Help for painting muscle on a lycra suit

Discussion in 'Marvel Costumes and Props' started by MrBibou, May 19, 2012.

  1. MrBibou

    MrBibou Active Member

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    Hi guys, I need your help for my new costume :)
    I want to make a miles morales utlimate Spiderman suit but i can't afford putting hundreds of dollars in a dye sub suit I will wear maybe once or twice, even if i want one so badly..

    The thing is that I found a solution for the money issue : painting on a lycra suit.
    As the suit is all black and has red parts on it, I planned to buy a black zentai suit and paint the red sections with fabric paint.
    I tested it on a Old lycra suit and it worked well.
    I think that if i can achieve this suit, the result could be pretty interesting :)

    But here's my problem : i would like to paint some muscle definition to make my suit even nicer, with 1 or 2 shades of black fabric paint but I have no idea of how i should paint those.

    Can anybody help me with a pattern that would shows the front and back of a black suit using one or two shades of black for the muscle highlights ?
    It would be really Nice of you guys !
  2. Indigogyre

    Indigogyre Well-Known Member

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    Disclaimer: I've never done anything close to this.

    However, the muscle effects are achieved through the shading of various areas to give the impression of additional mass and depth. I would think that trying to shade on black would require the use of lighter colors but that would be a negative effect which would not work well.

    My idea would be instead of using a black lycra suit use a dark blue that tricks the eye into thinking it is black. This way you could use true black for the shading in the areas you need them and should achieve the subtle effect.

    My other thought was to use a Red base suit and just paint the black areas and then you could do your shading but that seemed like too much work.

  3. MrBibou

    MrBibou Active Member

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    Using a red suit and painting on black sounds way to complicated.
    Here's the suit I'm willing to do :


    I searched for a blue suit and didn't find anything that would be dark enough.
    And even if I did, I still need the muscle pattern to draw them as I don't have any idea of how I can paint them..

    I think i'm just going to paint the red part over the black suit.
    I will still look nice I guess.

    Thanks for your answer mate :)
  4. TheNickFox

    TheNickFox Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You have two options:

    1) Use a black lycra suit and paint in the highlights.

    2) Use a grey lycra suit and paint in the shadows. (I'd go with this one)

    In either case using an airbrush would be the best way to get this effect.

    I'm not sure how successful you'll be with putting the red over the black though without making it very prone to cracking or flaking. It's always easier to dye something darker rather than lighter, and black is darker than red.

    The muscle patterns for the Sam Raimi movie costumes were created in a similar way to what you're looking to do. They put a white suit on a guy and had an artist airbrush in the various muscle groups. The only difference is they then un-sewed the suit and scanned the patterns in to create digital files.

    Good luck.

  5. carl9149

    carl9149 Well-Known Member

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    Why not use a black lycra, get some red and hand sew this on top, or you could glue them ontop. Then use foam and glue them on the inside of the costume to create the muscles you want.
  6. MrBibou

    MrBibou Active Member

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    Thanks for your response Nick, I think I'll just go with a regular black suit and red painted over it.
    I think it will look decent and even nice for a <50$ build.

    Stay tuned for a new thread following my build :)
  7. Psicorp7

    Psicorp7 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You might want to paint and underlayer of white or silver for the red areas if you want them to be vibrant red. I used to silkscreen shirts and we laid down a light layer of white or silver to make the colors pop on black shirts.

    To get the muscles to show up you might want to do some reverse shading in medium grey to highlight the nonshadow areas. Basically, look at the shaded suits that are out there and add the grey to the outside the areas that should be muscle shadow.

    How are you going to do the eyes and mask?

    Good luck!
  8. MrBibou

    MrBibou Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice with the silver paint, i'll have to test that and see the result but I actually want the red to be a bit darker.

    I still don't know how to do the eyes bu I'll figure out ;)
  9. Pobbrett

    Pobbrett Well-Known Member

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    couldn't you carve a memory foam pillow to form the muscle mass and wear it under the suit ??
  10. MrBibou

    MrBibou Active Member

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    I prefer having a painted suit rather than having to wear foam pads underneath :/
  11. RyogaVee

    RyogaVee New Member

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    I wish I had seen this sooner. Ive actually painted lycra red in the past.
    Its all about layers. The paint on this shirt was done with Tulip Slick fabric paint.

    What I did was print out my design on thick paper (Poster board / large photo paper). Cut out a stencil. Taped it down, and began to paint.

    This might be a long process. what you want to do it go thin layer by thin layer. at first it might night look like anything it happening. But by the 3rd layer it will come to form.

    Watch this video to see what it looks like in motion.
  12. spydrwebz

    spydrwebz Well-Known Member

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    Lumierre makes a great fabric paint too its sold at art supply houses but its pricey.

    Im also told that you can buy cheap acrylic craft paints from Wal-Mart, right beside them they sell a textile medium for 1.47 that you mix into the paints. you have to heat set heat set lycra you place a damp towel over the dried product and set the iron to the lowest settings possible.

    If youre on a budget Id suggest trying a few of these methods on some old spandex shorts or athletic wear found at any thrift store first....and then post your results here for the rest of us :)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  13. Iracel

    Iracel Well-Known Member

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    Would the paint crack once you put the costume on? I guess thats why you stretch it out, but what happens when you wash it?
  14. Manny

    Manny New Member

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    U painting it on Photoshop?

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