After seeing the movie Elysium, with Matt Damon, I knew I had to do the costume for Halloween! This was a challenging build and my first time working with foam. This build took a month and over 100 hours.
I'm a huge fan of Neill Blomkamp, I also did a District 9 costume some years back.
The cost was surprisingly low though. PIC HEAVY instructable! Enjoy guys! PLEASE be sure and VOTE!
Step 1: Inspiration
After scouring the internet for every screenshot and piece of concept art I could find, this is what I came up with. I did not do any mock ups or drawings of my own. I measured on my body relative to the pictures and drew on the foam.
Step 2: Tools and Materials
Hack saw, scissors, pipe cutter, sander, band saw, pliers, hot knife, soldering iron, xacto knife, drill press, hot glue gun, high heat
4pack garage floor foam mat, various thickness craft foam, metal wire coat hangers, high heat hot glue, various nuts, bolts and washers, 1/2" PVC, wood dowel, elastic string, nylon straps, velcro, needle, thread, eye screws, paint..... Lots of paint.... Spray on plastidip, old phone (for blue back lit LCD), 9 volt battery, led light, spare wiring.
Step 3: The Chest
I started by tracing out my chest piece on the thick foam mat and cutting it out with an exacto knife. I reinforced it with metal coat hanger wire from behind. Cutting a slot and use high strength hot glue to secure. I then added detail with a hot knife and layered thinner pieces of foam. I "weathered" it to make it look beaten and scratched, by melting the foam with the hot knife.
Step 4: The Arms
I used the same method as be for, cutting and strengthening with wire, to form the arms. I made loops with the wire to reinforce the holes where the points would be located. securing the joints with washers as well. I also used thick aluminum bar for the very top joint, as seen in the picture. I also glued on nuts to give it that industrial look. I cut out and attached the fore arm guards to corrugated plastic, attacking with aluminum plating. For the final touches, I coated with the spray plastadip, black paint and silver on the edges to make the metal look worn.
Step 5: The Back
After cutting out the parts, I added a joint in the back to give better mobility. I used one long, thick piece and attached all of the back segments to the strip. accenting with thin foam and large washers, detailing with a hot knife. Almost all gluing was done with high strength hot glue. In hind sight, the joints and thinner areas could have done with a stronger adhesive. I used the same paint method as before, plastadip and painting
Step 6: The Legs
The legs proved to be a greater challenge, needing a high range of motion and still looking the part. The same construction and paint process as detailed in the previous pages. I used a ton of straps and Velcro here!
Step 7: The Pistons
The biggest issue I ran into was the fact I used hot glue to build the pistons, attaching the washers to the PVC. Had I used epoxy instead this would have held up better. but I was in a time crunch and rushed it! I used PVC and wood dowel to form the piston body, capping it with a washer and using eyelet screws to attach. the pistons were held in place with a piece of string elastic. They worked really well and looked amazing!
Step 8: Head Piece
This was tricky, I took apart an old land line phone and used the LCD for the back panel. wiring it together with a blinking green LED to a 9V battery. Same construction process as detailed before. I attached it to my head with hair clips. this proved difficult to say the least!
Step 9: Putting It All Together
I attached everything with nylon straps an Velcro, most of which I hid under my blood stained shirt. I cut holes for the straps to go through. Most of the joints were attached with plain nuts and bolts, with lock-tite. It's easy to see in the pictures how this thing went together, then trying to explain in text!
Step 10: Final Thoughts.
I was really pleased with the outcome of this costume, people were blown away! mobility was great and everything actuated as it should have. As I said before, the biggest mistake I made was using high strength hot glue as my only adhesive. This was the first time I have ever worked with foam, so please be kind! I also made a pistol form the movie to go with the costume, but that's another episode ;-)