Introduction: Avengers, Thor

This is a step by step guide to how I made my halloween costume Thor from the Avengers. 

Step 1: Supplies

!/16th inch craft foam
1/8th inch craft foam
Hot glue and glue gun
Dust off
Cutting blade
Cutting mat
Card stock
Cheese cloth
Contact cement
Clear plasti dip
black, navy blue, and silver spray paint
Crystal clear resin
Smooth-on cast magic silver bullet (silver powder)
krylon low odour clear gloss spray paint
Navy blue vinyl
navy blue, dark red fabric
bright red pipping 
bright red fabric
pair of old shoes
dollar store LED lights
D batteries 

Step 2: Building Armour

I printed out reference pictures of Thor's armour and measured myself.
Then I drew out the templates for the different pieces of the armour on card stock. 
Once the templates fit my frame perfectly then I used these templates to cut out the different piece of armour from the craft foam. 
Then I hot glued the pieces together which creates the layed look needed for Thor's armour.

Tip: When using hot glue, flip a dust off can upside down and the spray will rapidly cool the hot glue saving you tons of time.

I used this method for all the pieces of the armour, the chest piece, gauntlets, and boots.

Step 3: Building the Arms

I wanted my arms to have a bit more size so with the 1/8th craft foam I cut segments to create the muscle groups of the arm.
These groups where then hot glued together giving me a fake arm which started at the top of my shoulder down to the wrist.

This was trial and error to get the size and shape you want. I started with a bicep to get the scale for the rest of the arm.
The first picture is of the shoulder, I placed it over my actual shoulder and moved around to make sure I had enough room.
The next picture is from the shoulder to elbow, once again I slipped it on to make sure it was to scale and I could move in it. 

Once both arms were constructed I coated them in contact cement and then placed on a layer of cheese cloth. This gives strength to the seams to prevent tearing.

Next I cut out 3/4" squares and covered the arms from shoulder to mid forearm, the squares are craft foam and hot glued on. 

Step 4: Boot Construction

The boots were made the same way as the chest piece and were then glued with contact cement to a pair of old shoes.
I used the contact cement and cheese cloth method on the seams inside of the boots to give them strength. 

I painted on a line of contact cement on the inside of the boot and put contact cement on the fabric on the zippers i used and then stuck the zippers inside the boots. When it was dried i was able to cut through the craft foam of the boot to reveal the zipper. 

Step 5: Painting Armour

Next I took all the armour pieces and painted on two coats of plasti dip.
Once that was dry I was able to mask and spray paint the armour with the corresponding colours from my reference pictures.

And then to give it a worn look I applied a wash made out of watered down black acrylic paint. You just paint it on and then rub most of it away with paper towel. You can dab and blot to get a rougher look.

Step 6: Making the Cape

To make the swooping effect on the shoulders for the cape to drape over I used 1/4" EVA foam mat. 
I cut out a piece that was 22 inches by 9 inches (the width of my shoulders) and curved it over my shoulders by bending it with my hands.
Then I cut out another piece that was 22 inches in the front and 25 inches in the back and 11 inches in depth. I glued the front to first piece and then lined up the back (25 inches ) with the back of the first piece. This creates a raised area and a gap between the two pieces. This will give you the swoop.

I had a large piece of red fabric that i pleated and i glued it to the top of the shoulder assumably I had just made. 

Step 7: Fabric Suit

I have a lot of sewing experience so i created my own pattern for the pants and tank top that Thor wears.
It involved four types of fabric. 
If you don't have a similar level of sewing knowledge you can easily buy a navy blue shirt and pants and use fabric glue to glue red pipping down the sides. This will give you a similar look without all the hassle. 

Step 8: Fitting the Armour

In chest piece I had one strap at the mid way point. It was made with webbing and a slide buckle. The ends were contact cemented to the chest piece and I cut a small hole in my tank top for it to be feed through to hid it.
The waist piece had two buckles made the same way but with elastic instead of webbing. This gave me more movement.
I also glued in a small slide buckle on the collar of the chest piece

The arms, which at this point i had glued on the red fabric the gauntlets and straps, slid on and had a piece of webbing at the top of the shoulder that reach across my shoulders and buckled together with the other arm which had the same set up and this allowed the arms to be in place but offered me movement.

To attach the cape I put velcro on the top inside of the chest piece and the front bottom part of the cape assembly. This stopped it from moving around. I also added a slide buckle on both sides of the shoulder area of cape and chest piece. On the inside of the chest piece itself, so that the buckles were hidden.

Boots just zipped on.

Step 9: Lighting the Armour

So here I'm going to talk about a big mistake during this build. Everyone makes mistakes right? 

So I carved the 6 disks out of pink insulation foam that go on the chest piece of the armour. They have a lot of detail and I made a mould off them using latex and cheese cloth. Then I filled the mould with resin but I had jumped the gun a bit and forgot to put a release on the mould so the resin stuck and was now garbage. ( The picture with the green disks is what they were supposed to look like before the mistake)

Instead of doing it again I came up with a new idea.

I cut 6 circles out of a large sheet of Styrofoam and then double side taped the large sheet to a plank of wood. Then remembering my earlier mistake I coated it 6 times with mould release. I then filled these moulds with crystal clear resin. When it cured i removed them and shaped them ( to give them a beveled look ) on my bench sander. 

Once they were shaped I sanded both sides with 180 grit sand paper to give a clouded look. Then I dapped on the smooth-on cast magic silver bullet ( silver powder) over the top of the disks. Then I spray painted them with the krylon low odour clear gloss. I repeated this process 4 times.
This technique gives the disks a metallic look but allows light to shine through it. 

Now I made it light up.

I used 6, 24 LED lamps from the Dollar store. I removed the LED lights from the plastic shells. I wired them all up to a switch that I took off the lamps. The wire ran down my arm and was hidden by the armour. The switch was placed in a leather strap I had made that was on my hand. 
Then I wired a 3 D cell battery pack (you can buy at an electronics store) I wired a quick release from the chest piece to the switch and another from the bottom of the chest piece to the battery pack which i had on my belt.

The LED lights were glue into light boxes I made out of card board and you can see them in the picture. 

Step 10: Showing Off

I had a great time in this costume and won first place at the party I went to. 
Hope this tutorial is helpful. You can use this technique on any type off armour.

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