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The Wild, the Vast, the Outside – A Vault Dweller’s Story

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Now that the Halloween dust has settled, it is time for a story of the making of two vault dwellers and their emerging to the outside world.

Vault Dwellers in the “Scary” Wasteland

It started in early October. We had everything planned out with enough time to leisurely create all the pieces of the Halloween costumes for this year: Vault Dwellers (from the Fallout video game).
As it turned out, we had less time than we thought.

In the beginning, there was working on all the props. Most of them were 3D printed with our small M3D printer. The quality is not great and it can only do small pieces, but is sufficient to get your feet wet in 3D printing.

I had saved many bottle caps with the vague idea of using them for some sort of craft project at some time. This came in handy. We also saved and cleaned some soda and beer bottles plus some Altoids and supplement containers.
New bottle cap design, meds labels, and bottle labels were printed on simple Avery label paper.
We probably want to distress them a little more in the future, but did not have the time for Halloween.

Nuka-Cola Bottle Cap Labels Attached to Old Bottle Caps
Fixer Label Attached to Altoids Box & Nuka-Cola Bottle Caps

For most metal pieces, we used spray primer and silver to give it a basic metal look and then a model paints black wash and rusty distress as well as some colored details.

3D Printed Vault Tec & Brotherhood of Steel Badges, and Vault Boy

Of course we did not use every of the props we made, but here a picture of all of them together:

Left to right: Ammunition Clips, Jets, Nuka-Cola Quantum, Bottle Caps,
Mini Nuke, Nuka-Cola, Sunset Sarsaparilla, Mentats, Stimpaks, Fixer,
Buffout, Brotherhood of Steel & Vault Tec Badges, Rad-X

About mid-month, we started on the guns and armor. We bought some used Nerf guns and took them apart to transform them into wasteland-ready weaponry. For this we again used spray primer and paint in silver and forest green. They were then touched up with model paints for a weathered and rusty look.

Distressing Weapon Parts
Distressed Handgun

My sweetie added green, red and amber LEDs and wired them to switches behind the triggers or push buttons respectively. This gave a nice effect, especially for use in darkly lit bars.

Handgun Prop with One Amber LED in Barrel

Laser Pistol Prop with Three Green LEDs on Top and One Red LED in Barrel

Laser Rifle Prop with Four Green LEDs in Barrel

One gun was turned into a “Flamer” with a tank from an old fence treatment container. The flame part is a combination of red and orange tulle fabric and a PC case fan. Unfortunately the fan does not seem to pull enough air through so the “flames” are not fluttering as much as we hoped for, but this may be something we can improve on in the future. The tank was going to be carried in an army backpack we found at a Goodwill store.

Flamer with fuel tank

For the armor we used some skating knee and elbow pads, and modified shoulder pads from a kids sports uniform. We attached the shoulder pieces to a belt and the strap of a bag to hold them up. Different little army bags and belt pouches served to carry some of the smaller props.

About a week before Halloween, I started on the vault suits. We had ordered simple postman blue coveralls online, and I added vault letters to the back and trim to the front. The fabric was just a simple yellow cotton weave. We chose vault number 111 because this is the number to appear in the new Fallout 4 game, and it is also the easiest to sew as it has no curves in the numbers.

Cutting Vault Numbers

Vault Numbers Attached
Yellow Trim in Front

And last but not least we painted and assembled a 3D printed pipboy. This was quite the stressful endeavor, and we only have one so far because our plans got derailed due to a bad misunderstanding. We originally ordered 2 pipboys online in September, giving enough time to have them print it, and us paint and assemble. We even contacted the seller ahead of time to make sure everything goes smooth. But life doesn’t work that way, and he totally mixed up our order. So we ended up not on his “Halloween priority list” which we didn’t find out until it was way to late for him to rush our order through (what? ugh). We got a refund but are obviously still quite upset.
Luckily our friend was able to help us with some of the bigger parts, and we printed some of the smaller with mediocre quality on our little 3D printer. We also did not have the time to deal with the screen so it ended up a print with card board backing. So there is a lot left to improve, and another pipboy to make. But at least it has some amber LEDs in front, and was a nice little addition to the costume.

3D Printed Pipboy

All together the resulting outfits were great, and we had a lot of fun at a few bars and a house party. We even met a guy from another wasteland. Although Sweetie got hurt right away, and had to use a stimpak before we even left 🙂 What a noob!

Ready to Leave the Vault

Already hurt? 
Vault Dwellers and Mad Max Costumed Guy