Time for another work in progress post about my Transformers Animated Slipstream costume. The first thing to say is that she’s really starting to come together! In this post I’m going to talk about the fabric components of the costume and about how I made the pieces I’ll be wearing on my hands and arms, which currently look a little like this:
Slipstream has either grey or silver arms with black gauntlets that are much thicker and more rounded at the top than at the bottom. I’ve decided to go with silver rather than grey as I think she’d be much shinier ‘in the metal’ than she is on screen.
I’ve made gauntlets before in several layers that strap together but to get that chunky bubble shape I felt I’d probably need to construct these as one piece with just an adjustable vent near the wrist. I made these from the most flexible foam I have, starting with a basic tapered tube shape then building up layers of foam around the top. When the foam was all glued in place they looked a bit rough and ready but the nice thing about Slipstream’s design is that her gauntlets are black and shiny – and black paint seriously hides a multitude of sins. Knowing this, I decided I could get away with covering the whole gauntlets in hippo tape and PVA glue to smooth over the joins before I painted them.
Winding the tape round and round made me feel a bit like I was constructing some kind of mummy but in the end it gave me the stability and the smoothness I needed.
Now, what about the hands? Slipstream’s hands just seem to be plain silver/grey in the screenshots. There’s no real evidence of plate/joint detail because of the show’s animation style. So I probably could have got away with wearing plain gloves as long as they were grey or silver. I picked up some grey leather gloves in a second hand shop a while back that would probably do the job nicely. But I figure that a 3 dimensional Slipstream would probably have a bit more detail on her joints than is visible in the show, so I decided to add a bit more paint to define the finger joints.
Although I’ve kept the detail very simple here I like the effect and it was fun to work on. I seem to really enjoy painting robot hands as adding similar joint detail to the gloves for my Arcee costume was definitely one of the most satisfying parts of that build. I’m already starting to have thoughts about whether I could paint more intricate detailing onto a longer glove at some point in the future to make a full robotic-looking arm. Painted in bronze that could look awesome. Future potential project alert! Because who doesn’t love robot arms?
So, gloves? Check! Gauntlets? Check! Now what about the silver from elbow to shoulder? I bought some silver leggings a while back which I’ll be wearing on my bottom half, with purple bikini bottoms over them. Yes pants over leggings, I know. Pants over metallic silver leggings,no less. Call the fashion police if you want but seeing as how (1) I’m cosplaying an evil lady robot and (2) my blasters are now completely painted and finished, the fashion police are advised to keep out of firing range! But rest assured I won’t be sharing any in progress photos of me wearing this part of the costume; it only looks remotely acceptable as part of the whole ensemble. Still, I mention the leggings because having bought one pair I then realised I could use another pair to give myself silver arms.
So I bought a second pair of identical leggings to covert into sleeves (they needed a lot of taking in). I then sewed these in to the sleeveless purple polo-neck that I’ll be wearing under the foam cockpit chest piece. I also added a hood to this piece – made from a pair of tights. The object of the hood is to frame my face better under the helmet (because my face is nowhere near as long and thin as hers is, on account of how I’m not a stylised cartoon robot) and also to hide my hair. The Slipstream helmet is quite tightly fitting so I can’t pile my hair up on the top of my head like I can in the Arcee costume; instead I need to tie my hair in a loose ponytail and hide it within the hood running down the back of my neck. That seems to work OK. But it makes me look very odd until the helmet goes on.
Next steps? I’ve still yet to construct the final piece, which will be the backpack with her jet wings on it. Partly, this delay is psychological: the wings are the biggest piece and and I’ll admit I’m nervous about messing them up; but there’s also a practical reason for the delay. I really need B’s help with the wings: not only is he better at the geometry side of things than I am but just physically it’s a two person job to get the initial template right for such big pieces. And I can hardly measure my own back while wearing the bulky chest and shoulder can I? Unfortunately B does shift work and over the past week or so his shifts have been pretty much opposite to the hours I work, so we’ve barely seen each other at all and I don’t want to accost him with foam and Decepti-cosplay the minute he gets in the door.
While I’m waiting for our schedules to coincide again I’ve been painting the rest of the components I’ve built, so things are looking properly purple and teal now. But you’ll have to wait for another update to see that…