How to Make a DC: "Gotham SWAT" Costume

Introduction: How to Make a DC: "Gotham SWAT" Costume

About: I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to creating things. I love learning different versions of art, whatever medium it may be. Feel free to like the official site on Facebook to keep up with past, presen…

For the 2020 Chicago Comic Entertainment, our friends wanted to go as a Batman group. One of the members has never cosplayed before and we wanted to ease him into the process, so nothing too elaborate. I asked if he would be comfortable being a sway team person so that would mean he work just clothes and had his face covered. He loved the idea and the rest was history.

The nice thing about this costume is that you can have a group of people wear the same thing and go as a team. Or maybe have a commissioner Gordan and also a few swat team people with you. It's nice too because since much of the outfit is just regular clothes, it's likely that there are many of these items in your closet already.You can also vary the outfit so that there is a little bit of differentiation and personalization with each officer. Let's get started!


-Black tactical vest

-Black military helmet

-black balaclava

-black button down shirt

-black dress pants/ cargo pants

-black dress shoes/ black combat boots

- black tactical gloves

- gotham police patches

-gun holster

-toy guns


-Toy knife

-extra belt carrying pockets

-white zip ties

-knee and elbow pads



-EVA foam

- old twisted cell phone car charger

-craft foam

-exacto knife


-Rod (metal or dowel)

Step 1: Reference Pics

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. Look up:

1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)

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

5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design

Step 2: Purchased Items

Clothing - If you are lucky, you might even have some of these things in your closet now.

1. Black Button Down shirt - You can use any type of black button down shirt in my opinion.

2. Black pants - Dress slacks or even cargo pants would probably work

3. Black dress shoes - Regular Dress work shoes would work, but it would be fantastic if you had combat boots


-Military helmet- Purchased from Amazon. Most are standard fits but just be mindful if you have a giant head

- black balaclava- you can get a full face one or just a mouth one.

-tactical airsoft vest- I went with this one because it had velcro spaces to attach patches.

-Knee and Elbow pads - Any variation will do. The cosplayer was a bit too big for our so i had to create extenders for him on the straps

-gun holster- even though the vest comes with a chest hand gun holster, i personally liked the leg holster as it gives the suit a bit more detail

-Tactical Gloves- you can wear even weight lifting gloves, but i do like the idea of having something that looks "tactical"

-cheap handfuls- i Suggest getting play handcuffs and attach them somewhere on your vest

-Zip ties- I couldn't find any white ones. The zip ties are actually very functional in case something on a suit breaks.

Step 3: Patches

Found 3 patches: Gotham Swat, Gotham Police Department, and a larger velcro Gotham police department badge to add to the vest. There are several variations of the badge, so i will add a few

-Sew your badges on to the shoulders of the black shirt and also attach your velcro badge to your vest.

Here are a few links for purchasing these badges:

- Gotham city police Badge

Link 1

Link 2

- Gotham City SWAT Badge

Link 1

Link 2

-Gotham City Police Vest Patch

This one is a bit harder to find. I cant locate the original seller anymore, but you can probably contact someone to custom make one for you

Step 4: Built Props

Walkie Talkie

If you can find a broken or cheap walkie talkie, i think that is a really good addition to the costume. However if you don't have one, here is how i built mine. You need the following too:

-EVA foam

-rod (wood/ metal)

- Car charger


-craft foam

-hot glue/contact cement

1. Take a look at your reference picture and study it. (pic 1)

2. Cut out a rectangular piece of thick EVA foam. You may even need 2 layers to get it the correct thickness. Glue together (pic 2)

3. Start gluing in your foam details like buttons, knobs, dials, etc (pic 3)

4. Glue on your craft square buttons to the front, cut out the screen with your Exacto knife, insert the rod to the top as an antenna, and then create a hole at the top to stick in your cell phone charger chord (pic 4). The mic at the other end is just a square block of EVA foam that i sanded to shape. I then put some craft foam over the front for details.

5. Paint your prop the correct colors (pic 5)


Buy some fake hand guns and assault rifles. Just get anything a cop would use. I ended up putting a bag strap on the gun so i could have it around the neck (pic 6 + 7)

Wanted Pic

I just used this picture as an additional prop to really drive home who this cosplayer was supposed to be. Feel free to save and print this one out if helpful.

Step 5: Finished!

You should be done at this time. Just a few things to remember:

1. Make sure people don't think you're a real officer. So be careful about wearing this stuff outside of parties/ conventions

2. Be conscientious that you are having prop guns on your person. Don't get yourself in trouble with those.

3. Practice your poses. I like holding the gun and also showing the warrant.

4. Maybe get a few friends to dress up with you as SWAT and go find a Batman and other Batman Villains to arrest.

5. You could probably add more props like extra belt pouches, maybe a gotham police badge, some goggles to wear on top of the helmet, etc

Thanks for following this Gotham Swat build. More of my work can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tumblr.

Find our group at 9:07 in the music video

Other costumes/ props featured in this Instructable:

-Batman Thrasher suit

- Azrael


-Poison Ivy

-Harley Quinn


-Red Hood

-Mister Mxyzptlk

-Harley Quinn Mallet

-Poison Ivy Carnivorous Plant

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