I’m a complete and utter Fallout addict.
I made this costume very quickly, because I only found out I was going to PAX Australia two and a half weeks before the convention. I won a trip on the Star Wars Battlefront Bus from EA, which was an amazing experience in and of itself.
I knew I wanted to cosplay something Star Wars for the trip down (so I made a Twi’Lek sith cosplay), but I really didn’t like the idea of sitting for the fifteen hour trip in a cosplay and then wearing it again all weekend. So I figured I’d use the time to make something I’d always wanted to do – a Fallout 3 vault dweller costume.
I compiled a whole heap of reference images, and primarily took the gorgeous illustrations by Adam Adamowicz (as per this incredible gallery) as my main inspiration. I used fabrics and textures very similar to the game, though.
I was originally going to alter my Harley Quinn catsuit pattern for this, but I wound up just scratch-drafting an entirely new suit. I used a glorious four way stretch denim for the suit that was an absolute lucky find, and made the suit my most comfortable cosplay ever.
Even though I made the entire cosplay (including my foam Pip-Boy 3000 and AER-9 Laser Rifle) in roughly one week, I was extremely happy with the finished project. I just threw myself into the project and it consumed my every waking hour for two weeks of minimal sleep and a house full of paint fumes.
Probably the most important part of making the costume was breaking down the suit. I paid a lot of close attention to the areas of the suit that had the most wear and tear in the game, and used black, brown, and white fabric paint to build up areas of grime and areas of fade – I didn’t want it to look filthy, just very, very old. This also served to pick out details of the suit, like the inlaid kneepads and double-stitched flat felled seams across the bust and down the legs.
To add to the retro-futurist look that the game has, I wore the bullet bra I’d made for my Harley Quinn cosplay, which I think really enhanced the overall 50’s feel.
I also made my own Pip-Boy from scratch out of foam, and my own AER-9 Laser Rifle from MDF with EVA foam details. The laser rifle took more time to make than the entire rest of the costume, really.
The costume got a lot of love at PAX – I even had my photo taken by the Bethesda photographer, which wound up on the Xbox Australia Twitter. I also wore the cosplay again (with the addition of the armor and a sweet Nuka Cola Quantum drink bottle) to the first ever RTX Australia, where I won Best Overall Cosplay in the Sunday competition – which was nice, seeing as it was the first cosplay competition I’d ever entered.