Introduction: How to Make a Transformers: "Bumblebee" Costume
One of the most iconic figures in the Transformers is Bumblebee. My friend loves him as a character, so we decided to make her a costume for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2)
A special thanks to David Ngo for his his awesome picture. Check out his site below for amazing photography
A few things to note:
*This costumes works exceptionally well for short people.. say 5’5 and under.
*Constructing these costumes takes a long time and makes a big mess
* The costumes are very hot
-Black long sleeve t-shirt -black gloves
-4 thin flat boards of wood.. say 1x1 ft/ board
-lots of cardboard
-lots of hot glue
-heavy duty exacto knives/ razors
-2 large juice bottles with caps
-old low top gym shoes
-double sided velcro
-comic card board
-mini mag lights
-reflective color sunglasses (blue preferably)
-clear plastic (can use plastic food containers)
- shoe strings or reg string
Step 1: Feet
1) Take your exacto knife and cut across the width of shoe sole where the ball of your foot is.. The easiest way I found out is to bend your foot forward a bit with the shoe on, and that way you can see where the shoe naturally bends. This is because when you walk, your shoe needs to “give” a bit so that it can bend while walking. (pic 1)
2) Take your old gym shoes and place them on the flat pieces of 2x2 board (1 board for the heel, 1 for the toes). sketch an outline of bumblebee’s foot and cut it out. Cut the curve out of the front piece and then hot glue the shoes directly onto the board (pic 2)
3)next, you are going to start encasing the shoe in cardboard. The important thing to note is that the shoe is bumblebee’s hood when he is a car. So the front of the short should be curved. (pic 3 + 4)
* it is important to note that there will be a significant amount of space in front of your ankle. We added some foam there so that it wouldnt be bothersome when you walked. (pic 5)
Step 2: Feet: Details
in order to make a wheel, use a bowl or something circular to make 2 circles. then take a strip of cardboard and glue it closed. take a smaller circular and make a hubcap. we cut the wheel in half, as you don't ned the entire wheel.. remember the less weight on the costume the better.. more accessories and weight = more heat. (pic 1 + 2)
For the fender, we extended two pieces of cardboard from the side of the foot. We then took some comic cardboard and bent it in order to make a curve. we then masking taped the whole thing. (pic 3)
To make the headlights, cut off the top of your soda bottle. basically you need the portion that the cap screws into. (pic 4, Fig 1)
Make a cylinder out of cardboard that will hug the bottle top and is wide enough for your mini mag light to fit into. Then cut directly into the fender of the foot and glue in the cylinder. take the bottle cap and cut out the top. replace it with some blue acetate. you should be able to put the mag light in and out of the cylinder and close it with the bottle cap. (pic 4, Fig 2)
Add a strip of cardboard to the front of the foot to make the bumper.
Now if you put your feet together, they should look somewhat like the hood of the car.
Step 3: Legs
1. The thighs are basically boxes (pic 1). They are just angled in and there is a little section cut out if you are a dude for your :;ahem:;.
- add an additional strip around the bottom of the thigh so that the calf piece and be attached to it. (pic 2,A)
2. Poke a hole on the sides (hip side). Take a metal circle washer and glue it on either side of the hole. get some string or more shoe lace and thread it through. about 4 -5 inches should do.- The washer is there so that the thread will be supported by the washer, and not the cardboard (which can easily rip through with wear/tear)..
3. To wear the thighs, you need a belt around your waist. put on the thighs and then use the string to tie them to the belt. This way, they do not fall when you are walking around.
Bumblebee’s calf is just a rectangle. It is just slightly wider than the strip underneath the thigh.
the sides of the calf are slightly elongated. as they will fit over the bottom of the thigh pieces the back of the half is just a little bit shorter so that when you bend your leg, it doesnt catch on anything. (Pic 2, B)
now that you have both pieces, join them together with a metal fastener and washers. (pic3)
Step 4: Body
- For the body, you start out with the waist. make a box that fits around you. (pic 1)
- Then, you start making a larger box around that section that will be the chest part. (pic 2)
- you will add the sides . (pic 3)
- However, the front part of the chest is the actual “hood” of bumble bee when he’s a car, so it’s elevated. You are basically using 4 trapezoids and a square for the center. (pic 4 and 5)
- you can start cutting out the windows from the chest piece.
Step 5: Shoulders + Fender
We added squares to each side for shoulders. they do not have a top at this point in time. we added 2 styrofoam squares to have the shoulder lid rest there. (pic 1)
make a lid (2 pieces) for the neck area of the chest piece, but make sure you cut out a square in the middle so that your head can get through. attached to the neck lid is the shoulder cap. you can secure the neck with masking tape, as it will function like a door. velcro a hatch in the back.(pic 2)
* after continuous wear and tear, we actually added some fabric to the backside of the tape to give it more stability.
we added 2 “tires” to the shoulders. also, cut out the windows from the chest.
* After some tweeking, we decided to cut the shoulders off and attach them to the lid with elastic. That way, the wearer can put their arms up and down.
I also decided to add details and add a fender for these wheels. The details for the costume really make it.
I just took some styrofoam and carved and sanded it into the shape i wanted. then covered it in craft foam. (pic 4 + 5)
At this point, you should have something that kinda resembles a car (pic 6)
Step 6: Back Wheel
On the back of Bumblebee, he has a big “O”. it’s like making a wheel, but there is a hole in the middle.
I believe we used 2 bowl, and cut out a an "O".
Then cut 2 long strips and run them on the inner and outer ring of the "O" (pic 1 and 2)
Glue it onto the back once finished (pic 3)
Step 7: Pelvis
Now that you have your Chest/ waist and thighs, you can determine how large you need your pelvis to be. It is 4 pieces (2 sides, crotch, and butt).
Picture 1 is not of bumblee's pelvis, but concept is the same
I just added some random details based on the pictures i found.
. Once completed, you can attach this to the waist through the use of velcro and fabric.
Step 8: Biceps, Forearm, Hands
In-depth explanation in the shrapnel tutorial
Biceps - Make a box around your bicep. you will be attaching this to the shoulder piece with velcro (pic 1)
Forearm - Make a box around your forearm.Don't forget to angle the top near your elbow (pic 2 and 3)
Hands - you are essentially making 3 rings per finger (2 for your thumb) (pic 4 and 5)
Step 9: Face
1. The face is comprised of 6 main pieces: 2 cheeks, a mouth, 2 cheek bones, and a forehead (pic 1 + pic 2)
2. Once glued, add a nose. we cut a small slit in the nose to assist with breathing. Also, add a mouth, and add lips (pic 3)
*sometimes it is good to have a open mouth. if this is the case, place some black fabric on the inside of the mouth. this also helps with breathing.
3. Take your sunglass lenses and glue them in from the inside-out.
* Prime and paint your mask first before you add your sunglasses.
Step 10: Helmet: Base
1. To do the helmet, begin by making the crown illustrated in my previous tutorial, “how to build a Darkseid costume” (pic 1)
Do this with the mask on because the mask increases the size of your head. (pic 2)
2. Once that is done, stark thickening it up by adding the details. (pic 3 + 4)
3. Note that bumblebee’s helmet kinda curves in around the chin and he has a mohawk in the middle. (pic 5)
Step 11: Helmset: Horns
1. start with a cardboard skeleton.
2. next, cover them with bondo, sand, and attach to the helmet.
Step 12: Finished!
At this time, you should have all the pieces assembled.
1. Seal all the seams of cardboard with hot glue and make sure to strengthen them by filling in all the little spaces within the cardboard.
2. then you will take masking tape and cover all the seams so it looks like the joints are one piece. -
3. once complete, primer the whole thing and paint each piece the designated color.
4. Put the clear plastic inside for the windows of the chest.
5. Don’t forget to print out an autobots emblem
That should be it! Transform and roll out!
Links to my other Transformers costumes:
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