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View Full Version : Samus - calling all metroid fans!


Eccoglyph
10-29-2003, 04:55 PM
:-) Hi! Ok - so this costume made its debut at Otakon 03, and I was very pleased with the overall crowd reaction. (Thanks, people!)

http://forums.cosplay.com/costume.php?action=detail&cosid=6953

However, there are some major flaws with it that I am suddenly revved to improve before Katsu. Here's a list of those things I think are pretty obvious - please make any suggestions, no matter how over-the-top! I'm willing to try almost anything!

- I know the helmet is very inaccurate (hehe... ran out of time...) but I have not thought of a satisfactory way to create it. I want it to be as smooth as the rest of the suit, but I can't shape the plastic without major seams - was lucky to find giant spheres for the shoulders. The shoulders are also too small, so if I can go bigger, it should cover that awkward area between chest and shoulder.

- I want to do something different with the lights - I used glowsticks but they were only visible backstage. Perhaps I will wire her up, but every piece is detachable, so they'll each require their own circuit - that's a LOT of batteries. Plus that means putting holes in the plastic, and since its under stress, I'm afraid even a small hole will cause a tear... it happened at a couple of the joints during Otakon.

- Wherever the black unitard shows, I would like to texture it to look like the ribbed material she seems to wear. But I need it to be very flexible - it only shows at joints and those are the only areas where I have any mobility!

- There's something... wrong with the chest area around the shoulder joint - I needed space so I could freely move my arms for the Thriller dance, but I have to do something about it. Don't know what.

Thanks, people - any advice you can give will be very helpful! Tell me if there's anything else I missed (even if its just a "silly" detail. I have the time to get it right. :-)

Kell_Dragon
10-29-2003, 05:11 PM
flat, seams galore (try top coating it next time, maybe, or use model putty)

the way it's wrinkling under the arms (armpit area) offsets the armor look by making it look paper thin, reinforce that a little

shoulders are a little too sphereical

arms are disproportionate, mainly the upper arm area needs to be wider (taking care of thise might solve the aformentioned problem of the wrinkles)

the triangular pieces on the feet are too tall

upper torso needs to be more broad, especially in the areas around the shoulders, samus has no neck really

the cut of the crotch area isn't the right angle and doesn't show off as much black as it should (that's just me being a stickler)

just the first few things I noticed

Kell_Dragon
10-29-2003, 05:17 PM
oh, I meant to ask (sorry for double posting) what is it made of? you say plastic but never specify what type
and what guage is it?

katrinastrife
10-30-2003, 10:14 AM
O___O Whoa, awesome costume. My only eensy weensy suggestion is to find some weird boots to go with it. I dunno if it fits the character at all (there's not a reference photo), but I think it'd look spiffy. ^___^;;

newmyu
10-30-2003, 05:02 PM
Firstly, the helmet... you might try a black bike helmet (one that comes to the point at the neck) and add red pieces of plastic to smooth it and make the jointlike pieces for it. You'd also want to extend it down with the plastic to make a full helmet. You might even go so far as to add a foam reinforcement/padding to make it the right shape.

The kneeguard parts (the pointy pieces) are a little too long, and the piece they're made of is supposed to go over the shinpiece. The part from the shoe needs to be shortened, and the shoes... they look more like regular loafers... so you might want to add more plastic pieces to make them more believably like Samus's footwear.

The red chestpiece is the biggest thing... it's actually supposed to be set higher up. If you look at a picture of Samus, it really doesn't show her neck because of the chestpiece. It extends much further down from the top of it to the crease, where it goes inward a few inches (3 or 4? I'd assume to the bottom of the bust) where it ends. Then the yellow armor starts. I think that's part of the problem with the shoulders. They're lower down because of the chestpiece being in the wrong place.

The spiky parts of the shoulder spheres are taller than they should be, and narrower.

The arm cannon needs to be thicker and more round. Right now it looks more squarish.. The free hand should have a round piece on it, with the green center, and the circular pieces on the legs are missing the green centers as well.

Is there any way you can make special crevices for the lightsticks? They might do a better job of showing a glow if they're in a dark recess.

There's more, but I'm not at home, and don't have most of my reference pics, but I'll probably post more later. Hope it helps though!

Eccoglyph
10-31-2003, 02:09 PM
Wow - lots of mistakes, huh? The plastic is high-impact styrene sheets - .02 and .03 thickness - the thinner pieces making up those pieces that needed a bit of flex.

Kell_Dragon, I don't know what you mean by "flat"? There are a lot of seams, which I put in purposefully - I'm attaching the version of the suit I was copying, for reference. I like the Prime version much more than the Smash or others - more realistic. I'm not sure about using another bike helmet as the base - they're just not small enough. And I'm trying to figure out how to make the arms wider - need bigger shoulder spheres for that - are they really not spheres? :-( I'll attempt to raise the chest armor up - its a pain in the neck - literally - my poor neck! Maybe a ton of shoulder padding to hold it up. Much to do - I guess I won't be able to perfect it as much as I had thought - LOL!

newmyu
10-31-2003, 11:28 PM
Alrighty, I'm finally home with my reference pics and I'm able to do a little more comparison. So here's the rest of what I can find..

The shoulders are not spheres. They're like spheres, but more flat... as if the front and back piece had been squashed a bit. Then, where they attach to the shoulder, they just kind of...cut off. I'll get some links to some reference pics here in a few seconds...

I also noticed the little ring thingers on the arm cannon aren't supposed to be smaller than the rest of the arm cannon, they're the same size. There's also more detail on the arm cannon.

What I meant about using a bike helmet was an actual bicycle helmet, not a motorcycle helmet (which is what it looks like you used in the pic). Most bicycle helmets come to a curve in the front and a point in the back, and point downward toward your back, much like Samus's helmet. Granted, you'd have to construct most of the front of the helmet yourself, it would definately look more like hers. Also, there's a vent type thing at the bottom of her visor, and the tubing has a segmented look, with a connector on each end which is bigger than the tubing (which, in some versions, actually makes up the segmentation).

The screwlike pieces on her round shoulder thingers are more like screws and go into the shoulders, they don't stick out.

The only pieces of Samus's suit that appear on top of each other are where the yellow meets the orange, signifying the layering of the Varia suit on top of the Power suit. So the places where the orange layers on itself would need to be fixed. The exception to this is where joints are, such as the knee and ankle, where there are covers that extend past the calf and top of the foot.

Samus has distinct elbow pads on each elbow, but they're rounded instead of coming to a point.

Samus's suit bulks her body way up, so in some places, it would be a good idea to pad the suit with foam. When I say pad something, I think of the thick foam they use for eggcarton mattress pads, which, I've learned, work REALLY well for bulking up things. (Check my gallery and look at my Samus arm cannon to see what I mean.)

I can't tell if the arm cannon is a separate, removable piece or not, but it should be if at all possible. There are several times in the series where Samus removes her enitre suit, but leaves the arm cannon. ^^;

Usually the rounded top pieces (nearest the elbow) of the arm cannon have two sections. It depends on who drew the reference picture, I've seen them with one, but through most of the various series, that remains the same.

Samus's suit stays almost the exact same through all of the games, with the exception of the first one.

The points on the knees need to be about half the length that they are. You're also missing various panels on the abdomen and upper inner thighs.

The last thing I can come up with right now is the color... it looks like in the picture it's a gold color, when it should be more of a burnt metallic orange color. You might see if there's a metal flake orange color available...

That's all I can think of right now. Hope it helps.. ^^;

Oh yeah, I forgot you asked about the padded tubing stuff at the joints...

I'd take some stretchy black material, and make loooong tubes of stuffing, and then sew them into place, wrapping around the joints as they should. They'd have to be fairly thin, but they would make the appearance you're looking for. And if you look closely where the shoulder sphere thing joins her chestpiece, there are some layers of black padding there, too. I'm including a large, clear reference pic I got from Nintendo back when they were doing a contest, so I hope it helps out a lot. :)

Kell_Dragon
11-02-2003, 12:43 PM
flat as in, I dunno,
both lifeless and litterally flat
like how the arm cannon is angular when it should be round

Eccoglyph
11-03-2003, 12:21 PM
Thanks, NewMyu! This is incredibly helpful. I was feeling rather bummed at the end of last week, just about ready to give up, but I have a different outlook on it today. Especially since you not only described what needs to be fixed, but suggested ways to fix it. I very much appreciate it. So taking all of this into consideration, I think the helmet, shoulders/arms and chest are my top priorities. And the color, if I can find a suitable paint. I so wish I had seen this ref pic last spring... I had so many pictures from so many angles, and still this one tops them all. I'm psyched to work from it. Some of the details will not take long, at all, to add - so I may as well do it! (Had no idea there were seams in the chest armor - and after I worked so long to make it all one piece!)

And yes - I'll bulk up the suit. One major problem with that is the width of her chest... or perhaps her waist is so narrow it just looks that way. If I widen the chest to proportion (I did try this last time), my arms can't fall to my sides at all. I can only go as far as my actual shoulders (which are kind of narrow.) I will widen the arms, though, and the shoulders. And think about how to widen the chest. :-)

Kell_Dragon - well, I will work on the angular thing, but as to lifelessness - (*shrug*) I'll have to let those who see me in person determine my vivacity. Somehow, I don't think it'll be a problem.

Thanks, all! If anything else springs to mind, please tell me!

newmyu
11-04-2003, 03:51 AM
Thanks, NewMyu! This is incredibly helpful. I was feeling rather bummed at the end of last week, just about ready to give up, but I have a different outlook on it today. Especially since you not only described what needs to be fixed, but suggested ways to fix it. I very much appreciate it. So taking all of this into consideration, I think the helmet, shoulders/arms and chest are my top priorities. And the color, if I can find a suitable paint. I so wish I had seen this ref pic last spring... I had so many pictures from so many angles, and still this one tops them all. I'm psyched to work from it. Some of the details will not take long, at all, to add - so I may as well do it! (Had no idea there were seams in the chest armor - and after I worked so long to make it all one piece!)

I'm glad I could help. I'm including another pic (same one, but with comments) on various specific spots that could be ways of changing the suit to help the problems you mention. As for the color, you might check various stores.. I'm sure one or another will have the metal flake orange, and if they don't, there's a nice metal flake purple that would work wonderfully for the Gravity suit... (it isn't any different from the Varia design except perhaps light colors and the suit's actual color. Light colors would then be a blue-green color.)

And yes - I'll bulk up the suit. One major problem with that is the width of her chest... or perhaps her waist is so narrow it just looks that way. If I widen the chest to proportion (I did try this last time), my arms can't fall to my sides at all. I can only go as far as my actual shoulders (which are kind of narrow.) I will widen the arms, though, and the shoulders. And think about how to widen the chest. :-)


I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Samus (except maybe on the arm cannon side) with her arms directly at her sides. So I don't know that that would even be considered accurate. ^^; I've actually found two more pics, one which shows several angles (including a good back shot) and the other which shows a cross-section of Samus in her suit, which should be immensely helpful in figuring out how things should be when you're wearing the suit.

These are the reference pics I'll be working from, so who knows, maybe when I do my suit, we'll be able to meet up at a con... I'm going to try to do the Power Suit first off though. ^^;

Eccoglyph
11-04-2003, 11:52 AM
Those are incredible pics - especially the cross-section one. Thanks so much. I have a very nice back-of-Samus picture (from Metroid Prime) at home that I will have to post for you tomorrow. Entertainingly enough, the back of my costume was more accurate than the front because of the detail on that picture.

And yeah! Do you ever go to cons on the east coast? I only ever go to Otakon and Katsucon, but it would be SO much fun to have a couple of Samuses running around!

newmyu
11-04-2003, 02:59 PM
I haven't, but then again, I've still yet to go to my first con. ;.; Just haven't had the extra money to do so yet. Hopefully this upcoming year... *crosses fingers*

Anyhow, good luck with it. :) I can't wait to see how it turns out. And a good, clear pic of the back would be incredible. :)

Hotaru
11-06-2003, 11:18 PM
Congrats, Ecco! You've made it into Animerica!

newmyu
11-07-2003, 04:42 AM
Y'know, I just thought of something that would be even harder to cosplay than a totally accurate Samus costume... a totally accurate cosplay of both Samus Aran and Houston Armstrong! X.x;;

In case no one else knows who I'm talking about, Houston Armstrong is a character who appeared in a Super Metroid comic that Nintendo Power released just as Super Metroid hit the markets. It was an interesting little sidepiece that explained a bit about Samus's life and such. It spanned through I believe five different issues. ^^ Definately would be an interesting thing to see, though.

http://www.classicgaming.com/mdb/sm/npcomics_4-1.jpg

http://www.classicgaming.com/mdb/sm/npcomics_3-1.jpg

Eccoglyph
11-10-2003, 11:55 AM
Oohh... I didn't even know there was a Metroid comic - LOL. But looking at that Armstrong suit - aha - good luck to whoever tries! Not it! I'm having enough trouble bulking up Samus's suit.

And Hotaru - Animerica? Really? Guess I'd better stop by a comic shop on my way home. :-) Thanks!

newmyu
11-11-2003, 02:58 AM
I think that Houston's armor would be a bit easier to make, simply because it was made for a guy, so the basic shapes are all flat, unlike Samus's suit, which has to allow for the more...curvy regions of a female's body. ^^;

Eccoglyph
08-05-2004, 10:08 AM
<g> Thanks, Okita! I used .02 and .03 high impact styrene sheets bought from http://www.usplastic.com. The .02 was more flexible for molding, and the .03 was for sturdier pieces, like the gun and chest. When you look at Samus's torso, you see that its made up of many individual "plates" and a seam separates each one. I cut each plate individually out of the styrene and left a small gap, maybe .25", between the plates. I used craft foam to join the styrene plates, so that I wouldn't be completely rigid - the seams offered some movement. Craft foam will bond extremely well to hot glue but it has a tendency to rip at the edges. I reinforced all of the foam, and much of the plastic, with fabric. I did the whole torso out of the .02 - it will mostly hold its shape at that point, though I waved a high temp heat gun (the kind used to strip paint) across the parts that needed more bend (like around the hips) so it wouldn't spring completely flat. The torso ended up rather like a corset. I did very little molding work - without a vaccuutable, the plastic would curl when I applied too much heat. So curves were made through darts and bending, and the "indentations" were pieces of overlapping plastic and foam. The ribs were halved pieces of insulation tubing.

Let me know if you'd like more details. I want to reincarnate my Samus, but skit work keeps getting in the way of fixing her up. Maybe I'll finally get her out of the basement for next year's Katsucon. :-) But I won't hold my breath.