To see the animated parts in action check out this video on youtube: youtu.be/G5a3r97JPno
This has been the result of hundreds of hours of trial and error, there are still issues with it, some that would require a complete re-do/overhaul (tempted to try a different approach next year); after I work out a better way of attaching the inner elbow tubes I'm calling it done.
Costume parts summary:
Eye: Is an animation displayed on my iPhone. Created it from scratch using Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects.
Head flap movements: Micro servo mounted under each flap, all controlled by a Pololu Maestro controller. Used their software to program sequences which were then saved as a script and unloaded to the controller, plays on start up. This was my first time working with servos, am an electronics novice.
Hole-through-chest illusion: Achieved by a very bulky field monitor with a spy camera mounted on my back. I wanted to use a thinner tablet as a monitor but based on some research this didn't seem possible (even with a web cam ... ). I've seen someone set up a video chat between 2 iPads for this effect (that is what inspired me to do this) but I didn't want to buy 2 tablets. Wasn't fully convinced about the monitor but kids were entertained by it when I wore this briefly at EB Games Expo. It looks better during daylight. (Also made appearances at PAX Australia and D*Con, so many malfunctions there, would have been a nightmare without handlers!).
Chest armour: MDF silhouette base, filled in partially with expanding foam, sculpted with WED clay, that cracked badly, repaired with Klean Klay, molded with Ultra Cal 30 and cast with tinted brush latex which was reinforced with eva foam. Upholstery foam was used for the edge of the inner layer. Base colour was sponge-brushed with Angelus leather paints then I airbrushed a mottled effect with transparent blue Createx.
Rest of the armour: Made eva foam templates in Illustrator of some parts (tracing reference images), for the side + outer back piece I half sketched the shape on paper and made mock ups to test it. Head templates created from a card + tape mock up around a cast of my head. Some heat shaping involved. Same paint treatment as chest.
Body suit: Bought a spandex zentai suit then airbrushed it with Createx. Wearing a 2nd body suit (cotton) underneath. Upholstery foam shapes shoved underneath the outer body suit for muscles.
Feet: Jika-tabi boots as a base, upholstery foam to make toes, covered in spandex then gesso (completely forgot about latex at the time, should have tried that instead). Createx and Angelus paints used.
Gloves: Tried to keep these as simple as possible because I hate sewing. Traced around hands with fingers in pairs, added seam allowance, transferred template to spandex (black matte metallic because it was left over from a Liara costume) with silver marker, sewed along the line with an overlock stretch stitch then cut it out. Tips stuffed with pillow stuffing. For the detailing I taped paper templates to a glove whilst wearing it to check length, alignment, etc, cut out the shapes from eva foam, beveled the edges with a dremel then hot glued them on whilst wearing. Sponged on paint to give the fabric texture.
Traced around my hand with fingers in pairs, added seam allowance,
Tubing: 2 larger ones are 'poly drain pipe', thinner ones are 'gap filler/backer rod' with twine wrapped around. LED strings are inside clear vinyl tubes defused by wrapping tracing paper around.
Gaming pad: Inspired by the ME3 data pad design. Last minute idea before a con, regret making it in such a rush. Ideally the screen should be laser cut. I scored and snapped the edges of a clip board, broke part of it. Had trouble etching the small lettering in with a file. First wired up some left over LEDs to a button cell battery holder which I stupidly just taped on because I wasn't sure about it, fell off at a con. Currently has a 2xAAA pack glued on which is too bulky - that should be completely concealed inside the frame which is eva foam, should have at least covered/disguised the tape. If I were to make this again the frame would be a rigid 2 part shell and I would try surface mount LEDs.
How it is worn: chest & back is like a vest, secured by 2 kinds of buckles and velcro. Shoulder armour, N7 chest plate and monitor are attached to it with more buckles and velcro. The head is held in place by the 'spine' tube which has a large neodymium magnet epoxied into an eva foam plug; easy to put on/take off but the head is no longer flush with the back - before it was secured with snaps and velcro but it was too difficult attaching and detaching whilst wearing.
All battery packs and the iPhone are held in place by taut elastic.
For progress photos and more details on the rest of the costume check out my FB page: www.facebook.com/DashyProps
Legion design property of Bioware.