I am back! This time I have a Warlock costume from the video game Destiny to share with you.
I am a big fan or RPGs. If a game offers random loot drops, group based boss encounters, and character progression, I have a habit of obsessing over said game and neglecting all other life activities. Let's just say Destiny scratched this particular itch for me.
This time I let my gaming obsession pour over into reality by creating costumes from the game for myself and my wife! Lets take a look at mine first. Tag along and I'll take you step by step through my process.
Step 1: Enter the Warlock - Helmet Fabrication
For the Warlock costume, I took a top down approach, and began with the helmet. the helmet began life as a
pepakura file available here. This is how it was created:
- Pepakura- The paper templates were printed on cardstock, cut out with an exacto, and painstakingly glued together tab-by-tab. Pepakura is extremely accessible and easy to grasp. However, it takes time, patience and a steady hand to get right. Keeping things symmetrical is paramount.Take you time when implementing this building method, and it will make life much easier in the end.
- Fiberglass- Once the paper model was together, I hardened it with a layer of fiberglass resin painted directly on the paper. This is done in sections to ensure the model does not collapse while wet with resin. Once the paper has all been hardened, a layer of fiberglass mat and resin is added to the inside of the helmet to bring it to full strength.
- Filler- The hardened helmet still has all of the geometry of the pepakura model, which is to say, it needs some help to bring it up to high rez, and eliminate the undesirable polygonal shapes. Pepakura is somewhat low-poly. To counteract this, filler is applied to the exterior to better define the shape and detail. Most of the time bondo is used, but I chose to use apoxie-sculpt instead. It is less noxious, has a nice long working time, and holds great detail. The down side is extra weight, and expense. The extra cost was worth it to me, and I planned on molding the helmet ,so weight was of little importance on the master. So add filler, sand, refine, over and over and over and over... until you have the master perfected
- Add Details- With your helmet all smooth. Now comes the time to cut in all of the small missing details. Things like seam lines, bolt.rivet holes, etc can be dremeled or files into the surface of the filler.
- Primer- With everything as it should be, I like to paint the helmet in a uniform color. If any blemishes or low spots remain, this should make them more obvious.
Step 2: Warlock Helmet Molding
With the master finalized, its it time for molding and casting. This will allow us to create a lightweight, wearable plastic copy of the helmet we made. To do this, we need silicone for the jacket mold, and a materials for the rigid mother mold. I am using rebound 40 silicone rubber for the jacket mold, and plasti-paste 2 for the mother mold.
This is a long process, So I made a time-lapse video of the molding process. Enjoy:My Warlock Helmet Video
Once the mold was completed, and had time to cure, I popped out the master. Which was completely unharmed by the way. It's a good idea to keep the master, just in case you need to mold it again.
Casting is as easy as pouring liquid resin into the hollow mold, and rotating it slowly until it starts to harden. Then, pour in a bit more, and do it again. I am using 65D resin by smooth on. Take special care to coat everything evenly, and not to let any sections get overly thick. This takes some practice. The good news is you can always try again if you mess up.
Step 3: Warlock Helmet Painting
So we have a nice cast out of the mold, now it's time to trim the helmet's rough edges off and throw some paint on it. I started with a gray primer, then a silver base. After that, comes masking to separate the silver areas form the ones I wanted yellow.
I wanted the helmet to have a lot of weathering and chipped paint. So before the yellow can go on, I painted some toothpaste onto edges and high spots. Where the toothpaste goes, silver will show through. After the toothpaste, comes a coat of light yellow. On top of that a more orange-yellow hue is applied with an airbrush. This gives the helmet some nice age and dimension. The masking was then removed and further airbrushing was done to the silver portion of the helmet. There I added dark grays and blacks to the crevices.
Once the airbrushing dry, I applied a brown wash to the entire helmet to give it that Mars space helmet vibe.
Finally a tinted visor was installed to fill the opening in the front of the helmet and allow visibility.
Step 4: Sewing the Coat
The coats life began as a patter that was relatively close the the coat in the game. After a long search, I settled on the Vogue v8940 coat pattern. This is a long way from the final coat, but it had good bones. For this part I enlisted the help of my wife. She was gracious enough to offer her assistance with the copious amounts of sewing. We made the original pattern, entirely out of muslin first.
Once the muslin version was complete. I was able to draw in all of the seams that were missing, move the ones that were in the wrong place, alter the shapes of collar and lapel, and add the appropriate length to the coat. This was an involved process, and easily the most difficult piece of the costume. the fact that we had never done patterning this extensive before did not help.
After we had the pattern altered, we made another muslin version of the coat. This time it was fully lined and interfaced, and had dozens of extra seams. We did this to find any new, or remaining problems with pattern we altered. We made a few more adjustments and moved on to the final coat.
We scoured a few fabric stores and collected all of our fabrics. Lucky us, we found a pre-quilted and padded silver fabric for the lining. This saved TONS of work.At this point, we had plently of practice making this pattern so it was rather familiar making the final. Once sewed together, snapps were added for the closure, and armor mounting points. Patches we had made were applied, my custom buckles were added, and it was all weathered up. I did the weathering with a mixture of powders and airbrushing, and dragging it around the shop floor. Which was hard to get myself to do, but worked rather well.
Step 5: Belts, Buckles, Pouches and Pads
Belts and pouches:
Something this costume has a lot of, is detail bits. Many of these I could source from the real world. The belts themselves were easy to find. The leather spats and my numerous pouches were found online in the form of military surplus or even Jedi costumes.
Some pieces didn't exist, so I had to get more creative. All of the buckles were first made from layers of Sintra. Then they were molded and cast in resin.
The large padded belt, the shoulder armor, and the plates on the boots were then all made from foam. The padded belt was wrapped in a vinyl to simulate leather. The shoulder and boot armor was painted in a manner similar to the helmet, with all the paint ships and weathering. The main difference is the base coat. On the foam pieces, I use Plasti Dip to seal the foam before painting and weathering.
Step 6: Arm Armor (that's Fun to Say)
For this part, we started with some simple, black leather gloves. On top of that I made long, faux leather sleeves to serve as a base.
The armor differs on each arm. The right arm has some cool sci-fi padding and the left has some king of diamond pattern bracer. The padded right bracer was pretty straightforward. It is a simple wrap, so I did a few drawings and from that I drafted a pattern. The final version was made from gray vinyl, again to simulate leather. The padding was accomplished by using the diamond pattern fabric that I used in the coat. It had some nice padding built into it, and I had plenty left over. The one piece of hardware on that arm is a triangular clasp. That piece was 3D printed and stitched on from the back.
The left bracer was a bit more involved. I started with a foam base. Once I had a shape I liked I wrapped the foam piece in Worbla and bent it into shape. The Worbla piece was then wrapped in a navy blue vinyl. After that I made an insert out of countless beveled diamonds that I cut from foam. Once those two pieces were joined together. I added straps and More 3D printed pyramid-shaped clasps to the corners.
Warlock Arm Bond:
For my arm band I started by making a 3D model of the emblem. Some of you might recognise the Dead Orbit icon. I printed my model out, and sanded all of the surfaces until smooth. After that came paint and weathering, with all the chips and nicks that come with it. I cut a foam band to fit around the arm of the coat and wrapped in black vinyl. The icon was attached with nylon webbing, and finally, a buckle was added to accommodate easy removal.
Step 7: Choose Your Weapon
Creating Red Death:
No guardian would be complete without a weapon. My weapon of choice was Red Death. For this I started with a killer auto rifle cast from Lost Viking props. This was a huge head start. HE offers a beautiful kit.
However, Red Death is special, and the auto rifle kit needed a number of custom pieces added before it could become Red Death. For those, I took careful measurements of the cast, to ensure the parts I created would fit exactly. Then I did some 3D modeling. I built myself a whole new front end for the weapon. This included a new barrel, sights and most importantly, the iconic bayonet.
Other extra pieces, I created by hand. Most notable are the studded panels that are attached to the sides of the barrel. Those were crafted from contoured pieces of Sintra that I then added spiked studs to. THe magazine and butt stock also received some custom add-ons to complete the transformation.
With all the pieces fitted and finalized, I primed all of the parts, then applied a silver base coat. Once again. I used toothpaste to mask out areas where I wanted paint chips to be present, and moved onto the next colors. Since this is a two tone paint job, some of the parts were painted a flat black, while others were painted dark gray.
To make them look like metal, the flat black parts were rubbed down with graphite powder on a soft rag. This method really gives them a nice, subtle, metallic shine. The remaining parts were cleaned of the toothpaste, and the paint chips were exposed for the next step.
The final step in the paint job was the red splatter that gives Red Death its name. This step took copious amounts of careful masking, then a quick blast of crimson paint over the exposed areas. Once the masking was removed I had a nice splatter effect, without the clumpiness. To really sell the illusion I did go back and add legitimate splatters here and there with an overly saturated brush, and a few flicks of the wrist.
The finishing touches and weathering were applied with an airbrush, and some stencils I made on my vinyl cutter, for the skulls that appear on the sides of the weapon. Then the whole thing was sealed beneath a clear coat for durability.
Step 8: Have Awesome People Take Awesome Photos of You and Friends
With all the hard work done, its is time to take the costume out for some fun. I finished this costume and debuted it at Dragon Con. I was lucky enough during the con, and thereafter to have some really talented people take some photos of it, some of which are above.
You may notice an Iron banner hunter in many of the photos. That costume is also one on mine, created for my wife, Angela. It was her first costume. Stay tuned, I plan on writing another instructable for her costume soon!
Thanks for reading!