Rocketeer Comic Rocket Pack


Active Member
Hello, everyone,

Just wanted to share a little bit of the build process for my comic book version of the Rocketeer rocket pack. I'd like to start by thanking The Rock-a-who for the wonderful idea of using a large PVC pipe for the rocket body and posting details of his comic build. I mimiced several aspects of my build after his and tweaked a number of things for my own build.

I started off by ordering a number of PVC pieces from eBay, Amazon and Home Depot. I picked up a two foot section of schedule 40 8" well casing, an 8" cap, a 6" cap, a 2" union and a generic PVC shower drain cover.

I cut the well casing down, cut some cardboard into the shape of the nose cone and filled the area with Great Stuff expanding foam.

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Once the foam dried, I used a multi-tool to trim the foam down. Then I applied Bondo. And sanded. Wash-rinse-repead a dozen or so times. I have a love-hate relationship going with Bondo.

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I used my drill press to cut a 3" hole out of the 8" cap (to fit my hand through later) and used a jigsaw to cut the scallops. I also trimmed down the 6" cap, glued on a part of the 2" union and shower drain cover with some E6000 glue and hit everything with some black primer.

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I took the excess PVC from the well casing and cut it into fourths for the fins. I popped them into a convection oven and baked them until they were rather pliable, then pressed them in between two old network switches I had to produce some nice, flat slabs of PVC. I was able to fit two fins per slab (which gave me five extra) and cut them out with my band saw. The edges were rounded over using a combination of my oscillating spindle sander, belt sander and a handheld sander. I used a one-minute epoxy to glue them in place then ran the seams with some of the E6000 glue.

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Active Member
The gas cap portion was a plastic build-your-own Christmas ornament that I cut down with the band saw. I painted the inside with some red stained glass stain from Hobby Lobby. The base of the gas cap was molded with clay. It didn't fit quite right on the side of the rocket so I put some wax paper down and used some more Bondo to whip it into shape. Once everything was dry, sanded and primed I painted it with Rustoleum copper and painted the interior with Testors metallic red. The top portion of the gas cap was then glued on to the bottom with with E6000 (which looks a bit like a rubber gasket once it dried).


I was in a hurry and didn't take pictures of the painting process of the rocket. Once the fins were attached I primed and sanded everything, then hit it with Rustoleum aluminum. I was originally going to cut grooves in to the body of the rocket but opted to paint stripes on instead due to concerns about the depth of the Bondo at the nose cone. I used Frog Tape to mask off everything. The stripes were painted with Valspar metallic silver and dusted with some more Rustoleum aluminum. I then changed up the masking for the reddish-purple sections and put down a base coat of Valspar maroon/purple (hard for me to tell exactly what color it is due to my slight color blindness). While it was still wet I sprayed on a coat of Testors transparent candy red enamel to try to pop the reds a bit more.

The six arrows on the side of the rocket were made from clay and dowel rods. Once the tips were molded and baked I used my belt sander to flatten one side (as with the dowel rod). I used a dab of super glue to attach the clay to the dowel rod then primed and painted with Rustoleum copper. The arrows were then super glued on to the side of the rocket.


I decided to use the Southbeach Leather rocket pack harness. I used four cairrage bolts and a variety of washers, nuts and Locktite to bolt the harness to the rocket. Once everything was bolted on, I glued the lower exhaust assembly over the 3" hole I cut. I'll need to go back and add one more bolt at the top of the harness to adjust how it hangs from it. I think I should be able to use a lag bolt and some JB Weld so I won't have to remove the exhaust assembly. The Southbeach harness worked OK, however its straps fall out a bit odd with the buttons on their jacket. I would have expected the jacket and harness to mesh perfectly, but it works out OK for the price.

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If I were making another one I would try my hand at casting. This thing came out quite heavy. I finished everything up on Sunday evening then hopped in the car Monday afternoon to drive to San Diego for Comic-Con.

The rest of my costume was made up of Oz's incredible helmet, Valor's helmet liner, a Southbeach Leather jacket, American Import Export jodhpurs, Funtasma generic Jedi boots and Army Navy Surplus flight gloves. I still need to build some control gauntlets and pick up some more accurate boots at some point. I picked up a Mauser airsoft gun and need to get a holster for it. Eventually I'd like to either modify my helmet or get another one (perhaps a kit this time) and put green lenses in it.


Overall I'm very pleased with my first build and look forward to building some more props to continue improving my skills. I had a bunch of fun wearing the costume around SDCC and hanging out with Utinni (who was in his Rocketeer movie costume).



Active Member
Thanks, everyone. I can't wait to bring everything back out for some local events hosted by my local comic shop.


Active Member
Thanks! I've been subscribed to your build. I love watching the different fabrication techniques people use to bring their creations to life.
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