Hello Instructoids. I am happy to finally share a costume build that I completed in 2012. I used as many recycled materials that I could and I spent about $150 total, mostly on duct tape, batteries, and hot glue. A lot of this costume was guesswork, and will probably be a little bit of trial and error for you too. It was a blast wearing them around, and still is.
I am 6' 5", so these measurements apply to us giants. I'm sure you can make a smaller version if need be. I have friends from 5' to 6' that could wear these costumes just fine.
-Hot Glue gun
-Spray Adhesive (optional)
-Packing/painters Tape (whichever works for you)
-Duct tape Red & Blue approx 7 rolls each
-Exacto knife / razor blades
-Ruler/measuring tape (optional)
-Approx 48 Ping Pong Balls
-Red and blue (spray) paint 1 can ea
-2 red & 2 blue Led lights & appropriate resistors
-8 AA Batteries & 2 holders
-2-4 Pipe cleaners for mouth (optional)
-8 Nuts & Bolts (for Elbow Pieces)
-Fabric (Blue/Red/ and See through black)
-Momentary Switch (optional)
-Red and Blue Clothes to wear under
Step 1: Arms & Trim!
(I am going to cover a lot of my own experience building. Please read carefully.)
ARMS: The first thing I did was trace my arm onto a piece of cardboard. I then added about an inch or two to the lines drawn and cut out a bunch of arm sized rectangles to build the forearm pieces. Cutting the upper end of the forearm round helped me achieve the ability to move them freely. I also cut into the forearm piece right where my biceps went for even more mobility. I used packaging tape to hold the pieces together to mock them up. This allowed to me to make changes as needed. I did the same thing for the upper arm constantly trying the arm on to make sure it was comfortable and was able to move. After making the upper arm I cut a large oval out so I could put my arm in. As you can see in this picture I cut out a strip of cardboard approx 6"x 48" and used it as the runner (or "elbow") behind my arm to keep the whole thing together and also make the arm able to "hinge". BUT I ended up removing the connection between the forearm and the upper arm and eventually attached them with bolts, two bolts for each arm (see pics). The hands are made buy using two half circles for the sides, and just a strip of cardboard bent around them. Fill arms as desied with any kind of foam you'd like. This will help the robot arms cling to your puny human arms without the use of elastic.(<-- top of shoulders, all sides of forearms, inner upper arm, etc)
After you have created on arm that works really well for you, cut all the packaging tape with an exacto knife. Now you have just created the TEMPLATES needed to make the other three arms!!! Now just trace, flip, trace, Cut, tape, and repeat.
TRIM: Using the TEMPLATES you just made, you can trace them again to then create the trim pieces. The quickest way I accomplished this was to cut out 2-3 trim pieces and gluing them together for each individual body part. Just like cutting out the "side" of an arm, but you also cut out the center at about 1" in from the outer radius. (See pics.) At this time you can also cut out the circles need for the elbows and hips. (It's easiest to take a piece of cardboard over to your arms, after gluing on the trim pieces and eyeballing how big you need them.) Then using whatever method of cutting circles you want (a cup, a string and pencil, a compass etc.) Cut-Trace-Glue-Cut-Trace-Glue-Cut-Trace-Glue- etc. If you are like me, I learn well from pictures, so definitely look at my pics for reference, I barley measured anything while I was building...MY apologies. The trim pieces are tedious yes, but it works well for those raised edges on the costume. Don't forget about the outer trim pieces, and also the "cross" looking strips that go on the arm, inside the "trim" pieces. These are just 1" thick strips of cardboard (see pics)
We will cover the "Bolt" looking accents a little later.
(if you would like to see what my final arms looked like, check out the pictures in the next few steps.)