|Cost :||Way too much.|
|Time Taken :||5 Months|
|Around the end of July, I was scratching my head for what I would do for my Halloween costume. I've never been fantastic at costuming, but I love doing it and making each piece my own. I thought that I had an idea that I could work with when I bought the classic Robotnik figure that was released for Sonic's 20th birthday. I was thinking how cool it would be to make a little egg-mobile for him. I looked online to see what others had done, and to my shock, hardly anybody had done a project like that. My Halloween costume was scrapped and I decided that I wanted to create a classic 1991 Robotnik costume, complete with my own egg-mobile.|
For this to be an individual project with work and school taking tons of my time already, this was a massive undertaking for me. Admittedly, I did not have the costume at 100% by Halloween, but it was enough to show off.
Since I was wanting to do an egg-mobile, I decided that I would model my vehicle after the one featured at the very end of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. In "Final Zone," as Robotnik escapes into his egg-mobile (egg-pod egg-carrier, or whatever you'd like to call it) it is clearly a bipedal machine which retracts its landing gear once he jumps in it. That allowed me to be able to cut leg holes in the bottom of the pod so that I could walk around in full costume.
**Keep in mind that this was a HUGE learning process for me. Many of the methods I used in the beginning of my build were scrapped for better methods.**
1) I took two large sheets of aluminum flashing and riveted them together, end-to-end, so that they made a cylinder.
2) I then trimmed the flashing to an appropriate size and cut a large semi-oval on what would be the front. This area would serve as the recess for the headlight.
3) On the area opposite the headlight recess, I notched an area that would house the exhaust pipe and exhaust cover.
4) Out of 1/4 inch plexiglass, I cut a large portion for the windshield and a smaller portion for the exhaust cover.
5) I then carved the "caution" arrows all the way around the cylinder.
6) The cylinder and the exhaust pipe received many coats matte aluminum paint; the exhaust cover received a bright yellow.
7) I then painted the arrows, in an alternating yellow/black pattern.
8) With the painting essentially done, I went ahead and carved out the exhaust vents on either side of the headlight recess.
CONTROL PANEL PROCEDURE:
While all facets of this build took a great deal of time, this was the one area in which I had NEVER gained any experience: wiring switches, lights and sounds.
I wanted the egg-mobile to be "fully functional," meaning that I wanted it decked out with lights, sounds and switches that actually worked...Not an easy task when you've never done it before. My first build was out of aluminum flashing. This FAILED because the weight of the parts and batteries made the control panel sag.
1) I scrapped the original build and constructed a dashboard frame out of 1/2 inch plexiglass, which I quickly painted black.
2) From there, I drilled in all of the holes and recesses that I needed for my lights and switches. I had already mapped this out from my first build.
3) There were two main switches I wanted to make sure that I got right above all of the others. The most important switch was for the headlight. I wired a circular, red, on/off toggle switch to a utility light and a 12-volt battery.
4) The second most important switch was for my "Chaos Drive." My dash had a large circular recess in the middle for a 2.5-inch chaos emerald. A blue led toggle switch would activate power to a momentary press switch in the emerald recess. This switch only activates if it is pressed down. When activated, the switch turns on bright, multicolored, flashing leds. The weight of the emerald is such that, when it is fit into the recess, it presses against and activates the switch, making a pretty cool light-show.
5) I also made a little rectangular recess so that I could put my phone inside of it. I plan on having a neat little radar background play when I'm in costume.
6) I had two joysticks that I got for a dollar each (lucky!) I wanted the 4 buttons on the joysticks to activate different sounds from the classic games (Boss music, et cetera). For this, I needed the help of a friend. He helped me wire an amplifier and sound module to two small-yet-powerful speakers. These speakers will ultimately be positioned inside the chassis of the egg-mobile so that they play through the exhaust vents.
7) The rest of the wiring was just a matter of trial, error, and a lot of soldering.
**As of right now, the dash is mostly complete, but the sound module still needs to be programmed.**
ROBOTNIK MASK PROCEDURE:
I wanted to use this opportunity as an excuse to try my hand at silicone special effects. I love doing effects makeup and have plenty of experience with latex, but I wanted to try something new.
1) From my armature, I sculpted a large, circular dome head from clay.
2) Next, I used plat-sil 00 to make a cast of the head. The first trial was too flimsy and transparent, so my second trial was much thicker and included my own brew of silicone pigment to make the final product more flesh colored. This piece serves as my bald-cap.
3) I wanted to make sure that the nose really fit with the costume, as it is the center piece between the iconic glasses and mustache. Again, I sculpted the nose with clay and made a cast with plat-sil 00 silicone.
4) The cast alone was too flimsy, so I decided to fill the void with silicone, making for a squishy, yet firm piece. The end product was a little bit softer than an eraser.
5) One of the most difficult parts of this portion of the project was getting the nose, glasses and mustache to all work together. The method that ended up winning for me was to take my crepe hair (for the mustache) and laying it on top of a sturdy-yet-malleable piece of transparent plastic.
6) On top of that, I put a thin wire strand down the middle of the mustache from end to end.
7) I then put a small layer of silicone down on the back of the mustache (the end that touches my face). This ensures that the mustache has strength, maintains fluffy volume, and doesn't separate from other threads of hair as easily.
8) I took the silicone nose and pinned it to the mustache.
9) I then took the glasses and carefully positioned it over the nose. The thin metal guard that fits around your (real) nose has tiny holes in it. I carefully stuck a pin in each tiny hole so that it punctured the skin of the silicone, ensuring that the glasses will not fall off during casual wear.
I sat scratching my head for many an hour thinking about how to to do this. I wasted good money during trial-by-fire testing as well. The following is what has worked for me:
1) I bought a 2XL underarmor shirt and long pants. (Size is crucial for maximum stretchiness)
2) I turned each piece inside out. For the shirt, I placed a junk t-shirt over top of the underarmor shirt so that it was INSIDE of my junk shirt.
3) I then sewed where the two shirts met along the cuffs, neckline, and bottom. Before I finished sewing, I stuffed that bad boy full of cotton batting. (You're going to need a LOT for this project)
4) For the pants, i took a strip of stretchy gaberdine fabric and sewed it from the elastic hip band down to where the crotch meets the legs (notice how Robotnik's massive weight seems to stop right at the legs). Before this pouch was sewed up, it was also stuffed full of cotton batting.
5) Once this is all finished, turn them back right-side out. When you put them on, you'll have to get a friend to help you fluff out the areas as needed so that you get a nice circular shape.
What I bought for the clothes themselves:
*6-yards of red gaberdine
*4-yards of stretchy black gaberdine
*2-yards of bright yellow fabric
*"John Lennon" syle black shades
*Wide elastic bands
1) The process of making the shirt and pants was a huge ordeal, as I'm not a great sewer. Everything got worked out in the end, but I recommend using a fabric pattern from your local fabric shop and going from there.
2) I still need to put the yellow "bib" onto the shirt.
3) The elastic band is for the gaberdine pants.
4) The John Lennon glasses can be found incredibly cheap on Amazon.
I had forgotten to mention this earlier, but I also bought a light-weight, ergonomic chair rest that i stuffed with padding and sewed up in a sky-blue fabric. This piece will serve as the seat of the egg-mobile.
I will keep you all posted with the latest pictures and information about how this all turns out! I am almost done, so I don't expect it to be long now.
Please, post as many questions or comments as you wish!