Rated R for Radical!
Join Date: Jan 2008
Welcome to the boards! Hopefully you'll find useful information.
This is a very complex cosplay, so you've got your work cut out for you. To be completely honest, I would suggest another, simpler cosplay if you're just starting out, to learn a little bit and get accustomed to tools and techniques. However, don't let me deter you if you really, really want to make it. Just be aware that it is a lot to handle.
My first suggestion is to read up on as many tutorials as you can on different materials and techniques, to figure out what you can work with. Cosplays require materials, time, money, etc, so it helps to know as much as possible beforehand to save on all those commodities. Also, gather as much research and reference as possible. The reference you posted is good, but also try to find large, hi-res scans to get all the details, and try different views to see every little detail.
Here's what I'd do:
First, I'd break the suit into different parts. I find tackling parts individually helps it not feel like such a daunting task. I'd break it into:
Tank and cage on her back
Undersuit, Corset and shorts
As you've stated you're inexperienced, I'll try to find the cheapest, easiest ways to do things. Keep in mind, better materials may obtain better results, but for now, I'll try to keep it as simple and easy as possible.
I agree with the other post. Paper mache a large ball shape (beach ball would work) with a sufficient coating, pop the ball, and pull it out. The paper mache may be reinforced with fiberglass resin/mat (fiberglass is basically the same procedure as paper mache, but with fiberglass resin+mat/cloth versus glue+newspaper). Cut a window and use some clear plastic w/ red translucent paint or red cellophane.
The neck attachment on the bottom of the helmet can be made with craft foam or EVA foam matting for flexibility. Sealed and painted, you can simulate metal pretty well.
TANK and CAGE:
The cage can be wire or thin metal strips, bent into place and attached in a cone shape, with ribbons tied to each vertice. For the tank, you'd want something lightweight, so you may be able to use a cardboard cement tube (used to form cement posts) cutting it to size. Details can be made with paper mache, foam, etc
I lump these together since it looks like these are more sewing-based. Obviously, you'll need to sew these elements, or find ways to create them, whether its buying them, commissioning someone to make them, altering existing clothing, etc. I assume all the brown areas are leather. For the straps all over the suit, you can try using real leather to fabricate them, or simulating the look with pleather, fabric over foam, or sealed foam to simulate leather. I wouldn;t suggest foam for the corset or shorts, those should be actual fabric (you can still use the pleather instead of real leather)
Probably craft foam attached to fabric armbands. Add straps, details, etc using foam, leather, or actual metal bits. The colored vials of liquid can be plastic tubes. You can use toy plastic knives or make some out of foam, and PVC pipe for the rod/barrel on her left arm (is it some sort of gun?)
Looks like a lot of straps and buckles. You can make these with actual belts, with foam, or some other kind of material. The metal braces on the sides can be made with thin plastic or aluminum to give it the rigidity of simulated metal.