The Saints are coming...the Saints are coming!


Well-Known Member
For Halloween 2011, I along with my two sons were the Boondock Saints. As I am new to RPF, I attempted to take some photographs of work in progress, unfortunately I did not have time to post and create at the same time. A little background information...

My oldest son enlisted in the Marines and was attending boot camp. He graduated on 10-28-11 in time to come home for Halloween. My youngest son wrote to his brother and suggested the Boondock Saints for a costume. Once he replied, we had less than a month to put the costumes together while I worked 10 hour days, taught classes on weekends, and my youngest was in school. We flew to San Diego for the graduation of my oldest, so we were not able to work the week prior to Halloween.

So we channelled our Irish heritage and what follows is our adventure in creation...
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First began the research. My sons own both the movies, so when we were home they pretty much were running in the background full time. I made a list of what was needed for one brother:

two Beretta style pistols
two silencers for pistols
rosary with Celtic cross
pea coat
tattoos: Latin phrase on finger, Celtic cross on forearm, and Virgin Mary icon on neck.

A week into the work and I was told I had to go as the father, Il Duce. This required:

round sunglasses
butterfly tattoo on hand
gray hair and beard
hat similar to boat captain

(Yes, I wanted the six pistol vest but I had less than a month, perhaps next time)

I was also informed that in addition to learning the MacManus Family prayer, I had to memorize all of Il Duce's narrative and they were also learning the courtroom warning.
Following internet research which included reading through related threads on RPF, we took our notes and reference photos and went shopping.

No one in town had any beads which would work for creating rosaries. The local Catholic store had high prices for their rosaries so suitable beads were located in bulk on the internet and purchased from The eylets and jump rings were purchased from Hobby Lobby.

We already had a peacoat handed down from a grandfather who served in the Navy. A second one was found online at a military surplus store and ordered.

I already sport a goatee, but I am bald. So, a wig was needed and I started growing out a full facial beard.

Wal-Mart had sunglasses which would work and we found these pistols at K-Mart for $7.99 each.
The orange tip was carefully cut off the muzzle and the guns were disassembled, sanded, primed, and painted with a combination of gloss black and satin black. They were then rubbed down with very fine steel wool to improve the finish.

A threaded coupler was cut to size and glued into the barrell before the pistols were reassembled. The electronics were maintained so you can pull the slide back for a cocking sound and then pull the trigger for "authentic blowback action" and the sound of a gun shot.

A metal sleeve was cut in half, sanded and painted and pressed down over the muzzle where the orange tip used to be. This was all done times four.
The silencers were constructed from a 1" dowel rod cut into 5" lengths. I drilled the ends with a drill press. One end was drilled to accept the other half of the metal sleeve used for the gun barrel muzzle tip and the opposite end was drilled to accept a hanger bolt (machine bolt threads on one end with a wood screw on the other).

A little wood filler, sanded, primed, and painted, these then screw into the threaded coupler glued into the gun barrell without interupting the electronic action. It worked out very nice because then you can use the gun with or without a silencer.
The rosary beads were overnighted and I am glad I paid the extra shipping. I had no idea how long it would take to measure and cut eyelets to size, insert them into the bead, bend them over, then fashion the second eyelet. I went through about six before I settled on the precise length for the eyelet wire.

The beads had to be carefully examined before assembling because some had a crooked hole which would slide completely over the eylet, others were cracked, some did not have a consistent finish.

The second rosary was obviously much easier than the first. but I can tell you my finger tips were sore and my hands would cramp at times. I built the rosaries sitting in front of the television as I waited for paint to dry on the guns and silencers.

I made a stencil and out of a scrap of oak cut out the crosses. With a belt sander, dremel tool, and by hand, the crosses were carved down, sanded, and then stained with Bombay Mahogony Gloss from Minwax. It had a protective polyurethane coat already mixed in.

I installed a small threaded ring in the top and then drilled and pinned steel washers from the hardware store which I polished up on my grinder's wire wheel. The hole were drilled with a small hand drill so I could maintain control over placement and depth. After staining, I redrilled the holes to avoid any build up within the original holes.

Yes, Murphy's rosary is slightly longer than Connor's rosary. My youngest son demanded it. To accomplish this I added one extra ring between the bead sections, I think an extra 15 rings in all to give it more length.
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The tatoos were complicated. After watching the movies so many times, we could not find any online which were suitable or sized correctly. We were unable to find any of the Celtic crosses which were screen accurate. So, with notes, sketches, and reference photos off the internet, I sat down at Adobe Illustrator and created each of the tattoos.

They were printed on pages of Avery Body Art Stickers #4380. I happened to have bought a packet of these several years ago and just never used them, which was fortunate. Sadly, Avery has discontinued this product so I will have to identify a suitable replacement should we ever use these costumes again.

These tattoos are cut to size, then carefully peeled from the paper backing and placed on the skin and smoothed. Once down, you cannot reposition them so you have to get it right the first time. The larger the tattoo, or the more animated the surface, the easier it is for it to roll and wrinkle. But beggars can't be choosers so it worked for our needs and within our time frame.

You can see my oldest, with his Marine hair cut...not too many wigs available to match Connor's hair. However my youngest, he has sported Murphy's hair for years because he never has to comb it. The cigarettes are not real - they are just rolled computer paper for effect.

I realize many of you will be excited to PM me in an effort to obtain the graphics file for these tattoos. Please be advised, I have been informed by my sons they plan to actually get the Celtic cross tattooed on them and they do not want my original artwork distributed. Sorry folks!
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While I was told I would be going along with them as Il Duce, the father, I focused on their costumes first because that was what was most important. Afterall, this could be our last Halloween for some time depending upon the Marines schedule for my son. Perhaps in the future, I can upgrade this costume to include the six gun vest and a better wig, coat, and hat.

For Il Duce, I already had a coat which would do. At K-Mart for $9.95, I found a hat which was not the best, but the closest we could find. I tested several methods for making it more black, however none worked and I did not want to ruin the hat as it was the only one.

I ordered the glasses from eBay and I found a wig at the Salvation Army. The butterfly tattoo was not exactly screen accurate but I had spent so much time working on my sons' tattoos and the rosaries I was not going to work any harder on the butterfly, besides, I did have a nice pair of leather gloves.

My oldest son constructed the cigar from masking tape, wooden dowel rod, dremel tool, and non-toxic paint years ago for a school play so we brought it back into service for this night. The shotgun was found at K-Mart for $12.95 and I spray painted it similar to the pistols and added silver accents like seen in the court room scene. I had planned to cut it apart and pistol grip it and modify the foreend, but the construction of the toy did not permit that. Plus I was able to keep its electronics intact.

The pistols were an old Daisy Pursuit infra red Beretta and a Colt airsoft which we already had.

I used a toothbrush with Ben Nye Silver Grey hair color to alter my black beard to match the wig.
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When I vest my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold in judgement, I will take vengeance upon mine enemies and I will repay those who hase me. O Lord, raise me to thy right hand and count me among thy saints.

Whosoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God, make He the man. Destroy all that which is evil, so that which is good may flourish. And, I shall count thee among my favoured sheep and you shall have the protection of all the angels in Heaven.

Never shall innocent blood be shed, yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river. The three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful, striking, hammer of God.

Shepards we shall be, for thee my Lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand, so our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. We shall flow a river forth unto thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be. In Nominee Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti.

(I now hear this in my sleep...what a month it has been!)

I appreciate this chance to showcase my work and hope you enjoy what we created. Here are a few additional photographs...
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@ Bonanza: do you still have that AI file? I'm looking for the tattoo's for quite a time. you would help big time if you would share that file :)

anyways: great work on the costumes!!
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