Introduction: How to Make a Marvel: "Agent Venom" Costume
We are Venom! After the symbiotic bonds to its new host, Flash Thompson, they become Age Venom. Flash apparently was apparently a corporal in the US army and lost both his legs in the Iraq War. Flash willingly accepts the symbiote for the opportunity to walk again, as it artificially creates him legs.
For the 2016 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, I was given the challenge of creating the Agent Venom Suit. Challenge accepted! Well, let's get started shall we?
-EVA foam roll
-EVA thick mats
-black Zentai suit
-white charcoal pencil
-white airbrush paint
- black shoes/ boots
-gun gun + hot glue
-mini black plastic buckles
-modge podge matte
- split fasteners
- clear plastic lid
Step 1: Gauntlets and Hand Guards
1. I always start out with paper templates. First, get your dimensions for how big you need the gauntlet to be. I usually get a measurement from wrist to elbow joint. From there, i cut out rectangle that i wrap around the forearm itself. I then cut it to size and curve the ends a bit (because your wrist is a smaller diameter than the top of your forearm. (pic 1, not from this build, but premise still the same).
2. One you got your paper template, use it to trace and cut the pattern out of EVA foam (pic 2). The curve in this patter is where the inner part of the arm joint goes. I wanted good mobility in the suit.
3. I know i wanted an indentation in the forearm so i took a soldering iron and burned a line into the back (pic 3). i filled it with hot glue, slightly bent it, and let it cool. You can see the indentation on the next pic (pic 4)
4. i wanted little grooves and dents along the indentation so i used some cutting sheers and chomped the chunks off (pic 4)
5. I then used a strip of EVA foam and glued it to the ridge of the forearm (pic 5)
6. I used a dremel to smooth down the edges of the ridge that i just added in step 5(pic 6)
7. I then took a dremel bit and drilled into the gauntlet many many many times to create the holes (pic 7)
8. Then i took some hot glue and made some "veins" on the inner part of the gauntlet. (pic 8)
9. I used another dremel bit to create a different texture around the veins as i wanted to go for a more organic look with the suit. i forgot to take a pic of this, but the texture style i used for this part is also seen on the kneecap (located on the next step)
Step 2: Knees, Shins, and Foot Cover
1. take your dimensions of your kneecap, cut out of paper, then transfer and cut out of EVA foam.
2. heat the kneecap piece with your heat gun and shove it into a deep bowl. Let it cool and it will retain it's curved, dome shape (pic 1)
3. Then i added a ridge to the kneecaps and i took a dremel to knock off the edge from the ridge, as well as create some texture inside the kneecap itself. (pic 3+4)
4. Then i took measurements of the shin from ankle to bottom of kneecap. measure how wide you want to make it also. take those measurements and transfer it onto the paper. Then fold it in half and draw out your design. Once completed, i glued the kneecaps directly on top (pic 5)
5. I wanted to make the shins a bit bulkier so i grabbed some thick EVA foam (the tile kind) and transferred my paper template again to the now thicker foam. I made sure to also cut away an area so that the kneecaps could fit in. (pic 5)
6. I wanted to give it an indentation so i soldered the back of the thick EVA and glued it closed. (pic 6)
7. I added a strip of eva foam to the ridge, dremeled off the edges, and used the dremel bit to punch tons of holes into each shin piece. (pic 7)
8. I added strips along the sides of the shin and used those, along with some mini plastic buckles to secure it around the calf. Don't forget to add some sort of texture to the straps too. (pic 8)
9. I made a rectangle to cover the shoelaces of the shoe. I attached some elastic so it would wrap around the shoe itself and secured it to the shin piece with some fabric. (pic 9)
Step 3: Chest Piece
1. Take your measurement from the top of your shoulder to a little above your waistline. The reason the measurement is NOT to your waistline is to compensate for how wide the belt is. Then you need to take the measurement for your width. I wanted it to be more of a vest, so i was okay with not having the sides directly connect into one uniform piece. Anyways, once you have your measurements, transfer to paper and fold in half. Draw your design out on the half sheet and then cut out. once you unfold the paper, you should have a symmetrical paper template (pic 1). Transfer that to EVA foam and cut out. This is your "base". I actually cut off the pecs from this step (to turn them into a completely separate piece). I just gave a little extra foam leeway to the top of this base so that the pecs could be glued on layer. .
2 Once i have the base cut out, i used the paper template to draw in where the pieces were going to be glued down. Then i started putting into the texture. I used three different kind of texturing styles. one with holes, one with squiggles, and one with straight lines. I used the "holes" for the sides (pic 2+3)
3. Then i wanted to have a separate elevated section to house the abs. So using the paper template, i cut out that section from the paper, transferred to EVA and cut it out. This is your "Ab base"I dremeled down the edges of this piece. prior to gluing it onto the EVA base. *If you want to be a superstar, you can get a electric sander and sand off all the tread from the back of the EVA foam. i personally don't like the tread and this way, glueing it down is more neater and flush. if you don't want to, not a big deal. (pic 4)
4. Then i cut out the ab sections from that paper template from step 3 (pic 4) and used them to cut out the abs from EVA foam (pic 5)
5. From there, i first drew in the border that i wanted to dremel off prior to using my dremel to take the edges off(pic 6)
6. I used my dremel to carve in an angled straight texture for the abs (pic 7)
7. Glue those pieces right on top of each other. Abs onto Ab base, then onto the chest base (pic 8)
8. Using your paper template from step 1, you should have your pec template. (pic 9)
9. Transfer that to EVA foam, cut out, dremel down the edges and put in your texture. I chose to use the angled straight texture to match the abs. I also soldered down a line in between the pecs on the back of the EVA foam, and glued it a bit open to create a distinction between the left and right side of the pectoral muscles (pic 10)
10. Glue it all together. I added hot glue veins on the suit, and then i used the dremel to create the squiggle texture around it.
Step 4: Back Piece
1. Similar to how you made the chest piece, you need the measurement your back from the top of the shoulder to bout 2 inches above your waistline. but, this time, measure it with the chest piece pressed against you. that way, you can get a better idea of sizing.
2. transfer the measurement onto paper, fold it in half and draw out your design, then transfer to EVA foam. I cut my back pieces in half because i like to make them curve in a bit near the small of the back for a better fit. this is your base (pic 1)
3. Once the base is done, draw in your patterns so you know where things will be glued in (pic 2).
4. I started to add texture on the bottom ridges with my dremel. I used a hole design for it.
5. I thought it would look cool if the suit had a spine to it. After all, i wanted the suit to be more organic looking. When you buy the tile EVA foam, it usually comes with this piece to use for the sides if you don't want to connect the tiles together. Well, i just glued a few together and started derailing them down to create what i needed. (pic 3)
6. i knew that i wanted the spine to connect all the way up to the collar so i created a long one and glued it right down the middle. (pic 4)
7. From there, i added some plates. I drew them on the paper template, transferred them to EVA foam, beveled the edges, and added the texture. (pic 5)
8. I then glued those pieces down. This is where having the paper template helps for placement and symmetry. (pic 6)
9. i texturized the rest of the back.(pic 7) and added some hot glue veins that came out of the spine (pic 8)
Step 5: Chest/Back Connectors and Collar
1. Now you should have a chest piece and a back piece. In order to have them conjoin, place the chest and back piece on you. Take some extra foam, placed it in the vacant gap where the shoulder strap would be, mark the foam, and then cut it. Glue in place once completed. Don't forget to texturize those. Those pieces are like a puzzle, as you want just enough room for your head to fit through(Pic 1 + pi 3)
2. I didn't want the seams to be shown so i used more of that extra edging foam from the thick layers (same pieces used for the spine) and i cut them down into a strip of spikes. i then glued them on top of the seams so none was the wiser (pic 2)
3. once i got my chest/ back connectors in on both sides, i used a measuring tape to see how long i needed the back collar to be. i used a relatively rectangular piece of EVA foam and glued it in. (pic 1)
4. I then made sure to take that spine and glue it all the way to the top of the back collar (pic 3)
5. Then i used a piece of paper to create a template for the front collar. it is shaped somewhat like an upside down triangle. (pic 4)
6. I added a second row to the front collar to be consistent with the action figure. Don't forget to texturize the collar on both sides (pic 5)
Step 6: Shoulders
1. For the shoulders, i first took a measurement, then transferred it to paper, then drew it onto the thick tile EVA foam. (if you are ever unsure of how things will look or how to make it, just make a really really small scaled version out of some scrap foam. that is honestly how i determined what shape would work) (pic 1)
2. I then cut out the shoes from the tile EVA foam (pic 2)
3. i beveled the inside edge of the shoulders so i could glue them in together to make that "bell" shape (pic 3). Glue both halves together to create your shoulder base.
4. The shoulders have an under layer so i made those next out of EVA foam. use your template, cut them out, and glue them together (pic 4 +5)
5. Now glue those under layers right underneath your base layer. (pic 6)
7. i used a squiggle texture for the under layer (pic 7) and a hole texture for the top.
8.i needed to add a ridge for both the base layer and the under layer. I used EVA foam and my dremel to knock off the Edges (pic 8)
9. add your hot glue veins to the shoulders (pic 9)
Step 7: Belt, Crotch, and Accessories
1. take a measurement of the length of waistline. i think this belt is 1.5 inches by 33. Once you have your strip, design your belt buckle and cut out the general shape from that strip. Then, take some craft foam and put over the top to create another layer. I also put two lines across the belt to give it a little detail. (pic 1) The belt buckle is off center, just like the figure. (pic 1)
1.The crotch is an upside down triangle. Use your measuring tape to measure from the waistline to right behind your cherries. cut it out of EVA foam and glue it into the belt strap. I glued some fabric in the back at the seam of the belt and crotch piece for added support. don't forget to texture it. (pic 2). I then added some elastic to the bottom of the triangle to the back of the belt, like a thong.
1. I did not want to have full functioning pockets for the suit. IF you do,they become big and bulgy, and then you have to worry about them being strong enough to hold valuable things.. So i made fake pockets. They are just rectangles with an upside down isosceles trapezoid for a lid. (pic 3)
2.I used a hole puncher on some craft foam for the button and a strip of craft foam for a front accent. i made... 5 or 6 pockets i believe?
1. Cut your PVC pipes to the length you want the body of the grenade.
2. Then glue some coin shaped EVA foam to form the top and bottom cap of the pipe.i took a strip of craft foam and wrapped it around the seam of the cap/PVC pipe.
3. I then used my dremel to bevel the edges of the foam.
4. i took a screw and screwed it into the top of the EVA cap. I encased the screw on 4 sides with cardboard and then comic cardboard for a clean look. (pic 4)
5. glue on a strip of the comic cardboard on top and snip and bend in certain points to create the rest of the handle. (pic 5)
6. Take some wire and curve into a "U" shape. you can use even a paper clip and snip the very ends of them. Poke it through the side of the paper square and put your key ring through for the grenade ring
Grenade Holster -
1. Create a strip of EVA foam that is the height and width of the grenade. This is your base. Then place your grenade on the base and take two more strips to glue them around the girth of the grenade.(pic 6)
*You can buy a plastic knife, or build one. If you choose to build one, then follow these instructions below.
1. Draw out your paper template (pic 7)
2.you need 3 pieces of cardboard that will be sandwiched together. The two other pieces of cardboard will be a bit thinner than the middle piece because they do not include the "blade" of the knife. Also, cut a thin piece of cardboard for the handle of all 3 pieces. This will fit inside the PVC handle.(pic 8)
3. Glue the 2 side pieces onto comic cardboard. remember to make sure that the comic cardboard is on the outer side of the knife. (pic 9 + 10)
4. Now glue all three pieces together.
5. Once together, start filling the "ledge" created by the outer cardboard pieces and the middle cardboard piece with hot glue. Use the tip of the hot glue gun to create the angle. Once you get the rough shape of the blade, use comic cardboard and rub furiously against the glue, as if it were sandpaper. The friction will warm up the glue, allowing it to spread more evenly. repeat as needed. (pic 11)
6. Create your hand guard out of a small rectangle of cardboard. put the hole through it and encase in comic cardboard for a clean look. Then put the whole thing in a PVC tube. You can add rings of EVA around the handle for detail (Pic 12 )
7. to make a sheath, i took some cloth and wrapped it around the knife. i sewed the edges closed and call it a day. Oh, and i added belt loop.
1. we decided to create a larger functional pocket to hold a wallet and phone. Essentially you are just making a cube to fit your phone. Just add some fabric on the inside to ensure that it is secure. I added some fabric to the back as well when i joined it to the belt. After all, you don't want that pocket falling off as it has your $$ and your phone! (pic 13)
1. I couldn't find a canteen that fit the size i needed, so i just used a bottle i found. i think it was actually for mineral oil? i painted it black and then just made a carrier for it, similar to the grenade holster.
That should be it for your belt. Front (pic 14+15 ) and Back (pic 16 + 17)
Step 8: Thighs and Gun Holsters
1. start off with a paper pattern. i actually used two pieces of paper to get what i wanted. once you got it, cut it out of EVA foam and glue the pieces together (pic 1)
2. i put an elevated ridge along the sides of the thighs (pic 2)
3. Use your dremel to add your texture and don't forget some veins. (pic 3). repeat the process for the other side.
1. create your template out of paper. I wanted it to be relatively one piece for the holster so i knew the 1 piece of EVA foam would have to fold into 3 sides. (pic 4)
2. Use your paper template to trace out the design, then cut it out, and then use a soldering iron to carve in the grooves. once done, you can glue those grooves closed (pic 5)
3. Now you can add your closing strip to the case. (pic 6)
3. i added a strip of craft foam for design and to also keep everything secured together. (pic 7)
4.Now Make your lids for the holsters. They are just strips
5. i used tiny magnets on the inside of the lid, and then a washer on the body of the holster so it "clicked" closed.
6. To attach the holster to the thigh, i used washers and split clips. The washers are there to provide support to the foam. That way, the weight of the gun+holster is resting on the washer and not directly on the foam itself. it prevents tearing and stretching of the foam. Push the pin through and glue the pins down on the inside of the thigh piece. (pic 8)
7. i added a strip of craft foam to look like the holster strapped around the thighs. (pic 9)
Step 9: Mask and Symbiote Strands
1. Use a template and draw out your design.
2. cut out of craft foam. I used white craft foam so i wouldn't have to worry about much cover up with white acrylic paint.
3. for the lenses, i just went to the dollar store and found a clear plastic lid.
4. i covered the lenses with automotive window tint. it's like a sticker.
5. Glue the lenses in place.
6. Put on your mask and use some chalk or a white charcoal pencil to see where the lenses should sit on you.
7. take your mask and stretch it over something rough (ball, large fruit, even you knee) and hot glue the lenses directly onto the fabric.
1. throughout the tutorial, i have been saying to put "veins" on the suit with hot glue. You can make symbiote strands the same way. You just need a hot glue pad. I just did a few strands with hot glue, waited for them to cool, and then painted them. afterwards, i glued them directly onto the suit itself.
2. the other option to to try puffy paint and see if that creates a thick stand of colored goop.
Step 10: Paint
1. First, paint all the pieces flat black (pic 1)
2. use your white charcoal pencil and start stenciling in the emblem. If you make a mistake, you can either use some water to just wipe off the charcoal, or if it is too noticeable, then just go over the area with black. (pic 2 and 3)
3.Now add your white paint. i liked having a bit of black showing through the texture. i think it added to the organic look, rather than making it look like just a worn suit. plus, it accentuated all the little details. (pic 4-7)
4. Also, airbrush your suit. I used some white airbrush paint and i made sure to get all the areas where the foam would not cover.
Step 11: Finished!
That should be it! A few last minute things and tips:
1. All foam pieces should be either coated with Plastidip or painted with modge lodge matte. doing so preps the foam for painting.
2. if you have any gaps that you need filled between foam pieces, use the kwikseal caulk
3. Paint the veins and the symbiote strands a grayish/ bluish color so they stand out a bit against the black.
4. you may need to wipe the condensation that forms around your eye lenses from time to time. I wore the mask like a cap until someone wanted a picture of me.
5. Agent Venom is a soldier, so he isn't necessarily crouching on the floor.
6. If you want more guns, i suggest something big like an assault rifle.
7. When you pose, keep your arms wide, that way, you can show off the details of the suit, rather than covering up all your hard work with your guns.
8. Don't be afraid to find some Spidermen/ spider-verse people!
Oh, and as a little side note, i was actually able to propose to my girlfriend in the Agent Venom suit at the 2016 Chicago Comic Con! For anyone interested, here is the video of the proposal.
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