GLaDOS Build

Software/Medium: Portal 2 Model Viewer, Worbla, PVC, LEDs/Electronics
Reference/Source: GLaDOS (Portal 2)
Project Type: Independent (solo)

GLaDOS was one of my dream ‘impossible’ cosplays for a long while, and the costume itself was several years in the making. GLaDOS is a robot that hangs from the ceiling, antagonizing the protagonist in Portal 2. To emulate this, I built a a 6’x6’x4′ structure (complete with vines, graffiti, and rubble to match the game environment). I then suspended myself upside down from a custom harness in armor as accurate a match to GLaDOS’s body as possible for someone with human proportions.

I’ve brought this costume to several conventions and events – it can be disassembled to fit easily into a compact car, and can be constructed in about an hour on-site.


I made extensive use of the Portal 2 Model Viewer for a 3D reference of the character. The costume itself was constructed primarily from Worbla (thermoplastic) over a foam base, filled and sanded, and painted with acrylics and crackle medium. All of the tubes and wires are various sizes of painted aquarium tubing, and I wired up a few dozen LEDs for her lighting components.

The armor is attached to a custom canvas bodysuit using velcro and straps, and can be worn standalone outside of the structure.


I built the structure and environment from PVC pipe, weathered with various textured paints to look like rusted metal. The sliding bar across the top that provides a wide range of movement for my upper body (the character shifts from side to side). The foliage, bird, and lemons (game easter eggs!) were purchased and weathered, and I painted some EVA foam mats to look like overgrown tiles. The backdrop, meant to match the graffiti on the wall, I painted by hand with acrylics on canvas fabric using a screenshot projected on my work surface for the basic proportions.


Debut version (minus some later updates to the environment)


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