It has been 3 years since I last made my Batman costume. In that time I have learned so much about foam construction. I knew could make something so much better.
Also, on my last gauntlets, they were more fragile than I had hoped them to be. These gauntlets are the culmination of fantasizing how I could make them better.
Step 1: Materials & Design
I have made several attempts to design and build a better gauntlet. at first, I tried to cover the whole thing in worbla. This proved rather challenging and unrealistic.
I sat down to design a gauntlet based on several concept drawings I found on the Internet. This drawing was what I came up with.
The materials I used were:
- EVA floor tiles
- 5 mm floor tiles
- Barge cement
- heat gun
- silver acrylic paint
Step 2: Make the Patterns
To get started I measured the dimensions of my forearms. I worked on several designs (many of which did not work) until I settled on this one. I drew the outline of my forearm to get started with this. Because the EVA foam is about .5" thick, I extended the outlined just a little beyond that outline.
I then figured out the shape for the gauntlet factoring in the elbow coming to a point. I measured the distance from my wrist to elbow to get that distance. I wanted the gauntlets to look more squared rather than round, so I also developed a middle strip to connect the top and bottom. The inside was shorter as I needed room for my arm to bend. The outside came to a point to connect the two sides at the elbow in more of a spike look.
The rest of the patterns were made a little more free hand. I made another shape to act as a control panel. Then I placed paper over the top of this and drew out a basic design onto it. This was then cut out to serve as the pattern.
I also measured around the top of the gauntlet to make a top ridge. I never drew out a pattern. I just measured the top of the patterns and gave myself an inch all around.
Step 3: Put Base Form Together
I started by cutting out the top and the bottom pieces. Using a heat gun, I gave them a rounded form to fit over my arms better. Then, I applied the contact cement to the edges of the sides and tops and bottoms. After it dries for about 5 min. then I attached them together.
I added a second layer to the side on the outer edge. This is where the spikes for the gauntlet will be attached. This was glued on in the same way.
Step 4: Add Details
Once the base form is done is where the fun begins. This is where you can start to make the gauntlets look more mechanical and armored. Each shape is added to build it into what looks more like a gadget.
The black foam is 5 mm craft foam. To create the big button on the center I used the back of a frosting tip. I heated it up with a lighter and then pressed it in. I then used my dremmel to round all the edges of the foam.
I also drew lines on the front piece. This was to make it look more like a collapsible plate. Once the lines were drawn, I cut into it with my utility knife. Once the cut is in place, you can go over it with the heat gun and it opens it up.
The round pieces on the vertical strips were made by pressing in the top of my dremmel's sanding drum into the foam.
Step 5: Add Spikes
3 years ago, the resin on my spikes really didn't hold up. One of my friends dressed as Bane and wanted to fight. While it was a great picture opportunity, it broke the spikes. This time I wanted them to hold up to anything. As a result, I decided I would make them very solid (and actually rather dangerous).
I started by drawing out the shape of the spike. Then, I cut them out (6 shapes) of 5 mm craft foam. I glued two together for each spike. Once they were glued (contact cement) I used my dremmel to do a 45 degree bevel around the edges. Once they are shaped they are ready to be covered in Worbla. This is a thermoplastic that will make them rigid.
To cover them, cut two pieces of worbla that are just a little larger than the spike. Heat each side until soft. Then press the worbla onto the shape of the foam. Excess is then cut off and the edges pinched together. Once it is cooled, it will stay firm.
I drew out the shapes onto the edge of the gauntlet and spaced them evenly. I cut out the shapes to a depth that I could then insert the spikes into the gauntlet. I spread barge cement onto the inside of the hole and the outer edge of the spikes. Once they were tacky, I placed them inside. They are solidly in place.
Step 6: Paint
Once all the pieces are in place, I sprayed each one with a couple layers of black Plasti-Dip. This prevents the acrylic paint from cracking and seals the foam. Once this dries I was able to do the detailing. I found a silver acrylic pain that did the trick.
I painted the mane shapes without pushing paint into crevices. This gives more depth. I also lightly brushed some of the silver onto the edges to create a look of worn metal. I also painted the knuckles of the gloves as well to creats some continuity.
Step 7: Put It on & Look Awesome
Upon completion, I must say that I was highly satisfied with how they turned out. They feel great on my arm. They are very durable, and really work with the rest of the costume.
They definitely contribute to looking awesome when I wear them.
Runner Up in the
Glue Challenge 2016