Oct 28, 2010

A new trick up the Wampa's sleve - The Arm Amputation!

Coming soon for Halloween I am working on a new feature for the Wampa costume for when I am in costume contests.... The Arm Amputation! As a veteran of high stakes costume contests I know that it takes both size and surprise to win over a crowd to win. The beast won over $3500 in contest money and to help fun future 501st costumes I want to take the Wampa out to a few.

The issue is, unlike the beast which was an original character with spikes and mean looking, the Wampa is a specific character. Not everyone knows the reference so to them it is just a big abominable snowman. So to win over those people you need to wow them. So adding a theatrical effect like being able to chop off it's arm. To really sell over the crowd I added an additional surprise... Squirting Blood! Well it's just water but when your not expecting it (just think those 4D movies at theme parks) it really gets your attention. That is the goal, make the suit interactive with the crowd.

I needed to develop a quick release so i could keep the arm on until I needed to drop it. I did this by using a rope and pulley. The arm joint is held together with eye bolts and a heavy duty clip. I added the pulley to the clip and tied off rope to the other eye bolt. Inside the grip of the arm is a snap hook zip tied to the PVC. When I want to remove the rope I just squeeze the snap hook and I can either drop the arm or hold it until I am ready.

The red muscle is my old technique of paper towels, batting and latex around a long sleeve red t-shirt. I had an old modified bug sprayer which we used to dispense shots of alcohol at events and I used this inside a big chunk of meat that has the sprayer tip coming out the end of the bone, The trigger is hidden inside so all I have to do is squeeze it. I left the back end unmodified (look hard enough and you will see the cuff of the sleeve still on it) so if needed I can detach the hose and clean out the system. The jug can clip on to the framework inside the body of the suit and the hose leads down to the meaty bone. When I drop the arm, which my handler will be playing along with a lightsaber and holding onto the hand so it isn't a hard fall, my arm should slip out exposing the meat and I will ham it up turn to the crowd and give them the big surprise!

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Total cost of this mod using mostly left over supplies $9.44!

Wish me luck, I will be attending 2 high stakes costume contests this Halloween. If I win one (or both) you will soon see posts about my next costume coming sooner than later!

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