Touched One

2006, 2008, Schwertmeister.
Only very few know exactly what a “Touched One” is. The short answer to the question is: That.


The design- elements:
It is an attempt not to let a monster look like a guy in a rubber suit but to defamiliarize a human silhouette in as much a menacing way as possible.
The eyeless concept is not exactly a new one but nevertheless effective to alienate a countenance- fixed human being by taking away the second most important contact point.
The insectoid/ mantislike claws combined with the digitgrade legs and bent-forward posture make the critter´s shape disconcertingly non-human.
Moreover, in the game-world it is very dangerous.


Above: The head (on the left unpainted, on the right painted) beside its model, an off- the- shelf- monstermask.
It was built around a cheap motorcycle helmet that was upholstered with foam plates. Wrinkled cloth was applied to simulate skin. Colours: acrylics.
I didn´t take photos of the manufacture, but here are some of a related project:


Above: the original helmet (bill was taken off and pushbuttons removed with pliers) was completely plated with foam. Only then the head was carved.


Above left the grounded mask, above right the underside. Notice the the “lower jaw” does not touch the face of the wearer. Adjust the straps till it fits and remember always to fasten them!

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Above: The “skeleton´s” manufacture starts with a cloth plate that is fastened like a backpack with two shoulderstraps and a hip- strap. On the cloth the “ribs” are glued whose form will later define the silhouette. The join between cloth and foam is strengthened with more cloth (white) that increases the contact faces making the bond more durable.

Above right: The trick that will make the back flexible and the monster fast and agile: 3 expansion joints on the spine. Later they will be covered with plates but left open. He who doesn´t build them into his monsters back will get an obstructive corset resulting in a slow, clumsy, waddling monster insted of a horror that can outrun and outfight steel- armoured players. We won´t make the monster- hunter´s jobs too easy, will we?


Above left: The skeleton seen from the front. It emerged that the front straps had to be worn crosswise for better fit.
Above right:  The skeletons inside. The shoulders have been cut back to prepare for the neck construction. Notice again the joins reinforcements of white cloth that improve the bonding by increasing the contact faces´ sizes.


Above right: Cloth cladding. On this the outer surface will be glued. Notice that the expansion joints are not glued over with cloth- they still work.
Above left: The first segments of the back armour make the joints invisible. The segments are just complemented from now on. Work from downwards up and let them overlap.


Above: The back. The invisible joints give it the flexibility needed for running and fighting. The carapace is much lighter and more comfortable to wear than a metal suit.


The legs are made of two parts
Above left: On the picture the human legs are straight- it´s the way the foam is carved that creates the illusion of digitgrade legs. The knee- joint poses a problem insofar that it cannot be covered (for example with fur), so the construction must find a way around that. These pictures show the first version that has been changed later.
Above left: Maximal bending of the legs: the knee- construction becomes visible and the illusion is gone. When walking or running normally this will not be noticed, though.

See the creature in motion on Youtube:


Above left: The thighs from the inside. They´re carved from open-pored matress-foam and covered with wrinkled cloth to simulate skin. Cloth has been glued with acryl instead of pattex (the cheaper but of course not better solution). Armour is made of thin foam- plates.
Notice the cloth- reinforcements that secure the slices. The thigh´s insides are made of thin foam- plates bonded with cloth to make them tearproof. They are closed with broad velcro- strips.
Above right: Self- adjusting velcro- strips. Velcro will hold only if stressed sideways. If you pull the strips apart, they open easily. This has to be taken into consideration when using them. In this case the velcros have been glued with the soft side on the foam- plates. The hook sides have been sewed onto cloth which has then been glued onto the matress- foam in a way that the velcros automatically adjust themselves to the most adequate angle for best coherence (as on a bullet- proof vest).
The puppeteer wears an overall onto which the leg´s parts are attached by clips and more velcro.
There is no one-size-fits-all-monster; the costume has to fit or the legs won´t function properly.


Above left the legs again (the human´s legs inside are straight, not bend). The feet (see below) are tied onto normal shoes. I wear ankle- high ones with good soles but no boots.
Above right: Attack mode. The creature strikes “guyver- style” (with a knife it would be called “ice- pick- grip”) with the back of the mantis- claws. No stabbing!!


Above: The new knee solution outside and inside. The protrusion from the lower leg was cut off and has been reattached to the thigh. The upper leg´s armour- plates follow this knew “knee” and cover the gap between the two parts of the leg. In motion this looks more “natural” than the old knee and the performance is also much better.


Above: The feet. The hulls have stirrups and are tied behind the ankle.
: Mantis- claws. Foam- weapons with latex- surfaces (the only parts of the monster where latex was used because the claws count as foam- weapons according to the rules). They are carried with the blade down. Striking with this technique has to be trained. The hilts are made of rattan- wood (taped to prevent splitting) and have foam cushions on the ends so as not to damage other weapons that strike the hand coverings.


Monsters should be able to dress themselves. It always takes place under pressure of time and generally under bad lighting conditions. Nevertheless a helper - if available- is welcome. He also should check the outfit before the creature´s appearance.

As a rule monsters dress from downward up. In this case:


Above left: Overall, balaclava (worn wrong way it makes the eyes disappear; meanwhile morphmasks have been invented and are recommended), 2 feet, 2 lower legs, 2 thighs, carapace, underarms, helmet, weapons.
Above right: See the clasp- fittings and velcros on the overall. They´ll hold their counterparts on the legs.
Ok, ´ere we go; times running, orga´s pressing.


Step on the stirrup of the feet, tread straps around ankle and tie them in a way that they don´t loosen themselves. The foam under the feet´s armour- plates not only creates volume but also keeps them in place.


First clip lower legs to overall (above), then close the self- adjusting velcro of the inner plate (right)


Above left: Feet and lower legs are in place
Above right: Clip thighs to overall

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Above left: Close thighs with velcro
Above right: Legs are ready

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Above left: Close breast straps
Above right: CLose hip strap
The straps hold the construction. The velcros only close the surface.


Above left and right: The above-mentioned velcros.

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Above left: Slip into the underarms. The “upper arms” are just plates attached to the carapace´s shoulders. They are flexible enough to follow the arm´s movements.
Above right: Helmet. Straps must be closed to avoid danger of injuries when the head is hit.

Then take up weapons, have - if possible- somebody check the outfit and we´re ready. Almost 10 minutes have passed.

Still with me after about 40 pictures? If you build something like this, don´t give too much on what is shown here. These are just my solutions for this creature. Other critters, other ways of building them...

What can be improved?
Lots... The legs are still too heavy. Pads on upper arms are too small. Too much overall still showing through. Underarms too small.

But the construction principle offers opportunities for a wide range of totally different-looking monsters to harass players with.

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