Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles WIP

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For Calgary Comic Expo 2015 I am building all four ninja turtles based mostly on the 1990 film. The current plan is to build them out of upholstery foam and latex. We started with Mikey seeing as the guy who will be wearing that costume is the smallest so if we royally screwed up we wasted less foam.

This is my first time working with upholstery foam, so i am still figuring it all out. So far we have finished the main construction of Mikeys torso and thighs.
mikey undershorts.jpg mikey thigh muscle.jpg mikey muscle shorts front.jpg mikey muscle shorts back.jpg
Mikey Shoulder muscle.jpg Mikey Chest.jpg

So far my biggest concern is that we are creating the bases out of thinner upholstery foam, It not only takes a long time but I feel like this might be the wrong way to go about it. I am considering switching to glueing the muscles to spandex instead for a base. If anyone has worked with this kind of foam before any suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks for looking. Let me know what you think :D.
 

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I have made a few. You could check out the links in my signature and see if anything I did will help.
http://www.therpf.com/f24/alpha-pro...entry-lizardman-aeon-calcos-pic-heavy-164124/
and my Ganon at the bottom.

Your work is phenomenal how did you get the detail in Ganon's skin? Did you use a wood burning tool like you did on lizard man? either way it looks amazing.

Looks good. I think this should work with out having to use spandex. Once u coat it in latex it will keep it all together

Thanks I'm really hoping it toughens it up quite a bit.

So I have a bit of an update I have managed to get a good portion of the undersuits done for all four turtles and am hoping to finish up the rest within the next two weeks. For starters Leonardos shins and feet.
Leo shorts raph and donnie chest.jpg Turtle feet.jpg Turtle ive become.jpg Undersuits.jpg

I have also started looking at building a mechanism with a jaw strap to allow us to open and close the turtles mouths with our own. This is based entirely on a simular rig built here http://forums.thetechnodrome.com/showthread.php?t=37645 hoping to get some more work done on this within the next week as well.
Jaw Mechanism begins.jpg

I've been having one constant issue with the turtle shorts as I call them and that is that we have had two of them(Leo and Raphs) both ripped in the same place while trying to take them off. I've simply glued them back together and hoped for the best. I'm just wondering how much stronger the foam should be after it is sealed I intend to coat the entire suit in contact cement and a bed sheet to smooth the muscles and then two to three layers of latex. Anyone who has built something like this before know if that should make the suit strong enough to withstand ripping?

ripped ****.jpg

Thanks for looking any feed back is more than appreciated so let me know what you think!
 

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Alpha Proto

Sr Member
Your work is phenomenal how did you get the detail in Ganon's skin? Did you use a wood burning tool like you did on lizard man? either way it looks amazing.

I sculpted the face in clay. Molded it in smooth-on rebound, and cast it in smooth-on Dragon skin.
I have not tried to fabricate a mask in foam yet but I have run into a post here with someone who has.
Fallimar.
http://www.therpf.com/f24/space-pope-reptilian-finished-pics-up-217754/
http://www.therpf.com/f24/darunia-ocarina-time-build-233112/
 
I sculpted the face in clay. Molded it in smooth-on rebound, and cast it in smooth-on Dragon skin.
I have not tried to fabricate a mask in foam yet but I have run into a post here with someone who has.
Fallimar.
http://www.therpf.com/f24/space-pope-reptilian-finished-pics-up-217754/
http://www.therpf.com/f24/darunia-ocarina-time-build-233112/


Thanks I have definitely been paying very close attention to Fallimar's builds, what i meant was the details you did on gannons skin to add the texture so that it didnt just look like flat foam, what did you use?


A bit of an update all 4 turtles are getting close to finished most just need the hands heads and shells, which is to be fair a huge chunk to be missing but i feel ive made good progress.

leo legs.jpg taylor suit up.jpg tony suit up.jpg

The two fingers and a thumb was a notable issue so i made custom spandex gloves to glue onto. This tutorial was a big help to someone who has never sewn anything in his life. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fQKo_1m3Dk

leo backhand.jpg leo hand.jpg leo palm.jpg turtle gloves.jpg turtle hands.jpg


We have also started the shells out of EVA foam
shell begins.jpg shell rim.jpg

that is all for now. To anyone who has built something like this before how much does latex strengthen the foam we are having some issues with it ripping currently nothing major but it would be nice to know if we should remake some parts before we go further.

Thanks for looking.
 

wholesomejoe

Active Member
Sent you a PM, but would love to hear a more detailed account of how you made the shell. I want to do mine with EVA foam as well, and I'm a little lost.
 

Alpha Proto

Sr Member
Thanks I have definitely been paying very close attention to Fallimar's builds, what i meant was the details you did on gannons skin to add the texture so that it didnt just look like flat foam, what did you use?
Sorry for the miss understanding.
Yeah, for the skin teture I mostly burned the wrinkles in.
Another thing that gave it texture was just sanding the hard edges of the foam round with a metal sandpaper from reddevil called dragonskin. It tends to pick at the foam a bit while you use it. So you have to use it softly or it will snag and rip a chunk out of the foam.

I think the turtles look better with smooth skin like in the movies.
 
Last edited:

TheKlotz

New Member

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fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very cool!

Foam is so nice to work with, so versatile. I think the only thing I personally wouldn't have done would be making the entire pants section from foam, but if it works for you and moves properly then kudos, it's a unique way of making it work! Love the overall build so far, keeping an eye on this one :D
 

JWMines

Active Member
I agree with above. You could even just glue some compression wear under the foam so it's easy to put on and also won't rip. I'm pretty sure people usually glue the foam to a spandex suit but I could be wrong.

Anyway it's looking nice man!
 
yeah im still unsure about the whole foam pants idea not exactly sure what i was thinking when i decided on that :unsure. I probably going to line the inside with spandex like material and hope that makes getting them on and off easier.
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
yeah im still unsure about the whole foam pants idea not exactly sure what i was thinking when i decided on that :unsure. I probably going to line the inside with spandex like material and hope that makes getting them on and off easier.

Well, it does work just fine, just not ideal is all! The easiest way to make it very easy to wear would be to cut the legs off as I've very badly sketched out and glue them on to a stretch undersuit. In this case, a pair of thermal pants or spandex bike pants. You could also glue on the entire leg, keeping it all in one piece and eliminating the possibility of slippage. It's how I do my stuff if there are foam arm or leg parts that need to sit close to my body.

Turtlepants.jpg
All foam is a great thing to know how to do, but it's generally only done when the body is more of a hollow shell than anything form hugging. It is good for bulking out bodies though, if you need to be bigger all over. Movement is the issue, and using strategically placed slits or breaks in the foam parts either lined or covered with fabric or latex allows parts to have enough freedom of movement.

... uh, rambly rambles. Sorry, my typing fingers get a hold of my braincyclopaedia sometimes :p
 

wholesomejoe

Active Member
My question is, people seem to be using foam as "budget" builds.. where are you finding this foam for so cheap? I have yet to find foam like this that isn't expensive.
 

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fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My question is, people seem to be using foam as "budget" builds.. where are you finding this foam for so cheap? I have yet to find foam like this that isn't expensive.

I guess it depends on what's available near you. I'm lucky here in Australia to have a shop that deals in foam and rubber goods that sells offcuts pretty cheap, you can get a nice 1mX15cmX20cm or so block for $10 or so. They also sell skins (the edges of the gigantic foam block that they cut off, it has a plasticy skin on it that you can just peel off) for around $40, so you can get a big ol' sheet of foam for under a third of the normal price, large sheets are usually about $135. The black EVA foam sheets are expensive there but I get them anyway, they come in different thicknesses and don't have any texture on them.

Offcuts are my secret!
 
My question is, people seem to be using foam as "budget" builds.. where are you finding this foam for so cheap? I have yet to find foam like this that isn't expensive.

If you are in the united states or canada order from this site its really reasonable. Had i known then what i know now i could probably have built all 4 turtles on maybe $150 worth of foam. shipping takes a while but if you spend over $100 its free so that definitely makes up for it.


Well, it does work just fine, just not ideal is all! The easiest way to make it very easy to wear would be to cut the legs off as I've very badly sketched out and glue them on to a stretch undersuit. In this case, a pair of thermal pants or spandex bike pants. You could also glue on the entire leg, keeping it all in one piece and eliminating the possibility of slippage. It's how I do my stuff if there are foam arm or leg parts that need to sit close to my body.

View attachment 446391
All foam is a great thing to know how to do, but it's generally only done when the body is more of a hollow shell than anything form hugging. It is good for bulking out bodies though, if you need to be bigger all over. Movement is the issue, and using strategically placed slits or breaks in the foam parts either lined or covered with fabric or latex allows parts to have enough freedom of movement.

... uh, rambly rambles. Sorry, my typing fingers get a hold of my braincyclopaedia sometimes :p


Thanks this seems like a really good idea and I might just have to use it. If i were to remove the legs from the cod piece and then add a spandexy material between the two and reattach them with the spandex that should work, i think. That has always been our plan with the armpit area. Does this sound like the point you are trying to get across to me?
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks this seems like a really good idea and I might just have to use it. If i were to remove the legs from the cod piece and then add a spandexy material between the two and reattach them with the spandex that should work, i think. That has always been our plan with the armpit area. Does this sound like the point you are trying to get across to me?

Pretty much, most people just use pre-made stretch clothing though to make it really easy. Thermal underwear, under-armour I think it's called in the US or spandex bodysuits for one-piece builds. You glue the foam directly to it whilst it's on a dummy or whilst you wear it (with a barrier underneath if it's on you to avoid unfortunate adhesions to skin!) so the foam follows the curves of your body properly.
 
Sent you a PM, but would love to hear a more detailed account of how you made the shell. I want to do mine with EVA foam as well, and I'm a little lost.

I had to take a week off from the turtles and focus on school, but now i am back to the sewers, and ibroughtt he kind of sort of shell tutorial wholesomejoe asked for.

To start out i drew out a plan for my shell based off of references from all the shows and movies plus real turtles until i had something i liked. Then upscaled the 5inch drawing to 30 inches by multiplying all measurements by six.

10411238_10203673890396403_3534156652765924726_n.jpg 14691_10203673890196398_4651450925353259944_n.jpg

This works out for the centre four pieces and would work out for a flat laying shell but because of the curve the angles are a bit off so what i did was fit the piueces in how i wanted them withthe extra angle underneath the shell and then just traced where the excess was and cut it off to shape.

10996343_10203673891436429_8406440814668786071_n.jpg 11025224_10203673891716436_4618876086122349750_n.jpg 11048278_10203673892076445_7474516171983479124_n.jpg 10425393_10203673890716411_2293400749189860099_n.jpg 10636230_10203673891116421_4624299803489869145_n.jpg

The same idea for the edges just cut with an obtuse angle to get them to stick out.
11008448_10203673892716461_8008666529311790949_n.jpg

Now i am layering on quarter inch and then really thin craft foam on top.
drm shells.jpg

I have also managed to get my turtle talkers almost perfected. The jaw hangs a bit low when closed and the tooth bar sits to high and blocks vision currently but it will be an easy fix.

turtle talker complete.jpg
how it sits now
turtle talker fron view.jpg how it should sit.

but atleast it works.
turtle talker closed.jpg turtle talker open.jpg .

I also got the bo staff and nun chucks ready for plastidip. The bo staff is just pvc pipe wrapped in EVA foam the nun chucks are a different kind of foam kind of like what they make pool noodles out of, i think they are used as an industrial gap filler or something plus some plastic chains i found laying around. then just carved the wood grain with a knife and hit them with the heat gun.

n chucks wood grain.jpg bo staff wood grain.jpg b staff.jpg nun chucks.jpg

And now my desperate plee for HELP! I attempted skinning today on the extra pair of turtle shorts we had. I was putting a sheet over the muscles with contact cement before latexing the suit to save on latex, and am confused. i tried using an entire pillow case at once to skin but it evidently failed miserably. Should i be cutting the sheet into thin strips like i would while applying fibreglass? How is this done i am really confused and would be in great debt to anyone who could help me out with this.I also read somewhere in my search for answers that i should be using cotton, does anyone know if it really matters i have polyester sheets, i will buy more if need be just wondering, again any help is greatly appreciated.

bad job taylor.jpg more bad job.jpg

Thanks for looking, any feed back, and especially tips for skinning are greatly appreciated!:D
 

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