Adler Westfield - Part Two: Vintage Leg Brace

With mere minutes to spare, I was finally able to complete the costuming and accessories for Adler Westfield, my 2014 costume for the Midwest Haunters Convention masquerade ball. I had a few moments to snap a couple of pictures before I packed it all up for tomorrow's journey to Columbus...

From the initial concepts for the character, I had always wanted to fabricate a vintage leg brace. I wanted to hamper the character's movement, allowing him to walk with the help of a cane that I had picked up earlier this year. According to the storyline, I wanted to assemble a makeshift brace that looked to have been created with whatever parts were available to a circus troupe, traveling through the deep South in the early 1900s.

I used strips of  1-inch wide metal and round door handle reinforcement brackets to create the framework. I had picked up 3 weathered leather belts from the thrift store to use as leg straps. 

Originally, I had a connecting piece at the bottom of the brace that would have sat underneath the heel of the boot, but after many different configurations, I decided to remove it and simply drill holding screws right into the sides of the heel. Had I not decided to finally attach the bottom this way, the brace would have been too heavy and never would have held onto my leg correctly. The boot, by the way, is an industrial, military jump boot-style that I picked up off a eBay a few months back.

After getting all of the final adjustments corrected, I hit the frame pieces with 3 different spray paints (using the same technique to simulate the rust on my cemetery gate sign prop), giving a nice aged, rusted look. 

As an added bonus, I was perusing the odds and ends in my grandfather's old garage last week when I noticed a large ring of keys hanging from an old rusty nail. To my surprise, it was a large collection of old, rusted skeleton keys that looked to be from the 20s or 30s. I was able to get a large ring full of the old keys, and I added two clips, an extra keyring and a length of mesh chain to create a chain wallet key ring. I used the same paint technique as above to match the rust coloring of the keys. Once it all came together, it looked like a cohesive piece that was nearly 100 years old! This will be worn on the leg opposite the leg brace, and when I walk, the keys make a nice, dull clink with each step. I really lucked out in stumbling upon the key set and they will make a nice accessory piece for my costume.

So everything is now packed away and ready to go to the Midwest Haunters Convention. I'm heading out tomorrow morning, bound for Columbus. It took a while to hit me, but I'm finally really excited to get going. It's going to be a jam packed weekend of non-stop action. Check back on Monday for a comprehensive recap on everything that went down.

And on a final note, today's Pre-Con Bus Tour made a stop at the Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory. Read the Akron Beacon Journal's story on the visit here.



HalloweeNut said...

Can't wait to see pics of the complete costume! Have fun!

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