I was commissioned to make the a Scouter from Dragon Ball Z. In the series, the device calculates the power level of opponents and displays them on the screen.

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Since this item is worn over the ear, it needs to be light. I made MDF masters for the parts of the Scouter so they could be vacuum formed out of plastic.

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A plastic body shell vacuum formed from the MDF master. I have a lot of webbing but I can clean up the corners so it’s not worth remaking.

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The lens arm after vacuum forming beside the MDF master. The yellow splotches are just paint drops on the scrap plastic I selected.

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The vacuum formed bracket that will support the ear padding.

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The padding bracket after it had been trimmed down for use.

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I filled the interior of the body and lens arm with blue insulation form. This supports the rather thin (.040″) plastic while adding very little weight.

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I stole the vinyl covered padding from a set of cheap Harbor Freight hearing protectors.

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A test fit of the padding attached to the bracket. Eventually I would glue down the edges of the vinyl to the top of the bracket.

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To attach the body to the padding assembly, I used the bracket itself to vacuum form a copy that would fit precisely over the bracket. I had to correct some warping that occurred to the bracket as a result of hot plastic pulled over it but it wasn’t too bad.

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The new bottom of the body glued in place. The body now fits tightly into the hole of the padding bracket with no glue needed.

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I assembled the Scouter parts and gave everything a coat of grey primer. I also cut red acrylic for the side pieces.

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To attach the Scouter to the ear, I screwed an aluminum wire to the bottom of the body where it would stay hidden inside the padding.

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I cut the data lens from 1/8″ red acrylic. I heated the center with a heat gun and bent the lens over a MDF master covered with foil. I don’t know if the foil was necessary but I wanted to prevent the hot plastic from picking up any texture from bare MDF.

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A quick test fit of the lens inserted into a slot in the end of the arm. I left it unglued so the client could set it to a comfortable depth.

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To make the readout, I cut vinyl symbols to match a screen capture.

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I backed the red acrylic buttons on the side with silver mylar to brighten their appearance.

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The final Assembled Scouter (after the body was painted with a glossy white).

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The back of the Scouter.

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Me wearing the Scouter.

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Me in profile. Now I know how Lobot feels.

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