So onward to part II of the build. Now armed with our supplies, Paul and I decided to dive in literally feet first and build from the ground up. We would start by building the creature's legs!
More Pics and info
After pouring over reference pics and the action figure we had a good idea of how bulky they needed to be. Since I would be wearing the suit we took a few basic measurements off my legs as a base and then extrapolated from there.
Calf Pattern ready for tracing
The process begins!
The first step to foam building is to draw the pattern for the calves. This is where the brown butcher's paper came in handy. Sometimes Paul would draw a smaller version to get an idea of shape first but this wasn't always necessary. The measurements would be drawn out to give us our base. Then from there the extra bulk and muscles would be drawn on into the shape. Once happy with the final shape this would be cut out and notched along the sides in an alternate single and double notch pattern while aligning it to the connecting pattern piece which in turn is notched at the same time. The pattern pieces then get labeled for future reference.
Cutting the foam
Barging the foam - folding the two sides together was a neat trick to speed things up.
Drying the barge.
Next step is using this paper pattern to trace onto the foam. We decide don the 3/4" poly foam for the legs and feet so we'd thumbtack the pattern in place (using the foam as sparingly as possible to get max use out of each sheet) and trace it with a sharpie. Most of the patterns required a double trace of the mirror (taking the pattern and flipping it) to create the full 3-D shape. Also it was important to trace in the notched marks from the pattern.
Assembling along the notches.
Drawing the thighs
Applying the barge
Once traced the pattern is then carefully cut out using fresh razor blades. In some cases a angled or bevel cut was required in order to help the halves join and create less stress.
Once cut, the foam edges destined to be joined together would be painted with a thin layer of Barge cement. To prep for this we'd pour what amount of barge we needed in a disposable tupperware container and paint this on with a couple of the chip brushes. It's important to keep the layer thin but enough too completely cover the surface. Then we waited for it to dry as it doesn't stick when wet. This is where the hair dryers came in handy to speed up this part of the process.
Assembling along the notches
Assembling along the notches
Once dry, the foam pieces are then attached carefully together. The notches come in handy here as they act as the guide to match-up together to ensure the pieces are aligning correctly as you go. This contact cement is fairly amazing and works wonders with foam. I'd used a similar technique on making parts of my Cyberman and the Sash for my Master costumes and it works like you wouldn't believe. Once assembled, these foam parts "were going nowhere!"
Drawing the feet
Cutting the feet
This process was repeated for the hips/thighs. Usually Paul would draw and cut. I would trace and glue. Once we got into a good rhythm we'd trade off these duties and both take halves on the gluing and assembling to keep a good pace and really cook with some gas. By the time we got to the feet of Morbius we were moving swiftly. This part though required a third component for the bottom or sole of the foot in addition to the sides.
Assembling the foot
Double checking the fit before final barge is applied.
The tricky thing about the feet and calves were that they would be pre-built onto an existing boot so I had something to slip into within the suit when finished. They needed to be tall as the dance leotard would only attach to the suit from the knees upwards. They needed to be a little big to help with the bulk of the creature and allow me ample room to slip in and out of them. Luckily, I had a pair of cheap black pirate costume boots laying around. They're the kind you buy at Halloween shops or online for $40.00. I'd originally bought them in 2008 for the first version of my Star Trek TOS Dr. McCoy costume.
My recycled costume boots
I'd since upgraded to custom form fitting replica trek boots and no longer had a use for these. What was doubly nice is I'd bought them slightly too large - they were a little over a size too big for me which was perfect for our purposes.
Extra padding for a snug fit
Fitting the boot
Sealing the foot around the boot
The Soles of Morbius
After slipping the pre-made calf pieces over the boots, we made the feet with the bottoms connected and the back connected but leaving the front open to ensure fit. Sure enough some extra carefully placed padding foam was needed to keep the boot snug in the foam and not flop around. Once this was in place the feet were sealed up for good!
Barging the feet to the calves
The real legs in action
Pardoning the knees which would wait for when everything get mounted on the body form... this was finished. Voila! The LEGS of Morbius are now complete!
Part IV of the build continues with The NECK of Morbius!