Intro: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume
My son, Tonio, is a die-hard fan of the Halo franchise, so what would be better than to infect him with the Flood virus! We created this costume using about five cans of insulation foam spray, PVC pipe and glue, a rubber glove, plastic aquarium plants, Halloween makeup art, glue, wire, acrylic paints, and a fabric suit that my wife made from scratch! After I applied all the pieces onto the suit I dry painted all the foam to match. Together we put maybe 15 man hours into it.
Step 1: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - the Stuff
I sprayed the insulation foam onto PVC (pipes and 45 degree angles I put together to create the long fingers of the Flood form) and balloons to make individual plates to apply to the costume. My goal was to make functional outer armor that bent at the joints.
Step 2: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - the Foot
Then next I sacrificed an old beat up shoe and covered it with the foam while he stood in it to hold the proper shape. Notice that I protected his skin whenever necessary with Duct Tape and Trash Bags. Since I was able to spray the insulation foam directly onto the shoe it grafted and bonded to the textures perfectly. I was also mindful on how much I sprayed and where to create the shape of the toes. I had him stand on plastic so once it cured I was able to peel the plastic off the bottom of the foam exposing the sole of the shoe, allowing him to have traction. On a side note, the foam did over grow the sole of the shoe before fully curing so I had to cut and sand a little bit off.
Step 3: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - the Hand, Forearm and Lower Leg Sections
I missed a few photo opportunities because the process was swift and hands on, but I'll explain my process... After the foot piece was solid I wrapped it and his leg in a trash back and created an ankle section to skirt over the foot to hid the joint and to allow him the freedom to walk with ankle flexibility.
The hand piece was a bit more complicated and if I did it again I would've done it differently, but the visual effect was worth the effort. As mentioned in the first section I created two fingers (one longer and one shorter) and a thumb out of PVC pipe and 45 degree angles. I glued them together with the PVC glue then sprayed them with the foam spray. First, on most of one half then after curing a bit on the other side to fill any gaps. The reason for this is because the foam wasn't adhering to the PVC as well as I wished. Once the fingers were finished curing I had Tonio wear a latex glove, then wear a gardener's rubber glove over it. I used the PVC glue in the exposed holes in the pipes and placed the thumb piece over the thumb of his glove, the longer finger pipe over the index finger and the slightly shorter finger pipe over the ring finger of the glove. I chose that finger arrangement because the thickness of the fingers wouldn't allow any closer. After the glue bonded the pipes to the glove, I picked one of the foam plates I created over a balloon and glued it to the top of the glove to help hide the glove, pipes and his other fingers not in the pipes. After figuring out that the hand plate and the fingers were separating too much, I chose to tie the pieces together with some thin wire to firm up the articulation and significantly close the gaps between everything. I even sprayed a little more foam between the fingers to reduce the strain on his fingers. The weight of the PVC ended up being too heavy, so if I did it again I would go with perhaps a wire mesh or something else light weight and porous to create a better bond with the foam. After the hand was finished, I placed a trash bag around it and created a forearm section of foam. I didn't let the forearm section fully cure because I ended up having him put on the outfit my wife, Stef, made for the costume, but i'll get to that in the next step. All the sections were necessary for a more realistic articulation.
Step 4: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - Attaching and Adding to the Sewn Outfit
The sewn outfit consists of a blue ribbed uniform based on the random techs in the game and blotchy flesh-toned fleece to imitate the flood-infected skin. Stef added a zipper on back of the top. I rolled up the blue pant leg, pulled the ankle section of foam over the fleshy fleece, put the shoe on his foot and settled the ankle atop the shoe. Once that was in place I sprayed more foam above and over the ankle piece to attach it to the fleece over his leg. After it cured I rolled the blue fabric down to hide the top of the foam under the knee. Then after putting on the top we slid the curing forearm section over the fleece sleeve, put the glove on and positioned the forearm section hanging over the hand. Once in place, I sprayed foam around the forearm up to his elbow to attach it to the fabric. Then I chose a few pieces of the balloon prefabbed foam to create the upper arm, shoulder and chest plates. I sprayed more foam onto the fabric and attached the cured foam pieces to it. I had to hold certain parts in place while it dried so nothing shifted too much.
The red you see in the pictures were plastic aquarium plants I pulled apart and pushed into the curing foam. If you're familiar with the Flood infection, you'll understand the use.
Step 5: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - Painting the Foam
After the foam was mostly cured I brushed browns and tans of acrylic paint to help accent the texture of the foam and to make it closer to the look from the game. The picture is of Tonio holding a hair dryer to speed up the paint's drying process.
Step 6: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - the Head Piece
Throughout the process, I was applying each necessary step to the head section that was also a balloon prefabbed piece. I had to use glue from a Halloween Makeup kit to attach it to his cheek and forehead. As an after thought I think I would've attached a hair barrette or two to the rear of the inside of the foam to help carry the weight because it was straining on the glue by the end of the night.
Step 7: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - Infection Form
As a bonus we created an Infection Form from extra foam, a full plastic aquarium plant, wire and tape for the legs and acrylic paint to match the costume.
Step 8: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - Completed!
Now it's done! Tonio was very patient, having to sit still for hours on end to finish the costume on Halloween Day!
In the first picture on this step you see the side-by-side comparison of what it was based on.
Step 9: Tonio's Halo Flood-Infected Costume - Enjoy
Weeks later he's still enjoying it!