As shown in Part 1, the goal is a Halloween costume incorporating animated NeoPixel effects. Essentially this is taking the Holiday Icicle Lights with Flair project, wrapping it around a body and adding a USB power bank. Part of the appeal is that after Halloween, the electronics could be re-purposed into the next holiday display. But for now…Halloween! And quickly!
The choice of character was largely determined by garb. While there are endless monsters that suit dripping blood or oozing ectoplasm, the Ooze Master 3000 specifically relies on the NeoPixel “ground splat” to complete the illusion. So that narrows the field to something with a skirt or a long cloak. Still many options! Chose the Grim Reaper because there’s ready-mades available, and because it’s such an easily-recognized thing that doesn’t need explaining. Not a fan of “requires explanation” costumes.
One can find a passable Reaper ready-made at That Halloween Store Than Occupies The Husks of Dead Businesses Like a Hermit Crab. Most of their offerings are toward the budget end of things, but that might suffice…most folks will be dazzled by the NeoPixel effects anyway. Monsters are my bag though, I wanted to step it up as something usable year after year or at horror conventions, so I’m willing to go a little extra. It’s all valid though, all up to you!
If you’re inclined toward DIY, all the sewing pattern companies have a variety of cloak designs. Or if you’re a Halloween person, maybe there’s starter garb already in the costume trunk. I found a richly-textured Grim Reaper getup from Zagone Studios…their work’s a cut above the usual “costume in a bag.” Not pocket change, but not out of reach either. I particularly like that it’s a family company manufacturing in the USA…kind of reminds me of another operation. Things take time to arrive by mail though, another reason the guide won’t be ready for Halloween this year.
This particular robe is made of burlap…fantastic as it’s very open-weave, the NeoPixels can go underneath and shine through. It’s a double-breasted closure, so the chest area is fully covered and drips can go right down the ribs. I put in some time weathering the costume to give it a lived-in (died-in?) look (this and other tips are in the Cosplay Hacks guide).
That’s it for today’s installment. Next update will start to get into the electronics!
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