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I will fix it.

TRON (1982) Cosplay — Kevin Flynn's Shoulder Pads

October 14, 2016: Video Warrior Arm and Shoulder Gear

Sourcing the original materials for making the arm and shoulder gear as worn by Kevin Flynn, Tron, Ram, and Crom proved to be very difficult. There is a great thread on TheRPF.com from 2010 wherein MrSinistar works hard to identify these parts in his costume build. Folks on that thread believe the arm and shoulder gear to be parts of a Jofa-brand motocross chest protector.

Disney museum costumes showing arm and shoulder gear, most certainly comprised of parts from Jofa motocross chest protectors.
Disney museum costumes showing arm and shoulder gear, most certainly comprised of parts from Jofa motocross chest protectors.

While it isn't clear on TheRPF.com if MrSinistar and others completely figure it all out, I do believe they are correct about the parts being Jofa. I'd been searching the Internet off and on for months, and recently on eBay I found a vintage 70s Jofa chest protector with arm pads that look identical to the Disney prop; however, the shoulder cups are not the same shape, being too elongated and vertically too thin.

Vintage 70s Jofa chest protector from eBay.
Vintage 70s Jofa chest protector from eBay.
Original prop from Disney museum at left, my Jofa unit at right.  Same arm pad, different shoulder cup.
Original prop from Disney museum at left, my Jofa unit at right. Same arm pad, different shoulder cup.
Vintage 70s Jofa chest protector.  The arm pads are correct, but the shoulder cups are a different shape from the film.
Vintage 70s Jofa chest protector. The arm pads are correct, but the shoulder cups are a different shape from the film.

Exhaustingly, I then found a second vintage 70s Jofa chest protector with what I believe are the correct shoulder cups. This was nearly impossible to find, but I did so through a Google image search that showed this unit as a no-longer-listed eBay.ca item. I contacted the seller directly, and it turned out he still had the unit.

When one combines the shoulder cups from this second chest protector with the arm pads from the first, we can see that this appears to be the real solution for the video warrior arm and shoulder gear:

First of my two vintage 70s Jofa chest protectors - wrong shoulder cups but correct arm pads. The shoulder cup is wrong but the arm pad is correct. Second of my two vintage 70s Jofa chest protectors - correct shoulder cups but wrong arm pads. The shoulder cup is correct but the arm pad is wrong. Side-by-side comparison of two units. Correct movie prop is made by mixing these two parts. Disney costume compared to my prop.  Note use of a white rivet to secure bottom of shoulder cup to front of arm pad on Disney prop.

Completing the materials search for the arm and shoulder gear was a whole lot of fun, requiring a lot of patience, relentless Internet searches, and monitoring of eBay until the right two Jofa chest protectors revealed themselves to exist on the planet Earth. I greatly look forward to finishing and detailing these extra-special pieces. Only solutions!

July 3, 2017

Lots of work accomplished on the shoulder pads/arm guards. First, here are the reference images I went by:

The upper arm graphic.  Most of it is never seen, being obscured by the shoulder cup. Shows shoulder cup and arm pad. Nice view of arm pad, rear edge to center. Nice view of arm pad, center to front edge. Tron's actual shoulder gear from an auction site.  Note it is missing some line art. and the upper pad art is reversed.  Shows rivets and top snap very well.

I used Jacquard Neopaque white fabric paint to cover the orange portion. This took many coats and lots of sanding to turn the rough textured fabric into a smooth flat white surface. For the circuit patterns on the arm guard panels, I used ink jet matte white adhesive vinyl sheets. Next steps are to airbrush the connecting circuit lines and rivet the shoulder cups and arm pads together. There are some elastic straps and top snaps to attach as well.

Using Jacquard Neopaque White to fabric-paint the orange portion. I applied a couple coats... ...then began sanding between successive coats to work down the rough texture. My daughter Maddy working on the left arm pad. Maddy has a steady hand and an eye for detail. A shoulder cup masked and ready for airbrushing. Lines are sprayed.  Now for the squares. There are 2 squares on each cup, although throughout the movie you can see different "takes" on where these squares go. Rivets painted, and shoulder cups complete. An idea of what it looks like so far. I used matte white adhesive vinyl ink jet sheets to print and stick the artwork. Some stretching is required to get out the wrinkles. I will airbrush the connecting circuit lines later. Jacquard black fabric paint on the borders.

July 9, 2017

Elastic arm straps are now sewn into place. Also, I wasn't pleased with the above vinyl decal work, as the white vinyl was too bright and didn't match the surrounding enamel paint. So I peeled them off and started over, color matching the background and reprinting them with the off-white matched background. Before reapplying the vinyl graphics, I masked and airbrushed the peripheral lines. All that remains is to rivet the shoulder cups to the arm pads.

Sewing on the elastic arm straps. Arm straps attached. Masking for peripheral line art. Airbrushing complete. Lines look good.  Ready for decals. Work the backing off slowly. Time to press in the top snaps.  They will snap to the unitard's shoulders just like in the film. Trimmed existing leather tab. Snap attached. Back side won't be visible after glued to underside of leather tab. Glued into place on tab. After it dries, I'll trim it to shape. These are becoming the real deal.  :-)

July 10, 2017

At long last, the Kevin Flynn shoulder pads are complete. I think even more than for the helmet, perhaps because these materials were so hard to come by, I am most proud of these replica props. It was an honor to work with these materials in recreating the video warrior shoulder gear. Here are the final pics of this most fun and rewarding piece of the project:

Using double headed rivets to fasten shoulder cup to arm pad. Pressing rivets using vice grips. These aren't visible, so the indentations caused by the vice grips aren't an issue. Drilling for the rivet that keeps the shoulder cup from flapping around. This rivet will be painted white. Inside of rivet work. Having fun with a trial fit.  They feel awesome! For the Users! Final coat of fabric paint on the snap tabs. My completed replica prop Tron/Kevin Flynn shoulder gear.

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Next Chapter — Flynn's Tunic