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40k Costume - Battlesuit Commander
Old 13 Oct 2009, 01:45   #1 (permalink)
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Default 40k Costume - Battlesuit Commander

I told the guys at GW that I might be coming to Halloween as a little, puny Tau. I think there's a Space Marine or two who can't wait.

I just didn't tell them that this puny little Tau with blue face paint is going to be mounted in a Tau Battlesuit!

Once I get a hold of a camera, I'll take pictures of the progress. Right now I'm coming up with some rough plans and getting ideas with my access to some material. Looking at the Battlesuit models I have, I realize I'm going to have to cut some corners with the fine-tuning of most of the angles.

To get away from having all the shapes and exacting details, I noticed from looking online that if you have a costume of that size, people are going to have their eyes pulled to your shape. With a smaller costume (like the XV-15 or Fire Warrior idea I had in mind as well), people look at details more closely.

I'm also going to mix the Shas'o Kais suit from DOW with the XV8 in a way to make my chest a little easier to build (plus, it allows me to put the Tau symbol on the front ) I'm going to design my costume so if one part doesn't work or I need a plan B for something else, I can intermix the two designs.

Start at the Top and Bottom... Meet in the Middle
Might not be a good idea, but it allows me to get some proportions right (or at least as close as I possibly can).

The feet are actually going to be easy.

1. If I can't find 4" tall platform shoes (and I doubt I will), I can take an oval-shaped 12" x 12" x 4" block and drill+tape that to the end of a large boot.

2. I like this other hoof idea though. Instead, I can get three wooden blocks, two will be 5 or 6" wide and long, 4" deep. The arc of my shoe would be exposed with a smaller, 3" long and wide acting as a heel. The two larger blocks can be placed as the front portion of the hoof. The boot will be duck-taped then screwed down to the blocks (because screwing them upwards is just a bad idea :P). This way, if I need extra mobility (a fire or zombie invasion ^-^), I can step out of the boots and take off running.

1. I'm going to browse the sport bike/martial art sections to see what I can find to wear around my calves. I should be able to find oversized kneepads much too big for me. My concerns at this point of the costume is that I don't want to entirely wear the suit so much as get inside it. From previous experience of other people and having worn a mascot costume myself, heat and the ability to go to the bathroom become major concerns. (I'm going to be in a mall.)

So, I'm going to prefer to have the suit somehow to be strung together. This would mean I would not only have to find some bulky kneepads and calve protection, but something that could be sewn/taped together, possibly strapped to the feet.

2. If my shopping proves unsuccessful, I can go with something closer to the XV8 design. Keep the feet and heel, expose my calves (which will be clad in black) with sewn-in plates on the left and right side of my lower legs.

Surprisingly, this is more tricky. Finding thigh protection that's going to be wide enough for what I want is probably going to very hard, if I want something along the XV8 design.

1. For the custom-built, it would be a little easier to find some thigh armor, but that stuff is going to be too small around the sides. I might need to custom-build and craft something out of a soft wood (yes I know of the foam I can get, but that stuff takes a while to order, requires special spray paint to keep from melting, can't be attached to anything, and is downright HOT!). I'm having difficulties thinking of another material I might be able to use (aside from cardboard).

2. To keep the traditional XV8 design, I can find wooden boxes and cut out the depth. Another idea is to find three (six really) long plates that can be fitted together to make a more authentic plated armor rather than cutting out the shapes.

This is going to be the most challenging part, and yet the most important! I'm really stumped on this for now.

I decided to have the jet pack part of the torso or attached to the torso (probably attached to). I don't want the lumbering jet pack strapped to my back (as my cousin suggested) because that's possible weight on my shoulders. My alternative is the Kais suit design... If you freeze the video at 0:20, you can see what I'm looking at:

After a lot of debate in my mind, I am against trying to do the Shas'o Kais jet pack since that would have me wearing something, not in something. But looking at the XV8 design, I noticed that it would be an incredible feat to come up with something between now and then to make/find.

So I finally decided to combine the XV8 and the DOW Kais suit designs, because I don't like those missile pods sticking up like that (looks goofy to me).

1. What I'm going to do is find two identical boxes (probably a container of some kind) 3 feet long, 6" wide, and 6" deep. Drill the torso into those. Then I can tape/staple/drill (probably not need a drill) the missile pods on top.

2. If I can't find said boxes easy (I'll probably ask a lumber store once), to keep the back light and easy, I can substitute four 12-pack soft drink cartons, tape/staple 2 together, and I have 32" x 5" x 5".

In either case, I can secure some strong glow sticks inside these boxes, sew a black mesh over the back side for a glow effect (like Shas'o Kais' suit).

My back would be exposed. A black coat will have a large plate sewn into the back, something similar to what you see on the XV8. The local crafts store has lightweight material that I can actually use. This way, when I step out of the suit, I can have that "strapped" to my clothes so I'm actually a pilot walking around.

I considered doing both the Kais suit variant and the XV8.

1. Just like the jet pack, I'm going to somewhat combine the XV8 and the Kais suit. Simply put, large boxes for my shoulder and biceps (I can't be exact on the size without figuring out my torso).

The 12-pack soda cartons fit my forearms extremely well, and the cut-out where the cans are exposed to be pulled out allows my arms to fit in well and they are very light. My concern is that using them for arms is my fear of the flimsy cardboard. If I can reinforce them with another material, this would be perfect. If I can keep the forearms light, I can attach them (probably by small rope/thick string painted as wires) to the bicep boxes.

I just need to find a way to get some extra-large gloves and make them four-fingered (because my hands will be small compared to the rest of the suit).

This is going to be surprisingly easy as well. I need a 10"L x 7"H 8-10"W cardboard box. I know of the perfect little lights I can easily tape to the side of the box next to my face for the lights. Keep the buttons on the outside so they can be pressed on/off. To keep from blinding myself with the lighting on the inside, the lenses to the lights will be up against the edge of the box.

I need to cut out one side of the 10"W sides and tape/staple it 1/2"-1" inside. For this, I need some thick cardboard (like from a standard shoebox, which isn't long enough).

(I must make a note to myself that when I cut a hole for my neck, it needs to be to the right side, not centered.)

The optical sight is a little tough, needs to be 5" diameter. I can do two things:

1. Use a large tinted, clear plastic lens (glass would probably be too heavy and dangerous).

2. Do away with the lights and paint a dark-colored hue on black mesh stapled to the box and just paint the two dots for the side lights, and then paint the box black. (But I really like the little lights idea, so I must strive to find that lens!).

There's a block of wood that will make easy work of the antenna, and a circular rod I can attach to the top at the craft store.


"Shoulder" Missile Pods
I decided on having twin-linked "shoulder"-mounted missile pods (on top of my jet pack).

1. For ease of weight and simplicity, I thought I could use two 24-pack soft drink boxes; they're perfect in size. I can't entirely mount them on the jet packs because they're just way too big. If I decide to use them, I can have them on the jet packs and the shoulder.

2. I don't really want to downsize my missile pods to shoebox size, but I can if I need to, though I would only have 2 missiles showing instead of 3.

Either way, I need to find something I can use to represent the missiles in the pod. There are some small, wooden... bases of some sort at the craft store that I can easily drill/tape to the missile pods on the end.

Arm Fusion Blaster
This will be on my left arm and held by a handle like Kais does. This lets me put the weapon down and actually utilize my left hand (rather than stick it into someone's gut every time I pick up candy :P)

1. I'm going a few toy stores to see if there might be something I can find to use as a base and work off of that (because then it would be plastic). The weapon itself needs to be about 20-24" long.

2. While trying to decide between wood (which wouldn't crumple and be sturdy) or cardboard (obviously much lighter and easier to cut), I think I can try to find foam board. Instead of cutting out/painting all the interesting details into the fusion blaster, I was going to drill the 3 small holes in the side, cut in some lines, and two holes for the barrels; then I can stick a flashlight into the end where the canister would be and turn it on. Behold, more lights! I could probably stick in another two smaller lights aimed through the barrels to make it brighter.

The end barrels would probably be two short and hollow, cylindrical material (like toilet paper rolls).

The whole gun will be a simple box 24"L x 4-5"W x 8"H.

Arm Shield Generator
Probably the easiest thing on my list. There's an 8" and 10" diameter wooden, circular bases of some kind at the craft store. I can add three small detail shapes on it for simplicities sake, like the antenna. I can easily drill screws to secure this to the cardboard forearm (but I'm going to have to test it first to see if it holds). I might be able to find something plastic to use instead (which would be lighter).

People who don't know what Warhammer 40,000 is directly, but saw the game Dawn of War, could recognize me. I'm going to paint this costume in black and white.
If the Eldar see battle as a symphony,
Then the Elati have mastered a solo piece,
Of every instrument.

Games in the Past Month:
Tau: W-1, T-0, L-1
Witch H: W-0, T-0, L-0
Eldar: W-2, T-0, L-1
Guard: W-0, T-0, L-0
Other: W-2, T-1, L-0
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