Introduction: Red Hood Cosplay
This instructable will cover the making of the whole Red Hood Cosplay. This is a mix of the 'under the red hood' version and the 'red hood and the outlaws version'.
Step 1: Supplies
EVA foam board
Roll of Kraft foam
Hot glue gun/glue sticks
Various other supplies
Step 2: The Hood...Pepakura First
I first started off by searching and finding several Pepakura files for the Red hood, and deciding which one I think would be best for this project. Since I was unfamiliar with how the whole process worked, I printed out the sheets once as a test project on regular paper, taped them all together to see if it will fit my head without the need to adjust size (which I'm glad it did because I didn't know how to adjust sizes in the files at the time).
The test size was a good size and fit my head perfectly. It took about 4 hours to put it all together, but had I not done this, and the final product didn't fit my head, it would all have been for nothing.
Next i printed the file a second time and traced it all on thick cardstock poster paper, cut it all out and put it together. I do no recommend doing this, it was extremely time consuming. I was too lazy to go out and buy cardstock printer paper, so I ended up spending over 14 hours tracing, cutting and assembling.
Step 3: Making the Hood More Stable.
Like most pepakura that I'm sure you've already read, the next step is resin. I used epoxy resin because it gives you more time to use and doesn't stink up the house, but it does take 24 hours per layer. I applied 2 layers to the outside and 2 layers on the inside, although it took 4 days to do this, you could now throw this thing across the floor and it would stay solid.
Now to create the proper shape with bondo. I used the all purpose bondo, but I don't know the difference between the all purpose and the auto, so I don't know what the difference would be if there is a difference. This process is very time consuming and will need more than one layer. Apply the bondo to the resin hood, and sand it to the shape as best as you can, if you start to hit the paperstock, stop. I used a red sharpie on various edges on the helmet to show me when I was sanding a little too close. You can sand it by hand, but you can shave off a few hours if you have a belt sander.
Bondo and sanding, bondo and sanding, bondo and sanding. After finishing one tub of bondo, there was still some imperfections that I had to get another tub and do one last coat. While you're applying make sure to apply close and tight to prevent air bubbles.
But since there will be air bubbles, it's best to buy some spot putty to fill in the tiny imperfections that show up throughout. I used JB weld around the eyes (because they were the most tedious, and I needed them to be the toughest areas. (hand sand around the eyes, and take your time, the palm sander would just destroy this area)).
Once I had the desired shape, I applied 2 more layers of epoxy resin on top of the bondo to keep it as strong as possible...Whereas I still believe this was a good idea, it made it a little more time consuming, but I'll explain that in another step.
Step 4: Reassembling the Hood
Because the hood was just slightly larger than my head, it wouldn't slide over, so I had to make a cut near the back of the hood. I penciled in a line beyond the halfway mark so it wouldn't show from the front and cut it out with a dremmel.
I also measured and penciled a line out on the hood, which would end up being black on the finished product. It was frustrating as you have to be precise and even. Once the line was drawn I used a small hand file to carve it out (you could also use a dremmel if you trust yourself enough).
*I recommend doing this next step after painting. Because I got eager to see if it fitted, I did it before hand, which meant I had to tape the bottoms and the eyes during, but even the slightest hole would ruin the insides. So after the first coat, I ended up taking everything apart, painting and applying it again. That's why I put this step here*
To reattach the hood, I used elastic strips which I hotglued to each side while they were being pulled tight, making the finished product have a tight fit. I used two velcro strips on the bottom sides where the two halves met, which would keep the whole hood together while it's on my head.
Step 5: Painting, Smoothing and Finishing the Hood.
I painted the hood with several layers of red paint which ended up showing the imperfections/streaky lines that were left over by the resin. The hood might have been more sturdy because of the extra layers, but that just meant I had to do more sanding and painting.
You can easily see the difference between the original streaky coat and the smooth finished coat. On the inside I sprayed a few coats of black plasti-dip (rubber spray) to make it softer for the head. I popped out the lenses from a pair of dollar store sun glasses, and trimmed them down with a dremmel. I glued them into place, but only on the inside and outside corners, that way some air could get inside while i wore it, and that would help prevent it from fogging up.
To finish off the hood, I painted the line that I filed out black with a sharpie. It was much easier than trying to tape and spray paint it.
I also had a pair of 10 dollar bluetooth speakers that I took out of a bluetooth head band and glued them inside...not necessary, but it was nice to listen to music while I waited on those long convention lines.
Step 6: The Chest Piece
First, I had an old baseball catchers chest piece that was perfect for the shape for my project. I figured all I needed to do was copy the shape of the top pectoral pieces on some kraft foam sheets and glue them on to it. I printed out the red hood bat symbol and adjusted it's size until I thought it fit the best. Tracing it on top of some more kraft foam, I cutted it out, painted it red and glued it on top. It looked decent enough, not professional, but decent. The more I wore it around, the more it bended and than it eventually ripped. Which forced me to rethink my approach.
I cut the pectoral pieces off of the catchers plate and traced the shapes onto some EVA foam boards. I took the bat symbol and traced it onto the foam as well. I then took the bat symbol piece, placed it on top of the Pectoral pieces, being careful to make sure it was even. I traced it's symbol onto it and used my razor blade to cut out the symbol from the pieces. My bat symbol ended up sitting nice and snug inside of the pieces, and everything fit on the catchers plate.
The bat symbol I painted with red plasti dip, and the outside with black plasti dip, and hot glued everything onto the chest piece. I'm actually amazed at how well of a bond hot glue creates with EVA foam.
With the pieces now made with EVA foam and coated with flexible rubber, it has become very durable. It can take the abuse of a 3 day con and only need small touchups with paint.
Step 7: Leg Armor
For this piece, I first traced my ankle on a large piece of poster paper, and trimmed it until it fit right. I placed the paper on the EVA foam board, traced it and cut it out. One of the best things about EVA foam is how easily it is to mold with a heat gun. When you heat up the foam pieces and fold it over you ankle as it cools, it will retain the shape that you hold it in.
So using this method, I took the traced foam pieces, heated them, and folded them against my ankles. It might take a few tries, heating the inside and outside, but it will hold it's shape in the end. You just need to have tenacity.
I traced lines every 6 inches and cut out small lines with a dremmel tool. I followed the designs that was used in various red hood and [new 52] nightwing comics, as red hood's armor design changes constantly throughout the comics.
The ankle guards attached in the back with velcro and elastic. The glue on the velcro strips isn't that great, so to keep it in place on the elastic, I simply used a stapler to attach it.
As for the boot covers I kind of winged it; of course I used my shoe and cut out several pieces of paper to make a template. In the first few pictures, the black foam was cut out from the kraft foam sheet and the bluer thicker pieces were cut out from EVA foam. Everything was attached with hot glue, and i added elastic straps at the bottom to make it easily slip on and off of my shoe, while also keeping it in place while I wore them.
Painted everything with black plasti-dip and silver spray paint in certain areas.
Step 8: Utility Belt
For the knife and gun holster I created a design out of cardstock and painted it with epoxy resin to make it more durable. For looks I cut and glued some kraft foam around it's edges.
Eventually I ditched that project to buy some real gun holsters as it can take the abuse more.
To attach it to my legs I bought some old belts from a local goodwill, cut it to fit with scissors to fit around my leg. One belt was used to hold it around my leg, and I used the left over leather to attach it to my hip belt with steel rivets, this prevented the gun straps from falling down.
I used some leftover foam edges to create a crow bar, cutting off the puzzled edges and attaching 3 of them together. The heat gun was used to create the bend, as well as the profound edges. A few coats of black plasti-dip and hammered spray paint later and I had myself a prop to bring out everytime I ran into the joker.
I made a holster for it as well with resin coated cardboard which ended up holding pretty well.
The last part of the belt I added two pouches that came from an old golf bag. They were big enough to hold all of my things without the need of a 'swag bag'.
Step 9: The Jacket and Neck Piece
The jacket that I found is just a swayed shirt that I found at a thrift store, which was perfect because the con I originally planned this for was in the middle of summer. Even though it's not a thick leather jacket, the look still came out looking good.
First, I cut a small slit in the collar and stuffed a long copper wire inside of it, which helped keep it popped and shapeable for the weekend.
And like the classic red hood and the outlaws look, I layered several pieces of kraft foam, glued it and painted it with red plasti-dip, and hot glued it to the sleeve of the 'jacket'.
Step 10: Domino Mask
Cut and shaped out of kraft foam, I heated it up with the heat gun, and pressed it against my face until it cooled and retained the shape.
Plasti-dip is especially important for this piece, if you use regular spray paint, it will crack and hold onto the shape of bends. The rubber spray will keep it nice and flexible.
There are two ways I attached it to my face, first I tried liquid latex. I prefer it's hold more than spiritgum, although neither of them can stand the heat of the summer...I sweated too much and it fell off after a few hours. The second and more preferred method was to use elastic string (the type used for bracelets, you can find it at your local Michaels or arts and crafts store). You got to measure it, cut it, tie it and secure it with hot glue...it holds very well.
Step 11: Finished!
Everything came out looking great. I got a lot of compliments, mostly on the helmet and chest piece, and as you can see, carrying the crowbar can make for some epic pictures between you and various 'joker' guests.
If you have any questions/comments/concerns/criticisms, just let me know.