Bender is a robot character from the cartoon Futurama whose soul purpose is drinking beer to stay sober and operate. And when he doesn’t drink he gets 12 o’clock rust and begins to malfunction and act like he is drunk. My Bender costume was a first price winner at multiple competitions.
To begin with, Bender is made of metal and his sole purpose is to bend metal. So I proceeded to make the costume out of metal. The whole costume was made of aluminum. To be exact, it’s made of 0.80 ml finished aluminum; all hand formed.
The feet were made of large stainless steel commercial mixing bowls to give that larger than life clinking sound when walking, to give the effect of it sounding like it was heavier than it actually was.
The costume was actually quite light and comfortable.
Lets start with the head. Construction of the head started with making the bowl for the cap of the head, then the cylinder which is the head surround cutting an opening to the eye slot and the mouth slot using Christmas balls for the eyes and white plastic mesh for the screen on the mouth all back-lit with LED lights. The LEDs in the mouth were sound activated so the light flashed when I talked.
For the antenna on top of the head, the base was a bathroom shower rod/handle. The antenna was made of aluminum rod heated and slightly bend and the ball on top I was a shift nod.
The body, the torso was formed on an english wheel rolled out and riveted at the seam to start, then tig welded. Chest door was cut into the torso, hinges were hidden on the inside for operational use. A fake wall was put there to hide my body so I wasn’t visible, so when the door was opened it gave the illusion of an empty robot, but hidden inside was gold, his cigars, his bender brow bear, old eforetirainl and his prized possession Lucy Liu head.
In addition, the eyes were tescopic, meaning that they came in and out. There was a ripped cord with a foam brick that folded out when he got nervous, his cigars lights lit and popped smoke. There was a micro flame thrower that did the same action as when bender burbs, as well as it digitiser for your voice.