2012 would prove to be a very prominent year for fried chicken. In June, Chik-Fil-A came under fire for espousing Anti Gay Marriage support. In September, numerous US-based businesses (including a Kentucky Fried Chicken) were vandalized in the Middle East over a controversial video. If anything, this should illustrate how pivotal fried chicken is to American culture.
It’s no secret that I adore fried chicken. I am not alone. I found out about a Japanese KFC and how they decorate their mascot. I was determined to make this my Halloween costume this year.
1: Purchase a sectional sofa from Ikea
Okay, that may be a bit extreme, but we really needed a new couch and by getting it from Ikea, we got a very comfortable sofa at the right price with the bonus of all this great double-walled corrugated cardboard. This ensures that all my costume components would be of consistent texture, weight, grain, and detail.
2: Cut out all the needed components
I used two instructables (here and here) for what size and how many of each component I needed, and what the hole-template would be for punching the 2,090 holes.
I had repurposed a plastic katana from one of Cameron’s previous costumes. We also had a Darth Vader helmet that was no longer functional, so I used the headpiece from that. I had to Dremel off some of the front, then added a plastic dog-cone collar for a brim. It looks less-Vader-y this way.
Traditional samurai helmets have ornamental crests, or maedate. The higher the rank of the samurai, the more-ornate the maedate. Well, we’re talking about a Colonel, for Pete’s sake, I had to have something pretty fantastic.
The typical Google-Image-Searches didn’t reveal anything appropriate, so I had to brainstorm this one:
I settled on a spork
|Spork of the mighty|
The spork is iconic of the KFC empire, I thought. Against a vast mountain of instant potatoes and gravy, the spork is your greatest ally. I needed to make one. Rather than mess with heat guns and smoking plastic, I decided to raid the kids’ sandbox. I found a discarded toy shovel that I thought would pass. After some rough carving, sanding, and painting, I had my crest.
It wasn’t enough, though. I wanted more. A lot of helmets have horns, which initially seemed pretty cool. But then I thought “chickens don’t have horns”. So what do chickens have?
Behold, my wishbone of power
Fabrication included making a template from a manila folder (folded for symmetry), transfer to cardboard, then cut and paint.
The spork and wishbone fit together like a fast-food Voltron.
I needed logos for my armor. I actually found a site that would generate the katakana characters for “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. I verified this against the KFC-Japan website and it was a perfect match.
There were plenty of English KFC logos to choose from. I did want to combine the Rising Sun design with Colonel Sanders, just to really hammer the point home. So after a few minutes in Photoshop, “Rising Sanders” was born:
Soldiers had various designs painted onto their chestpieces, so I thought this would be best applied as a stencil directly onto the armor.
I tried to balance authenticity with kitsch here – whenever I thought I was sweating the details too much, I reminded myself that this was all just cardboard. If I thought I was being too cavalier, I just had to look at my picture of Colonel Sanders and how I wanted to do him justice. And whenever I got tired of punching those holes…I remembered the smoking remains of that glorious restaurant.
Happy Halloween. In case you missed it, check out the other costume I had to make this year.
Share and enjoy.