The Crossroads of the Aether
I'm working on a backpack for my son's outfit. I'm using 2 vintage brass fire extinguishers as fire and holy water dispensers (he's a vampire hunter).
I've drawn up plans, but I have no experience making something like this - I'd love advice on how to actually mount the pieces onto a harness of some sort! The harness in my drawing below is just an idea - if anyone has better ideas, I'd love to hear them. I don't have any experience working with leather, but I think I could do something like this with rivets and no actual sewing, yes?
I found a great belt with lots of little bandolier style loops I can use for the front piece, and my brother-in-law is going to give me a bunch of old bridle pieces I can use for straps.
So any advice is appreciated!
and here's an example of the actual tank:
I would suggest building a varnished wooden frame to hold the cylinders, and attach the harness to that. Aside from having more materials so as to increase the visual interest, it probably would be more comfortable to wear, especially if you stretch fabric across the parts of the frame the body comes close to. See if you can find some old external-frame backpacks for ideas. Oh, and label one tank "Whale Oil" or, worse, "Spermaceti", instead of "Kerosene"; early kerosene was prone to impurities and caused a lot of fires as lamps switched from whale oil to kerosene. Besides, it will shock people ;)
HOT GLUE! Just gotta keep him from wiggling while it cools!
...okay, okay...pad the should straps...a lot. The weight of those tanks is gonna cut into his shoulders if you don't. I might even suggest going to Target and getting a pair of cheap shotgun straps (I got them for some of our equipment for under $10 each). Layered floor matting or some other semi rigid foam will work-not furniture foam though. Make the shoulder straps as wide as is comfortable on him to spread the weight.
The board will work better than a harness in that it will keep the tanks from slapping him in the back as he moves. I'd suggest a layer of camp mat foam on that too against his back, especially his shoulder blades.
The belt is a great idea too-it will help keep the rig from pulling "backward".
Hot glue! Awesome! I will definitely use some sort of padding! Thanks!
you can find a military surplus back pack and modify it, I have seen some very nice vintage styles that come from other countries, After you get it you may have to make it smaller so it fits his frame but you can use any that you buy this way as a starting point. Also you can get leather for straps from Tandy Leather if what your brother in law is not enough. You can buy rivets which are very easy to work with which just screw together. there is a nut side which is the finished side, and the screw side, I have just finished a project that I have made use of lots of this type of rivet, They are also obtained from Tandy Leather. And they come in different finishes. Your basic plan is a good start, use it when you get your back pack frame, which I strongly suggest. Then you lay your tanks out and use belts only to hold them in place. Oh you might check thrift stores to find some belts that would work, they will be far cheaper than new leather and you can buy belt buckles for them when you are happy with the lay out.
Might I suggest a pair of child leather work gloves and some bracers to which you attach the lines from your tanks, that way he can s(pray) the vampires to their doom. You could even affix a couple of sliver crosses or even a sliver stake (made out of foam) to deal with the stray ware wolf.
Finding an old backpack does seem like a good plan - I could even cover the straps with leather, and let the backpack do the supporting work. Thanks.
The bracers are a cool idea - I'll see if they will work with his frock coat. He will definitely be packing some silver ammunition - you never know what you might face!
Your son will be one SHARP... v-v dressed monster slayer. You sound as cool as my mom was when I was a kid.
By the way nice art work. :)
Thanks for the good advice - per others i think I will find a backpack to use as the structural brace and augment it more superficially with leather, so that should help the long term survival of the piece!
You might want to look at US Packbroads. Their common, often cheep, and easy to work with. Being made of canvas and plywood you can easily change the color with some paint and dye.
Here is one only about $20/$25 when its said and done. Problem in this case is that it might be a touch too big for your son.
A suggestion that may run counter to your and his wishes. Perhaps you could use the fire extinguishers as inspiration and duplicate their look in PVC pipe. This would eliminate many of the problems you will have due to the weight of the extinguishers. The PVC can be cut and drilled which should make it easier to mount to the backpiece. In fact, with the much lighter weight of the PVC you might be able to use hot glue or epoxy.