This is the Halloween costume I built for my son this year. It was a lot of work but it was a lot of fun. I would like to share my story with you.
Step 1: Step 1: How I Started This Crazy Journey
It started in the last week of Sept. we asked my son who he wanted to be for Halloween. It came down to Ant-man and Hiro Hamada from Big Hero 6. He narrowed it down to Hiro and I started looking for the costume to buy. The store bought models left much to be desired. I then Google the costume and ran across some photos on Instructables.com and saw some cosplay costumes and thought maybe I should give this a try. Speaking with my son and his mom I set up plan, I had until 10/16 to have the costume built for paint otherwise we go with the Ant-man costume. I then started to work...how hard could it be I thought??
Step 2: Step 2: the Design
I started on 9/28 while at work drawing up the designed based on pictures of the character. I drew the helmet the vest and belt just to get an idea on what I needed to build. I then decided that the hardest part would be the helmet so I need to nail that first. Again how hard could this be...
EVA foam sheets (Harbor Freight had these as shop floor pads in 4 2'x2' sections $9 per pack on sale I bought 3 packs)
Hot glue gun
Heat gun (Harbor Freight $10)
Card stock paper
Multi color foam sheets 1/8" thick
foam sheet 1/4"
Krylon covermaxx paint (purple, black, red) (roughly ($20)
Paint (for touch up) ($10)
Online support (thanks Spicy Panda Creations)
Garbage bags- To store all your spare foam materials
4 Foam rings ($12)
Cookie sticks ($2)
Paint brushes/foam brushes ($10)
Black sweatpants (Walmart $6)
Black compression shirt( Walmart $6)
and a lot of patience, ibuprofen, and luck
Step 3: Step 3: Helmet Design or What Did I Get Myself Into?
My first attempt was with paper and it tuned into a nightmare. I then went online to look up instructions and my second attempt looked more like Shredder than Hiro. After several hours of trying to figure this out I finally just went to cardboard and ....made it work with cardboard and duct tape...at 2am I was feeling proud of myself. My son liked it and I thought well I will go on to foam. By this point I had decided to reach out to the Instructable community and a very cool guy from Spicy Panda Creations was more than willing to assist me and sent me over his designs on how to build it...Of course being new I had hundreds of questions and he answered any question I had, which was good because I had a major meltdown getting the foam EVA foam together. I was told EVA foam was what most everyone uses and can be prepped easy to paint but I had no clue how to glue it and I was told hot glue was easiest option. So I got my hot glue gun and put the foam helmet together. there are a few ways you can do this I had done a aluminum foil and duct tape model off the cardboard helmet and cut the shapes out with xacto knife then cut the EVA foam parts out and hot glue them together. I was feeling pretty good but helmet was looking more Halo than Hiro. Date 10/8 and at this moment I am getting nervous about my deadline.
Step 4: Step 4: Enter Pepakura
I wasn't feeling the helmet but I was so far in didn't know what to do. Looked online and discovered Pepakura files and another fellow Instructable poster JustAddSharks had a pepakura file of Hiro helmet. I had tried pepakura before and failed miserably but thought I would give it one more chance. I had some 90lb card stock paper printed it up cut it out and put it together. It seemed small but decided to take the shapes and cut them out in EVA foam and hot glue together. So after several hours around 1am I got it put together....Now on 10/9 I finally feel like I can actually get this done. I had to go back and use the heat gun in order to get the shape correct.
Step 5: Step 5: Armor Build
Now that I had helmet done I went to what I thought would be easy part the armor. I treated it like a sandwich board made out of EVA foam and just cut the head hole out and added foam to make it fit. This was great in theory but there was no way for him to take it off once it was on. I had been using duct tape until I could figure out a way to fasten it together. I went on to do the shoulder pads.I cut out ovals then cut a slice out to bend them around to make the shape This made a weird cup like shape that I bent and molded with the heat gun until it got the shape I wanted. I did two of them and overlapped them. I then decide to just use each as one of the pads and cut a triangle shaped piece to put beneath them. I didn't go by the movie drawing but the original sketch design by the creators I found online. Cut out the chest pieces and back parts from EVA foam from the shapes I drew out on card stock . I then used dremel to round out the edges and smooth everthing out. So put those all together and got the armor going. 10/10 6 days left.
Step 6: Step 6: Bang, Bang Gorilla Glue
Now to seal the foam for paint. This step I found online which was simple mixture of Gorilla glue and water.Gorilla glue is weird if you mix it wrong it foams up so you have to mix with more glue than water otherwise its really runny and takes forever to set up. Also there is never to many coats you can do with this. I did several coats and it made the foam fill like plastic. As long as the foam is not spongy feeling and rigid you should be ok. I did this every night for 3 days ( wish I had taken more) pictures
Step 7: Step 7: Running the Guantlets
Gloves or guantlets were one of the key things I had wanted to do when I started. In the movie and sketches they are over exaggeratedly big and I wanted to capture that but most everyone was posting just throwing a piece of EVA on your forearms and putting on gloves with maybe some foam segments on them. I decided to go different route and searched for lacrosse gloves. Lacrosse gloves look like huge robot hands and they are padded at the fingers which looked similar to what Hiro wears in the movie. I always thought Hiro looked like he was wearing Lacrosse gear anyway so I went to my local Lacrosse shop (luckily had one) explained to the clerk what I was doing and he hooked me up with a pair of black and white gloves for $15. I had the gloves but had to figure out how to make the bulky part around the forearms. For this I went to Hobby Lobby got 4 large round foam rings that my sons arm could fit though, I then got 6 cookie sticks and stuck them through the foam rings and build a cylinder shape, then I had some window insulation foam and filled in the space between the two rings and wraped it all up in the 1/8" foam sheet (this I really wish I had taken photos while I was building). This made the guantlets sturdy and lightweight. I then needed a emotional lift so I had my son try everything on and then it all became worth it.
Step 8: Step 8: Paint..nothing Witty This Time Just Paint.
Before you paint you should seal any gaps with some kwik seal but only use a little of this you don't need much and you need to let it dry completely as it takes some time so set up.
First off I used Krylon covermax gloss..And I am allergic to spray paint so I used a mask. This is the one part I didn't do a good job on as it was 10/17 and the one day all week it decide to rain and was humid so my paint was not setting well. Also hindsight if you do spray paint do a small section and use a sponge brush to spread it and let it dry completely. I didn't and still today I can smell the paint fumes from one of the paint layers not drying correctly. Only paint on dry cooler days and let the paint dry completely. I made errors with the spray paint on the guantlets but I luckily did it in the area I had to add foam straps on anyway so it worked out for the best.
Almost forgot I created the belt out of the connection portions the EVA pads I had cut out as scrap. I did a hidden fastern on it and the shoulder straps so he could take costume on and off. Knee pads I had just cut out foam and cut out round foam pieces and painted. I did some recess cutting for the center red circle on his armor. Originally I had done a wiring diagram to make all the red circles as LED lights but didn't have time to wire it all up.
Some added details were on the black shirt I cut out red strips and glued on the sleeves. Shoulder pads and kneepads are Velcro on to the costumer.
So on 10/18 build was completed. I had my son try it on and I honestly had tear in my eye I was so happy to be done and he loved it.
I know this isn't the usual step by step Instructable and honestly don't even want to win anything. I just wanted to tell my story and to hopefully let all those out there that may have the desire to do this but have doubts that you should do it. It was the most fun I have had in a while and it has inspired me to do more costumes in the future. I am actually working on one now for next year. I got to give thanks to Spicy Panda Creations and to JustAddSharks for the help and support to do this. One thing I learned is that the Instructable community will help you out if you need it.