Introduction: Life Size Groot Movie Costume
While not a new character by any means in the Marvel Comics Universe, (believe it or not, Groot predates Iron Man by three years) Groot was a over-looked if not unknown character from the Marvel Universe. I can admit that my first real introduction to the character was in the 2014 blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, I loved the movie and chemistry between Rocket and Groot, I liked both characters equally, but seeing that I'm right around 6 foot 2 inches tall, I opted to be Groot.
The photos above are of my costume on its stand and me wearing it next to my aunt.
Step 1: Desperation
While there was no doubt in my mind I would have to make some/ most of my costume, but after seeing the nightmare fuel that is commercial made Groot mask (see above) with it's big creepy human lips, soul staring eyes, and cleft chin.... (deep breathe) I decided to make the whole entire thing from scratch. And now we start.
Step 2: Things You Will Need.
To be honest I didn't keep track of my spending, best guess, $150 (not including tools)
- $50+ Dremel and Sanding Drums(I use the this term because I own a Dremel, any handheld rotary power tool will do)
- ~$30 Soldering Iron or wood burner
- ~$40 Heat gun (don't cheap out and try to use a stupid blow dryer!)
- ~$10 X-Acto Knife
- ~$15 Glue Gun (I used a large Glue Gun, hind sight being 20-20 I would recommend a smaller, low temp one)
- ~$25 Long John/ Athletic wear Shirt and Pants (as long as it's thin long sleeved/ legged)
- ~$20 Interlocking Gym floor panels/ EVA Foam (I got mine at Lowes)
- ~$10 Cheap Gloves (full fingered gloves)
- ~Free Crappy Sunglasses (don't act like you don't have a broken pair of knock-off, Chinese made glasses)
- ~Free 2x 5-Gallon Buckets (You probably already have those too)
- ~Free Old Shoes
- ~$5 Bolts and Washers
- ~$3 Rubber house caulking
- ~$30 Assorted, Pre-Slit Piping Insulation (Get more than you think you need, then grab 3 more)
- Free Brown Water-Based Paint ( If you don't have this give up now)
- The rest of the cost will be split between spray-on Plasti-Dip and Krylon "Khaki" spray paint
- Hermit status here we come! (about 2 straight months)
Step 3: Scaling
*This is very important.* I highly advise using scale before you spend the money to make this costume.
Let's talk about how tall Groot is. While there is no real right answer to this, I figured out his average height in movie using simple measuring and math. I found a upright standing Groot image on the interwebs that was 9 inches tall when printed out, I then found a picture of Vin Diesel at the movie's release with stilts to make him "Groot height", a quick Google search showed that Vin Diesel is a flat 6". I then found that the stilts he was wearing were about 1 foot 7 inches tall, 7 foot 7 inches tall, the magic number. I then divided up the 9in tall picture of Groot into 7 and half parts (to compensate that I'm 2 inches taller than Vin Diesel). I then check scenes from the movie with my new scale and found it to be pretty darn accurate. Above is one of the most helpful scenes for scaling.
Step 4: Head
First, thing I did after scaling is the mask. Trace test patterns onto paper until you find one that fits your head and matches Groot's head pattern. Next copy the pattern onto a piece of the EVA foam mat, cut it out with the X-Acto knife, bend it around, and hot glue it. Then take a Dremel with sanding drums and start shaping the face, cheeks, and eyes. Take your time, take material off slowly and accurately.The mask is something you can't rush, it's the the literal face of the the character. Next use a soldering iron and melt the small details and grooves into the foam. Once that is done use the X-Acto knife and lightly drag it on the mask, this creates smaller, finer wood grain. By now you have noticed the small fuzzy foam bits all over the mask, simply use the heat gun to melt and knock them down. After you get the mask shaped and detail the way you want it give it a couple coats of white Plasi-Dip and a coat or two of tan spray paint ( I used Krylon Camo Fusion in Khaki). When the paint dries use watered down brown acrylic paint and give the mask a light wash. Now mount the eyes. To do this, rip the lens out of your sunglasses, and place them in your eye holes. It's important to note that in order to make good looking eyes make sure lens and eye holes are bigger than you want on the final product. Now you can use the hot glue gun and layer the eyelids on the mask, bringing the eyes to your desired eye size/ shape. Then spray some tan paint in to a cap and touch up the eyelids. And you're finished. Extra: I didn't include it in the supply list, but I have found that model hobby turf can be used to make moss on the costume.
Step 5: Body and Chest
Chest and back panels on the costume are done in the same manner as the head. Scale, cut, shape, paint, and moss (if desired). To make the vines for the body use the foam pipe insulation (I used pre-slit ones in diameters ranging from 3/4 in. to 1 1/2 in.) Cut them in half long ways, put in wood grain using the Dremel, and hit with heat gun to knock down fuzzies. Then paint one coat of Plasi-Dip and even coats of tan paint once dry. Repeat this for 30+ tubes. Now it's a "fun" game of randomly weaving, cutting, and gluing vines on to the long-johns to look nature while still allowing movement. Some notes from my experience: Glue the chest plates on first, this way you can tuck the ugly vines' endings behind them. Stop the vines on the pants a quarter way down the shin, this allows enough room to attach the feet.When trimming vines leave extra length at the hands, neck, and knees. Also the shirt should overlap the pants.
Step 6: Hands and Feet
Feet: Next are the hands and feet. The feet are 5 gallon buckets, which get drilled into three times. Then drill three hole in the shoe, they should line up with the ones in the buckets. Now just bolt them together. Vines that were not used on the body can now be glued on to the buckets. The vines should be long enough to attach where at the knees (I used Velcro for this).
Hands: The hands are constructed off a pair of fleece gloves. Each finger is sandwiched between two thin pieces of EVA foam and then Dremeled to shape. You can then apply silicone caulking and brush in into a woody looking pattern. Make sure you mix in the tan-brown color into the caulking before hand. After it dries you can paint the EVA foam fingers.
Congratulations! You are now done with your very own full size Groot costume! Thank you very much for viewing my post. Please leave any questions and comments in the box below.
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