War Doctor: Finally...almost

One more publicity shot (the last) of John Hurt as the Doctor

Lot's of good progress this weekend. I've completed all of the major components and am down to the final punch list. Here's what I've complete so far.

The shirt dyed grey

The amazing leather waistcoat found at Goodwill for $3

First off, there's been a last minute change to the waistcoat. Because of the dye problem, I had switched the material I planned on using to some wool I had left over from the Headless Horseman coat. I died it with brown to make a darker red/brown color. I already cut the material and started sewing it together when Harriet found an amazing leather vest at the local Goodwill Store ($3!). It fits perfectly and looks wonderfully weathered. The only problem is that it's not double breasted. However, due to time constraints, I'm going to use it for the initial costume and put off working on the waistcoat until later.

I did decide to dye the shirt grey. The whites were too bright, and the grey gave it a dingy look. I tried staining the shirt with tea and coffee but it just wasn't getting there. After wearing it a few times it will get properly sweaty and worn in.

Coloring the wig with FW ink using an airbrush

I wanted to make sure the roots showed the grey

I finally got to dying the wig. I'm using FW ink, specifically the Cool Grey. I diluted it for the airbrush, approximately 2:1 water to dye. It was all pretty loose measurements, basically putting ink into the airbrush cup with the eyedropper and adding a splash of water before swirling around to mix. That gave me a pretty good density of pigment so I had some subtle control over the color. I particularly focused on getting the pigment into the roots in order to leave some of the blond coloring. I think it went extremely well. After it all dried, I rinsed the wig in cold water which lightened things up a bit more. After drying, I combed the wig quite a bit in order to break up any stiffness left by the dye. I'm pleased with the results (shown later) and all I have left is to style it with got2b. I want to reduce "blow out" look and make it appear more sweaty/greasy.

Tying the shields down to the bandoleer pockets.

The finished bandoleer holding the sonic screwdriver

I spent some time weathering the bandoleer and the leather shields. I did them separately so I could get access to all the hidden bits. I don't have pictures, unfortunately, but I used a wood rasp and a cheese grater to get some of the rough wear. I also took the bandoleer out into our driveway and beat it on the asphalt as well as drag it around our dried out garden beds (California drought). It got nicely gouged and dinged as well as dusty. The shields got a couple of layers of paint, brown and black, before the wood rasp scraped through them, and that added a lot to the ageing (you can see it in the first picture, above). Then I tied the shields onto the bandoleer, glued down the knots, and it's now done-done (that's a technical term that means it doesn't need any more work, as oppose to "done", which means the main construction is complete, but it still needs some finishing).

The half gaiters complete with boot straps. I'll try to dull the red coloration and weather them quite a bit.

To finish the gaiters I added the strap and buckle that goes under the boot. I had to hand stitch the strap to the buckle, but the rest of the straps were machine sewn. I also used the leather punch to make the holes for the buckle.

And that completes the initial work on the costume, so time to give it a try. Here's the first fitting:

Initial complete costume fitting.

I'm very happy with this fitting. It's got the overall look I'm after and the sizes look right. I've got a 13 item punch list for immediate improvements:

  • Change the color of the gaiters: they're too bright red and need weathering
  • Style the wig: the hair should look greasier, like he's worn out not windblown
  • Add a pocket watch chain
  • Add another button on the left gaiter: I left off several button to look like they'd been ripped off in use, but now the gaiter just looks floppy compared to the other side.
  • Remove the coat belt
  • Condition the coat: it has the proper amount of weathering, but now I want to preserve its look, so I'll add leather conditioner/protection.
  • Darken the buttons on the vest: too bright, too bright!
  • Tie the belt tongue down: the belt matches the length shown in the pictures, but right now the tongue flops away from my body. I need a hidden attachment at the end (Velcro?)
  • Weather the pants: too neat
  • Weather the boots: too shiny
  • Loosen the bandoleer shield that holds the sonic screwdriver: it's too difficult to get the screwdriver in and out of the bandoleer.
  • Shorten the coat: It's too long for the pictures, but I don't want to cut the coat
  • Makeup: I need to lighten my mustache and eyebrows. I'd also like to change the ends of the eyebrows to turn up.

These are in order of priority, so I'll get through what I can before C4.