ROBERT PRUITT’S GODZILLA
Build pictures of the lower half of the body predate the great phone crash of 2014. Since the legs are built the same way as the arms only twice the thickness and attached to 2” thick underwear, we will let the arm pictures stand in place of the legs.
Using scrap pieces of 2” foam I wrapped one of my legs with two separate tubes. One for my thigh another for my calf. When I was happy with the size and determined I could get in and out easily. I duplicated the pattern. I attached the two at an angle from the back of the leg. I covered the gap with a wedge piece I dubbed the orange slice, cause it looks like an oran… Well I think everyone gets the picture.
From the angle of this next picture you can see how the legs are attached to the “underwear”. All of this is held into place by using generous amounts of hot glue. I did this knowing that once I was ready to use the suit the hot glue would tear away from the seam giving way to more movement for the suit. The latex will be what holds the joints together from that point on.
Attaching the base of the tail was just a matter of trial and error. Once again I was using leftover pieces which is why you see stacked foam. Otherwise I would have just had one big semicircle to comprise the base/back of the suit.
The real trick was adding extra foam to the outside of the legs for that extra thick look. After extra 2” foam was glued to the outside of the legs, it was hand shaved using a large kitchen knife and just a 12” reciprocating saw blade. Of course I was in a hurry to see what it would look like so I just shaved foam as I went.
Next I made a sleeveless shirt out of 2” foam. To do so I traced an XL t-shirt on to a new sheet of foam. I used a ruler to determine the size I would need to widen the base of the shirt to meet up with the outside ring of lower suit body. I found out earlier that I was using low temp glue and knew the pieces would melt apart during transport in the car the next day. Since I rushed this due to it being late, I missed out on the attachment process.
With the back and thighs coated with latex, I began to work on the chest. I chose to go with a 90’s style look. Two major pecks and a long prominent sternum. Basically I just did what I always do, pack it with foam till it looks good. Started with giant rounded ovals and long strip. Covered several times with batting to blend any ridges or gaps.
Remember that picture of arm/leg pieces? Here they are wrapped in batting. Each separate part clearly seen and labeled for everyone’s viewing pleasure. No hot glue was used in the making of this arm. Simply spray glue and batting.
Here we have an arm already covered with latex and ready to be put on the body. I went a little too high on the arm and should have left some room so that I wouldn’t have to latex spots that are already latex. Another learning experience I guess.
I won’t lie, this was probably the hardest part of the entire suit for me. For some reason me and arms just do not get along. It doesn’t matter if it’s making some for a Godzilla suit, chainmail, or even putting on a long sleeve shirt. I lose almost 90% of the time. This picture looks good, and it almost seems like I know what I’m doing. This took 3 weeks, a lot of angry words, many scalded fingers, and several broken sharpies.
Finalizing the arm attachments. I realize there is a lot going on in this picture but there are two items of business I wanted to point out. First the struggle I had with the arms is over. The aftermath can be seen on the table, the floor, even Dave on the couch is tired of my crap at this point. Which brings me to my other item of business, those who put up with THIS. For those who build, there are others like friends and family, who also get to see the ugliness of creation. While they may not stay silent, their ongoing support enables dreams to come true. Thank you!
The one thing that I absolutely had to have for my suit was an entrance through the back. The ideal place was right between the dorsal plates. This way the zipper would be hidden and I could just step in and out of quickly.
The trickiest part I had was placing the zipper in a good spot prior to attaching the dorsal plates. I don’t think I would have had such a problem if I had stuffed the suit so that I could attach the dorsal plates first then add the zipper. Alas, I had a wobbly shell of a suit and could not attach the dorsal plates straight and comfortably enough for them to adhere to the suit. This is me getting the placement down.
I drew two lines using a silver marker to show the position of where the dorsal plates would attach. I then stretched the zipper out and laid it on the suit. Using my finger to hold the middle of the zipper down, I used a thin band of hot glue on the cloth part of the zipper. I used extreme caution not to get too close to the teeth or the outside edge.
With the zipper held in place by the glue, I began to latex all the cloth portion of the zipper while still maintaining my distance from the teeth. I used at least three coats of latex allowing each one to cure before adding another.
Once completely cured, I unzipped the zipper and used it as a guide to split the suit with a big kitchen knife. For a stress test I could think of nothing better than to let my two children to play in and out of the suit.