SkekTek Dark Crystal Build

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Finbarr

New Member
Dark Crystal is my childhood, probably the earliest film that I can remember seeing. Like so many other people, it had a huge effect on me; both terrifying and intriguing. The Skeksis have always been my favorite characters in the dark crystal, their design is absolutely incredible, I love how they are just humanoid enough to be practical, but alien and scary enough to feel otherworldly. Anyway, I have always wanted to make a skeksis costume but never got around to it, mainly due to finances, if im gonna do it I want to do it right. I just finished watching Age of Resistance on Netflix and it reawakened the desire in me to build a skeksis costume. So, I have decided that the time is right and I will finally undertake the journey to make one of my all-time favorite characters in film into a costume.

I will be constructing SkekTek, aka the scientist Skeksis. Hes not the strongest Skeksis by any stretch, in fact the weakest, but he was always the scariest to me as a kid; mainly because he is the one actually draining all the essence out of all the podlings and gelfling. His design too is absolutely incredible in my opinion. So after much research and thought into the matter, ive kind of worked out how to build this guy. Hoping to get this guy ready in time for 2020 Comic Con. Ive never been to a con before, so it will be my first time going. Somehow it just feels right to have a costume of one of my all time favorite characters for my first con.

Ive begun construction on the frame. I need something to work off of and something to pattern off of for his costume. I am trying to be conscious of weight here, I want to make something that is not gonna be too heavy, I need to be able to wear this for decent periods of time without becoming tired. With that in mind I decided to make his frame out of PVC pipe. Ive formed the PVC using a heat gun in order to bend it to the shapes I need, and then ive drilled holes and bolted the pieces together with 2" bolts. Also used screws in some places, as well as metal strapping material to secure the shoulders. Pretty happy with the progress ive made so far on the upper body frame. I want to make frames for his arms but im not entirely sure how I want to do the joints, currently experimenting with some ideas. The lower body frame will likely be made out of boning, similar to a hoop skirt.
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Here are some different pics of the frame as it is right now. Ill probably add a few more pieces. I definitely want some kind of jig to hold the head up when my hand isn't controlling his mouth, so I can give myself a break every now and then. I also still need to make the arms, as previously stated, I want to make sure that they are removeable though, for ease of transportation and also so I can work on him and fix him if need be. The frame is fairly light, but also surprisingly sturdy and robust, more than I thought it would be.

This is just the beginning, more to come. ;)
 

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Finbarr

New Member
So, I have not posted in a few days mainly because Ive been busy at work and have not had time to make a supply run. But, I finally had a few days off and im happy to say that I made the most of them. I used some L200 foam to fill in the upper body shape a bit. I also made the lower body form. Boning was way too flimsy so I ended up buying a roll of 1/2" PVC pipe from Home Depot for like 8 bucks and used that to make the forms. It was a lot more difficult to align the hoops than I thought it was going to be, and the endeavor ended up being exceptionally time consuming. But, I finally got them aligned in a way that I liked and Im quite pleased with the result. I wrapped half of the body in clear plastic wrap and tape and used that to pull a pattern, which I then transferred onto paper. Im currently in the middle of sewing the pattern up in muslin. Still a lot of kinks to work out but ive made some good progress in these two days.
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Finbarr

New Member
I also added padding to the interior for comfort and to refine the fit a bit more. You will also see that I started building the shoulder up a bit. I just want to have some support there so I can have something to lay the pads on top of. More to come soon. :)
 

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Finbarr

New Member
Well, I have exceptionally busy at work these past couple weeks. Despite that, I have been pouring my love, blood, sweat, and tears into this guy. Almost all of my free time has been consumed by him. It feels like I'm making exceptionally slow progress but thats ok. After I finished his frame up to a place I was happy with I sewed up a quick pattern to cover his bones with using muslin. After that I started working on building his belly out using some cheap upholstery foam. When I was relatively pleased with the belly shape and dimension I covered him entirely in batting which I spray glued onto the fabric using Strong 77, which I highly recommend btw.

Upon a bit of contemplation it occurred to me that If I wanted to take this costume anywhere I would have to somehow fit this guy into my 2013 Ford Focus. After some quick measurements and head math I arrived at the conclusion that his belly would have to removable in order to fit in my rather small vehicle. In order to facilitate this I bought a pack of large plastic buckles and like 8 feet of nylon strapping material. I redid all the connections holding his lower body to his upper with those. So now he can disassemble more. The fabric of the two halves will likely have Velcro so they join securely.

This past weeks task has been to construct his first layer of clothing and get that to a decent place. Its been a long hard road. Honestly way more challenging than I at first anticipated. Getting everything to lay smoothly over his body has been extremely vexing. But were almost there. Hes finally really starting to take shape. Right now im working on his sleeves and making sure that the first layer to his upper body is where I want it. This is such a large project, it can be overwhelming at times. I have to force myself to take it one small bite at a time so as to not get lost in the enormity of the task I have undertaken. Anyway, thats it for now, more to come. :)
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SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow! Amazing project and good progress. If you haven’t seen it and can access it, you should watch Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (was on SYFY a few years ago). Aside from being a pretty good show, they build Skeksis in one episode. Might be give you some tips and inspiration.
 

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