Saturday, 15 December 2012

Samus Shoulders

Shoulder Bells!

I wanted to work on one of the harder parts of this costume which is the huge shoulders. I needed to make sure they were lightweight so I'm going to make them out of foam using pepakura.

Here's what all the pieces look like


Now it was just a matter of gluing them together in the right order.

It's a good idea to have pepakura open while you are gluing these pieces together and to know the exact orientation of the piece before applying glue.

The end result was this


The blue and orange is craft foam. After it's Plasti-Dipped and painted I'm going to poke holes in the craft foam and get some LED's to poke out to get a look like this:

So I'm off to paint this!

Here's a couple coats


Looking ok. Not as smooth as I would of liked it. The Plasti-Dip needs to have multiple light coats or else it gets bubbles. I will probably do 1-2 more coats then seal it with clear spray then hand paint the black parts on it. 


I wanted to smooth the edges more, I didn't like how rough looking they were so I took a dremel and did a rough sand then hand sanded the rest.


Going to repaint it and use bondo on the slits for a more smooth look. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Second Painting Method

Second Painting Method:

This method consists of using Plasti-Dip to seal the foam - instead of the watered down glue mixture.

So I went out and bought some things I need for this to work. I read a few tutorials on painting foam and came up with this:

2-3 Coats of Plasti-Dip
2 Coats of Dupli-Color Adhesion Promoter
2-3 Coats of desired paint choice
2 coats of Dupli-Color Clear Gloss (optional)

I got all of this stuff and tested it.

Here's what the Plasti-Dip looks like on the back piece and arm cannon

Now I waited and did a couple more coats on each. Then applied the Adhesion Promoter (be sure to read the label because it says coats are to be done within 2-3 minutes and paint applied within 10 minutes). Then I sprayed it down with Dupli-Color Automotive Paint.

 That's one coat on the gun.

And thats two coats on the back piece. I'll probably do 1-2 more.

Here's what the front chest piece looks like completed.

Then I got some plastic and tinted it green with glass paint.

And shoved it in the slit things


It's not perfect but it's pretty cool. I think I could of done either thicker or more coats of the Plasti-Dip to get rid of some of the dimples. LEDs will be added to the back and shine through the holes. I'm also going to do some weathering for a more realistic look.

Here's what I've painted so far

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

First Painting Method

Paint testing time!!

I REALLY want to do some testing and get some of these pieces painted. I've researched quite a few ways on how to do it and I'm going to try a few different methods and see what I think is the best.

Now because foam is very porous, you can't apply paint directly onto it or else it will just suck it all up and look like crap. So the foam needs to be sealed. The first method I tried for sealing is using white glue mixed with water and painted it on. I used Mod Podge. It's a lot like white glue.

At first I didn't dilute the Mod Podge and just applied it directly on with a brush.


It shows up white then dries clear. I did about 4 coats of this then attempted to paint it. I couldn't find the color I wanted in the automotive spray paints nor could I find it in the regular spray paints meant for plastic so I picked up a bottle of some kinda engine paint which is meant to withstand extreme temperatures.

So you can see it looks like crap. The paint strokes are huge, there's hair stuck in it and when I tried to flex it, it cracked. Unfortunately, I don't know whether it's from the seal technique I used or the paint I used or even the fact that I didn't prime the paint.

Round 2: This time I bought Mod Podge meant for fabrics so I hoped it would be more flexible. I also watered down the Mod Podge with a 1:1 ratio of water, and I used a sponge brush instead of a regular paint brush. This helped quite a bit with the brush strokes, they were a lot smaller.

I did 5 coats of the watered down Mod Podge and then decided I wanted to use something to prime the paint. I read somewhere of Dupli-Color Vinyl and Fabric works good for this so I picked up a bottle and tested it out. I also got a different type of orange paint that said it was good for fabrics.


That's the calf piece. You can see it's MUCH smoother and flexes when bent. I changed so many variables from my first piece its hard to say exactly what helped but it looks good so I'll stick with what I did.

Here's the upper arm plate

The edges can be sanded some more because it looked a little bumpy. And also damn animal hair keeps gettin' in my paint! But when you have a house with 3 dogs and 2 cats I suppose it's bound to happen.

Going to keep testing my painting methods so I'll keep ya updated!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Working with Foam

So I've just been working on getting all my foam pieces cut out.

For the most part, I just use poster board to kinda "sketch" out the shape I want then I cut it out and hold it up to myself to see if it needs to be smaller/bigger or just altered.

Here's the upper arm bands...

It needed some detailing so I added some EVA foam.


Unsanded VS Sanded

Attached to the main part and ready to be sealed, primed and painted.

And here's the red chest part.

 Green LED lights will be added in those eye-lookin' slit things.

Then the back piece...

And the back piece with the jet packs in progress...


Looks very Buzz Lightyear-ish... Yeah definitely going to paint that red.

And now here's the under-chest-piece-thing that is going to be painted gold.

  And now the back piece... with jet packs!

But yes, all of these pieces look really goofy right now because they aren't painted. The packs of fun foam I bought had to come in a variety of colors... Damn kids.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Getting things started

So here is the reference pic!

Basically, there's a few different methods for going about making something like this.

First method is using a computer program called Pepakura, which takes a 3D model and then can convert it into 2D which you can actually print out on paper. Looks something like this.


You print the 2D pieces using cardstock and glue them all together which gives you the 3D model!

Lots of people paint the cardstock with fibreglass resin to give it extra strength and then coat the outside with bondo or some type of automotive filler. They then sand away and the bondo which gives them a nice smooth, durable surface which can then be painted and sealed.

There's also approach number two.

This method uses pepakura but instead of using cardstock, the 2D images are used for patterns to trace out onto foam. EVA foam. The type you see in gyms or in little kid kindergarten classes that all fit and are all colorful and what not.

Looks something like this:


Fairly thick stuff. The one in the picture is 3/8" thick. It can be molded into different shapes with heat so it can molded to curve or wrap in whatever way you need.

I decided to go with this method. Foam is a lot more flexible then the fibre glass method and also a lot more light weight.

I'm only using pepakura for specific pieces though. Like the shoulders bells. Everything else I'm doing free hand by tracing the pattern out onto poster board then using that as the pattern for the foam.

Here's my shoulders in progress; using pepakura


All these pieces need to by glued together to make the shoulder. Doesn't really look like much now.

Why not use pepakura for the entire costume you ask?? Good question! It's because if you look at Samus, her proportions are totally warped.

Her shoulders and chest are super huge and very broad. Her head is SO tiny. Her waist is like mega thin. And her legs are scary long.

It would take a ton of tweaking to be able to get the correct proportions for everything and it's extremely time consuming. So no. No pepakura for that.

So I started off with the easy part - which I think is the arm cannon.

I took poster board and wrapped it around my arm to give me an idea of the correct length and width I wanted the cannon to be. I then took that pattern and transferred it onto some foam.

I don't have pictures because I decided to document my progress after I made that part but all it really is, is a square piece of foam which I rolled up to make a tube. I used the heat gun to heat up the foam so it kind of rolled up by itself then connected it with hot glue. VoilĂ ! A tube! This is the base of your gun!

That's what it looks like glued together. To get the curvature part at the end I used pepakura to help me get the right shape. Then connected it all with hot glue. I made two circle things on the side of it and will add more detailing with craft foam because it's not as thick as EVA foam.


 ...and here it is detailed and ready to be painted! Just waiting on some stuff I ordered from Amazon so I can start painting it...