Introduction: Dead Space 2 Cosplay — Creating the «Advanced Suit» Suit of Isaac Clarke

I have been planning to do a cosplay on Isaac Clarke from Dead Space 2 for a long time so I tried to make as many interesting technical solutions as possible. Finally, I was able to get to it.

If some points do not seem to be clear enough - please let me know and I will try to explain some descriptions more detailed.


Instruments I used:

  • - Construction hair dryer
  • Glue Gun
  • Airbrush and compressor
  • Laptop and the Arduino IDE to make and test software for components
  • Brushes
  • Sewing machine
  • Engraver
  • Respirator

List of the materials:

  • "Liquid rubber" (for example plastidip)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Biflex fabric with custom print
  • Genuine leather
  • Stamps on leather
  • Acrylic Matt varnish
  • EVA of different hardness (30, 50 and 70 shore hardness)
  • Transparent PET plastic (1mm thickness)
  • Contact glue (like Bardge cement)
  • Neoprene glue
  • cyanoacrylate
  • Knives
  • Bublestar (thermoplastic)
  • Polymorphous (thermoplastic)
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic sealant

Links for useful materials created in the course of work on suit

Step 1: Study of Source Materials

In the game Dead Space 2 there are more details of the Isaac’s costume than in the first part. Besides there are more moving elements (for example, shoulder flaps).

That is why I chose Advanced Suit - stylistically it was a fiction design of the 90s and 2000s, as opposed to the standard engineering suit in the science fiction style of the 70s and 80s.

In the beginning of any costume creation, craft etc the very first thing which you should do is to research all the all the details of references, specific elements and pitfalls of all what are going to work with. That is why I started searching.

I found an official artbook about Dead Space games, researched the suit in the game, and also found the 3D models. There were the best information resources for the future works. - model i used in addition for in-game model

Step 2: Drafts and Patterns Design

Based on the 3D model and textures used in it, I started making patterns of armor elements using free vector editor - InkScape.

For the part of the elements (such as some frontal armor elements, leg armor elements for the basis) I used their images in the model’s texture, because there were not visually distorted and were depicted with the overlay on the object of the required form.

For more difficult elements, such as drafts design, I used the models themselves by fixing the camera and an angle for the most correct elements display and armor details. After that I copied it by hand in the vector editor.

As a result I got many small details of the armor.

I opened access to those materials if someone would like to make this suit or just see the progress. The link on the materials is added to this article.

Step 3: ​Fabric Development for the Suit

After researching possible variants of manufacturing base of the suit I decided to use the custom print on fabric printing and then to sew a suit using this material.That was the best option for me because it make sewing process easier.

As a start point I decided to use the model texture. But it's original texture size was 1024x1024 pixels – this size was ten times smaller than the minimum required for printing. So I used a neural network and made a new size: 12000х12000. (I used one of free services which enhance image and it's resolution).

Of course there were lots of blurry details which I should fix in image editor.

While I was researching all kinds of sewing patterns of the suit, I found some good materials about the fabric printing.

For example here I found free patterns for the printing and costume design of Spider Man.

But after some more research I understood that the most of suits and patterns were made with same type of sewing pattern. But it was quite complex with different details which make process of drawing suit pattern much more difficault that's why I decided to do it by my own way: make suit from 2 big halfs and the sleeves.

After that I made a prototype suit from cheap fabric where I drew an example of a costume pattern. I used that to make easier transfering in-game texture to fabric design to correctly project it.

After the suit was cut and a pattern was made based on the cut. To transfer the pattern to digital form it was laid out on top of the cutingt mat with a centimeter grid and then was taken photo.

Now it was time of the photo processing and drawing in photo editor. The resulting photo of fabric template and all drawings was scaled with the distortion tool to make the centimeters grid correspond to the guides in editor.

After alignment in the vector editor, the outline of the drawing was drawn based on the photo for easy overlay.

Then was added a separate layer texture i recieved with the help of neural networks. A base fit position of elements was produced so that the elements depicted at texture coincide with the position of sketch elements at fabric.

After that, using brushes, stamps cloning and basic primitives like lines, I cleaned and redrawn texture to match the image drawn on fabric.

Then finished file was sent for printing on biflex (just got 4m2 which corresponded to the minimum volume available for printing), and after a couple of days I got the finished material and was ready to go to the next steps.

Step 4: ​Electronics and Its Programming for the Back Module (RIG)

As heart of the back module I used the Arduino Uno board (original version). It was required to control backlight of the RIG (healthbar and stasis level of the character module), servos (two SG90 servo motors to control flaps on the shoulders), recieve signals from IR sensor and so on.

List of components:

  • Arduino Uno
  • SG90 servos
  • wireless module NRF24L01
  • IR receiver HX1838 with remote control
  • Controllable RGB LED strip WS2801

As a healthbar and stasis was used RGB-controlled LED strip WS2801 - which allows you to program various animation effects, turn on necessary segments, etc., which is an ideal hardware solution to implement functionality presented in the game.

To control different parts of the RIG (position and animation of the shoulder "flaps", health level and animation effects), it was chosen to make a backup solution (case failed working with NRF24L01 modules).

In particular, it was decided to use IR sensors for the possibility of controling RIG functions using regular IR remote control. Of course it was not so nice as wireless solution, but with help of my wife who change different modes of my RIG it worked fine :)

For this purpose, I collected HEX codes for the remote control's buttons, and then it was possible to assign the necessary actions for these codes in cycle (for example, to play the "animation" of the movement of flaps with the help of servo drives, turn on necessary type of backlight, etc.).

But as one more way of control was chosen wireless module NRF2401 - which allows to carry out bidirectional communications for node up to 8 devices that will allow to control separate modules on the greater distance and not to depend on visual hindrances, and also to carry out synchronous actions for different electronic blocks of costume - in particular to combine control backlight of helmet and back module, to synchronize opening the helmet visor and movements of flaps etc.

Used version of code was published by me in a public repository on Github -

Next, let's analyze in a little more detail individual fragments of code and working with the above mentioned modules and devices.

Step 5: Working With Servo Motors

Library “Servo” is used to operate the servo motors (in particular the SG90).

#include <Servo.h>

Next, you need to declare the variables that would be responsible for the necessary servo motors.

Servo myservoLeft; Servo myservoRight;

Further in function “setup” we set which Arduino pins we hang the servo motor «data» wire, for example:

void setup() { myservoLeft.attach(4); myservoRight.attach(3); }

After that we can control servos by sending the required angle of rotation via command.


Where 50 is required angle of rotation.

At the same time, the servo makes this turn "instantly" - so if we need a smoother change of position of the servo, we need to gradually change the angle of rotation doing between them delay, for example:

for(inti=start;i>pos;i--) {myservoLeft.write(i); delay(time);}


  • “start” is the start position of the servo
  • “pos” - ending position
  • “time” - delay between the servo states.

(In this case, cycle operates works for the start position greater than ending position).

Step 6: ​Working With Controlled LED Strip WS2801

Library FastLED is used to operate controllable LED (and in particular the WS2801).

FastLed library could be found on Github or site with documentation about using this library.

Bellow i will show you some examples of code in my own project.

First of all we need to include header file of the library

#include <FastLED.h>

After we need to declare variables which will be responsible for the array of LEDs, their quantities and DATA and CLOCK constants with pins value to which we connect LED strip to Arduino.

#define NUM_LEDS 17; CRGB leds[NUM_LEDS]; #define CLOCK_PIN 6#define DATA_PIN 5

Further in function «setup» we install at which Arduino pins we hang the servo «drive» data wire, for example:

void setup() {FastLED.addLeds<WS2801, DATA_PIN, CLOCK_PIN>(leds, NUM_LEDS);}

After that we can control the ribbon by setting the tedious color in the array of LEDs (where index in the array is the number of the desired LED).

For example, we can turn on a certain segment of the ribbon (with red color).

leds[7] = CRGB( 255, 0, 0); leds[6] = CRGB( 255, 0, 0); leds[8] = CRGB( 255, 0, 0);

Or show «running» segment glowing over a ribbon.

for(int dot = 0; dot < NUM_LEDS; dot++) { if (dot>1) {leds[dot-1] = CRGB( 0, 255, 0);}leds[dot] = CRGB( 0, 150, 150);; // update tapedelay(50); // make delay.leds[dot] = CRGB::Black; leds[dot-1] = CRGB::Black;//turn off LEDs till next update}

Step 7: ​Manufacture a Suit

After the developed fabric was produced, my father and I started to make required suit (at this stage, assistance was required case of lack of skills in sewing the suit from biflex, plus assistance was required for fit due to the inevitable deviations from the original pattern due to the difference in fabrics and their elasticity, which is very difficult without using mannequin with suitable parameters).

After the initial sewing, places with excess fabric were marked (for example, there were excess fabric in the legs and arms, corrections were made in the back area, and so on).

After the next check, a lightning bolt was installed on the back (covered with a back module) and the suit was finally sewn using a stretch seam version and added Velcros for attaching parts to a suit.

Step 8: ​Manufacture of Back and Frontal Armor

For a back and frontal armor used templates created on the basis of 3d models. As a materials were used EVA, leather and transparent PET plastic for luminous elements.

To create a central luminous block, I used a cardboard bushing to form PET plastic with a construction hair dryer in the form of a tube.

For leather armor elements, the necessary pattern was embossed and for mobile parts were attached the most common hinges were made.

Step 9: ​Manufacture of Arm Armor

Based on the drawings made in the first stages of creation of the suit, I began to place on leather vegetative tanning the pieces of armor on arms.

The leather as a material was chosen because of its strength and resistance (since for the elements of arms) and also the possibility to apply the necessary pattern by embossing.

After I finished embossing the necessary patterns, I started painting using acrylic paint (see «Painting» section for more details).

Step 10: ​Manufacture of Helmet

Sketches of the location of the opening mechanisms of the helmet

The discovered model for Pepakura was used as the basis for making the helmet, and manual construction of parts from the original image of the helmet was also used.

Stages of creating a helmet

During the creation of the helmet, it was decided to abandon the full assembly based on the pepakura file — so some of the elements were created by building the necessary shapes using masking tape — and these shapes were cut into pieces of EVA foam.

To open the helmet, it was decided to add two connections of the opening mask on the sides of the helmet, rather than using loops on the top of the head (otherwise, the opening would have been too high).

Step 11: ​Manufacturing of Legs Armor

For the manufacture of leg armor, also used templates created at the stage of building all the necessary materials.

It was decided to make part with boots in the form of overlays to regular shoes - which will allow more to move more comfortably in the suit in comfortable shoes.

For this purpose with food wrap and masking tape, shoes were wrapped and templates for armor boots were made on the basis of this.

Stages of creating an armored boots

Then the templates for the main armor of the legs were cut out. Previously had to rescale the foot template a few times, since original version was not big enough for my feet.

As fasteners on the boots were made elastic bands on top of the boot, and the heel was fastened with Velcro.

For the main leg armor in the ankle area, the front and back parts were connected by elastic (the length was calculated by so to allow the foot to be inserted) and at the top of calf the armor parts are connected by Velcros.

The result is a connection that is strong enough and convenient enough for wearing.

Step 12: ​Process of Painting

The following actions have been taken for painting:

For elements made of EVA the preliminary primer "liquid rubber" was made - the composition is similar to that of characteristics plastidip, after which elements were colored in the basic color.

Further, more small parts and surfaces of a different color were worked out with the help of art acrylic paint, and after that additional parts were worked out by airbrush.

When working at acrylic paint and with an airbrush, I usually distribute acrylic with vodka - in my experience, spraying is better, less "spits" and the airbrush contamination. But it's better to check for yourself)

Then everything were covered by acrylic lacquer.

Used regular acrylic Matt lacquer which can be found in any construction or car shop.

For leather elements of armor, acrylic painting and airbrushing of details were performed, followed by wax treatment.

Leather preferably paint by ordinary art acrylic , not acrylic for fabrics - since in the case of acrylic for fabrics the surface will remain a little sticky, which brings its problems. In the case of art acrylic - paint the surface is perfectly held, bending, deformation and scratching do not affect cover.

For the leg armor elements the course of painting and the materials used were similar.

Step 13: ​Electronics for the Helmet

The components for the helmet are generally similar to those described for the spine module.

The only important difference in technical means is the use of more compact Arduino Nano (because of lack of free space in the helmet itself)

The control scheme is similar and consists of two options - IR sensor and wireless module.

The scheme itself was assembled with the use of connectors and obviously tape, which allows to assemble a similar scheme in the field or in the absence of suitable tools under the hand.

Here is an example of how electronics works in a helmet.

Step 14: ​Manufacture of the Plasma Cutter

I used materials from SKS Props as reference to make the plasma cutter.

Then, based on these reference materials, I decided to learn how to work in the Fusion 360 program and create a model of cutter for the subsequent laser cutting.

I decided not to make plasma cutter gun fully out of plywood with laser cutting, but make some parts manually using EVA foam and some thermoplastic (bubblestar) in addition to lasurcutted details.

Then the model was remade into a set of flat parts and saved in CDR (and SVG) for the laser cutting.

After preparing and cutting got this constructor (image of details on table)/

Then the assembly process started.

During the assembly process, I also added a flashlight with a dynamo inside the cutter, so you don't have to charge the cutter separately and could turn on led only with help on muscular force.

My project files at Fusion 360 -

Step 15: Photos of Finished Plasma Cutter

Step 16: Photoshoot of Finished Cosplay

Photos from great photographer Dmitriy Gabdukaev

Step 17: Photos From Conventions

LED Strip Speed Challenge

Participated in the
LED Strip Speed Challenge