Introduction: How to Make a Batman: "Thrasher Suit" Costume
Batman's Thrasher suit is a heavy duty exo-suit that he can fit inside in order to bring the pain. Basically, it's almost like Ironman's Hulkbuster suit. The Thrasher suit is made out of meta-aramid fibers and is made to withstand burning heat and freezing cold temperatures. Aside from massive strength and durability, the suit can also shoot electrical shocks and batarangs. Batman used this suit in the Court of Owls storyline to kick some major butt against the villainous Talons and well... they don't bother anyone anymore.
For the most recent 2018 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, I wanted to create a whole Batman cosplay group. I have a few super tall friends and thought a cool idea would be to incorporate the Thrasher suit into the group! We had a base of my Baymax costume that was no longer going to be in use. So, why not improve upon it and add a completely new character to the Bat-crew. So how about we get started and I show you how i built this thing?
- EVA foam mats
- Thick EVA foam square matts
-Roll of scratch paper
-hot glue gun
- PVC boards
- plastic buckles
- mattress foam
- red bike lights
-red L Wire
- neck fan
- wood planks
-black see-through fabric
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better.
1. Actual photos or video of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc). Is is a short video clip of the suit in action against the Talons
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
Optional: 5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
Step 2: Abdomen
1) Since my friend is quite large, we had to glue who pieces of EVA foam together to make a girdle type thing. Just wrap the sheet around his chest and stomach. Cut some space under the armpits to allow it to fit snuggly. (pic 1)
2) I used large plastic buckles and secured them to the back of the girdle. (Pic 1)
3) i took some shoe laces and made shoulder straps so the abdomen would now slide down.
4) I wrapped some masking tape around half the girdle and started drawing in the panels/ design. (pic 2)
5) Cut out the design from the masking tape and transfer it to your thick EVA foam. (pic3)
6. cut out, sand off the tread, and add in your details. (pic 4)
7. Do this for all your abdomen pieces and hot glue them in.
Step 3: Chest Base
1) First, with the abdomen piece on, measure from the the collar to the sternum of the body. Then add a few more inches to compensate for the curve in the chest. We wanted the chest to sit high, so we wanted it to be about chin level.
2) measure and cut a rectangle the size that you measured. Fold the paper in half and draw out your design. unfold, cut out template and use it to cut out the middle piece from EVA foam.
3) Now, curve that middle piece of EVA foam, and press another piece of EVA into the curve to see how much EVA you will need to make the side pieces. We wanted the chest to be extra big, so we made it into 5 pieces. (pic 1).
4)Duct tape the pieces together and flip it over to start hot gluing. It may be helpful to dremel some of the edges to get a smoother joint. (pic 2 and 3)
5). you can see how big the chest pieces is in the following picture (pic 4)
6) Create the back piece from 2 separate pieces of EVA foam. With the abdomen on and the chest piece pressed against you, measure the width of the back, along with the general height.
7) measure and cut a rectangle the size that you measured. Fold the paper in half and draw out your design. unfold, cut out template and use it to cut out the middle piece from EVA foam.
8) we glued in some mattress sponge on the shoulders to keep the height and comfort of the wearer. we also put in some sponge on the area near the ribs. The reason for this is that the wearer's arms would naturally begin to get heavy and start to put weight on the sides of the costume, this causing it to indent. We wanted to eliminate that problem, so the sponge helped with support.
Step 4: Chest Details
1. Now that you have entire chest base created, you can start adding the plating. I took some masking tape and taped the entire front of the chest, then drew the entire chest design on it. once done, i peeled off the tape, cut out the template and transferred it to scratch paper to create a paper template. (you can see the scratch paper in pic 3). then i used the paper template to draw on EVA foam.
2. Cut out your foam piece, sand off the tread, and hot glue in place.
3.From there, you can add your details. there were these coiled pipes that are in the front of the chest so i took strips of thick EVA foam, took them to my sander to sand of the edges and turn them into "rods", and then used my dremel to carve in some segments (pic 2). Glue your coils in place.
4. For your symbol, use the paper template from step 1, because now you should have drawn it in when designing it. (pic 3). glue in place.
5. At this time, you can add any other front chest details including the shoulder pieces. create these pieces using the masking tape, paper template, EVA foam process that was previously mentioned above. (pic 4)
6. This is the picture of the chest attached to the abdomen.
1. For the back pieces and details, you are repeating the same masking tape, Paper, EVA foam process as mentioned above. You can see the technique in pictures 6-8.
2. I added more coiled rods along the back because they are eventually supposed to sit underneath the "spine" of the robot. (pic 9)
3. For the spine, I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. Now, i used my soldering iron to melt in 3 grooves- 1 down the center, on 2 on either side. I then glued the grooves closed, thus causing the piece to for the vertebrae i needed. (pic 10)
4. Repeat the above process several times and adjust the sizing for the vertebrae. Glue pieces together (pic 11)
5. That should be it for the main parts. You can add your details in including any holes, rivets, etc.
Step 5: Pelvis Base
1) take your tape measure and measure the new waist WITH the abdomen on from left to right hip.
2) take your scrap piece of paper and cut out a rectangle to the length of the hips. Fold the paper in half and draw out the shape. Unfold, cut out, and trace and cut out of EVA foam (pic 1)
3) repeat step 1, but take the measurement from back side.
4) once you have the front and back of the pelvis, glue one hip and the crotch together. do NOT glue the other side of the hip together. (pic 2)
5) I used a soldering iron to burn a "canal" on the inside of the pelvis in the butt area. be cautious because you are NOT trying to burn completely through the foam, but only create a canal that will you to bend it and fill it with hot glue. ( pic 3)
6) Glue on small buckles to the unglued hip of the pelvis ( pic 3)
7) Glue the crotch together. This pelvis should fit over the abdomen. (pic 4)
8. Using 3 big plastic buckles, (1 on the inside of the crotch, 2 on the outside of the hips) i had the pelvis click into the abdomen to hold it in place.
Step 6: Pelvis Details
1. I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. (pic 1)
2. For the crotch, i used two layers of EVA foam. (pic 2 + 3)
1. I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. I did this 2x on thick EVA Foam. I cut out circles in the center of each side in order to install 2 red bicycle push lights. (pic 4-6)
Belt and Pockets
1. Now you can begin segmenting your belt out. What ever you do to one side, just make sure you do to the other. Just make sure that they are all the belt segments are the same sizes. (pic 7)
2. For the pockets, I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. I made each pocket from two layers of foam. I created 8 pockets in total. (pic 8 -11)
Left and Right Hip Pieces (pics 12-17)
1. I measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper.
2. Cut out the paper design, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. Glue all the pieces together . I used a combination of a soldering iron and a dremel to achieve such things as holes, rivets, and rounded edges.
3. Glue into the designated hip area.
1. Similar to the back of the chest piece, I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. i used my soldering iron to melt in 3 grooves- 1 down the center, on 2 on either side. I then glued the grooves closed, thus causing the piece to for the vertebrae i needed. (pic 18)
2. I glued all the vertebrae on top of each other and glued them in place. (pic 19)
Step 7: Thigh Base
1) start by taking a measurement of the width and height of the front thigh.. you will want it to be a little wider in order to make the thighs proportional to the body.
2) use the measurements to cut out a rectangle on a piece of paper. Draw out the image an cut it out. Then use the template to cut out your front thigh pieces from EVA. (pic 1) This picture was from the original design. I actually shortened the thigh from this suit. That is the reason the shape looks different in the next step
3) do the same process for the back of the thighs (pic 2)
4) you will want to make some type of inner and outer thigh piece to connect the front and back thigh pieces. (pic 3)
5) it should all look proportional when completed. If needed, take some mattress sponge and put it on the inside.
Step 8: Thigh Details
1. Now that you have your thigh base, Cover the entire thing with masking tape and draw in your design (pic 1)
2. Peel off the tape,then transfer the tape to paper, Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. (pic 2)
3. I created an indent in the thigh by using a soldering iron to melt a groove in the back of the piece. I then glued the grove closed. This is similar to the vertebrae. (pic 2).. I also used an exacto knife and heat gun to create design lines within the foam.
4. Glue the pieces onto the thigh base. (pic 3)
5. repeat the process for any other details that are needed along the sides and back of the thigh. (pic 4 +5)
.6. I took some strips of EVA foam and took them to the sander to knock off the edges and create coils. I cut lines into them with an exacto knife and heated them with a heat gun to expand the lines. Once finished with a number of them, i glued them in between the space between the pelvis and the thighs. I reenforced these coiled by gluing shoe laces to the back of them. This is became EVA foam stretches and tears with enough tension. (pic 6)
Step 9: Foot Base
1.Take your shoes and remove the laces (save laces for later). it is good to use low tops for these shoes. Cut further along the tongue of the shoe, because you need to be able to get a drill all the way to the toe part of the shoe. (pic 1)
2. Then, take your exacto knife and cut across the width of foot sole where the ball of your foot is.. The easiest way I found out is to bend your foot forward a bit with the shoe on, and that way you can see where the shoe naturally bends. This is because when you walk, your shoe needs to “give” a bit so that it can bend while walking. (pic 2)
3. Now, get your 2x4 and use a saw (or get it cut) so that you can get two boards for the front and back part of 1 foot. (pic 3) * this photo was used for my transformers costumes, but the premise is still the same. HOWEVER, instead of cutting a diamond shape, we went with two rectangles and just rounded the edges off the toe and heel area. This is because baymax has circular feet.
4. Take 4 slender pieces of wood ( about 1 inch thick, and however long your two pieces are)and drill them underneath so that you are even more elevated. (pic 4) cut and smooth off the excess screws if they are sticking out.
5.Place your shoe on the two pieces so that the “cut” of the shoe sole is right in between the two pieces of wood. Due to the notion that the two pieces of wood are on either side of the cut in the shoe sole, your robot foot should naturally bend when you walk. (pic 5)
6). At this point, take out the pad inside the shoe. Take your screws and drill inside the shoe directly into the wood. I used 3 screws with washers for the front of the shoe and 4 for the back piece. Replace pad into your shoe so that your foot is not directly on the screws. replace the shoe laces.
7) Encase the entire shoe in EVA foam. you can use some EVA foam to act as "spacers" on either side of the wood planks to help retain form. (pic 6)
1. looking around the hardware store, i found some PVC board. It was just as strong, but weighed less than wood so i drilled another layer onto the bottom of the shoes (pic 1).
2. However, in doing so, the foam no longer hit the ground (pic 2). Therefore, i needed to add a bottom rim around the shoe.
3. I created a face plate for the shoe from a paper template. Transfer it to EVA foam, sand off the tread, and solder the back along the sides so it bends well. Glue in place. (pic 3)
4. I took a strip of EVA foam and cut out tiny squares from each to line along the bottom of the shoe. Glue in place (pic 4)
5. Glue in two long strips of EVA foam over the top (pic 5-7)
6. Any other details for the shoe can use the tape method. put tape on the area, draw in the design, peel off tape and transfer to paper . Cut out paper template, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. Glue all the pieces together .
Step 11: Shin Base
Similar to how you made the thighs, you are making the shins. However, when you are measuring, it is best to wear the pelvis/ thigh pieces and the feet. This way, you can determine how big to make them. As you can see in the picture, the shins somewhat overlap the feet, so don't forget to take that into account (pic 1)
2). in order for the shins not to swirl around, we lined each with mattress foam and crated a little ledge that can rest on the top of the shoe. This is to ensure that the foam cannot be seen . (pic 2)
Step 12: Shin Details
1.Now that you have your shin base, Cover the entire thing with masking tape and draw in your design.
2. Peel off the tape,then transfer the tape to paper, (pic 1)
3. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, (pic 2)
4. Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. I took my solder iron and melted a groove down the middle. (pic 3 + 4)
5. There is a section cut out of the side (pic 5)
6. Take your shin cover and wrap it around the shin base. now you can see where it will sit on the base. You can draw in your horizontal lines. Score those line with an exacto and apply your heat gun to expand the lines (pic 6)
7. Use masking tape for the back of the shins and draw in your detail. Peel off the tape,then transfer the tape to paper, Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. (pic 7)
8. For the knee caps, first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. I used two layers for them. (pic 8)
9. Your shin pieces should be finished (pic 9-11)
1. Make a cylinder for your bicep to slide into.
2. From there, You are making a front plate and a back plate. I first measured out the space, then transferred the measurement to paper, folded the paper in half because the design is symmetrical, then drew out the design on the half side of paper. Cut it out, transfer design to EVA foam, Cut out foam, sand off the backside tread. (Pic 1 +2)
3. I wanted to have bends in the bicep, so i used my soldering iron to melt in some groves on the back side (pic 3)
4. Once you have your front and back plate, glue them directly onto the cylinder. Remember, you want to factor in a space for the armpit. (pic 4-6)
5. You can use your dremel to add any holes or rivets as needed.
Step 14: Forearm/ Hand
1) You will be making the hand first. Remember that these pictures were originally from when the costume was it's original Baymax form, hence it has 4 fingers instead of 5. However, the premise is still the same.
2) first make the entire hand from cardboard. You are first creating a cube that will be the size of the overall fist. Close off 5 of the 6 sides
3. I made it so his thumb would stick out. It's best to just take a look at your fist and see how your thumb lays. don't try to overcomplicate it.
4) Encase the entire cardboard hand in EVA foam (pic 1)
5) you can cut and add layers of EVA foam to add depth to the fingers. I also added some dremeled ovals to the knuckle regions (pic 2).
6) similar to the biceps, shins, and thighs, you are making a cylinder. just fiddle with the shape a bit so that the wrist area can be a tad smaller than the forearm area. We added a little "lip" to the elbow area. (pic 3)
7) From there, you can add in your details. I applied masking tape to the forearm, drew in the design, peeled of f the masking tape and transferred it to paper. Then took the paper template and transferred it to EVA foam, cut out the shape, sanded off the back tread (Pic 4 -6).
Step 15: Shoulders
1. For the shoulders, it's best to wear the entire costume first to understand the proportion you are looking for.
2. so with that, i measured out the size to get an understanding first of how big i wanted them to be.
3. I made each shoulder out of 3 pieces of EVA foam. 1 long flat piece for the middle and 2 pieces for the side. I angled them in such a way that they were a bowl shape. (pic 1 +2)
4. For details, i used two different sized circles as templates and drew on eva foam. I glued two layers together to have a raised edge. Then i glued them in place (pic 3-4)
5. I later realized that there was some space that was showing somewhat of a gap near the armpit, so i added another layer of EVA foam to cover it (pic 5)
Step 16: Helmet
1. Measure out the size you need for the head. I started by drawing out the side pieces and center strip on paper (pic 1)
2. I transfered those paper templates to thick EVA foam (pic 2)
3. Then, i glued everything together and then i cut out the space for the eyes and mouth. I took thin strips of EVA foam and glued them in for a grate in the mouth (pic 3)
Step 17: Texture and Painting
1. i wanted to give the ENTIRE suit a hammered look so i took my dremel and my dremel bit and started creating indentations to the ENTIRE suit.. (pic 1 shows an example).
2 Once the entire suit was textured, I took some Kwikseal and caulked ALL the gaps and adjoining pieces.
3. Then, i applied modge podge to the ENTIRE suit. You can use plastidip, but it is pricier.
4. Once dry, i sprayed the entire costume with silver paint
5. Once that was dry, i took watered down black paint and buffed it onto the silver areas. This allowed for the black paint to seep into all the little textures that i had put into the suit.
6. For the belt, i taped off the area and hit it with a gold spray paint.
7. Once everything is dry apply a clear coat to the entire suit. It will allow the paint to be protected a little longer
Step 18: Face Details
1. once everything was dry, i took some black see-through fabric and glued it behind the grate of the mouth. This is where the cosplaying can see through.
2. I got some plexiglass and heated it with a heating gun. I carefully bent it while it was hot and fit it inside for the screen of the eyes.
3. I took some red acetate and put it behind the plexiglass to give it a red look.
4. I also ordered some red EL wire and ran it around the inside of the eye visor so that it could light up.
5. Lastly, i took some foil and placed it behind the acetate. This allowed the red to pop against the shiny foil.
Step 19: Finished!!
Your hard work should be done!! Just a few last things to remember.
1. This costume is difficult to walk long distances. IF you have to walk, it is easier to remove the shins and feet and walk barefoot until you get to your destination. Then, get resuited.
2. This costume is VERY large and may require you to have a handler.
3. Your visit is limited so be cautious around crowded areas. You might step on a little kid who is trying to take a picture right in front of you
4. Don't be afraid to find some of the Batman family!
That should be it!. Major props to David Ngo and Noah Smith Images for taking amazing pictures of this suit.
Thanks for paying attention and checking out this Instructable! Feel free to find more on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and youtube for more current projects. Most of the costumes in the photos already have instructables written about them within my homepage on instructables.
This suit is currently on sale. It would work for a tall larger person (6'4 and taller). You would need a decent amount of room to store it, and it would be a pain to ship out of Chicago, but it is doable. Contact me at email@example.com if you're interested.
First Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2018
4 years ago
i have got to say this is a very great costume project i would get a lot of candy ig i wore this costume you are very talented
Reply 4 years ago
i meant if instead of ig
Reply 4 years ago
LOL. i can only imagine a 7 ft robot stomping around down the neighborhood
4 years ago
How does this costume not have ten's of thousand's of views? He's big, he's powerful, he lights up, he's Batman!! Awesome project and instructable, definitely contest worthy. A great challenge for anyone interested in cosplay!
Reply 4 years ago
Haha. I'm just happy that there are people out there that appreciate it. Thanks for the compliments and the support!
4 years ago
just curious, what do you do with all your costumes? do you have a giant warehouse to keep them all in, or do you break them down to use the parts for your next creation?
Reply 4 years ago
I wish i had a giant warehouse! the deal i make with people is that they need to store their own suits. Most of my suits are able to be boxed away in my parents' attic.