Terminator arm - Halloween costume

Hello everyone, I’m new at VHS. I came across the VHS website by chance and it was evident to me that I had to join.

My first commitment (if work allows me to finish on time) is a Halloween costume of Terminator. I want to make a fake open wound on my arm and show the metallic mechanism that controls the fingers of the T-800. The plan is to build a metal sheet enclosure to house the rounded bars that will move up and down as in the Terminator self-healing scenes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmKynWXqxTw&t=85s Except that I will pull them with hidden fabric threads attached to my fingers on one end and to the metal bars on the other end. I would use springs connected to the other end of the metal bars to move them back to a closed-fist position.

I have never used Latex or Silicone as fake skin, so any advice will be appreciated. I am also putting an LED to look like the machine eye with some makeup and more fake wounds. I found blank tattoo practice skin sheets that I may be able to stain to match the real skin color, And I’m hoping that I can use liquid silicone or latex to do the details of the wound.

If I have time, I would like to emulate the sound of the mechanism. My first thought was to hide a servo somewhere in the costume. But I think it makes more sense to hide a speaker and play the sounds instead (If the delay is short enough. Not sure what would be the best device to do this. It would be great if an android app could reproduce sounds by pressing the volume or lock screen key of the phone. Maybe an Arduino would be fast enough to play the sound right when a button is pressed with the other hand and sync with the move of the T-800 mechanism). If someone has any code to play pre-recorded sounds on an Arduino, raspberry, or android with a physical button please let me know.

Thanks for reading and I will post updates about my progress.

Cheers. :mechanical_arm:


Hi Noah - take a look at Blynk and ESP dev boards. Think of them as like an arduino with wifi/bluetooth. They run arduino code and work with the arduino IDE. Then you can easily use an app like Blynk for wireless control from your phone if you use your phone’s hotspot.

Those boards are at Lee’s for $18 but are much cheaper from aliexpress. Someone around the space might have a spare they can sell you for 5bux or so.

You could also simplify and use an arduino with a push button switch hidden somewhere.

I should also add - you will need an mp3 player module to get the sound you want as the ESP and Arduino do not have on-board sound (other than simple tones).

Example here (unfortunately out of stock at the moment).

If that’s getting too complicated maybe you could just straight up use your phone and hide it in there under the fake arm.

Hello and welcome! Fun project!

I have a certain amount of experience with silicone and prosthetic effects, so I can probably answer a few of your questions on that, as well as non-machinist metalworking questions. I’ll be at the space on Saturday if you want to come by and discuss.

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I’m pretty familiar with the electronic parts we have at the space, and I know we have a bunch of microcontrollers that would be suitable for this. We have some speakers as well.

This looks like a reasonable substitute for the DFPlayer Mini MP3 module:

If you need assistance with the electronic hardware, I can help with that.

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Thanks! I would definitely come on Saturday if you know your ETA. I would love to explore options for open wound effects.

Thanks @JohnC. I will check it out. Hopefully before Halloween. At first glance, it looks small enough. I would hope to pack a tiny assembly (Controller-sound module-speaker). Do you know if that can be mounted like a hat directly on an arduino-type board?

Hey, @Janet thanks. The idea of using a dedicated controller with the mp3 module makes sense to keep it in the prop. the NodeMcu looks promising. I like the price and size.

But right now I lean more towards using my phone. Ideally connected wireless to a push-button module or something. I’ll check if I can use Blynk for doing this.