|03-02-2008, 12:45 AM||#1|
"A Real American Hero"
Join Date: Jul 2007
Special thanks to my friend who sent me this, and it turned out great! Follow these directions and you too can become SNAKE EYES!
Okay, this is the part most people want to read about - How I made this Visor. I won't keep anyone in suspense so here comes the good stuff.
Remember those stores I told you about? I went to Target, Lowes, Walmart and Michaels for this one. I'll break it down.
Call up your local Target and ask the person who answers to see if they can do a "Merchandise Locate" for an item in their bath section. Also mention that you have a DPCI - it's the identification number used on every product Target sells. Having this number will help them find the item faster and save you a lot of time and gas so you're not hopping from store to store to find this item.
The DPCI of the item you want is: 097-08-0314
If they respond saying, "It's a wastebasket?", reply to them saying, "Yes, that's the item I need!"
Yes, you need the wastebasket. Once you pick it up, you might start to see how this thing came together.
If they don't have it, ask them to search other stores. If they do have it - Great! Tell them to hold it for you. They can hold any item for 24 hours as long as it's not a clearance item. After you get the wastebasket, it's time to get a few more items for details and assembly. Your next stop is Lowes.
NOTE: Unfortunately, this wastebasket does not list on the Target website, so ordering it online might not be possible.
Now, I suggest Lowes because of a particular screw and nut set that I remember I used to be able to find at Home Depot. In fact, I bought the original set from a Home Depot, but when I went back to the store this year to remake my mask, the Home Depot stores around my way came up short. So I went to Lowes and the first one I went to had them. It literally took me a minute to find them. So I bought a bunch just in case. Here's what you want to get while you're there:
- Maquina Machine 1/4-20 x 1/2 Flat Slotted with Nut Zinc 5 piece set
- (You'll also want to get 8 washers from here as well. I'm going to update this section with the sizes you need in a day or two.)
While you're here, see if you can find the following additional items:
- Krylon Fusion Paint for Plastics (Black Matt or Satin finish)
- ProMAG® Neodymium Magnetic Buttons
If you can't find these items in Lowes, find them in the following as this is where I obtained them:
Walmart - Krylon Fusion Paint for Plastics (Black Matt or Satin finish)
- Amazingly enough, you can order this through Amazon.com -
Michaels - ProMAG® Neodymium Magnetic Buttons
At this point, you have all the items that will go into making this mask. You will still need to have a good cutting tool handy for the work you will do to the wastebasket. Additionally, I advise you to have a sheet of construction paper on hand to do some preliminary work. I had all the following on hand to do prelim work to the finished product:
- Wastebasket from Target
- All the washers from above
- 2 screws and 2 nuts from the five-piece set obtained from Lowes
- Krylon Paint for Plastics (Black Satin)
- A dremel
- A boxcutter, or an exacto knife, or both
- Scotch tape
- A sheet of black construction paper - Letter or Legal size for you big heads out there ;)
- A pencil
- A ruler (or anything that has a straight edge)
- Measuring tape (Not the metal sheet kind, the other stuff. You know, the stuff you find in the sewing section of your favorite retailer. Chances are your mom has one.)
- A black sharpie marker
- A balaclava (this is the mask that goes around your head leaving only your eyes exposed - I'll tell you where you can get one of these later.)
- protective eye wear
- A sanding wedge
- A wired hanger that you don't mind throwing way later
Step 1. The Preliminary work. Put on the balaclava (I know you don't have one, that's why it's good to just read these instructions first, then do it when you have everything you need). Grab the measuring tape and head to a bathroom with a decent sized mirror so that you can see your head as you take measurements. Measure the area from the center of your forehead to your nose - What you're doing here is determining how much area you want the mask to cover on your face. Since heads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, I have only two rules of thumb to offer:
- 1) Make sure you have at least one inch from the center of your eyes to your forehead being measured. This visor won't only cover your eyes, but the exposed area of the balaclava and depending on the type of balaclava you get, you want to be sure when you make this visor, that all that exposed area is being covered. I'd say on height from the center of your face, do not go farther up than halfway up your forehead and do not extend past the tip of your nose (or else the visor will look like a beak - but again, the measurements are up to you and how you see fit.)
- 2) When making measurements across, I'd say to bring the length just past your temples. In fact, the length should reach about halfway to your ear, but higher than your ear and not next to it.
Heads are funny. Really, just make the best guess on how you think the visor should be positioned. For me, it was what I mentioned. It may be different for some.
Step 2. Now that you have measurements, it's time to start drawing. I like making things difficult for myself, plus, I was eager to see what a test model would look like in the closest color possible. Using the measurements I obtained, I drew a pattern onto the black construction paper using my ruler and pencil (again, I like making things difficult, heh) and cut it out using some scissors. You won't need anything more than this. Although, if you want to be certain you have real precise cuts, you can use an exacto knife to cut out the pattern. When I was done cutting, I had what you see here.
Yup, that's construction paper. Gotta love the enhancing effect of bad cameras and the imagination of the mind - it actually looks like a real visor, if you didn't know any better, but now you do.
Now, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. You're going to want to be sure that when you cut out your pattern, you can see out of the middle slit - the other two, well, heh, they have their purposes too, but the middle one is the main one you will be relying on for main and periphial vision. One thing in particular about designing the slits in the mask was that they were done where they were the widest in the center of the mask and narrowed to a point as it got closer to the ends. I'm not entirely difficult. Another consideration is how far those slits should reach to the ends. Well, grab one of the larger washer and place it on the ends where it would be close to your ears. I have mine maybe reaching an inch to a half-inch way from the washers on both ends. But remember, this is your mask. Make it however you feel. And one thing, please make it better than mine, lol! I'd be really interested to see what people come up with from this mediocre tutorial.
Step 3. You now have a good pattern made from construction paper. It's time to take that pattern to production.
Grab the wastebasket and some scotch tape. Using your best sense of judgement, place the pattern on either curve of the wastebasket (open area of the wastebasket facing down) and tape it on at the ends of the pattern. Now, using the black sharpie, trace your construction paper pattern onto the wastebasket. Don't worry about the ends - you'll deal with those later. Make sure you have the pattern drawn across on the top and the bottom of your pattern onto the wastebasket. Also include your slits.
One more thing about the slits - people ask me this question a lot "How do you see through that thing?" The answer is "Very Well!" and it's true. What a lot of people never realize is that the eye can see a lot through even the tiniest hole if it's really close to the eye. So when you're making your slits, just remember that you don't need to make them too wide. Granted, you will lose a lot of vision, but you'll also be surprised what you can see with it on.
Test this out with your fingers - bring your index and middle finger real close together, not pressing, but damn near. Then bring them to your eye leaving your fingers resting on your nose. Now, another rule of thumb (you can tell I like rules of thumbs, now, huh?) - the space in between your fingers where it's comfortable or at least tollerable for you to see right now is about how large the slits should be. This visor should be a visor - you want to see through it, but conceal your eyes. Don't forget who you're portaying - this is the ultimate ninja!
The last thing about your drawn pattern that you want to consider is the placement of the washers. The rims of the edge of the visor (if you're doing it like I did it) should extend just a bit larger than the large washer and curved along with the washer. It provides a nice clean look when it all put together. When using your sharpie, draw a nice curve that's just outside the washer so the rim of the plastic is just beyond the washers reach. Lastly, draw a circle onto the plastic where the middle of the washer is. If you've done this right, the dot should be at the center of the curve on both sides.
Step 4. It's time put on your protective eye wear and start cutting. I hope you have some dremel skills. If you don't, I hope you have a friend with dremel skills, like I do.
When cutting the pattern out from the wastebasket, don't cut along the lines. Cut about two inches farther from the line. Why? Well, as you cut, anything can happen. You can sneeze. Part of the wastebasket might crack as you cut. Etc. So keep your distance from the true pattern. You will get to cutting that pattern out soon enough. Right now, all you want to do it cut out a portion of that wastebasket so you can play with it better and get a better feel when cutting out the true pattern.
Just a few suggestions and things to consider:
- 1) Cut out the slits with the dremel but don't use the dremel all the way to the end of the slits. Cut out the middle portion with the dremel, detail the narrowing slit edges with a blade, like a boxcutter.
- 2) Don't worry about being precise. No one is going to take a level to your visor to see that you have this completly even. While my friend did an amazing job cutting out the pattern, I could still see that it was not exact in every way. Don't fret as there are ways to make what looks imperfect ... perfect! I'll offer some suggestions on that later.
Once you have the portion of the wastebasket cut out, now begin to use the dremel to cut the details of the visor. There's no easy way to do this or explain this, you're going to need a precise steady hand and patience. Straight along the top, curved on the ends and angled at the bottom. Cut out the slits just as described earlier. We had the best success doing this way of having the main chunk cout out first, then the real outter dimensions of the pattern, then the slits, but it takes practice and patience to get it just right.
Cut out the tiny circles on the ends of the visor. Don't make them too large. You only want to make them snug enough where the screws you picked up from Lowes will be able to fit through just right when screwed in.
Lastly, now that you have a cut out pattern, use the sanding wedge to smooth out some areas of the soon-to-be visor. The material of this bucket is thicker than my old visor, so it holds up pretty well, but at also allows for areas of the visor to have more pronounced, sharper edges that could be painful later if you hold it the wrong way, so using the sanding wedge, smooth some of those areas out. Sanding also works if there are scratches that might show up on the visor as you are cutting. You don't want sanding paper, this sanding wedge feels like a sponge and has a medium (on one side) to hard (on the other side) sanding finish.
Step 5. Some Assembly Required! Now that you have the pattern in plastic form, it's time to add on a few more things to get this visor looking right. On one side of this plastic visor, take two of the larger washers and put them on either side of each flap. Now, on the outer side of the flap, place on the smaller washer. Now, take the screw and screw through the smaller washer, then bigger washer, then plastic flap of the visor, another larger washer, and finally end it off with the nut that was a part of that 5-piece set. Tighten it up and do the same for the other side. Congratulations, you've completed step 5!
Step 6. If you feel pretty good about what's been done so far, then you're ready to start painting. Take off the washers and screws and nuts leaving just the visor. Grab the hanger and find a nice airy space where you can do some spray painting using the Krylon Paints for Plastic Black Satin. I used the wire hanger by untiing it and then using the ends of the hanger to hold the visor through the holes on the flaps to hold both sides of the visor while my friend painted. Two coats was just enough for the visor itself. Allow time for it to dry and then reconnect the washer and screw and nuts assembly back onto the visor. Paint these as well with everything attached and give that whole construct just one more coat. Allow to let dry and viola! Your visor is complete.
"Huh? What's that? How do you make it connect with your head? Oh, right!"
Step 7. Remember I told you to buy those magnets? Well, here's where they come into play. One advantage I have about this suit is that I'm shaven bald in real life, so some things stick better to my body than they would if I had obstructions like hair in the way. Your left over items are going to make themselves useful right now.
Put on your balaclava again. Now, you still have two large washers, right? Take one of the two remaining washers you have left and get 4 magnets from Michaels and place them on the washer. I'm no Mr. Wizard so I can't explain this scientifically, but when you place the magnets onto the washers, you want to make certain that you are placing them on to the same side of the washer, and that the forces of the magnets are against each other, so they are all being repelled away from each magnet on the washer. Do the same for the other 4 magnets and last washer. Keep those away from each other and they will have a habit of snapping together if they come within a range of contact. And you don't want any part of your body in the middle of that happening, believe me. Instant ouch!
Here's where it comes together... literally. Using one of those magnetic washer assemblies, place the assembly into your balaclava - magnets facing outward. When I do this, I go in through the eye area and rest them onto the side of my head right by my ears where the fold of my ear meets with my head. Do the same for the other side of your head. If you're able to keep them in place (and this is much easier if you're a baldy like me) then bring the visor to your head and *Click* Click* - instant Ninja Commando Bad A$$! NOW you know,....And Knowing IS half the battle!
Last edited by tkprime; 03-04-2013 at 11:20 PM..
|03-02-2008, 01:57 AM||#2|
Blabbering Immortal Ninja
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hayward/San Francsico, California
Very cool, TK! i gotta remember this for my Halloween plans next year.
OH ITS RAININ' MECHS! OH LORDY ITS RAININ' MECHS!
|03-02-2008, 11:09 AM||#3|
"A Real American Hero"
Join Date: Jul 2007
(Again, I just wanted to pass this How to along to my good friends here on HissTank, Thanks)Okay, this section will focus on all the things I purchased for this suit from online retailers - firearms aside. If you're comfortable with online shopping, this will be very simple for you since most of my purchases were from various retailers that sell these items quite regularly.
First off, the Balaclava - or the mask that wraps around my head. You can find this from many retailers. The first two I bought were from Military surplus stores, but there's no specific one that works best for everyone. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, heads come in different shapes and sizes, so get whatever works for you. When you're searching in eBay, just do a search for Black Balaclava. The major considerations you should have are making sure it's made from a nice breathable fabric - if you're going to be wearing something like this during the summer months, get something light weight like a nylon balaclava. Winter time - go with cotton. Use your best judgement on fabrics. Also, try to find one that not only covers your face, but also allows your neck to be concealed. In some cases, one is not enough and there were times I had to use two - one around the head and the other solely covering from my jawline to my neck. No one said being a ninja commando was easy
Speaking of ninja, what's a ninja without a sword? Well, I guess he's still a ninja, but seriously, Snake Eyes just isn't the same without a good weapon on hand, and since most conventions don't allow you bringing in live metal blades or accurate gun replicas, your options are very limited. Here's the best solution for you - in eBay, do a seach on the following:
Realistic Wooden Katana with Sheath - Practice Bokken
It's completely wooden, plus comes with the wooden sheath. There's no live metal in any part of this, so you're not violating any convention regulation. It looks pretty authentic when it's in the sheath - heck, you've seen the pictures in my profile pics. If for whatever reason, when you do the search and it comes up with no entries, look up the eBay store:
Von Sussen Enterprises
Through eBay, contact the seller and mention the item you're looking for. Von Sussen might list a private auction for you to purchase the item. I can't make any guarantees on this, so you'll just have to see what you can do if you're looking to get one of these wooden swords. I've got you heading in the right direction - the rest is up to you.
Let's not forget that Snake Eyes is a commando! And lets face it - just about every G.I. Joe figure you ever owned had what looked like a knife molded on their leg, or their arm, or somewhere, so I decided to get non-metal knives for the suit as well. The best knives to fit the bill I think are these:
Cold Steel Military Classics
I searched for these using the words: rubber cold steel military
All rubber, so again, no worries about breaking con. regs. I will say this though: these are pretty strong and durable. So even though it's not a live metal blade, or sharp, if you jabbed someone with one of these, they might go down, so just be sensible about how you use these rubber knives.
I didn't purchase these online, but they are available online from various sites, including eBay. The knee and elbow pads are made by a company named Hatch Centurion. Check out these links to see the KP250 Hatch Centurion knee pads and EP300 Hatch Centurion elbow pads I used for this costume. Chances are that your local military surplus store might have these since that's where I found my pairs.
While it's not really a necessity, I like to add on details for the heck of it. That's why I decided to get gun holsters for the suit - and the Colt 45 airsoft guns to go in them! Use this link to see the search I used to purchase the holsters used for this costume.
2 X DROP LEG PISTOL HOLSTER RIGHT AND LEFT SWAT GUN
My original pair of gloves used for this costume were a pair of mechanical gloves. What are mechanical gloves? - Gloves used by mechanics, right? Regardless, after my original pair had bit the dust from extreme wear and tear, I had to get some new ones. I've done searches on mechanical gloves on eBay to find some good ones - I look for gloves that have a unique patern about them and don't look too bland. I'm planning on getting the Hatch SOG-L100 Operator Kevlar Tactical Glove in the future.
Another item I purchased online were the boots. Rather than using eBay for this, I used Amazon.com, mainly because I have big feet - size 15, and finding shoes or even boots my size is next to impossible for me. So, shopping for these boots online was the way to go. Amazon.com has a seller named Captain Dave, and is the seller I purchased these boots from. Shipping was very good and the big plus is that my feet fit in them very well. The boots I got from Amazon.com/Captain Dave were the 8-inch Black Forced Entry Waterproof Tactical Boot for Police, EMS/EMT.
Last edited by tkprime; 03-04-2013 at 11:20 PM..
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