Incredible WWII Fighter Pilot Costume for a Child
My son, Dominic LoCascio (four years old) wanted to be a pilot. I’ve always been very interested in the subject of the Second World War and that time period so I decided to dress him in military gear from that era and we constructed a plane modeled after the F4U Corsair, one of the most popular fighter planes of that time.
Everything we used to make this costume we already had. So the only money we spent was on the clothing my son was wearing, and be the thrifty chick that I am, those were super cheap.
We started with a frame made from lightweight TIG wire that my husband welded together. We then hot glued window screening onto the frame and then covered that window screening in Great Stuff spray foam insulation. We had a ton of this stuff leftover from winterizing our 100+year old home in hopes of keeping our gas bills below $600 a month this winter.
After the foam dried we used large serrated knives to carve out the shape of the plane. At that point we realized the plane was far too long and our son would never be able to walk in it. So we cut it in half and removed a 6-7 inch portion. We were relieved that we were able to shape the seams and join it back together using wire and more spray foam.
For the wings, the shape was cut out of a piece of foam board, covered in the foam insulation, and then the shape was carved out.
The body, wings, and propeller were then covered in paper mache to create a smoother surface for the paint, which was leftover indoor latex paint I had from painting our bedroom and kitchen. We used a Lego wheel, rod, and plastic lid from a container to give the propeller the ability to spin. The plane would be going to my son’s preschool for the Halloween parade where 14 other four year olds would inevitably try to spin the propeller, so it HAD to spin.
The wings were attached to the body with hinges so that they could be pulled up when walking through doors and hallways. The strap was taken off of our son’s golf bag and attached to the inside of the body of the plane with long gutter nails.
We knew for a while that we were going to create this plane but we didn’t get started until about two weeks before Halloween. Even with the time crunch it was actually a lot of fun to make. My husband and I made a great team as we each brought different skills to the table and worked really well together. We are already looking forward to and brainstorming about the next large spray foam project.