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So You Want to be a Predator?

Posted by Alanna Horgan September 22nd, 2009 |
 

Kithunter's-SuitCreated by a fine fellow who goes by the name of Kithunter (aka Andrew), The Hunters Lair is an online forum dedicated to helping you achieve that dream. With endless tutorials (called huntorials) on making predator costumes realistic enough to get Arnie chasing you, there is no other place you really need go (with the exceptions of youtube and a little bit of ebay).

They offer help and advice, regardless of whether you want to buy the components or make them yourself, as well as being a fun community made up from people all around the world.

Bryan is an Irish member who says that ‘The Lair’s been my home away from home. Everyone’s very friendly to chat to and very helpful to any and all questions.’  He told us about people’s reactions to seeing a Predator wandering around. ‘I’m 6ft 6 inches in height so suited up I’m over 7ft tall. People are either scared or fascinated in the suit. If you can play the character well, people’s responses are great.’

The aptly named Macguyver is another Lair member, responsible for some of its best huntorials. ‘Before I made my costume,’ he explained, ‘I used to think the Predator would be a guaranteed winner in almost any costume competition but sadly I learned this is not always the case. Every competition is handled differently and I’ve figured out a few strategies over the years that’ll usually help me win favor over the contest judges and/or most people in the crowds.

‘I do win most costume contests I enter into but I still lose a few every year too. The funny thing about the contests I’ve lost are that it’s usually because my costume is viewed as being just too damn good to be homemade (and therefore, must’ve been bought off ebay, rented or made by a professional for several thousands of dollars). Some people just have no imagination. I still managed to win $1000 cash at one contest last year while I lost another contest the next day for a trip for two to Las Vegas to a guy dressed up as Derek Zoolander.’

There is a lot involved to make it that far though. Cost is the first hurdle. Even a budget DIY suit can cost up to $1000 once everything is taken into account, and a professionally made suit can be triple that. Then there is the time involved. As the forum moderators point out to new members of the Lair, don’t think of the idea three weeks before Halloween and expect to come up with anything decent. Many months of effort and labour are involved, though the first time you suit up, it will all be worth it.

Pdisc-and-his-girlfriend-looking-truly-epic

Once the suit is made, it doesn’t end there. Macguyver explained that ‘wearing such an elaborate costume like this can prove to be a challenging endeavor, both physically and mentally. On the outside you’re trying to look cool as a rock star while inside the suit you’re constantly trying to overcome the extreme limitations of your body & senses. It’s very difficult to move around and you can hardly see or hear anything. It’s almost impossible to simply talk with those around you. I’ll also lose anywhere from 5-15 lbs. in sweat alone every time I suit up. Then, there’s also the possibility of becoming severely dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion as well. Those are the things that’ll sneak up on you fast if you’ve never spent several hours inside a full body latex suit. But that’s the price you gotta pay if you wanna play the king for a day.’

But looking at the pictures of these homemade suits, surely you agree it’s worth it! So how is it done? It’s a long and complex process, so I’ll share the wisdom of the Hunters Lair with you over a series of days, starting tomorrow!

Part Two – From the Design Process to the Biomask

Part Three – Undermask, Dreads & Skin

Part Four – Weapons, Armour & the Completed Suit!

Celtic-Yautja-by-Lance http://celtic-yautja.dr-maul.com

All images in this post are of Predator costumes made by Lair members.

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10 Responses to “So You Want to be a Predator?”

  1. Borderline_Erotica says:

    Mmm, when I was doing suit work I used to have those same problems. Except you know, it was illegal for me to be in any kind of full body suit [head, paws, pod, booties, overlay] for longer than twenty minutes. So I had that going for me.
    The biggest shock to your system (aside from not being able to breath properly, you go in with that knowledge) is the lack of visability and the limited mobility. I had a minder and I’d advise all you predator suit wearing hunters to buddy up when out and about! They could even dress as arnie or a helpless victim!

    Cool article Lana. Very inspiring.

  2. Yeah it all sounds like it will be very difficult, but totally worth it! And ooh I forgot about that, on the Lair they have a guide for the big day at a convention, and a handler is a must! Thanks Tegan ^_^ What did you do suit work for?

  3. Borderline_Erotica says:

    I did suit work for a small promotional company, which included doing children’s parties and supermarkets gigs, which basically involve meet and greets, doing photos with parents and kids, stuff like that. I’ve worn suits for freddo frog, Caramello Koala, Big Dog and Prime Possum. Most of these suits have pods that sit inside to make you ‘fat’ which make them ridiculously hot because the outside of the suit is mostly comprised of faux fur, and sometimes there are clothes that even go on the top of that.
    The easiest suit I’ve had to wear was the big dog suit, because the head was the smallest, but it had the worst vision as the eyes had a plastic covering rather than a gauz, so they fogged when I breathed. And the toughest suit was defintaly prime possum, the head for that suit is fully made of fibreglass, visabilty was poor and mobility poorer. But it’s good fun, definatly.
    Handlers are a definate must. Oh my god, you’re always going to have one or two little idiots that want to try and trip you over no matter how awesome you look. Try to find someone to watch your back and your front.
    =^.^=

  4. Lol wow, thanks for the tip.

    And I knew suits like those would be uncomfortable, but I never guesed they’d be that bad. Damn you prime possum!

  5. Borderline_Erotica says:

    Oh, and one more tip. I don’t know how heavy a predator costume is going to be (I’ve never worn one, derpderp) but whatever you do, don’t transfer the weight to your lower back, try to be concious of your posture and stand up straight. You’ll have a very very sore back by the end of the day otherwise.
    =^.^=

  6. Nicole says:

    Nice article!
    The Hunters Lair is the best forum I have ever been too, and I will most likely never leave it. :P All the ideas, designs and skill that is there, is amazing.
    Will be sure to read the other articles too!

  7. Thanks ^_^ And I agree, everyone is so helpful and friendly.

  8. Rebekah Scott says:

    Dear friend,

    Thank you for showing us how to make are own predator costume. I am making a predator costume at home, but, a little different. Will nylon rope be good for predator dreads?

  9. Some people do use nylon rope, but the main problem with that is it will be exceedingly heavy and probably give you a headache very quickly. So it’s really up to you, but I’d recommend getting the lightest materials you can.

    There are a number of budget ways you can make dreads, including using hose, backer rods (which is like tubing) and foam. Here are some links that might help ^_^

    http://www.thehunterslair.com/index.php?showtopic=1091&hl=backer+dreads

    http://www.thehunterslair.com/index.php?showtopic=18280&hl=budget+dreads

    http://www.thehunterslair.com/index.php?showtopic=18978&hl=

    Let us know how you go!

  10. Chad Edward Oyer says:

    My roommate’s and i are looking into getting costumes for Halloween. Not sure how to get started

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