I’ve always been a big fan of the Mortal Kombat games/ films and looked at a ton of picture before deciding what version of Scorpion to make. The idea was to have something original that hardly anyone had made and can’t buy. I finally settled on the original version from the first Mortal Kombat film.
Yellow Felt Yellow Cotton Thin Balaclava/ motor bike hood (Ebay £3)
Ninja Socks & Shoes aka Jika-tabi (Ebay £20)
Black Jogging Bottoms with cuffs (Ebay £10 or clothes shop)
Black Turtleneck/ Rollneck ( £12 Ebay or clothes shop)
White contact lenses disposable ( £7 Ebay)
Thick Cardboard (normal packaging brown box)
Thin Cardboard (Cereal box)
Masking Tape Paper/ Newspaper
Spray can of lacquer
Black Elastic material- 5cm roll about 2 meters (for mask & back of costume)
2 X Football Shin pads (£3 ebay preferably black otherwise can be painted)
Paint- Black, Silver & white (Can be acrylic or just normal kids paint.)
Small paint brush (like 1cm)
Tools Fabric Glue or Sewing Pins
Different Colour Thread
Squared Pattern Paper (Optional)
Step 1: Making the Tabard
Start by measuring from the front of your waist over your shoulder to the back of your waist line. I added an extra 5cm ontop of that for good measure. Reason being this part will be underneath the belt so it is better to have too much, then too little. This shoulder should be symmetrical front to back with the larger part sitting on your shoulder. This will be a little trial and error as everyone’s shoulder width is different. You want the material to start at 2cm in from the base of your neck and hang over your shoulder by approximately 7cm. I used Squared Pattern Paper (optional) to get the shape right before cutting the felt. The shape will look like this.
Once you are happy with the shape, flip it over and draw around it on another piece of felt to get the other side. We will coat it in cotton once we have finished cutting out all the other parts…more on this later.
Step 2: Making the Belt
Measure around your waist keeping it tight but breathable. This shape will be symmetrical from the left to the centre and from the right to the centre. So I just got one side correct, folded it over and traced around. You want the belt height smallest at the sides and larger at your front and back. You want the belt to fit tight around your waist and measure exact so it doesn’t overlap. This is the shape you want.
It will look and feel weird as it sits around your stomach just above your hips.
Step 3: Making the Front and Back Panels
Ok now measure again from your tummy (belly button) to 10cm above the top of your knee. This will be the length of your front & back panels These panels will be identical so create the front one first and just trace around to get the back piece. The top width should be shorter than the bottom width. For a rough guide the front panel edges should stop in the middle of your legs (when standing shoulder width apart) The shape should look like this.
Step 4: Coating the Felt Bases in Cotton
Now all the felt pieces are cut it is time to coat them with cotton. We use a double layer to give us the right amount of strength & texture.
Iron out the cotton and felt so there are no creases
*Important…The coating is made up of 2 separate bits of cotton..
The 1st piece (the back piece) is exactly the same size as the felt you have already cut. (The majority of the time you cannot see this side).
The 2nd piece (the front piece) is 3cm larger than the felt you have cut. This does not have to be exact, just make sure it overlaps by at least 3cm. (can be larger). Now you should have a single piece of felt for each part and 2x cotton for each part. Place (the back piece) of cotton (same size as felt) to the felt and using fabric glue (or pin) the edges together. Ideally keep the glue to 1cm wide around the edges. Do this for all the felt. Take the felt and now place the 2nd piece of cotton over it (the front piece.) Fold around the overlapped cotton and glue this edge to the cotton you have previously stuck down. Iron this flat if necessary. Or if you choose to pin it just use 1 pin for both bits of cotton pulling out the first lot of pins as you go.
Let this dry….. Once dried you are ready to sew…
This is pretty straight forward just sew each piece keeping a 2cm border around the edges (yellow stitching). Using scissors clean up any excess cotton around the back (just past the stitching).
Step 5: Strapping the Belt
Create 4 button holes in a line (black stitching) 6cm from each edge. Do this on both sides of the belt. There is a setting on the sewing machine for this. Make the button holes about 3cm in height.
Now using a scalpel cut a line in the middle to open it. Repeat until all 8 are done. Get your 5cm roll of elastic strap and cut 4x pieces 16cm wide. Fold each piece in half long ways (from 5cm) to make 2.5cm and sew flat. We do this instead of just using 2.5cm roll of elastic to give it extra strength. Line up the left and right belt edges so they are just about touching. Place a strap diagonally through 2 holes, then over sew the button hole with the strap in place. Be careful not to go outside the button hole edges. Once each strap is sewn, turn the belt inside out and with scissors cut any excess strap no longer needed.
Step 6: Attaching the Tabard
Put it all together, remember the belt is meant to be tight (I had to take off my trousers to get it on….that tight!!) You will need assistance from someone to do this part. Now with it all fitting perfectly use safety pins to keep it together. Slowly remove (under your legs) and sew together to secure it (yellow stitching). Cut any excess/overlapping material away this from the shoulder parts or the front and back panels.
Step 7: Securing for Movement
Now put your turtleneck/rollneck long sleeve on and put the tabard over it. The first thing you will notice when throwing punches is the tabard shoulders start slipping sideways. The easy way I got around this was with Velcro. You can sew or fabric glue a small piece Velcro on your turtleneck and under the tabard shoulders. Personally I just glued it and by hand put a few stitches in both, enough for the Velcro to not come off.
Step 8: Making the Hood
Depending on what balaclava you get, you may need to make some adjustments. Most balaclavas will cover the majority of your forehead and go over your nose. Put on the balaclava and line up the position starting from the top of your forehand (just under hair line). Using scissors cut a line downwards so the mouth part can be folded underneath your chin. If you need to cut a bit of the corners off this, then do so. Then safety pin until you are happy with the shape. Your face should be showing but it should also cover a little bit of your chin. I had to stretch and re-sow the chin part…This can be a bit tricky. Take it off carefully and sow the edges so they are sharper.
Step 9: Making the Mask
Measure from the middle bridge of your nose to the bottom of your chin. This will be the height for the mask grill. Cut out the grill only shape using thin cardboard. This will be the base. Cut out thin strips from thick packaging box cardboard to make the grill ridges. Tape these to the grill base. Now hold this over the front of your face and measure from one edge to the front of your ear. This will be the length for your side parts. Cut 4 lengths out of thin cardboard for each side. Bend each in half to make the ridges and masking tape like crazy.
When the mask starts feeling more secure put a slit in each end for the strap to go in.
Feed the elastic straps through these slits and back on its self, enough so you can sew the strap together.
Its Paper Mache time!!! Get a bowl and mix water and pva glue together. Cut thin strips from paper/ newspaper. Dip strips of paper in the bowl and stick to the mask making sure you push down in-between ridges and indents. Leave to dry and paint. I started with a base layer of silver/grey paint. Then painted the holes in the grill dark grey and also the deepest part of the indent/ridge dark grey. Then for highlights use white just under the ridges. I didn’t wait to paint in-between colours this gave the colour more texture. Leave to dry. To prevent colours running when wet I coated the mask in 2 layers of lacquer.
Step 10: Shin Pads
This is the easiest part, I bought some kids shin pads on ebay for (£3 from China). I bought some yellow ones because I liked the shape. Just paint over leave to dry and cover with 2 layers of lacquer.
*TIP*… Because the shinpads were made for kids/small (but right size for my forearms) the strap/velcro kept pinging off. Sow the strap together so it doesn’t detach and you can just slide it up your wrist, no problem.
Now you are ready for Comic Con or Halloween….Or just a weird night in.