Zero Suit Samus – How it’s Made

Why did you make this costume?


To be perfectly honest, I have never actually played Metroid. I know very little about Samus as a character other than she is a space pirate and has an alien as a friend. My appreciation for Samus came from playing Super Smash Brothers. Super Smash Brothers holds a special place in my heart because it was a game that my brother and I would play together growing up. When it was time to pick characters before a match, my brother would always pick Samus and would have little trouble demolishing me in the game (although that could have been because I always wanted to be Kirby). I came to know Samus as this awesome kick ass character who turned out to be a girl under all that armor.  When I began cosplaying, Samus was on my list of many characters I would love to dress up as. When I came across Brandon Gilbert’s design for a Samus’s zeros suit, Samus quickly moved to the top of my cosplay “to-do” list. I fell in love with the amount of detail Gilbert put into his design.

 

How was it made?

I began by purchasing the digital design made by Brandon Gilbert. From there, the next step was to have the design printed onto spandex fabric and sew it together to create the body suit. My original plan was to sew it myself, but when a friend shared that ZentiZone could print and sew the costume for me for a cheaper price then if I were to do it myself, I decided to go for the cheaper option.

After that, all that was left was props and accessories.

For Samus’s gun, I conveniently had a Nerf Firestrike gun which had a similar shape to the gun Samus has in the game. I used a dremel to file down all of the logos and textures, then primed and painted the gun using an assortment of acrylic paints.

The shoes were a bit more of a challenge. I had a hard time deciding what design I wanted for the shoes. I eventually decided to make her black heels. I ordered a pair of plain black heels from Ami Clubwear. I then covered the shoe in masking tape and drew on the design I wanted. Next, I transferred the design to craft foam and cut out the pieces. After priming and painting the pieces, I hot glued them on the heels.

To make the wrist guards, I drew a design and traced it onto EVA foam. Using a heat gun, I formed the EVA foam into a circle. Next I glued in a few magnets so the wrist guards could snap closed.

The final step in completing the costume was the wig, which surprisingly gave me the most trouble. Samus traditionally has a high pony tail. I decided to order the Jasmine Classic Wig from Arda Wigs, thinking it would be perfect. But when it arrived, the pony trail attachment was so heavy that I couldn’t keep the wig on my head (no matter how many bobby pins I used). Feeling frustrated, I gave up on that wig and ordered a Nyx wig from Epic Cosplay, hoping to have more success. But when my new wig arrived, the color was far brighter then what I had imagined and I was struggling to style the bangs (I am terrible at styling wigs, hence more frustration). This was now the day before leaving for Comic Con, so I decided to throw in the towel and just use my wig from my Link cosplay. I styled it into a low pony tail, and called it done.

 

Final thoughts on the costume?

I really like how this costume turned out. I love the design of the bodysuit (I also love that I put zippers in the wrists so I can take my hands out to eat!). The shoes turned out really well, however after a weekend of walking around the convention, the foam detail took a lot of damage. It’s easy to replace the pieces, but if I were to make the shoes again, I might try using Worbla instead. I’m still disappointed about the wig. I wish I could have achieved the high pony tail look Samus is known for, but overall I’m happy with what I produced.

For more pictures of this costume, take a look at the photo gallery.

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