05 November 2019

Time Travel Helmet

The theme for this year's Firelight Lantern Festival is The Time Machine, and Krista and I were going to put together steampunk-inspired costumes for ourselves (which is why the helmet's painted in hammered bronze), but, after shooting the announcement video (second video at the bottom of this post) I decided I'd look better with a lab coat, bow tie, and goggles for a generic 20th Century scientist look.

I'd previously built a jetpack as sci-fi costume accessory for stiltwalking purposes back in 2015, so if I were to combine this helmet, the jetpack, and my refurbished blaster and I'd have a pretty good, mostly homemade, sci-fi costume for...something...down the line...


It sorta looks like a weird electronic sea cucumber or sea anemone from the top. More dieselpunk than steampunk; I like it. They were originally crystal clear plastic, but I sanded the insides and outsides to better disperse the light from the LEDs (which I bought, pre-wired, from the fine folks at Evan Designs (AKA ModelTrainSoftware)). Each of the cones has a 5mm flashing white LED and when they're activated (the switch is on the inside of the helmet) they flash in a non-synchronized and random manner (see first video below). I used tin foil and hot glue to fix the LEDs in the pre-existing holes in the helmet before expoxying the cones on.


Those cones are actually meant for desserts of some kind. They came in packs with hemispherical bases that the points would rest in, giving you an upright cone to fill with...whatever. I used some on a previous FLF stilting costume in 2017 when the theme was Fire and Ice as the "ice" part of my staff (which also had LED lighting):

FLF 2017: Fire and Ice!


The two drug bottles on top are just for show, but the big one on the back houses the battery and can be opened (child-proof cap and all) to detach or replace the battery. I drilled a hole in the back of the helmet to thread the battery connector end of the wire from the inside –aside from that, all the other changes to helmet are cosmetic.


I used some extra wheel hubs for the greeblies on the two bottles on top of the helmet. They were already chromed, so I installed them after the bottles were painted (first black, then masked off (for the stripes) and sprayed silver).


Funnily enough, the back bottle (centre bottom) looked like it needed something on its back end (originally its bottom) so I epoxied a bottle cap to it, not realizing that it has two caps now, one on each end. But it's okay, I guess.


If you squint and concentrate on the two cones in front, then add the red and white bird decal, it looks like a cute creature with eyes on stalks (with silver-tipped pupils) and a tiny mouth. This is inadvertent.


I used some spare decals from the Aoshima Food Truck model kit I transformed into the Small Pond Arts Puppet Wagon back in 2015. It was unlikely that I'd use them on any other model project, but they work here as texture. The eagle is from a boat kit (not built yet) and the "22 JR." is from a dragster kit which I've used as a donor for several model kitbashes. Etc.


I think it looks especially pleasing from the side, as the cone placement gives it a sort of swept-back-for-aerodynamics look.

Short Test Video!

It's a little shaky, but I just wanted to see what this looked like on my head while I wore the rest of my costume. Those goggles are actual welding goggles, so I couldn't walk on stilts wearing them; they'll likely go on my forehead or just be slung around my neck.

FLF 2019 Theme Announcement!

This is animated as single-frames with lightning and sound effects added to the main pic Krista took of me hovering over her TARDIS lantern. 21 photos were used in total for this 10-second clip.

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