DIY Tron Light Suit Jacket

Step#1 Inspiration:  I suggest you go to the Apple iTunes store and purchase a copy of the Daft Punk Tron Legacy album. Press play, put the album on repeat.

Step#2 Map out the light suit: I scoured the internet in search of good Light Suit pics, and to be honest I was quite dissapointed. You would think with Google Images you'd be able to find some good ones. Well, I had a hard time. These are some of the pics I used for inspiration. I used the pictures to help me figure out how the armour and lighting would work.

Tron Light Suit Homwurk     Tron Light Suit Back Homwurk


Step #3 Tape the shirt: I used green painters tape to help determine how I was going to layout the exposed under lit areas. This was also helpful in creating a template for the first layer of armour.


Step #4 Make symmetrical templates: Carefully take off the tape from the jacket and place it onto a piece of bristol board. Trace the bristol board and cut them out, by flipping the template around you will have both left and right.This also ensures that everything is going to nicely fit the jacket.

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Step #5 Tape the shirt (again): This time I used a white duct tape to the areas that are intended to be lit up. I wanted it to be as reflective as possible to make sure that it was as bright as possible. Keep in mind, most of these areas don't need to be super neat as it's going to get covered up anyway.

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Step #6 Fun part! Working with foam: I created front and back armour templates, which were symmetrical. I wasn't quite sure how the armour was going to fit together so I left myself a bit of extra room on the should and waist straps. Cut it out with a sharp blade, be careful! 


Step #7 Dremmel & paint: Using a dremmel tool I cleaned up the outside of the armour to give it a smooth look. Then I added a couple of layers of high gloss black spray paint. This picture shows the first coat, I did at least three coats to make it glossy.

Step #8 Glue, glue and patience: Using Weldbond glue, I attached the foam to the jacket, exposing areas of the jacket that required to be back lit. I found Weldbond works well with textiles, however it takes 24+ hours to cure properly. I attached the first layer of armour to the front and back. Now time for the tricky part, the arms.

IMG 3830     IMG 3829

Step #9 Arm-our: To create the armour for the arms, I used soup cans for the mould. I drew up some quick arm wraps and cut them out with foam. I used the heat gun to mould them into shape. I dremmeled the hell out of them and painted them black to match. Using the cans, glue and a heat gun, I moulded the armour onto the sleeves using plastic and tape. I left them compressed over night to cure.


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Step #10 Identity disc support: I purchase a Tron Identity Disc, and inside of the box there was a plastic support piece. I used that as it was already the perfect shape. I cut it out and spray painted it, filled it with foam to increase the surface area. I equipped both the disc and support with industrial velcro, making the disc removable. I put the liquor bottle on it while the glue cured, worked like a charm.

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Step #11 Starting the second layer: The concept I had in making this suit, was that I wanted to make it so the EL wire would be accessible, yet covered up. So I decided to have a detachable second layer that would hide and help diffuse the light.


Step #12 Soup Time: Those soup cans that were used to help bond the material to the arm bands, also double up as a hearty and healthy meal. Put soup in saucepan, add one full can of water, heat and stir.

The letters don't lie.

Step #13: After completed making the second layer, I spray dremmeled and spray painted them. I covered the inside with an opaque style duct tape to give it a glass-like effect. I stuck both sides of the industrial velcro on, with the sticky side out and line them up on the suit. It was surprisingly simple and worked really well.


Step #14 EL wiring the suit: This was by far the most fun I had during the build. I confess my intention was to make the complete costume, but I soon realized I didn't have enough EL wire. In fact I'm still waiting for about 20' in the mail. I used 27 linear feet in this jacket alone (3 sets of 9'). I tried to make as few bends as possible and I found that I had just enough. Notice on the straps how I attached them with velcro, making them removable. That helped tie all of the seams together.


Step #15 Extending the wiring to one central area: I googled how to solder EL wire and found a good tutorial. I extended the wiring to one central location in the back, which attached to the power packs supplied with the wire. I made sure to re-enforce the wiring with heat shrink and tape the hell out of it so it would be durable. 



Step #16 Pop in the batteries: Okay so the moment of truth, stick in the batteries and hope you don't see smoke. Just so you know I cheated on the identity disk, notice there is tape on it? Yes sir, those are glow sticks.

Step #17 Step back and admire your creation: No words required.


Please if you have any questions, drop me a line in my contact section. 

Special thanks to Natasha for the help!