I wanted to create a truly impressive Halloween costume; something where I could express my creativity. Optimus Prime and the Transformers have always been a personal favorite, and creating an Optimus Prime Halloween costume which could transform presented a fun challenge.
Chest piece: Build frame of angle iron to fit over chest. Place hinges at shoulders of frame to allow the piece to open front to back. Glue magnets to the front and back sides of the frame at the hips, so the magnets meet when the chest piece is closed. These will serve as a clasp to keep it closed. Place wire mesh over angle iron frame, leaving square holes in front for windows. Sew wire mesh together with small wire. Hot glue foam board over wire mesh to provide correct texture. Paper mache over the mesh. Seal paper mache with decoupage. Sand and spray paint metallic red. For exhaust pipes, cut PVC pipes to length and spray paint silver. Glue to back of chest piece.
Arm pieces: Obtain pair of stretchy athletic arm sleeves. Build rectangular sleeve of wire mesh. Attach to arm sleeves using heavy wire. Hot glue foam board over mesh. Paper mache over the foam board. Seal paper mache with decoupage. Sand and spray paint metallic red.
Gloves: Obtain matching hockey goalie gloves, one for each hand. Spray paint metallic blue.
Leg pieces: Build frame of angle aluminum bar to fit around leg, extending up to the knee. Place sheet aluminum over frame. Paint with metallic blue spray paint. Cut accent pieces from square aluminum bar and attach using screws. Add lawnmower wheels to sides, use gutter pipe pieces for fenders. Attach to legs using mini bungees inside of leg pieces.
Foot pieces: Duct fixtures provide an adequate starting point for construction. Cut and drill to size. Spray on automotive undercoating as a base layer to sections which will experience friction (bottoms and inner sides). Spray paint blue.
Helmet: Store-bought voice modulating Optimus Prime toy helmet, available from various online retailers.
Other: Red spandex shirt and silver spandex pants should be worn under costume. Any shoes can be worn under feet pieces, but something flexible with good grip, like athletic shoes, are best.