Last year changed all that. For the first time, Halloween became fun again when we took my 2 year old out trick or treating. Not the stand in line at the mall crap or pay a bunch of money to be in a "Safe" controlled environment. No, we did REAL, honest to god, run around and knock on stranger's doors trick or treating.
This year had an effect on me as well as I started to look at going to conventions. Wanted to go to several but never made it. My brother, however, managed to go to 3. Even my Dad went to Dragon Con in Atlanta with my brother. That just steeled my resolve.
So this year I was going to design my own costume to be a part of a cosplay collection I could take to conventions next year.
It started with the hat...the 4th Doctor Who's hat. It truly spoke to me. Tom Baker's Doctor is the one I remember my Dad watching on PBS in the 80's. He was my first Doctor as they say. The theme song for Doctor Who frightened me when I was little and I associated Tom Baker with that memory.
|Tom Baker as 4th Doctor|
|Me as 4th Doctor|
A good choice it was too. ThinkGeek had the hat and the scarf I could simply purchase. The rest of the outfit I picked up at goodwill for less than $10. The brown wig was a harder find but only $10 at a local Halloween store.
The outfit itself was pretty brainless to put together. The real challenge I set about for myself was the sonic screwdriver.
Once again, though, the 4th Doctor's design was pretty simple. Hell, it didn't even light up! I could have bought the replica toy for about what I might be able to build one for but where is the challenge in that?
I thought about it and decided that I was going to go for a design that was similar, but non-canon. I wanted it to make noise and light up and I was not terribly concerned with making it look EXACTLY like the TV screwdriver.
So, a trip to my local home center and I scored $7 in plumbing parts, $4 can of silver spray paint, and a $3 red paint pen. A trip to Radio Shack got me a $3 12v buzzer, 2 - 23a 12v batteries for $6, a $3 momentary switch, and a 12v red LED module for $3.
I thought about using a recorder module but there were a lot of things wrong with that. Mainly it was far more expensive ($12) than I wanted and might not fit inside the body of the unit.
I cut the "T" connector I bought into just the middle piece and sanded it down. I then sanded all the parts smooth, I drilled a hole for the switch in the body, placed the switch inside, and spray painted all of it silver. I painted the end of the "T" red with the paint pen and assembled the simple series circuit for the buzzer and light. Using a piece of paper clip, I wrapped the LED and created a spring to center the module.
This video shows you the end result.
So that is the story. The one thing I took away from this was definitely do not wait until October to design your Halloween costume. If I waited to buy the hat, I would have been scouring thrift stores to find a similar one. At the time I wrote this, the hat was sold out on ThinkGeek.