Character Name: Terminator Chaplain
Character Source: Tabletop Games - Warhammer 40K
Estimated Total Price: 300 $ CDN
Well, you can probably imagine that this started as a crazy idea from one of my friend (oh you know who you are : P)... at this time (I'm writing this since the costume is now completed) I don't even recall exactly where the idea came from - but we wanted to do something together from Warhammer 40K. The original idea was a Space Marine set of armor - but since there's a slight difference in "built" between him and me, we decided I would go with a Terminator Armor and he would be a Space Marine or a Scout.
The project was pushed aside several time - as from the start, I didn't have any idea how I was going to be able to this - and we finally deemed it too difficult and put it aside for good.
However, at that time, I had already made patterns for the legs and I was so proud of them that I couldn't resist, looking at them once in a while. One day, I found 2 very old camping mats in my cellar and I decided I should put the cardboard pattern to the test. I built a prototype of one leg and it was so cool looking, I couldn't resist continue working on this project. So I brought the sketches and patterns I had made out of the box they were stored in and started again with the definitive decision that now, I would see this to the end.
And boy was that a long road to follow to its destination :) - I've always felt really good at this point in all my project (when it's all done and all is left is to show it off), but this one is special. I can't describe how good I feel that I've done something like this. I was pushing my "limits" and my skills the whole time and I'm so proud of what I've done.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)
OK - where to start? - from the top, I guess :)
The Skull Mask
This is the only thing on this cosplay that I haven't done or modified myself. I bought the mask on eBay, it's made of latex and a lot of people find it way too big for their head - but it's perfect for my big ol' noggin :)
I made a "neck sock" to hide the skin from my neck. I picked up the strechiest light fabric I could find at my local fabric store (I can't tell you what it is, I don't know - it was in the bargain bin) and sewed it up in the back. Very simple - very effective.
There's not that much to say here. As in all my other costumes, I used foam as my basic construction material. The type of foam I used the most on the armor is camping mat open cell foam (bought my camping mats at Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart - 10$ each and I used about 10 of them). I went with the camping mat instead of craft foam this time since I needed a certain thickness to the armor piece and I knew the camping mat would give me a better visual result than stacking multiple craft foam sheets.
The armor details are mostly done in craft foam. The details I'm referring to are the wings over the head, on the shoulder and on the chest plate. I went with craft foam for these because I didn't the thickness that the camping mat foam had. The skull and skelettons were all random supplies I picked up at the dollar store when they had an after-halloween sale.
Everything was "finished" and painted as per my Craft Foam Finish Tutorial.
The Purity Seals
For those who don't know the warhammer universe - the purity seals are the little red "wax stamp" that you see at various places on the armor (for example, there is 1 on the chest plate). For these, I was set on casting them in hot glue. I had came across a very simple tutorial on casting with thermal adhesive and decided that it was the best method to do those. My wife made the master in clay - I made a negative mold of this master in plaster and poured hot glue into the mold about 10 time to come up with the purity seals you see on the armor.
It worked wonderfully - only 1 drawback from this method. The master that my wife built had a lot of fine details and this thermal adhesive casting method is not meant for that. After 2 or 3 pulls I had lost about 50 to 75% of the very fine details. The purity seals still looked great... but if you're really looking at having a lot of parts with very fine details - I would suggest you find another casting method.
Once molded, they were painted with a bright red latex spraycan paint (Krylon Brand) and then "washed" with watered down black acrylic paint.
I think that what makes this suit so special when you see it up close is the weathering. I made sure I dirtied it up and weathered it up.
First, for the dirt - I used watered down brown acrylic paint (that I picked up at the dollar store) and applied pretty much everywhere I felt it would show "through" the black paint job. Once applied, I waited a couple of seconds and wiped much of it away with a paper towel. Trying to leave "strikes" of dirt and also a whole lot of dirt in the cracks you can find on my armor.
Second, I wanted the "metal" of the armor to show through on the edges... to show that this armored suit was really used. I used silver acrylic paint and drybrushed the edges of the armor plates.
The Weapon - Crozuis Arcanum
I tried something new for the weapon. I had some PVC pipes lying around... and had just gotten a heat gun. So I decided I would build the base of my Crozuis with the PVC piping. I had a 10' pipe, that I cut into 2 5' sections. I then curved one of those section to give me the basic form I was looking for the head of the weapon and left the other straight. I assembled them and filled the "wings" with camping mat foam... then layered craft foam feather on the camping mat to give the correct look to this weapon. The skull in there is also one of those random halloween supplies I picked up at the dollar store.
I had originally meant for the eye to light up (2 red LEDs are already set in the skull eye socket) - but I didn't have time to finish the electronics. It's something I might do in the future.
What would I do differently???
I don't know yet... I'll let you know :)
Terminator Chaplain Comments
Subject: won any price