Image: Ian Toh Facebook
The New Paper
Nov 7, 2015
An ant now connects Hollywood and Singapore. Mr Ian Toh, who runs local music school Thunder Rock School, got a nice surprise this week when the director of the movie Ant-Man, Peyton Reed, praised his Ant-Man costume on social media.
On his personal Twitter account, Reed, who brought the Marvel superhero to the big screen this year, called Mr Toh's outfit the best Ant-Man costume he has seen.
"It feels good to be recognised by the director of Ant-Man himself," said Mr Toh, 30.
"I didn't even like Ant-Man until the movie came out." Mr Toh was named the best dressed at Zouk's Halloween party on Oct 31. And it is no wonder.
Not only did he make the helmet and the suit from scratch with the help of a seamstress, he also constructed Ant-Man's "antmobile", called Antony.
Antony is the ant that Ant-Man rides in the movie. It was the centrepiece of Mr Toh's costume. Mr Toh did not tame a real ant, of course.
He made his ant out of a cheap electric scooter, styrofoam and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam.
"I saw the electric scooter on sale at Groupon for $150, so I bought it and turned it into Antony," he said.
He painted the styrofoam to match the colours of Antony's head and shaped the EVA foam to form Antony's antenna, legs and body.
He first made the costume, without Antony, for the Singapore Toy, Game and Comics Convention in September.
He handmade the helmet using EVA foam and got a seamstress at Tekka market to make the outfit.
According to Mr Toh, it took the seamstress two months to sew the outfit.
"The seamstress complained that she has never made this sort of costume before," said Mr Toh.
"But for Zouk's party, I wanted to make the costume stand out a bit more, so I decided to make Antony."
After just a day's work on Antony, Mr Toh was ready to ride it into Zouk. He spent about $400 on his whole costume.
For his efforts, he won four return tickets to Tokyo on Scoot, $1,000 cash, accommodation provided by Roomorama and a party experience.
The avid costume-maker is planning to take his parents on the trip. "This is the least I can do for them after clogging up the house with all my costumes," he said.
The bachelor, who lives with his parents and younger brother in a semi-detached house in the north-east of Singapore, started making costumes five years ago.
He has made several Iron Man costumes, a Batman costume and Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot, spending an average of $200 on each costume.
His Iron Man 2 Mark VI costume bagged him best dressed at Zouk's Halloween Party in 2010. For that, he won a trip to Frankfurt.
He took his parents on that trip, too. Mr Toh said he makes about five costumes a year. "After I've worn them, they just sit in the house taking up space," he said.
"My mother is pretty irritated that the house is filled with all my costumes, so taking them to Tokyo is the least that I can do."
This article was first published on Nov 7, 2015.
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