Not every goal is able to be reached. Sometimes, it’s due to lack of focus. Other times, it’s due to a lack of ability. Then, there are times it’s just due to a lack of time. For me, it was those three strikes, and I’m out. The Fallout Project will not be completed by Halloween 2016, but this is okay, because I have learned a few things from my mistakes, and by giving myself more time, I will be able to use those lessons to make better pieces, as well as continue to learn, to make this a good experience, and still be a costume I can wear to conventions as a bit of “hall cosplay” on days I’m not going “full Geek blogger”. So, what have I messed up on, what have I learned, and what is the plan, moving forward?
What Went Wrong
First things first, I messed up on multiple fronts. I’m not very experienced in working with making patterns, designing pieces, building out of EVA and craft foam, or working with 3D printed pieces made out of PLA plastic. Because of this, the belt I have been working on crafting out of foam has come out, well, less than spectacular. I got measurements wrong, pieces look out of proportion, and I essentially have to go back to the drawing board on every aspect of it, with the exception of the buckle I hand sewed onto the strap I was going to glue everything to. That was a solid piece of sewing. I’m proud of it.
As far as the 3D pieces are concerned, the pieces given to me by both Devon and Mike are excellent, and I’m very appreciative of them. However, as you are probably aware, 3D printed pieces aren’t really smooth, and the sanding is taking more time than I thought. In addition, there are thinner areas that I’m uncovering, that will require Bondo, and then more sanding, so needless to say, I COMPLETELY mis-judged the amount of work and time it would take to adequately prepare the Pip Boy for costume wear which means I haven’t even had a chance to look at the AEP7 laser pistol Mike has been printing out for me.
Finally, we look at the jumpsuit itself. I got some fantastic pleather (huh, who ever thought those words would go together?) to use for the shoulder piece, and add to the wrists and forearms, but once more, I failed to take into account the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing, so I still have the fabric sitting by the jumpsuit as I look into how to use a sewing machine, and then I try to find out how to add it to the sleeves.
And for the love of all that is good in the world, make sure Google Safe Search is ON if you’re searching for info on “leather cuffs”, and do not search for it at work!
What Went Right
When we look at things that went right with the project, I can honestly say there wasn’t much. With the exception of the aforementioned sewing of the buckle onto the strap, the entire belt needs to be reworked. Work on the jumpsuit and the details on the left shoulder weren’t even started. I need to do a ton more work on the Pip Boy, and work didn’t even start on the AEP7 laser pistol. However, I did learn where my shortcomings are. Essentially, I learned that I need to learn about a few more things, and I’m a bit more rusty at this than I used to be. I’ve also learned what tools I need to do the job properly, moving forward (yeah, a glue stick will not work for craft foam), and I’ve started the list of what I need.
When something like this happens, the most important thing to remember is to not get frustrated, and give up. This reminder is just as much for me, as it is for you! Instead, I’m going to start devoting an hour or two every weekend to head to the work area and get this figured out. If I’m feeling creative, I’ll work on the patterns. If I’m not, I’ll work on getting pieces sanded down, and test fitted together. I’m also going to start figuring out how to use a sewing machine, which is something I honestly haven’t done since home economics in middle school, which would be the late 80’s for those trying to figure out how long that’s been.
Since the time table for this costume has been pushed back, and instead of a goal for Halloween, the costume has become a goal to learn and refine techniques, then I’m also going to start to figure out simple electronics. I want the Pip Boy to light up, and maybe even make sounds. I want the AEP7 to actually shoot a laser beam. Instead of having everything look like it just came out of Vault 101, I want to look like I’ve been wandering the Capitol Wasteland for a bit. So, while I do apologize for failing to meet expectations on having this done by Halloween, I do ask to continue following the #FalloutProject hashtag on Social Media, as I’ll continue to work on this, and post progress pictures, especially on Instagram. In addition, whenever I make significant progress, I’ll add a new blog post to the Costume Initiative page here on the blog.
In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of what I have been working on since the last post, so you can see what I’m talking about in terms of craftsmanship (or, lack thereof).