Kaiju Suit Project - Zinogre (NEAR COMPLETION!)

edited October 2018 in Costumes & Cosplay
Hello!  I'm Adam, the midwestern power company employee who draws and builds monster suits in his spare time.  I should have taken the Monster Suit Fabrication Course before I started work on my first build, it would have taken a lot of the fumbling and guesswork out of Baragon's construction and probably saved me a few hundred bucks of foam and quite a few man-hours.

After building a Baragon suit for the 2016 convention season (ConCoction, G-Fest, Cuyahoga Comic-Con, Akron Comic-Con), I wanted to move on to a new monster--Zinogre (Jin'oga), the thunder wolf wyvern from the Monster Hunter series.  The thought popped into my head--what if Monster Hunter was a bit more like the Ultra-series?  It would save me and my spotters from having to deal with a quadsuit...

I'll do my best to maintain running updates on this thread as I finish up the art and wrangle foam and fabric.

Derived From:

Concept Art:

Operating Conditions:
This suit will be deployed as a con hall floor costume with support from one or two spotters.  Puppeteering is limited to unjamming stuck jaws and keeping the tail from destroying vendor tables/snagging on things.  Field maintainability is paramount, so the suit will be covered in vinyl (claws, spikes, possibly plating and the underside of the tail), faux fur (furred areas) and polyfleece (most of the suit).

Desired Features:
-Primarily soft/flexible internal structure (I tripped and fell at G-Fest.)
-Moving Jaw
-Neck Vision design
-Phase-change cooling vest (implemented, will be tested in Baragon during fall conventions)
-Backlit resin eyes
-Head fan
-Sound effects or amplifier.  (Me:  "Mfff mfff mmm!"  Spotter:  "What?")
-Possibly fiber optics in the fur or a bit of EL wire on the plating edges for that extra something.
-Airbrush detailing
-Dimensional paint detailing

Progress so far (9/19/2016):
http://i.imgur.com/QoDzEPe.png (without spikes and plating)

http://i.imgur.com/eOfbj6g.png (with spikes and plating)

I'd like a bit of feedback on these sketches, I'm thinking about doing one more pass before I clean up the sketch and put some lines on it to make a nice clear black-and-white print I can enlarge and tape together.
Post edited by Adam Shands on


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Awesome creature suit concept!  I hope you can continue sharing your progress on this project with our community here!  I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  • Here's the overview sheet.  All I need to do now is detail views of the head, then I'll print out and tape together the templates so I can start cutting some foam.  (Probably next week, I'm doing stuff on the local con circuit this weekend and need to get Baragon ready for another sortie.)
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Looking good!

  • Well, there's our framework for the pattern so far...minus the rough musculature.  I'm still thinking about building up the upper torso musculature and shoulders, the front of the lower torso, and making a few other tweaks elsewhere.  I need to catch up with the tutorial before I get too far ahead of myself.

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    That moment when you first see just how big a project is going to be! :smile:

    Looks like a great framework!

  • We've had a setback...

    "Get Me Redesign!"

    My ambitions got the better of me, and it took a few rounds of rubber duck debugging with my parents in order to realize that no, Zinogre as currently planned is not road-mobile.  There's no way he'll fit in my car or mom's car, and having to rent a van whenever I deal with the suit is the definition of impracticality.  So it's for the best that I get the mourning over with, tip the template frame into the dumpster, and  and start sketching again.

    It looks like the L200 bodypod technique is out of the question.  That leaves us with the form-fitting muscle suit design...which is going to have somewhat more anthropomorphic results.  On the plus side, it will be a lot more portable and much more nimble...and possibly will serve as the other half of the prototype for Ori.

    In a nutshell, it looks like the Zinogre suit will be a bit more anthropomorphic and closer to BirdBark's conception of the design.  Which actually looks pretty good the more I think about it...
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Adam,

    Making sure a project fits out your door, into a vehicle, and into a location you want to use/display it can be a real challenge for bigger projects.

    I always try and make things modular so they can be broken down into smaller pieces for transport or storage.  The key there is finding hard lines on the project where it could be broken down, as trying to hide joining parts (without fur or wardrobe to cover it) can be difficult.

    I'm curious to see how you tackle that challenge.  I'm sure you'll come up with something!

  • Thanks, Chris.  Sorry about the massive delays, I decided to take a break and work on care packages for a few people...which are a bit more than half-done at this point.

     I ended up putting the suit on a drastic diet since I'm not too certain of being able to reliably break the suit down.  Here's a rough idea of what the suit will look like from the side view.

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    The new design looks great, and moving around will be a lot easier with that shorter tail, especially if you plan on showcasing your creation at a convention!

  • If this is a quad suit you may want to extend the arms.
  • It's going to be a biped.  My poor spotter has enough trouble as it is.
  • The project isn't dead, not by a long shot.

    Overlay View:

    Comparison (with old outline in gray):

    Well, I'm off to watch the muscle and creature tutorials, pick up a few books from the library, plan out the musculature, and repair my duct tape dummy.
  • Ugh, it took several months to get myself back into gear, but my project slate is clear, the weather is decent, and the design is settled.  I laid out the new pattern frame, and it's far less complicated than my earlier attempt.  It looks like it might actually clear the doorframe and fit into Red Midget.

    I'll try to get plastic sheeting on this and start work on the pattern pieces in the near future.
  • nice, Love monster hunter and look forward to how this turns out.
  • I enjoy seeing this advance. Don't give up.
  • Very cool, I like the development and build process!
  • The weather warmed up, so I put some plastic sheeting down on my balcony and pulled out the barge.  Unfortunately I'm having trouble going from the plastic & duct tape pattern on the L200 frame to foam...

    Attempt #1 & #2

    (#1, Left) Too rough, too large, loss of detail.  Needed to use more pattern segments.
    (#2, Right)  Also too rough, overly large, and I made the mistake of beveling the edges.  Experimented with making the shoulder a pauldron.

    Attempt #3
    (not photographed)
    Tried cutting down the pattern by the thickness (1") of the material.  Far too small, shoulder turned out misshapen. 

    Attempt #4

    Slightly too small,  darted a little too far and ended up with pointy spots, darted the shoulder too closely instead of making it out of separate gores.  I'll just carve shoulders out of the thick block of foam once I build the torso later this month.

    I could use some help with this.  Why can't I seem to get things to come out right?  I've managed to get the pattern nice and tight..

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    If you remove too much material in a dart you can always cut out the glued portion and insert a wedge of foam to lessen the severity of the dart.  Foam is pretty forgiving like that!

  • Don't worry, it all turned out okay.

    Well, I got a lot of things done this week.  Not quite as much as I hoped, but I have a bunch of limbs and an upper torso sitting in my living room.  I'm not at the point where things are ready to be covered and hung off of the diveskin, but I thought that I'd throw together all of the components I have at this point to see what they look like.

    The Hard Upper Torso (HUT) was inspired by the spacesuit component of the same name.  The profile of the monster's chest is too large to accommodate with the more compact ribcage from the muscle suit tutorial, so I had to pattern and fabricate it.

    Next up will be the tail (I'm trying to build a soft-structure version of this, based on a strip of 1/4" L200), carved shoulders as per the muscle suit tutorial, and lower torso.  The fat bag will probably be separated into four pieces so it just isn't a big lump.

  • Freddy StynenFreddy Stynen Antwerp - Puurs ✭✭
    Looks great doh !!!
    i will follow this :)
  • And that's a wrap for Big Week.  I did some component integration tests and started cutting the foam back in a few areas.  Everything is going to have to be brought in a notch or two and smoothed, so I'll be throwing around some more Barge soon enough.  (It's full of pins, so I couldn't wear it.)

    Here we have a hasty artist's impression of the unfinished portions of the suit.  It looks like it's going to end up being somewhat of a compromise between the v4 and v6 designs in size.  As long as it fits out of the door and into the back of Red Midget...

    I'm going to see about using whopper poppers to hold the hard upper torso closed/aligned.  Extra support for that area will be provided by the second skin's zipper.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Wow, you're making some great progress!

  • Forgotten June Update
    I finished covering and attaching some of the suit components these past few weeks.  Pictures courtesy of a close friend.

    Next time--elastic adjustments, torso components, and tail.  The substation on the north coast awaits me, however, so I probably won't be doing another post again until early late July.

    Current progress:
    Tails, Torsos, and Back to the Patterning Board

    I finally figured out how to make a tail that wouldn't drag, and it sits on a plate of L200 with belt loops barged onto it.

    In addition, I took a stab at building a torso bag.  Unfortunately, I patterned too generously.  At least the concept of subdividing it worked out and it's really flexible...

    The upper torso still doesn't fit quite right, I'm going to take a few inches off the back and try to spread the sides out more  So much for my buttressing work.

    This would have been great when I built the Baragon suit back in '16...

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    It's looking awesome!

  • Very good progress!
  • The project returns!  As of December, the body padding was finished and the jaw was correctly placed (I originally set it too low and couldn't see!)

    Flexible Neck


    I will start on the second skin this weekend after a short stand-down to clean things up and fix a few dropped stitches.  Maybe this thing will be done by Cleveland Comic Con in March...

  • With that, the second skin is done.  I need to pull one ring out of the neck, though, there's a bit too much slack and the segments have bunched up.

    T-minus one month.  This has to be ready to bundle into Red Midget II the morning of March 3rd, 2018.

  • The clock, oh the clock, it is ticking.  The deadline is the evening of March 2nd.
  • Okay, I'm finally managing to get myself back into gear.

    Maybe I can manage that June deadline...
  • Early June Update.  So much hand-sewing.  At least I can put the body aside until I have everything else finished, then it's detail time.

    Of course, I didn't put enough of a recurve in the tail to compensate for the weight of all of that vinyl, and the blades on the end drag.  I need to figure out a good way to protect it from the floor...maybe some sort of cap made out of polyethylene glide material?
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