I’m a big fan of the steampunk genera, as well as the DIY movement. So, as such, my wife and I attend steampunk related events as often as our schedules will allow. For the 2012 Edwardian Ball in San Francisco, CA, we decided to go as a pair of jetpack clad aviators. So, it was time to build a jetpack . . . but where to start?
Fortunately, after all the work I had done on Project Goldfinger, I had plenty of leftover PVC plumbing of various sizes to work with. My idea was to make a back-pack style jet-pack reminiscent of the movie The Rocketeer, but with the added bonus of making it mostly hollow, so I could smuggle things into the events we attend that we might want (*cough*rum*cough). I started simply enough: cut the pipes to size, and bolt them together . . .
Next, I added some embellishments, like old vacuum tubes and things . . . mostly I made a mess in the living-room . . .
With the basic form set, all I really needed to do was add the lights (which turned out to be a huge distraction). The lights themselves are held in two stainless steel bottomed shipping cans that I put a wire mesh top over. This allowed me to not only mount the battery powered lights with ease, but also install some magnetic hardware to hold the cans in place. That way, the contents of the jetpack would never be in question unless I was indiscreet. The final product was so good, I got people taking pictures of me and my handiwork all night. I was quite happy with it.
Of course, my wife didn’t want to wear the full jetpack rig, which I could understand, it was rather bulky and heavy at the end of the day. So, we opted to make her some “Rocket boots”. Thematically similar to the jetpack, but instead they were “rockets” that attached via a copper harness and leather belts around her lower leg.