Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, Cosplay, Costume, make-up tutorial, Science Fiction, Uncategorized


Awesome4WayLong-time, no play, cos-fans!

The Mysterons didn’t get me, it’s just been a disgracefully long time between posts. So allow me to begin by saying sorry that this took so long! The main reason I went dark was because I was building a proton pack from Ghostbusters, and not content with that, I then built a second pink proton pack for a friend. But that’s for future blogs I’ll take forever to post! Let’s get down to business, we’re all here for the final instalment of the Captain Black cosplay recipe. If you haven’t read the previous entries, then SPOILER ALERT! Lolz, not really, you can just go back to the start, we’ll wait…

Welcome back! By now you should have a full outfit, hat, gun, light up lights, the whole piñata! But you probably look too human, human! Even I, milk skinned Scottish boy that I am, needed artificial assistance in looking rough enough to pass for Captain B.

So here’s what you’ll need to rustle up:


Black face paint

White face paint

Brush in black hair dye

Baby wipes (any wipes are actually fine, but those made from babies are best)

Hair cream (I used Brylcreem, I know I’m breaking my product placement rule – will explain below)




Make up sponges (this could be a tool or an ingredient, but the tool section was looking kinda Spartan)

A brush or comb

Gaffa tape (you shouldn’t need this, unless things go really badly, but if you are serious about cosplay, it should always be to hand)




As always I’ll be explaining things crudely and simply, if you have any prior experience using make up or face paint, you have surpassed this guide, and can burn without reading.

I always did my facial make up before colouring my hair, but after styling it. For styling tips, see below, but the reasoning is that having your hair slicked back first keeps stray hair off your face, and clear of the make-up.

General make up tip: less is more! Start light, you can always add more later, but it is harder to remove excess. You have no idea how happy it makes me to finally have had a chance to use that cliché!

Start by tucking tissues all round your collar, this will protect your costume from stray make-up. Don’t start this until you are wearing the top half of the costume, as the undershirt goes over your head, and you don’t want to cover it in make-up gunk! If you are taking these instructions literally, please remember to put the bottom half of the costume on before attending a con, they are crazy strict on this stuff – trust me!

Dampen your sponge a tiny touch, whilst repeating the less is more rule out loud. The wetter you get the sponge and/or face paint, the brighter it becomes. Get a little white on the sponge and coat your whole face and neck. We’re aiming for pale here, not mime, so be seriously mellow with that water. Painting the hands is optional, I didn’t, because it rubs off easily, and it wasn’t practical for two days at a con. You should now look nice and pale, if in doubt head down to the back of your local library, and seek the help of some Goth kids.

Now for the black. I’d say use a different sponge, otherwise the white and black mix together on it and mess everything up. This probably sounds obvious to you, because you are not me. With the eyes, you are going for black bags below, not the full round Batman style. It’s as if Captain B hasn’t slept for a while, maybe he hasn’t… do Mysterons sleep? That’s one for the SIGers! (Is SIGers a thing, if not, can it be?).

Next, suck in your cheeks. This will expose the cheek bones and give you nice boney lines to lightly colour black. You’re aiming for some sunken looking cheeks, so make a light black line that follows the cheekbone shape, a sort of L that’s fallen forward. Then even more lightly shade the triangular space between the two ends of the L. Blending is the key to making things look good. It helped me to have a sponge for applying, and a secondary sponge for blending.


Preparing my Mysteron pout in the hotel bathroom at Andercon 2014.

Captain Black has that awesome stubbly look that I think only exists for puppets and cartoon characters – I’ve never seen it look that awesome on a real life person. I achieved this by not shaving for a few days and then lightly scraping the black blending sponge over the hairs – don’t touch your face skin, just the stubble hair. If you are female and doing this, I am unsure of the best way to achieve this look for you, maybe ask an old lady? Lots of them have total boss stubble!

Last up on the face are the eyebrows. Captain Black has large, thick black eyebrows. And for me, this has been the only time in my life I have loved my ridiculously large eyebrows. My hair colour is brown, so I used the black brush in hair dye here. The black dye I had came in a little tube with a little brush attached to the lid. I think (make-up wearers call me out if I’m wrong) it was a mascara type brush. This was perfect for brushing it into the eyebrows. As with the stubble above, keep the brush far away from your skin and try to just catch the hair. Keep things slow and steady, and it will look wicked good. You could probably use black face paint and a toothbrush, I did this with white paint whilst playing Santa once, but remember that you’re aiming for slick and smooth brows, not bushy and wild – which is how Santa rolls, up top and down below! ;)

This Segway’s nicely into the hair section –

(Note: Before you get all King Stannis on me, I know the word is segue, but I found the mental image of us all Segway’ing into the next section amusing).


Captain Black has a dark black hair in a slicked back style. When I was imagining the best way to achieve this I thought, dude, this is such an old school hair style, and I remembered that back in the olden day’s people were nuts for a hair cream called Brylcreem. They used to call the Royal Air Force pilots ‘Brylcreem Boys’ because they loved the stuff. I went to a shop, and holy moly, they still make it! Or it’s been sitting there since WW2. Using a straight toothed comb, and the cream, I slicked my hair back (this is prior to the make-up step).

Post eyebrow step, use the dye brush gently apply the black back and into your hair. This can be time consuming, as the brush is small and the hair is long. Don’t worry too much about the amount you apply at this stage, concentrate on not touching your skin and messing up your make-up face. Once you’re happy that there looks to be black pretty much everywhere, switch back to your comb and comb it back again. This helps to evenly spread the dye. I had a special comb for this, because the black dye sort of stays on it, and also, I never use a comb in real life.


Lastly, remove those safety tissues and look in the mirror – what should be facing you is Mysteron reflection perfection!

With a heavy heart I must admit we’ve reached the end of not just this entry, but the entire Captain Black cosplay recipe! It’s been wonderful having you here, and thanks for taking the time out of your awesome life to hang out on the Ozplay blog. Please get in touch if you have any questions, or want any advice – I might not give good answers, or advice, but I’m very enthusiastic!

Always remember, if it wasn’t meant to be fun it’d be called Coswork!

Next time on the Walking De … I mean … Ozplay blog, I’ll be giving you a look at the Ghostbusters proton packs I put together, giving you some practical tips, and pointing you in the direction of some amazing tutorials – because seriously, people have been making these for longer than I’ve been alive, and their guides are awesome – where I might help is in sourcing parts, because you just don’t get giant resistors these days!

Catch you on the flip flop,


Tweeter me @OzPlayOnline (I never actually use this)

Book of Faces (I do use this, and even reply to your messages, with varying degrees of helpfulness)



Cosplay, Costume, Science Fiction, Sewing


Howdy-ho cosplay kids!

Don’t get too upset, but this is the penultimate recipe in the Captain Black cosplay series. Missed the earlier installments? Use this time machine to go back and read them.

If you’ve been building along at home, you should have the entire outfit. I hope you’re wearing it right now – and nothing else ;) That’s what I’m going to imagine anyway. Of course you’ll need a gun to avenge the human attack on your Mysteron friends, and that’s what I’m covering today (gun making, not vengeance). I’m also including the holster design, because you can’t just keep it in your pocket, even if you like people to know you’re pleased to see them.


A4 sheet of thin black plastic

Large turkey baster (unused)

Potato gun

Rectangular wooden doweling cut into little cubes

Black leather style material (ideally use the same material as you used for the hat)

Black thread


One small sewing machine, with added grit and determination (and spare needles if using a thick material)

Masking tape

Silver spray paint (or paint paint, up to you)

Scalpel & steel ruler

Chopping board

Gaffa tape (around 92.37% of all cosplay outfits are made from this, with the remaining amount being the maker’s tears)




The Spectrum gun is a small pistol with a long barrel. The top and rear of the body are the colour of the agent (black in our case) and the remainder is metallic silver. The on screen guns did not have triggers (what with puppets lacking fingers and all) and I chose to be true to the original (as well as saving myself from having to make a trigger).


Here you can see both the top and bottom piece.

To craft the main part I used a cheap potato gun and turkey baster. Once I took the potato gun apart I ended up with a nice handle that had a cylindrical point. I cut the squishy end off of the baster and pressed it over the potato part. I also snipped a little off the end of the baster, making it look more gun-like. If you are keen on precise details, you can also sand off the measurements from the side of the baster. Admittedly it is hard to see these once you paint it, so really depends how anal you are. I’ve discovered I’m full anal, but that was no real surprise. Now paint or spray paint this whole bit metallic silver.

For the body of the gun, start by looking at the on-screen version to get the shape. I made this by cutting ‘flat pack’ shapes out of thin black plastic. It consists of; two sides, a top piece, back piece, front piece (with hole for the barrel) and a bottom piece. Use masking tape to stick it together from the inside, and try putting it over the first bit. This will help you to check it all sits together nicely, the sizing is right, etc. Once you’ve made any refinements, and are happy, use masking tape to cover the top parts and sides – all the bits you want to keep black. I used black plastic, as it suited Captain Black. If were making this for another agent, simply use their colour of plastic. Now paint these pieces as you did the handle and barrel. To put this all together I used small cubes of wood.

I forgot to photograph mine, luckily the internet didn't.

I forgot to photograph mine, luckily the internet didn’t.

Glue gun these cubes to the inside corners of the plastic. IMPORTANT – do this on the inside (i.e. the part you don’t see). What these cubes do is give you something to attach the pieces onto. If you try and glue the tiny edges of the plastic, it’s nearly impossible to get them to stick and hold. I destroyed two sets of parts before I devised this solution. Leave the bottom part off until the rest dries.

Finally, place the top piece on by putting the barrel through the front and sliding it into place. This is where having a bit of the potato gun body left comes in handy, because it gives you something to glue on to. Turn the whole thing upside down, and if you love glue gunning as much as me, fill the inside body full of glue. If you don’t love glue gunning (what’s wrong with you!?!) or are on a budget, just use enough so that it sticks. Then stick the base into place (mine was problematic, however, you don’t really see it).

My untidy bottom.

My untidy bottom.

Now have a Spectrum gun. When fully dried, spend at least 45 minutes re-enacting the opening titles.      

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnn - yeah, I rock!

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnn – yeah, I rock!



Don’t leave your beloved gun out in the cold. Give it a nice place to hang out! My holster was made using the same material as the hat. To get the pattern I needed, I began by getting a cheap kids cowboy set, this usually comes with a holster that you can take apart and use as a template.


Scale the template up as needed, ensuring that the tip of your gun barrel protrudes slightly from the bottom of it. Thankfully the way it attaches to the belt is nice and simple. Leave a rectangular stump at the top that you’ll fold back on itself to create a loop.


The great thing is you can easily masking tape or pin the template together, tweak it, and get it perfect before committing.


When happy, cut your material, leaving around a half inch spare to do some hemming. Hem it up, sew it together and you’ll have yourself a lovely holster.   



You’re now ready to take down those evil humans and with their own weapons too, awesome. As always please holla at me if I can help in anyway, just scream into any of the social media voids listed below, and I’ll hear you. I’ve also had some enquiries about costumes commissions, happy to provide a quote, and even happier to give you advice to undertake them yourself. For me the making of them is the best part, but I know not everyone has the time for that in this busy age!

I’m confident you’ll be made up by the next, and final, installment of this cosplay recipe, quite literally, as I cover the makeup and hair styling to accompany this costume. You’d think a Scotsman couldn’t get any paler, but you’d be surprised!

And remember, if it wasn’t meant to be fun they’d call it Coswork.

Love and hugs,


Tweeter me @OzPlayOnline

Book of Faces



Cosplay, Costume


‘Sup players of cos,

It’s the third instalment of my recipe for the Captain Black costume. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, where have you been!?! Seriously? I kid, but you may wish to start at the beginning. Not that I’m telling you how to live your life, actually, just read whatever, whenever.

In this blog we’re covering how the shirt, trousers and boots were made, or to be more precise, acquired. After the success of creating the jacket and surviving the hat build, it’s a relief to find out these minor elements are mostly straight up buys! Crafters worry not, there is still some assembly required.


Grey turtle neck jumper

Grey trousers

Grey thread (only if either jumper or trousers need altered)

Black riding boots

Spectrum logo (digital version on memory stick or file host (e.g. Dropbox))


 One small sewing machine, small in size, but big in heart! (Only if any pieces need modified)

Gaffa tape (roughly 87% of all costumes, however I didn’t use any in the making of these items, but I still strongly believe you should have it to hand. Always.)



Turtle Neck Jumper

Underneath the awesome Spectrum jacket each agent wears a dark grey turtle neck jumper with a Spectrum logo on the cuff of each sleeve. It is dark grey. For every colour of agent. I have looked with extreme close up. I am laying this on thick in preparation for the nitpicker retaliation. I know in comics, paintings, toys, drawings, they may have made them black. But the genuine uniform is dark grey. Please allow me to put my soapbox to the side, and carry on.

When purchasing this item, you really want something the same thickness as a t-shirt. You don’t want a woolly jumper, with crazy patterns. I searched for mine online, and could only find one suitable jumper, although it wasn’t in my size. I took the bigger one and modified it by taking up the sleeves. It was a bit long, but you tuck that bit out of sight anyway. It’s important that you make any modifications prior to printing on the logos, else you may mess up the placement. The logos go on the outside of the sleeve. If you stand straight, arms straight down, it should be on the outside, with the crease or seem line in its centre, a few inches from the end of the cuff. If that is confusing, watch some episodes, they do wicked close ups with human hands that show it perfectly. With the logo, make sure you get the correct original logo, not the CGI new series. I have nothing against the series, but this guide is for making the original 1967 series costume.


Grey trousers

Pick a grey colour that compliments, or ideally matches the turtle neck. Buy in your size, or alter as needed. The only real thing to make sure of with the trousers is that they have a sharp crease down the front of each leg. Colonel White undoubtedly insisted upon a perfectly pressed uniform, and, Mysteron or not, we owe it to him to oblige!



For my costume, I used black riding boots. They weren’t too pricey, and really looked the part. They are not precise in screen accuracy. They miss a band that runs across the part where the ankle and foot meet, and a band that runs round the top of the boots. Alongside the ticking clock of being ready for Andercon, I also didn’t want to attempt to add these two bits, because I thought it would look obviously altered, and kinda crappy. I’d welcome suggestions from others on making 100% accurate boots, as well as how to get them in solid red, or the other agent colours. Again, this is one of the reasons why I chose Captain Black, I knew black boots would be obtainable, red or blue, not so much!


That’s us two thirds of the way through our Captain Black costume recipe. After the trials of the jacket and hat, it is nice to pull together these easy to obtain elements. You may wonder why I haven’t provided specific links to buying items online – this is intentional! I don’t get paid to promote products, so I don’t! If you really want a link, message me and I’ll happily oblige.

Don’t forget to join me next time, when I’ll be having glue gun fun and getting loaded for bear with the Spectrum gun and holster.

And remember, if it wasn’t meant to be fun they’d call it Coswork.


Tweeter me @OzPlayOnline

Book of Faces

Captain Black Hat


Cosplay, Costume, Millinary, Science Fiction, Sewing

Puppet Posing

S.I.G. cosplay fans, always a pleasure to see you here. First of all, my humble apologies for the shockingly long time between my previous post and this one. I will submit myself to a spanking by you if we ever meet in the analogue world.

Last time I covered making the Spectrum jacket for Captain Black, today we’re moving on to the hat.

Captain Black Hat

Before we begin I will admit that I found this element to be the most difficult by far. I might be a little mad, but I willingly accept I’m not hatter. It wasn’t all that I hoped it would be (what is!?!), regardless, let’s get stuck in and hopefully you will learn something from my (many) mistakes!


A4 sheet thin clear plastic

Flexible aluminium wire (AKA Ally Wire)

White Blu tack

Soldering wire

Black faux leather / PVC material

White thin material

Sticky backed black Velcro

Black Thread

Tissues, for the rivers of tears the construction will cause you ;)



One small sewing machine, chock full of attitude, and some spare needles (I bent three battling the thick material)

Large paperclips (helps to hold pieces in place whilst attaching)

Scalpel, steel ruler and cutting board (+ plasters if you’re bad with knives, I’m Scottish so know my way around a blade)

Compass (drawing not exploring kind) + fabric pencils + a round object to use when the compass inevitably pisses you off)

Clothing pins (as heavy duty as possible, especially if your base material is thick!)

Silver spray paint


Usual costume making stuff; scissors, pattern paper, gaffa tape (which is like 75% of all costumes)

 Quick note: all the fabric pieces are hemmed, so if not explicitly stated assume you’ll need to leave ½ – 1 inch excess around all sides for hemming.

Top left: the two side pieces. Centre: the main piece, with logo. Top right: top piece. Bottom left: white material for trim. Bottom right: plastic for peak and ally wire.

Top left: the two side pieces. Centre: the main piece, with logo. Top right: top piece. Bottom left: white material for trim. Bottom right: plastic for peak and ally wire.


The Spectrum hat is an almost pillbox style, with the front and back the colour of the agent (for this costume, Captain Black, it’s all black). The top is all black with a white trim, and there are two black bits where the front of the hat meets with the back. Front and centre lies the Spectrum logo. It has a transparent peak, with a metal trim running round it. In the centre of the metal trim is a silver mouthpiece, and half the metal trim drops down to act as a microphone receiver. My version didn’t include the drop down bit, I had grand plans, but the harsh mistress of time meant I never managed to arrange that bit. Although I intend to return to it in future.

Captain Scarlet Hat Example

The actual on screen hat is a bit different from my final design, and I thought it important to explain the how and why! The edges of the front section are slightly concave, and the top of the hat slopes down, being taller at the front and tapering down to the back. The surrounding back sections puff out a little where they meet the front, and extend down a few centimetres below the front piece. To begin with I attempted to replicate it precisely, but being a novice costume maker, and an even novice’er milliner, I just couldn’t get it to come together and look good. My work around was simply to forget about the puffy bits, and fancy angles, and instead going for a simpler circular hat, essentially an upside down cake tin with a peak. So that’s what I did, and here’s how I did it!

For your measurements, measure your head around where you want the bottom of your hat to sit. Then measure from that point to the top of your head to ensure it has enough depth. This will help the hat to stay on your head, instead of resting atop it. Although I didn’t photograph it, I made a practice model of paper. The multiple paper cuts to my ears sucked, but the hat fit!   

Front AKA Main Piece

As you can see in the image further above, my original front piece is curved, with the Spectrum logo on the front. This was to attempt the curvy-ness, but as that didn’t work, you could probably make a fully rectangular piece instead. Make this piece long enough to go round your entire head. Put it on like a bandana and hold the back together. It should be tight enough to stay on your head, but not so tight that your head starts to resemble an alien from Mars Attacks! Once you have that, hold it together, whip it off and pin it together. Then stitch it up. 

Have a paper version of the Spectrum logo to hand, and blu tack it to the centre. My logo was printed on at a local printing shop. I recommend taking in several pieces of material because depending on the thickness of your chosen material their machine might not be able to print onto it, or the material might melt! Having a few pieces will allow the shop people to test it if required. If you look closely at the picture of the front you can see a little white line down the left hand side of the logo.

Hat Front Close Up

Where the machine pressed down it did a tiny bit of damage, and took some of the shine out of the material. It’s unlikely that anyone would notice this stuff, but being an obsessive cosplay’er that crap drives me nuts! By having the paper logo on the front it gives the printers a guide point for popping on the actual logo. Once you have a nice front bit hem the edges to make it sexy neat. Be warned that pinning and sewing is super hard with this kind of thick material. If I were starting from scratch, I’d probably chose something thinner than the black PVC blend stuff I had. There were points where I had to jam the pin in, flip the material over and hammer the pin against the table to push it through. I bent so many pins, although, equally as many retaliated by stabbing me. At one point my index finger could have won ‘best in show’ for its Hellraiser costume.


Cut a black circle, with a circumference that matches the main piece you’ve already made, PLUS, a extra inch. Annoyingly I didn’t photograph this bit, possibly because my fingers were unable to depress the button, or, I couldn’t see through the lens past my tears of pain, but, what you’re going to do is flip the material over – so the bit you don’t see is facing up. Draw a circle that is the final circumference (i.e. the same size as the main piece). Then draw little tabs from the outside to inner circle (see the image I found online).

Tabs Example

You’re going to snip these tabs and fold them back. What they do is provide a way to attach the top to the inside of the hat. Try to be really OCD about your cutting. Cut too far and you’ll see the cuts on top of the final hat. Cut too short and when you sew it together it’ll pull the part down and make the surface uneven.

For the white trim, cut a rectangle of the white material the full length of the outside of your head, with a width of roughly four/five inches. Cut a bit of ally wire the same length and lay it across the middle. Fold the material in half, and pin it all the way along, as close to the wire as you can. Again, sew along the pinned area, staying close to pins. This is to keep it tight, so it looks like a nice trim and not a baggy, uneven one. Remove the pins, and you’ll have a trim that you can bend round to fit inside the hat. The ally wire also helps the top of the hat to keep its shape. 

Now pin the tabs from the top piece around the white wire piece, and sew all along the tabs. This should leave you with a bowl shape, the black bit on top, in a perfect circle, and the white material around the outside. Trim any excess white, but remember to leave a few inches to attach it to the main hat. Now turn the main piece (with the logo) inside out, and the top piece as well, then pin the top piece around the inside of the main piece. Machine sew all the way around and turn it back the right way. You will now have a circular hat, with no peak.

Hat No Peak

Spend a bit of time posing with the hat on in front of a mirror, being overly proud of your achievement.


For reasons that presently escape me, I made the sides two separate pieces, however I think one would suffice. By looking at a visual reference, you can see that the hat puffs out on each side just above the character’s ears. Put the hat on and use paperclips to mark the point just above your ears. Then measure from one paperclip, around the back to the other.

Add about an inch to the length. This is to allow to for the diagonal lines (explained soon). Also, add just over half an inch to the width, so the sides will be deeper, making it look slightly more accurate. For the diagonal lines, place a protractor at the bottom on one side and make a mark at around 105°. Cut from the bottom to the mark at the top, to get your diagonal side. You can then do the other side by simply using the first one as a template. This should make it all nice and even. Now hem and finish the sides and attach it to the main piece of the hat using Velcro. The reason I used Velcro is because with all these pieces in play the layers of material are so thick that the sewing machine doesn’t stand a chance. Also, if I tried to force my fingers to hand sew it, I’d have ended up like Rick from the Walking Dead (graphic novel version).  

You can see the sides pieces without Velcro holding them down.

You can see the sides pieces without Velcro holding them down. Not sure what the top is up to in this pic. It looks like it’s making a break for it!


Get your clear plastic sheet and place the hat on top, drawing a line (in pencil or something faint, not Sharpie – put down the Sharpie!) at the front of the hat where it will be attached. You need to leave an extra few inches, if you look at the picture above, you’ll see we’re going to cut tabs at the back of the peak and fold them up to create a way to attach it to the hat.

Not a great quality photo, but gives you the idea.

Not a great quality photo, but gives you the idea.

More is more in this case. You can always cut excess, but you cannot add it! To get the peak shape, I used the peak from a military hat, combined with freehand drawing. I wish I could tell you all some amazing secret for drawing patterns, but I tend to do it mostly freehand, and looking at it from different angles with one eye closed – please use this technique if it helps you!

Once you have your peak piece, use it as a template to create another one, but make it a little longer at the front, about the same thickness as your metal wire. Then glue the two pieces together, with the longer one on the bottom. Use a glue that dries clear, and be neat and sparing – you don’t want big glue marks or huge foggy patches on the plastic. Get your ally wire and shape it around the front the peak. Leave excess on either end, so you can fold the wire to a L shape. This again gives you something to attach the wire to inside the hat. Now, to attach the metal rim, you’re going to superglue it to the longer piece of plastic at the front. I realise this is not a perfect solution, and I really wanted to cut a channel into the metal that would allow me to press the metal into the plastic to secure it. Alas I do not know how to cut channels into metal … yet!

With your whole peak section finished, now attach it to the main hat. I used gaffa tape, naturally, but now I own a glue gun, I’d likely use that. Although the other day I used it to affix a stamp to an envelope, so maybe I need to take a step back from the glue gun. Some foam or padding is a good idea where it touches your forehead, as the cut plastic tabs can be sharp and uncomfortable.

Last notes

You should now have a Spectrum hat, whoop whoop! And if you have more than 50% mobility in your fingers, you are a legend!

Captain Black Hat

I wanted to mention that in my pictures you’ll see a band around the back. This is hiding the join between the rear pieces.

Hat Back

As I said above I’d recommend using a single piece instead. There must’ve been a reason I began with separate bits, but the blood loss has clearly drained that knowledge from my brain. Also, there is a microphone receiver on the front. I didn’t have it done by the photo shoot you see, but I added it later. I made it by using some white blu tack (seems wrong written down). I shaped a little blob on the front and centre of the peak. Cut three small lengths of solder wire and press them into it to make the three lines of the receiver. Finally spray paint the whole thing silver, leave it to dry, then glue it on.


I hope I haven’t laid the cynicism of this make on too thickly. The hat was a bittersweet creation, I was completely astounded I even managed to make it in the end, and was happy to have done it. But, it wasn’t as screen accurate as I wanted. That’s really the point of cosplay for me, it’s a constant learning experience and I dig the challenges it presents me, even if it means a few injuries and frustrating moments!

I really hope this guide helped you, and as always if there is any further advice, clarifications, etc I can offer, just get in touch. Also, if you have some better tips and techniques for making the hat, I’d love to hear from you!  

Next time I’ll be discussing the shirt, trousers and boots, which you’ll be relieved to know was mainly straight buys with a little customisation.

Captain Black, before and after becoming a Mysteron

Captain Black, before and after becoming a Mysteron

And remember, if it wasn’t meant to be fun they’d call it Coswork.

See you before a fiver,


Tweeter me @OzplayOnline

Book of Faces


Captain Black Cosplay Recipe – Part 1# ‘The Jacket’


Captain Black Cosplay

I’m Oz, and welcome to the Ozplay Blog. It’s awesome to see you and if I may be so bold, you’re looking pretty damn hot today.

This is the first installment of the CaptainBlack Cosplay Recipe, covering the creation of the jacket for the costume.Captain Black Jacket

In case you don’t know, Captain Black is the villain on the Gerry Anderson series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons . Initially human, and Agent of Spectrum, Captain Black is killed during a mission to Mars. The Mysterons have the ability to control matter, and reconstitute an exact likeness of Captain Black to become their operative on Earth. Each Spectrum Agent is coloured coded (e.g. Captain Blue, Colonel White) and their uniform matches the colour. 

Captain Black

I chose to Cosplay Captain Black for several reasons;

Captain Scarlet is my absolute favourite Gerry Anderson series. It’s packed with action, very dark and the costume & set design is brilliant.

The Spectrum uniform is iconic, I always wanted one as a kid, and now I have one – does that mean I win life? Hopefully.

The key reason I chose Captain Black over say, Captain Scarlet, is that black material is more forgiving of mistakes, and this was my first fully Oz-made Cosplay costume so it was 90% mistakes.

But each mistake teaches you something, so in theory I’m a costuming genius now! (Not really).

Let’s begin with the jacket.


Black Nylon / Cotton blend material
Black Thread
Long silver zip with white fabric backing
Short silver zip with black fabric backing
2 x Key ring ‘rings’
2 x A3 Black plastic
White leather belt with silver buckle
Frosted sticky backed transparent paper
Perspex tubing
4 x Rounded Bottle Tops
2 x White LEDs
Length of wiring
2 x AA Battery packs and batteries
Small length of stuffing (Teddy Bear’s insides)



One small, but feisty, sewing machine
A hand held drill
A soldering iron
Usual costume making stuff; scissors, pattern paper, gaffa tape (which is like 75% of all costumes).



The Spectrum jacket is basically a waistcoat, but with bigger, rounded shoulders. It has a single zip, off centred and crossing the right nipple (note; I know zero proper costume terms). It has one zip pocket on the wearers’ right below the rib cage. On the each shoulder is a wicked cool epaulette that is a round, slightly frosted tube with brass rounded ends. They light up when a Spectrum agent receives a message. At the bottom of the jacket is a white belt, and the belt loops are actually on the jacket itself not the trousers.

Jacket Pattern

I began by drawing the pattern freehand. I had my measurements and used them to roughly work out the dimensions, and then I freewheeled it using the TV show & images as a guide. I choose to design the jacket as one large single piece, like a bib, so that I could finish everything more easily before finally sewing up the sides. I made a funky test version with orange material left over from a Doctor Who Cosplay. This taught me a lot, particularly about factoring in a decent seam allowance!


Taking my lessons from the test version, I cut the final version from the black material and hemmed it like a mofo. I chose a Nylon / Cotton blended material because some research into military uniforms indicated they use it, so it would give the jacket a military look, and that felt right.  


I made the collar separately by cutting a large rectangle of black material and rolling it around some teddy bear stuffing. I discovered you need a much thicker piece of stuffing to really bulk out the collar. Once I rolled it I sewed it closed leaving an excess strip so it could be sewn onto the jacket. I cut the excess strip in diagonal lines to make it easier to pin to the jacket and take a neater shape. I then machined it on. I backed a small rectangle of black material with Velcro and attached some to each end of the collar. This piece can then be attached to hide the join.


After studying the TV show I noticed that their collars weren’t joined at all, but actually crossed over. In fact, the whole front of the jacket appears to actually cross over and perhaps Velcro shut, with the zip being for looks only. This might have been easier for me to accomplish, but I’m glad I went for the proper, fully functioning zip. The thing to remember is that the outfit had been designed for puppets not humans, and therefore didn’t have to function and move in the same way.


I think the toughest challenge on the tailoring side was getting those darn shoulder pads to stay rigid and pointy. I initially tried using interfacing. It’s an iron or sew-on backing material that helps material hold a shape. I can see how it would by great on some outfits, but not this one. The weight of the epaulettes was just too much for it to handle and resulted in saggy shoulders. My next plan worked to a good degree. I cut flexible plastic shapes to act as shoulder pads and then fabric glued them in. The glue was pretty rubbish, so I had to follow it up with gaff. This brought it to an acceptable level and saw me through Andercon. However, I plan to redo them as follows: I will cut shoulder pads from the same material as the jacket, sew them inside and leave on edge open thereby creating a ‘pocket’ into which I can slide the plastic inserts. This will hopefully provide the same support whilst looking that bit more professional and neat. I have mild OCD so you can imagine how happy that will make me after hours and hours spent cutting and fiddling with the gaffa tape so people couldn’t see it.   



I thought these special guys deserved their own section.


Start by cutting your Perspex tube to the required length. I got my measurements by taking the length of the shoulder section and shortening that so that the epaulette sits in the centre with some free space around either side. On reflection I would have gone for a slightly shorter and smaller tube, but the chunky look of the current design is pretty cool.  

I soldered the LED to wires (note; do not solder the wires to the battery pack yet) and taped the LED to a two pronged metal fastener (for holding punched paper together). Again with hindsight I should have used white or clear tape instead of black gaff, because you can see it, even through the frosting. Drill two holes, using the width of the fastener, in the bottom. Then feed the LED / fastener combo into the tube. Using the fastener base had two benefits; it prevented the LED from swinging loose inside the tube and the metal legs of the fastener could be put through the material of the jacket and secured, preventing the whole epaulette from moving or falling off. You can feed the wiring through the same hole.



Wrap the Perspex in frosted sticky backed paper to give it its tinted look. For the brass ends I used bottle caps (from cheap nail polish remover). An important note, if you go into a shop with your own Perspex tube and start taking lids off of things to see if they fit over the end, you will be followed by security, so buy something even if you don’t get what you’re looking for! They were wide enough to slide over the Perspex, but had an inner circle that allowed it to wedge itself on the end of the tube, I secured this further with super glue. Before attaching I painted them brass. That brass paint was pretty strong, so I then spent a few pleasant hours thinking I was the paint. When you go to your convention or event, bring the paint with you, not just for its medicinal benefits, but because the paint is easily scratched, and being out there on the shoulder pads they are an easy target for scrapes – you’ll doubtless have to touch it up. If you don’t, you aren’t having enough fun.

flashythingsOnce you have them made, fit them in place, the reason you don’t solder the battery pack on yet is to allow you to attach them and tape down the wires in a concealed way inside the jacket. Then once you’re happy with the placement, attach the battery pack. I popped a clip on the pack so it clipped to my belt – although to activate the lights it does look like I’m reaching into my bottom. But this is a good cover for those times I am reaching into my bottom.


I think that covers the bulk of making the jacket. I realise that reading these instructions might not make total sense so if there is anything I can do to help or advise you in making your costume you just holla at me.

Join me next time for the insanity that was making the hat, and how it actually made me bleed!

And remember, if it wasn’t meant to be fun they’d call it Coswork.

Catch you on the flipside,


Tweeter me @OzplayOnline

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