Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Discuss items from the film, making replicas, and so on.

Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby Max Replica » Fri May 07, 2010 5:30 pm

My Mad Max Road Warrior faded black T-shirt

As you'll soon discover, I'm not talking about a fan T-shirt with the movie logo on it or anything. No, I'm talking about the actual T-shirt that Mel Gibson wore in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

His shirt was a black Australian Bonds brand T-shirt. It is faded and torn and usually only glimpsed under his jacket. But you can get a good look at it in the scene where he eats the dog food.

Here are some screencaps of the shirt:

shirtcap0.jpg
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shirtcap.jpg
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shirtcap2.jpg
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Re: Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby Max Replica » Fri May 07, 2010 5:31 pm

This shot is a little dark, but it actually reveals a lot of the little holes in his shirt. Try turning the brightness on your monitor up.
shirtcap3.jpg
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Or, check out this version of the same shot that I blew out the exposure on. You can see a lot of holes:
shirtcap3overexposed.jpg
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In order to replicate this item for my screen accurate Road Warrior costume, I first purchased a black Bonds brand T-shirt from Australia. (Currently available for about $18 U.S. but the shipping from Australia makes it cost nearly twice that)
(The light blue Bonds T-shirt he and the other MFP officers wore in the first movie were discontinued years ago, but luckily the black ones are still around).

Using the original Bonds shirt is important for accuracy as it has diagonal raglan cut sleeve seams. U.S. t-shirts don't generally have these. If you don't care about 100% screen accuracy then you'll be fine with just an old black t-shirt (after all, much of the shirt is hidden beneath the leather jacket under most circumstances). Ordering the proper Australian T-shirt is just for the crazy obsessed. And if you're reading all of this, you may fall into that category, so let's continue...

When ordering a new Bonds shirt keep in mind that their sizes run a bit small. That's okay for the blue shirts from the first movie as those were meant to fit tight, but Max's black T-shirt is a bit looser. I've tried several sizes of these, but my current Road Warrior shirt is based on a size XL / 20 (in U.S. t-shirts I would normally wear a medium).

Max's shirt, as you can see from these screen shots, has the sleeves cut off, the collar cut off and is faded to a brownish-black. Also, there are numerous large an small holes throughout the shirt (it wasn't until the HD version of the movie became available that I realized just how many holes were in his shirt).

The first attempt we made at replicating this shirt involved us leaving it on a mannequin in the California sun for about two months. This definitely faded the shirt (with a bit more fading near the shoulders because of the angle of the sun) and gave it a cool look. However, it faded to more of a light black or even grayish color, as opposed to brownish. This is probably what Max's shirt would REALLY have looked like after wandering the outback for a few years, but I wanted one like the movie.

Our next step was to experiment with bleaching. The magic formula we finally zeroed in on was:
A solution of 2 percent bleach, soaked for 5 minutes in a 1/20 fabric to water (by weight) ratio bath - with warm water (100 - 110 degrees F). The t-shirt was about halfway immersed in the water and was moved around by hand.
Then washed by hand to get the bleach out, then put in the drier at low to medium heat.
BE WARNED - All shirts are different, and all bleaching conditions are different. I cannot guarantee that the above technique won't ruin your shirt. Also, it's important that you not cut up your shirt before this process. Washing and bleaching the shirt after all of the cutting can cause it to stretch and lose its shape (these are 100% cotton so they are prone to stretching and shrinking no matter what you do).

After the color was done, I studied screen shots in order to cut off the collar and sleeves as close as possible. I even tried to make similar holes in the front. I probably need to make more holes in order to match Max's, but I wanted to start slow so as not to overdo it.

PHOTOS:
(Note: the color of the backs of the shirts is a bit more accurate than the front, they're more of a lighter, brownish, faded black. The way the sun was hitting the mannequin made the front of the shirts look a bit darker).

Here is the sun bleached shirt (shirt A):
Shirt A front.jpg
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Last edited by Max Replica on Thu May 13, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby Max Replica » Fri May 07, 2010 5:33 pm

Back of shirt A:
Shirt A back.jpg
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Here are a couple of pictures of me wearing the sun bleached shirt:
Shirt A front at RWW.jpg
Shirt A front at RWW.jpg (77.66 KiB) Viewed 1177 times

Shirt A back at RWW.jpg
Shirt A back at RWW.jpg (46.74 KiB) Viewed 1177 times
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Re: Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby Max Replica » Fri May 07, 2010 5:35 pm

Here is the 1st attempt at bleaching (shirt C):
Shirt C front.jpg
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Shirt C back.jpg
Shirt C back.jpg (46.69 KiB) Viewed 1177 times


Here is the 2nd attempt at bleaching and the one I'm keeping as part of my costume (hero shirt):
Hero shirt front.jpg
Hero shirt front.jpg (44.59 KiB) Viewed 1177 times
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Re: Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby Max Replica » Fri May 07, 2010 5:37 pm

And the back of the hero shirt:
Hero shirt back.jpg
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And here is a shirt that was bleached but has not yet been cut (shirt B):
Shirt B front.jpg
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Shirt B back.jpg
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Now that this process is over, I don't need my other three shirts. If someone would like to use them as part of their costume, here are the prices:
Shirt A: $20 (smaller than the hero shirt, a Bonds L. Will fit right if you normally wear a Medium U.S. shirt)
Shirt C: $15 (might be a little short in the waist because I cut a bit more off the bottom. Smaller than the hero shirt, a Bonds L. Will fit right if you normally wear a Medium U.S. shirt. The collar and sleeves are cut off, but there are not holes yet).
Shirt B: $30 (This one is just like my hero shirt and ready to be cut by you. Size XL. Will fit you right if you normally wear a Medium-Large)

Contact me if you want to order one of the three shirts above. I don't plan on making any more of these at this time. The prices I'm offering the ones above for are less than what they cost to make.
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Re: Mad Max's Road Warrior T-Shirt - A Replica Warrior guide

Postby MFP 2020 » Sat May 08, 2010 7:27 am

Nicely obsessive. "You really are a crazy son of a bitch!"

Now will you please put some pants on that guy!? :D
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