One of the highlights of this year’s New York Comic Con was seeing all of the amazing costumes from the worlds of comics, movies, video games, and obscure pop culture. And among the best costumes we saw was a homemade Ludo from Labyrinth.
Lucky for us, Chris Williams, the man inside Ludo found us on the interwebs and reached out. And since Halloween, the costumiest time of year, is right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to showcase his process for creating the costume. Below, you’ll find Chris’ detailed description of the costume’s creation, with the participation of his sister, Jemma Williams. Take it away, Chris!
This is the #1 skill you’ll have to brave throughout this costume. I use a couple sets of scissors, a large pair and a beard trimming pair (small), the sharper the better. You have to be able to look at a 2D drawing or a piece of foam and visualize where to cut or deepen to form the right look, much like how a pin box looks, making large snips then refining smaller snips to define and round out details. (There are thouuusands of snips in this costume.)
I took 3 sheets of 1″ thick foam and layered them together with superglue gel (gel is optimal for sticking foam together because the regular superglue seeps through and gets all over your fingers). After that, I visualised the deepness of Ludo’s face along with his features and started carving away, starting with the eye holes as they are most important in a mask. The horns I made from a Styrofoam flower donut, cutting and re-gluing at angles to get them to the right curvature, then glued them to the sides of the mask. I also reinforced them with strips of foam for extra glue surface area. I made the ears out of strips of foam pinched at the lobe and glued to the underside of the horn. After the design is complete I used a strip of elastic on the back to attach to my face.
The Chin I used a similar layering method of foam to get the right shape, then looped a string through the inner part of the chin up and around my head so my chin rests at the back of the mouth. The string is slightly tightened around the top of my head to allow movement with the movement of my mouth.
I bought a woman’s long haired wig which was unfortunately curly, but I was after A) the color and B) the length. I had my wonderful girlfriend straighten it with a hair straightener, and since it looked almost too pampered for Ludo’s hair, we scruffed it up a bit.
To appear taller and more hunched than I naturally am, I made a shoulder piece out of some strange foam packaging I came across that perfectly fit my shoulders and some rounded plastic hula hoop-like tubing. I used lots of duct tape and some extra foam blocks to solidify the shape.
The Torso and Pants (written by Jemma Williams):
For the upper body, we draped the fur over the shoulder structure, with a hole in the center for Chris’ head, and used darts and seams for shaping. After adding generously cut arms, we had a giant sexy fur midriff top! To create the pants we used a pajama pants pattern to get the bagginess we wanted, and added length to the top end so the pants begin about chest height. We put a zipper in the front for “easy” access in case of a bathroom emergency. The suspenders, made of nylon strapping and parachute clasps, allow for infinite length adjustments. Voila! It was a lot of fun to work on this project with Chris. Learning how to cut and sew faux fur was awesome, and I will certainly use it in the future for my plush creatures!
I took a pair of old Winter gloves and glued the fingers together in sets of 2. Then I wrapped them in 1/2″ thick foam folding, rounding, cutting and gluing until they were completely covered. I extended and accented the fingers by slicing off the foam fingers and re-gluing them in smaller sections creating the looks of joints, topping them with a plastic fingernails I made from scrap plastic and paint.
I took two large blocks of foam about 8″ x 10″ x 14″ and hollowed them out from the bottom up to the shape of my shoes I was planning to wear, making a large hole at the top to fit my upper ankle. On the outside I snipped and carved away at them, rounding the edges and sculpting toes, then used the same spare plastic to make toe nails.
Paint and Latex
All of the non fur foam parts I painted with a mix of acrylic paint and liquid latex. After drying, I went back over with a slight darkening of joints and crevices for detail.
As you can see, Chris had a great time cosplaying as Ludo, along with his own personal Jareth and stuffed Worm (which was also built by his sister, Jemma).
Many thanks to Chris Williams and Jemma Williams for sharing their amazing costume process with us!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com