I hate to rush. I also hate to wait. But I think I hate rushing more. Which is why I like to start things like halloween costumes, or con costumes REALLY far in advance. I want them finished WEEKS before the event, so that I don't stress out, freak out, and then make mistakes.
So this is the exception. My friend and fellow Batgirl:Spoiled conspirator Damian Buerer called me at 5:30 in the evening and said "Do you want to go to an Avengers themed party tonight??" Naturally, I did. But I didn't have any Avengers costumes. The only Marvel costume I even had on hand was my shiny new DareDevil suit from UD Replicas. Damian ASSURES me that DD spent some time in the Avengers. Seeing as how he is THE Comic Book Nerd, I took his word for it.
Problem: I have a great costume, but no billy clubs. There's a dude on the RPF who has been working on a VERY excellent budget replica of the billy clubs, of which I will no doubt be acquiring a pair. However, to my knowledge, they are not ready. Even if they were, it's doubtful he would be able to get a pair to me in the next sixty minutes.
Solution: Use whatever you have on hand to build a pair of billy clubs, and quick.
As luck would have it, I had ALMOST everything in my garage that I needed. The other lucky thing is that I live five minutes from Home Depot.
Here's a sneak peek at the final results. CERTAINLY not movie accurate, and borderline cheesy. However, as I suspected, everyone thought they were just great.
It all started with a length of 1" dowel I had in the closet. I held this next to the holster of the DD costume, and roughly guesstimated how long the clubs should be. I wanted them sticking out of the holster, but not too far. I really just eyeballed this. I did not use any reference or anything.
I then took my rotary saw and cut it as close to the mark as I possibly could. I did not square it off, didn't measure. Just held it with my foot against a piece of the car chassis, and sawed. Close enough for costume parties!
I now had my first piece cut. The next task was to cut another piece the same size.
To do this I taped the already cut piece to the uncut piece, and made sure the two ends lined up pretty well.
Then I made another cut, clipping off a tiny length of the original piece, but cutting through the longer stock. I now had two equal length pieces of dowel rod.
I happen to have some grey primer on hand that works really great with wood. It goes on pretty thickly, and dries quickly. Another piece of good news is that it was a very warm, dry day here in Irvine, so paint would be drying quickly. I quickly sanded off any splinters that had shown up around the cut edges of the wood.
I employed one of my favorite tricks for painting things like this. The problem here is that you don't want to have to sit the piece down, spray one side, then flip it over to paint the other. This usually leads to a pretty bad paint job. I like to embed a wood screw in one end, then clamp onto the part of the screw that is sticking out. This means I can paint the entire piece in one pass.
Here are the clubs after a coat of primer. I only had time for one coat! (for those of you that are new to my blog, Yes, that's the batmobile in the background.)
And then it was on to painting! Again, as luck would have it, I had some red paint on hand, along with some silver.
I blasted on two coats of red paint, which seemed like more than enough. Coverage was certainly not perfect. Because of the wood grain, there was still some grey visible here and there. But who cares! I've only got 30 minutes left before I have to leave for the party!!!
The heat of the evening helped the paint dry pretty quickly, and it was then time to work on the silver tips. I stared by using green painters tape to mask off what I thought was a decent length on both clubs.
Then I masked off the bodies of the clubs with some printer paper, which was taped into place using the same painters tape.
Then I hit them with the silver paint.
And FINALLY I was at a point where I had to run to home depot. I wanted to make nun-chuck style billy clubs, which meant I need some chain and a way to fasten it to each club. About 15 minutes later, I came home with this. A six link section of chain, and a bunch of U nails. I don't even know if that's the right word for it, but you can see them right there in the box.
The timing of the Home Depot run worked out great, as it gave the paint time to dry. I peeled off the masking tape. There was of course a TINY little flaw where the paint sank underneath the tape seam, but oh well. (flash forward: guess what? Nobody noticed!!!!!)
I didn't want to risk splitting the wood on the dowels, so I drilled two pilot holes for each nail.
I tapped the nails into place with a hammer, and that was it! All done!!!!
You can see from this pic that the coloring wasn't quite right, but again... nobody seemed to notice!!!!