Behind the Threads – John Hancock

Intro & Photos

I fell in love with this pirate hippy gangster ghoul the moment he shanked a guy twice for trying to sell me “insurance”.

OF COURSE I had to dress up as him!

The final costume looks…


Making the props was a ton of fun.

I might have spent a while stroking a mirror lovingly while staring into those dark eyes.

When we took this picture a cop actually pulled up to see what we were doing. That’s right, I’m in someone’s cellphone crossplaying as the best mayor in the world.

Mark Painter Pariani took these shots for me! A behind the scene shot:


This was the first costume I used Pinterest to gather references for. I’ll definitely be doing that again. Here is my Hancock board:


The mask I made in a similar way to my Spitter mask/chest and stomach/legs. Scroll down to see a video of what I describe below.

  • Padded my face to look more manly. I focused heavily on my jaw and brow.
  • I covered my hair in plastic bags, and covered my piercings, because I’m really attached to these things. Literally.
  • I applied baby oil to make removal as painless as possible. Usually I would also shave, but I didn’t want stubble and stuff on my face!
  • Pulled panty hose over head and tied with a knot. Marked and cut eye holes.
  • Applied liquid latex to the hose. Latex smells so bad. My eyes were watering and I was totally mouth breathing for half of it. Chris did the back of my head and helped me remove it.

How it looked at this stage…

Then it was time to make some magic happen! I…

  • Placed the mask on a mannequin head that was pre-padded to match my head’s dimensions.
  • Used sunglasses for the eyes. In the video I put sheer black cloth behind them (so you wouldn’t see my eyes through the glasses) but it wasn’t needed in the end. The cloth rubbed against my lashes and irritated my eyes.
  • Used toilet paper for texture. I use some ace bandages, too. They give too much texture and I wouldn’t do it again.
  • At one point the latex folded in and stuck to itself, so I…
    • Covered the whole head in plastic bags.
    • Then in more hose
    • Then cut the back of the head off and remade it.
    • Later I cut the spare hose out of the inside of the mask.
  • Made the ears from foam and toilet paper
  • Painted everything.
    • I started off with a very red base under the final skin, and a very teal/navy shadows. It didn’t look good at first, but it’s what made all the marks in the mask seem deeper than they were.
    • Then applied a lot of sickly yellow over the red, to make it look gross and mottled.

At this point, I took a break from the mask. I like to step back from projects. It’s too easy to get invested in your decisions because you’ve worked so hard already, or to be too critical because you’ve worked so hard and it doesn’t look like what your head wants. I find taking a break helps clear your head.

After a few days, I took some test selfies:

It wasn’t the same color or texture as his skin was in the game (for some reason I thought he was really raw looking) so I applied a clear matte paint to everything to remove the gloss. Powdered everything with powder foundation to give it a more “dried skin” texture. Made the chest by cutting up an old t-shirt (if you look closely you might be able to see the collar line) and applying latex, paper, and paint.

The final paint:

Here’s a video of my painting the latex and skin:


The coat, vest, and boots were all thrift store finds. The coat was honestly a perfect Piper coat but I was fully committed to Hancock at this point. A video of the coat being distressed is after all of this writing.

The coat before:

I made all of his buttons using a button maker and some spare fabric I cut off the coat. Detail:

The distressing is really what made the coat his, though:

  • I layered spray paint onto the jacket.
  • Then I used a razor to cut and fray the fabric.
  • I also sprayed inside the cuts, cuffs, behind the buttons, etc, so details would read better on camera.
  • I used the razor to remove and make texture in the paint.
  • Finally, I added eyeshadow and a spray paint that gives a rock like texture.

Here’s a video of me doing all of the above:


The vest was a sweet jacket that I simply cut down to size. I broke my “limit the layers” rule with it because I wanted to wear it in real life, too.

I did lose my scissors during this project because of this guy:

Everything else was stuff I had in my closet or stuff I had from previous costumes.


I made the mentats and shotgun. The shotgun is an ax handle with two PVC pipes and various hardware glued to it. It doesn’t have a trigger, but it still looks sweet, so I have no shame. I also made some Nuka Cola caps… which I left at home for the photo shoot, so we’re using some random bottle caps I quickly painted red at the car.

This was a costume where everything came together perfectly. I couldn’t wear my glasses in the costume and I had no idea what I looked like. I gasped when I saw my test shot:


For the original costume, I made hands gloves. They were great in theory and saved time when getting dressed… but they melted together after Megacon and they didn’t really match the mask.  In Mark’s photos I just latexed my hands. Here are some photos of the gloves, though. I used fake nails to get the nail look.

Also, when you’re wearing so much binding, clothing, a full latex mask and gloves you sort of feel suffocated. There was a point where I couldn’t get the mask off and I actually panicked a little.

It’s a very, VERY hot costume. This is how I looked out of it:

This costume is so hot

A post shared by Kamryn Nordsiek (@kamicomics) on

It’s definitely one of my favorites because of how darn cool looking it is.

Bonus Sexy Hancock Pic.