WIP Weekend: Samus’ Varia Suit from Metroid
Okay, so this isn’t my own WIP, but I’ve been watching the progress of this amazing costume and it’s too good to keep hidden until CONvergence. My friend Danielle Price is building Samus Aran’s Varia Suit from the Metroid series of video games.
It’s a significant undertaking, in the works for a few months now, so I asked how it’s going so I could share it with you.
When did you first get the notion to build the suit?
“I’ve always loved the character and have thought about cosplaying her for years, but it wasn’t until back in March of this year that I was looking at youtube and saw how Bill Doran at Punished Props does this sort of cosplay foam armor making that I realized I could do this character the justice she deserves. Also, it helps that I’m 6’2″ and that’s canonically Samus’ height. ;D”
What prompted you to try building this costume in the first place?
“I’ve loved this video game since I was little… She had all the tools and skills to take on anything, and didn’t need anybody else to help her. She was strong. I really needed that when I was growing up, I guess, so it has always stuck with me.”
“Samus always intrigued me as a character because in the first game, the instruction manual referred to her as “he” and it wasn’t until the end of the game that you learned otherwise. This was a woman who’s a bounty hunter and fights space pirates! There were pretty much *no* other stories with any good female role models in video games at that time.”
“The trans community has sort of “appropriated” her I guess, in like, an activist way. We don’t have any good representations of ourselves. So I kinda thought being trans and cosplaying the character is just amazing. I just want to do it right.”
Where did you get the idea to use the floor mat… stuff?
“A number of cosplayers have been using the stuff to make fantasy and scifi armor for conventions. I highly recommend Bill Doran’s Punished Props youtube channel where he’s got fantastic tutorials on exactly how to make armor like this. I’ve been working out my own process as I go, but started with all the great ideas the community has come up with. The internet and the people on it can be awesome.
A note on acquiring the floor mats: I’ve been surprised how hit or miss it is to find these things at stores I’d expect to have them. Walmart usually does, but I’ve found only *some* Home Depots carry them. I highly recommend calling ahead. Also, you’ll go through more than you think you will. Get extra.”
How did you figure out what tools and supplies you’d need to get this project started?
What other resources did you find that were helpful?
“Youtube is absolutely the best for cosplay, flat out. Any project you attempt, somebody’s probably done something similar that can at least point you in the right direction.”
Paint testing is now in progress, and next on the agenda for this costume is the addition of electroluminescent wire to light up the appropriate bits. Dani has left holes and channels in the pieces she’s completed thus far, and we’re all crossing fingers that the EL wire will work for its intended purpose.
Want to see the finished result? Come to CONvergence and come hang out with us in the Space Lab! She’s planning to debut this amazing armor then, and you’ll probably be able to find her either due to the EL glow or because all of us here at the Lab are crowded around her to admire the glory up close.