View Full Version : Newcomer with ?'s about a Samus costume...

05-27-2003, 09:25 PM

I'm in the process of figuring out how to go about making a Samus Aran costume for the Iowa Convention in August...

I have several ideas, but I need someone to help me field them out...

I've seen some posts talking about using fiberglass or plastic, but I think that the suit would be too heavy for me if I used those.

Right now, I'm looking at getting a black stretch catsuit and making each piece of her suit seperately, sort of, in a way, like a giant jigsaw puzzle...

I think that using a black foam of some sort and then putting a thin layer of (?) over it to make each piece would work, but I'm not sure what material to use...

My thinking is that this would keep the suit light, fairly cool, and flexable, but the layer over the foam would still give it the gloss similiar to the metal of her suit...

Right now, layer materials I'm looking at are things like craft foam (in the correct foam, coated with a gloss finish), or craft metal (embossing metal sheets) sanded lightly and primed/painted.

I have several ideas for the visor and the various lighted parts of the suit, if I could figure out what to use on the outer parts of the pieces... :confused:

Does anyone have any suggestions what I could do for this? I have wracked my brains, and I forgot to get some of that craft foam today to try it out with a gloss varnish-like paint. :(

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


05-27-2003, 10:35 PM
You sound like you have a good idea of what you want. the fiber glass would be really cool, but like you said, would weigh down the costume enormously.

You said the con is August, so my main advice for what you've said so far, is that even with just foam, it sounds very dangerous to be in really crowded hot conventions wearing that costume. Make sure you have a place to get water in right away and also very very good ventilation. It sounds kind've dangerous.

05-27-2003, 10:41 PM
I'll have my husband there with me (not costumed, though) and make sure he keeps a bottle of water handy at all times. ;) Thanks for the concern though. I just read a previous post about using styrene (sp?) plastic over the EXACT foam I was referring to earlier, so I think I have it, actually.. :) (if only there was a metallic yellow and metallic orange car model paint... I'll have to look!)

Anyhow, again, thanks for the concern, not to mention the reply. I definately think that the helmet will be off for the most part, unless someone wants to take pictures.. :)

I also have big ideas for the "glowing" lighted parts of the suit.. :) Hopefully I'll get this done and get to display it this August! :D


10-01-2003, 04:40 PM
For the covering for the foam, you might try lexan. It comes in thin sheets designed for radio control car stuff, and there are an array of paints specifically formulated to stick to it. Since it's clear, you can paint it on the inside, which makes the paint unchippable. (that's what you do on R/C cars so they always look shiny)
-Conspyre (who wants to do a Samus suit for his G/F, but is in school and broke)

10-01-2003, 06:14 PM
Anyhow, again, thanks for the concern, not to mention the reply. I definately think that the helmet will be off for the most part, unless someone wants to take pictures..

I think you'll have that helmet on a lot then, hehe
At Otakon there was a Samus and she was bombarded with pictures. It sounds like you have a good idea going though, can't wait to see it!

10-01-2003, 11:19 PM
I, too, am hoping to make a Samus Aran costume. If I ever get up the nerve to dress up and go to a con I don't want to run into someone with my outfit. (happened at prom, what a bummer.) So, you have to promise not to come to texas and I won't show up in MO. Deal?

Anyway, I would love to see how you are faring as you put the costume together. Please keep me posted!

10-03-2003, 11:50 AM
<g> Yay! More Samuses...Sami? One day, there will be a Metroid photoshoot! I hope I can be of some help - I was the Samus from the Smash Bros skit @ Otakon.

I wanted to use fiberglass but didn't have the time, was warned by an artist against it, and my mold flopped. Heh - So I went with polystyrene. Foam was suggested, but I was stubborn and wanted it to be as much like armor as possible - though I have seen foam armor done well.

I wore a black unitard, with only the upper arms and elbows attached. The other pieces were all separate - helmet, torso/shoulders, lower arm, gun, thighs, legs, feet. They were interconnectable with hook&eyes - took about 15 mins to dress, with a helper.

Mine was Metroid Prime Samus, so I didn't have to worry about finding orange - used gold, lime gold, red and transparent candy green metallic paints from a hobby store. (You can check out my costume page to see how the colors turned out).

The weight was no problem - it was very light. The bigger problems - heat (it was bearable, though) and mobility. I widened the joints for greater range of movement, so walking and dancing Thriller were fine. But I couldn't bend much, my ankles and wrists were a little cut-up - and the big one - I couldn't sit. So there are a lot of cons to this plastic idea, but not enough to keep me from wearing her again. (No worries - I'm not going to Texas or Iowa.)

My helmet was a modified motorcycle helmet, which was ok, but never accurate enough. Will redo when I figure out how. SailorAndromeda's right - be prepared for pictures. Samus is popular and rarely done (for obvious reasons.) You will end up wearing that helmet constantly, so make sure you can breathe and see.

I used glowsticks for the suit lights, which looked really neat - in the dark. Wasn't worth it for walking around the con - too bright to notice. If you can wire your suit, that might be better.

If you want specifics on anything, just ask. I hope this was at least a little helpful!

10-03-2003, 01:52 PM
I have a brilliant idea! *If* I can pull off this costume I would like to round up all the other Sami. Just think...a new paint job on the original and WHAMO you have the Varia Suit, Gravity Suit and Phazon Suit. After than all that is needed is the Fusion and Power suits, and you have every incarnation of Samus. (that I know of anyway) Maybe we could even find a look-alike for an unsuited version....

Anyone interested?

10-05-2003, 05:56 PM
That is such a cute idea. I being from Florida cosplay stock vote for myself Metroid 2's ending: bikini samus. Everyone could do it and email their Samus pictures or post them if they live in different states. In all seriousness, I admire anyone who takes on that hard of a project, I still have an unfinished kos-mos and 2 near finished x-2 popstars, lol. I've always wanted to do Samus since she was from my era and had I a gamecube I probably would have done so by now, by rule of fandom.

10-05-2003, 06:41 PM
I WAS going to do a quick rendition of Samus as she appears at the end of Fusion, but I never got around to it. :( As it is, I'm working on another costume right now, so Samus has been put on the back burner *is having SUCH a hard time transferring 2D proportions to a 3D perspective*

Anyhow, right now I've still only got the arm cannon done. When I get more, I'll post about it. :) The foam looks awesome though, and I've changed my mind and am working on a Power Suit version instead. :)

Rinoa Heartilly
05-03-2004, 03:36 PM
Im planning to dress up as Samus too XD! Im planning on wearing it next year. Im using foam and glueing a plastic on top of it so its flexible yet looks like armor. So far I have made the pattern of the shoes. Any suggestions on how to make the huge round things on her shoulders?

05-07-2004, 01:22 AM
o_O Wow, I didn't realise there were this many people that wanted to cosplay as Samus. I'm planning the Metroid Prime Varia Suit for sometime in the distant future (though I have thought about doing the Phazon Suit instead).

05-10-2004, 01:34 PM
I bought pre-made spheres for the shoulders, from a plastic manufacturer in NYC, but online stores like the US Plastic Corp sell them, as well. I'm not pleased with the way mine came out, though - I knew they were too small, but as someone pointed out to me, they're not supposed to be real spheres. They're flatter on the dorsal and ventral sides. Other than using a vaccuutable, I can't think of another way to make them seamless. Anyone else?

05-29-2004, 10:34 AM
Well, I'm STILL working on my Samus costume, only things have changed a bit and I'm getting a little more experience and better ideas of what I want... :)

Now I'm changing my thoughts and I'm going to use polystyrene (I believe) and build it more... properly.. :)

I'm also likely going to end up doing the gravity suit... (the purple one).

I've got big plans for it, but I just haven't had time to really get working on it... of course, this happens when I finally actually get all of the materials for it.. Isn't that just like life? :P

Anyhow, when I re-build the arm cannon out of the plastic, I'll post pics, and I'll try to remember to keep a pictoral diary for those who might want to attempt it too.

Feel free to email me or whatever about the costume... or post here.. :) I'd love to hear other people's ideas for how to do it!

06-06-2004, 11:06 PM
Here's a novel idea. If only I had come up with it... There's one guy who made a Guyver (spelling?) suit using hot glue. You can check out his site at www.bioweapons.com.

My friend and I are currently making a Varia suit using the tutorials on the Bioweapons site (we have the knees down currently). The results have been interesting. The glue armor came out very bumpy and many small "canyons" in it. This gave it the imprestion of being battle scarred, and it gave the suit imperfections that you can't achive with foam or other materials. It felt kind of wrong at first because Samus's suit is supposed to be smooth and shiny, but it's grown on me. I'll hopefully get some pics up soon.

06-29-2004, 07:09 PM
Well, I thought I'd give an updated... the Samus costume is back upfront for me now, and my husband's helping me on it (yay! He's an engineering genius, and I keep encouraging him to go for his degree, but that's not the point..!) and now I'm working with plastic.. Polystyrene I believe... or is it polypropylene? *shrugs* One or the other... it came in sheets anyway.. ^^;

Anyhow, now I'm trying to find a way to sort of weld pieces together and such... I have an AWESOME idea for the arm cannon (if I ever get it constructed with plastic) and I've got to do some test runs with the paint I want to use..

Anyhow, anyone have any suggestions as to how I can go about forming the shoulder spheres with a heat gun? o.O? I've never used one, and my biggest question is, if I make something to form them around, how can I handle the hot plastic to get it as accurate as I want without making slight pits/marks in the plastic? Could I use really heavy leather gloves to keep from burning myself or what? o.O; Or should I just make some type of vacuuforming table? Could I even do that and use a heat gun? o.O;

I am sooo lost with those aspects... I"ve been doing some exprimentation to try and get some things figured out, but...yeah... not the simplest things in the world to tackle, particularly with having to work full-time on top of it.. ^_^

Anyhow, I'm working on the Gravity suit, so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know... oh..! And anyone know where I can get a nice metallic-flake yellow that will adhere to plastic? o.O;


06-30-2004, 08:47 AM
Honestly, you won't be able to make those spheres with a heat gun, even using a mold. (I've tried - the plastic won't curve in two directions without many seams.) If you're up for building a vacuuform table, then you can form spheres (or hemispheres, anyway). But that's a lot of work. I'd suggest going out and buying plastic spheres - you can order them online, or go to a plastic store.

As to the paint - I used Testors lime gold for the yellow sections - the closest I could find. If you find something better, I would love to know. Was never happy with the colors on my Samus. Good luck!

06-30-2004, 06:51 PM
here's an idea for staying hydrated: since the suit has a backpack-type section, see if you can't fit a camelback in there. you can run the hose into the helmet.

there will also probably be sections of the suit that aren't always visible, or aren't as important to be seen, so you may be able to have small vents there at least.

i've suggested this to everyone who's using tights, so i'll pitch to you as well. you can buy underarmour (it's basically tights, but designed to wick moisture away from you and keep you cool/warm) and possibly use that instead. i wear it when i run/workout and it's flexible, keeps me cool, and after about 15min in it, you forget you have it on. the black UA also has a nice sheen to it, too.

it's a little pricey, but it's worth a shot. most athletic stores carry it by now.

06-30-2004, 07:11 PM
Honestly, you won't be able to make those spheres with a heat gun, even using a mold. (I've tried - the plastic won't curve in two directions without many seams.) If you're up for building a vacuuform table, then you can form spheres (or hemispheres, anyway). But that's a lot of work. I'd suggest going out and buying plastic spheres - you can order them online, or go to a plastic store.

As to the paint - I used Testors lime gold for the yellow sections - the closest I could find. If you find something better, I would love to know. Was never happy with the colors on my Samus. Good luck!

As for the spheres, I may yet order some, then use a heat gun to change the shape so they aren't quite spherical...more elliptical, and cutting open the bottom of them to shape that correctly...Thanks for the response about it though, so I know from someone else's experience that it doesn't work.. ^^;

As for the colors... the red and purplish colors are no problem. It's the yellow, and I'm considering checking some local car dealerships to see if I can't get a small can of spray touchup paint in the metallicy/pearlescent yellow they use on some of the newer cars I've seen... Surely it'll adhere to plastic as well, seeing as they use it occasionally on paintable trims and such... as for the purple, I'm going to try Testors metal flake purple type color (don't remember the exact name).

I'm also considering other additions (and the platypus water bottle wouldn't be a bad idea! I hadn't thought of it! Thanks! ^^!) such as an MP3 player and small speakers in the back of the red part that connects to the chestplate, where the two vents are...it'd make for a great full experience to be able to play suit sounds and music and such through the suit itself.. ^^ That's still tentative though. It's definately getting wired for lights though. :)

Thanks again!


I just remembered, I did come up with a _really_ good idea for doing the elbow joints, though I'm still working on the hands... As for the elbows, I'm planning on starting with some type of elbow pad and building from there, so I have the flexibility and stationary piece already in place... :) Just thought it might help someone. :)

07-07-2004, 10:53 AM
What you might want to do is actually buy pellets of whatever thermoplastic you're using and then cast the shoulder things instead of trying to heat gun sheet plastic. You could do it in segments fairly easily and then use a plastic welder to weld the cast pieces together. In terms of a mould...I'm not entirely sure what you should use, but there are probably some RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) silicones that would stand up to the heat of the molten plastic. You'll probably have to do some research on that.

11-04-2005, 01:05 PM
Are you still working on the costume? or did you finish it? (mabye you've got pics! :) )

If you didn't and are still working on it, I'm doing my rounds making her suit (with thermoplastics and fiberglass), we could talk if you want :razz:

05-18-2008, 08:35 PM
question: where did you order your spheres and about how much did these things cost? -working on samus as well >.<-