Dr. Octopus Costume

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As ugly as it was, the large pinchers looked pretty impressive at the end of a drain-pipe "arm".

My next attempt at pincher building was to use a combination of materials: a 2" sheet of styrofoam sandwiched between two 1/8th inch sheets of high-density pressboard. Spray glue held them together.

Stacy models the thicker, lightweight construction in her right hand, the thin, solid one in her left.

In addition to new fingers, I used a different method to assemble them. I attached the fingers with a simple gate hinge, and pulled them back with a long spring mounted on the outside of the ring.

The styrofoam center didn't provide much strength, so I had to use plumbers tape to provide a more stable base for any bolt or connection poking through it.

I bought a low-priced child-size spiderman costume, thinking I'd be able to stretch it over an adult-sized frame.

I also considered having a shredded costume draped over the bloody, naked body of Peter Parker. Alternately, I could also be holding the lifeless form of the Verizon Wireless guy.

To keep Spiderman's body cheap and light, I would use my new favorite building material: bent PVC pipe.

Just two long pipes could make a man. One pipe would be spiderman's arms, the other his legs and body.

Creating a bent pvc frame might be really dangerous, because burning pvc produces a poisonous gas. I don't recommend heating, bending or burning plastics without extreme ventilation.

I marked the PVC where the bends were needed, and heated the pipe over the stove, turning it in my hands like a glassblower's pipe. 

Once the bend was made, I used cold running water to set the new shape.

After a few bends, the arms took shape. I checked the form against my own body. If spiderman was going to do the robot, this would look perfect!

The "legs and body" pipe bent together similarly, and I connected them with plumbers tape so the arms had movement independent of the body.

With the spiderman frame finished, I began adding bulk to his body.

I used styrofoam blocks and plastic fill air packing bags to form a chest, arms and legs.


Please continue reading page three of the Doctor Octopus Costume.

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November 26th, 2004.  

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