Build Your Own Life-Size Space Marine Costume
Halloween is coming up – time to start building!
Shawn Thorsson owns a shop that specializes in costume, cosplay props, and set fabrication. They make armor, weaponry, and small pieces like the hood ornament for Ecto-1. He also participates in Maker Faire, which is where this costume was first shown. In the spirit of being a maker he shared a step by step of the build, so anyone can make one.
After trying to talk myself out of it for years, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I must build Space Marines in all their glory or I would never be satisfied with any of my lesser projects. To do it right, the finished characters would have to be about eight feet tall and four feet wide. Given that requirement, the main challenge was to make all of the pieces lightweight enough to still be a wearable costume.Advertisement
With that goal in mind, most of the components were vacuum-formed in thin sheet styrene or ABS plastic. Some of the more intricately detailed parts were sculpted in Magic Sculpt epoxy putty or molded and cast in urethane resin. The whole project ended up taking about three or four months worth of actual work spread out over about ten months worth of the calendar.
The costume was built in Pepakura – which was originally designed for paper craft – then it was printed and a paper model was made.
The abridged version: the paper model is coated in fiberglass and rounded out with bondo, which is smoothed into shape with a sander. All molds are then run through a vacuum form to create the parts used in the final costume.
The legs are built around a set of stilts to reach the height of a 7′ Space Marine.
They proved to be a challenge when worn…
But with a little practice…
Details were added using more vacuum formed parts, rubber, wood, and PVC pipe. After some paint…. ta-da – life sized Dark Angels!