Introduction: Dremel a Batman Foam Board Master for a Plaster Mold
This may be a little late for Halloween this year but if your like me you'll need some practice and a jump on next year. The main tool I used was the Dremel so I decided to enter this into the Dremel contest, what the hech, Right? This foam board master is based on the Batman Dark Knight Suit. I have used this method on Batman, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Godzilla (planned later this year) Costumes. Once this foam board is done you can pour plaster of paris into it and make a reverse stone mold. Pour latex into that and you have a batsuit (in this case) costume! I will go into detail for those steps in a different ible, Expect that one early next year! Anyway back to this one, this is just instruction on how to make a foam master. Again this has the potiental to work for nearly any costume, your only limited by your imagination!
Please feel free to ask questions post comments and rate this if you feel it deserves it
Step 1: Materials
Dremel w Assorted Tools
Blue/Pink Insulation Foam Board
Your Batman Design
Step 2: Measurments and Transfer
In this step will have to make precise measurements Shoulder to Groin, Shoulder to Knee, Shoulder to Elbow, Across Chest, Arms, Legs and Waist. Now you can do this part however you want but I took my measurements found a reference picture and designed a template in Photoshop to scale. I printed it off, transferred it to a transparency, put it on a projector and traced. With the measurements complete you will need to grab your foam and sharpie. Start tracing your design. (You could just have a friend trace your shape on the foam as well then enlarge your drawing until it fits your shape, and then trace your design over your shape) I changed mine a little because violating copyright laws is expensive these days, LOL!!
Step 3: Cutting Sanding and Detailing Your Mold
Here is the part that takes some practice and sucks, the dremeling!! A flex hose connection would make this easier I just dont happen to have one! Now you will want to have a plan. Since this is a 3D costume and we have a 2D design you will want to decide where your top surface (highest part) of your costume will be. Since this is a DK suit it has already been decided for us! All of the black areas of my design will be the highest points, the crosshatches area will be the next level, single lines will be indents and all the white areas will be cut in or cut down the farthest.
I already had mine cut when I decided to share this with the world so I did some pics while doing a scrap portion just to show some techniques. Now you will want cut out all your lowest pieces first, youll need a combination of your stone, cutting, and sanding tools. Rough cut all of your lowest pieces first throughout the whole suit. I start with the little stone tool and do the tracing. Then I move to the medium size stone tool to clear out the meat between the details. You will need to cut deep (1/2 or so) but make sure to leave yourself enough room as the foam will require some hand sanding later. The nice thing about the stone tool is its flat bottom. Once the meat is gone take your Dremel and smooth out any deep or shallow area. You might also want to smooth or shape the sides of your detail area little. Do not worry about it being perfect thats where the sand paper comes in!
Now that your rough cutting is done you can go back in and cut down your middle levels, be careful not to cut these further than desired. You do not want these areas quite as low as your first cut. Remember we are looking for a 3D appearance. Cut your middle area the same way you cut your first and lowest area. The same techniques will work.
Once this is done and you ready to cut your single line detail, use the large stone tool or an angled stone tool (this will be better for a V-Bit look) tool at an angle and cut these in as well.
Now you want to v-bit or angle your edges so they have the appearance of rolling over into your cut areas. I used the sanding tool for this step then smoothed it out with the medium stone tool. Once all of your cutting is done you will want to find a High grit 120 or higher sandpaper and smooth all of your cut areas, they do not have to be perfect as this will make a flat mold and sanding plaster is super easy. You will most likely have to do a detail sand on the plaster mold anyway. Be careful not to sand too hard or you will end up with deep pockets. Take this step slowly and carefully, patients are a virtue here!!
Once sanded, you can add the Mesh detail to your deepest cut area. A Phillips head screw driver will work perfect for this step; gently poke the screwdrivers head into the deepest cut area rotate the screwdriver each time so you get an x t pattern. If youre looking to spend more time on this and you are really ambitious you can use your medium stone tool for the mesh as well. If you look at the bottom you will notice a void in the tool, this is perfect for the mesh look. Simply hold it at a 90 degree angle and press it into the foam. I skipped this step because I liked the look of a smooth suit as opposes to the mesh under lay. What you do is up to you!!
Once your cutting, sanding and detailing are complete your ready for plastering, any mistakes can be fixed in the plastering stage, it is very forgiving! Project complete!! You now have a Dark Knight Costume foam board mold. Pour your plaster in and continue making your costume.
Keep your eyes peeled for the complete costume making ible comming within the next couple months!