Radical! Creating a totally awesome 90's Donatello!

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Grimwood, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I do a lot of charity work with my character Rowsby Woof, a wascally wily dog with an acerbic wit and snappy banter for children's charities and decided this year to do a throwback project: Donatello, via 1990's TMNT.

    The biggest challenges of course would be the mask and shell. The iconic look is very specific to the films and easily recognizable to anyone remotely familiar with the green heroes. I'm happy to say both projects are already underway!

    concept.jpg

    The concept drawing

    form1.jpg

    Humble beginnings

    form2.jpg

    The base

    trtl2.jpg

    Outside completed! Still have trimming and rounding to do, as well as proper placement and gluing the bits into place. I plan to create another base, glue the two edges together using a stiff cardboard backing, then stuff the interior with some sort of stuffing. That should give it that rounded shape. Then, I'll create a strapping system to hold it on my back like a backpack.

    Lots of work to do!

    Thanks for viewing.
     

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  2. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    IMG_20150421_204432 (2).jpg
    Basic shell complete! Have to add some trim, add detail to the plates, plastidip, paint then gloss coat it. Got a lot done today!

    IMG_20150421_204526.jpg

    I salute my old Land's End backpack I've had for over 29 years. Used it in highschool and it was in great shape even today! Just need to attach it after I get the whole thing painted.

    Tomorrow I'll be finishing up the breast plate.
     
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  3. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Breast plate is done, created some side panels. Still need some darned glue sticks. Already have the buckles to connect it all.

    My spandex pants arrived the other day so i will probably start on building my muscle suit next.
     
  4. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    20150422_112904.jpg 20150422_121024.jpg

    Coming together. Tomorrow I will finish up the shell (tabs around the outside edge) trimming, shaping and painting. I'm fairly happy with the breast plate, still need to connect the cod piece. Need to start working on that darned muscle suit. I'm a little nervous, but I felt that way about the shell too. Need to just get on with it.

    Plan to be a little overly muscley... I think Donatello would forgive me.
     
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  5. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    turtle1.jpg
    Nearly complete! Needs dark varnish to gloss it up some. Then, onto the body!
     
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  6. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    shell1.jpg

    So here it is, straps attached. It was hard taking a selfie and get the shell in the photo, but the basic idea is there.

    shell2.jpg

    By the way... furries do ruin everything. I think once the mask is on and I add the muscley body, this will work as far as placement is concerned.


    shell3.jpg

    Side view. I may be doing a little angle correction, depending on the size of the head.

    Breast plate is complete! Need to figure out the best way to attach it.
     
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  7. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sprayed an aerosol based polyurethane stain over the shell to gloss it up a bit. Worked great! Almost looks wet. Need to do several more coats, but I'm liking the way it's turning out.
     
  8. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Started on the hands. The seams came together beautifully using contact cement, The 1/4" foam is very flexible.

    This is a tough part of the project, flexibility speaking. This option has potential, but I think it might be a little too limiting. I'll finish one, and if I like the finished product, I'll keep it. The fingernails are just drawn on for perspective. I plan to use something similar to a thin plastic for the real thing, painted tan.

    20150426_104202.jpg

    20150426_104236.jpg
     
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  9. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    looking good, I'm also doing a Donnie suit. Question, how do you plan to cover up the straps from the back pack? I was thinking about going the same route with my shell. I went down to the goodwill and bought a jansport backpack for 3 bucks to cut up, but then I got home and realized.. "Hey, how will I not see these straps?"
     
  10. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sorry about the delay in response. I never got notification that anyone posted!

    Anyhow, Someone had posted in another topic that you can create a torso that fits over the straps. Or, you can camouflage them. I like the torso over the straps idea, I may go that route. In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the work in progress. Another option is to skip the backpack all together and get yourself some straps that click together. You can then fashion a harness of sorts that is hidden under the breast plate. Let me know which way you decide to go.

    I was going to do a complete sculpt of the foot out of clay, create a mold and cast it but had started the foam version and wanted to see how it would look with liquid latex with acrylic paint over 1/4" foam and a shoe.

    This is with 2 coats of latex and paint over foam. So far, the results are promising. I have a lot of work left to do on the foot itself, but this is going to save me a lot of time and money, and was fairly easy to do. I am cutting out pieces of plastic which I will paint a greenish yellow for the toenails.

    foot1.jpg

    Here's another view. The latex is really filling in the holes in the foam giving it an interesting surface. Like I said, however, a lot of work remains on the foot itself, along with blending the top of the foot into the calf. At this point, the calf muscles will have to be massive to blend, but the turtles have faily large gastrocnemius muscles anyway, so it will work out in the end.The fact that they also have long feet also works because the shoe is 12 inches and the toes extend another 5 inches beyond that.


    foot2.jpg

    The bottom of the foot will be trimmed, and a pad of sorts will be applied to the sole. In the end, it should be seamless.
     

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  11. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    how will the body of your suit cover the backpack straps?
     
  12. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think it's based on a half torso Idea that's cut higher up on the back. I haven't figured this part out quite yet. I'll probably devise my own strap system that works for me.

    feet1.jpg

    Started over on the feet. I think they are turning out pretty well. The first foot was way smaller than the second, so I had to re-wrap the first one. Looks a little better now. Now, to paint! Then, I gotta get started on the legs. I'm going to make a foot collar that covers the top of the foot. It will blend the foot and leg together... hopefully.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
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  13. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    donnie1.jpg

    Need to get some better photos. Selfies on the half shell are incredibly difficult to get just right! Started the muscle suit, results of which are shown in this poor photo. Sorry, I'll get someone to take a better picture next time.

    donnie3.jpg

    Part of my issue with the chest here is it's too big. I need to trim it down otherwise I will be one wide turtle once the breastplate is attached. The excellent turtle mask was created by a very skilled craftsman on the board here at the RPF. His name is Sync.
     

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  14. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    That mask looks familiar!
     
  15. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just got back from Boston. What an awesome city! But, on my return, jumped right back into the suit.

    foot4.jpg
    So this is the Left foot... or maybe the right... guess I should label them. This is pre-latex. I have some more trimming to do on the seams and will fill what's left with latex. Also am going to trim down the nails before I paint them yellow-ish. The flexibility is pretty good so far. Will add on some muscles in the back (gastrocs and other fills ins) to flesh it out a bit.

    foot5.jpg

    I actually ran out of foam... just ordered some more. It's so cheap! And versatile, and flexible. I'm not sure it will be all that breathable, however. Time will tell. I imagine with all the latex applied, it's going to be very hot. I know the mask is going to be an issue as far as ventilation goes. Need to do some adjustments.
     
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  16. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    feets1.jpg

    Well, here they are pre-latex. A bit more trimming, filing of the nails and blending them a bit, latex paint of dark green, yellowish nails, then highlight with an airbrush.

    feets2.jpg

    This one looks a bit washed out because I had to take pics myself, in the dark, due to the shadow. I think I should use a shoe horn to get these things on and off. Walking in them isn't too bad. They are made from very breathable, light running shoes
     
  17. Egon Spengler

    Egon Spengler Sr Member

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    This is really impressive work! NICE!!
     
  18. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! I appreciate the comment! I think I may have this done before Halloween! :)
     
  19. Egon Spengler

    Egon Spengler Sr Member

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    Awesome! Do you first construct the shapes on a duct tape mannequin of yourself? :)
     
  20. nbehling

    nbehling Active Member

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    Looks great so far! I am following this build close. what did you do to get the dome shape of the shell?
     
  21. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Egon: I made duct tape dummies of both legs, but ended up just free handing the design to something I liked. I used 3" foam cut into the two toe shape then attached it to the end of the shoe with hot glue. I filled in extra foam to give the rounded shape of the foot, then covered it in 1/4" foam.

    I may use the duct tape legs to make the muscles of the lower leg,
    nbehling: For the dome shape I took two 1/2 inch oval shaped pieces of eva foam and glued the edges together. I then stuffed the shell giving it that rounded curve. I applied a 1" piece of foam as bracing on the inner piece to keep both parts from rounding out too much. On the outside piece of foam, I cut out 1" octagonal pieces and placed them in the design I wanted.

    I'd like to make the outer edge more rounded.inwards towards the body.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  22. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    feets6.jpg

    1st layer of latex applied!

    feets5.jpg

    Bought a air brush kit today (includes compressor) pretty inexpensively at China Freight today. Now need to pick up some latex air brush paint and I'll be good to go for highlights!
     
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  23. PartyPyrate

    PartyPyrate Active Member

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    Looking good.
     
  24. Alpha Proto

    Alpha Proto Sr Member

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    I just found this. It's pretty cool.
     
  25. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One thing to keep in mind is that the latex/acrylic pain dries much darker. I was kind of hoping for this since a bright green isn't really a "turtle" color.
    footpostlatex1.jpg footpostlatex2.jpg footpostlatex3.jpg

    The color differences are pretty significant. This is partially intended... I had to mix 3 separate batches of latex and acrylic paint to get enough to cover.

    Also... *... shrinkage occurs. I also kind of expected that, but may have to make some modifications. You can really see the bowing at the top in the third pic.

    But, it's coming along!
     
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  26. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My goal is to apply a strong velcro edge along the top to attach the knee pad then another piece to the lower edge of the thigh piece. This, hopefully will give me some breathing room, ventilation and improved flexibiity. Two more coats of latex, with some variations in coloring and Blammo! Legs will be done!

    - - - Updated - - -


    Thanks Alpha Proto!
     
  27. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    All I need is some acrylic yellow... 20150519_103154.jpg
     
  28. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Started the arduous task of cutting out the muscles for the arms and shoulders. You know how they say measure twice, cut once? Yes, words to live by. I started by sketching out the muscles onto 3 inch foam. Then re-drawing them when the shapes were different sizes. Drawing 2D with a 3D expectation is difficult, but it's slowly getting to where I want. I started out using a duct tape dummy, but ended up using myself as the dummy because the way the dummy stands isn't very natural (no self respecting radical turtle would ever stand that way, arms straight at the sides in the anatomical position!!). Not to mention, this way I can place the muscles exactly where I want them. Then I plan to overlay 1/4" green foam, then again with the latex.

    if anyone has any suggestions where I can get good templates for muscle shapes, I would appreciate it. I have a couple hundred perspective photos of different muscles, but have wasted a couple of good pieces of foam. Do you have any idea how expensive that stuff is? Of course you do. You're a crafter.

    NOW SHUT UP AND CRAFT! CRAFT, I SAID!
     
  29. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    front.jpg
    Finally making some progress on those legs! I decided to use a pair of spandex Tesla brand pants to use as my base. I applied spray adhesive to the pants and to the pieces of foam and applied them to my legs. Warning! Don't apply too much spray to the spandex. It soaks through and makes your leg all sticky.

    lleg.jpg
    This is a 1/4" foam overlay that I am just holding in place. You can see just the shape of the muscles through the outer layer of foam. After some latex, some highlighting with my newly acquired airbrush, it should look pretty spiffy!

    I was going to use a duct tape dummy for the application of foam, but my first attempt went awry. So, I jumped in with both feet, to coin a phrase, and decided to use myself, once again, as the dummy.
     
  30. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    legsthighs.jpg

    Lots of progress today, thanks to my talented son Brandon. No way I could have glued the skin on myself without his help. I think it looks great! And this is pre-latex. I added the feet just to see how they would look together. Things I'd do differently? I'd make the boots a bit higher. However, I already have a fix in the works for this (and application of the knee pads will make this work out great.) Next up is painting on the latex!

    -chest.jpg

    Cowabunga! Well, I ran out of 1/4" foam so had to order some more. However, I did get the chest completed as far as the muscle placement goes. They look a bit exaggerated now, but once the foam is applied as the skin, it will all come together.

    Unfortunately, I may have to re-do the shell. Erringly, I placed the flank panels in the wrong spot and that hot glue is not messing around. I'm having a tough time getting it off. I am going to try the heat gun again and see if that does the trick. If not, I'll have to cut them off and repair the damage. But, I did make a lot of progress and am starting to see a turtle in there!
     
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  31. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    20150522_115302.jpg
    Feet!! I like the look of these wraps on Donnie's feet, so I think I am going to weather them a bit, then professionally wrap them, This will help hide seam lines quite a bit,
     
  32. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    TURTLE SHORTS!!

    turtleshorts.jpg

    Definitely a work in progress! This set is still drying and I am a bit skeptical about the whole thing holding together under stress.However, the bond seems strong, I strengthened the seams with rubber cement and think that when it's dry, it should be flexible, lightweight and hot as heck. I'm going to airbrush the muscles to accentuate the muscle definition.

    shell.jpg

    I almost think the shell is a wee bit too big, but when the entire suit is on, in proportion to the head, it should be just right.

    strap.jpg

    In shell news, I made some modifications to the flank pieces. Since the hot glue wouldn't let go (and I reheated it to the point of melting the foam) I reshaped the pieces, thermoforming them to my body. I also reshaped the breast plate to be more accurate to the film.

    Now, if only I could get the parts to which I've applied latex to dry faster! Eager to try out my airbrushing skills.
     

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  33. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Huzzah! Getting there!

    legs3.jpg
    Slowly coming together! Decided to be a bit more creative with the leg wraps. Need to weather them a bit (nothing stays white in the sewer) but I like the way they are turning out.

    legs2.jpg
    The weather turned lousy here so I didn't have a chance to throw on the mask.

    legs5.jpg
    Outside shot of the legs and front breast plate. You can't really see much of the shell, but it's there.
    sidelegs.jpg

    Cowabunga dude! Going to buy some straps and clasps for the front breast plate next. My shipment of foam should be here by Thursday so I can get the torso and upper arms completed. The front breast plate is a work in progress. I plan to age the front a bit and make it a bit more 3dimensional. Also, it needs some detail paint.

    I'm hungry for pizza...
     
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  34. OneGoodScare

    OneGoodScare Active Member

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    Dude this is so frickin awesome! Rad even :b

    This makes me want to build a mikey so bad haha
     
  35. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! I plan to wear this to a few charity events... having the three other turtles would make a greater impact, I think. May have to do some recruiting, then more building.

    Radical!!
     
  36. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love the way it looks from the back!
    shellback.jpg

    From the side, however...

    I'd like to put a bit more curve into the shell, specifically where it meets the body. The edges curve slightly away from my back. This will require cutting the shell open and removing some of the stuffing. In my zeal, I believe too much was added. I am going to attempt some thermoforming as well.

    shell3.jpg
     
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  37. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    20150528_154948.jpg


    Added some detail to the toes.
     
  38. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, creating a muscle suit from foam is a PITA. I've read that it is a grueling process, but holy mother, what a pain! I created a duct tape dummy but it doesn't have the same firmness as the human form, so, things are not going together as well as they could. It's definitely going to take some time. I may have to wait until I get some assistance again from my son and use myself as the dummy (it worked well for the legs).

    Meanwhile, I added another layer or latex to the feet and they look much smoother now, albeit a bit darker. I may fire up the airbrush today and get to work.
     
  39. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    feetcomp1.jpg

    I have to say, I am very happy with the way these came out. I "might" do some touch up on the legs, adding some mottling or highlights, but I think they work very well, as is. If the left looks bigger than the right, that's because the foot is tipped upwards.


    feetcomp3.jpg

    Weathered the straps in weak espresso... my feet smell like coffee!
     
  40. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Seriously. The creation of foam body suits is more difficult than I imagined. Rather than paying the $1000+ it would cost to have a bodysuit professionally made, I opted to make one myself.

    Part of the problem with a professional bodysuit is that the only part that would be showing is the upper chest, shoulders and arms. The rest would be wasted space (and money). I started by using a tight fitting shirt and glued pieces of foam to it, then layered 1/4" foam over the top of that. This looked decent, but was a pain to get on and off. I made 2 different shirts like this, and ended up tossing them because they were too difficult to work with, specifically when it came to the arm muscles.

    I found a description of how to make my own using two compression shirts sewn together, then the individual muscles drawn on, then sewn into pockets on the shirts. Then, turn inside out, make a small slit in the shirt and stuff it with foam. Turn it right side out again and blammo! Instant muscle suit. I had a couple of cheap compression shirts for practice and got to work. I drew the muscles on, then sewed one pocket, a pectoralis major, just to see how it would look before I went whole hog and spent hours sewing on a shirt that wasn't going to work out. I've ordered 2 compression shirts in hunter green with no edging for the actual suit. Those should be here soon.

    chest1.jpg

    I then layered green paint and latex over the foam to get an idea how it would look applied. I have to say, initial looks appear to be very positive. The latex paint applies easily over the lycra material. It may take a couple of coats of latex, especially if I want the textured look the legs have with direct latex paint on foam, but I think this will be the best way for me.
    chest2.jpg

    Here, it looks much too smooth. Luckily I have a textured sponge that should do the trick. I only need pecs, shoulders and upper arms, Maybe a hint of back muscle.

    Progress has been slow, but it's getting there!
     
  41. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Had a bit of a set back with the compression shirt. It didn't quite turn out as well as I'd hoped. I am going to have to rethink a few things. While the initial test seemed positive, either my sewing skills are not up to par or I need to go much bigger to get the effect I want.

    Stay tuned...
     
  42. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Foam has arrived! I pick up my turtle arms tomorrow! The end is in sight! Then, it's modifying the shell, all the bits and pieces that attach to Don's belt (going for a hybrid I/III look) as well as designing the bo. I have a 6' rokushaku-bo that I will be modifying as well.
     
  43. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, here's my muscle suit, without the outer layer of foam. That comes this week.

    torso1.jpg

    I started covering it in foam (1/4') to match the rest of the costume and failed... or the foam was funky (tore much easier than previous pieces) so I removed the majority. Now, I'm going to cover it again, and I think I'll use little glued on ropes to simulate veins.

    Wish me luck!
     

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  44. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    plate1.jpg

    My breast plate! Need to add some battle damage and some highlights. I also have the cod piece that needs to be added.

    Wasn't able to pick up the arms yesterday... technical error... so it was shipped overnight instead. Should get it today or tomorrow.
     

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  45. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I feel like I've been neglecting this build even though it's only been a couple of days since I last posted. I'm going to redo the breast plate. Not sure what I was thinking in regards to the ever-expanding center lines. Might just finally break out the airbrush and get to work. I'm getting some help tomorrow with the torso. This has to be one of the toughest parts, at least for me. The stops and starts, the errors in consistency, the frustration when things don't go to plan. It's getting there but I think some of the problem is my expectation. I see the way I want it to look in my mind, but in reality, some of it just isn't possible. Another problem with a build like this is one turtle is cool, but the title is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle"S" as in plural. Sure, you can have a Casey Jones, a Shredder as a singlar character, even a Be-Bop or rocksteady, but the expectation is more than one turtle. But, I'm committed to this, so I'll finish it.

    Then, there is the fandom expectation. Deviating from the turtle recipe can get you in hot water with those true to the comics, those true to the movies (1990's) and those true to the television series. You can never get it 100% correct but I think that's art of the fun is owning it and making it personal. I see the end in sight. Just a few more hurdles then I will move on to the next thing. For me, it's never been about the end result, but the journey. But, I look forward to wearing this for Halloween or charity events. (I need to find 3 other turtles, specifically NOT including Donnie... do you know how hard that's going to be? :) For those of you that have been following me thus far, thank you.

    Grimwood
     
  46. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

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    Grim, I like your attitude!

    I went into my build with the hopes of making a screen accurate version of the 90s movie suits.. Well, I took a step back and realized that it's just not in my budget. However, the things we are capable of doing for little money is amazing and I decided to be okay with a balance between accuracy, movement, detail and just plain ol being comfortable. There are no 100% accurate turtle suits that I know of. There are some that are pretty dang close that I'd love to own (Daniel Bravo comes to mind) but there are no 100% accurate turtle costumes. As a purist, I can find things in all of them that aren't quite right, but you know what.. the artists behind them did a jam up job, and I'd rather see something that came from their imagination, using their own ideas, than a 100% accurate suit. As long as you are having fun and learning, you've already done the hard part.
     
  47. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What part was not in the budget? I've found a lot of workarounds that I might try when I start building Ben Grimm's Thing character. For example, someone did a bang up job making a latex similar suit using rubber cement! Much cheaper than liquid latex and the results were pretty astounding. So far, I estimate I've spent nearly $650 on this suit, and I'm not quite done yet. Of course, this includes an airbrush system (harbor freight special) and lots of stuff I can use on other projects.

    I'm definitely having fun. Since I'm not under any deadlines and have no intention of ever mass producing anything, I can just let upcoming cons and events be my deadline.
    I absolutely want to steal the shell you made. If you lived close to me, I would break into your house and put it on and run out.

    Never give up! Never surrender!
     
  48. collinE83

    collinE83 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this 100%. I've never built anything before, and I'm not building my current project for anything in particular so it has ended up being a lot of fun with little stress.

    The shell is probably my favorite thing so far. I think you should pull some of the stuffing out, too, if that what makes it stick further out. It'll suck having it force you into more of a hunch, but no pain, no gain!

    Keep it up.
     
  49. Grimwood

    Grimwood Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    568
    I have destuffed it! Rounded the corners so its shaped more around my body. Still tweaking things a bit..

    Thanks for the comment! I've been watching your build with interest as well!
     
  50. wholesomejoe

    wholesomejoe Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    Sculpting and molding the entire suit, including the shell. That would have cost a ton.

    I am trying to make a deadline, but I'm still having fun.
     

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