The Iconic Jacket

This was a big one.

The Jacket.

The Iconic Jacket.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star Lord Jacket

starlord-jacket-900x900

This is a picture of a display of the screen used jacket.

This is a picture of a display of the screen used jacket.

I’m not going to lie, I was putting this off for two reasons. First, there are so many options out there for the jacket that it was incredibly difficult to pick the right one.  I couldn’t find any that matched exactly and so this became an exercise in comparing numerous jackets to find one with the details I liked and without ones I could sacrifice. Second, the jackets are expensive. Red leather jackets – even if I wasn’t going for an exact match – are not cheap.

And then, after weeks of agonizing over this decision, my wife made the jacket my anniversary present. Rather than surprise me the morning of (which she felt bad about), she decided to discuss it with me in advance and together we settled on a good one. We spent just a little bit extra to get one made of real leather rather than imitation, for realism and durability.

Here it is (pictures from the website):

Here it is! There are some details that don't match exactly, but it's not a bad substitute.

Here it is! There are some details that don’t match exactly, but it’s not a bad substitute.

Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_Peter_Quill_Jacket__69332_zoom

While looking at this jacket on the website, we noticed multiple reviews where buyers stated that they were able to wear the jacket day to day. To us, that was an added bonus. If you’re going to spend a ton of money on a jacket for a costume, may as well make it one you can wear when you’re not at a Superhero 5k or Comic-Con, right?

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The Boots…er Shoes…?

Let’s start by taking a look at these things.  Here are a few pictures of the screen used costume pieces:

Another angle from the RPF.

Another angle from the RPF.

View from the back.

View from the back.

Like pretty much everything else Star-Lord wears, I’m pretty sure that these are custom made. They are definitely boots.  The bottoms look like sketchers with a sneaker like sole. At first, I thought he was simply wearing sketchers with boot covers. However, when you examine the back of his legs, you can definitely tell that he is wearing boots.  They are weird boots, but boots nonetheless.

As I saw it, I had two ways of tackling these.

  1. Buy Sketchers. Proper boot covers would conceal the fact that I’m not wearing shoes.
  2. Find boots – hope they look somewhat like the screen used versions.

I chose to go with option 1. Because the majority of whatever boots I bought would be covered by the boot covers, it made sense to me to focus on making the exposed part of the footwear – the part on my feet – match as best as possible. It also occurred to me that running in boots sucks. A lot. Wearing shoes would make things a lot easier.

For matching shoes, I went with these:

Available on Amazon!

Available on Amazon!

These sketchers seem to match the base of the boots fairly well. In particular, I noticed that the soles as viewed from the sides appears to be dead on.  So, these are what I went with. Let’s hope that it’s not too noticeable that I’m not wearing boots!

The 5k is getting closer and closer…

Chris Pratt Asks Facebook to Create His Cover Photo

I’m going to take a quick break from the costume and CASA to share something awesome.

Yesterday, Chris Pratt, the actor behind Star-Lord, asked his Facebook fans to create a new cover photo for his page. I’m not sure he knew exactly what he was getting himself into, but his wall quickly exploded with Photoshop awesomeness. Here’s his guidance:

Hello friends and fans. I am in the market for a new header for my FB page. I want to do a contest. Whoever replies with the best header (make sure your signature is big enough to be seen) will have the honor of it being my official header.

I don’t know photo shop. But you do and this could be a great way for me to notice you and give you accolades plus maybe a free dinner at applebees or something like that who knows sky’s the limit.

so. i need a header. which looks like it would be 1 tall x 3.5 wide.
I’m looking to have Peter Quill, Owen, Andy and Emmet in the mix. possibly some other fun stuff including but not limited to previous roles, my family, eagles, american flags, guns, cool ford raptors, cigars, explosions, anything sly stallone, bloodsport, early steven segal, anything that looks bad ass and will say, “Hey this facebookprofile is chris’s and this is what he’s all about.” maybe some raptors, or even some largemouth bass or deer or trophy elk, maybe some cool guns or rollerblades or possibly even a nascar or a steak maybe even some corndogs. don’t ask me! you decide!

so yeah. who’s gonna get me the best one and have their name displayed for millions of people to see?

Here are some of my favorites:

Created by Aisling O'Hagan-Gamble. I love how it all blends together. Kind of reminds me of Firefly.

Created by Aisling O’Hagan-Gamble. I love how it all blends together. Kind of reminds me of Firefly.

Created by Ramel Ureña. Love the raptors. I'm not sure how he did a Lego raptor...but it's seriously awesome.

Created by Ramel Ureña. Love the raptors. I’m not sure how he did a Lego raptor…but it’s seriously awesome.

Kode Abdo created an awesome original background. Love that he's riding a raptor holding a beer. Only Chris Pratt could do that without spilling the whole thing.

Kode Abdo created an awesome original background. Love that he’s riding a raptor holding a beer. Only Chris Pratt could do that without spilling the whole thing.

If you can't Photoshop, Lego. Motto to live by. Here's one by Cody Ogrentz.

If you can’t Photoshop, Lego. Motto to live by. Here’s one by Cody Ogrentz.

Ginger Clark went in a completely different direction because...why not? I admire the originality.

Ginger Clark went in a completely different direction because…why not? I admire the originality.

This one submitted by Mitchell Cotton. 'Merica.

This one submitted by Mitchell Cotton. ‘Merica.

I love this one created by Brandi Kenney. She writes

I love this one created by Brandi Kenney. She writes “Dear Mr. Pratt, I’m sure you’ve probably wondered: “What would happen if Peter Quill and Owen Grady’s raptors formed a band?” Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wonder anymore. Here is the cover album artwork for a record I like to think would have been heavily influenced by the Jackson 5″ Check out her Facebook page: Brandi Kenney – Design.

I call this one the Chris Pratt

I call this one the Chris Pratt “James Bond” Header. Created by Monica Price.

Ryan Adams submitted this gem. I have no words. Chris Pratt did. He said, "this might be the one!!!"

Ryan Adams submitted this gem. I have no words. Chris Pratt did. He said, “this might be the one!!!”

If there’s one thing Chris Pratt gets besides acting and raptor taming, it’s social media.

Which one is your favorite? Is there another one you would like to see added to the list? Let me know!

As always, if you enjoy the blog, feel free to subscribe and support me by donating to CASA. Link on the right! –>

A Thought Provoking Banner…

At an event this weekend, I came across a CASA banner posted in a hallway.  I read it, reread it, and took a picture before moving on.  It made me think, not only about the important work CASA does but the power of a strong role model and/or guardian in the life of a young child. Before I go on, let me share it with you:

CASA banner

As I walked down the hallway of the JW Marriott (to an event I was late for), I considered the banner and the story it told. How many children go through their lives without a healthy role model to guide them? Many, I’m sure. The challenge is identifying these children, identifying mentors, and bringing them together.

Identifying the children who need help is the first step, but there are many agencies and organizations already dedicated to this work. Schools, CPS, and even concerned private citizens look for signs of abuse, hopelessness, and depression in today’s youth. We have thousands of children in our CPS and foster care systems who, according to the state, need something more than their biological parents were providing. Agencies struggle to help the parents and the children. Oftentimes, though, children face uncertainty as they are moved from place to place, though the system, with no one person to lean on, look to, and rely on. That is where CASA, and organizations like them, try to step in.

I’m firmly convinced that, for every child in need in our society there are many strong adults willing to be role models and guides. America is filled with wonderful, giving people. The challenge is recruiting those with a little extra time to spare, showing them how they can help, and giving them the ability to do so. CASA aims to bring these people together – the children in need and an adult willing to be there for them as they work their way through the CPS and foster care systems.

Unfortunately for me, my profession keeps me moving and I don’t want to be in the position of leaving a child I’ve formed a bond with. The best I can do is spend a couple of months raising money for the people doing the work that I can’t. This banner reminded me why this project is so important to me.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks to those who have donated!

Rocket Booster Controls: Part 2!

These were a fun little art project. Let me remind you what they looked like when I received them:

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

Using an X-ACTO knife, I cleaned out the grooves and tried to smooth out any rough parts on these props. Once I was satisfied with the grooves, I spray painted them flat black.

Spray painting the booster controls. I made sure not to fill the grooves with paint by overdoing it with the paint.

Spray painting the booster controls. I made sure not to fill the grooves with paint by overdoing it with the paint.

Using a brush this time, I slowly applied a layer of silver Rub-N-Buff to give it a dirty, metallic look.  I left the center button black to match the film used prop. When I liked the look, I sprayed it with a coat of glossy Deft to protect the paint.

One thing I noticed with the Rub-N-Buff is that it NEEDS the clear coat. With paint, you can get away without the protective coat.  You would be taking a chance that the paint chips, but you could handle the prop carefully and get away with it. Not so with Rub-N-Buff. Because it is wax based, a thin coat never really seems to dry completely. It will rub off and blemish if touched with enough force. Just a word of caution there.

Anyway, here is a step by step look:

Finished product on the right. Thoughts?

Finished product on the right. Thoughts?

Thoughts?

Midway Point…

So, we’re at about the midpoint of this project. I fully realize that it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on my progress.  It has been an incredibly busy week!

I’ve been working on a number of projects over the past few days and so the costume building was somewhat sidelined. I’m not going to lie, after a long day of work and with multiple demands on my time, it is sometimes hard to motivate myself to work on costume pieces.  I’ve managed to put in a few minutes here and there, but not as much as I would like. With the clock ticking down, I’m starting to get anxious!

That being said, I wanted to take a second to thank you all for the encouragement I’ve received over the past few weeks. What has inspired me more than anything, besides the knowledge that I’m supporting CASA’s mission, is the support I continue to receive from readers, social media connections, and friends. I can’t thank everyone enough! With that being said, I’m ready to get back into costume building, and look forward to continued feedback and support from you all!

I have a few updates to post over the next few days.  For today, I wanted to share a picture of my desk.  It pretty much captures where various “crafting” projects are at:

My Desk. Rocket boosters, blasters, headphones...

My Desk. Rocket boosters, blasters, headphones…

You can see that I have a ways to go with some of these!

As always, I’m grateful for all the encouragement and I know CASA is grateful for all the donations they’ve received thus far. Thanks again!

Rocket Booster Controls: Details, Details, Details…

These controls are another small detail which I probably could have skipped.

But I didn’t.

As a reminder of what these are and where they fit in the overall outfit, here’s a (somewhat blurry) screenshot of Star Lord’s leg:

See the booster control on the leg?

See the booster control on the leg?

At first, I thought about making them.  They don’t seem terribly detailed. In preparation, I began looking around for close ups and other fan made mock ups to base my model off of.

While searching, I ended up on Etsy and found some cool models for sale.  One, in particular, caught my eye. A shop called Nova Props cold casts rocket booster controls from hard plastic. What sets them apart from other fan made props is the strong magnets inserted in them. Nova props sells the controls with iron on patches containing magnets of their own.

Buying these meant that I didn’t have to spend time figuring out how to attach the controls to the pants. Definitely a time saver. Here’s some shots of the controls taken after I received them:

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

This shows the front and back. You can see the magnets.

This shows the front and back. You can see the magnets.

These are the rocket control patches.

These are the rocket control patches.

As you can see, the controls need some finishing work. Shouldn’t be hard to finish them in the same way I did the rocket boosters.

One step closer. It’s amazing how many steps there are to getting this done.