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Dinobot Grimlock - Transformers: Age of Extinction
|Costume type:||Costumes for Men|
This homemade costume for men entered our 2014 Halloween Costume Contest.
A word from Kaleena, the 'Dinobot Grimlock' costume creator:
My name is Kaleena and I am an always growing, constantly learning, and often experimental studio/graphic Artist! After interning at Disney World for half a year awhile back, I was always inspired by the costumes around the parks and how they filled guests with feelings of excitement and awe! I wanted to recreate this feeling for others by building my own original costume. All I knew was I wanted it to be big, and I mean BIG. Big and exciting enough to literally make people say “ Woah!” when I walked in a room. Hence the idea for a costume from the new transformers movie was born. I decided to be the revamped 2014 Dinobot Transformer, Grimlock a.k.a. the T-rex transformer from the new movie Transformers: Age of Extinction.
I am still in complete awe that the creation of this costume was a success!! I just want to say that I completely exceeded my own expectations of my artistic self and what I am capable of! I couldn’t be happier, and I cannot WAIT to continue to grow as an artist and develop more skills such as these in the future!
Start months in advance!! I started a little over a month early and was devastated that I missed Halloween completely, even went to a club without being finished and placed in the contest but did not win anything! I just finished about a week and a half ago actually, so it took me about two months. That was only possible with the help from my girlfriend and days of no sleep/barely taking time to breathe!! It made the house very stressful, and I want to thank my girlfriend for dealing with me for the past few months! I With that being said, give yourself time, I sure wish I had so that the experience would be more pleasurable instead of stress inducing!
Also this is all handmade, no templates were used other than the ones I freehanded myself out of poster board! I have never done anything like this before. Although, I have made some awesome costumes in the past, again this went way beyond what I thought I was capable of creating! I am still astonished that this all came together so well!!! Challenge yourself, but keep in mind this was a TRIAL and ERROR process until I found a solution to building each section. It was extremely hard and I was really ready to give up at times. I even cried at times and threw in the towel some evenings but convinced myself to keep going the next day! Not to be cheesy, but it honestly is true, that if you believe in yourself anything is possible :) SO grab those art tools, some imagination and lets start creating!
This entire costume is made of EVA foam, which is the advanced word for the foam mats that you can buy to line garage floors or exercise rooms. They usually come in packs of 4 or 6 and look like puzzle pieces you can put together, or come in rolls. I used several of both versions, because believe it or not, this thing takes at least 5 packs of foam. I cut each piece of armor in the general shape I wanted with an exacto knife. Then using a heat gun, I would heat the foam and mold it with my hands until I got the form I wanted. After being heated the foam will stay in that shape. I also used a soldering iron and a dremel tool to make perfect bends and textures in the foam, for example, like the grill on the front of the mouth of the helmet. All of this came together with a hot glue gun, but I learned the hard way that the mini glue guns definitely don’t cut it. Nothing would stick together and I was spending hours gluing one piece of armor! Finally using a more expensive Pro series glue gun, all went well. The helmet is worn comfortably on my head with a paint ball mask attached on the inside. I also used lacrosse gloves to make my hands look bigger and more transformer-ish. My metal armor shoes actually have my old Nikes from working at Disney hot glued inside, so I guess you could say I added a touch of Disney magic from all my time spent in the parks in those shoes! To top that off, I actually added about 3 inches of foam to the bottom of my shoes to make me taller. Painting was hard, as at first I had to use a spray paint called Plasti-Dip to coat the foam in a rubbery base in order to keep other colored spray paints from soaking into the foam. Then I had to do about 6 coats of each color, taping off sections already painted with blue painters tape along the way so as to get more than one color in certain sections. The final step is coating everything in a gloss sealant to make it as shiny and metal-ish as possible. So the costume is mainly all foam as I said earlier, but what makes it such a hard and time consuming piece is actually hand molding each and every piece of foam and figuring out how to make flat foam shapes three dimensional!
Everything turned out just as I had hoped for. As soon as I walked into a bar, everyone would stop and stare and seriously go “woah!” or “oh wow that’s awesome!” Some people would run up just to compare their size to me! With the top part of my spike on my helmet and my height extenders on my shoes, I was about 7 foot and the width of my body was almost 3 people! I was so big I couldn’t walk through some areas, and kept hitting people in the face with my T-rex heads! They would be so excited and caught off guard that all they could do was back away and check out my costume! Almost everyone thought I had bought the costume from a design shop, and were in awe when I told them I actually made the entire thing. I was like a celebrity on the dance floor, people wanted pictures galore!
I added the LEDs recently to really make this costume look like a transformer! The eyes, logo, T-rex mouths and front armor all lit up and certainly made the costume not only look more amazing, but as if I really was a robot from another planet!