Turning yourself into a robot doesn’t necessarily mean working with metal and wiring. In fact, using different, more forgiving materials means you’ll be comfortable while wearing the costume. The Bales Workshop turned to cardboard to bring their take on Futurama’s Bender to life for Halloween 2011. They added some PVC pipe, some plastic bowls, and other everyday objects to the build, but the core is cardboard. The trick to getting the domed head and the cylindrical looks for the arms and legs is to start with sonotubes. They’re already the right shape and can be adjusted.
To make the head, Bales started with a 10 inch sonotube and cut one end in order to turn it into a closed dome. He explains:
I started by painstakingly dividing one end of a tube into 16 equal segments, connecting lines to make tall isosceles triangles, and then cutting them out with a sharp razor knife. I don’t have any record of the segment widths, nor the triangle heights, but I’m sure I was just making it up as a went along. My hope was that they would all be able to arch into the center, be attached to one another with hot glue, and create a perfectly closed dome … or one which would require minimal filling with caulk. That plan didn’t fall into place, so I had to devise another strategy.
I used a plastic lid (with the rim removed) as the central hub for connecting the 16 points into a sad little dome. Rivets were the mechanical fastener of choice.
You can see a couple of pictures of Bender’s head taking shape:
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