Robot's torso harness/support system


Active Member

I'm in the design & prototype stages for my next cosplay, a G1 Transformers Devastator stilted (15") costume. In summary, the lower legs will contain mine, the thighs will contain my upper legs+knees, and the torso will contain my groin to just over my head. My arms will come out the sides of the torso, with my hands entering the backs of the robot's forearms.

Here's a reference pic:
Height proportion, estimated total height 8'11":

(I'm also in the prototype stage for the riser/stilts, but that's another thread that will be updated once I've more progress)

Today I'm working on the design for the torso support system. The general concept is a thick belt 2-3" high on my hips plus 2" suspenders. Each would be connected to a frame made of square 3/4" aluminum tubing, and the head, arms & detail pieces will get attached to the frame. I'm guessing this system will end up weighing at least 20 pounds.


At the moment I'm picturing aluminum slats angling down from the frame to connect to a cable on the outside of the belt, heavily reinforced to the belt so it doesn't roll down much. The suspenders are far simpler - attached to the frame and over my shoulders.

How does this look to you? Would you come at it a different way?



Sr Member
I would love to see some more Transformers G1 costume builds like this one !
Wishing you all the resources and luck to create this suit.
Subscribed !


Active Member
Progress report:

I hadn't been thinking to, but by chance I saw and bought the belt I'd essentially been planning to build. $75CAD+tax, but honestly, its been decades since I used a sewing machine and the time, effort & results couldn't match simply buying this unit in this case. You can see it here:

Yesterday I also built the first prototype of the frame. If you can make sense of my drawing, you'll see that the rear of the frame is to have a swinging securable 'door' for easy entry. I haven't built that part yet. The next stage is to install eye bolts in the bottom of the frame and rig to the belt using nylon & Velcro lengths. After that, an anti-wobble method for the top of the frame is needed.
Here's the drawing:
Progress pic:

As time permits I'll compare the weight of this 1.5" wood to 3/4" aluminum tubing and judge if it is worth buying aluminum to save on weight. Buying the metal will likely be $100-150; I haven't mapped out all the part measurements for the frame much less the arm structures, so it could be higher.

Any thoughts? Will post progress as it happens!


Active Member
Right! The wood I'm using is 2.5x heavier than non-anodized aluminum. Now it's more of a question of good pricing..!


Active Member

The D-rings won't arrive for some time but I've made the first mock-up work with shoelaces. Also just for the mock-up, I didn't need to attach more wood to get the bracket in place. The dowels are screwed into the frame from the top.

The method on securing the copper fitting to the dowel bottoms will be improved on as well, but this works for the moment:

Here is how it looks as-is:

And while worn:

I'm holding the frame because the front wants to pivot down; this will be delt with later as I plan to also bear some weight with lengths from the belt to the bottom of the frame.

The depth of the frame will be reduced to be fairly close to my waist at the bottom, but I may leave a few inches above for headroom. There will be no bar in front at the bottom, so as to have better mobility when lifting my thighs. Overall there will be many changes as the frame just needs to have a structure to mount the decorations on as well as support the arms & head. After many changes I'll then look to 1/16" thick 3/4" square aluminum tubing for a 60% reduction in weight, though as-is the belt & suspenders carry the frame weight quite easily.

Is good, no? =)