How to Make Rhys Robotic Arm (thing)

The amazing folks at Labinnak & Mangoloo Cosplays created this fantastically detailed writeup of how to make the Robot Arm Rhys sports in Borderlands!
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MATERIALS USED:

Worbla (or Wonderflex) (about 1 and a half sheets of XL)
Craft foam
Foam board
Exacto knife
Scissors
Wood glue
Toilet paper roll (for the elbow)
Gesso
Acrylic Paint
Elastic straps (black)
Velcro (black)
Fucktons of fast drying super glue
Lights (I got my lights at Adafruit.com) (blue lights:LINK Red Lights:LINK)
Soldering iron
Copper wire
Clear plastic (I used plastic from a clear storage box lol)
Sandpaper
Paint pens (black and white)
Matte spray Sealant

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STEPS

1. Download and print the PDF [LINK] (pdf includes printing instructions & actual sized patterns for each piece)

I REPEAT, THE PDF IS ALL THE HARD WORK DONE FOR YOU! IT INCLUDES THE PEICES FOR THE ARM IN ACTUAL SIZE WHEN PRINTED ON REGULAR PRINTER PAPER! (8.5 X 11) 🙂

2. Cut out patterns. Because the pattern is fit to my arm, it may not fit your arm perfectly. Therefore make adjustments where needed.

*****Note that I have not included the shoulder or the fingers. That is because those pieces will need the most modifications to fit you. See picture to see what the basic shape of the fingers will look like… (one piece of worbla… so no craft foam or sandwiching)
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3. Transfer the paper patterns from the pdf to craft foam and cut out.

4. Now the fun part – WORBLA (or Wonderflex)! Sandwich the craft foam in worbla. (If you don’t know the Sandwich method then here’s a quick video on the process.)

****Elbow piece is a little different because instead of using craft foam as a base… you will use a toilet paper roll… cut to fit your elbow and cut open to fit your elbow inside. Cover the roll in worbla. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it until it was finished because I’m a hot mess.

5. After the worbla is sandwiched and extra on the edges is cut, Re-heat the piece and begin folding along the lines. Let cool to keep shape.

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****If you are adding lights… make sure you cut out the pieces where you want the light to shine through (on forearm and upper arm).

****Also on the forearm you will notice that there is a piece that bumps out of the arm with a blue and red light. That is the only piece that requires the use of the clear plastic. Cut the plastic to triangular shape + small square for red light. Sand pieces so that when the light hits the surface… the light fills out the space. Glue piece to worbla and finally to arm piece…. MAKE SURE TO ADD THE LIGHTS IN BEFORE YOU GLUE TO FOREARM!

Below is an example of the clear plastic before and after sanding to give it that clouded look so the light distributes properly.
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6. When all pieces are assembled. Apply 2-3 coats of wood glue. Then 2 layers of gesso (sand between each coat). As you can see below each of the pieces are at different stages of coats.
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TIP: If you decide to use lights in your robot arm, a great place to hide the battery pack is in the bicep piece! I WAS ABLE TO HIDE 2 OF THOSE IN THERE YEAHHHH

****unfortunately you are going to need 3 battery packs because the red sequins (you need 2) need separate battery packs or else the light won’t be as bright. unless you can find a battery pack that can power both sequins at full power.
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7. After all the pieces have been properly coated with wood glue and gesso, you’re ready to start PAINTINGGGG. This part is pretty simple, just add a few coats of acrylic paint (yellow) with a bit of white to make it look kinda uneven and worn or whatever. Add white stripes where needed (use painters tape to keep lines straight). Dirty up with watered down blacks and brown acrylics. And finally cel-shade with paint pens (along every edge).
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8. Seal with MATTE sealant (this is important because if its a shiny sealant it takes away from the cel-shaded effect!)

9. When it comes to the lights, I always make sure to install all that wire stuff last, makes it easier and you don’t have to worry about getting paint on everything, but don’t forget to make sure the lights are working properly!

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****I forgot to take a test picture of the piece above when it was painted, but I’m literally just holding the lights there to test how bright it is, so no I didn’t put in the lights juuuust yet.
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Because scrolling up to the top of this post is probably a pain by now, I’ll just repost the links to where I got the lights

I always get my lights at Adafruit.com.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BATTERY PACK LAB?!!!?

shhhhh its okay the links take you to a starter pack, so it comes with everything you need (with the exception of a few extra copper wires for soldering the red sequins)

Blue Lights: LINK
Red Lights: LINK

10. Grab a shirtless ab-tastic sidekick (or whoever you have available) to help you size the piece onto your arm with elastic straps.

****For fingers you will only need to attach with the glue the top fingers to a black glove (make sure you have all the parts of the finger on before gluing! And careful not to glue your fingers to the glove! As for the palm… attach black fabric to the back of the worbla and use the fabric to sew the piece to the glove.

FINISHED PRODUCT:
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AND LASTLY BRO FIST YOUR BRO BECAUSE NOW YOU HAVE AN INSANELY COOL ROBO ARM TO MAKE ANY HYPERION JACKA** JEALOUS!

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Feel free to message us if you have any questions! And bro, share any progress with us because we’re bros, bro!

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Thanks again to the amazing folks at Labinnak & Mangoloo Cosplays for sharing this with us! You can find them online:On Facebook, Tumblr Instagram: @labinnak and Twitter: LMcosplays