For me, living in a house with a toddler who speaks Japanese means a whole lot of two fantastic things: My Neighbor Totoro and Anpanman. So when I found myself with a spare circular frame from a broken mirror at work and a circular side table top slated for the trash, I knew what I had to do… paint an awesome flying Anpanman! The donut-ey action superhero!
What’s a college student to do when they have a stack of file shelf dividers, an old karate white belt, a rivet gun, and too much time on their hands pre-Halloween? Why build armor for a post-apocalypse orc costume, obviously!
Inspired mainly by pictures of layered armor, I created a series of overlapping rings a bit like a lobster’s tail using riveted-together shelf dividers. The torso hangs from a pair of shoulder straps made from an old karate belt. For the chest and shoulders, I created a V-shaped piece and then a set of overlapping guards for the upper arm.
Not content with a metal shell, I racked my brain for what I could add to it that would make it scream Mad Max! Lo and behold, I’m pulling off the freeway to head into the college when I see a shredded tire on the side of the road. Bingo. (Note to the wise: many tires actually include steel wires in them for structural support. These wires are very sharp. Don’t ask how I know.)
Once I had the tire bits set up in a V shape to go over the chest piece, I (literally) tied it together with the hubcap, onto which I spray-painted a cheery happy face. It matched the upside down vampire teeth I used for tusks and the green camo facepaint rather nicely.
I don’t do much woodworking, but I’ve had a special place for it ever since my dad and I built a tank and an aircraft carrier back when I was a kid. We stole a paintbrush from my mom’s art supplies to make the barrel for the tank, which I don’t think she was terribly happy about. Still, it was a fun little project that I treasure to this day.