The Incredible Hulk at the 2013 Armageddon Expo Auckland (NZ)

He’s big, strong and green and he can also be very nasty and destructive when he’s angry.

But when he’s in a good mood, the Incredible Hulk takes part in cosplay competitions and poses for photos with ordinary folk.

Eli Fernando as The Incredible Hulk at Armageddon 2013.

Eli Fernando as The Incredible Hulk at Armageddon 2013

At this year’s Armageddon Expo in Auckland, New Zealand, The Hulk decided to turn on his friendly mood and made an appearance at the Expo’s cosplay competition – to a roaring audience reception. He may not have emerged as the winner, but he became a mini celebrity amongst the audience. Camera flash bulbs worked extra hard as people snapped pictures of him.

I caught up with 42-year-old technical engineer Eli Fernando, who dressed up as The Incredible Hulk. To find out more about his amazing costume, read on.

Eli, what initially made you interested in the Hulk?

I watched The Avengers movie and the Incredible Hulk is a very significant part of the story – that’s when I fell in love with the character too.

What made you dress up as the Hulk?

I thought it would be good to try and create a Hulk costume because the character is instantly recognisable and people will know him from that movie.

My interest was ignited when I saw a Hulk costume on YouTube and I thought I could make a better Hulk costume. It was also challenging to make such an involved costume and so I wanted to see how far I could go.

How long did it take you to make the costume?

The planning took two months and the preparation and making took another two months. So altogether it took me four months.

How much did it cost?

Everything is recycled. I used some cardboard boxes, plastic bags and some spare parts from my storage, so the materials didn’t really cost much money. You can say that I didn’t really spend anything on it.

Look at how he dwarfs normal human beings.

Look at how he dwarfs normal human beings.

What were some of the biggest challenges that you faced while making this costume?

There are a number. Like the height of the costume – you need to be tall in order to be the Hulk. Also the mobility – to make sure that you can still move around in the costume. The costume also weighs 33kg so that is a really heavy weight to carry around.

What is it like moving inside the costume?

I can do some movements – basic ones. But I am very slow and not that agile.

What made you take part in this cosplay contest?

It was for fun. I only wanted to challenge myself with the costume to see how far I could go.

My friends are also always taking part in cosplay competitions so they just asked me whether I wanted to join them and I decided to have some fun.

Did you expect the rousing audience reception and your “five minutes of fame” that you received when you made your appearance?

Yeah, for the last two months, I was imagining how the audience would react and this helped to spur me on. So it was expected and made me feel as though the hard work has paid off.

How long have you been interested in making costumes?

I have had five years of experience making costumes for my son.

I have done Buzz Lightyear and also a lion mascot for my son’s birthdays.

I usually also make a lot of Halloween costumes for him – so then I thought, why not do something for myself.

Actually to be honest, this is the first costume that I have designed for myself.

Read more about Armageddon 2013 here.

Check out some images of Armageddon 2013 here.

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