Introduction: Proto Man Costume
This year after talking it over with my sons we decided to continue with the Mega Man theme costume. My youngest wanted to wear the Mega Man costume, and my oldest wanted to help me build a Proto Man costume.
I thought it should be pretty easy since they are so similar. I can use my experience from the Mega Man costume, and make improvements along the way. The one thing I wasn't going to change was the finish. I think the fabric (cotton in this case) wrapped components make a great looking real life conversion of cartoons/video games.
This is another lengthy instructable so I will break it down like this:
3. Proto Buster
5. Gloves & Bracers
The complicated components will each have multiple pages.
Step 1: Shield - Step 1: the Base
The shield is a big change from the Mega Man costume. I wanted to accomplish a few things with it. One is of course the recreation of the original. Next I wanted to make it fairly comfortable for my son to carry for a few hours. I also thought it would be a great place to put the bag for collecting all his goodies.
It takes me a good bit of time just to find the right materials that will allow me to create what I am looking for. I had some immediate thoughts about the shield and they turned out pretty good.
I needed something large, made of heavy plastic with a curve to it. First thing I thought of was a garbage can. But they don't make that many smooth surface cans, I was in luck with BRUTE. I was able to get their smallest garbage can. Although it was a little costly, well worth it, since it worked out so perfect.
BRUTE Garbage Can
Roll of Paper
After getting all the materials I needed I made a template from a roll of brown paper that I have. I took a large piece of the paper and folded twice. Once along the vertical length and the second time along the horizontal length (like making a paper snowflake). I drew a line that would make up 1/4 of the shield, then cut. Unfolded it and had a complete template for the shield.
I then put the template on the garbage can. Since I wanted the shield to be concave in both horizontal and vertical (and since the garbage can wasn't tall enough to get the shield in one piece), I used 1/2 of the template to cut out the shield. The thing that I needed to figure out was the bottom edge of the triangle needed to have a curve to it. So I added an inch to the bottom line, then made a curved line up to the sides of the shield.
After marking the same template on both sides of the can, I cut them out with a hole saw. The reason I used this was it cut pretty good and fast, and allowed me to make a curved cut. I then cut a strip that was almost the length of the widest horizontal line on the shield. This is the bonding strip that I will glue the two pieces of the shield to.
Then sand down all the edges, but they don't have to be clean. Just get ride of all the burrs. Also sand the bottom of the triangles (where the two pieces of the shield will meet. Also sand the surface of the bonding strip. The plastic epoxy bonds better with a roughed up surface than smooth.
In one of the two pieces cut a hole out for a lookout. For this I used the utility knife since I needed a nice clean line. I had to be careful not to go too hard or else I would over cut. Not a huge deal as it shouldn't effect the end product.
To attach the pieces make sure you are ready since the drying time is 5 minutes. Create some kind of a stand that will keep the shield steady. I held the sides with some scrap pieces of lumber. The top and bottom were lifted just slightly giving it that concave form. When you are all set mix the epoxy and apply liberally to the two pieces of shield and the bonding strip. Work fast since it is a long joint and you only have 5 minutes.
Step 2: Shield - Step 2: the Handle
My son needed a way to hold this. The shield was going to be holding his candy and he would be carrying it for a few hours probably. Because of this I wanted to give him a couple of choices on how to carry it.
Black PVC (I think these are for irrigation)
Cut the following pieces and put them together as in the picture and glue. Make sure that you rough up all surfaces with sandpaper before attaching.
This gives him the ability to put either arm through either the left or right side of the handle and hold onto the other side (arm in a horizontal position). That or he can simply hold the crossing bar between the two handles (arm in a vertical position).
Step 3: Shield - Step 3: Edging
The shield is overall white with some red trim around the lookout hole and edge. The thought here was to cover my messy edges of the shield and also make it kid friendly. Copper piping insulation is what sprung to mind for the outer edge, and gap insulation for around the outlook hole.
Copper pipe insulation (the smallest I could find)
Use the Scissors to cut the gap insulation in half length wise, so that you have a 1/2 circle piece of foam. Then cut 4 pieces that will fit around the outside of the outlook hole. Don't forget to 45 the corners.
For the outside edging I used one long piece of pipe insulation. The piece that i picked up had a cut down the length that just need a little tearing to open it all the way. This cut is what lets you easily apply it to the outer edge of the shield. I push the tube onto the shield where the cut is. I started at the top of the shield and put an angle cut on the insulation. Then wrapped it around the edge. I cut out a small bit of the bottom corner so the foam would fit better. Then cut another angle at the top so the two side would meet up properly. I found out that after I did this, the edging would only really fit on in one way (I couldn't reverse it) because then the angles wouldn't line up. Which was fine, just something to keep in mind.
Step 4: Shield - Step 3: Skinning
For all the skinning in this build XXXL to XL T-Shirts were used. I had access to very cheap shirts, and was cheaper than getting the fabric from the craft store. Again this is ideal in this kind of build given the stretchy forgiving nature of the fabric, and to the cute fluffy look you get at the end.
XXXL White T-Shirt
XXXL Red T-Shirt
Fabric Spray Adhesive
3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive
If you did the template for the garbage can right, you can just use that as the template for the white t-shirt. Cut it out and then use the spray adhesive. Spray both the inside edge of the shield and the edge of the fabric. Let it get a little tacky then apply the white fabric to the shield base.
Spray the outlook window and edges from the inside (since the fabric is covering the outlook hole, it is a great way to apply the adhesive without having to worry about overspray). Next cut the fabric from the outside that is covering the outlook hole. Cut it in an elongated "X" or ">-<" pattern so there is some fabric on each edge that can but wrapped to the inside. Roll the cut fabric inside and apply to adhesive.
For the outlook edging just cut a few small pieces of red fabric to cover them. Spray both the fabric and gap insulation. Apply fabric to insulation. Then spray the back of the newly wrapped insulation with more fabric spray, and apply to edge of outlook opening. Use the red thread and sew the corners together if needed.
As you will no doubt understand by this point, that spray adhesive is messy and a pain in the ass to work with. This is exponentially worse on this long outer edge tube. Luckily it also a little forgiving as I had to pull it off and keep setting it bac down till I got it just right.
With that warning out of the way, start by cutting a long strip of cloth. The width should be enough to cover the tube, and wrap on the inside of the cut opening. I did this by spiralling up the t-shirt. Next spray the fabric and carefully lay the tube in the center of the fabric. What I should have done is marke the center of the fabric with some fabric chalk before spraying it with the fabric spray. Next pull the fabric half way up both sides of the tube, all the way down. If you pull it all the way around in one part, then it will start to bunch up (which is what happened to me). Eventually you want to wrap the cloth to the inside of the tube along the cut that runs the length of the tube.
After you are done with that nightmare, push it onto the shield. I didn't bother trying to glue this on. I just decided to sew the top and bottom. Since the tube fits on so deeply, it holds itself on.
Step 5: Shield - Step 5: Outlook Covering
Probably wondering about that hole in the middle of the shield. This step actually happened after the white part of the skinning, but before the red edging. Also if you need tint, go to a local car tinting company and see if they have any scraps that are big enough. I did this, first place I went helped me out for free. Watched the guy go in the back and hunt a little in the garbage can.
Spray bottle filled with soapy water
Cut the plexiglass to have about a 2" over hang compared to the shield cut out. Cut the window tint so it has about a 1" over hang. This will ensure that your plastic epoxy can bond directly to the plexiglass and not the tint.
To apply the tint make sure there is no coating already on the plexiglass (if so remove). Get a spray bottle filled with soapy water. Peel the backing off the tint which will expose the sticky side. Spray the sticky side of the tint and the plexiglass down with soapy water. Apply the tint to the plexiglass and center it up. It should slide around pretty easily at this point. When happy with its location, use a credit card to press the tint into the plexiglass.
Now with the tint side of the plexiglass facing the opening in the shield glue it into place with the epoxy. Make sure that you are applying the tint to the outward facing surface of the plexiglass (if apply it on inside bunching will occur on the tint if you apply it before you install onto curved surface of shield). Hold it in place with something heavy till the glue sets (or just push it down yourself).
Step 6: Shield - Step 6: Candy Bag
Last but not least (especially for my son) is the candy bag.
Black XL T-Shirt
Black Velcro (not the sticky kind)
Hot glue the plastic side of the velcro onto the inside bottom edge of the shield. I started right below the bonding piece of plastic.
I didn't use the template for this since I wanted the bag to have a bit of an opening. I put the T-Shirt on the inside bottom of the shield upside down. I wanted to use the bottom edge of the T-Shirt as the top edge of the bag (so I didn't have to worry about finishing it). I made sure there was lots of slack, and then marked the fabric with the chalk.
I cut this, then put pleats in the edges of the fabric so that it would keep its form. I am sure someone with more experience would have done this different, but I got by. I then sewed the velcro onto the edge of the fabric.
Now just attach the velcro and you are done!
Step 7: Helmet - Step 1: Get and Prepare Helmet
Since Proto Mans helmet wraps around the back of his head and stops at his cheeks I decided to get a youth motorcycle helmet. I needed something that was mostly round (and does not have funny looking forms in it). I lucked out by finding the perfect helmet on ebay for next to nothing (only spent $18 with shipping on it).
Youth motorcycle helmet
Piece of garbage can plastic
DIMENSION Coring Drill Bit
Dremel (cut off disk bit)
First thing I did was to rip off all the little plastic accessories on the helmet, along with the visor (saving the visor for later use). Then I masked off the area that I wanted to cut so the helmet would cover the cheeks, but not the mouth. Using the dremel I cut the mouth piece off. I ripped out all the unneeded inside linings where the cheeks are.
I cut holes in the sides where the ear pieces were going to go. Looking back at this I probably didn't need to buy that expensive drill bit. It didn't have to be as accurate as I made it, and the dremel would have probably done the job just fine.
Next I made a template with the brown paper for the widows peak. Cut the garbage can with the utility knife. Took the weather gasket at the top of the helmet off, so I could apply the widows peak. Epoxied the widows peak to the helmet and held it in place with some small C-Clamps.
I wanted to use the visor that came with it as the visor that would match the costume. So using a dry erase marker I drew the shape of the visor I wanted, then cut it out with the dremel. This then could fit between the shell of the helmet and the styrofoam behind the widows peak.
Used sand paper to rough up all the areas on the shell of the helmet that needed filled with car bondo. Layered car bondo into the cracks and areas. Took about three or four applications to get it done. I know that I was covering this all up with fabric, but I didn't want any lines to show through especially since I pull the fabric so tight on the helmet.
Step 8: Helmet - Step 2: Skinning
I did this almost exactly how I did the Mega Man helmet. It turned out pretty good, having the large white piece covering the widows peak helped a lot.
XXXL Red T-Shirt
White fabric scrap
I started with the bottom of the T-shirt at the front of the helmet. I pinned it at the widows peak, and the corners of the cheek areas. Then stretched it back across the helmet. I knew I was going to need a seem in the back, so I stretched one of the sides tight across, then marked a line where I was going to cut it (just past the center mark). Cut the line then taped it down. Repeated on the other side. Then I pinned the two sides together.
I took the fabric off, making sure the pins for the widows peak and cheek areas stayed in (this was my reference). I turned it inside out, and using the fabric chalk I marked the seam before removing the pins. I removed the pins, flipped the fabric at the seam the other way (since before the excess fabric was sticking out of the helmet, instead of inside). I followed my chalk line and sewed the seam together.
I pulled it back onto the helmet. I cut a couple of pieces to fit on the inside of the helmet by the cheeks.
At this point I handed it off to my lovely wife who was willing to do all the hand stitching. This allow me to get the electronics in :)
Step 9: Helmet - Step 3: Ear Pieces & Electronics
For the ears I found these perfect rubbery drain covers for like $4. They are supposed to protect your drain from hair going down it.
Rubbermaid 1 cup Twist top containers
4 AAA Battery Pack
Red & Black wire
Hot Glue Gun
I had to prepare the drain covers by using my dremel to sand off all these little nubby things sticking out of it. Then I laid the white fabric on top of them and used the fabric chalk so I could cut out the pieces. Next, using the spray adhesive I attached the fabric to the drain covers. I added hot glue in places that needed more hold.
The drain covers where so perfect, they even had holes to mount the LEDs in. I put the LEDs in place and added hot glue for stability (so the LEDs would be facing straight up). I soldered on some red and black leads to the LED for later installation. I then cut out the bottom of a small round plastic container, specifically 1 cup Rubbermaid Twist tops. I sanded them down on both sides (I like this foggy look). Put hot glue in the hole of the drain covers and dropped the sanded container bottoms into place.
To install, I cut the red fabric from around the hole I had previously drilled into the helmet, and hot glued the red fabric down. I punched a hole through the styrofoam so the wires from the LED had somewhere to go. I hot glued the ear pieces to the red fabric so they would sit flush and not fall out.
Next I wired everything up. I needed one resistor at 27Ohms and the switch and battery pack. For the battery back I cut out a rectangle shaped box out of the back of the helmet in the foam. This allowed more than enough room for the batter pack. I didn't glue it in place since the black fabric that came with the helmet would keep it from falling out, and I would need a way to take the batteries out. The switch just sat in front of the batter pack. I soldered everything together and hid the wires. This ended up coming out looking very clean, and I was quite happy with the results.
Step 10: Helmet - Step 4: Hand Stitching Applique's
Like I said this was accomplished by my lovely wife who as more patience than I do, and is a better hand sewer.
White Fabric & Thread
Red Fabric & Thread
I made a template for the white part of the helmet, it covers the widows peak with three triangle shapes shooting up it. I cut out a white piece of fabric, leaving plenty of extra at the bottom where it will wrap around the widows peak. Having this white piece really helped out. I had one fold in the red that I couldn't get ride of, but would be hidden behind the white. Also, looking back now, I might have been able to do away with the seam in the back, as I could have pulled the fabric to the front, and had the white fabric cover it.
My wife then stitched all the loose pieces of material to the inside of the helmet where she could. The widows peak had to be glued into place because of the visor that was fitting between the helmet shell and styrofoam.
Step 11: Proto Buster - Step 1: Shell
This again was built in a very similar fashion as the Mega Man Mega Buster. The main difference was the extra LEDs at the tip.
32 oz Thermal Mug (from Publix if you have one)
Rubbermaid 2 cup twist top containers
Rubbermaid 1 cup twist top containers
other various round plastic containers
Curved Hobby Scissors
I need the following pieces to make the shell:
Bottom of body
Top of body
LED Channel for body
Cloudy window for LEDs in body
Cloudy windows for LEDs in Tip
Main beam LED holder
Cloudy cover for main LED beam
Starting with the mug, I saw off the top (which frees it from its inner lining. Then using a dremel I cut out the bottom, leaving a lip for the next container to attach to. Then I saw off the handle and smooth everything off. I take the handle and cut off the curved parts and one side of the handle (length wise so a cross section looks like a "C" and not an "H"). Using a dremel and the handle as a guide, I cut a window in the body for the LEDs.
For the bottom of the body, I use the curved scissors and cut out the 2 cup rubbermaid container. For the top of the body. I use a dremel to cut a heavier plastic bowl (it was the only thing I could find that was the right shape and size). I then used the palm sander to get this to fit better.
I take two kids plastic containers (I forget the brand, but they come in multiple colors and have animals etched into the side). There were two yellow bowls in the pack, so I use these. Using a marker, I mark where I want to cut. The curved scissors do the cutting (they really are needed for cutting these bowls). I then sand one of them down for the window cover, and the other I cut windows into for each of the 5 LEDs. I forgot at this point that I would need a way to hold the LEDs in the tip, but I solved this later
I use two of the rubbermaid 1 cup twist top containers. Mark and cut. Then sand the cover down on both sides.
I cut a handle from the thinnest piece of PVC piping I can find.
At this point I have all of the shell components, but given how it needs to go together, I don't glue everything yet.
Step 12: Proto Buster - Step 2: Electronics
Before starting assembly I layout all the electronics since there is a little more to deal with here.
2 @ 2 AAA battery packs
Black and Red Wire
I lined 5 yellow LEDs on one side of the breadboard, 6 yellow LEDs on the other side, and one green in the middle. Then I figured out my voltage and current, then choose the right resistors. Wired everything up. You can look at the pics for the results.
The only design decision here was to have two batter packs. I did this for three reasons: better weighting, easier to glue into body, and easier to get batteries in and out of it.
Step 13: Proto Buster - Step 3: Skinning
Since things need to go in a certain order this step will just cover skinning, but not everything will be put together.
Hot glue gun
I started by Epoxing the handle and top onto the body. Then a make a template for the body. Do this by rolling the body with brown paper and marking it. Trace it onto red fabric then cut and sew. Make a template for the top of the body, cut, sew to main body skin (this was tricky for me, but it was a good enough job for me).
Put skin on main body. Glue top of skin to inside of the shell with hot glue. Next sprayed adhesive onto LED window area, then cut fabric and attach to inside. Then epoxied window cover into place.
For the tip I just used a scrap piece of gray fabric and pinned it up. Took it off flipped it inside out, marked with fabric chalk my line, and sewed it together. Put it back on the tip and then sprayed adhesive. wrapped the top and bottom edges around to the inside. Cut all the windows and wrapped the extra fabric to the inside.
Step 14: Proto Buster - Step 4: Install Electronics & Finish
Red & Black Wire
Shrink Wrap Tubing
Hobby Hand Drill and small bits
First I took the Main body LED channel and marked where I wanted the LEDs to go. Then I drilled small holes for the LED leads to fit through. Then I stripped a long bit of red and black wire and soldered all the connections together.
For the tip, I realized I didn't have anyway to mount the LEDs. What I did was to cut the bottom edge of a square plastic container into little "L" shaped pieces. This way they would be out of the Main Beam holders way. I drilled small holes in the bend of the "L" shaped pieces and installed the LEDs. Using the marks I made, I lined each "L" shaped LED holder and epoxied it in place, one at a time.
I drilled a couple of holes in the main beam holder and installed the LED and leads. I then hot glued this into the Tip before installing the Tip LEDs (did it in this order since the Main Beam would not fit in with the Tip LEDs installed). Next soldered the Black and Red wires to all the Tip LEDs. I then pushed this into the tip and hot glued it in place. I finished by wiring up the main beam and tip LEDs with their resistors and leads that are long enough to reach out of the Proto Buster. Place the Tip onto the main body of the Buster, making sure to line up the seams on the fabric. Hot glue in place carefully. I then flipped it over and kinda poured in hot glue from the other side to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. The only thing to be careful of is to not use too much hot glue or it will pour into the windows (which happened just a little bit for me).
Route the wires on the inside of the Proto Buster. I used black tape to hold everything in place while I epoxied it down. I should have either painted or put more black tape around the light bar in the main body to cut down on internal light. I epoxied the last piece, the bottom container, onto the main body. Then hand stitched the skin up the bottom container and hot glued it into place on the inside.
Step 15: Boots
I did this basically the same as last time. The only difference is how I held the boot on center compared to the shoe. The Mega Man ones would twist to the side sometimes.
1/4" foam (like a yoga mat)
Red Fabric & Thread
4" thick White foam (like cushion foam)
So last time I made templates through trial and error. This time I figured something out. I made my first template for the cone part of the boots based on the picture from the Mega Man ones. This failed, but then I folded the template in half, and then in half again (so 1/4 of the template showed) What I found was the edges didn't line up. So I made a new template where I could fold it down into quarters, and everything lined up. This worked perfect. For the shoe cover part... I think I just got lucky, and got it on the first try.
Using these templates I cut the foam. To bond the foam together I used a hot glue gun set on low temp (or else it melts the foam). Then I put the glue on one of the edges to bond, then line up the other edge and press together. This creates an almost seamless continuous shape.
I took the templates and marked my fabric. Leaving plenty of overhang to wrap the fabric to the inside of the foam. I also marked my sew lines. Sewed the ends together and put them onto the foam. Hot glue both the top and bottom to finish skinning the boots.
Then I hot glued the two pieces together, along with an elastic strap. The elastic strap serves two purposes; first it holds the boot in an oval shape instead of a circular one, then it also holds the boot down on the leg as the strap will go underneath the shoe. As for how to glue the two pieces together, I tilt the cone back a little so the knee opening for the boot is over the back of the foot. This allows two things as well; the foot can sit further back, and there is room for the front of the shoe to fit under the front of the cone.
The last step is to cut the white foam and put it into place. I put the boot on top of the foam, and using a marker I trace the inside of the cone. Next I put the shoe inside the oval I just drew on the foam, with the back of the shoe about 1" away from the back of the oval. This pushes the front of the shoe to the edge of the oval on the other side.
Using an electric knife I cut on my lines, with a slight angle because of the cones taper. Hot glue it in place and we are done. I was thinking that I might have to attach the shoe to the foam somehow, but that turned out not to be necessary.
To put them on, you put the boot on first, slide it up above the knee. The foot should come out of the boot between the elastic strap and the front of the boot. Put on the shoe. Pull the boot down, and place the elastic strap on the bottom of the shoe.
Step 16: Gloves & Bracers
Again, this is just like the Mega Man build.
1/4" foam (like a yoga mat)
Red Fabric & Thread
Since the bracer is such a simple shape I just marked the foam directly and cut it out. Used the foam as a template to cut out the fabric. Sewed the ends together. I glued the foam together to turn it into a cone and covered the foam with the fabric. Hot glued the fabric on the inside of the tube.
For the glove I made a template by tracing my sons hand. Cut this out and put on fabric. made two lines around the template. One line for sewing on, the other for cutting. Flipped the template and marked a second piece. Cut and sew the two pieces together. Turn right side out and this is done.
Step 17: Suit and Scarf
Gray Fabric & Thread
Red Fabric & Thread
Yellow Fabric & Thread
Luckily I had my mother-in-law here and she can easily sew these things. She made the pants and shirt. Decided to make the red stripe on the suit just a big elastic band on the top of the pants.
I made the scarf, but that was just cutting a rectangle out of a yellow shirt, didn't even sew it.