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Building the FLUDD

Mario with FLUDD

FLUDD, short for Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device, is a water cannon used by Mario in his GameCube adventure, "Super Mario Sunshine".

Prior to the original Mario Marathon in 2008 my wife and I had made a set of Mario and Luigi costumes for Halloween. These costumes quickly became a staple of the Mario Marathon experience receiving substantial screen time during the first two events.

The costumes were such a hit that we decided new additions were a necessity for Mario Marathon 3 (beginning June 25th, 2010). Having never seen a cosplay FLUDD, it jumped to the top of my list.

Once enough donations are raised to unlock Super Mario Sunshine ($6,185), we'll bring out the FLUDD!

Supplies and Equipment

Total cost $38.94 plus shipping and tax. Most of these items can be found at local craft or hardware stores which can save significant shipping costs.

Building the Frame

PVC Pipe Frame

The first step was to build the frame using the PVC pipe and various joints in the supply list. The frame would eventually hold all of the styrofoam components and the water tank. See the blueprint below (click to enlarge) for measurements.

After everything was properly cut and a test fitting looked correct I used the PVC cement to secure everything into place. I also tested the placement of the fish bowl / water tank to determine the angle of the arms.

Blueprint for Frame

Once the frame was dry I painted the whole thing grey, it took several coats to cover up the printing on the PVC. I intentionally didn't paint the "shoulders" because I knew I would be gluing styrofoam shoulders onto the frame at those points.

The Spray Nozzle: Ball

The approach I took for the various parts on the frame was to carve/shape them out of styrofoam, coat the styrofoam in a very thin layer of plaster, and then paint the foam. The plaster, after drying and sanding, provided a smooth coating that could more easily be painted.

Carved Foam Ball

First I sketched the basic shape of the large screw onto both sides of one of the foam balls. Once I was fairly certian they were symetrical and appropriately sized I used a knife and screwdriver to shape the ball accordingly.

After the ball was shaped I used a butterknife to apply a very thin layer of plaster to the ball. This took overnight to dry. The next morning I sanded the plaster to smooth out the surface.

The Spray Nozzle: Cone


Initially, I looked at bicycle horns, shop lights, and various other metal cones in search of something for the Spray Nozzle. After failing to find anything big enough, I decided to build my own.

First, I glued the foam ring around one of the foam cones using a hot glue gun. Then, using the razor knife, I cut off part of the cone which extended beyond the ring. Once the surface was flush I began carving into the cone to make the interior of the nozzle. My nozzle dips in about 1 1/2 inches which was enough to make the basic shape.

Then, like with the ball I plastered, waited, sanded, and painted.

I'm happy with this choice because the material and color of the nozzle matches the rest of the FLUDD.

Additional Parts and Assembly

For the two shoulders I cut about three inches off of the large end of the two remaining styrofoam cones. I cut and shaped these using the same process outlines above. Additionally, I notched the back of each shoulder so that they would fit onto the PVC frame.

A couple inches from the small end of a cone was used to create the "spike" on the back of the spray nozzle. A similar cross section of cone was used to create the nozzle's "neck".

The final ball was carved to create the ball / blue springy thing at the center of the FLUDD. This is one part I wasn't happy with on my build, but it works none the less.

Using the knife, and a spare piece of PVC pipe I worked holes into each part to allow it to slide onto the frame appropriately. Be very careful while doing this to not break your components.

Once everything is fitted correctly it's a matter of gluing everything in place. A tip for attaching the cone to the head of the FLUDD is to use stab a pencil or piece of dowel rod into the head and cone as a support before glueing.

Finally, fit the fishbowl onto the bottom of the frame. You may need to shorten the bottom piece of PVC pipe so that the bowl touches the arms. Then, using hot-glue attach the bowl in place.

The Finished Product


Mario Marathon 3 begins June 25th at 11:00 AM ET! Follow us on Twitter keep up-to-date on all the latest Mario Marathon news!



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