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Ralph Hinkley

On the right is of course an in-progress shot.  Note that the boots are mismatched, the belt buckle missing and the cape unattached.  The costume was made from scratch, as most of mine are.  I considered using piping for the white trim, but ended up just taking some white cotton fabric, folding it in half and using that as piping.  This is because the store-bought stuff is thicker and would have been too out of scale.  As you might have guessed the white trim along the top of his feet was the hardest to get right.  Boots and shoes are tricky enough on their own, so adding the trim on top required a bit of trial and error.

That whole Ralph Hanley thing was silly.  Must I state that Ralph had his own show called The Greatest America Hero?  Believe it or not, he did.
Another commissioned piece, but a fun one.  I'd wanted to make my own Ralph Hinkley for some time, but couldn't find it (the time) until paid to.  Here Ralph is wearing his after-work clothes.  For some reason my client didn't want him in his schoolteacher outfit.
I rented the movie "House," and rather than watch it all the way through for the 15th time, I took screenshots of William Katt's face.  The early scene where he's at a booksigning was great for closeups.  I'm not saying that this resulted in a perfect likeness, but my client was pleased.

The cape was its own project, of course.  I decided to use very thin floral wire inside of the red trim to provide just a little posability.  The cape consisted of two pieces of black cotton fabric (the thin, nonstretchy, $1-a-yard kind) sandwiching the red trim along the edge.  Again, I just folded cotton fabric in half rather than use piping.  The neat thing about the cheapo cotton I used is that water works nicely as an "iron."  That is, you can wet the fabric and then fold/crease it pretty effectively.  I always use stretchy materials for the clothing, but for accessories like a cape or belt, thin, stiff cotton works nicely.
After a failed attempt at making the chest emblem out of glossy, red sticker material, I cobbled one together using a primitive graphics program (the kind you download for trial periods) and printed the chest, belt, and base logos.  I have an ink color printer, so I admit that I used my old company's laser printer to print the one page in color.  Now I work at a place that's ridiculously strict about color printing (I think Congress has to vote on it), so there goes future printouts.

Ralph's supersuit did not allow him to remove his own head.  I send in-progress pics to my clients and often try to have fun with them.

Stephen J. Cannell created him, woo hoo

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