Its time for our Fifth and Final Costoberfest Spotlight! This year in honor of the Cosplay Cover Variants, we’ll be talking to the cosplayers featured on the variants and their costume-making process!
Next up is a Steven of SoloRoboto Industries, who will be on the The Astonishing Ant-Man #1 Cosplay Cover Variants on sale now!
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Steven got into cosplay in 2008 after making a costume for Halloween. After attending San Diego Comic-Con for the first time the following year, Steven jumped full-time into the prop making world.
We asked Steven to walk us through the process of making a prop!
Every project is different, so it’s tough to generalize, but I can try!
For things like helmets, the basic process is pretty simple. Sculpt a master, make a mold of it, cast plastic copies using the mold, then assemble and paint it. (I highly recommend anyone interested in this stuff check out Smooth-On.com for instructional videos on literally every step of the process.)
The details get a little messier. Star-Lord, for example, was sculpted almost entirely from automotive body filler (or Bondo). It’s NOT a method I would recommend for a design that’s so machined and symmetrical! I made Ant-Man the same way, but the two molds for those helmets are very different. One is a matrix mold, and the other is a brush-up or brush-on mold (a quick google search will provide the basics if you’re curious).
When it comes to one-off commissions, then the processes can vary wildly. Head Metal was made of foam and balsa wood. The FF8 Gunblade I made was layers of acrylic plastic sheet and foam insulation. The TF2 “Tomislav” Minigun was pieces of sintra plastic and a crazy hodge-podge of found objects and garden sprinkler attachments. I sculpted the master for The Hound’s helmet entirely from clay. There’s quite literally an infinite variety of ways to tackle any project, and any single one of them can work.
But by and large, I tend to build things these days using different kind of plastic sheeting, Bondo or Apoxie Sculpt (an amazing 2 part clay that hardens into plastic), mold that in silicone, and cast my final pieces in urethane resin.
For those looking to start making their own props, Steven says the best way to start is to “just do it!” There are an infinite number of ways to tackle any project, and there’s really no right or wrong way. There are better or worse ways, sure, but you can make almost anything work, so just get started and see how it goes! You’ll learn as you go.
Stay tuned to Marvel’s Tumblr as we continue highlighting more cosplayers from our Cover Variants each week!
Photographs by Judy Stephens and Steven Meissner.