This project took 18 months from start to finish. Most everything was done after a regular workday and on days off, so lots of late nights/early mornings. You would think that a costume consisting of a wig, helmet, bra, bottoms, boots, a belt and just two weapons would not be lots of work. HA!
Everything that I was wearing had to be made from scratch or existing pieces altered. Fabric parts had to be patterned and sewn. The belt is all hand dyed, cut and all the rivets were punched in by hand. The buckle is also hand made. My boots were altered, so they ended up more as armor pieces.
The ribbons are actually two sets of wire ribbon sewn together. Two custom stamps had to be made for the continuous “X” and “O” repeating pattern in two different paint colors. After which a fine point sharpie was used to bring out all the small details. I think it was around 16 yards of each color that was used.
The Hellspawn trophies (on sides of winged helm) were first carved in foam, vaccuformed for a negative mould which then had plaster poured into it to make a hard copy. From this hard copy, multiply pieces were able to be vaccuformed in clear plastic for a cleaner look. All were hand painted from the inside and then a backing was attached for them to hang from. The eyes glow in the dark.
The ax and spear started life as sculpting foam (similar to floral foam).
The ax parts were then carved into the correct shapes, a sheet of ABS plastic was vaccuformed over them and then they were attached to each other to form the outline for the ax and spear. The ax was four half pieces that were glued to each other. They were then attached to a wooden pole w/screws. After lots of Bondo and sanding, the ax went into primer then paint. The handle was finished w/a curtain finial drilled into the pole and painted to match. Large shoelaces were dyed and wrapped around the ax pole for added detail. A thin metal rod was attached to one side, so the ax could be placed into the base piece without falling over.
The spear was made from four different halves glued over a lightweight stabilizer and then the edges were glued shut. This was done to replicate the two different sized spear points seen in the illustrations. Lots of Bondo and sanding later, the spear points were done. If you look real close at the detail portions below the points and the middle detail, you will get a surprise: I used a Gatorade bottle for the top and bottom detail and a water bottle for the center section. The bottle insides were swirled w/resin and then cut to size for the details. The spear had to come apart in the center for travel, so these detail pieces helped hide the seam.
The sword was made from a large, thick, piece of polycarbonate plastic. It had to be cut to shape and then sanded w/a belt sander to get the bevels. The sword middle was then hollowed out, to reduce the weight and then two thin sheets of plastic were glued over both sides. More Bondo and sanding. The hand guard was cut to shape on a lathe from more plastic. This was then attached to the sword and cleaned up for paint. Small detail pieces were added and then everything was primed and painted. Jewels were added after the hilt was painted. Lower hilt detail was painted w/a mix of green paints. The hilt was then wrapped w/large dyed shoelaces which were glued on to simulate the fabric in the comic.
My bra top was done in two sections after a body cast was made of me. I was wearing a bra during the casting so everything would be in the correct position. If you look at the bra in the comic, it magically holds everything in place w/no visible straps. The cast was then stabilized with fiberglass. The bra piece was sculpted in clay in two sections, vaccuformed in plastic, glued together and then filled in w/fiberglass. A layer of L200 foam was laid on the inside of the bra for comfort. Clear plastic strips were hand made and fitted to hold the bra up. They are riveted to the INSIDE of the bra top. Real fun getting into, but no falling out.
The shoulder guard was sculpted in foam and then vaccuformed in plastic. I actually cut it down a bit to keep in proportion. This was then fitted to my shoulder. Once painted it was attached to the bra w/more clear straps and some leather to keep from chafing. The inside had lots of foam for comfort and to keep it light.
Helm was made in four sections: three different sized wings and then the band itself. All attached with lots more glue, Bondo and sanding. Once primed and painted, the Hellspawn trophies were attached w/small eye screws. It’s all held on w/just a bit of leather ties from the back over the wig.
The black markings on my face went on w/no smudge lines due to the fact that a cast of my face was made. Then a plaster cast of my face was used to vaccuform a small sheet of clear styrene over that. A template was drawn & cut. This then fit snugly over my face, so that the black make-up could be airbrushed on quickly backstage.
I used a pair of swimsuit bottoms as a base for the two fabric panels for the front and back. Both panels were hand detailed w/several different colored ribbons. A bit stiff, but reads great from stage. The ‘V’ part was hand painted on.
Boots were found at a thrift store; The back of the larger armored one was cut to fit over the top of the armor.
Same principal w/more foam and ABS plastic. A foam stabilizer had to be added to the inside, so the boot wouldn’t shift back and forth while I was walking. The other boot was dyed and wrapped w/leather strips and then a foam piece of ‘armor’ was attached at the knee.
The standing base was one of the last things finished. They measure about 5 foot in diameter. A motor is in the center and six caster wheels around the top part. It looks more like an Oreo cookie until it’s painted. A spring loaded mechanism was added to the motors, so the base could stop and start on cue. Getting the right speed was a real pain. Electronics had to be bought and made. The bases batteries were able to plug into a wall outlet to recharge for the day. (Bob Mannion helped to build and wire the base)
The base for my character was made to look like the cover of Spawn #9. A red tattered cloak, chain, a shield, the ax and a foam mask were all detail pieces for the base.
Andrea did an amazing job on my costume for Comic Con. Not only was there fantastic attention to detail it was actually comfortable to wear, which is saying something when it’s 85 degrees and you’re clad in vinyl! Thanks so much!- Verona as PANDORA from Guitar Hero
Andrea’s designs added enormous visual appeal to my last film, and were a powerful tool for revealing character. But beyond that, her attention to the details of how the costumes would be used –how the actors would need to move in them and in what environments– proved critical when we got around to filming fight scenes in hot weather. I can’t recommend her highly enough.- Keith Hartman, Director of REAL HEROES
When we needed period costumes for our choir’s Renaissance Christmas pageant, Andrea was our go-to person. We were pleased with the quality and the quick turn-around time. Her attention to detail made the costumes pop, and added that “something extra” for our performances.
- Dennis Schamp, Bass Section Leader San Diego Mesa College Chorus