Thursday, May 1, 2008

Long Ships, Conical Helmets

Over the past week, Son and I put together his Viking costume for the school project today. Both of us are pleased at how it turned out. Here are some highlights. Son helped me design it, and he helped put some of it together.

The Helmet

We started with a two-liter bottle (or for you Canadians and Brits, two-litre), because the top of it had the right sort of shape. I cut a slice out of the top so I could get a flat pattern. I drew the slice on a piece of graph paper, then compared the circumference of the bottle with the circumference of Son's head. I needed to scale up about 1.75 times. Since my drawing was on graph paper, I just went out 1.75 times the number of squares in both directions and redrew the pattern. I ended up with something like this.

There's a new kind of posterboard that has grid lines on it. I had Son take the pattern and draw a bunch of overlapping instances so we ended up with a pattern that looked sort of like this.

We wrapped the tab around and glued it to the other end to make something that looked like a crown. Then I started to pinch the points together, and Son taped the teeth together inside. This brought the teeth inward in a rounded cone shape. The tips of the teeth didn't connect together, so I traced the inside of the roll of masking tape to make a circle, then I cut a wedge out of the circle to draw it together into a cone, which we glued to the top.

We put some tape on the seams, and then cut out pieces for the eye guards, neck guard, and ear flaps. Grey primer, silver paint, and a clear coat finish made the helmet look like this.

The Tunic and Pants

We recycled the tunic from Son's Link costume from Halloween. I made the pants from a thicker canvas-like material. All I had to do there was take a pair of Son's lounge pants/pajama bottoms and copy the pieces. I didn't add a zipper or drawstring, because luck made them fit snugly, but not too tightly.

The Cape

The cape was easy. I just made a rectangle of cloth, hemmed the edges, then pulled it in on one side to make it sort of trapezoidal-ish. The fastener is pretty simple. I found a large key ring for the circle, and I made the pin by pulling apart a binder clip, straightening the wire with some pliers, bending the end, and sharpening the other end on a knife sharpener. Slick, eh?

The Sword

I bought the sword at a costume shop for $4.

Here's the finished product.


Angry Professor said...

Wow! My dad was almost as cool as you, but different. He could burn my warts off with liquid nitrogen. That wasn't the cool part. The cool part was when we played with the leftover liquid nitrogen after the excruciating torture.

M&M said...

That's amazing! Now, if he doesn't grow too much between now and then, you have his Halloween costume done too.

Bigg said...

His costume is terrific - I can tell a lot of work went into it.