Elseworld WWII Batman "The Bat" Costume




Partly for Halloween, and for a charity walk with Heroes for Charity, I decided to make my own Batman costume. There are many incarnations of Batman, so I decided to do one that I had never seen a costume of before: "The Bat". The Bat is from DC's Elseworld series JSA: The Liberty Files, which takes place during WWII wherein Batman is working for the government as a special agent against the Nazis. It's a good series, check it out.

Oh yeah, this is also my first instructable, although I've been a member for a long time.


Step 1: Research

I had decided to make a pair of steampunk goggles and was looking for reference materials when I came across the action figure of The Bat. "Holy goggle-wearing Batman...Batman!?!" This was quite possibly the greatest thing I had ever come across. I needed to be steampunk (almost) Batman. I figured out where he came from and ordered the collection of JSA: Liberty Files comics from Amazon, you know, for research (for some reason I have to have an excuse to collect comics now).

Step 2: Jacket

I searched for a jacket with a side closure and came up empty handed, finding only Rocketeer style jacket with a full separate panel on the front. This was close but I decided to keep looking. While reading the Liberty Files comics I noticed one of the character's jackets, it's a fencing jacket that buttons off to the side....Perfect... except that it's white. Do they make black fencing jackets?
Why yes, they do!
Absolute Fencing has a black coach's jacket that would be perfect.

Step 3: Jacket Cont'd

First thing to do was remove all of the labels from the jacket. I just used an exacto and cut them off.

The Jacket has a zipper up the front and velcro at the neck. As far as I can tell, that's just not very cool. I decided to add buttons to the front to give the illusion of... well buttons. They don't actually function, so I just sewed them down right to the front along the zipper seam.

Step 4: Cape/Jacket Duster Thing

So, this batman doesn't wear a cape per se, it's more of a sleeveless duster. In case you're wondering those don't actually exist*. Next best thing? A duster with sleeves and a pair of scissors. I found a costume duster from an online Halloween store as part of a western costume, and removed the sleeves. Hint: Thats what the scissors were for.

  • Correction: I just found out from user gschoppe that this type of coat does exist. It's apparently a tradition Scottish rain coat called an "Inverness Cape". Looks like it would have worked perfectly. If I decided to make a more "real" version of this costume I'll probably get one. Right now the duster is the only costume-y piece, so it's the only thing I'd replace at this point. Thanks gschoppe!

Step 5: Cowl

I tried to make my own cowl from several different things. Leather, blackout cloth, canvas, even duct tape. For one it's really hard to make one that fits right, and none of them looked quite right with the rest of the stuff. So I decided to buy one and mod it to my needs. I bought a standard vinyl Batman mask from eBay. The Bat's cowl looks like leather and has seams over the eyes, down the middle of the head and along the ears. In the comics the seams actually move all over the place, not exactually sure why, but they do. So I picked the pattern that showed up the most frequently.
First I used some pin striping that my friend (Captian America) had used for painting his shield, to create the pattern. Then, I taped off the rest of the mask and used black Krylon Fusion paint to make it look like seams. Turned out really well I think.

Step 6: Cape Clasp

The only Batman logo that The Bat has is a small metal one on his neck. I assumed it was a cape pin of some kind and then ran with the idea. I found a keychain that was the right size and went to town.
First I cut off the loop for the keyring.
Next I used a Dremel to ruff up a few spots for gluing.
My girlfriend had some hook and eye closures in her sewing kit, so I attached two of the hooks to either side of the back of the keychain with Gorilla Glue.
I sewed the eye portions under the collar of the duster.

Step 7: Goggles

Well, this is where the whole thing started. I actually ended up making some steampunk style goggles, but they weren't right for this project. Instead I ordered some welding goggles, and spray painted them black. Oh yeah, I also used an Exacto and some 220 sandpaper to remove the company name from the side before I painted them. No pictures of that, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Other goggles are up..check'em out here

Step 8: Gloves, Utility Belt, Pants and Boots

Not much to these. Everything but the gloves are army surplus. There's a pistol belt, with a box pouch and two clip holders. The pants are BDU's and the boots are jungle style. The gloves I found on ebay for like $9.95, so I bought them rather then made them, they looked pretty "Batman-y" already so I didn't change them.

*pants and boots haven't arrived yet will put up pictures when they are here.

Got the pants and boots. You can't tell so much from the pic, but the pants are button fly, like the action figure. The boots I got are ripple-sole, I thought they looked a little more exaggerated, like a superheroes boots might be.

Step 9: Finished

Here is where a picture would be really great. But I'm going to make you wait just like everyone else.

Actually the pants and boots haven't arrived yet, and the Heroes for Charity event is a week away, so as soon as I have them and get some pics I'll put them up.

I decided to put this up now, because all of the stuff that required work was done and could be used for other costumes as well, so happy costuming!

*Update: got the pants and boots(see step 8 for pics). Will be all dressed up on on Oct 14th, and pics will arrive shortly after. I've tried everything on in pieces to make sure it works together, but it's been unusually warm in Chicago for the last few days and I can't bring myself to put it all on at once yet.

*Update: Here it is...



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    76 Discussions


    2 years ago

    It's really nice dress.


    10 years ago on Step 9

    What program are you using to rotate the image? It looks like it's just setting the EXIF rotation tag, which isn't respected by any browsers. Apple's Preview works this way, for example. You'll just have to use another program that does it the usual way. Really, Instructables just needs to add a rotation feature for when you upload your images. That would make it easier for everybody.

    9 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 9

    Yes, of course it is ... He turned the camera sideways to take a vertical picture. So it came out sideways. Then he tried to rotate it back, and it didn't work. How is that not clear?

    Dr. SteelWurdBendur

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I've got two theories. One, Idiocracy is coming true sooner than we thought, or two, you got trolled.


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 9

    Right, it's sideways because he didn't rotate the camera back before taking the picture. When you rotate it back, you have to do it before you push the button to take the picture, or it comes out sideways.


    5 years ago on Step 4

    i played in a pipe band for 4 years, Inverness capes can be expensive and the material is a polyester blend that makes a really obnoxious sound when you walk.


    7 years ago on Step 2

    This is awaome, I actually have the same front-zip black fencing jacket.


    7 years ago on Step 9

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!! im thinking of using some of the elements in this costume to make sort of a "urban commando" looking batman this definately helped me out thanks


    8 years ago on Step 4

    This looks like it could work for the "Inverness Cape"


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This might sound stupid, but me and my friend are both 12 and we are going to geta tan dress up like terrorists and glue some road-flares to our chests and tape a digital clock to them. Just a suggestion for a costume/

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Our you could do the terrorist thing more accurately and just get Bush and Cheney costumes.