It starts with research. I spent hours reading about others’ attempts to make Sam Flynn’s Tron costume, mostly on Instructables, Cosplay forums and YouTube. Just to be clear, the 1982 Tron film had very different clothing to the 2010 remake/sequel. I wanted to make a Tron Legacy costume. I was so impressed with the time, effort and amount of money people spent on trying to make their costumes. Some wanted something to wear to a fancy dress party, others were attending a Cosplay forum where very high standards of custom clothing are always expected, and then there were just people who fancied the challenge of making the costume, with no particular event in mind to showcase their craft but just the prospect of owning a Tron costume motivating their hard work.
I’d like to credit them all but there were simply too many. Off the top of my head, the following people are responsible for giving me the most inspiration for my Tron Legacy costume:
But I salute you all, fellow Tron costume creators.
Onto the costume itself. A lot of attempts seemed to use a boiler suit or leather biker clothing. In my opinion those costumes looked too baggy. If you look at the costume that Sam Flynn wears, it’s pretty tight fitting, obviously custom made. I saw a behind-the-scenes clip once of Garrett Hedlund putting on the costume (actually someone else had to put it on him) and that cemented in my mind that it needed to be a tight fit. So I thought of using a wetsuit as the base. For the lights, I’ve seen some pretty amateur efforts using glow-sticks – the kind that you see at raves, but they’re quite inflexible. The obvious choice of technology is electro-luminescent wire (or EL wire) and EL tape. This was the actual technology used in Tron Legacy, so why not? I’ll tell you why not – EL wire and especially EL tape are expensive. But it’s worth it. Next, I decided to use sheet foam for the panels that would be worn on top of the wetsuit and house the EL wire and EL tape. The foam would be attached to the wetsuit using a mixture of velcro, superglue and fastenable straps. Finally, the Tron identity disc. You can buy the toy from Disney online. Some modification would need to be made to get the lights to stay continuously on – then the real challenge would be how to mount the Tron disc onto the suit.