Introduction: Imperator Furiosa Costume

About: I'm a maker with a penchant for art and a love of sculpting the unsettling. I also appreciate the history of deep craft traditions and would be a good part of any post apocalypse survival team.

I decided to make it a very Mad Max: Fury Road Halloween and did my best Furiosa. I also did up my S.O. as a Nux the war boy which I'll dive into in another edition.

For all of the hardware bits, I used lots of snaps and book screws to hold together so much leather and plastic. I had a lot of the materials in my studio and tried to use as much as possible from scrap bins.

I'll detail out some of the bigger pieces here, but leave out some of the others. I leaned into my sewing skills and made the shirt from scratch to make sure it fit and covered all the appropriate areas, but I'm sure there are a million other ways to create the same effect. I also dropped the ball on the pants and just did some knife work to an old pair of grey jeans.

Step 1: Shoulder

The shoulder is a key component of any Furiosa costume. Almost everything on the costume is part of her mechanical arm and it all connects through the shoulder, so it needs to be pretty tough.

Step 2: Shoulder: Cut Out the Plastic

I got a $2 plastic drawer lid from the container store to use for the shoulder piece. It's hard enough to stand up to the drilling and weight of all of the straps and buckles that attach to it, but I was also able to bend it into the right shape with a heat gun and a little time.

To start, I sketched out a pattern on paper and fit it to my shoulder, then I traced it out on the plastic and cut it out. Since it was hard plastic I used a metal snip that I had. I'm sure there was an easier way, but it worked well enough.

Step 3: Shoulder: Shape the Plastic

With all the proper safety precautions necessary for a plastic + heat operation, I used the lower setting on the heat gun to slowly bend each of the slats up and downward to get the wave effect on her armor.

I made a mistake when I made the pattern and didn't put space between the slats, so they all melted together on the first go. Second time around, I put some room between them.

When the waves looked proper, I let it cool by running it under cold water to make sure everything was set before moving onto the next step.

To get the curve around the shoulder, I heated up the entire piece to where it was just soft enough to bend and I pushed it over a jar and held it until it cooled.

Step 4: Shoulder: Sand and Paint

Once it was cool, I gave it a once over sanding and then sprayed the piece with silver base coat. from there I used an xacto to add some scratches and rough spots.

I used black, brown and a little orange to make it look like beat up metal. My biggest advice is to take your time with the paint job. Do it in stages letting it dry in between to build a depth of color.

Step 5: Shoulder: Pad and Doodads

Shoulder Pad: Under Furiosa's shoulder armor, she has a pad to keep it in place and make it comfortable. Which it does when you're wearing it as well.

I had some spare 2" foam and white t-shirt material. I stitched a quick U shape from the material and then sewed around in circles from the edge into the center. The foam compresses a lot so it ened up being about 1/2" thick.

To age it, I used coffee as an overall stain, soy sauce for the deeper colors and then spatted some yellow and orange for rust and mildew effects. After all of that: VELCRO. I sewed it to the pad and super glued it to the shoulder piece.

Doodads: She has a gage on her shoulder, but I just ran with what I had in my scrap parts bag. I had an old thermometer that I put inside of a cardboard tube with a scrap piece of glass. It was really me just looking around the workshop for spare bits and pieces that could look cool.

Two things I learned:
- Super glue can make a pretty convincing 'crack' on glass.
- A light mist of silver spray paint creates a condensation effect.

Step 6: Arm

The arm is where I started with a plan, then just had to do whatever the heck I could to get it to look like... well anything. I got a small piece of perforated metal (about 12"x12") from Amazon and used some metal snips to get about the right shape for the back of my hand. I stitched it onto a leather strap around my wrist. I then did about the same for the fingers. I tried several times to connect all the pieces together, but ended up using elastic to keep it onto my hands. I've added a bunch of pics so you can see how I jury-rigged this thing together.

I made the arm cuff with some leather, upholstery fabric and metal studs and attached a sleeve to it. I wore a black glove under everything so the metal wouldn't bite me and made a little half glove to go over my ring and pinky finger and thumb. The little bit of leather helped with the illusion.

It was mostly wire cutters, pliers and a lack of patience that put this together, but it worked well enough.

Step 7: Belt Buckle: Immortan Joe Insignia

I spent some extra time and affection on the belt buckle. It's a pretty key part of the costume and second only the the full arm mec.

To make the big insignia, I sculpted it in polymer clay, made a silicone mold and cast it in plastic. So why'd I go through the trouble of making a mold instead of just baking the polymer clay? Mostly, I spent a few hours on the sculpture and wanted to have a mold of it so I could quickly and easily replicate it if need be. Also, I prefer working with plastic when I'm not sure how everything is going to pan out. It's flexible, sturdy and easy to drill.

After I cast it, I cleaned up the flashing and gave it a nice rusty paint job. Similar to the shoulder, I started with a base of silver spray paint, then layers of black, brown and orange acrylic to build out the age and rust.

Step 8: Belt Buckle: Chains and Backing

I don't have any in process pics of this part, because I was mostly winging it trying to see what worked. In the end, the backing had two layers of leather, straps to attach to the belt and book screws to hold it all together.

The first piece of leather was good lookin' dark brown that I added stitching to. The second was much heavier piece of tooling leather that could support the chains.

I dug into my beading box to get some jump rings and spare chain. I picked up some of the larger chains from a hardware store.

To attach it to the belt later, I used two pieces of leather and attached snaps on the edges. All of the layers are held together with two post screws that go through everything.

Step 9: Belts and Accessories

The belt girdle is actually attached to the shoulder by three straps. One on the front and two on the back. This is again where I used my new best friends the book screws to hold all the straps to one another.

I had one larger corset type belt that I sewed the brown belts onto. It made it easier to take on and off with so much connected and kept everything in place where it should be. Also, it's how it works in the film, so, win.

I got some cheap goggles on Amazon and aged them with some acrylic paint and a bit of enamel for the blood drops.

The arm band was three pieces of brown leather strap I stitched together with twine then attached to the bike tube strap with lug nuts.

Step 10:

Step 11:

Halloween Costume Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2015