up. My dad's Model 66 fits in it great, and...folks...I just gotta say...this rig feels NICE on the hip. :cool: My family has been very patient with me the past few days. If I don't find something more Hopper-accurate in the $20-$30 range, this will have to be...Good enough!

I'm going to wear some khaki slacks, belt, and boots I already own. Again...Good enough!

Sometimes, good enough is good enough.
 

Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I play in a pipe band...

Me too, been playing in bands since the 1970s.

The holster isn't right, of course. I was not willing to spend $100+ on a real Tex Shoemaker that I would only wear with this costume...

I went with the Don Hume 216 which is very close to Hopper's. Easy to find in black, hard to find in ginger, so I picked up an old beat-up black one on Ebay for $25 and painted it brown with ordinary Liquitex paint.

xNr2zlE.jpg




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Here's a comparison of the Don Hume 216 painted brown (right) and a Tex Shoemaker in the colour it came. The Don Hume cost around $25 and the Tex Shoemakers are out of production and getter more rare and more expensive all the time. I've seen new (old stock) ones listed for as high as $170.

k6Xqfec.jpg

afRHqKE.jpg
 
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Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
I recently took some fullers earth to my Akubra Campdraft in the bluegrass colour. I’m pretty damn happy with this, it’s just lacking a touch of brown IMO but a damn nice hat.
 

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Hopps

New Member
Well I decided to go as Hopper for Halloween this year and stumbled upon this thread. I have a limited budget but I put together a pretty decent costume I think. It is really fun reading through all your posts and seeing where you got your gear. I think the only thing I'm missing is a holster but I'm fine with that just for this one time I'll probably wear it. Let me know what you guys think:) (I even convinced my wife to be Eleven)
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Hopps

New Member
I guess I should mention what I all put together for this "close enough" costume...
Pants: Dickies 874 (Wal-Mart $25.00)
Shirt: First Class short sleeve uniform shirt (Amazon $18.99)
Belt: Levi-Strauss Brand (Wal-Mart $14.00)
Badge and Nameplate: Came as a set (Amazon $39.95)
Flag Patch: (Extra I had already)
Hawkins PD patch: (Ebay $8.50)
Pen: 80's pen I had already (Free)
Watch: Casio classic (Amazon $21.00)
Sunglasses: Generic brand (Ebay $8.95)
Hat: Target store brand (Target $16.99...hats are expensive and this was as close as I could find on my limited budget. not perfect but for the price I felt it looked ok)
Boots: I didn't have any brown lace-up work boots anymore so I just used my black engineer boots I had.
Mustache: shaved my beard and dyed my mustache darker, lol. Just For Men M-35 color (Target $7.99)
 

Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
Well, spending the weekend working at a convention here in Australia, and I figured it would be a perfect time to road test the Chief. Not bad for a fairly budget attempt I think!
 

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Cbstudios

Well-Known Member
And Casual hopper for the second day. This is the spirit Halloween shirt for those of you playing at home
 

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Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cbstudios that Akubra Campdraft looks great! I've not seen the Bluegrass colour in person (well I've seen the blue grass in Kentucky) so just going by online photos I couldn't tell whether or not the colour was similar to Hopper's hat. The shape and colour look super.

About Hopper's shirt it's one of those oddities: that shirt is commonly available here in the USA because so many agencies use it (police, sheriffs, forestry, etc) but evidently difficult to find in the UK and in Australia. You can get used ones for little money on Ebay USA.

Just checked, new for $24 FLYING CROSS - ALL WEATHER - MEN'S POLICE SHIRT UNIFORM - XL - NEW PERMA PRESS | eBay

And for $25 Flying Cross Tan/Khaki Short sleeve Collared Military Police Uniform size medium | eBay

Just have to make sure it's the colour Flying Cross calls "silver tan" or "silvertan" and it's the version without pleats.

Here's my lot so far! I'm really happy with the Strat in Caribou, without having an actual Hopper hat to compare who can say but as best I can tell the colour is very close to the Hopper hat, what we call taupe here, a neutral grey/brown with hints of purple and olive depending on the light.

dVIgkFC.jpg


The revolver is wrong of course, the S2 revolver with my S1 costume. Still haven't got a full resin revolver, so as to pass through the metal detectors we have at our Cons.

EDIT: here's my updated stuff as of January 2021. I've chopped that airsoft to make a fairly screen-accurate Season 2 Colt Python with 4 inch barrel. I've also weathered/darkened my boots, made a Season 2 belt, and "bashed" the hat to get a more accurate shape.

JrOXEXK.jpg


BTW I love that Hopper hat and I've taken to wearing it all the time!

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TwoLuckyFish

New Member
Nice work, everybody! We had a great Halloween, but there is ONE MORE EVENT before I can shave off this itchy mustache. :)

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Anybody reading this thread who is ANYWHERE near Seattle on November 16 should consider attending our neighborhood beer tasting event. Last year it was themed "The Big Lebrewski", and there were lots of great theme-appropriate costumes.

This year's theme? "Stranger Beers"...

I'll be one of the DJs playing music for the event, and of course I'll be in costume.
 

Wire

New Member
Hi everyone,

I am putting together a Hopper costume and Eleven costume for my daughter and I respectively. I’ve ordered a Flying Cross that should fit. How’s the fit on the Fechheimer Flying Cross pants? Are they more of a straight leg fit or relaxed fit? I wear a relaxed 34 so not all 34 fit me. So I’m not sure if I should get a 34 or 36. Thank you!
 

BobaFuss

New Member
They are a pretty loose fitting pant. I had my taken in, and I will probably have them taken in even more. There's a photo of David in wardrobe with the caption "Hopper's back" and you can see how much the costume designers took in the pants as they are quite fitted in the seat. The pants as is are not that fitted (at least that's my experience). Also keep in mind that the pants are high waisted when you are ordering.
 

Wire

New Member
They are a pretty loose fitting pant. I had my taken in, and I will probably have them taken in even more. There's a photo of David in wardrobe with the caption "Hopper's back" and you can see how much the costume designers took in the pants as they are quite fitted in the seat. The pants as is are not that fitted (at least that's my experience). Also keep in mind that the pants are high waisted when you are ordering.

Thank you for the quick response BobaFuss. This really helps. Does that mean you bought the size you normally wear?
 

Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've got the same "Dad bod" as Harbour and I ordered the same size pant I normally wear and the fit is perfect.

I've got a pretty big tuchus though, your mileage may vary.
 

Wire

New Member
In case people are having trouble finding the Minimum Mouse Hawkins patch on Amazon

Minimum Mouse Hawkins PD patch

My Hopper cosplay is coming together slowly but surely. I have the Flying Cross short sleeve short, the long sleeve version and pants are almost here. I have a short sleeve and long sleeve Henley. I got a couple of the US flags from Dr. Jones, who has been an awesome help. My Stetson strat arrived a couple days ago and some used Red Wing Mocs arrived. I got them for a $100 used on eBay instead of the 250-300 dollar new price tag. I got my badge, pen set, and holster (that I have to repaint). Almost there. I will post a picture of everything once the remaining items are here. I was joking yesterday with a coworker that the cost of doing the Hopper cosplay versus the Eleven cosplay. Hopper‘s police outfit is drastically higher than anything Eleven wears. My daughter has 2 of Eleven’s outfits from season 3 as well as some white Reebok Freestyle Hi tops with a black stripe. In case anyone is wondering, it’s supposed to be a green stripe, but after an extensive search I couldn’t find a pair with a green stripe.

I won’t be wearing my holster at C2E2. C2E2 in Chicago doesn’t allow guns or replicas. I don’t want to test it, especially my first time ever cosplaying by even just wearing the holster.

I want to thank everyone in this thread for the massive amount of research and work they have put it in. Without it, my Hopper cosplay wouldn’t be as awesome and fun as it is going to be. Also I am a stickler for detail, so this thread is perfect. Thanks again.
 

Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Minimum Mouse Hawkins PD patch

My Hopper cosplay is coming together slowly but surely. ..some used Red Wing Mocs arrived.

I won’t be wearing my holster at C2E2. C2E2 in Chicago doesn’t allow guns or replicas.

Most of our Cons here have the same gun policy. I wear the holster with a prop foam-rubber donut shoved in it, it's the most popular part of my costume! Everybody gets a laugh out of it.

Congrats on the Red Wing Mocs! I've been searching but no luck. The problem is that I wear size 14 (regular, or wide).

That Minimum Mouse patch looks like the same pattern I use, though I got mine from a different seller, on Etsy.
 

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