Hello there! Bowser was my first choice to put up on instructables.com because it’s one I can easily access photos and video right now and I tend to get the most questions on. Though I’ve learned to improve many mistakes form a previous suit, this one was challenging, fun and well liked by many fans of the games.
I’m not really sure how to explain it as a step-by-step tutorial but I’m willing to give it a feel of tell you what I did step-by-step and letting you figure out the rest.
I would not recommend it for the faint of heart I’ve spent over $375 ( including recent repairs) on materials alone and hundreds of hours spent thinking and developing how to build some parts of it. Let alone around 200 hours of building it. in total it took me around 9 months to finish and debut on a deadline for an anime convention.
It is a fairly heavy costume. I would highly recommend it for a heavy set person to fill out the character’s personality and proportions really well.
Step 1: Design
I decided how to ware the shell as a ‘backpack’. But I didn’t want the straps to show. So the body suit would have a open back like a ‘smock’ or ‘scrubs’ where it would tie in the back, this design also helped with air ventilation.
I wondered how many ‘pieces’ this suit will take and how much space it will take in a room or car. THIS part is very crucial. This suit of mine takes up A LOT of room and space. Not because I’m a big person and this suit makes me even ‘bigger’ the largest piece is the shell and it’s awkward to pack around and store. But thanks to my father it hangs in an open closet stand quite nicely but still takes up a chunk of space in my room.
This suit ended up being 8 detachable pieces. Head, shell, suit, Left hand, Right hand, Left foot, Right foot, and tail. During the designing process I also tried to visually putting it on and what process I would take to do so. This ended up being a bit of a ritual but the time spent on putting it on is quite easy if no steps are skipped.
I also did a lot of research on the internet and looked over Deviant art, Cosplay.com, and Google images to find ANY and all previous Bowser costumes I could find. With a mix of Gijinka, poorly built, well built, and intriguing designed ones I gained an understanding what I’d be faced up against trying to build such a monstrosity. I also looked up and gathered original art form Nintendo. As well as Fan art from devoted fans of the franchise and games, also fans of King Koopa himself. This gave me an understanding what Nintendo wanted the character to be portrayed as and what the fans saw Bowser as. I also take still shots of animation and videogame animations to get a understanding. I tried to find a well made 3-D model of Bowser, or a toy of some sort but I found nothing I would be willing to buy as a reference.
I also looked up Turtles for the shell, Bull horns for Bowser’s horns, and stubby legged creatures. I did gain a reference form Riley’s CanineHybrid’s Groundon costume that also shared stubby legs and it hlepd me a lot with making Bowser.