TwJudy's 2014 Halloween Contest Entry (Bioshock!)

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New Member
(This is copied from my original build thread)

Hi everyone! Long time reader of RPF, but I never post... but I thought I'd share some photos of my (re-worked) Big Daddy costume. I had made the original costume for SDCC 2010 and while it was wearable, there was some definite...issues..... As all projects, I had run out of time, and there were some things I wasn't happy about how they came out, but the two biggest issues was that it was ungodly heavy (85 ish pounds), and swelteringly hot. I'm a 5'4" girl and pretty much the farthest thing you can get from a body builder. However, I recently had a chance to rework the costume (more importantly, make it lighter!)


wedding full.jpg

judy pants.jpg suit itself.jpg

In developing the proportioning schematics for this costume, I decided that I would go with my leg measurements to base the entire costume on. Especially since the big daddy has rather stubby legs. So, assuming that the top of my feet were at the top of his very tall shoes, and my hips were approximately where his was, my head actually is right at the first row of portholes. Now, I had some math to base the entire thing on. If the measurement from the near the top of the shoes to the first row of portholes is 5'4", what is the measurement from the bottom of the shoes to the top of the suit? SEVEN AND HALF $#$*)@ feet tall eek. At this point I should have reconsidered my proportioning decisions but I chose to press ahead. Foolishly.

The proportioning work gave me a pattern of the front/back and side/side axises that I developed in cardboard (unfortunately, the figure wasn't available until after the costume was complete, so I had to guesstimate some of the curves in between


At this point some reconsidering should have taken place, but there was math involved! it must be right! >_<


Once I finished roughing out my shape with cardboard, I then poured a polyurethane Expanding Foam (Foam-It by Smooth-On) on to the body shape. It's an awesome product which I have used for numerous other projects due to how light and shape-able it is. However, I strongly discourage you from using it for this particular purpose. I didn't do enough research before hand and assumed it could be dissolved by acetone once I finished. However, it can be dissolved by no known solvent. OOPS. *sigh* When the costume was complete I ended up having to scrape it all out with a putty knife.


Big daddy sanded...


Once I finished sanding the big daddy, it was time to break out the fiberglass.

I used a epoxy resin (EpoxAmite by Smooth-On and S-Glass. I chose to use these two products because they offered the greatest strength in relationship to weight (as far as I'm aware of, anyway), and were within my price range. The big daddy has approximately 3 layers of S-Glass, more on the edges and support sections. The basic body shape that I'm working on now, weighed 22 pounds and is amazingly sturdy. (However, 22 pounds is only the body by itself with nothing on it. The whole costume is about 75-85 pounds) I've bonked it about quite a bit and the only (minor) cracks are on sections that I missed full coverage on.


Fiberglass is done, the innards partially removed.


THE DOME! The bane of my existence, lol. I originally wanted to make the entire big daddy as one piece, because it would be stronger and lighter (connection points adds weight and lessen sturdiness). However, the finished shape would just be too big and therefore, untransportable. So, the dome attaches to the suit on a raised ridge. I first fiberglassed the dome (i.e. yoga ball) and the entire ridge, being careful not to have any of the fiberglass pieces extend to the body of suit itself. I then put mold release (i.e. vaseline) on the back of the raised ridge. I then fiberglassed the body and the back of the ridge. Once it was entirely cured, I carefully slid a knife between the layer attached to the body, and the layer attached to the dome, punctured the yoga ball, and pried the two layers apart. The dome piece would now bolt on to the resulting flange.

I cut out holes for the portholes, and the portholes were cast out of resin with acrylic discs for the windows.


To be continued:


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New Member
All the individual pieces were cut/shaped/sanded out of corning's insulation board, then fiberglassed with two layers of fiberglass veiling, then painted.


An idea of the scale of the sucker. Here is my actual shoe and my big daddy shoe. The whole thing was built on a 7" inch high gothy platform boot, with a superstructure of owen's corning insulation foam. The heel and toe caps were fiberglassed, and the rest of the shoe was covered with fake suede.

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Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member

Unfortunately it seems that most of the photos you posted have not attached. Can you re-upload please?

This entry needs a proof pic. :)

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New Member
The photos weren't displaying because i accidentally embedded too many in a post. Here is the post continued:

Whenever you are doing something ri-donk-u-lus like this, the most important piece to solve is how are you going to wear it? How are you going to get it on and off without a major production?

What I chose was the ever popular cheapo hiking backpack. I sunk 1" PVC rods into the backpack, and then filled it with expanding foam. Then bolted 3/4" rods on to the inside top of the piece. The (two! remember multiple points of attachment!) suit rods then just slid inside the backpack rods. The whole thing was very sturdy and worked very well. All the weight of the suit was transferred to my collarbone and hips.

Here you can see me wearing the backpack, and you can see the white PVC rods just behind my head. And Marcus photobombing me, like the creeper he is.


My favorite part, the tanks!


Dome lights and fans in progress

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A bioshock themed wedding I attended :)

Tattered Wings
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