Costume Tutorial: Injustice Flash Costume
Happy month faithful followers, your friendly neighborhood Mr. Malmey back with another fun tutorial. Well maybe more of an informal blog that you may learn something from.
In 2013 we got a 3D CNC Machine and decided to give it a go. I had to learn the machine and the software. The machine made it easier to produce a whole suit and still use my graphic abilities. Only 1/2 of Malmey studios has sculpting abilities and that’s Mrs. Malmey, so I had find a way to contribute to the costume portion of our business as well. This was my solution. Here was the first draft of the chest:
At this point I still had a little work to do, but my plan was to have it in plaster and have the first pull within a week. This was our first 3D design for costume use and we were unsure about the texture and cutting the foam, but we were able to get the first coat of latex in the mold. We tinted it red for the first layer to make painting a breeze. Some of the detail on this suit is up to two inches deep so the next part of the process was to insert foam in the deepest spots to help it hold its shape. I then painted it up and this is where we are at thus far. One images shows the chest laying flat and one with it laying on a mannequin.
We took a small break and got right back to it! We revamped the chest and added the the legs. Next we turned our attention to the cowl. Shoulders, biceps, gauntlets, boot spats and the back design. Not much to report as the pictures tell the story.
At this point we changed the general layout once again, removing the hexagon pattern and replacing the overall suit with a fabric-type look. Here is the updated, final design.
With the final approved design out of the way we moved to designing the gauntlets, boot, spats, and shoulder pieces. Once all the pieces were designed we moved to the cutting portion of the process. Some you know how we make the majority of our suits, and some of you don’t, so I’m going to let you in on the secret. Most of our suits are designed in a 3D Cad program and then cut on a CNC machine with a 3D axis. This is not like 3D printing where the machine adds material, this is a process where the machine actually removes material. We always start with a piece of HD foam board, and once the CNC is finished cutting we end up with a foam master for our suit which looks like the following:
Once the foam master is complete we move on to the plaster mold. This is the easy part considering the molds are flat. We mix the plaster, pour it over the master and voilà, we have our mold for latex castings.
While the latex was drying we moved on to the helmet. The only problem with the CNC, as opposed to the 3D Printing, is it does not have the capability to do masks so we leave that up to old fashioned sculpting. I turned the project over to Mrs. Malmey. She sculpted the helmet in a couple of days, with detail and refining work, and it turned out great!
I know, I know, the first question on your mind is, “Why is it green?” Well, we had run out of clear coat and green was the only gloss coat we had, so no matter how unappealing, we went with it. We decided to go with a classic look for the ears. In our opinion it better suits the full look. Here is a picture of the completed cowl.
With the cowl finished we turned our attention back to the suit. The latex was finally dry after many coats and we started gluing it to the under-suit.
As you can see, once the latex suit was attached there was still a ton of work to do. Our next step was to start covering the exposed parts of the under-suit in latex to make the suit match and give it a more refined look. We also re-thought the logo on the chest and replaced it with a different one that was a little more detailed. If you look at the blue master foam pic above you will see the logo.
At this point we turned our attention to the gauntlets, boot spats and shoulders. The gauntlets and boot spats are also pictured above in the foam master picture with the logo. With every thing cut, molded, poured, and glued we started to get something that resembled an Injustice Flash costume.
Boot spats and gauntlets:
Here is the complete suit in all its unfinished glory:
The above pic showcases the complete suit (minus the shoulders and cowl). You can see the differences in the logo and see what the attached gauntlets and boot spats look like. You can also see the areas that are now covered in latex that previously were not. Also take note of the spine, which is removable and reveals the under-suits zipper. After this was complete we began work on some detail painting, our first choice was (obviously) yellow.
It turned out pretty good but was not quite right for the “in-game” look we were going for, so we switched gears and decided to go with a deeper red and a gold.
You will notice some subtle differences and that we took some liberties with the design. We do not like to copy something 100% (copyright issues) and we like to make things our own while still delivering a recognizable suit.
This build is officially complete, check out all the pics of the suit HERE.
As always, a huge thanks to all of you who followed along. We appreciate it!
Until next time,