Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tony and Pepper Build!

For halloween last fall, Jaimi and I decided to do a Tony Stark/Pepper Potts combo.  The idea was to have a low maintenance costume that was also fairly accurate.  We already have likenesses similar to Downey Jr. and Paltrow, so there were minor cosmetic changes to be made.

As for the costumes, I finally had an excuse to buy a suit.  I hit up Kohl's during a sale and got a lightly pinstriped affair.  The only addition to this was a pocket square that got pinned to the pocket.  Jaimi had to do a little bit more shopping around to get the right match of business garments.

As for props, I got the Iron Man T-Shirt from think geek.  It has the arc reactor light that velcros into the chest and a battery pack that attaches at the bottom of the shirt.  I cut out the fabric in the arc reactor,becuase I planned on wearing a shirt over it.  Jaimi's "Stark Industries Tablet" is a Light Wedge that began its career as a book light.  I had noticed that the minor scratches on it glowed a bit, so we printed a design, taped it to the back, and scratched the design with an exacto knife.

The finishing touches included a carefully trimmed goatee and some fussing with our hair.

Bonus:  Tony Stark + Commander Shepard

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Megaman Build!

For a while now, my wife has had a Samus Aran costume that has evolved over the past few years.  I wanted to build a character to go along with it, but Samus is kind of a solo character.  The next best thing was to go with a classic NES era, arm cannon wielding character.  I decided on a variation of Mega Man X because I didn't want the giant flared boots.

I started by building everything in card stock.  Then I cut the pieces out in 1/8" PVC. 

I was very worried about the boots staying in one piece, so these got bolted together. 

I had some trouble with the compound curves.  Also, there was a lot of fiberglassing going on inside.

The helmet began its Mega Man career as a child sized, used lacrosse helmet.

Because we don't have a garage, the bondo work was all done in parents; garages and basements.  I chose to leave some holes in the helmet for ventilation.  Also, at some point, I didn't like the shape of the arm cannon.  So I smashed it and built it with polystyrene rings around a pvc tube.

Bondo FACE!



Other colors of paint.

The belt buckle gem and the helmet gem were made with sculpy.

The belt got pockets!  They were sized to my phone.

Nose pick check:  success.

I finished the entire thing with 1/8" thick striping tape from the auto parts store.  I wanted to get a cell shaded look and I think it came out pretty well.  The insides of the boots got some foam to protect my feet and shins.  I was also worried that the boots would fall off of my feet.  

Here's a final shot with Jaimi/Samus.  The suit is a blue morph suit.  Overall, the costume worked quite well.  I later had an issue with a foot bit ripping off.  This was mostly due to an unscheduled off road trek.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mass Effect Camera Bot Build

I wanted to a quirky costume with my wife that now one else has been doing in the Mass Effect Universe.  We chose to do Diana Allers with her floating camera bot.  The plan was to have me hide in a black body suit and follow her with the camera.

Step 1.  Get in "skin tight body suit shape."  Thank you Sean T.

Step 2.  I built a frame out of 1/8" plywood.

This got filled with the blue polystyrene foam. The chunks got sanded down and coated in gesso.

The gesso is supposed to prevent any reaction between the foam and the bondo that I was about slather on. It did a decent job, there was still some bubbling.  After some sanding and filling, the bot was looking pretty smooth.

I made a custom bondo channeling tool to get the grooves to be nice and smooth.  The bottom parts of the camera we built with pvc foam/pipes.  The smaller camera is a series of wooden bits that I got at AC Moore.
The circular parts are the air filters from my respirator.  As a bonus, I built the forward part of the camera to be big enough to hold my phone.  That's right, the camera bot actually shot video.  Most of the wires are non-functional, but I did add a 12,000 mA hour battery to the back of this thing to keep it running all day.

Here is a shot of the camera bot in action.  It was a really fun costume to play with.  Most of the video I shot was of me poking people with the microphone.