Instructables

Transformers Soundwave Costume

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Picture of Transformers Soundwave Costume
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First off, I need to thank my wife for being patient with me as I transformed our apartment into an utter mess of cardboard pieces, stinking it up with burning glue and paint and long hours of me talking and obsessing over the smallest details of this costume. She is truly a champion and is worthy of a whole new level of praise for putting up with this. I’d also like to thank dannyeurena. Because he posted his method of building his costume, I was able to save so much time and expand on the ideas he presented. Thanks!

This year I wanted to making a really sick costume. I'm an artist and I wanted to push myself. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on it either. After days of pondering what I wanted to be, I decided on Soundwave—not the latest crumpled soda can Soundwave from the Bay movies, the original toy/cartoon one. Hands down he was my favorite toy. He had a rocket launcher and came with his own army of minions. This robot was upper management. After some research of various depictions, and fabrications, I began building.
 
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Step 1: Materials

The following list are materials that I used:

Building supplies
  • Cardboard (thick) Make sure it is rigid
  • Cardboard (thin)
  • Chipboard
  • 2” Packaging tube
  • Paper towel tube
  • (1) Metal ruler
  • (1) Triangle ruler
  • (1) Large matte knife with 6 blades
  • (1) Small x-acto knife with about 25 blades
  • (1) Pair of scissors
  • (1) Medium sized cutting board
  • (1) small tape measure
  • (1) Glue gun with (24) glue sticks (This is a MUST!)
  • Bandaids when you burn yourself with the glue gun
Painting supplies
  • (6) Rolls of packaging tape
  • (1) Roll of blue masking tape
  • (1) Construction helmet
  • (1) Can of spray primer
  • (1) Can of house paint (white)
  • (1) Can of spray glue
  • (2) Cans of blue spray paint
  • (2) Cans of silver spray paint
  • Various color acrylic paints (cheaper the better; blue, yellow, red, white, black, silver, gold)
  • Package of various sized brushes
  • Masking paper
Misc.
  • (1) Cheap pair of shoes (or use your own they won’t be damaged)
  • (1) Backpack (won’t be damaged)
  • (1) Gumball container
  • (1) Reading light
  • (2) Glow sticks
  • (1) Yard of black stretchy fabric
  • (1) 1” strip of galvanized steel
  • (1) roll of adhesive cork
  • (1) Translucent yellow folder
  • Velcro (about a yard of it)
  • (3) yards of 1” nylon straps
  • Elastic waistband
  • (1) pair of hockey gloves
  • (1) small sheet of framing plexi (used to replace glass)
  • Access to print services that can print on 11x17 paper
  • Pop rivet gun with 1/8 rivets
  • (1) sheet of 1” vinyl letters
  • (7) plastic easter eggs

Devastator, Jazz, and Shrapnel not pictured

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Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations21 days ago

Wow, that came out great. I can't believe you did it in such a short time frame. Your collection of Transformers keep growing. How are they holding up with all the use?

ha. we have 8 transformers now. i seems like each time we use them, they need a new paint job. lots of scuffs that happen from walking around. We ended up joining this band and dancing on stage, so alot of things ripped off and repairs need to be made prior to c2e2 on the 26th. Im trying to make a blaster carrying case that can play music for us.. How about your suit? do you get alot of scuffs? the thing that we are all having a hard time is the heat, especially our heads. Does your suit get insanely hot?

Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations20 days ago

Mine will have the paint chip off when I used it. I sprayed some clear coat to help it become a little studier. I totally feel you on the heat. It's very hot to wear and I use chemical ice packs to help with that. The best way to deal with the heat on the helmets would be to build in vents to help circulate out the heat. It would actually work with the nature of the designs.

SpicyPandaCreations made it!22 days ago

made it just in time. Used some of your model and added some of my flare. Thanks for a great foundation to work off of for all my transformers. gonna see if i can make some adjustments for a convention late april. maybe gonna try and make laserbeak

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hey sir, so i am building a soundwave costume now and trying desperately to get it done in 2 weeks. Im using your tutorial as a template and will make some adjustments to give it a more personal feel. can you share with me how you mounted the shoulder canon please??

Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 month ago
Awesome! The cannon had slots that slid into the shoulder. There was also a piece added to the missile launcher that helped stabilize it.

hmmm.. slots you say.. ok, i guess the only way to see it is to dive right in lol. ill keep you informed and post a pic when im done with it in 2 weeks. remember when i gave you the link to the transforming laser beak? i may not be able to do it within the time frame, but im gonna see if i can put it in someday. so gonna leave at least a 3-4 inch cavity in the chest. Thanks again sir!

Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 month ago
That will be awesome if you can pull it off. On the pic of the missile launcher, you can see the tabs. It's just an extended piece of cardboard that slides into the body.

COOL OVERLOAD.

Raktageno5 months ago
This is absolutely the most amazing thing ever! I will be making one soon. I'm thinking Fastlane or Windcharger.
Lexagonal6 months ago
This is amazing oh ma' lord. I am dumbstruck by how amazing this is. Do you think it would work for the other transformers from TF prime, personally I'm not a G1 kind of person, like if I used a similar method and material?
Incrxtc (author)  Lexagonal6 months ago
You could use the material for TF Prime. It would be more work because they have more curved surfaces, but cardboard it pretty durable, and once you paint it, it hides the seams pretty well.
bwoolard6 months ago
Dude that is so sick. Where did you get the patterns. I want to make a suit
Incrxtc (author)  bwoolard6 months ago
No patterns, made it all from scratch.
LinuxBox6 months ago
Simply AMAZING. I'm kind of partial because I still have my G1 Soundwave. Nonetheless, This is the most accurate reproduction I have ever seen.
Blaise_Gauba6 months ago
Really, really....REALLY awesome costume!
orcsmash96 months ago
Ever thought about using clear plexiglass and LEDs to make an energon cube? That would make for a cool accessory to this awesome costume.
Incrxtc (author)  orcsmash96 months ago
That's a really cool idea! You can frost the plexi to hide all the components. I might have to borrow that idea for the next Transformer costume I make.
vicacun19818 months ago
When I did my optimus prime costume I used masking tape all around then entired costume then I sprayed primer then the desired paint. I found this way cheaper and easier to use I must say that from time to time the masking tape was comin off from the edges but it wasnt a big issue
hey sir, hope you are well! just cosplayed at Chicago comic con and i finally was able to remake my lost face.
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Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations8 months ago
Wow, man. Those look awesome. Glad to see they are holding up and you're getting a lot of use out of them. Again, fantastic job on them.
o__o10 months ago
So epic!!!!
boom. thank you for all your help sir. it was a surreal experience.
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Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations12 months ago
Good show! Those came out awesome. Glad you got them all finished in time.
lol. barely finished... didnt sleep for sooo almost two days. and we lost my hotrod face at the convention, so i didnt cosplay. but next year.. and we have a soundwave now.. so i hope i can do your rendition proud.
they're coming along! 27 days to go. phew
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Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 year ago
Looking good! Can't wait to see them all finished up. You've certainly been busy.
You know it. I'm working on the devastator build now. I'm trying not to go overboard but I'm wanting to make things move.. But 27 days is not a lot of time. I still need to make thighs for a bunch of them, finish some construction for arcee, , start starscream tomorrow, and make 7 heads.. Ugh... It's times like these where I wish I had a "team" to do parts.. Like ace of cakes or pimp my ride....
awesome! thanks again for the help, would you prefer i message you personally or is this easier to reply on these posts? im gonna start painting with primer. do you really suggest a roller or do you think i can get away with a fat brush? sorry for all the questions, but i definately look to yours costume as a model.
Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 year ago
Either method is fine for posts.

I would suggest using the roller. A brush will leave brush marks that will be unsightly. With a roller, you don't have to worry about painting in one direction.
got you. also, how do you print off the vinyl stuff? just create it on something like photoshop and print? i just finished a bumblebee torso and am trying to put the windows in. .. also, do you also tape the bottom of the edges? like the legs or around the neck?
Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 year ago
Um, I'm not sure what you mean by the vinyl stuff. If you mean the decals, I hand painted those with acrylic paint. As far as the unfinished edges, I taped all those so they wouldn't scratch me. Good luck with the Bumblebee windows, that one is going to be tough.
Incrxtc (author) 1 year ago
The packs do sweat a bit, but it's not enough to warp the cardboard. I had it in a spot that had a couple of layers. For this costume, I needed it. Even though it was cold outside, this costume fits pretty tight and there is not a lot of circulation so it was a must. My guess is that try on your finished costumes and if they are fine, skip it, but if not, you can easily add it in later.
did you find the condensation from the ice pack messed or warped the cardboard? i know how hot cardboard suits can get, but im wondering how much the fans actually helped you? im debating about putting the fans in the bigger costumes if you really think they made a significant difference.
btw, if you can, you should include this in your soundwave costume

http://s109.beta.photobucket.com/user/CardboardCostumes/media/Laserbeak%20Production/LaserbeakComplete.jpg.html
Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 year ago
That is pretty sick. The costume does have room for this, but the cassette cover on the chest slides up. I kinda just want to make it for fun and hang it up somewhere.
that is awesome.. i was trying to figure out how to make a foot, but i see you put the box over the actual boot. good deal.. is the circle on the side a way to keep the leg up? right now, alot of my robots look the same, but i think they will look different once they are painted
Incrxtc (author)  SpicyPandaCreations1 year ago
The circle is the pivot point for the ankle. The leg has a concave portion that it fits in so it never has to hit the ground. It stays in place with gravity and still allows you to articulate ankle movements.
here area few samples i had on my laptop. most top halves are done. I also made a a glowing "matrix of leadership" that fits inside the chest of my hotrod costume. For the crane arm of devastator, the actual arm and bucket of the vehicle moves. Thanks for your input sir! definitely appreciate the consultation and feedback!.
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