Velociraptor Costume

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Jesuit24, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    I seem to be a glutton for punishment. All my costume choices tend to be expensive, time consuming and annoying to wear. Well my most recent costuming decision takes the cake. I've decided to build a Velociraptor costume as accurately to Jurassic Park standards as possible.

    8632840_3.jpg
    So we're talking the real life Dromaeosaur/Deinonychus rather than real life Velociraptor. I've seen those expensive Chinese suits and they look amazing, but they're about twice the size I'm after. And that presents the first problem that I'd like some feedback on. The raptors in the films are about 5'6" tall; that's how tall I am and if I stood upright within the body (like in the Chinese suits), the raptor head would be elevate the costume height to about 7-8 foot, like so:

    1.jpg
    So realistically, I need to bend forward and have my head somewhere near the neck area, like so:

    fc4a42a6ce711e6221cd5445da8d6ff0.jpg
    Centre of balance isn't that much of an issue, since I can easily add weight to the tail to keep my balance, and after some long deliberation over whether to use digitigrade stilts, I've decided to simply have my legs visible instead. But the problem is my back and the stress being hunched forward like that with my head raised would put have. I'm not well informed on back braces, but would one of those help in a situation like this? Looking for a way to make this as (relatively) comfortable as possible.
     
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  2. BoosterGoldstar

    BoosterGoldstar Active Member

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    looks sweet man. Good luck with it!
     
  3. Alpha Proto

    Alpha Proto Sr Member

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    I look forward to seeing this progress.
    I would offer advice, but I don't really know where this costume is headed.
     
  4. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In that kind of position? Hm.
    Bungee supports? You'd have to experiment a lot to try and find a way to do it, people just aren't set up to hunch over like that for any period of time. I'd suggest just trying it, and maybe having an "access hatch" over your back so you can stand up if you need a break. A removable or hinged panel with a blending edge to help avoid horrific back pain!
     
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  5. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    How would I go about it with bungee supports? I've heard bungee cord is essential in the digitigrade stilts in keeping weight off the wrong places in the leg but I can't see how it works in my head.

    I think I need to redistribute weight to my hips, just unsure how to get it there.
     
  6. horus

    horus Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good luck with the build, even if you are young I would think that position is going to hurt, I know I would be stuck for standing up straight after ten minutes,.

    great work,
     
  7. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, get as much weight off your front half as possible but also definitely allow yourself to have a way to get into a comfortable position.
    I have no real idea how to use bungee supports, I just thought of them because of the stilt thing as well! Well, the stilts use a brace system and the bungees to simulate extra muscles/tendons, so I'd expect that running them down your spine and crossed across your back would allow them to take a lot of weight off your front end and allow you some lateral movement, maybe.
    All in the experimentation I expect!
     
  8. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    I have considered doing this project myself. The reason for not following through was transporting the beast. A full size dinosaur wouldn't fit into my Honda. it would need to be disassembled into head, body, legs and tail just to get it to a convention. If you find a way to make it modular, I am listening.

    As far as back issues, all the weight needs to rest on your hips, and NOT your shoulders!! A padded belly band, acquired from any backpacking supply, should carry the weight. An aluminum frame should distribute the weight of the raptor to the belt. If the weight is well balanced, it should put NO load on your back!
     
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  9. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    Yeah, I was planning on making it modular to a degree; head/neck, torso, arms, legs and tail should detach for storage and transport. It's certainly doable, it's just making the seams seamless when they're fitted together which has me stumped right now.

    Could I use any old backpack frame, or would it need to be a homemade frame for the position? Here's an Alice pack frame assumedly designed to put weight on the hips, but again, it's designed for walking upright, not hunched forward like I would be:
    d1d0f_ORIG-alice_pack_frame.jpg
    If I made my own frame, how would I channel the weight to the hips? Would it be a case of making sure the frame only connects to my hips and doesn't rest on my back or shoulders at all? Or would it be a case of making the frame heavier by the hips and lighter by the shoulders?

    For the body alone, I'm thinking about taking the templates for this pepakura model:
    KitRex.png
    (http://www.kit-rex.com)

    And enlarging them to a size I can fit inside. The creator has done this herself:
    kitrex.jpg

    Using that as a base on corrugated cardboard, strengthening the seams with fiberglass and adding upholstery foam to each face which I can then carve and curve into a dino-shape should give me a lightweight body that's still sturdy. For the legs, I can go a bit heavier, so hinged pieces of MDF that bolt onto the side of the body at the hips should do:
    10583852_265445956985124_6711464640164815244_n.jpg
     
  10. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    All are very good questions, and when you learn the answers, I hope you will post them to this thread.

    I, of course, have no definite answers to any of this, as I never got past the "theory" stage. However, the method described above seems unduly heavy. MDF is a "No No" for any costume. If you look at the second picture that you posted, the aluminum framed raptor, this is more like I am suggesting: Use aluminum strips to form a skeletal framework and cover with upholstery foam. The Raptor torso isn't that different than a chicken carcass. Give it a strong spine, and curve some ribs around it. Aluminum can be cut and shaped with common woodworking tools, and held together with pop rivets. The legs should be formed the same way: Real hip joints that connect to thigh bone, connected to the knee joint, connected to the ankle bone, connected to the foot bones, attached to a comfortable shoe that fits into the raptor's inside toe for the rider to slip in and out of. Then, when you have the skeleton, start adding upholstery-foam muscular system. Lastly, a skin of latex covered spandex.

    Once again, this is solely theory... as I have yet to build one...
     
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  11. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    I would have thought the weight of an aluminium skeleton would be heavier than cardboard.
     
  12. Sourdoh

    Sourdoh Sr Member

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    I can guarantee that any annoyance with a costume can be absolute hell! If you have to bend over and put pressure on your back, you will be in agony after only a few minutes. The heat inside an enclosed costume can knock you out very quickly as well. My advice would be to make costume so that you can stand up in it, and also provide ventilation though the mouth or where your legs protrude from the bottom. Have you seen the video of the Velociraptor costume on YouTube (It might have been post here as well). that costume is big enough to allow the performer to be relatively comfortable. From personal experience, it can be a nightmare to work your tail off on a really great-looking costume and then not be able to stand wearing it to walk around, get pictures taken, etc. at a Con. This is a fail that many people let themselves in for by not thinking costumes through well in advance. The worst thing you can do is think, "It won't be that bad to wear after I get used to it at the Con". Tell that to the para-medics that have to give you IV fluids when you pass out from heat exhaustion! Or have to go into traction for your ruined back!
     
  13. bondoking

    bondoking Sr Member

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    Not to highjack the thread but its somewhat on topic... Does anybody have an idea as to operate the neck, head movement on the costume pic Jesuit24 posted in the original post...second picture. Im confused abit.
     
  14. Jesuit24

    Jesuit24 Active Member

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    Check out this video for a basic idea:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  15. bondoking

    bondoking Sr Member

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    That helped a ton thanks
     

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