Rocketeer comic build

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by VariablePenguin, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Starting up a Rocketeer costume after getting an Ozymandias helmet cast during Stealth's storage clearance sale.
    20150712_122213.jpg

    I'm going with his comic appearance, so green lenses, rocket shaped jetpack, black boots, etc.

    I've researched other people's designs and I'm going with an amalgamation of a couple jetpacks I've seen with my own twists and trying to be more accurate to Dave Stevens' original artwork. I'm going to be using PVC, cardboard, expansion foam, and wood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
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  2. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    What I've done so far:
    PhotoGrid_1436834335854.jpg
    Cut out eyes and mouth and sanded. Bought some parts for the rocket and engraved some lines.
     
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  3. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Subscribed! Eager to see what you're gonna cook for us:)
     
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  4. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Did some practice with my Arduino to see about a proof of concept on the glowing lights for the engine.
    [video]https://youtu.be/ibOj_PojoAQ[/video]
     
  5. RagleGumm

    RagleGumm Member

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    Can't wait to see how this progresses! Best of luck to you. I'm a huge fan of the Rocketeer so you've piqued my interest!
     
  6. Gewn

    Gewn Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Awesome! I've got a Rocketeer build going right now too, except I've got the ACME rocket pack. You can check it out in the props forum. I'm really looking forward to seeing your rocket come to life.
     
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  7. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the interest, friends! I'm really excited about this project as well. I have most of the components I need for the jetpack, I just need to have access to the laser cutter up at the Dallas Makerspace where I work on stuff to get most of it fabricated. Alas, the laser I know how to use has been down since Monday so I won't be able to cut the parts anytime soon (this is why I've also made no progress on a Mandalorian armor kit I want to work on). Since I have a hiccup like that, I've been working on the LEDs more. Here's another video of the fade/engine glow effect I'm working on using an Arduino Uno.

    [video]https://youtu.be/ZkUpn9LrojA[/video]
     
  8. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Got my lasering done today!
    20150718_130554.jpg

    Used the Full Spectrum laser cutter at the Dallas Makerspace. All designs created in Inkscape by me.

    Most of the parts are thick chipboard but the big one is 1/4" plywood for the back mount.

    I can't wait to get the main tube cut so I can start putting all of the parts together and making the nose cone.
     
  9. zappbranigan

    zappbranigan New Member

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    I'm on board! Can't wait to see this one turn out. Looks like it will be detail specific. Best of luck!
     
  10. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Haven't been able to get to the 'Space to work on the stuff that needs power tools (cutting the PVC pipe for the main body of the jetpack, scoring notches in it, etc), so I've switched to some stuff I can do at home easily.

    First, I think I have the LED situation figured out now. I'm going to have a ring of 6 Red LEDs around 6 Orange around 3 yellow. I'll have the red and orange pulse/fade and that will simulate the rocket firing. Here's a video of 6 orange LEDs demonstrating the fading effect.
    [video]https://youtu.be/nWGreq5yMv0[/video]

    I also got to work on the helmet liner. I taped up the inside and made this really creepy looking template. Then I cut it out of this black, quilted fabric.
    creepy.jpg liner.jpg

    If I can find my sewing machine, hopefully I can sew it up tonight after work.
     
  11. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Well I made a mistake with my liner pattern. I scanned it into Inkscape to make sure that it was symmetrical, but when I went to print it I forgot to adjust for the resolution being different so it came out about 2 inches smaller than originally. I sewed the whole thing up before I noticed. D'oh!

    I've made a little progress on the helmet. I drilled holes for mounting screws and covered some bad seam lines and air pockets with Apoxy Sculpt.
    20150724_100649.jpg

    Also, I know the fin on the comic version is a lot more... rounded, but I really do like the look of this fin so I'm going with an amalgamation of the two looks overall.

    Also formed my lenses. I'm using 4 inch dark green transparent acrylic pieces.
    PhotoGrid_1437777645502.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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  12. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    I've got to paint this helmet fast because the lining is going to give me nightmares!
    20150724_220648.jpg
    GAAAH!
     
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  13. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Got my base color down on the helmet today. Used 2 coats of Rustoleum Ultra Color flat black and 3 or 4 coats of Valspar metallic gold.
    PhotoGrid_1437879843055.jpg
     
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  14. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Lookin' good!
     
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  15. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    I did about 90-95% of the paint job I want. Still need to go back with some gold paint or Rub & Buff to bring out some highlights.

    1st wash (half and half black and brown paints)
    PhotoGrid_1437933542992.jpg
    2nd wash (mostly brown with some black)
    PhotoGrid_1437933585742.jpg
    3rd wash (brown w/ red and a little black)
    PhotoGrid_1437946498033.jpg
    and then I sealed it to protect the weathering
    PhotoGrid_1437963927164.jpg
    Also attached my lenses with epoxy.

    I'll get some more gold paint or some Rub & Buff tomorrow to finish it off.
     
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  16. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Fairly "clean" for a Rocketeer helmet. Like the look and your washes are really highlighting the welds. Good job:cool
     
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  17. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    I'm doing a comic version, so it's less dirty looking than the film version.
     
  18. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Finished up the helmet with Rub N Buff on the raised areas. Really makes it shine and brings out the weathering.
    PhotoGrid_1438040584943.jpg
     
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  19. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Spiffy:cool
     
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  20. Gewn

    Gewn Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Really looking great!
     
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  21. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the interest folks! I'm really excited about this costume.

    So... the helmet should be finished now, but I made a bone headed mistake and tried dying my leather for my chin strap with Rit dye and I guess I did some wrong because now it looks like beef jerky. I'll have to get some more leather to finish it off.

    In the mean time, here's a picture of the helmet on and me wearing my Captain America rescue jacket. I'm thinking if it just get a bib made for it in the right color, I could use this jacket.
    20150802_203914.jpg 20150802_203814.jpg
     
  22. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Looking good! Your Captain America' s jacket could do without transformation...but if you really want to be closer to the style than do the bib for sure. Eager to see the next update:)
     
  23. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Minor update:
    Got the helmet finished off with the chin strap made and installed and finished up the lining.
    20150803_171544.jpg 20150803_214001.jpg
    Now to delve deep into the rocket portion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  24. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Liner is A+
     
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  25. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Joberg.

    Here's the start of the jetpack. Cut off a side and engraved lines. I may have burned out my Dremel in the process however...
    PhotoGrid_1438738989835.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  26. STEALTH

    STEALTH Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great job man. Glad too you're finishing up such an awesome piece.
    Ozymandias would be proud. :)
     
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  27. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Test fit of some of the lasered parts. I'll be using expanding foam to shape the cone and this skeleton will be a guide for the shape. Also glued on my rivets which are googly eyes. I was going to measure them for placement but decided to just eyeball it.
    PhotoGrid_1438822542361.jpg
     
  28. JPH

    JPH Sr Member

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  29. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Mine is 14" tall and inner diameter is 8", outer more like 8.6". That dish would work if you wanted a hemisphere, but in the comic it's more of a pointed bullet shape. Hope it works for you.

    One thing I'm considering doing is having the cone be removable so I can get inside at the Arduino and battery pack.

    I also did some more work tonight. Gluing the fins on the rim piece and the skeleton together. This way when I have to resin the fins, they'll already be at the right angles and I don't have to worry about there being gaps from when I bent the card.
    PhotoGrid_1438826868767.jpg
     
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  30. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Got some more work in today. Resined the fin/trim, bottom, and back plate. Also fiberglassed the bottom and back to added strength. I also recut the engine light array to the right size and started on my hand controls.
    PhotoGrid_1439163515564.jpg
     
  31. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Glad to see that it's progressing along.:)
     
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  32. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Me too Joberg. I have to redo the controls upon further inspection. I'm going to make a buck out of 2x4 to mold the heated pvc over to get a more consistent shape and size.
     
  33. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Funny story: I left my resined parts outside overnight to dry and to air out and came out this morning to find the fin section over by the fence. Apparently the raccoons we feed at night tried to make off with them. One of them is named Rocket...

    Anyway, here's more progress! I taped the back on temporarily so that I could fill the cone with expanding foam. I put down some plastic wrap between the skeleton and the pvc so that I can remove the cone to access the electronics and screws for the harness.
    PhotoGrid_1439264993262.jpg

    Any tips on what I should seal it with? I've seen people use Bondo, paper mache, and thermoplastic; what's probably best for this project?
     
  34. Gimpdiggity

    Gimpdiggity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Awesome build.

    I want to do a Rocketeer costume also, but I don't have the skill to do any of the work for the stuff, and to buy it is ridiculously expensive.

    Looking forward to the progress, keep up the good work!
     
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  35. Kitty Butler

    Kitty Butler Active Member

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    I felt the same way. This is probably in my top 5 of costumes I want to wear. Recently I've been able to get a nice paying job that will let me get most of the pieces. But I would still be missing one critical part, the jetpack :(
     
  36. Boogaman

    Boogaman Member

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    Always great to see another Rocketeer out there. It's looking great so far, keep it up!
     
  37. dstone

    dstone New Member

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    I opted for Bondo on mine due to the ease of sanding/shaping and durability. I figured the rocket would get knocked around a bit at SDCC and boy, was I right. I've never worked with thermoplastics before but I would think it would be just as durable and probably a bit lighter (which would be ideal).
     
  38. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the positive feedback y'all! I'm thinking Bondo/body filler is the way to go too.

    I had a bit of a setback on the nose, unfortunately. I guess I started carving into it too soon because it collapsed in on itself a bit. It left enough of a dent where I'm going to add more foam before the body filler step. I've carved out some into each section and I'll be putting in more foam and letting it set the full 8 hours before I try anything this time.
     
  39. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    So I'm planning on ordering a bib section to just put over the coat I already have. I got a sample of the Southbeach Leathers material they use and the color is just a tad too light. Anyone know a good way to darken a large piece of finished leather?
    20150819_233009.jpg

    Also, redid most of the expanding foam after it collapsed from my impatience. Next step will be body filler
    20150819_234404.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  40. JPH

    JPH Sr Member

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    um, lemme clarify, the shaft of the tube is 13". Here is a skeletal with the bowl on top. I may reduce to 12"

    I will make my own dern post if I feel like showing my work any further. skeletal.jpg
     
  41. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    That looks cool. I'm going for more of a point with mine, so that's why I'm using foam and body filler. I went with 14" on mine because when I scaled the drawings from the comic, it worked out to 14" on the diameter of tube I used.
     
  42. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Got the lights wired up. I really don't enjoy soldering much.
    20150824_222152.jpg
     
  43. Picard1138

    Picard1138 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  44. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm still looking for a Mauser. They're pricey a lot of places because of their use in Star Wars.

    As for the jacket, I'm sticking with my plan to outsource the bib part over the jacket I already have. Can't really justify dropping another $600 on a jacket for a costume when I have one so similar already. I'm just still trying to work out the best way to re-color the bib to match the jacket.
     
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  45. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    It's all looking very good. Keep up the good work!
     
  46. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    It's kinda low tech/crude, but could you maybe give the leather bib a black/brown wash of acrylics? It might help to darken it up enough to match the jacket leather.
     
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  47. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Paint wash was actually my next experiment. Good call.

    I went ahead and glued in the electronics boards into the body. I never got around to adding sound, but since the cone is going to be removable, I can add that down the line.
    PhotoGrid_1440728274173.jpg
     
  48. Picard1138

    Picard1138 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    VariablePenguin, I'll try to find a Mauser for you. I assume you want a metal one? I see the dummy ones every once in a while.

    -Max
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  49. VariablePenguin

    VariablePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Picard1138 Thanks, but those are usually pretty pricey. I was considering getting a resin cast one and then just painting it myself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  50. Picard1138

    Picard1138 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's an option, but if you can spring for a metal C96 made by Denix, I think they're only $60-$75 on ebay.

    -Max
     

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