Combat Evolved Grunt Puppet Cosplay

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
The cutting of patterns has begun - there's about 46 pages to get through. While I started assembling them I began worrying, as they are MUCH bigger than I expected. But Acrobat is saying the document is 55.26 x 77.03 inches, which is only roughly 2.7 square meters per half, so not too bad? Honestly I find it a little hard to believe.

30cm ruler for scale:
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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Yes, I should be cutting out the fabric parts now but... dang, I don't know anywhere big enough to do it properly! So here's what I've been doing in the meantime - detailing the head. Originally I was going to foam fabricate the respirator parts, but I think they'll be light enough to 3D print. For the strapping, I plan to make that out of fabric and bulk it up with foam underneath if need be. Thinking canvas, or something similar if that's too dear.
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You know the character artists have done well when it still looks cute with its head missing! I'll be uploading these + the body armour files to the 3D model index when I feel competent with them.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
There's some weird mystic force that's subconsciencely suggesting I update this thread on this date in particular. Hmm... strange.
I got impatient and started printing off parts for the respirator! Although, Blender's booleans are still a bit buggy and some of the details on the snout respirator didn't print, so I'll be re-doing that one again soon.
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And thanks to some friends, I was able to re-tame the String Beast and FINALLY begin sewing the stuffing pouches! These parts here are for the stompers:

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Not perfect, but because they're only the inside, it allows me to get a fair amount of practice before I start the outside. A friend of mine who gave sewing advice also makes a heap of super cool plushies, and she said she uses this stuff to fill her creations. Apparently the 5Kg bag should be plenty.


It's all really really happening now!
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Guess who's back after a month of crunching working on a musical about a giant flesh consuming avocado? That's right, me, the man who will apparently work on any character that isn't human.

A while back I went to my friend's place to get some help cutting out all the pattern pieces. Also turns out you can save TWICE the time by folding the fabric back on itself and then cutting out the pieces - crazy right? Anyway, the other day I made up the bicep muscles, and today I finished up those dummy thicc forearms. It's fun because the forearms are about as long as my entire arm length, this coming from a 6'3" guy. (Are you happy? I used Imperial.)
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Please excuse the bad image, I have only studied photography at uni for three semesters.

While sewing these patterns, I've realised there are a lot of edges which connect together but have differing lengths, leading to bunching. It's because with the low-ish poly model I used, I made a lot of "assumptions" when making the patterns in Inkscape to try and keep it smooth, but this meant the lengths weren't accurate. This isn't so much of a problem for these inserts but will be for the outside.
Fortunately, I've found a much quicker way turn 3D models into digital patterns using UV unwrapping and the Subdivision Surface modifier. Unfortunately, it will mean I have to remake and reprint these patterns for the... you know, Imma just give up on counting now.
 

GMer56

Sr Member
How do you sew the parts together? I've heard/seen the fancy way is to pin the to halves so they overlap and sew them together, so the sewer could compensate for changes in size, changing the seam tolerance to fit the smaller part (if that doesn't make sense let me know and I'll do an mspaint diagram).
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
How do you sew the parts together? I've heard/seen the fancy way is to pin the to halves so they overlap and sew them together, so the sewer could compensate for changes in size, changing the seam tolerance to fit the smaller part (if that doesn't make sense let me know and I'll do an mspaint diagram).
I can't say I'm entirely sure what you mean, but I'm doing it the only way I knew sewing could be done (albeit poorly), and that's to have two parts sitting on one another, with the same face direction (inside/outside) coming together, then sewing along the edge, with a seam allowance. It could be the same as you described, but here's a few quick pictures:

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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Looks like our "little" fart goblin has spent too much time at the food nipple and got himself a little... plump.
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Me for scale (remember I'm pretty tall)

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My guess is that's about 3kg's of stuffing. And about 2 hours total of my hands in my palms, laughing at the size of this thing.
There's a few parts I wanna bulk out a bit more to give more definition, such as with the thumbs and in the chest. I was planning on starting the "skin" layer of sewing next, but I think it would be best if I start working on the hand mechanics and spinal support next. That means I'll have to remove some stuffing from the forearms and body, which is why for those ones I've only safety pinned the seam shut.

It looks like I ever shared this. These are puppets that were at Disney World's Animal Kingdom when we were there at the end of 2019. They are what kickstarted me saying 'I'm gonna do it' with this build.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
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I've figured out why it looks so stupidly big (and my images couldn't even convey its size). It turns out my scaling was correct in every step... except when I was UV unfolding the patterns, it didn't keep the plane I was using as a measuring reference in proportion to the rest of the patterns. This meant that they all ended up being much bigger than they should be.

In the back you can see the current life size scale of the plush, and in the front is the one I have scaled (correctly) digitally:
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So I'll resew the body, and if the other body parts look too out of proportion still, I'll have to remake them too. The image below shows the two bodies in comparison to the size of the limbs of the currently sewn grunt:
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They look massive, but I'll hold off before remaking them. Might even make him look more cartoonish and cuter!


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I've got a remesher plugin for Blender so hopefully I can make the patterns even simpler... again. By scaling the body down, it will also be much easier to handle, and I've been worried about the head I've been making being too big, so a new bod should make it better proportioned. This will of course also save on materials like fabrics, foam, and mechanical/structural parts. So this is kind of a "two steps back, four forward" situation.

I've been working hard on the hand mechanics and head too, but I'm wanting to complete more of those before showing 'em off.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
That looks cool so far
Oh he's going to be so cute! I can't wait to see your progress.
Thanks! Can't wait to share the hands and head, but I wanna progress on them a bit further first.

I've remade the body to its proper scale now (shown on the right), and I'm currently working on redoing the forearms. I think I can get away with not having to redo the stompers.
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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
So, most important question... will it be hugable?
Oh, it's all about hugability. That's the main reason why I'm making an inner pouch and an outer skin - so I can wash the outside if need be. But in regards to the social comfort of other people, I don't think I'd encourage other people to hug him, as they may not feel comfortable (or may not be able to) kneeling down in front of a stranger, so it'd be a case of if someone asks, they'll be able to.

and will it be called george?
Sorry! I settled for the name Grunther two and a half years ago.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
I'm so excited for this part...

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The bulk of the head's fabrication is done!
I started by making a cardboard cross section of the head's shape, then filling it in with expanding foam. The base of the head is a printed disc with holes for the expanding foam to creep through, and an attachment for the spine.

The skin is foam clay from Lumin's Workshop (ended up using over a tub of it, eek), and the eyes are teddy bear eyes from a craft store. I learnt my lesson that not all expanding foams from cans are equal: the cheap stuff I used where the skin was applied was much less dense (and more holey) then the foam I used everywhere else, so that's why so much clay was used. As you can see, I took a bit of liberty with texturing the skin; though I kept it simple and didn't want to go overboard.

The printed respirator parts finally make their return and have been temporarily tacked onto the straps with superglue, to show how it'll all look together.

The base of the respirator straps are foam, but they'll be covered in fabric later on. The fun part is I can hide my foam smithing crimes, the less-fun part will be actually wrapping the fabric.

Oh, and don't worry, I didn't forget about the birthday surprise:
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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Time for a real dusty update. I thought I was at a standstill until I got some supplies in, but after making a checklist, realised there's still a lot I can do. So while I was waiting on supplies, I started making his toes, spikes and some armour.

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The toes number about 46 individually cut and glued parts sanded down to shape. I kind of wish I had instead printed the bulk of it and sculpted foam clay around it, but that's in the past now. The rough shape was cut out to reduce sanding, then they were taken to the belt sander. My finger nails did not have a fun time there. Because I was stingy with the contact cement (there was a lot to glue up), some of the pieces started to rip off, so I applied foam clay to patch those holes. These will be given 100 layers of Mod Podge after sanding to try and make them as smooth as possible.
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The spikes were done in a similar method, but with different texturing. I started by scoring in a lot of lines with a soldering iron, then gave it some gouges with a grinding bit. Finally I used a knife to slit some grooves into the foam (and apparently my hand, welp) to open up when heated. Do you think the texture is overkill?
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Originally when making the bicep armour, I just used rectangular sheets of foam with beveled edges to wrap around his upper arm. I didn't think the conic shape would be an issue - it was, so I glued the sheets back into its original shape and cut out templates I made with this net shape making site here. Again, I have used foam clay to fill the gaps caused by the seams, and have sanded them back with a palm sander. I'm using Velcro to close the rings at the back.
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And finally, the shoulder armour! This was modelled a while back, and the legendary ODCA has volunteered to (or perhaps bullied into by Purplehazey ) unfold the grunt's tank/body armour. The bulk of it was made using 9mm foam (which is too thick to use for this sort of curvature), with some 6mm in there too. So far I've only made one, and will be cleaning it up later on.
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Before making the second one, I'm finally creating some foam anvils to heat form foam around. I've found that if I use just my fingers, they can roll in the edges of the foam, making it much harder to align seams neatly.
 

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