As we get ready for Costoberfest to kick-off next week, we’re excited to bring you a special spotlight with Lee Hurley of HurleyFX who created the amazing Groot costume seen at DragonCon. We asked Lee to walk us through the process used to make the costume!
My interpretation of GROOT was sculpted in sections over of life cast of my body. The order was Head, Hands, Legs, Torso, then Arms.
Each piece that was to be made in latex had to be sculpted 10% bigger than I needed due to latex shrinking.
Then a 2 part plaster mold was made, trying to keep the seam lines as disguised as possible. The molds varied from approximately 15lb per hand to in excess of 400lbs for the legs, which were in excess of 5ft tall.
For the smaller pieces the molds were dwelled with latex for between 35-45 minutes, for the bigger molds, I had to brush in layers of latex until I had an approximate even thickness, then place the mold halves together and finish brushing latex over the seam line in the mold.
Custom home made mini stilts were made to make the overall height of Groot at his total highest ( little branch on top ) 7’10.
Once the parts were out of the mold and had finished curing, I test fitted them and used foam tubing to flesh out any areas that needed to fit better, and trimmed the rest to where I felt the seams would be less visible.
Then the Silicone head was painted with FUSEFX silicone pigments, and the latex body suit was painted with washes of FWINK’s. Latex was matte clear coated with Liquitex Matte. Then vines and moss were added, along with his little shoulder branch.
Thus the finished Groot!
I like to push what it is possible for me to create, and if I am told something cannot be done, it just makes me try harder to prove that thinking wrong.
I am totally self-taught and often do things that are not the norm, as was once said necessity is the mother of invention, and that I find is very true. And it is also fun coming up with unique solutions to problems.
Being someone who loves creature creation, I was immediately drawn to Groot when I found out Guardians was being made, and although he was going to be totally CGI (which he had to be on screen) 3 months prior to Dragon-con I decided I to see what kind of Groot I could come up with using practical effects.
Wow, thanks so Lee for walking us through your process! We certainly agree here at Marvel HQ that seeing Groot come to life was amazing, so thank you!
Interested in seeing more photos of Lee’s Groot, please swing over to Marvel.com DragonCon 2014 Gallery!