Theorycrafting: Rumble Cosplay 11/16/2012

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  This series will be updated weekly and features a discussion on potential ideas for the creation of a character for cosplay.  This is a fairly quick look into what I might think of doing and what materials I may use when considering building a character.

If you have any requests of characters you would like to see, feel free to let me know who in the comments, on my facebook page, or via Twitter!

This week’s character is: Rumble (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Rumble, the Mechanized Menace

A gifted yordle mechanic, Rumble compensates for his small size and physical shortcomings with a massive suit of fire spitting robotic armor.  His inventions are held together with spit and duct tape, which is mirrored in his gameplay: his abilities generate heat, which make them more powerful, but if he overheats he can’t use any abilities for a short time.

As a warning, this would not be a costume for casual cosplayers. It would require a lot of fabrication and clever engineering, and wearing it would definitely require a handler. The tricky part of this cosplay would be integrating Rumble himself into the armor, while engineering the armor suit to go around yourself, and still keeping the right sense of proportion.

With that said, let’s get ready to rumb–er, get started!

Armor Suit:

So the basic structure of this costume is like so: the cosplayer’s head will be Rumble’s head, then Rumble’s body will be strapped to their chest like a papoose, then the armor suit is built around their body. I would wear a black bodysuit to hide the human parts of me. Here’s a sketch of how the armor would fit around the cosplayer:

Rumble Body sketch (Ref pic from

For the cockpit of the armor, where the seat is, I would start with a frame of something light, flexible, and durable, like PVC sheeting or styrene, and mold it into the right shape. You should incorporate seams into the frame so that it can be broken down for transport, otherwise the armor will be ridiculously big.

Once you have the frame, use spray foam over it to provide bulk while keeping it light, and then coat it in sandable paper mache to smooth it out. If you want to sculpt over the mache I would recommend Apoxie Sculpt or paper clay, as they’re both sandable and easily molded with little chance of cracking.

I would then attach the cockpit to myself with a belt at the bottom, so some of the weight is resting on my hips, and then clear straps attached to the seat and the back of the cockpit, going over my shoulders. I’m not one hundred percent sure that this specific design would work, but this is how I would make my first attempt.

Sketch of interior cockpit harness


The right arm is an interesting challenge, because it’s straight and rigid, so we’ll want to build in some kind of support for comfort. I would build half of the shoulder joint directly onto the cockpit, and then put a seam in the middle so you could fit the other half of the joint over your shoulder after you’d gotten your arm through.

I would build the rest of the flamethrower arm out of a piece of PVC tubing  that could fit over your arm, so you’d get the rigid effect, and then put an LED at the end for the pilot light of the flamethrower. If I could, I’d also build a cradle coming from the shoulder joint under the arm so you wouldn’t have to hold it out the whole time.

Additionally, I think it would be super cool to incorporate  dry ice into the end of the flamethrower for a smoke effect!

For the left arm, I’d say take something round and inflatable, like a beach ball, and then cover it in paper mache, leaving a space somewhere for your hand to fit through. Then I’d build the spikes coming out of the ball (they should be hollow–you could probably get away with a cardboard base here) and cover the entire thing with sandable paper mache and sand it smooth.  It would probably be a good idea to incorporate a handle of some kind inside the spikey ball for comfort’s sake.

The rest of the arm could probably be built with a base of PVC tubing if you cut it at the joints to allow movement. Make sure to cut the PVC to allow for your elbow movement as well as to extend to elbow a bit going back.


The legs of the armor suit would only be attached to your real legs at the hips and feet. I’d build the gear beneath the cockpit out of something light, such as insulation foam, and then build the legs coming out of the hips at an angle, going out to the side.

Then at the knee the legs bend back inwards, and attach again at your feet. I’d have some clear plastic, flexible/stretchy tubing going from your knees to the knees of the suit, so that the legs don’t wobble outwards completely independently of your movements.

Rumble Sketch: Leg construction

The difficult part here is engineering the joints of the legs to allow movement, and don’t have the space or time to do that in this post.  I’ll have to leave that up to anyone brave enough to attempt this cosplay.

Rockets, etc:

For the rockets on the back, it really depends on what you have the time and budget for. A good, cost-effective way to build the rockets would be to use empty two-liter soda bottles as a base, and then build up off of those with papercraft and cover the result with resin. Make sure to keep whatever you do light, since otherwise you’ll be falling over backwards.

For the power-pack/fan thing beneath the rockets, I don’t have any specific suggestions at this time except to make sure it glows.


For Rumble’s head, unless you’re interested in doing a fur prosthetic/hair makeup, you’ll want to go with a mascot style head. I’d make the head out of upholstery foam, and cover it in faux fur (similar to what I suggested for Volibear’s head). For the mohawk, I’d probably use wig extensions over a cardboard base, and then a lot of hairspray! Build and style the mohawk before you put the fur on, so you avoid stray hairs at the base of the mohawk.

For the body, you’re basically going to make a plush doll that will attach to the head. I’d make the clothing out of a padded vinyl for his retro sci-fi look. The chair would be strapped to your chest like a reverse backpack, and the plush’s hands would be attached to the control levers. If you were truly ambitious you could make the Rumble animatronic, but I don’t have the knowledge of robotics to talk about that yet.

With all of this said, do you have any ideas or methods that you would rather employ?  Do  you have any dream costumes or methods you wish you could try?  This was a pretty general overview of how I would address the big engineering problems for Rumble.  Do you have ideas on more of the specifics?

Leave your questions and/or comments below!  I’d love to hear what everyone else’s thoughts are!

Also, feel free to let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how to make this better!

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