“I built my first Godzilla costume when I was 13 after being inspired after attending my first G-Fest. The following years I made a different kaiju suit each year to bring to G-Fest including King Ghidorah, Gigan, Anguirus, and Spacegodzilla. I had to stop my line of suit-making when I moved to California from Wisconsin. I’ve always dreamed of continuing making suits and now the time has finally come. I will be returning to my roots by making a Godzilla costume of my own design. This head bust is a concept sculpture of Fusion Godzilla, named for the “atomic” reference and for being a fusion of many different features from my favorite incarnations. I decided to make it to get the image out of my head and bring it into existence. It’s to familiarize myself with the design, a technique often used in Hollywood where a concept model is designed before construction. The making of this suit will begin very soon.”
— Krys Baioa
Materials used to make the eyes. From left to right they include mixing cups, Castin Craft Catalyst, Castin Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin, paint tray to make the molds for the eyes,eventual paints used, and a fine point paint brush. The process involves pouring 2 ounces of the casting resin into the mixing cup then you add the catalyst which is a hardener for the resin. You add 10 drops of the catalyst per 1 ounce so use a total of 20 drops. Mix it well, there will be air bubbles but they will all rise and dissapate as the resign dries. You then pour the resin into each paint tray well up to the rim. carefully place the paint try into a clear plastic container with a lid on it and place it outside in the sun to cure. With good sunlight, the whole curing process takes about 3 hours. Once the reisn hardens, give the tray a good wack on the floor and the resin molds will pop out of the wells and you’ll have eyeballs ready to paint. You paint the flat side of the mold so the colors and patterns show through the rounded side giving it the look of a realistic eyeball.
My first attempt at painting the eyes. I used the eraser end of an old pencil to make the pupil by dipping it in black paint and carefully dabbing the center. It came out too big for the look I was going for but the color was pretty close. I wanted to stick to amber colored eyes.
Test trial #4… Getting the colors down. Tried different paint techniques to get different patterns. This was very close to what I was wanting for his eyes. Be very careful to remember the order in which you layered the different paint and patterns so that you can replicate the look on the matching eye.
All the materials needed to begin including the base board for the display, PVC pipes for the skeleton, ancors for the PVC pipes, foam rubber, hotwire to cut the foam rubber, and Super 77 spray adhesive for the foam.
The idea was to have the sculpture in portions by cutting seperate slabs of the neck and layering them on top of each other like a cake up the PVC pipe skeleton. Here is the first slab of Godzilla neck. Its a basic cut that will later be trimmed down and detailed. The outline includes the shoulders. The markings on top represent the outline of where the next layer of foam will go and cuts that need to be made for the PVC pipes to go.
This piece is the basic shape of his lower jaw. Everything is cut big and looks blocky at first but it’s so that I have breathing room to cut away the foam down to the shape I want it. This technique is often refered to as subtractive scultping.
Did a little more refining of the jaw. Its important to have reference material nearby to look at when scultping. I often look to the S.H.Monsterarts figures as they have great detail and thier segmented pieces are perfect for the style in which I’m creating this sculpture.
When sculpting, I often use a sharpie marker where I want the foam to sink in to create an outline. By this time, I’ve switched over to the hotwire for cutting. It’s important to be in a well ventilated room or outside as the fumes from the cutting are unhealthy. Here I’m focusing on his cheeks which are largly inspired by the Legendary Godzilla.
Whats tricky about subtractive sculpting is that the details on one side have to mirror the details on the opposite side. It doesn’t have to match perfectly however as there is a lot of asymmetry in biology. The nose is looking flat in detail here which is the next focus area.
Beginnings of his horns leading into his dorsal plates. Also addded sharper lines to his brow as I cut too much away and lost a little bit of the menacing look. Everything is held in place by pins until I’m satisfied with the look before gluing down.
So here was an experiment that worked out very well in the end. I’ve always loved the ridged neck pattern often seen in the Godzilla designs from the 2000’s. To save me some time from cutting foam down to the size and shape I wanted, I took yarn and cut it to length going up the neck.
Taking a step back, I noticed his shoulders were looking too small so I added a thick piece of foam over the existing shoulder then used a needle nose pliers and tweezers to pluck at the foam which achieved the scaly look.
Here’s the opposite side completed with scales and detail. One thing about sculpting is that what you do to one side, you have to do to the other but biology is asymmetrical so it doesn’t have to match perfectly.
Here are a completed set of teeth for the upper jaw. They were made out of sculpty clay then I baked them at 275 degrees for about an hour and a half to harden them. I then painted them and added gloss finish to give them a wet look.
While the sculpture will have the mouth locked open, I still wanted to make sure that the teeth lined up realistically and were positioned correctly. I also marked where the bottom teeth would go in between the upper teeth.
The area in between the horns was looking too flat in detail for me so what I did was take the left over plucks of foam from using the tweezers and used it to make a bumpy skin texture. I bag up all the plucks of foam and just spray adhesive the area then sprinkle the foam bits onto the glue.
Added more detail to the tongue and baked it. If you look closely, you can see little taste bud dots. I took a small hair brush while the sculpty was still soft and pressed it agaisnt the sculpty. Also added detail to the bottom jaw.
First coat of primer going over the neck. I took a grey latex friendly paint and mixed it with liquid latex and hand brushed it onto the foam. I let each coat dry with a total of 3 coats. The first coat is sucked up by the foam like a sponge so 3 coats are required. The liqid latex gives the sculpture a rubber suit look and also protects the foam rubber.
Here’s a little experiment that I wasn’t sure if it would turn out the way I wanted it but it did. I took some leftover liquid latex and spread it out onto a sheet. I let it dry and pealed it off. The final product was a nice sheet of skin like material to use for the sides of his mouth.
And there you have it…from beginning to end. It started with concept art on a piece of paper and ended on the display table in the model room at G-Fest. The completion of this project brings me one step closer to a fully realized Godzilla costume….coming very soon.