Predator costume build

Arktic

New Member
Hey everyone - I'm posting this over the The Hunter's Lair / Predatorium, but thought there might be some interested folks here too.


I've started to get a super budget Predator costume build together, and thought I'd share a few work in progress images.


I'm hoping to wear the costume to a friend's party at the end of the summer, so I've given myself plenty of time to get everything together. The final product is going to be NOWHERE near screen accurate, but it should be fun for me to make and a decent costume for a party



This is my first proper costume build of this size / scale! Also, talking of size, I'm 6' 7", so I'm hoping that I'll make a pretty imposing Predator



As I say, I'm trying to keep this as cheap as possible, so it's going to be scratch-build, mostly from EVA/camping mat foam. I'm not planning on making the mask (yet!), so instead I decided to start my build with the Bio Helmet
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Foam pep, which I then sealed with PVA and a rubberised enamel spray paint from Halfords. I used an acrylic caulk to fill in the seams
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Then I made up some 15mm backer-rod foam dreads, and sprayed them with more of the rubberised enamel paint
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I ran out of the rubberised paint, and ended up finishing a few of them off with plain old acrylic, which seemed to work just as well.


I've used a baseball cap minus the peak as a base for the dreads. I didn't have a styrofoam head to use during the gluing of the dreads, but a Mexican wrestler mask on top of a drinks bottle seemed to do an adequate job. And also looked pretty weird.
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For the dread beads, I've just used some 15mm endfeed couplers which I got from B&Q, about £7 for 40 of them.
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To help them stay on the dreads, I've given them a slight crimp. You can't really see it, but it's just enough to hold them firmly in place
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Bio has been painted with some car paint, again from Halfords - I went with Toyota Tyrol Silver, just because I liked the sound of the name. Weathering has been added with some black acrylic which was drybrushed on
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I'll add the targeting lasers with some LEDs later on!

Next up, the shoulder canon which started life as a water gun from the pound shop
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Hacked to bits with a dremel and, then some bits and bobs hotglued on, and some greebles added with craft foam
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And I've started work on the gauntlets - camping foam and floor mat foam with craft foam details (and googly eyes!). All sealed up with PVA.
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I've cut the blades from some polystyrene sheet (the kind you sometimes get with frozen pizzas). It's super easy to cut and sand to shape, and I'm going to coat it with aqua-resin / Jesmonite and see how strong they are. I might also try cutting them from some thin spruce board, and see which finishes up looking better, once I can get my hands on a jigsaw
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For the bomb gauntlet, I already had one of these cheap scrolling text LED belt buckles lying around from another project, so I decided to use this to make my countdown timer lights
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Disassembled, it's quite a simple circuit board powered by button-cell batteries. Because I'm going to be permenantly mounting the PCB inside the gauntlet I need to make a couple of modifications so that the batteries can be changed and the lights switched on and off
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So I start by removing the battery holders, and soldering one of the terminals together (to connect the circuit). Then I solder a couple of wires to the terminals where other battery holder was
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These wires will be connected to a CR2032 holder with a switch which will be mounted to the outside of the gauntlet when finished. Next I take a section of floor mat foam and carve out a recess for the board
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I've programmed the board to scroll some random gibberish text, and I've placed some black cardboard with Yautja style symbols cut out over the lights, sandwiched under the red plastic that came with the buckle.
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I think the effect is pretty neat, and it didn't cost me anything to make as I already had all the bits lying around.


I've decided to go with a lycra bodysuit which I'm planning on airbrushing - I decided against latex at this stage for a couple of reasons: first of all, the latex process seems pretty messy! Secondly, I want to be able to wear this suit to a party, with drinking and dancing and all that good stuff, so a latex suit is just going to be too hot and uncomfortable. So I ordered a custom-sized flesh coloured Zentai suit from China
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For hands and feet, I'm going for reasonably off-the-shelf solutions - those devil/monster gloves that I've seen several people use before, and for feet, I found these kids' Dinosaur shoe covers, which I'll need to cut up a bit so they fit over my gigantic size 14 feet...
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And that's about it so far! It's all coming together nicely, and I hope to keep you guys updated with my progress as it happens.


Cheers,
Arktic.
 
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Grimwood

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Fantastic!! When I saw the phrase budget build, I admit to thinking cheap. But you've really done some amazing things! Subscribed!!
 

Arktic

New Member
Time for a quick update :)

I made the upper part of the computer gauntlet from some floor mat foam, decorated with craft foam, googly eyes, a washer, some matchsticks and a kebab skewer




I added some hinges to the lower part of the gauntlet which houses the LEDs, as well as some rare earth magnets to hold it closed when it’s not open




So that’s the bomb gauntlet done! I’m struggling to get the blades done well enough for me to be happy with them, but the lower section of the blade gauntlet is painted and weathered up too




Next, I decided to add the LEDs to the bio helmet tri-laser - I used a bottle cap which had a ‘lip’ on the inside where I could mount some craft foam. The cap was cut at an angle to match the part of the helmet where it’d mount, and three holes were drilled for the superbright LEDs (I bought LEDs that came with resistors mounted already, as it saved me the hassle of trying to work out which ones I’d need!). Additional details were added with craft foam.




The foam was sealed with PVA, then painted and weathered, and the LEDs fixed in place with hot glue




Everything was soldered up (a simple switch and a 9V battery clip were the other components), and then glued into place inside the helmet. The battery is held inside the ‘mouth’ section of the helmet with sticky velcro




The finished Tri-Laser looks pretty decent, considering it cost about £2!






I started work on the shoulder armour sections, using camping mat foam and craft foam for detailing. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from
Trogg’s instructions from his own scratch built armour threads - http://predatorium.com/threads/my-backpack-out-of-foam-board-and-odds-and-ends-chest-armour-weathered.17413/




And here are the shoulder armour pieces with their fresh coat of paint




Speaking of paint, I’ve switched from the Halford’s Toyota spray paint to Hycote Aluminium Coat - it’s bonkers cheap, only £2.40 on Amazon for 400ml, rather than £8 for 300ml of the Halford’s stuff. It looks great, dries quickly and if you order £20 worth of stuff from Amazon, you get free delivery too, so it’s a proper bargain!


A couple of weeks ago, my wife helped me make my duct-tape dummy



We made it the standard way, cling film and duct-tape. The process took a couple of hours, but I think it was worthwhile!


The weather was nice and sunny today, so I decided to put the duct-tape dummy to good use and airbrush my lycra suit



As you can see, my dog was also enjoying the good weather ;)


It’s the first time I’ve ever airbrushed a ‘design’ so to speak, rather than just a solid colour - and it was a bit of a steep learning curve! The tip of the airbrush kept on drying out - I think that might have been due to me not thinning the paint quite enough at first. I was using Createx Colors, and I just used water to thin it out. I mainly used transparent dark brown, but also a little bit of tropical green, sand, orange and some opaque black.


A predator skin is probably one of the easiest things to airbrush though, as it’s quite a forgiving design, and you can hide a lot of mistakes under the dot pattern. Speaking of dots, I never want to paint another bloody dot in my life… However, if you’re thinking of giving airbrushing a go, just take your time, and do everything gradually, building up the look you’re going for, and I’m sure you’ll get there! If I can do it, so can you!




And a quick test fit:



I’m really happy with the way it’s come out… even if my expression doesn’t show it in this picture ;)


So, that’s about it for the moment - next up will probably be the shin armour, or the chest armour. Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear what you think!
 

logan74k

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Really nice result with the alien symbol masked led buckle. It's those kind of 'magic' details that can really bring a budget build to life. If you focus on polishing a few prominent details it can completely elevate the 'feel' of the whole costume. The repurposed water gun came out pretty cool too with the greeblies and flipping it - nice work!

Looking forward to seeing more progress and the finished costume!
 

Arktic

New Member
Thanks for the nice words guys!

Logan - you're totally right about the little details being really important! I've not got the skill or the budget to polish the entire suit up to the level I dream of (this time, at least!), but there are a few key areas that I'm going to focus on, and hopefully as you say, that's going to make the whole costume feel that little bit more premium :)
 

bigbisont

Active Member
The shoulder cannon blew me away. Very very clever work there. Whole thing is looking really stellar.
 

Logermeister

Active Member
That skin looks fantastic! Have you considered putting some padding in the shoulders for that monstrous, intimidating silhouette? I look forward to seeing more of this!
 

Arktic

New Member
Hey guys, thanks for the comments! It really keeps me going when I hit those low moments in the project (I'm sure we all get them, when things don't go quite right or you can't figure out how to do the next step).

Logermeister - I've been experimenting with padding, but I think I'll wait until the shoulder armour is attached to see if I can get away without adding too much extra. Even with just the lycra suit, it's damn hot under all that foam, so the fewer layers the better.

It’s been a few weeks, and work and other things keep getting in the way of the Predator project, but I’ve had enough time to do a few bits and pieces, so here’s a short update.


First of all, I decided to make a no-budget neck seal. I measured my neck and cut a piece of camping mat foam to length





I then measured some lines along the foam, and scored them (being careful not the completely cut through)






I then ran a heat gun over the surface of the foam, which ‘split’ the scored lines into more defined grooves. Next I superglued some magnets on the back where it overlapped






And all it needed was a lick of black acrylic paint, and it was all done. I didn’t need to seal the foam, because the heating from the previous step closes the cells on the outside surfaces. It didn’t cost me anything as I had the scrap foam, magnets, glue and paint lying around.


Next up, I started work on the chest armour. To make sure I got the basic shape right, I started by drawing out the design onto an old t-shirt





Which I then cut out, leaving me with a pattern for the foam





Then I added additional layers to form the details, using 4mm / 3mm / 2mm craft foam, which was all sealed with PVA



The joints were reinforced with additional strips of foam on the inside for strength, as I’m not using any solid structure underneath



Once the PVA was dry, I hit it with a coat of silver spray paint



Before weathering it with some acrylics



And here’s how it looks at the moment (along with the painted neck seal)



It’s ready to have the leather straps attached, once I work out how I’m going to do that. I might also add another strip of foam at the bottom, to extend it down a little further - but it depends on how it looks once I’ve got the shoulder / arm armour on and the belt/groin armour too.


Thanks for reading, as always I’d love to hear feedback and comments!
 

warweaver84

New Member
very nice work, my uncle is doing a predator build i went round the other week because he said and i quote " can you come round and put my predator on so i can take some pics as your gran can work the camera'' lol here a few of the pics he took remember this isnt my build but my uncles but i can keep ppl up to date if ppl are interested

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Arktic

New Member
very nice work, my uncle is doing a predator build ... i can keep ppl up to date if ppl are interested
Woah, that looks fantastic warweaver84! Do you know if your uncle is scratch building / sculpting that? Either way, very impressive work!
 

warweaver84

New Member
If I'm right he was sculpting small bits then moulding the silicone rubber then joining it's took a while but as you can see it's worth it, my arms are abit longer than my uncles so the forearms don't meet the elbows lol
 

Arktic

New Member
Quick update time - the costume wasn't ready for the party I'd hoped to wear it at, but that's OK as it was too hot to wear it for any length of time, least of all on the lower deck of a boat, which is where the party was...!

But I got a few test shots of the costume progress so far. I'd say I'm about 85% done now, just got the leg armour to tackle and then finishing touches.

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Also, here's a very quick GIF I made in After Effects. Didn't bother using a greenscreen, so the keying is pretty rubbish - but I think if I shoot something properly, it could look pretty good!

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Cheers :)


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