TrevorPatterson's 2012 Halloween Costume Contest Entry: Action Figure Venom


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My 6yo son and 3yo daughter wanted to be spiderman / spider-girl this year and they requested I be Venom. I knew any of the venom costumes I could find on the market would be way too scary for them and their friends so after racking my brain on if I could modify anything out there I decided to just build the whole thing myself with foam.


Skinny Legs, Big Giant Chest and Arms.

I looked around and found a toy version online and kinda figured I could make this work if I focused on making giant chest and arms and treated it like I was a giant action figure.

That Toy i used in the mockup wasn't that easy to find to purchase without spending more that I wanted so I went to a vintage toy shop and found a cheap Abomination Toy that had a similar Large Chest and Arms I could use to scale up.

FIrst I wrapped him in cellophane and then taped him tightly with masking tape. Only on half since I could flip the pattern pieces over to create the other half. Then drew all of the shapes I could see.

Then named all the pieces and marked where they should line up.


Then Xacto cut all the pieces off of him and taped them down to a sheet of paper.

So I planned on just blowing them up on a copier but some of the edges didn't seem that clear. So I traced all of the shapes into illustrator first to help clean things up.

Next I took a picture of myself and scaled an overlaid toy on top of me to figure out what percentage I needed to scale the pieces up to. It was about 800% if i remember but I could be wrong on that one.

After cutting out all of the pattern pieces ( a couple hours while watching tv ) I then traced each piece twice onto a long foam mat I purchased at big lots for $19.
I would do about an hour a night and broke up this process over about a week.

Next came the cutting out process. A regular xacto sounded horrible so I looked up what others do and decided to purchase a hot knife for about $15. Definitely speed up the process. Again I broke up this process only doing it about an hour or two a night but I got it done in 3 or 4 nights.

Once I had all the pieces cut out I decided to start with the chest piece and crossed my fingers everything would line up and resemble the shapes I wanted. Everything came together pretty well as soon as i started. A little trial and error on figuring out which foam edges I needed to miter but thats about it. Working 1-2 hours a night I did the Chest 1 night, back the next, and then the top of the arm the third night. Doing the same work for the opposite side was always faster because I had a real size reference to look at.

Then came the rest of the arms including the fists which while they do look rather simple they had a lot of pieces to them.

Right around here was when I needed to kick it into overdrive because the weekend before halloween was coming up and I figured I'd start to need venom. Since I didn't have a toy to scale up for the head I had to freehand it. Found a lot of reference online and winged it.



Next was the process of sealing the foam in the 1/2 water & 1/2 glue mixture which I was able to do in one long friday night.

Next I spray painted him and thats when he came to life. There was definitely a monster sitting on my patio. Black Gloss Krylon Dual Paint + Primer saved me some time and then I used white latex house paint for the white. For the pin line in-between the spiders legs its just a sharpie (not yet done in this pic).

I was going to purchase buckles but I couldn't find any besides a few dog collars. So I ended up cutting off the buckles from a backpack and they worked great. I had one of the nylon webbings come undone while wearing it to a school event but I just backed it off a bit so as to give it a little more give and it worked.
The buckles are attached on one side so i can get in, and both arms are attached to the torso by one buckle each.

I attached the Jaw with a Chicago screw and later found that I could use a bit of scrap foam to make it touch and move with my jaw.

I barely made it in time for our first family halloween outing on saturday. The Paint was still a little tacky when we went to a local park carnival. So here is the first wear test shot in the full costume.

After that quick outing I had a few problems with the helmet riding lower and flopping around. So I decided to add some foam inserts cut from a pool foam noodle, and also attached some red tulle to get that red pop in the mouth and hide my face. The Jaw was also bowing out wide a bit so I pulled it in tighter with a piece of foam and attached the jaw connecter piece so that I could move the costumes jaw with mine.

So that pretty much did it. It was a little like wearing a mascot costume, not very mobile up top. I could see pretty well, and run around if I wanted to. I also really noticed that when I crouched down and hunched my shoulders up the costume really came to life since I was simulating the original toys pose.


I dig the ingenuity here! I am planning to do a similar big chest and upper arms thing for my Salvador The Gunzerker next dragon-con. =0)
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