(A Crazy Ray Production)
Hello everyone, I am known to all my friends as Crazy Ray. I would like to start by telling you how I was motivated to make a 5 person assembling costume named VOLTRON FORCE. I was at a Halloween party when I saw some of the most inspiring costumes. I decided to make a costume that was dear to my heart and what better costume to choose then the DEFENDERS OF THE UNIVERSE! Woop woop!!!!
Making a 5 person costumes in a matter of 2 months was definitely pushing it. Don’t get me wrong, I was doing 10 months of research and advance purchases building my game plan. I built this costume all by myself inside of a 2 car garage.
I used a wide variety of all build techniques: Foam cutting and gluing, fiberglass, sewing, liquid plastic coating, riveting, bolting and painting. My hands hurt and my body aches so I hope you enjoy my step by step tutorial.
Step 1: Step 1: Universal parts
My first plan was to make all the universal parts which were the lion legs and forearms.
2. Straight edge
4. band saw
5. bench sander
6. Modeling clay
I made templates out of cardboard and then copied it over to wood. I used wood to make the base of the molds. I found that the best tools for this project were a band saw and bench sander.
My next step was making the fine details with modeling clay. The Sculpy brand worked just fine. I would sculpt and heat the clay in the oven to harden it. I attached the hardened clay to the wood using a Hot Glue gun. Sorry my vacuum forming video would not upload.
Step 2: Step 2: Lion Helmets
I always try to start with the helmets because it keeps me motivated. I used the same Vacuum molding process. The molds were sized to fit on baseball helmets. I detailed the base molds with plastic coated foam and sheet metal (the jaws).
1. Heating elements
2. 0.60 Polystyrene plastic
3. Staple gun
4. Wooden frame for polystyrene
5. 6.5 Horsepower vacuum
I made a generic wooden mold that took care of 2 helmets. All I had to do was add small details of wood to make a different mold. It turned out to save me about 10 hours of work per wooden mold. If you notice the faces look the same.
Step 3: Step 3: Red & Green Lion
1. Non-fatigue foam
2. Razor cutter
3. Paint brush
4. Mixing cup
5. Liquid plastic by smooth-on
6. Hot glue gun
I used Non-Fatigue foam flooring for the red and green lion. I coated them in liquid plastic from Smooth-on products. This was my first time using both liquid plastic and foam but it worked out well. The only problem I had was attaching the finished foam to the MX chest protector. My trick was wedging the foam between 2 solids or just using big bender-washers. You just can’t bolt to it or it will rip through the foam.
Step 4: Step 4: Blue and Yellow Lion
1. 2 light weight aluminum ladders
3. Fiber glass
4. 2 black belts
5. 2 Pre-made groin pieces
6. 4 pre-made bicep pieces
The lion helmets, legs, arms, claws and even the groin pieces have been made, so the next step is hiding the 2 ladders (LEGS) of the costume. I designed it so that once the ladders came off the guys would be completely blacked out. I had to use panels of fiber glass coated cardboard. The panels were re-enforced with thin metal piping so it could support the biceps and groin pieces.
I basically turned the ladders into backpacks by bolting a paintball protector vest to the inside of the ladder. I sewed matching fabric over the vests instead of painting. It was fairly simple but time consuming.
Step 5: Step 5: Black Lion& ME!
"AND I'LL FORM THE HEAD!"
I purposely waited to make the Black Lion at the end of the build because I was looking forward to refining the techniques by building all the other Lions. It definitely paid off, I ran into so many problems before this point I knew what to look for.
Once again I started with the helmet… You know why lol. I framed it higher so there would be an empty cavity for the face to swing down. Pop-rivets were my best friend in this process; they helped with keeping it light weight.
1. Frame the helmet
2. Make templates
3. Copy templates to wood
4. Make wooden mold (Vacuum form)
5. Sheet metal the jaw
The next step was making the chest/torso:
1. Cardboard the front and back and coat with Fiber Glass
2. Sheet metal the top shoulder and attach the front and back pieces
3. Make the shoulder boxes of foam and plastic coat it
4. Make the antenna of metal pipe and cover it with plastic coated foam
The only thing left was the hips and thighs
1. Get hockey pants
2. Vacuum mold the groin and butt pieces
3. make the thighs out of plastic coated foam
Step 6: Final Step: Practice run and paint
Before I started painting everything I knew I should do a practice run to make sure everything worked out right.
Wouldn’t you know it? It worked out perfect.
It took three 20hour days to finish painting this whole thing. I even had to jump into my back yard and get overspray on everything! just in the nick of time!!! Hahahaha
Step 7: Thanks and enjoy
In closing, I am very happy to show all my steps and secrets and I challenge you to make your imagination into a reality. Let me know if you need any help (firstname.lastname@example.org). People at events always asked what do I do for work. They thought I was an engineer, not even close! I work in the security industry and I run my own martial arts studio… THAT’S ALL!
Special thanks to my wife for all of her patients and valuable suggestions.
I would also like to acknowledge all the negative people who told me that I would never be able to do this. You gave me an overdrive button I didn’t know I had.
kinda wanted to win a contest this year but went home with a great story instead.
Thanks for reading
Sincerely, CRAZY RAY!!!
If you would like more viewer enjoinment please click the following youtube links. Thanks again
Us in action at club rain, official life version. Woop woop!!!!!!