This project was totally spontaneous. It cropped up when Mike saw a Freddy Krueger rubber mask at the CVS store and decided to wear it for Halloween. When he tried it on at home, he put on his cowboy hat to complete the look. I said that if he really wants to complete the look, he needs to wear a striped sweater and the Freddy Krueger glove! Thus, the project was born.
I scavenged through our closet for what I could retrofit into the Krueger sweater. Nothing. Then I remembered that we had set aside some garments for donation to the Salvation Army, and that’s where I found two old long-sleeved shirts -- one brownish, one dark-reddish. Jackpot! This project is looking very promising.
Now for the glove. I knew that Mike had leather work gloves that were perfect for the prop. I asked him if he could give up the right glove for the project (it will be totally appropriated for the costume so he will need to get new gloves to have a viable pair). He had no choice, actually. Hah!
Next was research. I had to look for actual photos of the Krueger glove because all I remember is there are four sharp knives protruding from the fingertips. Luckily, someone had already done this project (in fact, a lot of people have already done this!) and generously posted a pattern that could be printed on regular bond paper. Very helpful – thank you!
At this point I had to make a decision. Will I follow the pattern and use copper and aluminum sheets as well as actual knives? I figured that since a ton of awesome folks have already recreated this prop using authentic materials, I prefer to do my own thing with non-lethal substitutes. My substitute of choice was Worbla thermoplastic sheets.
The Worbla is easy to cut and can be formed and manipulated using heat (hot water, steam, oven, heat gun, hot iron, flat iron). The material becomes soft, like clay, and hardens at it cools. When cool it's hard as, well, hard plastic. This was my first time to work with it so this was a learning process for me.
I started with the knives. Two layers gave the knife form the necessary heft. But the thermoplastic material made them not rigid enough to easily pierce through flesh, nor sharp enough to cut through anything. As long as they ended up looking like knives, they’re fine by me.
Then I cut the rest of the patterns and copied them onto the Worbla sheets.
Using a heat gun and a metal pipe, I formed the finger plates one by one. I used the back of a ballpeen hammer for rounding the fingertips, and a hot iron with a pointed tip to make the holes for the rivets.
I attached temporary rivets to check the alignment of the finger segments. So far, so good.
The next step was to attach the knives to the fingertip sections. I was surprised at how easy it was to “glue” them together. The Worbla sheet is integrated with a kind of adhesive, making it very simple to connect pieces to one another.
To make the attachment points of the knives and the fingertip sections look like the original metalwork, I had to add scrap pieces along the joints to resemble solder marks. It’s interesting that using Worbla, you won’t need any soldering, but because the glove has to look like the movie prop, I had to simulate the solder joints.
Then there are the loops across the curved segments to keep the contraption in place and give the user the ability to control the angle of the knives. Just heat the tips of the strips and press them into place.
Painting is next. Some silver here, some bronze there, some dark smudges here and there. Done!
I had to run to Michaels for another pack of rivets because I had used up all the small ones for my Lord Elrond costume.
Included in the assembly is punching holes through the back of the hand of Mike’s work glove to coincide with the holes on the main plate (following the printed pattern). The rivets on the back of the hand went through the finger appliance, the main plate, and the leather glove.
As a finishing touch, I added a few more dark smudges on the Worbla pieces as well as the leather glove.
Last step: I asked Mike to do a final fitting, and yes, it works!
We’re just about ready for Halloween! Next up, the Freddy Krueger sweater.