Elysium HULC (powered exoskeleton) costume


New Member
Hello RPF community! This is my first post and my first movie costume build using foam. I saw the trailers for Elysium a few months ago and decided(despite travel and work) to make the HULC(Human Universal Load Carrier) or powered exoskeleton that Matt Damon wears. I started work on it, but couldn't finish in time for the movie's premiere, but I loved the film and it reinspired me to finish it despite my hectic Summer.
I'm using the 0.5" EVA foam puzzle-piece "Gold's Gym" equipment mats from Walmart for $20. I'm using a wood-burning wand with an Exacto-blade attachment(as well as others for shaping). Hot glue binds the pieces. I'm using two sizes of PVC to approximate the pistons.
IMG_20130806_194625_514.jpg 6294699f-b533-487a-8842-78260108197f_elysium_photo_jumbo.jpg
That picture shows the chest piece and the upper arm/shoulder segments linked with the PVC pistons(which will get a paint treatment later). The white nylon straps make a harness I can wear under a gray shirt to keep the whole thing in place.
That one shows the beginning of the forearm bracers
Here's the completed forearms:
Guantlets2.jpg Elysium-new-picture.jpg
That's all the progress I've made thus far. I'm attaching the bracers to the upper arm pistons today. Tomorrow I begin the spine and head piece. I'll be adding socket-head cap screws to each foam piece for detail along with wires and lights for the head. More pictures to come.
Is anyone else making one of these?
It was more problematic linking the forearm bracers to the upper arm sections than I first expected, but once I reinforced the foam with black coat hanger wire it supported itself nicely.
Here's a shot of the underside with the completed arms
That shows the attached nylon harness and the elbow straps.
I put the pieces on to demonstrate the working connections and I'm wearing the harness over my shirt to show its fitting as well. I will conceal the elbow straps under gauze wrapping when the whole thing is finished.
Try to ignore the stray pistons. I will connect them to the shoulder blades later.
Thanks again for the support everyone! You guys are awesome.
UPDATE (8-27-13)
Before I could begin the spinal section or shoulder blades, I had to construct a duct tape dummy to hold my work:
I know it looks crude, but it's my first. :)
This plus my day job set back my progress a little. I did start painting and reconstructing new pistons (because I just wasn't happy with the old ones):
IMG_2580.JPG IMG_2582.JPG
UPDATE (9-4-13)
I've nearly finished the head piece:
IMG_2584.JPG IMG_2583.JPG
The upcoming wires and mount covers for them will conceal the globulous hot-glue on the edges and I'll install a blue LED on the com-port for the right side of my head.
Progress was slowed again because I'm remaking all the previous pistons, changing their mounting bolts, and reinforcing the foam where they connect. It's tedious.
UPDATE (9-11-13)
I finally finished the head piece and cervical section:
IMG_20130910_230606_823-picsay.jpg IMG_2589-picsay.jpg
I couldn't resist sticking it to my head again:
IMG_2593.jpg Here's a pic of the original for comparison IMG_2586-picsay.jpg
I still need to rig the blue LED+wire to the data port and ribbon cable on the right. I've been sick for the past two days so - delays delays delays, but I WILL start the spine and shoulders tomorrow. :)
UPDATE (9-12-13)
I finished the shoulder blades:
I had to stop work on the spine section to fix some problems with a few pistons, bolster the harness a little, and begin replacing the bolts and stop nuts being used to attach the pieces to the harness with magnets. Thanks to Demolition for the magnet idea - "... then attach the armour through the shirt with earth magnets ..." Soooo much better than unscrewing bolts each time I need to make an adjustment. I'm feeling foolish for using bolts now. :)

I didn't realize there was a picture limit for each post, so I'm submitting updates through replies now. I'm getting with the program, finally. :)


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Active Member
That's Awesome! If I wasn't so deeply invested in my Dredd costume I'd start another project... Maybe next year. I look forward to your updates!


New Member
Thanks to everyone for the responses! :) I'm brand new here and honestly didn't expect many comments, but it's obvious I'm not the only one interested in the Elysium HULC costume. I knew I wanted to try making it the first time I saw the trailer and I'm having a blast so far.
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New Member
amazing job so far. But if you need more reference pictures the Exo skeleton is on Ebay
Elysium Max Da Costa Matt Damon Screen Worn Hard Stunt Weta Hulc Suit Prop Set | eBay

Thank you so much for finding that. I've been looking around for more reference material. The photos from that listing are the best I've seen yet...without paying for the "Art of Elysium" book. Those pics are going on my "reference board" in front of my work table. Just in time too, I'm about to start the spine section!

Thanks again! :)


Well-Known Member
Great build. The wifey and I just saw this the other day and I'm putting a Kruger hard-suit (The one he wears at the end of the film) on my to-build list.

Gary Pahls

Well-Known Member
I was wondering when someone was going to try this but I really didn't think the first horse out of the gate was going to be to this level; great job!:thumbsup


New Member
I really liked your idea, I was following the Internet the concept of this movie, but my interest is in the robots.
I want to see it done soon, good luck!


Active Member
Well done! My friend and I were thinking of doing a pair of these and it occurred to me that someone was probably already on it! Thread = subscribed!
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