This is the costume I made for Halloween of 2011. The design is based primarily on the design of the Cybermen from the 1967 serial entitled "The Moonbase". For a variety of reasons - some practical, some personal - I did not attempt to create an exact duplicate of the costume from that show, but it's one of my favorite incarnations of the Cybermen and served as the most direct inspiration. The costume consists of five main features: the mask, the suit, the chest console, the boots, and the gloves. The mask is easily the most complicated piece, but actually took the least amount of time.
One of the nice things about choosing a Cyberman for a costume is that they appear different each time the monsters are resurrected on Doctor Who, so you have a lot of leeway in terms of design choices, and a lot of incarnations from which to draw inspiration. For me, the most important features to signify a Cyberman are the "handles" on their heads and the distinctive "teardrop" design of the eye holes (not yet present on the actual Moonbase Cyberman designs, and my primary reason for not trying to copy them exactly).
Besides the mask, the main things you'll need to make this costume are:
Silver paint (traditional and spray)
Trading Card Collector's Box
A clever brother with knowledge of electronics
A handy boyfriend with a circular saw
I will show you what I used and how I used it, but you're certainly not bound to my choices. Many of my specific selections were made based on what I had sitting around, and there are a lot of other ways this costume could have gone.
Step 1: MASK
I knew from the beginning that I was going to have to make a significant change to the mask, because the originals were in two parts that would be fastened together around your head. But since I would be making my mask out of papier mache, I needed it to be a single piece that I could pull over my head... and that meant it was going to require a neck large enough to shove my whole noggin through! The goal was to retain the basic silhouette of the Cyberman without distorting things too much with my giant head.
The first thing I did, through sheer trial and error, was to construct a basic skeleton of the mask using poster board, and duct tape it together. It was essentially built right on my face. I would wrap it around, figure out what I needed to cut next, and duct tape it into place. I tied some lengths of yarn around it, to keep the face bent into the shape I wanted while I applied the papier mache. I also attached the flange around the bottom, which helps the neck appear thinner and sort of integrates the whole piece into the suit. You can use whatever process you find easiest when it comes to building the infrastructure of the mask, but keep in mind that you want the finished product to be as symmetrical as possible. Square off your board and draw a line bisecting it, and be careful to mirror all the changes you make. When it came to making the "chin", for example, I put my head through the neck area, with the faceplate only attached at the top. I then measured how far I would need the bottom of the faceplate to protrude in order to accommodate my rather long nose, and then cut a contoured strip of poster board to fill that gap. I taped it loosely into place, put the mask on again, and if it wasn't exactly right I made adjustments. There is no hard-and-fast pattern to something like this. All of the tape lines you can see in the early pictures are from inserting additional shunts of poster board for just this reason.
My profile contains a number of instructables where I go into much greater detail about the actual papier mache process, so I will kind of gloss over that here. Basically, once I had the mask in the shape I wanted it, using nothing but poster board, duct tape and string, I built up a skin of paper mache and let it cure until completely solid. A coat of primer was followed by a couple of coats of nice silver paint. The paint has to cure for several days to be touchable, but it looks amazing when finished.
The decorative touches on the mask include a strip of weird black foam that I bolted around the forehead (I purchased this at American Science and Surplus, from a shelf labeled "(Extremely) Miscellaneous Foam".) I also epoxied on a couple of lengths of wire on the skull area, and added black plastic tubing around the flange. This tubing is super cheap, the sort intended to be used to keep straggling wires bundled together.
I left the round opening above the forehead exactly the right size to accept the concave chrome-finished reflector from the inside of a cheap flashlight. Held in place with epoxy, the opening at the center allows for a bright white LED on the end of a long wire to be pushed through from the inside of the mask. The wire is taped down along the inside of the mask and runs down to a battery pack that I can carry in my left pocket.
Altogether, the mask does look a little outsized, but once it's worn in tandem with the rest of the costume you'll hardly notice.