måndag 30 mars 2015

What advice would you give someone who would want to make Armored MewTwo?

I got this question from Lillerkat on deviantArt and thought that it would make a great topic for a blogpost. So this post is for you Lillerkat.

This is a hard question because it all depends on what you already know. So instead I’ll go through each part of the cosplay and talk about how I made them and what I learned.

I started with the legs. I glued mattress-foam onto a pair of leggings (while wearing them) and shaped the foam with a “snap-off blade knife”. I used a spray-on glue. It was nice to cover larger areas, but it didn’t stick as well as regular hot glue. After a single day at the convention the foam for the lower legs started to fall off, so I stuck it back with hot glue.
I used a pair of suspenders to hold the legs in place.
This was so early in the process that I forgot to take pictures.

Next was the tail. It is made out of solid mattress-foam. I butchered 3 IKEA mattresses just for the tail. I made it too tall at first, but managed to shorten it to a better length. I wear it like a giant diaper, with a belt that go all the way through the tail (see pictures). It is very important that the tail is secured, because the weight of the entire suit rests on this belt.

The shoes are just some old training shoes that I attached some foam to. Not much to be learned here.

Skinning. When adding skin to the body, I first created a pattern using brown packet tape and newspaper. Be careful to not squeeze the foam while working with the tape. I made the tape pattern too tight because of this and that left ugly seams. Remember to label your pattern pieces and mark out where they go on the foam. I recommend that you use a stretchy fabric so you can cover up any mistakes in the pattern-making.
The upper body is just a simple shirt pattern with long sleeves and long neck.

The hands where quite annoying. I first tried to make balls out of mattress-foam and cover them with fabric, just as I had with the rest of the cosplay. That didn’t work, so I made some simple three-finger-gloves and made the fingertips large circles. I then filled the fingertips with fiberfill.

And that was all for the body. Next up: Armor.
The armor was all made out of craft foam, and it was all free-handed while constantly referencing my reference pictures. I made some prototypes of the arm piece to get the hang of the material and its various properties (I had never worked with craft form before). I ended up not using the prototype but I learned a lot from experimenting with it. I recommend that you do the same if you are unfamiliar with how craft foam behave.

When I felt ready I took what I had learned from making the prototype and made the real arm piece. I decided to make this piece from start to finish before I made the rest of the armor, to make sure I understood the whole process. One thing that came up while making the real arm piece was the color of the armor. I had a hard time deciding and I even changed it while making the arm piece, as you’ll see in the pictures.
Arm piece:

Then it was just a matter of making all the other pieces. The most complex piece was the back piece (and it’s the only one I have WIP pictures of). 
Back piece:

A special note on the head: The white foam is where the visor will go, so I didn’t glue it too firmly, just in a few key location to hold it in place. This white foam was later used to get the correct shape for the visor.

And this is all the armor pieces together.

Holding everything together. Everything was held together with 3.5mm contacts. Why? I have no idea. This was really stupid. They broke and came undone all the time. I have since then changed all 3.5mm contacts for backpack buckles and now it’s more secure than ever. I also learned the hard way that you should never glue something onto a painted surface: sand away the paint and glue onto the foam it will hold better.

Painting the armor. I learned that one way to cover up seams in the craft foam is to fill the seam with body filler. So I used one my father gave me, but it turned out it was some kind of rubber-filler, so I couldn’t sand it, but it was better than nothing. Everything was then covered in spray filler, sanded, covered in wood glue, and then painted.

The blue/purple detail. I used a simple masking technique to make the shield and chest two-colored

Visor. I used the white foam placeholder as a template for cutting a Plexiglas visor. It was then bent with heat to fit in the helmet. A black car glass tint film was added to create a one-way black mirror. The visor was then glued into the helmet.

The eyes are made with cardboard, aluminum foil, blue wrapping tissue, and a small light bulb. I made the shape I wanted for the eyes with the cardboard, covered the inside with the foil, and added the blue wrapping tissue as a filter for the light.

I also have a voice changer in the helmet. It applies an echo to my voice and plays it through a speaker. The voice changer was part of a kit my friend got and assembled for me, and his father did all the wiring (this was before I knew anything about electronics). At first I placed the speaker inside the helmet. This turned out to cause feedback so I couldn’t use the voice changer. I have now moved the speaker own into the chest plate. The voice and eyes are controlled from my fingers through some wires that run up my arm.

The red tubes are red silicone tubes. And because they are silicone, no glue in the world seemed to work on them. So I had to use friction instead. A wire with a plastic shell was soldered to the male 3.5mm connections and by pushing, twisting, and turning I got them to attack to the silicone tubes. These tubes are connected to the female 3.5mm connections that are imbedded in the armor.

I hope this was helpful.

Fan club

1 kommentar:

  1. This costume is so friggin' epic!
    It seems pretty hardcore to make; I'm amazed that you pulled through it with such amazing results! It's nothing short of awesome!