As with every year for the past six (here’s 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), Jon chose what he wanted to be for Hallowe’en, and we scrambled to make it happen. This year he took longer to make up his mind, and his choice was a major challenge: Wall-E.
So off we went. I started the planning in September, with the plan to be way ahead of the curve this year, and not be up ’til 4:20 am October 31, like last year, or 3:12 am, like the year before. I actually got started on the chassis, but a rush assignment from a marketing firm that turned into a still-ongoing hurry-up-and-wait project took over three weekends straight, and any hope of being early were scuttled. In the end, I stayed up longer than before, getting a good two hours of sleep before getting up to put Jon on the bus. Next year, for sure!
As always, about 95% of this construct is paper and glue and poster paint, totally recyclable in the grey/blue bin. We’re in trouble if it ever rains.
I will admit to using hot melt glue a lot, to achieve shapes with paper that would take many hours to accomplish any other way. Problem was, the last night, somewhere after midnight with a lot of gluing still to come, I saw a flash and pop from the hot melt gun across the room, followed by a tail of black smoke. The glue gun had given up its last bit of melted vinyl. Suddenly, my overnight task was set in white glue alone.
The costume was a component system. The body with arms was itself too wide to fit through a doorway, never mind with the treads. So things were attached by various means. The treads actually had a belt with 30 treads glued on. Yes, we are insane.
(Too much) detail
We—okay, I—put way too much work into some details, but the head was especially tough. I added a glow to the eyes (not seen in the movie), since it’s pretty dark out there. Lots of components to that head, and I had to build depth to the lenses and a hidden way of getting in to turn on the eyes.
The original plan was for Jon to wear the head, but given its size relative to the costume, it was too much. Even though it was light enough to wear attached to a ball cap, it was heavy enough that if it went too far in any direction his head would flop and off it would come. In the end, it had to be mounted to the wheelchair headrest, and Jon’s only direct involvement in the costume was wearing the neck. Bit more of a parade float than I intended. But he was very happy—he hates the burden of wearing things, especially headgear.
Nice front paint detailing by Laura, who did most of the massive and finicky paint work this year. Note the glowing charge panel, courtesy of Gymkata on Flickr who posted a pic that saved me 20 minutes in Illustrator replicating it.
Photon was matched as Wall-E’s earth companion, Hal the cockroach. Her costume was very cute, but she fought it some and the head came off about 1/4 way into our tour that evening.