Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011
Yes, my husband was the one dressed up as Bender at Hal-Con 2011. He put so much time, effort and energy into this transformation I had to share some of the Bender-making experience with you.
Reg had been wanting to make Bender since late spring. The major issue was going to be the head. Reg figured if he could find the right head, everything else could probably work. We went to just about every house and home store you can think of and then, we saw it, at Superstore! The store I spend a ton of time in yet had never noticed it.
Then Reg saw it and we FINALLY had the head!
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
We thought the hard part was over. No way! The eyeballs were brutal. Ping pong balls were too small. Lacrosse balls were too big. Then Reg had an epiphany... Oven lightbulbs! They were perfect. I insisted the mouth-template he had made was too big and I am glad he brought it a bit down to size.
I was surprised to discover Bender's pupils were square! I had never noticed. Reg cut out the mouth and added mesh and drew on Bender's teeth. The ping pong balls we bought weren't a waste, one went on top of the antennae which was made from a door stopper.
When I saw the head was done I told him it was time to get the body. We found only one garbage can that would work, that would fit his body so we brought it home.
Reg got out all his tools and then the madness really started. I gave up trying to clean and especially vacuum the floor. What is the point when you have a mad scientist living in your basement using your Dremel tool?
Reg used 6" duct venting for the arms and it looked almost complete! We scoured everywhere for larger venting for the legs but it did not seem to exist!
Reg used most of the 6" venting to make legs, hoping that would work. This was the night before the convention!
Total and utter wardrobe malfunction. They split right across the leg.
I had been insisting he try these silver disco pants that I wore to disco night on a cruise. Now it looked like they were his only option. We finally found the feet too... at Superstore! We got giant covered plastic mixing bowls that Reg covered with duct tape.
GOING TO THE CON
The morning of the costume party we put all the components into our car and headed downtown.
We unloaded the components of the car and headed towards the convention.
Yes, a surreal moment I just had to capture.
Reg signed up, it was official, Bender was going to be on stage!
Reg put on my tight silver pants and pulled out Bender's head. Then everything went to hell. Everything meaning, my pants.
They started to shred to pieces. All the silver started coming off at once. It was the weirdest thing! Bender was losing his shiny metal ass!
So Reg taped up the pants.
Then I taped Reg into the silver pants!
As soon as he put the head on, that was it, everyone wanted Bender's photo.
Seriously, he captured everyone's attention.
Who knows how many people took a photo with him that day!
It must have been dozens. You know you have a winning costume when Boba Fett wants to have his photo taken with you.
Robots will be robots.
Here I am all nervous about Reg going on stage and talking a little about the convention.
If you haven't seen his performance already, check Bender out!
This was one of my personal favourite moments. Very clever Reg!
Have you ever heard of a tulpa? A tulpa is something you manifest strictly by thinking of it alone. I find it one of the more scary paranormal realities of our world but in this case, it made me laugh.
Through careful planning, cutting, sculpting, glueing, painting, shopping... Reg made Bender come to life out of two garbage cans. In the end he felt very real not just to me, but everyone at Hal-Con. He truly was Bender.
Way to go babe. You are seriously the coolest person I know.