This page follows the creation of a flightsuit from the anime series Macross (Robotech in the US).
When considering this costume, I wanted to create an update to the original version and bring a lot of realism to the outfit while maintaining the style of the art. Below is the original artwork I used and a few research pics I found to base the new design on.
Once I gathered some inspiration, I came up with a basic concept for the updated version:
The first pieces I found were some motocross gloves that I thought would be perfect and a motorcycle helmet that had a good look and could be altered to fit the original design as well as my updated concept.
I worked with my friend Chris who is a scupltor and fabricator on the helmet, backpack and belt buckle and sent him a paint scheme for the helmet.
We also discussed the alterations to the helmet that would need to be made: the visor with the red panes, the arrow motif on the side and the plug sections on the front. While he was working on those pieces, I began on the suit.
I started out by getting some scrap fabric and working on a mock up of the vest and the ribbing detail I knew I wanted to use. The fabric is backed with headliner material (1/4″ foam with fabric on one side used to line the ceilings of cars) and then stitched to create the ribbing. The suit is made from white, red and navy blue supplex that I purchased from Rockywoods and then put through a series of dye baths to distress and age. I wanted the suit to look worn and used and so tried to add little “scars” throughout the process of creating it.
These images show the beginning of the padded ribbing as well as the stitching detail on the front flap.
More images of the suit during construction. Here you can see how the different sections fit together and the use of ribbing in the red and grey areas as well as the blue zipper and a detail of the collar.
These images show the completed vest and how the parachute harness connects to the back and wraps around.
More images showing sleeve and stitching detail.
The backpack was carved from a block of floral foam and coated with plaster. A mould was taken and the pack was cast in fiberglass, the “hardware” added and finished with several paint and texturizing methods to give it an age appearance.
I then created a pad for the back and added the clips that will hold the pack to the front harness.
The front harness was created using triangle rings that were painted and black belting (the same belting that was used for the parachute harness on the vest.
Once completed, the harness was tested for fit, the clips attached to the ends and the harness, vest and suit were all strategically sewn togehter to give them the appearance of being separate pieces, but ensuring that they would all stay in place during wear.
The belt buckle was cast in resin and then bronzed and aged. The belt was made from black belting, faux leather and black plastic clips.
I also created gaiters to span the space between the ends of the legs and the boots. I thought it created a very interesting look and made good use of the continuous style in the original artwork.
Lastly, I finished the color on the boots and did some color correction to the gloves.
The completed costume!