The Samus Aran DIY Project: Leg Armor

The Samus Aran DIY Project: Leg Armor
Before I give the tutorial on the leg armor, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped at each step of this project.  I especially thank my dear Mr. Frog Prince, for putting up with my seemingly endless hours of seclusion, obsession, and microwave dinners.  You are my rock and best friend!  To Nick, our awesome photographer, who helped this project take new life through your vision and incredible talent.  And to the readers, thank you, because you are why I made this a tutorial and continue this blog!  You have made this project a permanent fixture in the digital world and hopefully become inspired to create your own costume masterpieces.
So without further ado…the tutorial:

Materials:
·        4 Green Plastic cups (dollar store pack of 12= $1)
·        About 9 large sheets of EVA craft foam (12” x 18” or larger if you have long legs- I’m 5’4”)
·        Masking tape
·        2 old flashlights (same size)
·        Bronze and Black paint
·        Liquid Nails
·        Paintbrush
·        Water
·        Elmer’s Glue
·        Stove/Oven
·        Pencil
·        4 Small colored lights (like the ones here)
·        Xacto knife

Instructions:

1.  Measure your legs- Take a measurement of the length from the inside of your thigh to the top of your knee.  Then from the bottom of your knee to your ankle. Then around your thigh (top and bottom).  And around your calves. 
2.  Cut your foam- Look at the shape of the cut out below.  The top should be a couple inches below your hip. Once you make one cut out that fits with the measurements you took in Step 1, trace it to another piece of foam and cut it out for your other leg.

3.  Using the first cutout as a template, draw the same shape a couple inches larger.  Don’t glue them together yet.  Use the flashlight ring to trace a circle onto the top layer.  Use a straight edge to draw the lines (see below) and cut them out with the Xacto.  Cut the circle through both layers, and the line through only the top layer.      

4.  Cut the bottom off of 2 green cups and spread the cup flat.  Tape it to the back of the top layer of foam.  Tape the rim of the flashlight into the hole (see below). Make sure you tape the top of the flashlight rim to the top layer of foam.  It is a bit difficult to see, but the majority of the plastic rim should stick out the back (this pushes the armor off your leg, making it appear more bulky). If you want a darker green behind the plastic, paint the area showing on the bottom layer.  You can then glue the two layers together and let dry completely.

 

This is how the thigh pieces should look once they are glued together

 4.       Lower legs- For the shin armor, just wrap a sheet of craft foam around your lower leg and tape it together.  Cut off the excess foam.  You will find a little circular metal piece in the flashlight around the bulb (the reflective piece) about the size of a silver dollar.   Use this to trace a circle on each side of the leg piece.  Use the same technique with the straight edge to cut out a similar zigzag down the leg on each side.  Use 4 more green cups (2 per leg), cut off the bottoms, spread out over the cut-outs, and tape to the inside of the foam (as shown below).  Glue the metal flashlight piece onto the outer circle area of each leg using the liquid nails.

**Hint- You should have made the foam wide enough at the ankle to slide over your foot. 

5.  Knees- Cut out two diamond shapes large enough to cover your knees.  These will be attached to the lower leg pieces at the center of the diamond.  Don’t glue them on until the lower leg piece has been painted and assembled.

6.     Inner thigh piece- You can turn on the stove or oven and, using the technique from previous tutorials, bend the foam piece around your inner leg.  Then attach the inner thigh piece to the outer thigh piece with glue and masking tape.

7.      Paint- Now that all four leg pieces, except the kneecap armor, are assembled, paint everything bronze.  Obviously don’t paint the green stuff J. Remember to paint the plastic flashlight ring as well! Give the edges some damage using black paint!

       Finally, attach the knees using glue and masking tape.  You are finished!  Here is the completed lower leg:
     

      I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  When I get around to writing my post on the lighting effects I will show you how to light up those green cutouts to make your armor look even more awesome….if that’s even possible.

      Thanks again for reading!

      -Mrs. Frog Prince
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