Ok chummers, here's how I made my 2016 Halloween costume - Glory, from the game Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
This costume was rushed (made in like a week and a half!) because I had just finished moving (...plus I had to finish two other costumes) and this was my second time using Wobrla. This Instructables isn't as thorough as I'd like it to be, as I'm just about to move again (argh) but hopefully it's detailed enough for you to be able to use for your 2017 Halloween costume and start shadowrunning.
Don't be afraid to experiment. Don't be shy to ask for help.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
You will need:
- Worbla* (Thermoplastic with adhesive property. I used a giant sheet of Worbla Black, and another of the 'regular' stuff)
- Finger ExtensionPattern
- Black Gloves
- Scissors and/or x-acto Knife (plus ruler and cutting board)
- Heat Gun
- PVC Pipe (gage should be big enough to fit around your fingers)
- Backer rod (foam)
- Glue Gun, Hot Glue
- Wood Glue
- E6000 glue (if you have time!)
- Craft Foam
- Sand Paper
- (Lights, Batteries, Wires, Switch, etc**)
- Spray Paint (Black primer, Silver, Black)
- Paint (Black, Silver, White, Brown acrylics) and Brushes
- Sealer (Krylon Crystal Clear)
- Coverall Pattern (with front knee-seam: McCalls 5422) (and maybe a black sweater)
- Black fabric, (heavy twill or denim, and stretchy fabric)
- Sewing machine*** (needle, thread, bobbin)
- Whole bunch of Zippers
- Scarp Foam and Black Fabric
- Toy Pistol
- Rounded Oval Mold (jewellery?) for Implants
- Liquid Latex
- Spirit Gum or Pros-Aide
- Makeup (flesh coloured creams, powder, *tested* red eye makeup, black liner, eyebrow pencil)
- Brown Hair Extensions and/or Wig
*Here's a great Introduction to Worbla
**And LEDS for beginners
***Plus How to Use a Sewing Machine
(and that art piece of Glory up there is by character designer Chris Rogers.)
Step 2: Worbla Hands
I followed a pattern/set of instructions for the finger-extensions, but instead of using popsicle sticks, I used pieces of (black) Worbla (I also subbed out some PVC pipe for Worbla). All the pieces were heated and pressed together, then sections were hinged together with wire. The finger extensions sat down to the intermediate phalanges - a piece of pvc pipe went around the proximal phalanges, and then the two were connected with wire. Make sure to test and wear the extensions with black gloves underneath.
The fingers needed to be bulked up, so I carefully glued backer rod (foam) to them and hoped for the best. The foam melts under hot foam, so I played the ol 'wait-until-the-hot-glue-is-cold-enough-to-not-do-that-but-still-hot-enough-to-stick' game.
I coated everything in 6 coats of wood glue (I would have preferred to have more, and to sand everything down...next project, I shall!)
Step 3: Worbla Arms (and Hand Pieces)
After taking a few arm-measurements, I made a mock-arm-pattern out of paper (for three pieces; forearm, upper-arm, and shoulder). One very quick test later I transferred that over to Worbla and craft foam. There's two pieces of Worbla for every section; they're heated up, have a piece of craft foam set between them, then stuck together. I layered Worbla and craft foam for both stability and bulk.
The first photo is of me testing out hot-glued-fabric-joints; I hated it. I ended up adding an elbow piece and then actually riveting (well, Chicago-screwing) everything together. The fit of the arms were snug, from shoulder to forearm, so there was no worry of them sliding off; I had to aggressively twisted my arms into them, but after that, I didn't have to secure them with straps, snaps, glue, etc. They just stayed on. I took the black gloves I wore while wearing the finger extensions and created Worbla pieces that fit around them, to extend the hand-claw-illusion.
Normally I would measure, design, and precisely blueprint out perfect pieces but instead I...I just winged it. I looked at several reference images and just drew on top of the arm pieces where sections would go. Some things I would have cut out of Worbla (or another product) I ended up "glue-gun-sculpting".
I also really wanted to put lights in - but again I was running out of time/had no experience and even though I bought everything and wanted to try it, I needed it done now. So I ran to someone with experience and asked him to set it up for me (thanks to my husband!!!). In a nut shell, a few red LEDS were hooked up to some switch-activated-batteries that I taped behind translucent pieces. If you have more time, try it yourself!
After all the Worbla pieces were heated and stuck to themselves, I coated everything in 6 layers of wood glue (I would have preferred to have more, and to sand everything down...next project, I shall!)
Step 4: Painting Worbla Pieces
I was very worried that some parts (the foam) would melt when spray painted, or that the paint wouldn't dry (as it was pretty cold out in the garage where I was spray painting).
But the wood-glue coats worked and prevented that! Kinda! The black primer went on ok, but the silver layer was tacky. I sealed it with a Krylon clear coat spray and it...turned out fine? I'm sure if I scrapped down the paint there would be a tacky layer somewhere - so I advise not spray painting in the middle of the night at the end of fall.
After spray painting I went back with black, silver, brown and white acrylic paint for details.
Thankfully the character has old, outdated cyberware - so while everything would have looked better with a proper sanding, painting the arms to be rusty and grungy helped distract from a non-smooth surface.
After everything was painted, I riveted the arms back together, glued the Worbla-hand pieces to the gloves, and glued spare wires and black fabric around the joints, to hide my elbow skin peaking through. Near the back of the forearm piece is where the lights (and battery packs, and switches) were, but the bare wires barely showed/they looked pretty cool, so I didn't cover them up. I was hot gluing everything at this point because of time, but I'd recommend using something like E6000.
Now, because of time (and panic) I didn't take apart the fingers to paint, I just coated them as-is; suffice to say, their dexterity wasn't the greatest afterwards. If you have the time, do disjoint them first before painting.
Step 5: Coveralls (and Sweater) (and Tube Top, Boots)
I contacted the character designer for Glory, asking what was on one of her pant legs. He wasn't sure. But he revealed the concept behind her outfit was a workman's coveralls that she had tied off at the waist....and since I wanted to pay homage to that idea, this meant hunting down a vintage junior fitted coverall pattern with a front knee-seam. I finally found McCalls 5422 (I had to lengthen it considerably).
Just unziping coveralls and tying them off at the waist did not look like the concept art - it just didn't hang right and wasn't 'poofy' enough. And most people assume the character is wearing pants and a sweater tied around the waist (that was my first though). So I still went with a thrift-shop plain-black sweater around the waist and made sleeveless coveralls instead of pants. I can see Glory ripping off the arms and wearing it zipped up if she wanted to (which I did at night, cause it was cold!)
Extra decorative zippers were added, and knee-pad squares (fabric-covered foam pieces) were stitched on.
One part of the leg design was still ambiguous, so I decided to make a leg holster (out of a few strips of black fabric) and put a black toy pistol in it (since she does carry and shoot a gun. Don't ask how with those hands!)
The tube-top was made just by sewing up a tube of stretchy fabric. You want it to be quite tight, because if it slips down, you're going to have difficulties pulling it up with those claws on!
Tall black lace-up boots are needed and can be modified to look like Glory's by tacking a few strips of fabric around the top of the boot, and creating a loop for them to go through. The boots were actually the most painful, uncomfortable part of this costume, as I was rushed and desperate and could only find a size 7 pair of boots. (Thankfully since then, I've gotten a size 10, so I should be able to wear it comfortably again!)
Step 6: Implants, Hair and Makeup
I used small pieces of Black Worbla and heated them over some rounded, oval jewelry for Glory's cyber implants. These were trimmed and have a skin of latex applied around their edges. After putting on the coveralls, shoes and tube-top, the combined Worbla-latex pieces were stuck to my neck and torso with Pros-Aide (spirit gum works too).
I put in red contacts (same ones from The Horned King) and used eye-safe, previously tested, red eye-shadow around my eyes, along with back eyeliner. I have very weak eyebrows, so I penciled in some actual ones - and I also drew some implant-scar-lines on my stomach.
Later I built up layers of latex over the implant pieces and my skin to try to hide the edges. I used flesh coloured liquid latex, but I still used cream makeup and powder to get it to "match" my skin colour more.
I already had long brown hair like Glory, but I have bangs instead of locks forever flowing in front of my eyes. So to keep with her attitude I clipped on extensions in front of my face.
Step 7: Putting It On, Wearing It Out
So, at this point I'm wearing the coveralls, tube-top, boots, and makeup and hair is done. Sweater gets tied around waist. After that, I wrenched on the arms. Then come the black glove with the Worbla-arm pieces. And finally each finger extension gets added.
You'll be a little broader in the shoulders, so be considerate when walking around and taking transit. It is possible to do (5-pin) bowling with them on, but you won't be very good (or at least you can use that excuse if you're not good at bowling)
Questions? Ask away!