This is a rough instructable for a homemade muscle suit I created for my Hellboy costume this year. I used a Fabulous Fit padding system, a lycra body suit, and spray/brush fabric paint to complete the overall look.
Step 1: Fabulous Fit and Sculpting Muscle
I decided to not start completely from scratch. There's a company called Fabulous Fit that creates padding for sewing forms. I purchased one of these and modified the pads to fit my needs.
I used the four bra inserts as abs.
I used the two hip pads, cutting them to look like pectoral muscles and bottom abdominals.
I used the butt pads to form the biceps.
I used the shoulder pads layered to create forearm and upper arm muscles.
I used the back pads to cut and shape into enlarged back muscles.
I assembled them on a table to map out where I would place them.
Step 2: Sketch on Lycra Suit
I used a lycra body suit as the base.
Turn the suit inside out then sketch where you want the muscles to be located.
Remember, you want the muscles to push through the suit, so the shape you want pushing through should face away from you, glued down against the lycra.
Step 3: Begin Glueing Muscles
I used hot glue to adhere foam pads to the suit.
Start with the chest and abs. Be sure to pay extra attention to the edges of the pads, you want those to be firmly held against the lycra. This will give it the appearance of skin over muscle vs floating pads.
Step 4: Back Muscles
I cut one of the back pads in half to create upper back muscles. I also shaped extra foam into mirroring muscles on either side of the spine. I glued each down to the lycra suit.
Step 5: Arm Muscles
I filled the arm with extra fabric to give it shape and make it easier to map out the foam pad placement.
I put hot glue on the rounded pads and wrapped them around the arm, one in back and one in front to complete the bicep. I used sewing pins to hold it in place while the glue dried.
Step 6: Painting the Suit
I let the foam pads dry thoroughly. I turned the suit inside out. I sprayed the suit with aerosol red fabric paint I purchased at Joann's. I then took black and white fabric paint with a brush and highlighted the muscles and shaded in between. I used another layer of red aerosol fabric paint to blend the look together.
Step 7: Completing Your Look
I used silicone psycho paint from Smooth-On to paint the skin exposed from the suit red. The suit was incredibly comfortable and didn't get too hot.