Introduction: How to Make a "Guyver" Costume
Guyer is a manga that is a story about the high school student Shō, a guy who comes to find a symbiotic techno-organic device that enhances the capabilities of its host. The Guyver is virtually invulnerable, with its only weak point being the Control Metal. With this part intact, it can rebuild the host from their data it stores within, but if this part is critically damaged, however, the host will be eaten alive by the unit and perish. The Guyver suit also has high frequency swords that extend from its elbows, super strength and durability, a high frequency attack from its mouth, a pressure cannon, and a Mega- Smasher chest cannon!!
My friend is a huge fan and wanted to go as Guyver for the 2019 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. I'm always down for a challenge. Let's get started!
Some things to note about the suit-
-You are not as mobile as you think you are.
-Also, you are wider than your regular body due to the size of the shoulders and the width of the forearm blades.
-Also, It can be very warm.
-Your visibility is disrupted by the lights and the lenses
- You need a handler to help you get dressed and maneuver around crowded areas
- This is a VERY long intricate build, but well worth it if you can hang in there
- Black Lycra suit with face cover and gloves
- old shoes (preferably black dress shoes vs gym shoes)
- hot glue
- contact cement
- Eva Foam of varying thicknesses
- craft foam
- soldering iron
- heat gun
- exacto knives
- cutting mat
- DAP caulk
- belt sander
- dremel with various dremel bits
- roll of drawing paper
- press lights
- wire/ wire hangers
- hollow Ornaments
- tape measures
- clear plastic
- pink/ purple highlighters
- LED lights (optional)
- air brush
- acrylic paint
- air duster
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better.
Look up: 1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
Optional: 5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design. My friend and i discussed more of an organic type of looking suit so we wanted lots of textures in there.
Step 2: Duct Tape Mannequin (Optional)
In order to help with this build, I created a duct tape mannequin. These work great for situations such as:
1. The person is unable be continuously around to work on the costume. My friend lived out of state and i needed to be able to continue working on the suit while he was unable to visit. It allowed me to factor in his proportions when creating parts.
2. It also served as a way for me to put the pieces together to see a comprehensive image of what's happening.
3.This mannequin also served as a way to work on extra pieces by a third person while i was working on my friend. This was helpful during the times were were adding texture or when painting.
4. Mannequins are useful when you nee to airbrush things such as muscles on a body suit.
My detailed tutorial for the mannequin build is located here. Essentially what you are doing is wearing old clothes and wrapping yourself in duct tape, cutting it off, putting it over a skeleton, stuffing it with news paper, and retaping it closed.
Step 3: Lycra Suit
Get a fully covered black lycra suit (pic 1)
1. I used the chalk to outline a circle for my friend's face.
2. I used a spare piece of fabric and made a little tab that i sew near the mouth area. This is so that he can hold the tab in his teeth and hold the chin area in place while he puts on his helmet. The tendency is that the chin part of the fabric drops down when you push a helmet in place. This will keep in there.
3. I cut the gloves off about 2 inches about the wrist. If you think that the sleeves are now too short and your skin can be shown from under the armor, you can use some black stretch fabric and elongated it again. You need those gloves though!
1. I have not gotten this to work, but there are areas of the suit that are exposed at the joints (elbows, waistline, knees, etc. I think fabric puff paint might actually work to create some texture in these areas
Step 4: Neck Piece
1. Take a plastic bag and wrap it around your neck like a bib.
2. Take tape strips and tape the entire thing (pic 1, not same build but same concept)
3. Using a sharpie, Mark where the center of the neck is. That will help you establish a middle point.
4. Cut a slit directly in the nape of the neck to take it off and then retape it back together (pic 2)
5. From there, You can start drawing in your designs on one half of the neck guard. After all, the neck guard will probably be symmetrical anyways.
6. Cut the template into 3 parts (each side) and then transferred them to EVA foam (pic3)
7. Glue your 6 pieces together. (pic 4)
8. Add a zipper to the back of the neck guard to reattach it all together when wearing it. (pic 5)
9. Set neck piece aside for now
Step 5: Vest Base
1. Take your measurement from the top of your shoulder to a little above your waistline. The reason the measurement is NOT to your waistline is to compensate for how wide the belt is. Then you need to take the measurement for your width. Once you have your measurements, transfer those measurements to paper and fold in half. Draw your design out on the half sheet and then cut out. (pic 1)
2. once you unfold the paper, you should have a symmetrical paper template . Transfer that to EVA foam and cut out. This is your "base". (pic 2, Not of this build, but same concept)
3. Use your heat gun to soften the foam and then curl the shoulders and also the waist so it wraps around the person's body.
1.The back process is the same as the front process. You measure from the shoulder to the small of the back and from rib to rib. It's actually better to give yourself a little slack on each end, as you can always cut it down to fit the front piece.
2. Once everything fits well together, glue the shoulders togethers and sides.
3. typically, i would use buckles to snap the sides together, but i figured it would be very difficult as guyer has these weird rib coiled things which would make buckles difficult. So We decided to go with a 2 piece zipper down the middle ofthe back. (It's always best to put buckles/ zippers, etc on the sides or the back, as most picture will be taken of your front) (pic 3). You should now have your Vest Base
You now have the base for your vest. We decided to start with the abs..
1. Using your paper template, cut out the abs section. We use a thinner EVA foam for the abs. We used a dremel to bevel the edges off.
2. use your template to determine where the abs should go and mark with a sharpie
3. use contact cement to glue the pieces in place (pic 4)
1. Guyver has this orb looking thing in his waistline area. We made to make a decision if that was going to be part of the vest, or pelvis, but we chose to place it on the vest due to the practicality of wearing the suit.
2. cut your ornament in half and take it to the belt sander to get it symmetrical. the orb was painted at this point as it would be difficult to paint it later.
3. using that as a guide, I create a paper template for side details of the orb. (pic 5)
4. The then transferred the template to EVA foam. To create the angle, we soldered a horizontal line across the backside to create a channel. I filled the channel with hot glue and held it in place while the glued cooled. (pic 6)
5. Glue in place (pic 7)
Step 6: Pelvis
1. Start out by making a strip from EVA foam. I believe ours was 2 inches wide. we used two black plastic buckles to attach both ends together. We hid the buckles in the back.
2. We cut a piece of non stretch fabric and glued it to the inside of the strip. EVA foam can stretch, so the non-stretch fabric ensures that the belt will always stay the same size
1. Now, measure how long and wide you want the groin piece to be. Transfer on to paper, and draw out your design. Cut out the paper design, unfold, and you should have a symmetrical template.
2. Use the paper template and transfer to EVA foam. (pic 1)
3. I used my dremel to bevel the edge off.
4. Then we used an exacto knife and lightly cut until the piece to create the groove. apply heat from your heat gun to open up the cut.
5. Now heat the entire groin piece and either use your fingers or something like a golf ball to curve/ shape it.
6. Glue to your belt strip (pic 2)
7. We took a thin piece of black elastic and glue it to the tip of the groin piece and the other end to the lower center of the butt piece. This turns it into basically a thong, But it prevents the groin piece from lifting up when you are walking around.
1. Now, measure how long and wide you want the butt piece to be. Transfer on to paper, and draw out your design. Cut out the paper design, unfold, and you should have a symmetrical template. (pic 3)
2. Use the paper template and transfer to EVA foam.
3. I used my dremel to bevel the edge off.
4. Then we used soldering iron to create a vertical line on the inner side butt piece. Fill the canal with hot glue and hold in position until cool. (pic 4)
5. Use your heat gun to soften the foam and then press it against a bowl or a large ball to help shape your the butt cheeks. Guyver has a booty!
6. Glue in place and you should have the base of your pelvis complete. (pic 5-7)
Step 7: Back Details
1. Guyver has these two giant shoulder blade areas. We decided to make them out of 3 thick EVA foam pieces as they needed to be slightly large.
2. measure out your proportions, draw your paper template and cut into sections (pic 1)
3. transfer to EVA foam and sand each piece into the right angle.
4. Glue pieces together (pic 2).
5. Repeat process, but flip each side over so you can have the complementary piece.
6. Glue into place (pic 3)
7. You can also see that guyer has these side covers. As usual, measure out the pieces, transfer to paper, transfer to EVA foam, use a dremel to bevel the edges, and glue in place.. IF you can't get a good measurement, then take some duct tape and put it in that specific area. Draw directly on the duct tape and pull it off to get your template. Look to picture 4 for details.
8. There is also a small rounded piece that goes near the small of the back. We used the tape method (explained above) to get the shape. we contact cemented it in on one side and then used velcro to keep it down on the adjacent side.
Step 8: Chest Lights and Throat Triangle
1. I created a paper template of where the lights should go on the chest. You can also see where this upper triangle piece will go near the collar. the triangle part can be set aside (pic 1).
2. Cut out circles from the chest area and glue the lights in (pic 2-4).
3. Use the triangle template from step 1 and use it to cut out 2 shapes thick pieces of Eva foam
4. Glue those shapes together and take that to your sander to create a diamond. Glue in place (pic 5)
Step 9: Internal and Outer Pectorals
1. I knew that the pecs were going to cover the lights, BUT i wanted the pecs to sit securely around them. So i did NOT want to make the pecs hollow. Instead, i wanted to create a middle layer in between.
2. We used the template from step 1 from the previous slide and cut out the section i needed. Then we transferred to EVA foam. I drew a boarder around it because i wanted the pieces to be rounded to fit snugly inside the pectoral covers. We used the boarder to indicate what we needed to sand off with either my dremel or the belt sander (pic 1)
3. Set those pieces aside
1.Using the template from step 2, We redrew the outer pec template. (pic 2)
2. We transfered to EVA foam and heated to get a rounded shape.
3. We took the inner pectoral piece and glued it to the inside of this pectoral.
4. Then we took a strip of EVA foam and covered the sides of it, so we needed up with a pecs. Look to the picture for closer details (Pic 3)
5. Using a soldering iron, we drew in grooves in the the pec. (pic 3)
6. Then, we used some elastic and glued it to the pec and also to the vest . (pic 4)
7. we used some industrial grade velcro and glued that to inside of the inner pectoral portion and also to the vest itself. (pic 5)
8. The velcro allows the pecs to stay closed. (pic 6--8)
Step 10: Feet
1. For the feet, grab your shoes and masking tape the entire thing.
2. Draw your design directly onto the masking tape. We numbered them also just so we could keep track of each piece (pic 1)
3. Carefully cut and peel off each piece. Transfer each tape template and stick directly onto paper (pic 3).
4. Cut out and now you have your paper template (pic 3)
5. Transfer to EVA foam. Dremel off the edges and heat using heating gun. Use contact cement to glue directly onto your shoe. (pic 4).
Step 11: Shins
Now that you have your feet done, you know how each shin should be. I personally believe the shins were the hardest part of this build that somehow just got frankensteined together. This took some trial and error to get the shape i needed
1. I took the measurements and drew out the template on a folded piece of paper. (pic 1)
2. Cut the picture out. I knew there was going to be areas around the calves that needed to be indented, so i cut one tear-drop shaped side out (pic 2)
3. i also knew the bottom of the shin (around the ankle) was somewhat bulbous so i cut those into strips. (pic 3)
4. Transfer the paper template to foam. I also used the teardrop paper template from step 2 to create a Slightly bigger tear drop. i also had to create miscellaneous pieces for the back of the shin and the wedges for the ankles. (pic 4)
5.We ook the main shin and soldered a vertical line down the back so that it would create an indentation. (pic 6)
6. Then we glued in the back pieces (pic 7)
7. Then we glued the wedges into the bottom around the ankle to create a bulbous shape. Just remember, whatever you do for one side, do to the other (as the whole thing is symmetrical). (pic 8 + 9)
8. We took the tear-dropped shaped foam and heated it. Then we stretched it over a bowl to create a concave shape. We glued it in on either side of the calf. (pic 10)
9. We glued in a strip of EVA foam around the entire edge of the shin. We used the dremel to rounded off the edge of the boarder (pic 10)
10. We also used a rounded dremel bit to create the grooves along the sides of the shin (pic 10)
Step 12: Rib Coils
We started then working on the Rib coils.
1. We took a strip of EVA foam and used the belt sander to take off 2 of the 4 edges. this was going to be our "base"
2. Then we repeated the process with different thicknesses of EVA foam to create strips.
3. We then wrapped the strips around the base several times to make a coil. (pic 1)
4. We had to create 6 coils all together to wrap around the designated area. The coils looked to be just random sized, so we mixed and matched the sizes (pic 2)
5. Glue them into place from the chest to the shoulder blades (pic 3 + 4)
Step 13: Biceps
1. For the Biceps, we took stripes of EVA foam and essentially made an oval. (pic 1 +2)
2. Guyver has another layer on his bicep so i used the masking tape method to get my template. (pic 3)
3. We transferred that template to EVA foam. As you can see by the picture, the center of that additional layer needs to be puffed out. We used a soldering iron to heat in a groove. Then we used my heat gun to put out the center. We used hot glue to fill in the grooves (pic 4)
4. We glued in a rounded boarder, similar to the shin pieces (pic 5).
5. There was also a little lip that we created that went at the tip of the bicep. We made this so that the biceps gave an illusion that they connected to the shoulders (see pic 5 for details)
Step 14: Neck Details
Once we figured out the vest, It was decided that they neck piece had additional parts to it.
1. We created additional layers with various thicknesses of EVA foam.
2. The center adams apple piece was a thin piece of EVA. (pic 1)
3. The sides were thin pieces that were sanded down.(pic 2)
3. The vest actually sandwiched in between the 2 layers of the neck piece (pic 3)
4. The piece in the nape of the neck is a thick piece of EVA foam. The hole in back piece of the neck was filled with a layer of thin EVA foam. I beveled the bottom edge of the back piece to make it flow better into the suit(pic 4)
5. There was a second zipper that was in the seam of the outer neck piece. (pic 4)
Step 15: Thighs
The Guyver's thighs are quite odd shaped in the sense that they are very high in the hip area.
1. I measured the space between my friend's hip and the bottom of his knee (just above where the shin sits). Then i measured the circumference of his thigh.
2. We transferred the measurement onto paper and drew out my design (pic 1)
3. We cut out the design, including the tear drop shape around the hip. We also cut groves to indicate where Guyver had some muscle indentation. (pic 2)
4. We used the tear drop paper template to cut out a slightly larger Tear drop shape from foam. We made it slightly larger to compensate for shrinking when we ovaled the pieces. (pic 3)
5. We wrapped the leg piece around itself like a burrito and glued it in place. Then we glued in the tear drop shapes into the side. I also added a rounded boarded where it was needed. (pic 4
6. Once we knew the spacing between the thigh and the shin, we were able to make the knee pads. They're just a oval shape from thick EVA foam that was doomed with the use of a bowl.
Step 16: Forearms
The forearms are miniature versions of the shin pieces.
1. Measure the length and draw out your template on paper. (pic 1)
2. Transer to EVA foam (pic 2)
3. Cut out, including the tear drop shapes from either side. use your soldering iron to heat in a groove on the inner side. (pic 3)
4, Glue sides together and glue in a rounded boarder (pic 4 +5)
Step 17: Forearm Blades
1. Draw out your blades to the size you need (pic 1)
2. Cut them out of EVA foam and carefully start sanding the angles in with a belt sander (pic 2)
3. To give them some sense or rigidity, we used a wire from a coat hanger and skewered them inside each section. So that means 3 wires per blade. This was a difficult thing to do and sometimes i would poke through the blade, but feel your way through. If you mess up, you can seal any minor flaws/ holes with caulk later.
4. We cut a small rectangle into each gauntlet and used contact remember to glue it in.
5. We created a small rectangle frame from EVA foam to anchor the blades in with contact cement. (pic 3 + 4)
6. Your blades should be done (pic 5)
Step 18: Hands
1. Wrap your entire hand and fingers in masking tape (pic 1)
2. Draw your template directly on your hand. We like to number these pieces since there are so many (pic 2)
3. Carefully cut each masking tape piece out and transfer to paper (pic 3)
4. Transfer to EVA foam. Heat and bend into the right shape. Set all pieces aside (I don't have a pic of all the individual pieces unpainted, but the glove will look like pic 4)
Step 19: Shoulders
1. The shoulders are not too difficult. It's basically 3 pieces that are shaped like "boats". The bigger the boat, the bigger the shoulder (pic 1)
2. Glue all three pieces together. (pic 2)
3. Cut the pointed end off (pic 3)
4. Take the pointed end that you just cut off and glue it underneath to create a sub layer (pic 4)
5. Glue in a rounded boarder (pic 5 + 6)
Step 20: Helmet (part 1)
1. I used my templates from a previous mask. The instructions on how to get to stop one are within my other tutorial here. Basically i have a paper template. All you have to do is just draw it out and do some trial and error.
2. One you have your pieces (pic 1), then glue them all together. Use your heat gun to help create that rounded helmet shape. The helmet should be nice and form fitting.
3. Using tape, i covered one half of the helmet. This is because your helmet should be symmetrical, so anything you draw on one side, will allow you to do it to the other. (pic 2)
4. Draw your design directly onto the tape (pic 3 + 4)
4. Now you carefully cut away the tape and use the space to draw the design onto your helmet on both sides (pic 5). Don't throw that tape template away because you will need some of those pieces.
5. Use your templates to enlarge the eye sockets and start adding on layers. I started with the long back pieces and the checks (pic 6)
6. You are going to start adding layers to the face to glue them in various places. Remember that the mask is symmetrical. I also used the soldering iron and dremel to create grooves . Look to the picture for detailed specifics (pic 7)
7. i cut the center hole for the orb that was already pre painted. I glued that in place. Look to the picture for more detailed specifics (pic 8)
8. As i knew there was going to be a covering over the orb, i had to add in my texture now. I used the glue gun to glue in thing streaks of glue. I used an air duster to quickly cool the hot glue (if you hold the duster upside down, it shoots out COLD air).
9. Create your crown cover (pic 9)
Step 21: Helmet: Antenna and Top of Head (part 2)
1. Now that you have the base of the helmet, figure out how long you want the antenna to be.
2. To create some rigidity in the antenna, i used a coat hanger wire and inserted it in the center of a thick EVA foam strip. I soldered a grove down the center, curve the wire, and glued the wire in place. (pic 1)
3. I then used another strip of EVA foam to enclose the wire (pic 2)
4. Then i tool the strip to the belt sander to get the main shape correct (pic 3)
5. i used the dremel to carve in groves on both sides all the way to the base of the antenna. I then took two pieces of thin EVA foam and created two triangle layers to sit at the bottom. Look at picture for more specific details (pic 4 + 5)
6. I created two holes on either side of the skull area to glue in the other two orbs. I used the dremel to create th ripples around each ball. (pic 4 + 5)
7. I used on more flat later of EVA foam to create the top layer that covered the crown and around the skull. Look at picture for more specific details (pic 6)
8. I poked holes through the cheek pieces for breathing.. also remember to cut out the little diamond area at the base of the antenna. This can be glued in later after painting. (pic 7)
9. use your dremel and soldering iron to create more of an organic look. (pic 8 + 9)
Step 22: Texture: Webbing, Organic, and Grooves
1. In the guyer suit, he has this webbing in various parts. To achieve this, we applied thin streaks of hot glue to those areas. As soon as we laid down a line, we would use an inverted air duster can to quickly cool and harden the hot glue. Remember to look at reference pictures to see which way the webbing is sitting. Sometimes it's in swirls, sometimes in vertical, or horizontal. It seemed like the more webs the better. (pics 1-8 show good examples).
2. Because we wanted the suit to have more of an organic feel to it, a dremel with a rounded bit was used on EVERY piece of the suit.. shoes, shins, fingers, helmet, pelvis... EVERYTHING!!! (pics 9-10 show good examples)
3. We wanted a few deeper grooves within the suit so i took the soldering iron and heated some lines within sporadic spots of ALL the pieces - fingers, pelvis, helmet, etc. Try thinking of a tree or lightening pattern. However, you don't want too many branches coming from the lines (pic 11-13 show good examples)
The remainder of the pictures show you what the whole suit looks like when it is completely textured.
Step 23: Eye Lenses
1. I created the lenses before the suit was painted, but I DID NOT glue them in until the suit was completely painted and dry
2. Create you paper template and grab your clear plastic. You can use plexiglass, pastry containers, etc.. (pic 1)
3. Draw and cut out the plastic eye piece (pic 2)
4. I had some pink and purple sharpies so i was experimenting with coloring them in. (pic 3 +4)
5. I was able o get a pink/ purple lens where you can have moderate visibility. You will NOT be able to see anything accurately, but it should be enough for you to not bump into things (pic 5-7)
1. Another idea to try is looking into purchasing translucent pink/ purple window tint. It might work with being able to see more clearly
2. If you have the means and the know-how, you can install LED lights into the eyes. (pic 8-10)
Step 24: Caulking, Sealing, and Painting
1. Using your DAP clear caulk, you want to caulk any unwanted grooves or seams. This will give it a more organic feel so that it will be difficult to see that a piece was made up of miscellaneous foam parts. Basically, If two pieces of foam are touching somehow, put caulk on that seam.
2. I recommend using Plastic dip for this build. It seals the foam and allows it to be painted. if you don't seal the foam prior to painting, your paint might get too absorbed into the foam. essentially what you are trying to do is create a non porous layer to paint on. Spray and allow to dry (pic 1-4)
3. We painted several layers and washes of different colors for the guyer suit. You can chose how you want to paint it. in the movie, the suit is a dark blue.. in the anime, it's almost a pistachio green. We went for a darker teal looking color with some accent colors.
4. We first started with painting the base a bright sky blue. Remember to tape off anything you do not want to paint (ie. those silver orbs on the helmet, on the chest, the lights, zippers, buckles etc). (pic 5-7)
5. Then we used a bright purple for those really deep grooves (pic 8)
6. Then we did a really really watery wash of this dark greenish color, so that the pieces were not so vibrant. we did not want him to be super shiny and pristine looking (9-13)
7. On the black areas of the suit, we used a regular black. However, we lightened the black on the webbing to give it little bit of a contrast
8. Lastly, i used some black airbrush paint and hit some of the areas to add some shadows. you can see this in the tear-drop shapes around the hips and forearms, the quads, and around the boarders.
9. Seal all pieces with a clear coat.
10. Remove all masking tape
Step 25: Assembly and Finished
1. Remember to glue in the eye lenses
2. Glue in the final beads. You can use some sparkle to fill in any bead holes if needed. There are two beads that go on the sides of antenna, one that goes at the base of the antenna, and two on the cheeks, and 2 on the mouth
3. The tubes on the helmet should be able to be inserted into holes on the diamond that is on the vest. You can use a dremel to create the holes or even a soldering iron. Do not make the hole too big or the tubes may fall out when you turn your head. Also, make sure the head tubes are long enough that they don't pop out when you turn your head.
4. I use elastic straps to attach the shoulders to the vest.. (pic 1). I also use elastic to attach the biceps to the shoulders
5. if i remember correctly, the hips were able to stay up on their own.
6. i used elastic to attach the knee to the top of the shin piece. Then i used another strip of elastic with a buckle to secure the knee pad around my friend's actual knee.
7. If your lenses fog up due to heat, They make a spray out there to prevent that. I bought some online to help with my suits.
Special thanks to my wife, and my friends Dan and Sabrina for all their hard work in helping create this suit. It was such a hit and i'm excited to see it in action again next year.
Also special thanks to the amazing photographers to make this suit look fantastic. Please check out Noah Smith Photography, Dettman Photography, and Infinity Spiral Photography
More geeky goodness, artsy projects, and current projects can be found on my FB site, tumblr, Youtube, and Instagram. Thanks!
Other costumes featured in this instructable:
Wolverine: Coming soon
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019
3 years ago
This is a really impressive costume! Looks just like the source material :)
Reply 3 years ago
Thank you! It was definitely a labor of love =)