The Vault Dweller

Cosplayer: ArcaneArchery

Variant: Vault 77 - 'The Puppet Man'

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

17th October 2015: Nuka Cola bottle caps I made some Nuka Cola bottle caps to go in my bottle cap pouch (where no one will see all of the effort I put into them). Painting the logo was quite difficult as first I had to find an accurate reference picture (a lot of people seem to use the Coca Cola logo as a base but the cola part is subtlety different). I used red enamel paint over a coat of white gesso followed by white acrylic paint for the logo. I then used some gunmetal acrylic paint around the edge of the bottle caps to create a worn and weathered effect.

9th May 2015: Belt pouches I managed to create three quick belt pouches for the costume today as some of the reference images show multiple small pouches on the belt. They would probably be made form leather but as that is expensive and I have a lot of leftover brown fabric form my scarecrow costume I used fabric instead. The pouches should be useful for holding snacks and other small items so hopefully I will not need to carry a separate bag while I'm at the convention.

8th May 2015: Pipboy control dial repainted As the Pipboy turned out to be more of a bronze colour I had to repaint the control dial glove attachment. I think I did a pretty good job of matching the colour schemes. Initially I tried a copper colour but that was too pale so I covered that with a dark metallic brown followed by a dry-brush with a brass colour. I then added a few dry-brushed patches of gunmetal paint along some of the shaper edges and corners to look like damaged/worn areas. The verdigris (green corrosion that you get on copper/bronze) is just watered down jade green paint applied in small patches.

3rd May 2015: Pipboy arrived The Pipboy prop is here! Unfortunately it is a very tight fit and does not close up properly when wearing the boiler suit with its leather cuffs, even though I don't have particularly big forearms. I will need to make some elastic loops that hold the Pipboy closed as the magnets don't make contact when I have my arm and sleeve in it.

Also this is a completely different colour to the colour that I used on the hand control dial so that will need repainting.

2nd May 2015: Bottle cap pouch I made this simple drawstring bag to hold some bottle caps (the currency in Fallout). It is made from some leftover hessian material and some string and is sewn together with jute thread.

28th April 2015: Pipboy control painted Here is the Pipboy control with it's initial coat of paint. I am leaving the rest of the painting until I receive the Pipboy itself so that I can try to match the colour scheme as closely as possible.

18th April 2015: Control dial assembled Here is the control dial after gluing it together with impact adhesive and sealing with watered down PVA glue.

16th April 2015: Pipboy control dial As I decided to buy the Pipboy without the glove I started making my own control dial to attach to the pair of gloves that I purchased instead. Here are all of the components from left to right: Glove; foam from a camping mat; two pieces of craft foam; bottle top

4th April 2015: Gloves I purchased some fingerless leather gloves off ebay as it seems that a lot of Fallout cosplayers wear something like this. I will need one of these to attach the Pipboy control dial and the other can be worn when I am not wearing the puppet on that hand.

28th March 2015: Weathering I started weathering the costume today. Initially I just put the costume on and started scraping myself along the breezeblocks that make up one of my garage walls. This helped me to identify some of the areas the would pick up the most wear and tear, especially the exact points where my elbows and knees were when wearing the costume (which is sometime difficult to judge when the costume is laid out flat). Following this I used some sandpaper to rub at all of the seams and the other areas like knees and elbows that I had identified during the previous stage. This has given the costume a slightly worn look but I think it needs more stages to get the desired effect. I am considering using a cheese grater on it, rubbing clay dust into it, and using paint and inks. I'll take it slow though as I don't want to wreck the costume.

28th March 2015: Pipboy purchased I decided to buy a ready-made Pipboy prop from Airbrushwerks rather than making one myself as it looks too complicated to make one from scratch. It was quite expensive (making this my most expensive costume so far) but several people had these at the Fallout shoot in October and the quality looked good. I chose to buy one without the glove as it would have added another £40 to the price and I am sure I can by a pair of fingerless leather gloves for a lot less than that. I can then try making the control dial attachment for the glove myself as this looks much simpler.

21st March 2015: Updated Vault Suit The vault suit now has leather cuffs like the reference image. I have also made minor improvements like belt loops to stop my holster sliding around, and increasing the length of the legs slightly by reducing the amount of roll-up.

21st March 2015: Completed leather cuffs One of the completed leather cuffs which will be weathered along with the rest of the costume

2nd March 2015: Leather cuffs It looks like the vault suit has leather cuffs in the reference images so I ordered a piece of bookbinding leather which was just large enough for the job. These two shapes will basically be turned into mini sleeves that go over the end of the boiler suit sleeves. Although it was quite expensive to use real leather I could not use artificial leather because I intend to weather the costume when it is complete and if I weather the fake stuff it will just reveal the fabric underneath the plastic layer.

3rd December 2014: Full bandolier strap The bandolier strap complete with plastic bullets and the shoulder armour. Now my bandolier will not look so empty.

3rd December 2014: Bullet Here is one of the bullets from the plastic bandolier. I added duct tape to the bullet to make it slightly fatter in order to stop is sliding out of the fabric loops on my own bandolier.

3rd December 2014: Bullet Bandolier I purchased a cheap plastic bullet bandolier online. Although it had poor reviews because it falls apart easily I only need it for the plastic bullets that it contains. There are 96 bullet on this in total so I will have a lot of spares as there are only 21 slots on the bandolier that I made.

19th October 2014: Completed Vault Suit This is the completed vault suit although I plan to improve this further after taking it to the October MCM

19th October 2014: Shoulder armour assembled I have glued the three pieces of shoulder armour together and now I just need to add the Velcro to this and the shoulder section of the bandolier strap so that I can join the two parts together.

17th October 2014: Yellow waistband I know that the Fallout 3 character models don't have the yellow stripe around their waist but the Puppet Man in the comic does (as do the vault suits in the original Fallout games). I wish I had left this part out as it was very hard to sew this onto an existing elasticated waist band, as it was a lot of material to push the needle through each time, and I also had to stretch it out as I was sewing it.

12th October 2014: Painting the shoulder armour I started painting the shoulder armour by giving it a coat of black acrylic spray paint followed by a coat of pewter silver spray paint. I then repainted the top shoulder pad by hand using black acrylic but I think this will need another coat before it is completed.

11th October 2014: Trouser turn ups To reduce the length of the trouser legs I have added rollups that are held in place with press studs. This seems to match the way the trouser legs look in the reference images.

7th October 2014: Completed bandolier I have joined the two bandolier sleeves to the should section and checked that I can thread the straps of the camera bag through the completed piece. This part is now completed although I will need to add some Velcro to the shoulder piece to attach the shoulder armour if I complete it in time.

5th October 2014: Bandolier shoulder section - underside A close up of the underside of the bandolier shoulder section showing how the rubber non-slip part of the camera bag strap is still visible.

5th October 2014: Bandolier shoulder section I created the shoulder section of the bandolier, which will cover the padded section of my camera bag strap. I have left an open section on the underside so that the rubber non-slip part of the camera bag strap will show through and continue to prevent the strap from slipping even with the bandolier cover over it. This open section will also allow me to thread the straps through the bandolier cover.

I also reduced the width of the boiler suit legs as they were far too baggy and did not seem to be made in the same scale as the body section. The legs now fit more closely and look more like normal trouser legs.

4th October 2014: Shoulder armour I cut out the shapes for the shoulder armour from a piece of foam camping mat. I then started coating it in watered down PVA glue to seal it before painting. I’m not sure how effective this will look as I have not made any armour before but I can always remake it for a future event if it does not work out this time around.

3rd October 2014: Collar completed I altered the collar by adding the vault numbers (using felt as they were so small) and then folding the collar back on itself and sewing it down so that it sticks up like it does in the reference images

30th September 2014: Goggles I bought a pair of those goggles that most cosplayers seem to end up buying at some point, as I need to have some accessories to enhance the look of the costume

29th September 2014: Bandoliers I have started putting together some bandolier ‘sleeves’ that will be used to cover the straps of my over-shoulder camera bag. The back one is just a plain brown tube of fabric while the front one also has the bullet holders sewn on (which took ages). I now need to make the shoulder part that joins them together and then I need to make the armoured shoulder pad which will be attached to it.

Interestingly the bullet holding loops are exactly the right size to hold an AA battery. This means that I could carry around 21 spare batteries for my flashgun if I wanted.

23rd September 2014: Completed puppet I completed work on the puppet today by attaching the head to the body. The shoulder seam could be better but overall it’s not bad considering this is the first time I have made anything like this.

22nd September 2014: Hair I created the hair section and quiff using some yellow felt left over from my pyro cosplay, which I then attached to finish off the puppet’s head. I found this quite a challenging task, as I have not made anything quite like this before. It is not as neat as it could be but this costume is not being entered in a masquerade so no one will be looking at the stitching and seams that closely. Overall I am quite please with the effect.

20th September 2014: Making headway The costume is heading in the right direction now although there is still a lot to do. I would prefer to be ahead of schedule by this point but at least I still have just over a month before I head off to the convention. As long as I don’t lose my head it should all be done in time. Hopefully I won’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to complete this the night before.

Oh yeah, I made the puppet’s head today (minus the hair). I’m really pleased with how the expression turned out but it was a real headache to assemble this …ok I’ll stop now.

14th September 2014: Puppet body I spent a few hours putting together the body section of the puppet today and this proved to be very fiddly. I thought that I would need to add stuffing to the hands but as the felt is a lot thicker than the material that I was using for the practice puppet they seem to keep their shape well enough without it. I now have the body more or less completed and should be able to make the head next week using a newer design that I came up with last week.

9th September 2014: Neck stripe Added the linking stripe to the back of the costume. I know the Fallout 3 vault suit doesn’t have this but it looks wrong to me without it so I am taking this feature from the older Fallout games.

6th September 2014: Puppet progress I started a test version of the vault boy puppet this week and started putting him together this weekend. I am still trying to work out what shapes to use for the head but I have the body and arms sewn together now. Based on my progress so far I think I need to make the arms of the real puppet slightly shorter but wider.

4th September 2014: Front stripes added The yellow stripes have been attached to the front of the boiler suit - these were annoyingly fiddly to sew on as the fabric is quite thick. The stripes will meet up around the back of the neck like they did in the original Fallout games (and the comic that this character is from) as I don’t think the Fallout 3 vault suits look right with the stripes just ending when the reach the shoulder seam.

24th August 2014: More progress I stitched down the raw edges of the yellow sections and have started adding the yellow pieces to the boiler suit, starting with the back numbers. Once all of these parts are attached I will work on the patterns for the remaining yellow parts. I also need to start looking into getting the material for the glove puppets soon.

23rd August 2014: Yellow sections More progress! I created rough patterns for the yellow stripes and numbers and then transferred these shapes to the yellow fabric. It took a while to work out how big the numbers on the back should be and making sure that the number style was correct but at least I only had to do this for a single digit as the character is from vault 77. The pieces have been cut out and are ready for adding to the boiler suit. I still need to do the ‘belt’ stripe and the small vault numbers for the collar but at least it actually looks like I am working on the costume now.

17th August 2014: Altered sleeves Finally made a start on this costume by altering the sleeves of the boiler suit to make them closer fitting. I might also need to raise the crotch seam and make the legs slightly narrower but this is not essential and I would rather spend time on the more important parts of the costume first

14th July 2014: References This page of the comic provides references for all of the puppets except for the Vault boy. If I have time I will try making all of these.

14th July 2014: Reference image I'll be aiming for something like this but I am not intending to make this costume spot on accurate

Dax79 avatar

Dax79 - 13th September 2014
I hope to see this at Comic-Con!

otakugirl avatar

otakugirl - 13th July 2015
Awesome vault dweller! Love it! I was torn between 77 and 22 lol. Epic though