View Full Version : Screaming Mantis help?

07-02-2010, 02:32 AM
Hey guys, been working on a Screaming Mantis cosplay lately and I've decided to tackle her many arms first, but before that, I have to make the large green supports for her arms and was wondering what I should make them with. My older brother is the pro, but I've decided that I want to make this costume 100% myself. Can anyone assist me? Just need to know what sort of materials I'll need, etc.


04-21-2011, 11:11 PM
I used PVC pipe and foam. The green supports were all foam. You cut/heat shape and glue them into the shape you want, then you either cover them with vinyl in the correct color, or seal and paint them the correct color. I painted mine, and the body plate that is mostly hidden by my flak jacket was done the vinyl method.

The PVC pipe held everything up well, and was movable, but was HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY. Have you figured out how you're going to attach it to yourself yet?

Edit: By "all foam", I mean I had the arms directly attached to pvc pipe and put the foam around it, to hide it.

Edit 2: Feel free to PM me :)

04-22-2011, 01:21 AM
I'd say start with some kind of shoulder harness (hiking backpack? football shoulder pads?) and build off that. You'll need some kind of light, cylindrical shapes for the green supports; I'd say maybe look at tupperware or plastic containers. The arms can be something as simple as thin pvc arms, but just remember that the more spread out the arms are, the more strain you'll put on the shoulder supports. You'll have to either keep everything nice and compact, and/or use additional support, which will add to the weight.

Sistercacao was on the right track with attaching the arms directly to the pvc on the body plate. The supports just slipped over all the construction stuff to hide it. Generally, the more places you attach, the more places it can break; best to attach the arms as solidly to the main harness as possible.

04-22-2011, 09:41 AM
You need much stronger support than shoulder pads or a light hiking backpack because this one is going to be REALLY HEAVY. I had almost no weight beyond just pvc pipe (the arms were stuffed with polyfill, the green supports were hollow and made of foam) and it KILLED my shoulders after a bit.

You also need the weight to be centered lower than your shoulders because the weight of the arms is going to either pull forward or backward and they will come right off your shoulders if that's the only place you have secured.

You're going to want to balance as much of that weight as possible between your shoulders and hips. Have you ever gone backpacking and had to put 20-40 pounds of shit on your back? Take a look at how those backpacks are constructed because that's the same kind of setup you're going to want to use. They are really expensive, but if you find one for cheap on ebay or something and strip off all of the backpacky-parts you could appropriate one for use.

Basically, they have a built-in hard support structure that manages the weight. I used something similar and put a waist-belt onto it (you're going to need a drill, in my case the plate was solid steel) in addition to the backpack-style shoulder straps to keep the thing secured and put some of the weight on my hips. It ended up being extremely well-balanced; I could walk around without pitching forward or backward. You're going to want that shit HELLA cushioned because, like I said, your shoulders are going to huuuurt.