Soon to begin first attempt at DIY suit, any tips?

Discussion in 'Predator Costumes' started by CupKate, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. CupKate

    CupKate Unblooded

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    Hello there!

    Predator has, for a very long time, been my dream costume/cosplay. It has been the white whale, one could say. It's been the " i'd love to do that one day, sigh, one day " costume. Well. The time has come. I have a year to get it done and have no professional or proper experience whatsoever. I am, however, crafty and can wield a sewing machine or a heat gun but can not animatronics or circuitry. My super easy and dumbed down breakdown of a plan is to:

    1) get a nude morph suit, foam build up some muscle/detail, airbrush it
    2) get some backer rod or rubber/plastic hose to make dreads, attach them to a hat base
    3) on top of this hat base, use foam to sculpt the face mask on a molded head, cover with latex, paint (similar to this tutorial but not with such a big flat top? But this process, anyway: Foam Predator Mask ) and have the dreads poke out
    4) make the helmet/faceplate, armor, wrist cuffs, etc out of foam
    5) hands and feet - this im not sure on. I could potentially make them? But I feel like it would be easier to buy a premade, cheaper costume, and then gussy up the hands/feet with additional detail, paint, etc.

    I would also love to have one of the masks where the mandibles move? But my problem with the premade masks (and why i dont want to use my 'buy premade and gussy it up' idea with a mask is two part:

    1) i have a big head and a lot of hair. In the military? I wore the biggest size hat they made and it barely fit.
    2) i dont want to have a great big mask flopping around on my head. I dont want to wear a mask and have an inch gap where you can look into the eye holes and then see my eyes behind that big gap. I dont want a mask where the pink 'inside of the mouth' part is just a flat, painted piece of latex. I want to make it fit my head and be able to spirit gum around the eyes and have it be flush against/stuck to my face. I want the inside bottom row of teeth to be where my bottom lip is and then the upper two bigger teeth to be just above my upper lip and kind of come down and hang over my lip a little. I want the pink 'inside of the mouth' part to be my mouth. I want to be able to talk and eat. Then the big opening mandibles can be prosthetic pieces on the mask that stick out of my cheeks. THUS i think i would be better off making my own mask that fits my face correctly but that means Im giving up on the goal of moving mandibles. But if i had to pick, I'd rather have an awesome mask that fits my face and looks smooth and nice rather than a premade mask that looks like crap and doesnt fit but happens to have moving mouth pieces.

    So. That was a big long ramble. What do you guys think of this plan so far? I will definitely post pictures and progress as i go. I've been researching and reading tutorials and seeing what others have done, but, I wanted to introduce myself (hello, im cupkate) and pose my potential ideas for how to go about this and also get some feedback, see if anyone has suggestions or warnings haha. I will definitely be posting updates and progress as I go but, like i said, havent started yet and i have a year to do it :)

    Thanks!
     
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  2. lazybones88

    lazybones88 Blooded

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    Hello and hope you see suit and join the hunt. A little of concerns. 1- the morphsuit is fine but doesn't hold up to well. I have done that on my first suit and it wasn't very good. It worked for around 2 to 3 sessions then fell apart. I would suggest a good looking muscle suit costume like the spiderman, superman or mr incredible then latex that suit so you can paint (adding only the leg muscles), whichever one fits you best. The morphsuit also requires you to make a dummy of yourself to stretch the fabric. The latex will hold it in place but like I said earlier it doesn't want to last or stand up to constant pressure. 2 - backer rods will do fine for the dreads. 3- in order to get what you are looking for you need get a mold of your head then build onto it with clay aka sculpting process (or another molding medium), make a mold out of plaster or another material (hard material) then cast it with latex or silicone mask. The foam mask is pretty cool and could work, but make sure you have some kind of mold for your head. You can also make a ducktape dummy for your body and head separately if you would like. You can then stuff the head and have a accurate representation of yourself to get what you want. I don't really know the dimensions you are looking for but it might be a little off with your mouth being in the center but I haven't tried so I wouldn't know. 4- Armor and everything else can definitely be made with foam and you can also use your phone for the bomb gauntlet, just build the gauntlet to be able to hold your phone and boooooom (they have countdown apps) 5- The hands and feet you can buy monster feet and fix them up and do the hands the same.

    You can also look at some of the other threads to help you and see what others are doing. You can also buy parts, pieces, mask or whole suits from people if you wish to. Happy Hunting and feel free to ask any questions. But I highly suggest you look at some of the other works in progress and get ideas from other hunters. Everyone has there own ideas and all have turned out spectacular.
     
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  3. CupKate

    CupKate Unblooded

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    I have a friend who has been trained in special effects and sculpting and such and we were going to do a cast of my head and face. I was going to go with the 'foam sculpt then paint on latex' method instead of the 'sculpt from clay and cast' method mainly for two reasons 1) i want to minimize the favors/help i ask from her because i want to do as much of this myself as i can and 2) i havent worked with clay in years and feel like i could take more time with the foam whereas clay would dry out or break off (the mandibles) and such. Im a 'take my time and get it right; type of gal. And as for the morph suit vs latex suit well that's just a comfort and heat issue. If i'm going to wear it all day at a con i would rather not be head to toe covered in latex. I also considered using a thin legging or lycra or tights like material instead of, say, the name brand 'morph suit' which is mostly polyester i think. Something able to be stretched so it is fitted, painted so it looks good, but breatheable which latex is not. My roommate has a full body latex suit. Its on a dummy standing in our living room. So i do have a full size predator suit on hand for reference but i was really looking for a way to not have to wear a full latex suit and not have to spend hours painting my body every time i dressed up in it. As much as i can make and do beforehand and just put on the better. Doing a full arm/leg/torso paint and just wearing a 'predator-ized' bikini (which ive seen people do) is not what im going for.

    But, that's exactly why I put this out there! To get feedback and ideas. I've never had a morph suit before so I have no idea what their quality or longevity or paintability is. Thanks for the input! i also had no idea there was a bomb app! I've seen people wire in circuitry and lights and stuff but, as i said, i have no clue about any of that so an app is great!
     
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  4. lazybones88

    lazybones88 Blooded

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    There is also a thread on here about a printed suit? I would look into that as well because the material seems better than a morph.
     
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  5. Dannyspraynut1

    Dannyspraynut1 Unblooded

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    I’m in the same boat about to embark on the mission to make a unique suit worthy of praise from this grow up of legends
     
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  6. CupKate

    CupKate Unblooded

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    Im looking at getting a unitard from a dance company as they seem to be better quality than a morph suit or costume bodysuit (and not be plastered with a logo/brand).
     
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  7. Dannyspraynut1

    Dannyspraynut1 Unblooded

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    Think I’m Gona make one from scratch I like the idea of doing it all myself, maybe look at the black panther suit on eBay and copy the mr I suits mate
     
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  8. LunaticNic

    LunaticNic Hunter

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    Always nice to see plans for a new suit in the works :)

    That said I just think it wise to mention (not to bash your expectations just to adjust them i suppose) that no one here as been able to fully replicate the movement in a mask as seen in the movies and very very few have successfully pulled off any movement at all. Of course more power to you if you manage to pull it off!

    Regarding the mouth I would imagine it may make the proportions look off as the two "Top-teeth" in the gums are situated where the human actors nose is and moving it down to the upper lip would still give you your own nose to deal with(then again with a custom mask you can go for a complete custom look).

    Spirit-gum to attach around your eyes, I may hold off on as well due to my experience being, despite having a hole cut out in the mouth area, a good deal of air was also being pulled from the eye area (plus the movement of air made wearing the mask somewhat bearable. I've played football in GA, and the ammount of sweat from wearing full pads and helmet in 90+ degrees closely rivaled wearing a full latex pred suit).

    Finally I'd say backer-Rods are fine to begin with, but imo they just don't rival the look and movement of foam dreads with some beads on them.

    These are just my opinions though, so regardless if you heed them or not, Happy Hunting :D
     
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  9. CupKate

    CupKate Unblooded

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    I appreciate the input. Like i said im not some movie monster pro costume desginer or something so its going to be some trial and error. I just (quickly on my computer so uh....forgive the roughness of using Paint hahah) pulled up a photo of a predator (not specifically the one i want to model off of i just picked one that shows the face ) and kind of rough idea drew my face on top of it to show the proportions or placement of....kind of where i want my my face to line up on the face? SO you guys can get an idea of where im talking about the mouth stuff? Like i said. I just whipped this up in about 45 seconds so dont judge me ahahha. So the bottom of the mouth/chin would be my chin. The mouth is my mouth. The....i'll call it the nasal ridge? Where predator would have a nose if he had one? you be my nose, the upper teeth would be just above my mouth, and then the eyes would line up of course. Then the mandibles would kind of just stick out off my cheeks.

    I've never used backer rod for anything? you know im not....in construction? or something? So I'm not dead set on that for dreads. Actually, I may look around for something a little smaller than what most people do for the dreads to try to make them more in scale with me. A big 6'4 dude in a big suit with a big head and inch or 3/4 inch dreads looks great, but, im 5'5 and 135 pounds. So, i may look for something smaller/thinner so it fits my proportions more? I considered painters stilts for height but can't figure a good way to hide the fact that my foot would be sticking out mid calf of the costume/suit, so, i scrapped that idea. I'll just be a small, stealthy predator? Instead of a big, lumbering, menacing predator. Which is just another part of why i want to make this look so great...its already going to be lacking from the character because I'm not a big, scary, looming shadowy figure, so, i have to make the rest of it look great :) But, for dreads? Something with movement like oxygen hose? Although i think that will be too narrow. I dont know yet. I'll have to go to Lowes and Hobby Lobby and look around. You ever notice how most classic movie monsters are big, lumbering, scary brawny dudes vs little skinny white women? Like...Michael. Predator. Jason. Leatherface. all huge dudes. Like.....im the freddy in the group. Sassy and skinny but i'll still kill you. That's the me version of predator hahah. 'Join the hunt' and its a whole room full of big, tall, broad shouldered dudes and then theres me haha.

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  10. LunaticNic

    LunaticNic Hunter

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    As far as size is concerned I wouldn't be too worried. From what I've seen most people who suit up are in the 5'6 to 6' range (often using "lift- boots" I think is what they're called for height).

    The head placement inside the mask is accurate, so I guess you've got that covered.

    Regarding the dreads, to my knowledge the peoe who make the foam dreads have large and small dreads. The large ones making up the main portion of dreads, while the small ones go closer to the cheek area of the mask (not the quills mind you lol). Depending on how small your mask ends up being those could be a good choice (or you could just sculpt them yourself, make a mold, and try your hand in casting up some foam dreads)

    Hope it all works out!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  11. Alex Hayashi

    Alex Hayashi Unblooded

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    Might be better off with a closed mouth if you plan on adding a bio-mask over unless you have a way of moving the mandibles. I've seen a few videos on Youtube of guys who made moving mandibles with wires connected to their jaw which moves whenever they open their mouth.
    I've got a full Latex head and it is level to my eyes though I will have to stuff the top so it stays level and doesn't sag away. Bit of a area from the mouth hole to my actual mouth so was thinking of putting tiny USB fans in there for airflow and cooling.
    40325440_465347267303264_5705650369523089408_n.jpg
     
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  12. Dropthehammer

    Dropthehammer Unblooded

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    Ill have to follow this thread, currently im still in the planning phase myself so seeing you work through this will be awesome. I too thought about a morphsuit style build only because I have very limited space for a full latex Mr I build. (I live in a 2-2 with a 2yr old in Fla...wife said I cant have a 6' pred in the living room. ) So I might actually try a Mr I with a morphsuit over top? Or just paint the Mr I suit itself....
     
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  13. lazybones88

    lazybones88 Blooded

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    paint the mr i suit itself
     
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  14. CupKate

    CupKate Unblooded

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    Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to postpone this project....sadly keeping it as my 'sigh, one day' costume. I just don't have the time or money to invest in this and do the other costumes I want to do. So, if i can do 5 others or just this one? I'd rather do 5 others (because theyre paired with other peoples costumes). I just know ill start this and parts will get put off and then everything will be half done. Which sucks. So, i guess ill have to put it back on the back burner :( But! That just gives me more time to plan it out and get it right! Thanks for all the advice and input.
     
  15. Dropthehammer

    Dropthehammer Unblooded

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    No worries, I get it ive just recently gotten back into this after an almost 3 yr hiatus lol. Have fun on your other ventures, we'll all still be here when you get back (y)
     
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  16. pmcrumley

    pmcrumley Unblooded

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    Where did you get your mask from. Looking to make my own but need to look into having a backup... just in case...
     
  17. monkey5150

    monkey5150 Blooded

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    Sounds familiar, I just got back to my project after a some time away,, The Dreads are killing me the most
     
  18. The Fugitive

    The Fugitive Unblooded

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    i know how you feel i took almost 2 years before i truly started but even though i did all my research your never truly prepared, just be ready for little bumps and big pot holes in the road but so far this community has been so helpful and im getting there, also dont worry about what other people are doing if want to cosplay predator then DO IT dont do other characters because it lines up with other people do what makes you happy and your dream cosplay !!
     
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