A couple of months ago, for the colder seasons, I made a Captain Cold costume. Apparently, my Flash Rogues kick is still kicking (see, I am much better at cold puns), and it so happens that one of my friends wanted join me and make him a partial Heatwave costume. That is, all the orange parts and the heat gun since he already has the bodysuit.
I was going to deliver it on the last day of Wondercon, so I had a chance to actually wear the props myself! It was an interesting challenge, since I would not be fully invested in the costume (I was just using it for a day, then delivering it to someone else), all the white parts of the costume had to cost me nothing in terms of time and money…. Well, maybe a little time digging through my closet and potential cosplay supplies.
I was not gonna shell out for a bodysuit or a jumpsuit or anything, so I figured i could come up with the next best thing: matching white long sleeves top and pants, and I actually had two options. The first was a long-sleeve cotton sports shirt, so it has a higher thread count, meaning it’s thicker like a shirt you wear out in public, not a shirt you wear as underwear. I also had white scrub pants that match the white color and texture of the shirt pretty well. The second choice was a bolder choice. Bold, because it’s rather thick, and I would be ridiculously warm, but it makes some practical sense, I suppose. It was my white denim and spandex fencing jacket. I also had nice relax fit white denim pants that matched it.
I ended up choosing the second, because of the jacket. It had a very unusual look. It zipped on the side, so it looked very sci-fi-ish. It had vertical lines to where the denim and spandex were sitched together, and it somehow looked similar to the vertical lines on Heat Wave’s costume. Lastly, it had an awesome, side-fastening turtleneck, which also looked very sci-fi-ish. Add to that a standard head sock (which also has those vertical stitch lines as well), and it was starting to look somewhat convincing!
With all that effort to escape effort out of the way, I suppose I can actually start on the props. the first item of business is the heat gun. NO, I don’t mean the thing that looks like a suped-up blow dryer that I like to melt things with. I mean that fictional heat gun, which is precisely not a flamethrower because it’s supposed to be small and portable, so a small (but not tiny) sci-fi gun I sought out.
In my search for Nerf Guns and Nerd Gun derivatives, I found Mattel’s “answer” to Nerf, which is the BoomCo brand of toy faux guns. Fortunately, for me, and a lot of cosplayers, BoomCo did not “answer” Nerf as well, and they were all on clearance. At the time I made this costume, in mid March, The BoomCo Whipblast Blaster was at 50% off, at $7.50 from $15 at Amazon.com. It also looked very interesting having a guard over its handle .
Yup, those are dixie cups!
I did something similar with the blue plastic part’s replacement piece. It was a roll of reflective red vinyl inside a roll of translucent yellow. I suppose the reflective red quality shows more in this part than the chamber. Perhaps this part shows the fire travelling from the chamber to the barrel. Why is it exposed? Because it looks cool!…Err… I mean it looks hot!
The next part of the flame effect I had to think about was the actual fire coming out. I figured I can make it optional, so I can make the flame jetting out of the heat gun removable. the easiest and cheapest way I got it done was through an empty soda bottle. I attached the cap on the barrel, and the rest of the bottle acted as the flame, with the parts just touching the barrel still being clear because I think that is how the fire coming out of flamethrowers look like, it doesn’t ignite until around half an inch off the barrel…. but that is a flamethrower using gas, and not a heat gun that uses comic book science…. whatever. The “invisible” connection to the barrel looks nice anyway.
This flame effect is very similar to the ones I made last January, but it also has the added reflective vinyl like my Scott Pilgrim’s flaming sword effects. I started with a bunch of cut up translucent yellow plastic cups with the rims and bottoms cut off because those parts turn opaque easily. I stapled these pieces to each other in a fairly random manner. I used staples because those don’t melt under the heat gun unlike adhesives, and I didn’t think I need to stitch these pieces together with nylon thread. I also made sure this piece of yellow plastic stuff was a bit larger and can fit over the……
…. the empty soda bottle, which I stuck disjointed pieces of the reflective red vinyl all over. I left gaps in between, accounting for the plastic shrinking.
I put the yellow plastic thingy over the soda bottle with red vinyl, and it fit pretty snugly.
The bottom of the bottle, or what would be the business end of the jet of flame still looked a bit plain. You can even see the white backings of the red vinyl, which is a bit problematic. There was not enough of the red vinyl that wrapped forward enough as I wanted, so I had to take individual pieces of translucent yellow and melt them over these curves to close this.
I initially was going to change the goggle’s red to orange via adhesive reflective orange vinyl, but parts of the goggles had too many fine angles that the reflective vinyl, with its small hexagonal mirrors (I think you can see them in the picture) cannot bend around. I had to settle with the same process as the heat gun: disassemble and paint orange, which is fine, and it made it match the gun even more.
Now comes the body belt stuff and shoulderpad. I opted to go with an asymmetrical look, since his look is pretty asymmetrical anyway, with just his left side having more orange stuff, like his gun holster. For my take, I’ll just have one shoulder pad and a chest armor on that side instead. Well, this was also somewhat determined by what I got on clearance, and at this point, you can guess…. it’s another fine BoomCo product, which is supposed to be a chest shield and ammo clips integrated into a bandoleer.