Introduction: How to Make a 8-BIT SHARK BEAST Cardboard Costume

About: Artist, Designer, Cosmaker, Cosplayer, Musician. I make Costumes, Music, Art. Feel free to message me with any question about my projects. I hope you love my instructables projects, and have a lot of fun makin…

Hello there, here is my Instructable: "How to make a 8-bit cardboard costume."
based on the Metroid: Silver Space Pirate cosplay by Dan Cattell, a 16-bit, 8-bit style costume.

This is my entry for the Instructables Cardboard speed challenge.
the idea is make something based on the original Dan's Idea but slightly different.

Step 1: Inspiration and Resources

I was inspired by the art of Dan Cattel, he makes 8 bit and 16 bit style figures based on retro videogames
and that attracted my attention, but I did not want to do the same design,

So I decided to make some modifications, looking at the pincers of the original design and the armored
exoskeleton I only thought in one thing, a SHARK BEAST!
then a marine hybrid creature came to my mind, and I decided to follow an aquatic theme.

For this I used the base of Dan's design, which are from the Super Metroid Game, the space pirate character.
the design can be found in the spriters-resource page (ripped by Tommy Lee) in this link:

but in order to really make something cool but different, I decided to merge it with shark parts, so I decided to use this design,
that I like personally, the Shark design from the game RPG Maker 4 (ripped by Davias) in this link:

After that I proceed to mix the two designs, aesthetically and with a clean composition to get the final
Shark-Crab creature form. (do not forget the appearance of the pixels).

Step 2: Materials

  • List of Materials:
  • 1 A computer.
  • 2 Printed material.
  • 3 Paperboard.
  • 4 Cardboard.
  • 5 Contact cement.
  • 6 Screws.
  • 7 Velcro.
  • 8 Hot glue gun.
  • 9 Black paint.
  • 10 Scissors.
  • 11 Knife or X-Acto.
  • 12 Wooden sticks
  • 13 Screwdriver
  • 14 A drill
  • 15 A Dremel (optional)
  • 16 last but not least: Patience.

Step 3: Breakdown and Fusión.

Break down the sprite design of the Space Pirate and the Shark individually
After this select the parts that we will use, and separate them from the original design.

Then, if you wish, you can make color modifications, for this I used the saturation/hue tool in photoshop

here is a tutorial from the NEW LAYER channel on youtube to make the color changes in the image file:

after that you can make some extra color adjustments with the selective color tool in Photoshop.

For mine I change the colors allusive to the sea. You can do whatever you want, the results have no limit.

After merge the both designs generate the individual parts, which will then be printed, the result should be as in the image. Then identify the number of parts to print. and finally organize in the print file.

Step 4: Print and Cut

Dan's design is hand painted and is a great work, ours will be just as stunning
but we will save a little "time" (if you can say) using another method: editing our Design and printing it.

After print, cut all the pieces and then paste them on thick paperboard, then cut each individual piece
to paste it on the cardboard.

I advise you to take the measurements in photoshop before printing
so that the final size fits your height.

Step 5: Cut the Cardboard Pieces

After mount and cutting from the paperboard the design with the scissors.
Repeat the process one more time...
Glue the pieces with the contact cement on the cardboard,
then cut out all the pieces of the cardboard design.

Be careful, take care of the details.

Step 6: The Bunch

After cutting each piece, you will have a big disorder of pieces.
So now it's time to organize each face with his corresponding counterpart.

My version will be different from Dan's design.
His costume can only be seen cool from a Lateral position, and from the other side
you can see the person without the disguise, then I think the illusion of the suit is lost.

Then I decided that my design would be with faces on both sides.
that is the reason why, we must organize each piece with its corresponding partner.

Step 7: Suit Up: the Feet

Now is the time to assemble the suit, it must be wearable, so we must look for a way to adjust it to the body,
so it's time for Velcro!. For this step cut velcro strips and with the help of the hot glue gun stick them on each piece.

Before gluing it use the dremel to scrape the cardboard and create a small subsidence so that the glue sticks better. (this is optional)

Remember glue with the gun each counterpart of the opposite side of the velcro then
reinforce it with a piece of cardboard to give it more strength.

Later join this piece of the feet with a cardboard rectangle in the front, this to give it solidity

After that you will get something like the last images.

Step 8: Structure It: the Arms

The claws...

For the Claws, Head and Tail pieces we will use the wooden sticks and the screws,
since for their weight it is better to give them a little structure.
we will also use the velcro on selective parts.

For the sticks, take the measure that gives you a comfortable position for your arm
consider a good distance between the two sides and place a rectangle of cardboard too
between the front of the two faces for greater stability (where necessary)

Use a drill to make small holes in the sticks
to make it easy the entry of the screws.

Also we will use the screws with washers to give articulation of the arm,
so that the cardboard does not wear off.

Step 9: Suit Up: the Legs

Repeat the previous processes:

The velcro assembly and also the articulation with the screws

Locate the articulation points well and don't forget to use the washers
cut the ends in a round shape to give better articulation and then assemble the entire leg.

Step 10: Structure It: the Tail

Repeat the previous process:
The wooden sticks and the screws. to give it structure.

    Also cut out extra cardboard parts to reinforce the structure
    so that there are no wrinkles in the carboard

    To adjust the tail you will need a strap or belt that will pass through both sides of the cardboard
    Cut two small holes where the strap passes and fit your waist.

    Step 11: Suit Up: the Chest

    For the two pieces of the chest calculate the thickness of your arm and make a cut in the central part as indicated in the photos, the idea is that the arm comes under pressure and fits naturally.

    Step 12: Structure It: the Head

    Repeat the processes of the wooden sticks of the tail, on the front nose and on the rear fin.

    but now add a extra velcro strap in the center to keep the head adjusted

    Step 13: Paint It, Black

    Now take each piece of the suit and paint the inside face black
    to give more detail and the illusion of darkness, don't forget the edges.

    Step 14: The Final BUNCH

    Now simply organize all the pieces to have a final view of what the suit will be

    Step 15: Now It's Time to Suit Up :)

    Finally put on the suit, do not forget to wear a black suit below the cardboard and if possible a black mask to create a better illusion.

    Hope you have enjoyed my Instructable

    Be sure of make amazing moves... and that's all dudes.

    I hope to see several retro characters soon at the cons. the possibilities are endless.

    have a nice day :)

    Cardboard Speed Challenge

    Participated in the
    Cardboard Speed Challenge