My Avalon (GITS, Jin-Roh) Costume & Props project

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I discovered the movie Avalon last year when I was tracking down work by Japanese director Mamouri Oshii of Ghost in the Shell anf Jin-Roh fame. Avalon is one of Oshii's few live action works, and was shot in Poland with a Polish cast & crew.

Avalon is the story of Ash, a young woman who lives in a dreary future world, where the only escape from the drudgery of day to day life is the illegal VR game, Avalon.

Ash is the top solo player and manages to earn a decent living playing the game. No-one knows why Ash's crack team 'Wizard' broke up, but it has to with the mysterious 'Class Real', a glitch in the system that allows a player to achieve indefinite experience points. Class Real is almost impossible to achieve, and carries the risk of causing the player to end up in a vegative coma.

Ash is determined to find Class Real and find out what happened to her old team-maste Murphy, no matter what the risk.

Oshii has stated that Avalon is his response to the Wachowski's 'borrowing' from GITS and creates multiple layers of reality. What is 'real' is open to the interpretation of the viewer. Avalon is a beautiful and stylish movie, shot on grainy brown tinted filmstock, and rich in prop and costume design that draws heavily on eastern block militaria and Arthurian legend.

When I watched Avalon the first time, I immediateley wanted to replicate some of the props - maybe Ash's night vision goggles and the Avalon game card.

After getting hold of the deluxe French DVD, with five hours of behind the scenes material and reference, one thing lead to another, and I found myself investing in a mannequin and reproducing Ash's entire game costume, weapons and paraphenalia.

Costume

Ash's hood appears to be custom made for the movie. The closest match I could find was a US Army cold weather hood. I basically had to learn to sew to modify this hat, which was no mean feat.

I cut and sewed the panels that cover her face using fabric from a US army jacket, sewed various straps, buttons and velcro, and eventually came up with something that looked pretty good.

I recognized the body suit used in the movie as a Mig fighter pressure suit, and managed to pick one up from an Israeli ebay vendor. I dyed the suit and hat grey. The hat didn't look right, so it went to black. The colours I used on the costume were idealized, some way between the colours seen in the behind-the scenes footage, and what looked accurate to the film stock in the movie.

For Ash's 'rank' stripes, I came up with an odd solution. I had tried ribbon, died strips of material and even fabric paint, and nothing looked right. I eventually stumbled on using spray painted computer IDE cable.

The cape, boots, webbing belt and drop pistol holster were all off the shelf.














Night-Vision Goggles

The goggles were based on a pair of flip-top welding goggles with various greeblies attached, mostly made from styrene, and sprayed silver.



Weapons

Ash's weapon of choice within the Avalon game is a Russian Dragunov sniper rifle. This presented me with a few problems. The cheapest replica available in the UK was around £300 from Relics (probably a piece of crap) or a £500 airsoft.

Eventually I managed to find a knockoff airsoft AK sniper, with more or less the correct receiver and barrel setup. I picked up a real set of Dragunov barrel shrouds for £16 from Ebay. I sawed off the sniper stock, and added a cut down Choat stock. The mag is actually an old cut-down Steyr Aug airsoft mag. Total cost £70.



Ash's sidearm is a Walther PPK. I picked up a nice Marushin replica for cheap from Ebay.



Ash also uses a Mauser C96 with a stock to 'shoot the ghost' and a Mauser HSC when she's in Class Real. I'll probably pick these up when finances allow :)

Game Card and Money

The Avalon game card is used to store all the gamers stats and apparently also functions as a credit card.
I cast the card from tinted clear resin with the logo and circuit board printed on acrylic and imbedded. The money seen in the film is a real Polish 20,000 Zloty note (around $6,500). Fortunately I found one online :)



Some pics from the movie:













 

Jeeves

Well-Known Member
Wow, not having seen the movie, I actually like your version better. Cool costume....
-Raj
 

ahwoo

New Member
What kind of dye did you use for the Mig suit ? I just got one from China that looks the same and I'd like to dye it for a personal Sci-fi design. Thanks and love the Ash costume. Great movie too.

Cheers !
 

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What kind of dye did you use for the Mig suit ? I just got one from China that looks the same and I'd like to dye it for a personal Sci-fi design. Thanks and love the Ash costume. Great movie too.

Cheers !
I'm pretty sure I used Dylon machine dye, I remember I had to buy a big metal bin and heat it up using charcoal bricks, since the pressure suit didn't fit in the washing machine!

Good luck :)
 

JackAce

Active Member
sweet i really like that movie, its nice to see some of the more rare and imported movies getting some love on here.
you did a super job
 

ahwoo

New Member
Thanks for the tip 'Birdie' and the fast response :)
One more question: I found the dye on Amazon and it comes in 1.75 Ounce packets. How many should I get ? I really appreciate you answering my silly questions. I'm new to this but also a perfectionist...bad combo right now.
 
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