Sunday, March 22, 2015

Proto Man: Costume Tutorial

This post is all about how to make your very own Proto Man costume from the Mega Man series!
I don't have as many progress photos of my Mega Man costume to really make a tutorial, but you can use the same steps in this blog to also make Mega Man if you so choose. (pretty much the same steps with only a few different steps according to the characters detail)

So for both I started with the helmet because it usually is the part of the costume that takes to longest time to complete.


For both Mega Man and Proto Man, I used a standard sized basketball as the base.

Now I honestly just free handed the outline where I planned on cutting out the excess of the helmet. I made sure to start with too much and cut down to where I needed the helmet to fit. It was a lot of taking on and taking off the helmet so just hang out in front of a mirror with a sharpie so you can make life easier on yourself. And worse case scenario, if you cut too much (which I did with my Mega Man helmet), you can always hot glue the piece you chopped off since it is going to be covered with other materials once you get the shape right.

NEXT! Now that you have the shape to your liking, it's time to cover the helmet with duct tape for a few reasons.
1. It evens out the basketball and you don't have to worry about the pores and lines showing through the lycra
2. (Biggest reason) It will line the inside of the basketball and prevent your head from smelling like rubber hahaha

Now I just used red because I felt like it, but it really doesn't matter what color you end up using since it is going to covered anyways.

As you can see, the duct tape really helps shape the helmet and smooth out the roughness of it already. Now this next step I used on both helmets as well. I think it could certainly be optional if you are on a time crunch. I began adding sheets of felt to helmet to smooth it out even more before the lyrca fabric layer. It also adds a bit of thickness to helmet so it's no so thing and can help keep the overall shape of the basketball in tact.


I played around with using two colors just so I could get a feel of how I the white detailing on Proto Man's helmet was going to look. Sheet fabric is super cheap at Michael's so I stocked up! Now for the pieces to fit smoothly over the helmet, you'll have to cut the felt into segments and placed them one at time. It was one of the more time consuming parts of the project, but I am glad that I did it. To attach the pieces I hot glued them. I only covered the edges inside of the helmet since the duct tape is doing the job of covering the inner rubber parts.


Now I moved onto making the other pieces of the helmet before I continued on and began adding the last layer of fabric. To make the light covers, a friend had suggested looking for these baby food bowls! I ended up finding them at target and they are perfect. 
Also from Target, I purchased small push LED lights from the lighting section. I placed the light inside the bowl and measured around the bottom of it with a sharpie to find my cutting line.
For this step I had to purchase a dremel tool from Home Depot. They aren't TOO expensive, and I honestly wish I had bought one sooner THEY ARE AMAZING. I have used it for other costume projects already so it has paid for itself.


Above you can see the package of bowls I got, the outline process, and the dremel aftermath. THERE WILL PLASTIC DUST EVERYWHERE! Now, I didn't wear protective eye-wear or a mask...I suggest doing so for safety reason though lol.

BUT, once you are done you have perfect light covers for your helmet that fit the light just right! And don't worry about the rough edges, they are going to be covered with felt as well to smooth it out.


Now with this step, you will need patience, your arms...and possibly your legs as I did haha.
I choose to use the shiny/stretchy lyrca fabric for my mega man characters because I love the shiny metallic effect you get from it. As as hard as it can be to fit and glue the fabric to helmet so it lays smoothly, I found it much easier than using other fabrics. You may use whatever your preference is though! JUST REMEMBER TO USE COUPONS FOR JOANNS OR WHATEVER FABRIC STORE IS IN YOUR AREA!!!!!!!!!

****And of course once I finished the project, I begin thinking of ways to improve upon what I have done so I decided to throw in my suggestion on how to do the helmet detailing so yours will come out looking more clean than my is currently. I have yet to fix my helmet but I think it also make life far easier for you than how I approached it the first time.
So instead of applying the red layer first and then the white layer on top of that. What you can try (REMEMBER, YOU CAN ALWAYS HOT GLUE IT BACK TOGETHER)
is to cut the piece where the white detailing is off the helmet for the time being.
THEN apply the red lycra to cover the helmet.
Now, cover the white detail in white lyrca and then hot glue the white piece back onto the helmet. This will prevent the folding of the fabric as you will see in my photos. Up to you though! Try whichever method think will be easiest.

Unfortunately I did not take progress photos of the light covers, but you can see behind the helmet in the first photo that one cover is wrapped in felt at that point! After that, just neatly and smoothly apply the white lycra with hot glue.


Now there are better ways to approach making a helmet visor and to each their own. I wanted to make one as cheap as I could with items from Target because that's how I like to do things. I decided to buy a few of the translucent black office folders from Target (a few because it was trial and error when fitting and making the visor the appropriate tint)

I first tried only one folder layer and could see very well out of it. I tested a camera flash with it to see how much of my face you could inevitably see when taking photos. I did not like that you could see pretty much my entire face, so I added one more layer which made it perfect.
**NOTICE: In well lit areas, you can see relatively well. Not 100% visibility though. I also ended up wearing this in a dark room once and it was VERY difficult to see. I was either having to tilt my head back or constantly look down to watch where mine and others feet were lol. So apply as little or as much if you go this route! One you get the tint and shape you desire, just hot glue to the inside of the helmet to fit your face!

                                        (PHOTO TEST WITH ONE LAYER VISOR)

                                        (PHOTO TEST WITH TWO LAYER VISOR)


Sadly I forgot to get progress photos of adding color to the push LED lights to give them the green glow like Proto Man, but the process is very easy!

What I used is the Martha Stewart glass paint in a translucent gloss in a bright green color!

1. Apply a layer to the top of the push light with a regular paint brush
2. Grab a hair dryer and dry the paint on HIGH HEAT
3. You will then begin to see the paint beginning to dry clear and glossy
4. Apply another layer and repeat process
Apply as many layers till you get the desired color. This will really tone down the brightness of the LED lights, as well as give them a really cool green glow!


I CANNOT SEW. I just cant do it lol. Especially with a fabric as difficult as lyrca! So I purchased a silver morph suit and it works perfectly! I just cut off the hood and I am good to go.

As for the scarf, I went and purchase a very long amount of yellow cotton fabric from Joanns (COUPONS PEOPLE USE THEM) and it was ready to go!

Now for the red waistband:

1. Take a long piece of red lyrca and measure it to your waist
2. I used industrial strength velcro to attach both ends so I adjust the band to wherever I like on my body and it isn't attached to the silver suit


For the buster base, I used the same Mega Man pepekura buster download that I found online (I do not have the link or download on this computer currently or I would provide it, sorry!)
But this made things much easier for me in the building process since there are only a few changes you need to make.

I again covered the paper model in packing tape and felt to make it more sturdy since this is not something I would be using resin or other hardening materials on.
Now I ended up running out of time so it is not as seamless as I would like, but it works for now!

The silver piece of the buster is actually Tupperware I had at home that I sacrificed as the extension of the buster. I used the silver lyrca from the hood I cut off! (NEVER WASTE!)
The yellow pieces resembling the "lights" are just glitter wedges I got from Michael that I hot glued on.

For the inside, I used a small wooden stick, also from Michael's, as the handle to hold onto the buster with no problem. I used the same type of push light as I did for the helmet and the same painting method, but with red to color the light!


For the boots on both Mega Man and Proto Man, I used yoga mats. Flexible and lightweight make it the perfect material to make the right proportions and still be able to walk!

1. Wrap the yoga mat around your leg to adjust to the appropriate width and height for your comfort
2. Use the pattern like below so your boots will wrap evenly
3. Once you have the shape, cut your lyrca to match and hot glue together
4. Attatch your boots at the seam with hot glue



Lastly, and optional! The shield. I felt that the costume was missing something and decided last second to make the shield. I ended up lucking out and finding two shields at Party City that would come together and be PERFECT.
I cut off the tops of both shields and glued them together where they laid flush.


The bands that allow you to hold the shield couldnt have been more perfectly placed. I wrap my forearm in the middle bands, and hold the top band with my hand to allow me to move the shield without any issues. The shield is actually really light thanks to it being plastic and using light weight fabric.
I used the dremel to cut out the opening of the shield and then began wrapping and gluing white lyrca to the shield. I bordered it with red felt I had leftover since it was much easier to use as a border than the lyrca. **ALSO if you would like, you can cover the top of the shield in white felt to reduce the amount of "rivets" that are on the original shields. I didnt have time to do that, but I really like how it looks, it gives it more of a mechanical feel.



I hope this tutorial made and sense and helps any of you that wish to make a Proto Man costume! Leave comments below with any questions or comments you may have! Thanks!


(Photo by Devon Weir)

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