big bug

“Eeek, honey, there´s a really big bug on the lawn!”

2002, Blutwald.
A Bdhong-bug from the jungles of Sheldiria (“bdhong” being sheldirian slang meaning “heap o´trouble”).
Gaudy WoW- colours. The model for the sheldirian heap-o-trouble- bug is a creature called Megalon. Our critter here also moves like a Toho- monster; only faster...

On YouTube it can be seen in motion:


One problem with “whole- body- monsters” is the amount of material required. Nothing can be hidden under clothes and solutions have to be found for a lot of details.
Here´s how it was done in this case:

The super- cockroach consists essentially of a customary green cloth overall with plates of armour made of foam. The “mask” is actually a backpack made of two cans of expanding foam with a plastic salad bowl serving as head- coverage. Its weight (so to say; it really doesn´t weigh anything) rests on the shoulders and is kept in place by two straps like a real backpack.
Mandibles are made of insulation tube and more expanding foam. The head of the puppeteer can move freely under the “diving bell” of the salad bowl/ head. One sees through the opening between the primary mandibles. If a morphmask is worn, the face is invisible.
Colours: Acrylics, roughly shaded, 1 layer drybrush.


Thigh- plates, groin and cockroach- forktail on the back are glued onto the overall.
Lower legs (so broad that they completely cover the feet), upper- and forearms are tubes that are simply slipped on.


Meet the dwarves.
At this point a compliment to the most professional group of monster- hunters I´ve met so far- and I can evaluate that: after all I´ve encountered them time and again in many forms over the years (when these dwarves appear in the monster´s field of vision, it rolls its eyes under the mask and thinks: “Darn, them again...”)

Above: One can guess the form of the backpack and see how much bigger the creature appears with the “diving bell” on the shoulders.


Above: The bug´s backside. The shards are part of the backpack, the roach´s tail is attached to the overall.
By the way: I didn´t catch the damn dwarf.


Above right: The backpack. The bad painting- job is completely on the inside and invisible when the costume is worn.
Above right: See the salad- bowl inside the head? The white stuff is styropor- wrong decision.


Above left: Attached and loose parts of the outfit. At the top of the overall is the breastplate.
Above right: Backside wth attached tail. Notice the straps on the breastplate: It is worn like an apron; put closed strap behind the neck and tie cords behind back.


Above: Debugged. Group picture with monster. See how massive it becomes because of the big head.
There´s a drawback though: The backpack- construction passes impacts from the back (one of the main hitting areas of a monster) on to the head. So the inside has to be well padded or the salad- bowl will turn against you (see below list of improvements)

The heap-o-trouble-bug is from 2002. As of today it is bad. Neverthelass the relatively simple construction still is a way to achieve quick results, although today I would choose other materials (and colours):

- The backpack´s chassis should be carved completely from soft matress- foam and then faced with plates- expanding foam is not a good choice. And leave out the danm salad bowl.

- Glue cloth under all foam- parts that are stressed to make them tearproof. To glue velcro- straps onto foam- sew an as- broad- as -possible piece of cloth under it to maximize contact faces.

- DON´T use Styropor for monster- building.

- all armour- parts on the overall should be removable to better be able to machine-wash it (this constructon is washed by hand in the bathtub- there  just has to be a better way).


Putting on the suit
Above left: Overall with attached parts. The shape of a bug is “thick belly and thin limbs”. Notice how the glued- on groin does its job because it doesn´t want to be bend and tries to straighten itself- in reality I´m not that fat...
Above right: Feet. Monsters are dressed downward up. The leg-tubes cover the whole foot and spare me the building of bug- feet whom anyway nobody knows what they look like. Build the tubes as tight- fitting as possible but wide enough to step into them from above.


Left: small thing, big effect: The stirrup made of webbing strap (sewed on pieces of cloth for bigger contact face, then glued onto the foam) keeps the leg- tubes efficiently in place and prevents them from turning or riding up.


Above left: Arm tubes (slip- on- parts) and front plate. Notice the tubes being cut out under the arms and at the elbow- joint for better fit. Seen from the front, the lower legs look sufficiently thin.
Above right: Backside


Above: Ready. The puppeteer´s face is invisible under the morphmask.
Although costumes should be able to be put on all alone it´s a good idea to have somebody else have a look at it from the outside before the monster makes its appearance.

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