Gears of War 2: Armored Kantus


Sr Member
Well it is official! I have decided on my big costume for 2015 - The Armored Kantus from Gears of War. We're looking at slip-cast latex appliances for the head and arms, stilts and prosthetics for the feet, and a metric butt-ton of foam. I haven't done an extensive amount of work with foam in the past so this should be quite a project to learn from.

Also for this project I'm going to make an extra effort to document my work as I've been pretty lousy about that in the past.

Since the forum is more suited for blog-style entries about processes and techniques, I'll do more of my day to day post snippets on my facebook page:

Here goes something...


The first step in what will be a long long journey.

This mannequin's shoulders are a little broader than my own but so far it has proved to be a very hand tool for patterning out the larger sections of the armor.

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Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Armored Kantus Week 1 Update:

Here's an incredibly simple back pattern that I whipped up for the Kantus. Since the entire backside of this critter is covered in spine/scales this really doesn't need to be anything fancy. If I were to improve on this, I'd like to see more curvature in the back to slightly increase to torso volume. The plan for the spines is to attach them as if they were a cloak so that the entire assembly can have free movement and flow naturally rather than being a rigid structure along the back.


Kind of a big jump here but the methodology is still the same. I make a paper pattern based on the armor part and then remake it 4 or 5 times before I'm satisfied with the results. Then the pattern is transferred to foam and then cut with a fresh blade. To get that raised lip edge around the armor I used 6mm craft foam to give the impression of scored leather. Once the part has been sealed a lot of the smaller gaps will close up and I think the imitation will be that much stronger.


For the more technical bits of this costume I plan on using either CNC or 3d printing tech to handle the workload. For example, this buckle/harness "thing" would be very easy to knock out with a simple ABS print. I worked up quick model in rhino and then printed a paper template to check and see if I was in the ballpark scale wise. I'll print this piece up in the coming week and be able to test-fit the rest of the torso detailing before I move on to the shoulders/arms.

This week I focused mainly on the torso, and this was as far as I made it. There is still a bit more piping and stitching to be done around the edges but I'd call this about 85% of the way there.

Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Looove this. I stared at that armour for like ten minutes when either you or Vol in posted it the first time. So far it's looking amazing, looks like you're on track to make your deadline.
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Week 2:

This past week I worked mainly on the shoulder bells and upper plates. I also got a pretty good start on blocking out the head sculpt, but I'll save that for next weeks update.


All three sections of the shoulder are fabricated with a simple curved foam piece patterned out in paper and then cut and attached with contact cement. The edges of the armor are trimmed with 6 mm craft foam and then beveled with a dremel to simulate tooled leather.




I decided to test out a little timelapse video of some of my work, but since stitching is so boring lets see how it is done at 32x speed! Apologies for the inconsistencies in quality with this video. I'm still trying to figure out how to thrash every possible pixel out of it.

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Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

So excited about this build. Hope to see you there and get pics with you in my cog armor.
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

I got completely buried under commission work for the past few weeks so Kantus progress has been slow going. That said, here's a nearly finished shoulder piece that is missing a few bolts and a bit of strapping. If I can knock out a few small projects early in the week I'll have time to finish shoulders and torso this weekend and hopefully move into sealing / painting.

Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

So as to not completely abandon this thread.... Here is all of April in one post. /photovomit








Preview of things to come...

Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Please don't abandon this thread! This is amazing work i like the style. Its great to see somethign different from time to time! Keep up the good work.
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Can't wait to see how you tackle that hairdo... Or the massive legs. Looks awesome so far!
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

After a long month of digging out from under a mountain of work, progress on the Kantus resumes. Finishing by DC this year is looking a little shaky but I'm still holding out hope that I can pull it off. Sleep is overrated anyway right?

First we started with a simple head pattern based on an old life cast I did several years back.

This is the rough block out of the head shape. In retrospect it's just a bit too large and this critter will probably suffer from a bit of "bobble head syndrome."

Head crest.



The jaw is attached to the skull using styrene discs attached with chicago screws. I'm hoping that I can rig up a tension spring in this system so that the jaw can be articulated.

Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Blows most things I've seen out of the water. :cheers

The attitude towards the craft I am seeing is probably even more impressive then the finished piece will be (one is usually a function of the other).
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

OKAY....... you are officially crazy!!!

When I saw the photo of this armor I was saying to myself.......Yeeeeeaaaahhh good luck with that........

Now I see your progress pics and now I'm Saying Hooooooly Sheeeeet!!!!..........You may pull this off!

Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Key word here VinMan - "may" :wacko

I had some spare time today to work on the baby teeth inside the Kantus' mouth. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the designer of this critter definitely took inspiration from H.R. Geiger's Alien.

This was designed and sculpted using Rhino for the teeth and Zbrush for the gums. In retrospect, the placement of some of those back teeth and their relation to the gums feels a little off to me but at this stage in the game I can't afford to redo this part. Fortunately the majority of this feature is crammed way back in the mouth and will probably be poking me in the eyes most of the time.

The print was run in ABS on a CubePro Duo and took just over 5 hours to finish. Post processing was done using an alternating method of sanding and wiping down with acetone. I can still detect grow lines in the part so I'll need to repeat this cycle another time or two, but for the most part we're nearly ready to prep for paint.

This method lacks the soul and character of a hand sculpted item but when you need to crank out parts FAST, rapid prototyping is the way to go.




Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

Really enjoying this. Quite a range of skills you're using, from simple to advanced and all of them done effectively.
Re: DragonCon 2015: Armored Kantus

With this sprint to the finish line just a couple weeks away, I should have quite a few more progress posts to make to this thread.


The spines are comprised of 3 pieces of EVA foam, laser cut and glued together with contact adhesive. The edges are beveled down and then the piece is heat formed into shape so that it stands away from the head. These are labor intensive enough that I can only crank out about 7-10 per hour. I'm estimating 250-400 spines for the entire head / back structure so I've definitely got my work cut out for me.


The upper teeth printed yesterday are just a little too thick to fit comfortably inside the mouth palette so visibility is going to be quite a challenge in this costume. Also there is no easy way to drink with this mask on so clearly I went wrong somewhere along the way.


The forearm pieces have finally been completely and have now moved into paint. All painting is done with various liquid acrylics and hand applied by bristle and foam brush. The weathering and highlights are a little heavy handed here so I might go a little easier on the other side and try to even things out.
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