I WANT TO BE PREDATOR
Nikki and William Miyamoto - parents of two daughters, Zoe and Kayla - are passionate cosplayers. In addition to building their own suits, their company, Miyamoto Productions, provides the public with unique, high quality products. In 2014 Nikki and William wanted to dress their kids as Marines to compliment their own Yautja (aka Predator) outfits for WonderCon, but the youngest, Kayla, preferred to follow in her parents' footsteps. "I want to be Predator.... I am awesome!" Nikki took up the challenge to make her child's dream come true.
Pictured above: Kayla with her favorite doll. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Kayla's mini-costume build - the process
Nikki decided to create a very simple costume without muscles. The Bio helmet and the armor pieces, including shin guard, chest plate and bracers, were made from 2mm and 6mm craft foam. For the bodysuit Nikki bought some blue-printed knit fabric. She made velcro closures for each piece, then primed the pieces for paint.
Pictured above: Left: Unpainted craft foam wrist armor. Right: Primed wrist armor. Photos by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Based on Kayla's color choice, Nikki painted the armor using a hammered brown effect and silver highlights. She added blue detailing on the finished piece since it's Kayla's favorite color.
Pictured above: Painted chest armor. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Pictured above: The painted wrist pieces. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Kayla's Bio Helmet
First, Nikki created a half-mask out of craft foam and fabric and added holes for the dreads (a total of forty holes with 5/8" backer rod). She patterned the rest of the helmet and cut pieces of craft foam to shape.
Pictured above: Half mask with holes for the dreads. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Pictured above: Bio Helmet patterns. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Nikki wanted to pay tribute to another one of Kayla's favorite films, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. So she made some simple dragon scales out of oven-hardened clay, and used a piece of textured craft foam for a decorative flare and applied these to the Bio helmet.
Pictured above: Textured craft foam and 'dragon' scale applied. Photos by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
While browsing through "How-To" videos on Youtube, William stumbled upon an instruction video showing how to heat and mold craft foam. Based on the video, Nikki was able to heat-mold a piece for the bottom half of the helmet.
Pictured above: The primed, then finish-painted bio helmet. Photos by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Nikki added copper highlights, some detailing, and finally, some overall distressing and weathering.
Pictured above: The completed bio helmet. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
For the gloves, Nikki traced Kayla's hand in an opened postion, added an extra 1/4" in the width to allow for the seam, and then cut a front and back from the leopard printed knit fabric. She sewed the seams using a zig-zag stitch. She used a similar process to pattern the feet, but stretched the fabric over a carved foam base and hot-glued it in place.
Pictured above: In progress hands and feet for Kayla's costume. Photos by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Kayla was a HUGE hit at WonderCon. Images of Kayla in her suit were posted all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. People were actually searching the WonderCon on Sunday in hopes of spotting her.
Pictured above: Kayla, the Baby Predator at WonderCon 2014.
Pictured above: Kayla in focus! She was one of the most popular cosplayers at WonderCon.
Nikki didn't stop at WonderCon. After the big reveal, she started to create mini-Predator accessories for Kayla, like a Combi-Stick, skull necklace, and a detachable shoulder cannon. The menagerie of mini-alien skulls on the leather cord necklace were made entirely from oven-baked clay. To make the Combi-Stick, Nikki used a simple wooden dowel with craft foam blades and leather detailing.
Pictured above: The finished skull-trophy necklace. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
Pictured above: Finished Combi-Stick. Photo by Nikki and William Miyamoto.
In her complete costume, with accessories, Kayla posed for a photo shoot with photographer Albert Lien.
Pictured above: Baby Preddy in the woods. Photo by Albert Lien.
Pictured above: Little, but dangerous. Photo by Albert Lien.
Pictured above: And lastly... enjoying her chocolatey trophy after a good hunt. Photo by Albert Lien.
In February 2014, Kayla won 2nd place at her first costume contest even though she was competing against adults. The $50 she won is certain to help with her parents fund her next suit build, and toys of course.
- by Balázs Földesi
Excerpts from predatorium.com
If you would like to learn more about the "making of" process, click here: Kayla's Mini Build