Our Fallout group was approached about being a part of a Comicpalooza Cosplay montage video. Here is the final result! We’re at the 2:28 mark.
This is a great summary of some of the awesome costumes we saw in Houston this past weekend.
Our Fallout group was approached about being a part of a Comicpalooza Cosplay montage video. Here is the final result! We’re at the 2:28 mark.
This is a great summary of some of the awesome costumes we saw in Houston this past weekend.
Finally home from Comicpalooza (and the very unfortunate Galacticon event) in Houston, TX. It was certainly an awesomely large convention with some great vendors, guests, and costumes.
Time to recoup and decide whether or not I can make Fanboy Expo in Knoxville in just a few days.
Meanwhile, have another picture of our group (this time all professional ‘n stuff)!
Received my Pipboy hand plate from Forge Props, got it painted, applied a better knob, and fixed it to a (new) glove. Gonna be wearing it this Saturday!
Part of our Fallout group got some great pictures snapped by MageTV at ConNooga 2013.
Check out MageTV’s Facebook page for tons of costumes from ConNooga and lots of other cons!
Fallout Pip-Boy Build Part 4: Everything except the screen
Step 8: Paint Details
Now is the time if you are doing a Pimp-Boy version to take a look at a screencap and paint on the platinum highlights. The screws, the line around the screen frame, the wrist pieces, the dial, the rad meter, and a few other places all need to be brush painted with the platinum acrylic paint. The lettering is another spot that Warhammer paint skills come in handy, as using a small brush with very little paint on it (dry-brushing) for the letters will make them look a lot better. Be sure to use a semi-decent brush with a good point, don’t just grab some frilled-out old paintbrush you found in your basement.
After a few coats of the silver paint (don’t glob it on or details may be lost), fill in the lower and side vent areas with black acrylic paint (carefully again). This will give a lot of depth to it.
After all the touch ups are done and completely dry on the Pimp-Boy, spray the clear gloss enamel over the outside. Try not to get any inside if possible, but do make sure to cover every inch of anything gold, silver, and black. Don’t paint it on too thick, but do put two light coats on it. If you skip this step, expect to have everything that touches the Pimp-Boy to scratch it up terribly. I didn’t use an enamel coat on the regular Pip-Boy as it wasn’t necessary, but after one day’s wear, the Pimp-Boy took quite a beating without it, and I had to take it apart and repaint it, then did the gloss enamel cover. The Pip-Boy looks good with more wear and tear, but the Pimp-Boy needs to be kept in good condition, or it won’t look truly gold.
For the regular Pip-Boy, just paint the details the same way as described with silver metallic acrylic paint, use the black acrylic for the vent areas, but after the highlights are dry ALSO lightly paint any cracks and crevices with the black acrylic, wait about 6 seconds, and then with a paper towel wrapped over your finger, try to wipe the paint away. The area you are able to clean will be left slightly dirty, while the areas you can’t will be much dirtier. Repeat this on most every area until you think it looks dirty enough. Remember, this is the worn-torn future… things aren’t clean… unless they are a Pimp-Boy 3 Billion!!!
Step 9: Install the LEDs
This is hopefully simple if you framed out the holes well earlier, just snap in them in! If a Dremel seems to be too much for it, use an X-Acto or hand file - something you can have a lot of control over and not take away too much of the cast. After snapping them in place, twist the wires together gently and keep them all out of the way while you work on the other parts inside.
Step 10: Install the wrist straps
Another super easy step, you just lay the cast down, put your arm in, and cut two elastic strips that will fit comfortably snug around your forearm and wrist (leave about 2 inches of overlap on the elastic). Now just put some of the gel control glue in the two strap areas as shown, and glue the elastic in place. The overlap will allow you to glue the elastic onto itself, which makes for a better hold. Glue the straps as far up the sides as you feel needed, as this will vary on wrist/arm size, cast thickness, etc.
Step 11: Install the 3M Dual Lock closures
This is the best/easiest method for closing the Pip-Boys that I have found. It acts like velcro, but velcro has a lot of play in it and only tends to get looser as it gets used more. Dual Lock is plastic, sturdy, and has no play in it. I cut four 1” (approximate) pieces , and use the gel control glue OVER the adhesive backing (just to be sure!).
Make sure the surface inside you are about to adhere to is clean of dust and dirt. Glue the small strips in place as shown, about 3/4” from each end on top and bottom halves.
(Ignore all the tape and wire mess for now.)
You will use a full strip of the Dual Lock to keep the cast closed around your arm. Snap it firmly and evenly onto the bottom strip. Don’t peel the backing off the strip or else it’s gonna get all sticky on you!
After the glue has had a good 10-15 minutes to dry, try it on! Slip your hand carefully through both straps. (If one pops loose, carefully take your hand back out, and reglue it.) To close it, push the strips in to the middle as you close it.
Then reach in with one finger and snap the Dual Lock onto the top section, while holding the cast closed tightly with your thumb and middle finger.
To close the left clasp, I tend to hold the cast to my stomach, while pressing it closed, and reach in with a finger or two to then pinch the clasp together.
This stuff will hold with no worries, and it won’t ever start to come open. Just make sure your glue and adhesive stick the Dual Lock pieces onto the cast well. If it wears out over time, just replace it with new strips or pieces! I have never had any of my casts fly open or had any problems with this clasp method. It’s relatively cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s tight.
It may be a few days before I get part 5 up (but I doubt most of you are going to be completely ready for it tomorrow anyway). I actually am going to take the wiring and screen out of the PImp-Boy, because I forgot to take pictures when I was installing it in a hurry before the last con. I want to make sure to post detailed pictures, so I figure it is better to take time on the post rather than hurry it along and half ass it.
Up next… Part 5: The screen install
Fallout Pip Boy Build Part 3: Patching, Painting and Hinging!
Step 5: Patching
Whoa those bubble holes look ugly. Kwik Plastik is great for filling these. Just pull the little stick out and grab a chuck and mash it together well and work it for about five minutes. After it mixes well, take very small pieces and fill in anywhere you see that needs it. Make sure you take a flat surface like a knife and flatten out each spot you patch, so that it blends well. As you can see I had quite a few places to patch because there were lots of bubble areas. Wait about an hour for the Kwik Plastik to set before continuing on.
Step 6: Painting!
This part is pretty simple, and I figure you don’t need pictures. First place the two halves together and check for gaps. If you see some that are too much to bare, go back on step 5 and fill them, or if you can sand more down to make it all even, go for it. Either way you want to make sure that the cast will be even.
Put on some disposable latex or vinyl gloves to protect from getting paint all over you. Makes everything easier and cleaner.
Unless you are doing the regular Pip-Boy AND got the green cast, prime the cast grey on the parts that will be visible (the outside and in around the screen and a bit into the arm holes). It may already be grey, but this will make the paint hold better. Make sure to do a very light coat so as to not lose any details. Wait 4 hours or so and hit it with that metallic gold in the same places for the Pimp Boy. If doing the regular Pip-Boy, go ahead and brush on a light coat of the Sophisticated Finishes Pewter Surfacer. Again, be sure not to cake it on as you might lose details. This is where Warhammer painting skillz come into play. Wait until dry, then go to the next step.
Step 7: The hinge!
This is where things get a little frustrating, as you have to make sure everything lines up correctly after each step you do. After the cast is dry from the paint, place the two halves together and check for gaps again. If all looks well, place the hinge flat onto the top middle of the bottom half as pictured, and place it so the bump of the hinge faces out. Doing it the other way will make it close unevenly. You may want to dremel out a small (1/16”) flat indention for the hinge to sit down into, to prevent any further gap. It’s not a huge deal, as that part isn’t really very visible either.
To make sure you have it in the right place, eventually you’ll be able to (safely) flip the Pip-Boy open like this:
Once you have it lined up and the hinge is flush with the side of the cast as shown, mark the holes on the hinge. Now very carefully drill VERY shallow, very tiny holes where you marked. Be careful not to go all the way through. Hold the screws that came with the hinge up next to the mold to check the length they need to be, and cut them off accordingly. The screw length below the head will probably only wind up being about 1/8”. Don’t screw the hinge into place just yet, but have everything prepared for it.
Next, line the two halves back up together, and (having a friend to help) hold the hinge in place as well, and have the hinge make an “L” shape. The other half of the hinge is going to fit into the fat part of the cast into a slot you’re about to cut. After checking where the hinge should fit into the top half to make the two halves match up (very important!!!), mark the slot the length of the hinge (1”), and take your largest cutting wheel and cut the slot as deep as the wheel will let you (around 5/8” to 3/4”). It will be enough to slide the full width and entire side of the hinge into place as pictured.
Notice that I cut the hinge and made it tapered on that side. Since the cutting wheel is round, it won’t allow for the full bottom width of the hinge to fit, so if you taper it, it will fit perfectly. Use the Dremel cutting wheel or some heavy duty cutters to trim the hinge.
Once you’ve lined everything up, drilled the holes, cut the slit, tapered the hinge, and checked that everything will fit and line up, carefully screw the hinge into place on the bottom half. Notice that the hinge has a little bit of play to it, which is great because chances are that slit wouldn’t perfectly line up with the hinge without it. Once the hinge is securely screwed to the bottom half, squirt a good amount of glue into the slit, and place the tapered side of the hinge into place. Feel free to close the cast together, lay it face down (so the glue won’t run out) somewhere it will not move out of place, and let the glue dry for an hour or more. This is where you’ll probably take a big sigh of relief. Go have a beer, go to bed if it’s late, or play some video games. It’s only gonna get more tedious when you get to the screen! :)
And after your break…
On to Part 4!
Fallout Pip-Boy Build Part 2!
(This section will apply to both Pip-Boy 3000 and Pimp-Boy 3 Billion models.)
Step 2: Dremeling the Excess
FIRST put on your safety goggles and protective mask! I know, you eat lightning and crap thunder, you don’t need the protective wear… but when you are sneezing resin dust and rubbing grey powder out of your eyes, you’ll wish you’d worn it. Also make sure you are outdoors, or somewhere you can get dirty. And I mean like you will look like a dust monster when you get done. I take an air compressor and blow myself off (huh huh) it’s so bad. It doesn’t stick or anything, it is very easily blown or wiped off.
Now that you have all the materials you need (or at least a cast & rotary tool), Dremel the hell out of that thing. The cast is very solid, yet a Dremel with any force behind it will tear right through it, so you want to look at a picture of the pipboy in game (or here!) and cut and sand off all the excess resin.
The main parts to be removed are the screen and the arm holes. Be careful to use the appropriate accessory on the Dremel for each application. If you are cutting something out, use the cutoff wheel, until you fear you might cut in too far, then swap over to the sanding drum or grinding stone. Also watch the chuck (the textured part you tighten when changing bits) of the dremel to make sure it isn’t going to touch the prop and tear into it, as it spins with the bit.
If you notice some imperfections: we will cover how to fix them in the next post, don’t worry.
After cutting out the arm holes and screen, sand the back bases down flat (don’t sand too far into the mold!). Sand out the arm holes to create nice smooth, round holes. The armholes aren’t visible, but smooth them out for comfort. Smooth out an indention inside the screen area, but you’ll probably come back and go farther into the mold behind the screen (roughly 1/4”) so the screen edges will be as invisible as possible. Notice that the bottom of the screen area has a lip that comes up above the LEDs, and don’t cut into that either.
Remember that a cut piece of plexiglass is going to fit tightly into the back of the screen area. It usually takes trial and error til you are happy with the fit. Anyway, back to the outside of the cast.
Step 3: Filling the screw holes
Get this easy part out of the way: drill tiny holes in each place you see a screw in the game screenshot. There are a total of 6 screws to be applied, 5 on the face, and one on top. Use round-head #4 x 3/8” screws to fill these holes, but first be sure you carefully drill out the holes with roughly a size 3/16” drill bit.
There isn’t need to go all the way through, though it won’t really matter. If the screw penetrates the inside of the cast and looks like it may cause harm to your wrist inside, use a sanding drum (be careful of sparks!) and sand the screw down to a safe length (or dullness) inside, or take the screw out and use the fiberglass cutting wheel to cut it shorter (again, be careful!). When installing the screws, make sure to go slowly and don’t drive them in too far. They should fit snugly and merely be put in for decoration. If the screws start to crack the surface of the cast, take them out, and try drilling a slightly bigger hole. If the crack persists, it can probably be covered with glue and paint later. If you screwed holes that are too big and the screws won’t take hold, just use the trusty little bottle of gel control super glue.
Note that this gel control super glue takes a while to take hold (hence the CONTROL part). It’s not runny (hence that GEL word) which is great because it stays where you want it to. Hold the item in place for 30 seconds, and if it will stay, give it another 10 minutes or so before handling and continuing work. Once this stuff takes hold, it’s gonna stay.
Step 4: LED holes
Drill out the holes for the LEDs. Be extra careful not to cut or drill into the frames around where the holes are. Take an LED and gently try to fit it into the mold in each part. DON’T fit the LED all the way in! You still have painting to do first! You should be able to tell if the LED will go in after it gets painted with a little force. If not, you can always make the hole slightly bigger later. Dremel on both the inside and throughout the shaft where the LED will go. If it won’t fit, make sure that the tail isn’t going to hit the inside of the cast. If it is, you can sand quite a bit away to make it fit. If a frame for an LED on the cast cracks, it’s not big deal as the LED will actually cover it so it isn’t the end of the world, but may be visible at times. My Pimp-Boy has a cracked frame, but it doesn’t bother me too bad.
Ignore the gold paint… don’t do that yet, this is just reference for how the LEDs will fit into the slots. Also, make sure not to jam them in all the way, as you do still have to paint the cast.
That’s what it will eventually look like, so if one cracks, don’t fret.
Notice the inside is pretty ugly. It doesn’t really matter as it will never be seen, and also this will work better when the glue needs to take hold for the wrist straps and dual lock closures.
I’ve promised this for a good six months or more, and finally here is my Fallout Pip-Boy build post!
Before I get started, let me state that this is the process I’ve used twice (once on my own Pip-Boy, and again on my Pimp-Boy). I saw a lot of videos before starting that showed fully functional props, but they are either unwearable or they use an iPod Touch/iPhone which (to me) doesn’t fit properly and looks worse than this method. I wanted the prop to be comfortable and wearable, but also have some sort of working lights.
The screen was the biggest issue I ran into, and after waffling on what to do found the build post on therpf.com and saw they used an electroluminescent sheet, and thats what I went with. Before that, I was literally winging it on how to make this (once I found the cast), but our builds are very similar. Therpf is more of a forum and information is sometimes hard to find, so I decided to put up my process (along with the elements I used for the screen from that forum) to hopefully simplify and spread the info for those that want to do this themselves!
Again, this is just my process, so you or someone you know may have done it differently. I’m not telling you how to do, just trying to help anyone by telling my experience. I will try to be as detailed as possible. This CAN be easy if you have a steady hand and patience. My first build took about three months, but the second I did in only about twenty hours over the course of two days!
Step 1: Get your materials
The total cost for materials to make a Pip-Boy is around $140, and total hours to complete one will vary with each person. If you don’t have a lot of tools already, the cost for the materials and tools you’ll need will total about $300. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll need.
For the mold, I have used Forge Props on both mine. There are other mold makers out there, but they are sometimes hard to get to. Forge Props can take up to a month to get you your mold, so be sure to ask for a time frame to be sure when you should expect it. He usually charges about $60 + shipping for the cold cast aluminum version, which I thought looked better. You can also pay a little more and have it cast in green to not have to buy paint if doing a regular Pip-Boy. If the website goes away, check him on Facebook.
In the meantime, go ahead and order the electroluminescent sheet on eBay from seller glow_hut. I would link to a listing, but it has the chance to disappear in 30 days. Just make sure you get the “electroluminescent panel with 9v inverter”. It should be $33, and just get the plain white.
The colored acrylic gel used to color the screen can be purchased at any local camera specialty store or online. You want yellow/gold for the Pimp-Boy, or green for the regular Pip-Boy.
Get the Orange LEDs from Radio Shack. You might have to go to more than one to get 3 total, or order them from their website. They are a part# 276-0272.
Michael’s Arts & Crafts or JoAnn will have the Sophisticated Finishes Pewter Metallic Surfacer, as well as the acrylic paints you need (get a gloss black for $1, and for the Pimp-Boy get the Martha Stewart Rose Chrome, and for the regular Pip-Boy get any silver metallic). You can also get 3/4” elastic used to hold the prop to your arm more securely. You can get thicker if needed, and color doesn’t matter.
Home Depot should have you covered on all the spray paint (except for the gold), the Loctite Gel Control Glue (yes, it’s that specific - it’s the best glue I’ve ever used as I keep 2 bottles on hand at all times), the 1” hinges, the screws, the Lexan polycarbonate sheet (it’s thick and sturdy yet easy to work with), the heat shrink for 24 gauge wire (not 20 gauge as pictured - I tossed the original package for the 245 gauge), Kwik Plastik for any repairs, and whatever tools you may need. If you don’t have a Dremel (or access to one with lots of accessories), and you plan on doing any more prop work, I highly suggest buying one. It’s the prop makers main tool, and can make everything 1000x easier.
The 3M dual lock I really like to use as fasteners I can only find at Target currently (unless you know another brick and mortar store to buy it).
Next, you will need the screencap of the Pip-Boy screen, which I have provided a quick and simple one here. Note that the name is my wife’s, as I made her’s last. Using basic copy/paint in MS Paint, or if you have Photoshop (and some mad skillz) then you can change just about anything you want. I used MS Paint both times, and it just takes longer but will work all the same. The image is in color, and you will want to print out in grayscale (the gel will go over top it). It may look too bright, but it will look perfect after installation. Print this bad boy out at
Don’t feel overwhelmed! If this is your first time making a prop, I hope you find it enjoyable and want to do more. It was my first, and now it’s become a main hobby of mine.
Now, take time to gather your materials, and head on to Step 2: begin the Dremeling!
The majority of painting is done after dremeling extensively on the NCR helmet from Kommissar Props. Still need to do some detailing on the mask and helmet, wire in the electronics, finish cutting and installing the lenses, and add some inner padding for comfort.
The lens in the last pic is just barely sitting in place, as I have some better (red tinted) plexiglass coming, and what I cut out I just did as a pattern for it.
There is a tiny fan in the filter cannister that runs off of a 9v battery, and that hose is long enough that it could run to a tank on my back with some beverage in it. It’ll be like having an air conditioned party in that helmet.
Oh hey I made a sling for my Fallout sniper rifle. Maybe I will be more apt to carry it at conventions now since I don’t have to actually carry it constantly.
Installed some D-rings on the gun, bought some metal “purse clips” from Joann, painted it all, and used an old crappy belt with some rivets and snaps. Why not just buy a sling? It’s the post-apocalyptic future, you can’t just go an Amazon and get anything you want.
Here are a few pics of our Fallout Vault group at Chattacon 38.
This is my wife’s first time costuming at a convention, and she designed and sewed a Vault Dress based off of the vault suits. Since she’s with me, she kept with being from 101, and since she went the cute girlie route, I made her the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion so she could have some bling.
We need to figure out a good prop for her to carry next time!
I reblogged this picture back in June, and found out recently through my friends at Multi-Pass Productions that I can get this exact helmet from the guy who casts them.
Come February, I will have it and can begin work on an NCR Veteran Ranger costume!
Check out this tutorial from my friends at Multi-Pass Productions on how to make a Rebar Club prop from Fallout: New Vegas!
Also check them out at www.facebook.com/MultiPassProductions