We have a special post for you today! MyDisguises reader Patrick Neese was kind enough to send us photos of his Terminator costume – along with a detailed description of how he made the costume!
This costume looks so professional and incredibly well made. Very, very impressive, Sir. And now…Heeeere’s Patrick!
I started on the costume after seeing the trailer and thinking the t-600 looked like a Quake 2 Strogg zombie character. Then some friends that do marketing at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin said they would like for me to be at the opening night just kinda walking around. So I moved the finishing date from Oct 20th to May.
The ammo backpack is a foam core square on an Alice pack frame. The ammo belt is a PVC rain gutter I made into a square using a heat gun, gloves and a mask.
I then put them into small pieces with a 200 tooth saw blade on a miter saw. Glasses and respirator required.
As in the picture I then laid those down and spaced them apart with Popsicle sticks and hot glued them to a 2×4 for support. I then epoxied a nylon strap to them so they would stay together but move with the mini gun. The mini gun is made up of an old electric scooter (found on craigslist as not working). I cut it apart and welded it back together for the shape I needed.
Then I attached PVC pipe to 4″ PVC caps I drilled holes into. I used epoxy here as well. This PVC was bolted on to the wheel of the scooter and was painted matte black. Then I glued the ammo belt to it. It spins and looks pretty sweet. I’m surprised a cop didn’t pull me over as I transported it in my front seat to the theater. 😛
The masks were sculpted in WED clay (water based clay with glycerin to prevent early drying). I pulled a silicone two part mother mold for the fiberglass endoskeleton. 3-4 layers of fiberglass were poured/laid into the mold, sanded, then painted.
Arnold was cast from a two part hydrocal mold, since I would be pouring latex…and the porous nature helps pull the ammonia and water from the latex so it may dry/cure.
The body parts were PVC, foam core covered with fiberglass and full fiberglass. The chest piece was foam core I hot glued together than covered with fiberglass. I connected this to the all fiberglass shoulder piece that was originally done in foamcore and had body filler smooth out the transitions, molded in silicone then fiberglass poured.
I connected them using a PVC pipe and two ball joint male pieces I picked up at http://www.grainger.com/ locally in Austin. There was a pneumatic piston attached to the bicep area in the front for looks.
The lower right arm was all PVC pipe, cut and glued, then painted. The leg piece was PVC heat gunned to the right size for my leg and only covers the outside and front half. The calf was PVC and had two pneumatic pistons for looks. They moved when I moved my leg, but are for looks only.
The glowing eyes were LEDs with a AA battery pack. I painted the back of them black so no light shinned into my eye directly and had tem bent at a 90 degree angle to point straight out. Works well if people aren’t using flash. If I had more time a 45 degree piece of tinted plexi with the led above would work great.
I wore body tight black clothing under the endoskeleton to hide my light skin to help with the illusion of the endoskeleton being the bottom layer. I had a BDU shirt and a green sweater I sliced with a razor blade and burned. I did this to the latex face too, wearing a respirator and outside.
I think that is it. Overall the cost was probably about $300 including the casting supplies etc. I still have all the molds in a closet.
As a note — I use RTV silicone from Wal-mart. This can be thinned to pour, but I normally do a thin first layer painted, once cured I then pop out a tube of silicone, I dip it in water using latex gloves to remove preservatives and start the curing process. RTV uses humidity to cure(so soaking in water and kneading speeds this up), thick RTV takes DAYS to cure if you do not knead it in water for 10 seconds (watch out for water/air bubbles) then I add a few drops of acrylic and start to spread over the thin layer and really get into the under cuts.
I try to get rid of the undercuts as much as possible so the mother mold doesn’t freeze on. This is no longer workable in about 5-10 minutes time. I use some pinkie sized tubes to make hold points for the mother mold. After that cures I make a mother mold…it is backasswards from how you normally do a matrix mold…but it works for this.
You can use fiberglass or plaster. I like two layers of fiberglass. It holds up under the weight to support the silicone and is semi rigid so if the silicone won’t move with the fiberglass positive in the mold you can tweak it some to help get it off. I don’t know full cure time. I usually demold 3 hours after and let the acetic acid vent outside for a bit…once again…outside…and I still wear a mask.
This byproduct of the curing has an inhalation rating of 2. I learned this silicone trick from some taxidermists. DO NOT use tin cure silicone for anything that is going to touch skin…like masks or prosthetic pieces…use the more expensive platinum cure…trust me your skin is worth the extra 50 bucks.
Always wear the proper respirator. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean it isn’t killing you… RIP Lance Pope.
— Patrick Neese
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @pjneese
Thank you so much, Patrick, for taking the time to share your photos and for writing about your awesome costume! Such amazing work. Great job – you totally rock!