It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

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

It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Mad Max Headroom » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:24 pm

Hi gang! Welcome to my latest obsession and introduction post.

I had a blast at a three day Halloween camp-out and want to start on another costume right away. Thunderdome went down as the gag gift of the franchise, but it was the first Max film I saw as a wee tot. It blew me away, I watched it over and over! I always wanted to make one of those Guard costumes, and the time is here.

A year ago I started messing with making costumes. Here I am in the terror bird costume I made, giving a wtf shrug to the hotel that kicked out our sci-fi conference:
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Costume making really is a cool craft; I've taught myself how to sew, dye leather/cloth/feathers, work with thermoplastics, work with fur, fabrics and leather, etc. The Guard getup will just build on this and probably make me learn even more.

Anyway, about my Guard ideas...
There is not much good photo reference of the Guards online so I'm waiting on my DVD of Thunderdome to show up. Until then the Max Max sites have plenty of things to look at including the work of the amazing Karol, who seems to be one of the few Mohawkers around.

I don't think I will ever find the Rawlings Crusader pads that the Guards actually wore. I was going to get some used pads off of eBay to mess around with, until I found THIS:
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I fell in love with those leather straps/buckles on the sides. What do you guys think? It's a "Bike Blackmaxx Junior Football Shoulder Pads - Multi-Position". The "Junior" thing confuses me, I hope it's not for kids, it's available in medium to xl, so I think it's for grownups.

Also just for the record, I'm not interested in making a part for part recreation. My hat is off to those who can do that, while I do want a Guard costume I'm not patient enough to match up every component and I do plan on taking some minor artistic license.

I'll be goofing around with boots, kidney pads, wigs, feathers, junk yards surplus shops and other fun things soon enough. Time is never on my side but I hope to get started soon, watch this space for more as it develops :} Thanks for reading!
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Max59 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:51 pm

Those pad look great to work with. I see what you mean about the side belts. Good luck on the build. Looking forward to the updates.
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby MFP 2020 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:42 am

In my experience, "junior" means "for kids." While building my marauder costume I ended up with two sets of pads that are way too small for me, even though they're "XL," because they're junior. They'll usually have a measurement like "18-19," which is a better indicator of size. (Refers to shoulder width.) Stick with "adult" or "varsity."

This might help: http://www.hitrunscore.com/schutt-varsi ... chart.html
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Mad Max Headroom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:59 am

Ok, I've made my first mistake: I got impatient and tried to get pics from my VHS version of MM:BT. Wow what a waste of time! No clean pausing, pics come out terrible, pan 'n scan erases whole characters, etc. At least I got to watch the movie again.

Back to pads:
MFP 2020: thanks for the football pad sizeup chart! It is a bit confusing though, as I've compared my sizes on other charts and got a different size (L on one chart, XL on another). Doesn't seem like there is a hard standard for these things, I might just have to order and try it.

Here is another version of the Blackmaxx series. "Extended Length". It's missing the rad belt buckles, but is longer, available in more sizes and has two straps over the ribs. The website didn't have a bigger pic, but here you go:

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blackmaxx extended length
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Karol » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:00 am

I had a friend who used the "buckle" pads on his Burning Man costume - I actually did like the overall look. The buckles are cool (wouldn't be THAT hard to add buckles to most pads, though). I would definitely take 2020's advice and make sure the pads are big enough. Not realizing a product's actual size is one problem with online shopping. If you're not wearing a shirt underneath the pads, you don't want pads so small that your man-nipples show. Just doesn't look right. The "extended length" should give you the cover you need.

I found the most challenging parts of the Bartertown guard costume to be the kidney belt and the strap-on mohawk. Both require scratch-builds and some engineering. If you're going to do the horsehair sticking down from the belt's front and back, I would recommend a double-thickness belt with the hair Barge-glued and sewn in between the layers.
As far as the mohawk, I would really recommend just going with a horsetail. As I may have mentioned on my website, I've had a lot of trouble getting synthetic hair to stand up. I haven't actually gotten as far as building a horsetail mohawk yet, but I have several to use, and have some ideas of how to proceed.

I also thought I recently saw a strap-on mohawk on etsy that used elastic straps and looked halfway decent if you're not worried about screen-accuracy.
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Mad Max Headroom » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:00 pm

Hi Karol, it's an honor to have you aboard. Pics from your site are part of what inspired me to proceed with this.

I did order the extended length pads today. I looked at various football sites on sizing this stuff, hopefully I got the right size, all I can do is wait and see.

It's ironic you mention the horse hair since I looked into that for the first time today. The stuff isn't without cost, but isn't nearly as hard to obtain as I'd imagined. I need to kick around a color scheme then start ordering.

Screen-accuracy is something I'm kind of playing by ear. I watched the movie a bunch last week and want to look like that, but there are some things I want to do different, mostly with the pants.

Thanks for the tips on the mohawk & belt! I've had a few ideas for these but as usual nothing really firm yet.

Thanks everyone for the advice and tips so far :}
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Down in the Dumps!

Postby Mad Max Headroom » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:21 pm

Since warm season is ending, I took an impromptu trip to the wrecker, just to see what I can find without really knowing what to look for. I haven't been to a yard in a long time and thought it'd be good practice, as to what tools I should have, etc.

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FF with junk
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Alas, within the saddleboxes are a bounty of hubcaps, floormats, air filter covers, emblems and any number of accouterments. All for less then $30, they only charged me for my large number of floormats and hubcaps. A car I found early on in the pick is a Chevy Caprice Classic. My first car was a 74 Caprice so that was real great to find, I got lots of emblems, seat belts, light fixtures, etc. So if I get this thing done, you all can play "find the Caprice parts".

Of course the Caprice was right next to other Chevy's like the Impala, which were almost the same thing for a while. I thought I'd get lots of neat things from trucks, but I found most of the stuff I liked was from cars. A grim trick I learned with cars was to find something colorful with a telephone-pole shaped crease in the front bumper. Those were usually tricked-out boy racer cars that got totalled while doing something dumb, and therefore have shiny aluminum parts in the cabin and under the hood.

Here was one cool thing I found, V8 Interceptor it ain't, but still....
busters_picknpull.jpg
ghostbusters!
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Karol » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:32 pm

I got my horsetails from the UK via eBay. They are sold for high-end rocking horses (to be used as manes and perhaps even tails). I have heard that a call to some local slaughterhouses may yield horsetails. Either way, I am going to look into tanning the horsetails - I believe they are rawhide - and get an understanding of the pros and cons of tanning. Tandy Leather apparently sells an easy-to-use tanning kit. I'm not sure if that will make the leather more pliable, but getting the horsetail to conform to the head is the chief issue to overcome. The plan I've had is to soften the leather by immersing it in water overnight, staple it to a wooden head-shaped form on a sturdy metal stand (something I'd have to make and thus why I never got started on this project) and then let it dry into shape. After that, drill through the rawhide to create rivet holes for the straps.
I've heard that black hair horsetails are the cheapest - lighter colors are more expensive. I imagine horsehair should take bleach and dye just like human hair.
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Mad Max Headroom » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:14 pm

It sounds like you have a great plan!
So for the tails... the hide itself... is it a flat thing, that you can strap to your head? I'm just wondering what the anatomy of it actually is.

Can't help much with tanning but I've done a little bit of the Tandy leather dying on a prior project and it's very easy. With dying you need to use acetone to "open" the leather, that was the only part I didn't like.
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Re: It begins - my Bartertown Guard costume

Postby Karol » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Image
The tail is cut off, a knife is run down the side, and it is skinned and splayed open.
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