Here it is everyone! My costume made it’s big debut at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend, and let me just say, it was incredible! We won best in show for our Masquerade skit with the Ticker in it [will post a link to any video once I find one].
I started this costume in June of 2010. My friend, Andy [He is Dizzy in these pictures] debuted his costume last year at C2E2 and it was so well received, I had to get in on it. Not only do I love making costumes, but I’m a huge Gears fan and this was too juicy of an opportunity to pass up! It took me about a solid 4-5 months of work to finish. Total cost was about $500, give or take, and $100 of it was just to cut/color my hair.
The back piece and greaves were made out of premade Pepakura files- which is a paper file that you cut out and glue together to create a shape. At the time I started this, the game had [obviously] not come out yet, so there are no pepakura files for Anya’s armor. This entire project was made by looking off of the only reference image that I had at that time, which was the concept art for her.
The process is as follows- Construct the individual pieces out of card stock. Then, cover the outside of the card stock with resin/hardener mixed and fiberglass cloth sheets. Let that harden, then sand it down to take off the edges. We cut fun foam into the shapes of the metal plates/whatever details and then glued them to the hardened piece of armor. After all the plates were done, we then painted another layer of resin/hardener over the foam to harden it and make it look less porous and more like armor. After THAT, you paint it then outline the details and add the extra bits, such as real rivets, scuff marks, tubing, and LED lights.
Let’s start with the torso armor. First off, I take absolutely NO credit for construction of the back piece. Since I had never done this before, I had NO idea what to do for the back piece, and again, there were no reference images for her back, my friend Andy did the entire thing. It is a pepkura file for a part from Marcus’s back- the entire back is the tiny backpack portion of his armor. Andy put it together and added details.
The breastplate is my baby, and I was very proud of it. There is not file for her armor. Therefore, I custom built it to my measurements from scratch. I created a torso piece from smaller pieces to look like her armor and made a template [which, unfortunately, I did not keep] The template was then cut out of cardstock and pieced together in the same style as pepakura. I built the shoulders up a bit to put in a plastic piece for her shoulder lights. At the time I only had 1 LED per shoulder, but am hoping to make the entire thing light up eventually. [EDIT: I have purchased EL wire and will be installing it asap !]
The greaves were made out of a modified pepakura file. I believe I used the file for Marcus’s greaves and then cut them down to make them smaller/look more like Anya’s scout style greaves. I then got some perfect knee pads from a thrift store and painted them the same as the rest of the armor. The back strap is a chunk of firehose painted grey.
The bracers were easy, and did not need a file. I made them from scratch as well, and built up the right arm bracer to add a light in for her screen. The gloves started out as leather gloves purchased for about 50 cents at a thrift store. I cut the fingers off of them and then made the plates out of fun foam dipped in resin to harden them, then wrapped bandages around her right hand as seen in the concept image.
The belt was also a cloth belt purchased at a thrift store. I painted it black and then had to hand stitch wax thread all around the top/bottom of the belt, as well as add the patches of cloth on either side. I added her grenades and pouches, and made the strap on the leg pouch to wrap around my thigh.
The cloth costume is the biggest thing that everyone else forgets when they make a Gears costume. Most of the time they have awesome armor but then just wear black sweatpants underneath- and completely forget to pay attention to the details of the actual character they are making! The pants were a pain- I constructed the netted patches and sewed them onto them. The corset is painted to look like it has plates, and I even wore a green tank top that I had painted ‘Stroud’ and a cog onto as she wears in the promo pictures. This way, I could take off my torso armor to stretch and still look ready for pictures!
And finally, the lancer…I was so nervous to make this gun- it is an iconic gun in video games, and I wanted it to look BADASS, not cheesy! I am quite proud of the results! I started with a nerf gun base [I don’t remember the exact model]. I hand constructed the chainsaw track, ammo clip addition, hand grip, and details out of fun foam. I then added a barrel extension from an airsoft gun, and made the chainsaw out of a bicycle chain and cut the chainsaw ‘teeth’ out of foam. The pieces were then all put together with liquid nails, which I let dry for several days. Then came the fun part [painting!] I added ‘Stroud’ to the grip and a stripe of the yellow per her concept art, as well as the white bandages wrapped around the grip tape.
And that’s that for now everyone! I am so proud of the results, and now that I have finally been able to test run it, the next 3 weeks will be spent modifying/improving it so its ready to go- we are set to film a commercial for Gears with a local film maker on April 9th!! Wish me luck! :]
'Best in Show' for the Saturday night Masquerade performance at C2E2.