My son has a fascination for automobiles. Thomas “The Tank Engine” has always been his favourite. It was for his Pre-School fancy dress competition that we decided to make a Homemade Thomas The Engine Costume. The prop is made of two parts, the lower body (box)and a upper cover(lid). It is mounted on a tricycle so that it can be driven around. The upper cover is opened so that the child can get in from the top. We even managed to get steam with the help of dry ice and hot water. The entire prop is made from scratch, it took us 3 weeks to complete the project.
We made a rectangular box with cardboard fixed with white glue, loads of staple pins and masking tape. The side board is made of polystyrene fixed with double side tape. The wheels are made of polystyrene fixed with double sided tape and then I have used shiny paper plates for the metallic look. The face is hand painted and fixed on polystyrene. The chimney is a PVC pipe inserted into the cardboard circle meant for the face. It has a removable container for dry ice and hot water made out of an old plastic soft drink bottle.
The top cover was also made with cardboard. It’s curved shape was given by layering the cardboard over polystyrene frames attached with white glue and masking tape. Then we covered the entire thing with blue colour chart paper, black for window and yellow for doors. The red strips are cut from red chart paper.
It was a very fulfilling experience. The best part was when our son came home with a First Prize, it felt extremely rewarding.