Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ultron 5 (Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes)

Now that Dragon*Con 2013 has come and gone, it's time to update the ole blog with what I've been up to since March!

Some months ago, while watching the animated series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, a friend of mine requested that I make an Ultron 5 costume for him. Since I've seen so very few of these around, and because EMH was such a great show, not to mention the character of Ultron is completely bad ass, I felt compelled to go ahead and move forward with the project. Around this time, Marvel comics was pimping out an upcoming arc titled "Age of Ultron", which I was extremely excited about reading.


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As I do the majority of my creation in 3D space before physical building begins, I began searching for any sort of existing 3D model which I might be able to use as a base. Unfortunately it seems that Ultron has not been a favorite in any of the Marvel games so no such model existed. Enter a friend of mine from TheRPF, Lael Lee. He had just completed a 1987 RoboCop pepakura model which he released, and so I decided to contact him about doing Ultron justice.

After about 2 months of work, the results were beyond anything I could have hoped for!


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Since this would be worn heavily at conventions, I decided to go with an EVA foam build like I had done with my War Machine last year. I will admit that I skimped on progress photos during this stage, since I was posting regular updates on TheRPF and seeing foam builds is so common, I wouldn't be showing anything that anyone hadn't seen before. But I did get a few, which you can see below.


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It was around this time that Marvel announced that the Avengers sequel would be titled "Age of Ultron", which made me that much more determined to complete the project. I know that in the next 2 years leading up to Avengers 2, there will be more and more Ultrons showing up at conventions, and I had to make sure we were early on the trend!

Once the principal parts of the armor were completed, we coated/primed everything in black PlastiDip, which gives a nice surface for paint to bond to as well as make the foam both more durable and slightly more rigid. Again, we were in such a rush to complete painting for the project a week before the convention that, again, I had failed to take progress photos of this step.

I had also 3D printed some of the pieces for Ultron, namely the antennae on the helmet. These were printed in 4 parts, which were then assembled, sanded, primed, and then molded in Smooth-On Mold Max 30 silicone and cast in Smooth-On 65D resin. Why Mold-Max 30 and 65D? Because that's what I had laying around, of course!


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Our original plan was to use an Arduino to control the mouth LEDs in a twinkling pattern, but time permitted us from getting this done for Dragon*Con. Instead all of the LEDs - about 75 of them in total! - are lit constantly. These are mounted in to a sheet of thin craft foam, and then covered / diffused using a thin black fabric. The resulting effect gives a convincing "Kirby dots" and changes depending on what angle you're looking at the helmet.


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And then, of course, it being Dragon*Con, things got a little weird.



As with every project, there are repairs and upgrades and changes to be made. My friend who wore the costume has made a few requests, and hopefully we'll be able to have those changes made by Atlanta Mini Maker Faire. I'll leave you with some photos that we've taken and ones I've found around the net so far. Thanks for reading!