How to Make a Judge Dredd Costume

Introduction: How to Make a Judge Dredd 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 halloween, I wanted to be able to wear something fairly comfortable, but still look B.A. . Plus, this worked great that my girlfriend could cosplay with me as Judge Anderson.

No Need to reinvent the wheel. Just better to add to it to make it your own. I used the awesome instructable of KRSprops as a starting point. His version is here

I continuously referred to this website for good references

Let's get started shall we??


- Black pants (preferably leather if possible)

- roll of scratch paper

-plastic food container ( i.e.. sour cream container)

- plasti-dip or sealer (home depot) or a solution of glue and water


-exacto knife

-Black leather jacket (for outside use) or black track jacket (inside use)

-black cable ties

-travel toothbrush caps

- Bondo (walmart, home depot, etc)

-cardboard (FREE, go to stores and just ask for empty boxes)

-clear plastic sheet (plexiglass works well)

-car window tint (ebay)

-Acrylic paint

-parachord (2 inches, 1 inch) - fabric store

- comic cardboard

-elastic (fabric store)

-various sized plastic black buckles (ebay) (2 inch, 1 inch, .5 inch)

-craft foam (craft store)

-EVA Foam (Walmart)

-black yarn

- hot glue

- dremel or sandpaper

- velcro

- heat gun

-5 in zippers (ebay)

-Jacket zipper (fabric store)

-black gloves

-black boots

-fake leather (fabric store

-black canvas or 2-3 black large messenger backpacks (Thrift store)

- masking tape

-PVC pipe

-gold thumb tacks

-Worbla (optional)

Step 1: Vest + Armor

1) Start by taking your messenger bags and "gut" them. take everything apart and save all you can from it. You should be able to get zippers, buckles, black canvas, buttons, trim, etc from the bags. (Pic 1)

2) Take your scratch paper and draw out the design. I forgot to take a picture of the front vest alone, but you will see it in the following pictures. Sew on your jacket zipper to the front piece. The back vest seems to have a diamond shape to it. (pic 2)

3) Abdomen armor: i took my scratch paper, drew out, and cut patterns. Then i used them for my EVA foam (Grey) and craft foam (blue and red) pic 3

4 since you have the front and back canvas vest pieces, you can use them to estimate sizing. Pic 6 is my front and back armor pieces. for the back armor, heat a flathead screw driver on the stove and press it against the EVA to soften and put in some notches in the back pieces. Note to self, males have 4 back pieces and female judges have 3 wider ones. (pic 7 +8)

5. OPTIONAL: If you want to use worbla, then cut out your sheet of Worbla, heat it up and press it onto your foam armor pieces. worbla has the consistency of a fried fruit rollup. and it is sticky on one side. just use something (i used a ruler) to press into your armor to get the creases to show through.

6.remember to create an edge around your armor for your trim.. If you are using worbla, then make sure you have a worbla edge.. if you are just using foam, then glue a piece of foam onto your armor pieces.

Step 2: Badge and Belt Buckle


You have two options here:

1) find a picture of the badge and print it off.

2) just draw it on some scratch paper. You can use your pectoral armor piece to see sizing.

I went with option 2 and drew it myself. Use your exacto knife and cut it out of foam. What i did was carefully cut out pieces from the drawing, and then cut that piece out of foam.

In order to get groves and such, i took my exacto knife and heated it on a stove, then i pressed it onto the foam which melted it in certain places.

Cut out your letters and carefully glue them on. I put worbla on the back of the badge to give it a little more stability and then i attached it to the armor with velcro. the reason for this is because i wanted to be able to interchange badges different names.


-Draw the shape out of paper and then cut it out of your EVA foam. cut the details in with your exacto knife. heat your exacto knife on the stove and burn the foam to create depth in certain areas. I added some worbla to the back of this so that it would be a bit sturdier.

Step 3: Shoulders

First start with your sizing. i took a piece of paper and folded it in half. cut out the stencil from the EVA foam.

Left Shoulder

So the left shoulder sketch looks like pic 1.

i used the EVA foam as a base, and then took more craft foam and put that on top. I used a dremel to sand down the edges.

Right shoulder: Eagle

The eagle is somewhat complicated.. since you have your paper template, start to draw the symbol on it. the eagle wings took 3 different layers of craft foam to complete. (pic 4 +5)

The body of the eagle will take 4 layers (pic 6)

- cut out your design from craft foam. Just like you did with the badge, heat up your exacto knife and press it to the foam around the tail and wings to create depth. (pic 7)

Once your shoulder pieces are finished, dont forget to add one more layer of craft foam underneath the pieces to create the edge for the trim.

- trick: use your heat gun to expand your the cut line. this will create a definitive line (as seen in the 5th picture on the Left black shoulder piece)

Step 4: Knee and Elbow Pads

Just take some eva foam and cut it into an oval. Cut more EVA foam into a smaller oval for the inner part. Cut lines into the smaller piece and hit it with the heat gun to create distinct lines.

Once satisfied, add an extra layer of foam underneath to form your ridge for the trim.

- once these pads are all sealed and pained, add two straps of elastic on each pad.

Step 5: Shin Pads and Toe Covers.


I just cut out a 2 long rectangles from the EVA foam.then a cut out two thinner strips from the eva foam. Dont forget to add your foam edge for your trim.

- I added a few lines and hit it with the heat gun to add a few details.

Toe covers

- We did not want to ruin our boots, so we wanted to make the covers a temporary thing.

Take your masking take and tape off the toe portion of your boot.

then take your EVA foam and cut out a "cap" for the top. it's probably about the shape of an "eye". cut lines into it and hit it with the heat gun for detail. (pic 4)

Step 6: Sealing, Painting, and Leather Trim


Because you are using foam, it has a tendency to absorb paint, so you will have to seal it to create a rubberized "shell".

1. just put your pieces into a box and spray them down with some plastic dip.

2. If you dont want to do this, you will have to make a solution of elmers glue and water.. just keep adding layers and layers of the solution on it to create a "glue shell".

I bought a black tinted sealer so i could see everything.


- Paint everything the corresponding color. The black pieces are not really black though. They are a little lighter than black and i think it adds a nice distinction from the black canvas vest. add a little white to your black acrylic paint and use that instead.

- Add some weathering to your gold pieces as well. This means that for all your gold pieces, paint a little black paint on it and wipe it off immediately. this will give some contrast in color. its all about the details!

- You can seal the armor pieces at this time now with some clear coat if you feel so inclined.

Leather trim

Now this next step is a pain in the booty, but it's worth the look. (pic 3-5)

- take long strips of your fake leather and start wrapping it around all the armor pieces to create an edge.

Step 7: Collar and Armor Assembly


Take your fake leather and cut out 2 "C" shapes. sew the inner circles together.

- cut out a strip of corduroy for the back part of the collar to give it a ridged look.


Now that all your pieces are painted, sealed, and have the leather trim. its time to start placing them.

1. take some hot glue and glue the front and back pieces on. You just need to add enough glue at this point to have the armor stick onto the vest.

2. take some of your black canvas from the gutted messenger bags and glue your shoulder pieces directly onto them. Cut out your shoulder pieces now. (pic 3)

3. Now add even MORE trim to the actual canvas parts of the vest (so the shoulders, the back, and the chest pieces)..

4. At this point, take your yarn and fat sewing needle and PAINSTAKINGLY sew your pieces to your vest. This is for detail but also for stability. (pic 4)

- I did not use the exact sizing for the straps and elastic. I just had 2 sizes of elastic straps, and 3 sizes of parachord.

5. Start adding your buckles and straps to the appropriate places.

Step 8: Forearm and Shin Covers.


- Take your fake leather and wrap it around your wrists forearms. You may want to do this with your jacket and glove on ask it will make you a little bulkier. Cut out the pieces. They will be slightly curved (pic 1)

- There was trim from the gutted messenger bags that i added on each side of the arm pieces (pic 2)

- Now add your 5 inch zipper and sew it on.

-for that little computer chip thing, I just cut up an empty sour cream container. I took some hot glue and created an edge for it and then spray painted it a glossy black.

- Since the plastic would not stick to the glove with hot glue alone, i had to sew it to the arm. Remember that it goes on the left side.

Shin covers

- you are repeating the process that you did with the forearms, but just on a wider scale.

-once they are assembled, glue the shin arm directly onto the leather cover

- add your straps and buckles

Step 9: Helmet: Construction

To make the helmet, start by making a crown for yourself (pic 1+2)

You can find my in-depth explanation of the crown here

Once you have this, you can add your sides. remember there is an angle at the jawline and then the sides begin to angle up towards the back of the head.

Add your front badge portion. wanted to have the helmet curve in a bit, so just play around and cut whatever makes it work.

Now take some scratch paper and draw out the edge. I folded the paper first to allow for symmetry.. once you are satisfied, use that stencil to cut t out of cardboard. then glue it on the helmet.

Step 10: Helmet: Bondo

Now that you have the cardboard skeleton of the helmet, add your bondo to it. This stage seems like it takes forever, but hang in there. its gonna be worth it.

Bondo comes in a paint can and a tube of red hardener. You DO NOT need alot of hardener. put some bondo on a piece of scrap cardboard and add a little red hardener to it.. id say for maybe 2 dollops from a plastic tablespoon, then use about toothbrush head of hardener.. Remember, that little red tube is good for the entire can. NEVER add it the hardener to the grey bondo goop itself, or it will harden.

1. just keep slathering the bondo onto the cardboard helmet. take your low grit sandpaper and dremel and start smoothing away.

2. when you are satisfied, move onto the next portions.

3. add a generous amount of bondo to the front emblem

-once this is completely smooth, draw out your design.

- use your dremel to get it to the shape you want it to be. (pic 7)

Step 11: Painting and Visor

Paint your helmet

- The helmet is worn out, so i added a little white to my acrylic black paint.. the trim is red..

- to add scratches and nicks, take your silver and spray it into a crumpled up piece of paper. just rub against a few edges to create the scuffed up look (pic 1 +2)

- At this point, you can even add some EVA foam inside the helmet for comfort.


  • Take some foam and use that as a template for how big you want your visor to be (pic 3)
  • Take your foam template and cut out of your plexiglass or clear plastic. (pic 4)
  • mark where the middle is with a marker.
  • Use your heat gun and carefully heat the plastic. You will have to move the heat gun around or you may over melt the plastic. I suggest using gloves here. the middle mark will give you a better estimate of where to bend the plate.
  • keep bending it til you are satisfied.
  • Take your window tint and apply it to the visor.
  • Add some velcro to the visor and velcro it into the helmet. The reason for velcro is that you can replace it if your visor ever gets messed up or scratched.

Step 12: Law Giver Gun

Sorry for the mismatch of pictures. I made 2 lawgivers, so these pictures are a combo from each.

Find pictures of the gun and print out a lifesize picture on your computer. If you cant do that, then draw it out so that it is life-size. If you have to draw it, then make 2-3 copies of this picture first.

1. cut off the bullet holder, the trigger, and the trigger um.. protector thing? (pic 2)

2. you should have the main body of the body left. cut out the general shape from cardboard. (pic 3)

You will do this about 5 times.. glue your 5 pieces together so that will make it fairly thick. (pic 4)

3. once it is as thick as you want it, cover both sides with comic cardboard. (pic 5))

4. Now you are just chopping up your paper template, using the pieces as stencils and cutting them out of cardboard. keep chopping and adding to your gun. When you are done with that piece, cover that piece with comic cardboard.


For the nozzle of the gun, i used some PVC, cut out the front of the gun and glued in about a 1.5 inch piece.


For the handle, you will cut use the paper template and cut it out of the comic cardboard first.(pic 11) set it aside.

then you will cut the border off of the paper template, so now you will have a slightly smaller handle. Use this smaller template and cut out your cardboard shape.

-cover the cardboard with the comic cardboard.

-glue this onto the slightly larger comic cardboard you had before.

- Now you will fill in the edge with hot glue.. use the nozzle o the glue gun to get it as smooth as possible. Then you will use some comic cardboard scraps and use it like sandpaper on the glue. Just go fast and apply so pressure and it should smooth over fairly well. do this for both sides of the gun.

- For the grip of the handle, i just took some worbla and cut on a smaller shape and added it to the handle on either side.

Bullet Holder

-you are essentially creating a box with the same method as the main gun. I had some fake bullets laying around so i cut them down to fit inside the carrier.

- if you want to be a superstar, you could technically create a sticker that shows the electronic part of the gun. youd need photoshop or something and just create something there, print it on a sticker or a mailing tag and just stick it on.

Please be smart about this gun.. it looks like a real gun, so don't take it out in public or wave it around in public. Paint an orange tip around the nozzle to let people know its fake. but from a distance and in the holster, it can easily be mistaken for a real gun. Be smart.

Step 13: Lawgiver Holder and Duty Belt

Duty Belt

The belt itself is just a 2 inch wide parachord strap that i got off of a messenger bag. I glued the belt buckle onto a plastic belt clip


You are essentially creating a box to cover the gun. doesnt have to be anythign fancy in my opinion. Just needs to work. You can add different angles and such to give it a little personality. According to that judge dredd movie prop website, there is a hole in the bottom for accidental discharge, so i thought id add that in too. that way, the gun can "hook" into the holster in the hole. i added two straps of elastic to and buckles to wrap around my thigh.


- make two circles out of cardboard and a take a thin strip of cardboard to wrap around it. essentially, you are making a hockey puck shape.

-the "leather" container is just foam. just cut out the shapes. Paint the whole thing and insert your Mine. I took a gold thumbtack and used it as a "button"

- Take some parachord and make a strap for your belt. I used a little worbla for backing and sewed the strap into it. If you dont have worbla, use the plastic that you did for that write computer thing.

Med kit

Just use EVA foam and fold it on itself. close it together with velcro. You can actually put stuff in it if you add some elastic to it. I just didnt feel like putting the effort into that.

-I had a soldering iron laying around and used that to melt the Cross into the med kit.

-for the lines, i used an exacto and heated it with a heating gun to create a distinct crisp look.

- Take some parachord and make a strap for your belt. I used a little worbla for backing and sewed the strap into it. If you dont have worbla, use the plastic that you did for that write computer thing.


- I drilled into the toothbrush caps and string your plastic cable ties through it. Use your parachard to make a strap for it. add your thumbtacks to be buttons.

Gun clips and Holders

you are making long boxes out of cardboard. cover them in comic cardboard to give them a flat/ smooth look. create a top for them.

- for the holders, you are just making a box around the clips. just add your parachord to the back and attach them to the belt. each judge has 4 clips per belt.

Gas Grenade

- I was fortunate to find two grenades at the dollar store. I chopped off the tops and attached them to PVC. take your dremel and drill and cut in some groves and holes.

-make the holster out of foam, similar how you did with the mine.

Flash bangs

I did not get a chance to create the flash bangs, but this is what i WOULD have done.. I would have created the case out of EVA foam.. just a cylinder. for the balls themselves, you could just buy some type of cardboard ball and just paint them .

- add your parachord with worbla or plastic backing.

Be smart about these props, you can technically take out the clips and the grenade. i dont think anything else is of major concern to the public.

Step 14: Last Few Details Things

- You can dust yourself up by adding some talcum powder to your suit. It will make it look used and weathered.

- even though you can see in the helmet, dont drive in it. It's not worth the hassle of getting stopped by police.

- do NOT impersonate a real police officer.

- Just remember that this is a costume, and NOT a fully functioning suit. It's mostly made of cardboard and craft foam.. You are likely to break something on it if you are running, jumping, and climbing excessively.

-this costume looks awesome with leather pants and leather biker jacket.. but if you are going to be inside, i really do not suggest a leather coat. You will be horribly uncomfortable. just use a lighter black jacket or even track jacket.

-Remember to scowl a lot. Dredd doesnt smile

- if you have Anderson as a partner, she does NOT wear a helmet.

That should be it! Enjoy, be safe, and have fun!

For more current art projects, please find me on facebook at Spicy Panda Creations.

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    7 years ago

    Fantastic!!! Great work with cardboard and colors. Warhammer painting techniques?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I'm afraid i don't know what warhammer painting techniques consist of? please educate me! i may have been doing something that i wasnt even aware of haha

    dark angels rule
    dark angels rule

    Reply 4 years ago

    It's from the best board game in the world


    4 years ago

    i am very impressed... Being a huge Dredd fan and putting my kit together now.. Amazing work.. :)


    4 years ago

    can u make me one :D


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks! if you are serious in having one made, feel free to contact me at and we can discuss the details!


    4 years ago

    It looks so real :D


    5 years ago

    Do you think I could pay you 600$ to make this w/o the helmet and gun?


    Reply 5 years ago

    hello. Thanks for your interest. Please write me at and we can have a discussion about what you are looking for


    5 years ago

    Amazing work! If you don't mind my asking, how long did this take and what was your estimate cost?


    Reply 5 years ago

    i tend to get lost in my projects for hours (maybe like 3-4 a day) , so for me working on 1 judge outfit, i would say maybe 2.5 weeks.. but i made the vest, armor, and helmet in that time.. i would honestly say it cost maybe around ...$50?


    Reply 5 years ago

    $50? Really? Wow, amazing.


    That was a lot of work Dude, nice job came out awesome. my admiration for doing a made from scratch costume. that's how it's sposed to be done big thumbs up.

    Just found out no ones been able to see the vid of my costume Ghost rider on fire driving into parking lot, try it on my instructable page but here. Tell me what you think


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the comment. i checked out your video. that is sooo wild! actual fire is a commitment lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wonderful step by step! My boyfriend has wanted to do Dredd for years but was at a loss about how to begin. I'll definitely show him this before he goes and spends big money on replica stuff!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    yay! very happy to help! im always available for consultation as well. im easier to reach via FB at spicypandacreations if available too =)