Okay, so I don’t really consider myself one of those guys that dress up as their favourite sci-fi character at conventions or halloween, (or just for fun) but yes, I made an Optimus Prime costume. Out of cardboard. I recently had my (35th) birthday and held a dress up party to celebrate. My friends are a creative bunch, so I pitched it as a “dress as something starting with the letter T” Party.
The problem with holding a fancy-dress party is that as the host, you have to put in a big effort (yes, it’s in the hosting-a-party rules). So after briefly considering going as The Terminator, or a taxman, or a tennis player, the obvious choice became a Transformer.
And of course, if you’re going as a Transformer, there’s none more well-known or admired than Autobot leader and all-round nice bot Optimus Prime.
We started by raiding the cardboard bins outside a local shopping centre. They were located in a secure area so I sneaked in to find the bits I needed only to be surprised by a security guard. Fortunately she was only happy to help, and invited us to take as much as we wanted!
From there we sourced some cheap cricket gloves, some Milo tins, some card, glue, and acrylic paint from a craft store, flower pot stands, flashlightsand ice cube trays from a $2 shop, some velcro and elastic, and last but importantly, I borrowed a friend's cricket helmet.
So with the help of my gal and a helpful friend, we spent a day painting, cutting and taping. I drew up the windows in Adobe Illustrator, and printed them out along with the the Autobot logos previously supplied to me by IDW Publishing.
It was a lot of work, but I was pretty pleased with the finished costume. I must say though, I didn’t think far enough ahead to realise that when you’re wearing it, you can’t drink or eat unassisted: kinda important at a party!
And before you ask, no, it doesn’t transform... unless you count transforming from a costume back into a pile of boxes.
Yes, this makes me a geek.