Hydralisk Cosplay From Starcraft II

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Dabboy

New Member
Welcome to my Hydralisk Cosplay Thread!!

Hydralisk at Blizzcon 2015

Showcase video at Otakuthon 2015

Q&A video

The Making of video:

For more photos, keep scrolling down!
Have a nice read!

Hey everyone!!
Today I want to present to you this year's big project: building the snake-like Zerg from the Starcraft world: The Hydralisk
The obvious challenges in this build are mobility
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, soft tissues and somewhat deformed body shape which needs to be adapted a human stance
Here are some picture from the games and artworks which guided my build.

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/starcraft/images/4/4c/Hydralisk_SC2_Cncpt3.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20091028225625
http://www.theschap.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/hydralisk-sc.jpg
https://xboxoz360.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/starcraft-2-heart-of-the-swarm_oxcgn9.jpg
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/6/66388/1750513-hydralisk_ii_by_mr__jack.jpg

And of course, for those who played Starcraft 1, this unforgettable screen of one of the most iconic unit in the game =D
http://hdwallpapersfactory.com/wallpaper/starcraft_zerg_hydra_desktop_1920x1080_hd-wallpaper-1224528.jpg

Alright, lets start the build
Starting off with cardboard, I free
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-handed cut the large head shape (I know some of you are very meticulous and like to measure everything. Im into trials and errors and let my imagination guide my steps)
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Once I get an overall structure that looks decent enough, I added more specific details like spiny scales, eye sockets and horns with pieces of foam, aluminum foil, newspaper wrapped in tape. Then I used paper-mache (mix white glue with water and dip with paper towel) to wrap everything and add texture to the head.
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Let it dry then reworked the jaws shape.
I also cut out some holes in the structure because cardboard tends top be heavy I figured these area can be covered with just paper mache with undertile flooring sheet
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Then moving on to the body.
This part was pretty tricky in part due to the S shape stance of the hydra. In the end, I simply decided to go for a straight stance which would be much easier to build
The idea was to divide the body into segments and somehow join them together in a relatively flexible way that would allow fluide
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movement.
After a few trials. I finally settled with a design that would be not too difficult to wear and allows some mobility
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.
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So I divided the hydra's body into 2 different parts each designed individually:
the standing half (from torso to foot)
the tail (self-explained)

The standing part is divided into 3 sections which stack together with velcro
WD_0045.jpegWD_0058.jpeg
The sections design is nothing complicated, just a ring of foam connected to the front (or belly) plated scales, Each section is divided into 3-4 segments
Again
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here it took many trials to make everything fit together and conceal the separations between the sections
WD_0002.jpegimage.jpeg
Now for the tail, my utlimate goal was to create a snake like tail that can wiggle from side to side as the hydra moves.
I was very inspired by League of Legend's Cassiopeia's cosplay by Jerry Polence and decided to use a similar concept.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNWhoUoeEHg
However, i gave more freedom to my tail by adding elastic straps to my buckle joints and glue them so the buckles stay between each segments of the tails instead of being concealed inside the segment as Jerry did.
Now you may think the buckels will be in plain sight to everyone.
I thought of that and decided to add a "roof" on each segment to cover the buckle (you can see from the above pictures). This allows free movement and conceals pretty well the mechanism under.
I placed a piece of cardboard in each segment to keep its shape sturdy so it flatten out over time.
DSC_0183.JPG

Two things I did to ease
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mobility
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on any type of floor.
First, I added a sheet of PVC under each segment of the tail. As you can see in the picture, I cut 2 slits and inserted the PVC sheet in between in a curved way. This first of all prevent the foam from rubbing
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against the floor and protects it. Secondly, this minimizes friction during mobilization
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, and helps the tail follow more smoothly my movement.
Lastly, I added another sheet of PVC under each segment which covers partly the segment behind it. This acts as a shield for uneven floor or stairs and prevent the edges of the latter segment to get stuck in a ridge or on a stair steps.
DSC_0184.JPG

Finally, I added some spines on the sides inspired by this model of the hydra
http://pre07.deviantart.net/d218/th/pre/f/2010/308/1/7/hydralisk_render_by_bigreek-d325v02.jpg
WD_0031.jpeg
Again, to prevent the spines from hooking in the frame of a narrow passage and eventually break off, I purposely did not glue it to the tail. Instead I used the elastic strip and glued on end inside the spine, pass the strip into a small hole in the tail and glue the other end inside. I also added a round base where the the spine can sit comfortably on. This allows for rough play and when a spine hits something, it bounces back into place. It kinda looks more alive this way too.
DSC_0186.JPGDSC_0187 - Copy.JPG

Alright now, we need to connect both parts of the body together. Following Jerry' steps, I designed a piece that fit with the stance part and sits nicely on top of the first segment of the tail. Basically cut strips of foam and adjust their curvature so they make like a 90 degree angle when glued together. Again, lots of free-handed adjustments, the picture says it all.
WD_0023.jpegDSC_0191.JPG
Now one part of the body which really annoyed me (actually they all did at some point during the build) was the chest piece.
If we look at the artworks and in game models, the chest connects to the bulky protruding back right under the arms.
Originally, my chest piece looked like this:
WD_0028.jpeg
It just didn't sit right with the rest of the body and I didn't like to have how the torso piece went all the way above my shoulders. It's supposed to be bare skin between the head and the arms. Hence why I cut out the front part and kept only the back part. Then I built a torso piece out of foam which looked more like the artwork and glued it with the old cardboard piece.
I added straps between the two pieces so the whole thing can sit comfortably on my shoulders.
This is how it looks like (because explaining it is so much harder)
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I was pretty pleased with this "torso without shoulders" piece.

Alright, so that's it for now! Hope you like my project so far =)
Will post the rest very soon!!

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MWiggs

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay [pic heavy#almost completed

Yay! Finally some more Starcraft love on here! That's looking fantastic so far! Your foam work is very impressive! I'd love to see a video of the whole thing slithering like you described. Can't wait to see more progress. Subscribed! BTW first few pics up top of the head aren't showing up.

Hope I run into you at a Con one day! Keep up the amazing work.
 

Grimwood

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay [pic heavy#almost completed

That looks great!! Excellent work in figuring out how all those parts fit together! Looking forward to updates.

Likewise, I couldn't see quite a few of the pics.
 

Dabboy

New Member
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay [pic heavy#almost completed

Thanks guys =) I edited the post, the pictures should show now!
MWiggs, blizzcon 2016 it is!
Which Con are you making your marine suit for?
 

Dabboy

New Member
[New Video] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Alright, time for another post!

Moving on to the arms and shoulder, my next challenge would be to have claws that can pull out back and forth at will.
And this mechanism had to be relatively smooth and effortless.
I unmounted an old clothe rack's and used the wood rods to build my "extended arms". I used the pre-drilled holes as pivot (which I ended up not using because I drilled my own holes in the end) to hook up the claws. I first thought of adding a pulley onto my arms to pull the claws up with a string. It worked, though pulling was hard and it was extra weight to the relatively heavy wood arms.
DSC_0149.JPG
Above you can see the claws are hanging below the main rods with the pulley at the end.
Below is a simplified mechanism where the claw itself is being pulled backward.
So instead of hooking the rods the way I did initially, I decided to drill a hole further down each claws, and use them for pivot instead. You can see the difference in the two pictures. Then I discarded the pulley and used a simple pull and release mechanism with the help of a spring to smooth out the action and voila!
DSC_0177.JPGDSC_0179.JPG
Going back to the head, I added a dome under so it would sit nicely on top of my shoulders.
I used a pool spaghetti for padding and hope it'll be comfortable to walk with over hours (really hope so!)
ffff.jpgDSC_0111.JPG (sorry for wearing my PJs when I work and take photos for public display ^^'')

Next step is to add the teeth lower jaw and side jaws to the head. You can already see from the above photo.
I used thermoplastic for the teeth. (quickly heats up with a heatgun and free to mold into shape)
WD_0033.jpegWD_0037.jpeg
Id' say this is the first time I work with thermoplastic, and it is fantastic to add little sturdy details to the costume.
Now that I'm mentioning it, I might use some more to add tiny spines to my claws and arms.
Here's a video if you're curious about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMAd4FpXpy4&list=PLIFrIGjKRqvuSWXR_JQjS3SuD9C1Xy6WP
there are different brands but in the end, it's the same material so i guess get which ever has good ratings and price value

Of course I won't be satisfied with the jaws sitting still all the time. It needs to be alive. And not just the lower and upper ones... both pairs need to be in motion! this is a motto I've always included in all my cosplays by adding either sounds, motion, interaction with the audience; something a simple picture can never convey. Makes people want to actually be there and see it with their own eyes.
Anyways, enough self-praise. Here's how the jaws should move like
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_5WK9cqiic

Since I will have my hands full with the extended arms, I'll use the help of a servo motor to get the job done. The jaws will be controlled by a servo and will be remotely controlled via a potentiometer (same thing as a radio volume knob) in my hand.
I used an Arduino Uno board to dictate/code the servo's movement and a system of ropes and springs similar to the mechanism in the arms.
You can google Arduino servo tutorial if you're interested in that field. I just think cosplays with implemented animatronics are awesome!

So far, the system I implemented works well. Will post a video as soon as I get the servo I ordered online from CanadaRobotix.

That's it for now.
In the next post I'll move onto the painting part and will also post a video of speed test in the Hydra's tail and a ... STAIR TEST...
will this beast be able to climb stairs? Surprise!
 
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Grimwood

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Wow. This is stellar work. Thanks for sharing your progress. I'm subbed!
 

CLOTHAR

Active Member
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Wow!! This build looks incredible. Really high quality work. Keep on going, I can't wait to see more.
 

MWiggs

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay [pic heavy#almost completed

Thanks guys =) I edited the post, the pictures should show now!
MWiggs, blizzcon 2016 it is!
Which Con are you making your marine suit for?
I've got my local one coming up end of September. Salt Lake Comic Con! But if I don't make the deadline it'll have to wait until next year. Maybe hit up SDCC or something.

Great work on that head BTW! That thing looks terrifying and those teeth look great! Coming together really nicely. Really curious how you'll work out the jaw movement. Keep it up
 

Dabboy

New Member
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Thanks a bunch for the support guys =)
I won't keep you wait any longer for fresh news!
So I almost finished painting each parts of the cosplay.
only the tail to be finished.
Here are some before/after comparison photos.
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So I used 2 medium to paint my Hydra: one is Acrylic which i'm pretty familiar with. The second one is .... guess what.... silicone!
I was wondering how to make the Hydra's soft tissue look somehow real and my direction went toward using platinum-based silicone (which is masks and animatronics puppets)
I bought 16 lbs of Dragon-Skin FX-Pro and I think the money was well spent.
DSC_0213.JPG
I played a bit with the new material and see how it works. Pot life is about 10 minutes, and curing time is 45 minutes which is pretty good when you want to work fast.
Here are the pros and cons I found with silicone

Pros:
very nice shiny skin texture
vivid colour
provides extra bond when painted on joints

cons
uncured silicone oil is sticky (need to be removed with mineral solvent)
becomes heavy if painted too thick a layer
hard to mix paints

I'll elaborate on this last issue: to color with silicone, you need to buy pigments (Silc Pig is what I used) and mix it with the 2 silicone parts.
The pigments are very concentrated and you kinda have to guess how much of each pigment you should put to obtain the desired color (I did not really want to spend hours testing every combination... just feel and hope I get it right =p
I could have added solvent to dilute the paint as suggested in some tutorial but I preferred painting with just silicone because the colors are not as watery and look richer

DSC_0165.JPGDSC_0168.JPG
Here abobe i'm jus showing how I painted the hydra's neck skin. I glued under-tile sheet where I wanted the skin to hang from the head and just painted generously with silicone.
The result looks and feels pretty awesome!

Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed the progress pictures!
I know I said I would post a video of me testing out the tail, but I actually have to log off now so will post it very soon this week!!
Stay tuned!!
 

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Dabboy

New Member
Re: "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

As promised here's the link to the video of me testing out the tail outside my house.
Don't mind my pajama haha


I'll probably add some straps to lift up the body so it doesnt rub against the floor.
I also finished painting everything, I'll post more pictures tomorrow!
And thanks for subscribing guys =)
Its almost completed, I hope I won't let you down!
 
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CLOTHAR

Active Member
Re: [New Video] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Looks great! I was going to say try some roller skates to make walking easier, but then that would make stairs much harder.
 

Grimwood

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: [New Video] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

That is awesome!
 

Dabboy

New Member
Re: [New Trailer] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Hey Clothar, thanks for your support!
I thought about putting wheels in the tail but for weight issues and uneven floors (grass, unpaved field... stairs) I thought the sliding mechanism would be better =)

So today the Hydralisk was completed. I'll start right off the week with a fresh TRAILER! Please enjoy!

I will post more photos and info for the mouth servo in another post!
Otakuthon is in less than 2 weeks, there will be lots of fun and pictures for everyone =)
Keep you all posted!!
 
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Dabboy

New Member
Re: [New Trailer] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *PIC HEAVY*

Okay time for some servo post!
So here are some schemes that explain how the jaws work.
Because a picture explains much better than my words

Open jaws:
servo1.jpg

Closed jaws:
servo2.jpg

heres a closer view of the servo
DSC_0225.JPG
The servo I used is a sail servo with super high torque which can barely pull the jaws inward... I tried many different combinations with elastics but I think the position and mechanism I used are not optimal. Someone with better physics knowledge will probably come out with a better scheme. Until then, this will do.
And like I said in the other post, Everything is controlled via an Arduino Uno board which is powered with 4 AA batteries and a USB charger.
The position of the jaw is mapped after the knob of a potentiometer.
DSC_0223.JPG
Here's a video of how it looks like in motion.

Alright, I believed this is the last post concerning the build. I can consider my costume to be officially completed.
Next to come will be photos/videos of the full assembly, and shoots from Otakuthon!
Stay tuned!!!! And thanks a bunch for following until now!
 
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CLOTHAR

Active Member
Re: [Completed] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *VIDEO + PIC HEAVY*

That is pretty awesome. If you haven't already, check out obsessive creative disorder on facebook. He put up a video a few months ago about cosplay mechanics. It gives a really good, simple breakdown of the physics involved in projects like this. Might be useful.

Have fun at the CON!!!!
 

Dabboy

New Member
Re: [Completed] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *VIDEO + PIC HEAVY*

Thanks for the tip Clothar!
I watched his videos and they are amazing!

1 day left before the Con,
here's a new trailer for the Hydralisk!
 
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MWiggs

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: [Completed] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *VIDEO + PIC HEAVY*

Looks fantastic! Nice work! Good luck at the Con!
 

CLOTHAR

Active Member
Re: [Completed] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *VIDEO + PIC HEAVY*

Oh I love this! You have great movement. Have a great time.
 

Hyperion Armory

New Member
Re: [Completed] "For The Swarm!" Starcraft II Hydralisk cosplay *VIDEO + PIC HEAVY*

Sweet mother of mercy, I'm gonna have to do some target practice. Superb-looking costume! Come to Blizzcon next year and we can meet up and duke it out, marine vs. hydra.
 

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