FLCL - Haruko's Vespa SS 180 Scooter

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Boomerjinks, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Haven't posted since the posters hit the internet in a big way... my apartment has been filled with cardboard tubes for two months now! I never could have thought this would happen. I'm currently working on getting the posters printed on mounted canvas or a higher-quality framed material and holding an auction for a local charity, but that seems like it might not come to fruition for a few months yet.

    Anyway, I wanted to share another thing I've been working on.
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    It's a 1965 Vespa Super Sport 180, identical in almost every respect to this one from the 2000 anime FLCL from Gainax.
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    Last summer I decided to fulfill one of wife's long-standing dreams of having a scooter. She would often talk about wanting a Ruckus or a superbike, but she would more frequently fawn over how cute a classic Vespa looked. She's also a pretty avid cosplayer, the kind of girl who spends hours dying and styling wigs, who has completely taken over the second bedroom of our apartment with rolls of fabric, buckets of resin, and all manner of crafting accessories.

    I started a secret savings account last July and I've been putting little things into it since. eBay sales, tips from when we use the movie cars as charity limos, stuff like that. In February I reached my goal and started officially looking for a starter body. The SS 180 is a pretty sought-after type of scooter, it's not the rarest or most valuable, but it's really popular. Originally I planned to build a clone by buying a late 70s P-series scooter and swapping out the parts to make it into an comparable look-alike of an SS. At the end of February I lucked out. Someone in Arizona was selling an SS, the exact body type that I needed. The exterior was kind of rough, but mechanically it was sound. The original engine had been removed and replaced with a more powerful, more reliable, and easier to maintain engine from a P200. This made the scooter undesirable for a collector, but ideal for someone who wanted to turn it into a nerdmobile. I guess the meme of "and nothing of value was lost" might apply here!

    So I made up a story about going snowmobiling across the divide with my brother as a cover to keep my wife from asking too many questions. I grabbed a good friend to tag along and we departed for Flagstaff, Arizona.

    We drove through the night, planning to sleep in Socorro, but stopped in Albuquerque to visit Walt's car wash from Breaking Bad. That was pretty cool.
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    After leaving Socorro we headed west to another place I've been dying to visit for years, the Very Large Array.
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    Most famous for it's role as a location in Contact, Terminator: Salvation, and a handful of other films, the VLA is a set of 27 dishes arranged in a Y-shape that act as one large radio telescope. We hit the visitors center, watched the little video and looked at the exhibits, and I picked up some VLA swag for my nerd friends back home. The staff saw the car and got pretty excited (we must have been their only visitors in a while), and they let us drive around the access roads of the facility for some neat photo opportunities. Great people, awesome place. You should go.

    Near Holbrook, Arizona we came across an old Route 66 Wigwam motel that had classic cars parked in front of each room to add to the atmosphere.
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    So it looks like Radiator Springs is a real place!

    After that was Meteor Crater.
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    Which is pretty ******* amazing. I was a bit disappointed that it felt like a tourist trap thanks to it being privately owned, but the crater itself is worth seeing. VERY cool.
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    We arrived in Flagstaff around 4pm and made our way to seller's house. He ran over the details of the scooter, things like modifications, damage, behavior, all the good stuff.
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    At this point, I had never driven a motorcycle or scooter by myself. Now that I think about it, the only two-wheeled motorized vehicle I'd ever been in control of had been a Segway! He took me around the block on it, gave me a quick lesson, and I tried it myself. It almost got away from me at first (the P200 engine is a ******* MONSTER for this thing), but I figured it out and took my first ride in a neighborhood in Arizona. We loaded it up into the back of the Magnum, it fit perfectly. This was a huge relief as, eyeballing the space back there, it didn't look like it would fit. The measurements the owner gave me before I left were well within the confines of the car, so I had to trust the math.

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    The fuel take was pretty empty, but it still reeked of gasoline, something we'd have to endure for the next 12 hours. We went home by going north through Utah. Moab, Grand Junction, Vail, and back in Denver by 2am, which was pretty good!
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    After getting it hope and secreting it to a friend's garage for storage away from prying eyes, we stripped it down and got it ready for paint. Kind of sad to see the flat black go, that looked REALLY cool... :(

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    A week later it was ready!
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    Initially I'd planned to get the scooter 100% complete before giving it to my wife. But she is pretty particular about her cosplay stuff, her favorite costumes are the ones she made completely from scratch. For her it's more about making them than wearing them. So I changed my plans and decided to unveil the scooter early so she could be a part of the assembly process, thereby turning it into something she helped make. When she first saw it, she didn't quite understand. She thought it was just someone else's scooter that would be perfect for a Haruko FLCL scooter. When I stated that it was hers, she looked at me confused, shoved me, and started crying.

    God. *. Adorable.

    We brought the Vespa home and wiggled it into the elevator and up into the apartment. Work started immediately.
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    And it was all back together Friday night!

    Saturday was spent getting it running smoothly again.

    Things left to do for the scooter:
    - bar-end turn signal lights
    - the "blade" that attached to the front suspension
    - replace a few gray seals with black ones
    - add the ignition switch on top of the headpiece
    - replace the legshield beading the original, fatter trim
    - fix the horn

    Things left to do for us:
    - motorcycle safety class
    - gear shopping

    My wife cosplayed as Haruko back in 2007, so now she's in super go-mode to get that costume back up to her standards so she can wear it on the scooter at the next con!

    A terribly fun project that will make for a terribly fun summer!
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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. jackdoud

    jackdoud Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Damnit Kevin, you guys have all the fun in CO! Why am I not closer to where you live?

    Oh, and nice scooter. :thumbsup
     
  3. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Beautiful! I'm an avid motorcyclist and had worked in a custom bike shop for a few years...the last 2 months of my job was working on the owner's wife's old vespa. Those things are great around town and me being a fan of FLCL, kept thinking that I would do a project like this. I've seen the idea thrown around a lot on the net but this is the first well done version I've ever seen.
     
  4. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    I could never make head nor tails out of FLCL, but that's a nice replica!!!
     
  5. deadbolt

    deadbolt Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Wow that looks great, awesome work!

    It's nice to finally see someone building some fooly cooly stuff! :thumbsup


    -Carson
     
  6. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    I scoured the internet for months and I don't think anyone with an SS 180 has ever put the P! sticker on theirs. Lots and lots of yellow PXs, Metros and Buddy's with the sticker, though.

    I keep trying to coax friends to start a scooter gang with me. A local dealership has nearly a dozen screen-used Stellas from Larry Crowne for sale... CHEAP!
     
  7. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Got this accomplished between yesterday and today.

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    Cklinejr made some intense modifications to the right control switch to make it work with the turn signal, and AJ Quick has been a lifesaver with letting me use his workshop for pretty much everything for the last week or so.

    Vidya!
    FLCL Vespa - turn signal install - YouTube
     
  8. deadbolt

    deadbolt Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Wow that's too cool..Awesome work! Really cool to see you added the handlebar signals, those are a couple of the coolest parts on Haruko's Vespa! :thumbsup :thumbsup


    -Carson
     
  9. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Interestingly enough, NOT available on original SS 180s. After talking to some scooter mechanics in Englewood for a few hours, we determined that the headpiece of her scooter is an SS180, but that the handlebar "twist grips" are from a 60s or 70s Vespa Rally.

    It's nice to know that the original "production" Vespa is at least as much a frankenscooter as this one is.
     
  10. DJHAMMERHEAD

    DJHAMMERHEAD Active Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Great Gift!!!
     
  11. Darph Bobo

    Darph Bobo Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    Super Fooly Cooly! I love FLCL! :love The first episode is just so bizarre and random! I showed it to my wife (back when we were dating), she...really din`t know what to make of it! :lol

    So far yours is the only Vespa I would want! :cool
     
  12. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa

    On-schedule! Going to paint and attach the wheel blade tomorrow!

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  13. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  14. Raizer04

    Raizer04 Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    The fact that you have a cool enough wife that loves anime AND modding makes you LEGEND....wait for it.....
     
  15. Raizer04

    Raizer04 Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    .....DARY!
     
  16. Weaselhammer

    Weaselhammer Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Awesome gift idea, and really thoughtful how you did it. The Vespa looks great and It's exciting to see such a cool and iconic prop from such a great Anime ! Does it have the aftermarket Gundam part she used to fix it ?
     
  17. CaptainEO

    CaptainEO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    I don't even watch Anime and I want one! Very well done, it turned out beautifully! :love
     
  18. Kroenen77

    Kroenen77 Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Well done...looks really sweet.:thumbsup
     
  19. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    That is very cool. I love the show even if most of the time it makes no sense no matter how many times I've seen it. I am amazed how many FLCL fans popped up in this thread.
     
  20. Raizer04

    Raizer04 Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Now all u need is someone to cosplay this...and it will be on point!
     
  21. deadbolt

    deadbolt Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Nice to see you finished what is now the best replica FLCL Vespa yet!

    All you gotta do now is convince your girlfriend to start dressing like Haruhara Haruko. :thumbsup


    -Carson
     
  22. Knowone251

    Knowone251 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Wow...way to make the rest of us look bad. And I thought making a Wasp breast plate out of foam for my wife was good. That is a fantastic build. Also a tip from someone who has worked in picture framing for a year and a half for his father in law that has been doing it for 20+ years: Go with a high quality, heavy weight paper for your posters. Canvas prints are really for duplicating painting, and when you put photos or poster style artwork on it the grain from the canvas just distracts from the art. Print shop owners like to try and push the canvas because it makes them more money, but your work will be better represented on quality photo paper.
     
  23. Charles Kline

    Charles Kline Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL - Haruko's Vespa


    I was glad it worked.

    When I was dremeling out the contacts on the back of that original 50 year old switch I looked at Kevin and said - "somewhere there is a Vespa purist who is crying right now"
     
  24. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Lol, are you guys members of the modernvespa forum? Those guys would be banging their heads against a wall right now seeing this. I love this project though, love the show and love the scoot. As someone who used to sell motorcycle turn signals and accessories, those barend signals for vespas and scooters are expensive!
     
  25. Rikarus

    Rikarus Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Saw this in RL, it's awesome!
     
  26. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Very cool project. I thought this was worth mentioning, the closing credits of the show feature a stop-motion sequence with a Super Sport mocked up like the show piece. It has grey colored grips with the handlebar signals.
     
  27. plagu3is

    plagu3is New Member

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    Love it! Great job :)
     
  28. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Yep yep, it is completely contrary to how it looks in the cartoon, which is what we were going for. The only similarity between the lie action SS and the animated one are the bar-end lights and the P! On the front. When drawn, the grips are black, it has a front fin, and only sometimes has an "ignition lock" on the headpiece, though there is NEVER a key in the ingition :rolleyes
     
  29. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Well, what I was thinking was, it seems unlikely that they would go through the trouble that you had to go through adding the bar-end lights. You have to factor in the budget for the show and considering this was only for the closing credits, it seems more likely that they would have rented something and added the 56-56 license plate. Which would explain the lack of the fin on the front tire.

    Also if you look at this image it has grey handlegrips.

    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u134/Boomerjinks/vespa/flclcover.jpg

    I'm just wondering if there's a Super Sport model which has these grey grips and handlebar lights stock.
     
  30. Charles Kline

    Charles Kline Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Im betting someone had the scooter and they modeled it for the show, NOT that they built a replica for the end credits.
     
  31. HawkBlade

    HawkBlade Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Great job. As long as it don't start moving on it's own... you should be fine... LOL
     
  32. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    It might even have belonged to one of the crew or creators of the show. I wouldn't put anything past this studio after making Excel Saga :lol
     
  33. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Here are a few more screencaps from the show.

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    Here's another image of the scooter used in the end credits.
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    Different twist grips, no front fin. The P! looks like paper that was stuck to the legshield just for the shoot.


    The above image was drawn by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and is not a screencap from the show itself.

    He also drew these, and the Vespa never appeared with any of the godawful mirror setups in any of the episodes, so the art is just full of creative liberties taken by the artist.

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    The scooter I bought originally came with grey grips, but I replaced them to be accurate to the show. Bar-end lights and the left-hand turn signal switch are native to Rally scooters, not Super Sports.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  34. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Does look like the dressed up the one for the credits to match the show.
     
  35. JohnLogan

    JohnLogan Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Wow!, just found this thread. Sweet, what a cool scooter. NICE JOB!
     
  36. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    That's what I was thinking. It seems unlikely that they would go to the trouble of mocking up the handlebar lights to be show-accurate, but not bother with the wheel fin or with making a better logo for the leg shield.

    They had to get the idea somewhere, so maybe someone on the production team had the scooter and they used that as a reference. But then that dosen't explain away the handlebar lights. Maybe the owner did that modification?
    I get stuck thinking about stupid crap like this for hours.
     
  37. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Re: FLCL Vespa - It's FINISHED!!

    Still questing to find the perfect location in Denver for an all-in-one photograph with power lines, a bridge, a river, and that elusive yellow sky!

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  38. codyhannum

    codyhannum New Member

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    If you don't mind me asking how much did this process cost to create and it appears you have obvious skill in the matter and strong resources and connections. What would you imagine the cost to a normal person without these connection more or less the retail cost of the creation of such a Vespa in the style of Fooly Cooly.
     
  39. Getoninja

    Getoninja Sr Member

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    you did a amazing job, a masterpeice! But is there a purpose of the front fin or just for show, if the scooter did have all those mirrors in the anime, would you have added those and any chance of making Canti?

    And I love FLCL, such a crazy, insane show, just wish there was more than 6 episodes.
     
  40. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! As far as I can tell, the fin has no useful purpose in the show - it never does anything. And it definitely doesn't serve a purpose in the real world other than to give me a scare when rolling up on a curb while using the front brake at the same time. Give a scary little "PING" sound.

    If the scooter had all those mirrors in the show, I probably would not have built this scooter, that stuff looks pretty goofy to me. I debated making a Canti helmet, but there's no way I could do that and have it be at all safe to wear.

    Here's another photo dump -
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    HDR is tacky to me, but I thought this had some nice colors...
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  41. hikarub

    hikarub Well-Known Member

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    That is absolutely fantastic! The whole time I was looking through this thread, the song Ride on Shooting Star kept going through my head!! This anime really brought back some cool memories...

    Well done, sir. Well done.
     
  42. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    So we've got that scooter. I took my wife shopping for helmets and she settled on a sparkly purple 3/4 with rose-tinted visor that she's likely going to cover with stickers or something equally cute.

    Initially I really wanted to get a Simpson Diamondback helmet and just spend my days being a Fat Stig, but since those cost $500+ I had to find an alternative. She made a suggestion and I started with a new 3/4 black helmet with a goofy pattern.

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    I tried so hard to find a used helmet that I could mod, but in the end this worked. Pulled the rubber trim.
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    I HATE taking something brand new and scuffing hitting it sand paper. This was almost as agonizing as when I put the drill to the roof of my brand-new Magnum in 2009, ugh.
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    Coat of blue - wetsand with 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 - repeat x3

    Coat of clear - wetsand with 2000, 2500 - repeat x4

    Then off to my vinyl guy!
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    Red vinyl is reflective, which I guess is redundant since if I am to wear the helmet at night I will have to switch the faceshield out for a clear one. But I rarely ride at night.

    I actually need to trim the white stripe 2 inches away from the visor, and I am still debating whether or not I want a non-flip-up mirror visor. Right now the flip-up completely covers my face and jaw so I like it, but I know the simpler face shields would look closer to the actual design.

    It's not supposed to be a straight-up replica or anything really worthy of the term "cosplay," but it was fun to make. It's hardly worth showing off compared so the AMAZING paint jobs and mods that people make to their helmets, but I like it.
     
  43. Toniic

    Toniic New Member

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    I made an account just to ask this question, Is that "P!" painted on or is it a decal? If its a decal how the hell can i get one? I've been scouring the internet for a screen accurate decal or sticker of any kind, and cannot for the life of me find one.
     
  44. aeonpulse

    aeonpulse Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    HOLY. CRAP. Out of all the amazing stuff I've seen people create on this forum, this is by far the one I'm most jealous of. FLCL is one of my all-time favorite animes (next to Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing, Claymore, etc.), and I've always wanted Haruko's infamous P! Vespa.

    A truly outstanding and impressive build, fantastic work! What I would give to have one of these for myself!
     
  45. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the kind words!

    Also, where are all the FLCL cosplayers? I gotta settle for a Yoko...
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  46. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Early summer was pretty busy, tons of shows and even a huge comic con! The gear selector cables self-destructed in early June so the scoot had to be trucked around in the back of the Ecto and then spent a few weeks at Sportique Scooters in their intensive care shop. I got it back mid-July only for the gear selector arm (I think?) to come loose, so back in the shop it went. Getting this scooter into a reliable state after the restoration is a pain, but it's showing lots of progress.

    Anyway, on to the pictures!!

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    Paul Italiano's GOBATS scooter, which is like a MILLION times cooler than the SS180. Holy crap that thing is AMAZING.
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    Aaaaand just for fun, me looking way too large to be on a tiny scooter.
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  47. ultraman

    ultraman Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    where's the pictures of the wife in full cosplay on the flcl scooter?!?!? man talk about a work up and no pics........i get all the way to the end of the thread ...thinking wait for it....wait for it.....bang nothing


    i love the show and would kill for that little bike....your wife is lucky to have one! :)
     
  48. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    We've been getting some rather incredible sunsets lately due to forest fires in Washington (I think?). I've been trying to catch one for a few days and I finally succeeded.

    [​IMG]
     
  49. aeonpulse

    aeonpulse Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very nice! Thanks so much for posting the pics!
     
  50. Boomerjinks

    Boomerjinks Well-Known Member

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    Looks good in fall!

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