I originally planned this for Halloween, but wasn't able to finish it in time. I completed it about a week after so that it could be used for future Comic Cons.
The iconic Chuck Greene costume consists of a novelty giant Lego-like head (Servbot Mask), a yellow leather biking jacket, and some sort of quirky melee weapon.
My template for the Servbot mask is a pepakura design, which means plenty of cutting and sticking. The simplicity of the design makes it easy to fibreglass, but the materials are poorly suited for anything but fibreglass. I will attempt to offer a guide for a low budget papier mâché tutorial, but this is likely to turn out to a lower quality.
Total cost including the jacket was about £50, and took roughly 25 hours.
- 12x sheets of A4 card (160-240gsm)
- Bright yellow spray paint / acrylic paint
- A) PVA or wood glue (About 250ml, £1 from poundland) and plenty of newspaper
- B) Fibreglass (1m²), polyester resin (About 1000ml) and Isopon P38 (Optional)
- Multi purpose adhesive or Superglue (About £1 from poundland)
- Clear Lacquer spray (£1 from poundland)
- Yellow bike jacket (£30-£50)
- 0.5mm thick clear plastic (A5 dimensions)
- Reflective red window film for the mouth (99p on Ebay)
- Dark window film for the eyes (99p on Ebay)
Optional melee weapon:
Toy chainsaws taped to the ends of a kayak paddle
Laser sword (Just use a light sabre, or a torch and a plastic rod!)
Here is the link to the Lego pepakura I made. If you want to share it with others, please link them to this instructable rather than directly to the file.
Link to the 3D File
Step 1: 3D Design
I had found one existing pepakura file for a lego head, but the proportions were slightly off.
Additionally, I don't have anything to smooth over rough edges with, so I needed it to be as high resolution as possible, with very gentle curves, so I set about designing my own 3D file.
I'd not used 3DS Max before, and my only experience with 3D design programs was from almost a decade ago during secondary school. I managed to download a free student edition of 3DS Max 2014, and got the hang of most of the basic functions fairly quickly. Within a couple of hours, I'd produced a 3D file with 10° bends around the large scctions, and 22.5° bends on the top "bobble". These bends were so smooth, it was actually possible to assemble it without the need for any folding, with the exception of a few tabs (eg. Attaching the bobble section to the main head).
The program Pepakura Designer allows .3DS files to be imported, and lets you define the cut lines to unfold the file. I scaled the head to 320mm diameter, and 366mm height, and managed to arrange the 2D net so as to take up only 12 pages. I then printed them out and began cutting and assembling them.
The Servbot mask is a fair bit shorter than a lego head, but this allows me greater flexibility in what I might decide to use it for in the future.
I'll include a link to the file in the intro, so you can effectively skip this step.
Step 2: Pepakura
I didn't originally have any card with me, so I attempted to construct the model with paper. The curves were really smooth, but it did warp slightly under its own weight, especially when attaching multiple large sections together. This is why card is a much better material to work with.
Pre-curve the card/paper by stretching/dragging it over the corner of a desk; this helps to stop the card trying to pull apart when you glue it together.
My paper model was a failure (See next step), so I began to remake it with card.
Step 3: A) Papier Mâché (Budget Option)
The problem with using PVA or wood glue is that they are both water based, so it is almost impossible to stop the paper or card from warping as you paper mache it.
Some solutions I considered, but never tried, were to build up a extra reinforcing layer of card using a non-water based glue, before papier mâché-ing the inside, or to apply multiple coats of lacquer to the inside and outside before adding the papier mâché, to stop the card absorbing moisture.
If you have any polyfiller left over from home DIY, you may be able to use it to even out any lumpy edges, and sand it down to a smooth finish.
Instead, I waited until I was back home to use the fibreglass and resin left over from my Halo armour build, which I already knew didn't cause problems with warping. The principles of this method are the same as papier mâché.
Step 4: B) Fibreglass (Stronger Option)
If you have fibreglass available, this is a much better option. It's messier, but will actually set faster (Provided you use enough catalyst and the temperature is warm enough) and be stronger in general.
Make sure you have a respiroator with filters suitable for VOCs, since the fumes are toxic.
If you store your brushes somewhere cold and wrap them in cling film, you may be able to use them multiple times. I completed the fibreglassing in about 6 seperate 30 minute sessions, but only used up 2 brushes. If the tip solidifies with resin, you can even pull them out of the handle and use the other end (Hard to grip, but useful if you need to resin confined areas like the neck of the Lego head)!
It's usually better to finish assembling the whole design before applying any resin, but if you decide to fibreglass half of it first, place it on some sort of dome to keep it cylindrical. Apply a coat or two of resin to the outside before fibreglassing the interior so that it is strong enough to support the extra weight without warping. When fibreglassing, I found that coating the inside before adding fibreglass helps to keep it in place while you paint resin over it. The middle section will still e quite flexible, espectially around the eye area when you've cut the circles out (Step 6); to fix this, add reinforcing strips to the inside and fibreflass over them. I used thin strips of corrugated card, but you could use thick string or rolled up fibreglass instead.
If it warps at all during the fibreglass stage, you can heat it up with a powerful hair dryer until it becomes flexible, then allow it to cool in the corrected position.
If it's stuck together neatly enough, you shouldn't have to use any Isopon to smooth the edges. I gave the whole thing 2 coats of resin to seal any gaps and smooth out the joins between tabs.
NOTE: The flatter the fibreglass around the eye sections when you come to cut them out, theeasier you'll be able to stick the plastic on with hot glue. The edges of one of the eyes on mine had a few lumps where errant blobs of resin or fibreglass strands had stuck out several mm, and prevented the plastic making a good seal.
Step 5: Face Features
Tape a permenant marker to a compass, and draw on circles with a radius of about 40mm. The tops of the circles should just meet the domed portion of the helmet, and the two circles should be 80mm apart at their closest point. The mouth shape is almost parabolic in shape, so it's easier to freehand it than to use a compass.
Use a craft knife to make an incision in each eye, and cut them out using a jigsaw (If available), then sand down the edges.
Depending on your height and whether or not you re-scale the helmet, you'll either want to cut holes for the eyes or the mouth, and use an appropriate colour window film to back onto them. When the eyes and mouth are marked on in permenant marker, put the helmet on to determine which would give you the best line of sight. If in doubt, do both!
I chose to cut out circles for just the eyes. To get the right shape, I used two dabs of glue to adhere a 90mm paper circle to the black window film, cut the two black circles out, then did the same with two 100mm wide clear plastic circles (0.5mm thick) to ensure both would overlap the 80mm holes. If the window film doesn't have self adhesive backing, draw a thin circle of glue around the circumference of the black circles (Within a few mm of the edge) and place it in the centre of the clear plastic.
Alternatively, you could just paint the face features on and drill lots of small holes to make a partially transparent "mesh" to look out of.
Step 6: Painting
If you're going to use yellow spray paint on the armour, give it a coat of primer first. This will help the paint adhere better, and increase the opacity.
I'd opted to paint the shapes onto paper cutouts then stick them on after rather than paint directly onto the head. This made it easier to produce cleaner edges, and adjust it if any of the lines were too thick when overlain (Placing a white circle / red mouth on a larger black version of the respective shapes gives them an outlined appearance). Despite the paper being white already, I painted it as well, since the glue allowed the black outlines to show though slightly prior to painting them.
Water based paints won't stick to the resin, so choose your paints wisely!
To protect the head from scratches, give the whole thing 2-3 coats of a compatible lacquer once the paint is fully dried, and pay particular attention to the paper shapes (Without lacquer, they risk peeling off). DO NOT attach the plastic eye circles until the lacquering is complete: This could impair the plastic's clarity!
After adding the eyes, I attached a card / glue head brace to stop the head tipping too far forwards. It makes it more comfortable, but adds extra weight and you can't "look around" inside.
NOTE: Using hot glue on the inside of any painted sections will melt, or at least soften the paint, so make sure the back of the glued area isn't pressing up against something (Like your bed sheets!)
Step 7: Racing Jacket
The official replicas of this jacket are very expensive (If you can even find them), often £200 or more.
I found a few 3rd party cosplay websites that make them to order, but they get quite pricey too, and the finish looked way too shiny, the stitching looked a bit suspect, and they also take a qhile to make. (Example website)
Here's a cheaper alternative: Yellow Leather Jackets (Ebay)
I managed to find a Furygan biking jacket for around £30 which looked very similar to Chuck Greene's one (First image is me testing it out for size). Have a browse and see what you can find!
You could even buy a plain yellow jacket and sew on your own designs.
Step 8: Completion!
Here is the end result!
I'm pretty pleased with the end result, although I'd rather have made a model of the Dead Rising mask than a Lego head replica.
It's also narrower than it should be, and sits a little higher on my shoulders than it should (The DR mask has no neck section).
Probably should have looked for a tighter fitting jacket, but hey, not bad for an internet deal!
I may update this if I get something to use as a weapon prop!