Intro: How to Create a Batman: "Azrael" Costume
The villain Bane broke the back of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in the comic books. Well, Gotham still needed protecting so Bruce recruited Jean Paul Valley to take the mantle of the Batman while he he recovered. It seemed like a great idea until Jean Paul started going a bit overboard and violently brutalized villains. He starts to build his own version of a Batman suit and eventually calls himself Azrael. Bruce eventually heals up and takes the mantle of Batman back, but for a while, Azrael patrolled the streets of Gotham.
This project has been a long time dream.. Well, actually it's been a 2 year dream to accomplish. I often like creating costumes based on the uniqueness, popularity of the character, and the difficulty of the build. I started building this costume in 2016 and was originally going to propose to my then-girlfriend at the Chicago comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and guess what happened... I LEFT THE HELMET IN THE FREEZER TO COOL!!! well, i guess it just wasn't time.. so another year passed and i made a few adjustment to get the suit just the way i wanted it for C2E2 2017. Well, Batman fans LOVED it and i'm going to share with you how it was made. Let's get started!!!
- EVA foam (regular and Thick)
-ankle length boots (Army style)
- silver thumbtacks
- soldering iron
- large roll of paper
-dark grey Zentai suit
- Orange El Wire (2)
- Blue fabric
- Red sunglass lenses.
-Gold 4 way stretch Fabric
- blue and gold thread
Step 1: Reference Pics
Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. For this particular build, we combined a few different sources. I personally have been really into Kai action figures at the moment and i wanted to create a more "armor" feel to it than lycra leggings.
Look up: 1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
Step 2: Fingers and Hands
1. Take your craft foam and start making your finger armor. You will want to make them a little loose because you will be wearing them over the gloves of a lycra body suit.
2. i first start by making the finger tips. you will have to slightly vary the sizes to fit your fingers such as your thumb and pinky. You are just making a "cone" shape with the foam, glue the seam, and then use your scissors to cut them at an angle. Repeat the process for each finger. (pic 1)
3. For each finger (minus the thumb), there are three sections. Make a ring with the craft foam and then cut it into shape. (pic 2)
4. You will want to make the underside of the rings a bit thinner so that you can close your hands. For the knuckle piece, i ended up adding an extra strip on the inside of the ring, and added a point to each (pic 3)
1. I took scraps of EVA foam and started creating a puzzle for hand guard. (pic 4)
2. Once i had the correct shape, i cut it out of one solid EVA piece. I folded it over and also attached foam in between each finger. (pic 5)
3. If you are joining EVA pieces, then you can put strips of fabric or thread on the inside to provide support.
4. To secure the gloves closed, i used a black little buckle around the thumb. (pic 6)
5. don't forget to try it on with your glove on. If you can't fit your hand inside the EVA foam guard, you can use a dremel and thin out the foam a bit. (pic 7)
Step 3: Forearms
The forearms are comprised of 3 parts: a gold under case, a blue case, and a blue wrist cover
Gold Under case
1. While keeping in mind the size your hand guard, wrap your forearm in foam and cut out the shape. (pic 1)
2. Keep in mind that the seam should be on the inner portion of your forearm.
3. I took my soldering iron and created a groove into the under case (pic 2)
4. seal and paint at this time because you will be gluing on more layers. i sometimes use modge podge
or plastidip if i need the piece of be flexible.
5. glue orange el wire into it (pic 2 and pic 3)
1. Take your masking tape and cover the under case. draw out your design and use an exacto knife to cut out the design (pic 4)
2. remove the masking tape and that is now your template (pic 5)
3. cut the template out of foam (pic 6)
4. prior to gluing down, paint the edges blue because it will be a big pain if you get blue paint on the gold under case. (pic 7)
5. glue and paint the blue case. You can also add the EVA edge cuff now.
6. draw out your fins on paper, transfer to EVA, Shape, and glue into the blue case (pic 8)
1. draw the paper template and cut out of EVA. (pic 8)
2. if you make it hallow, you can use this wrist cover to house the battery of the EL light that can then attach to the wire of the underclass.
Step 4: Bicep and Shoulder Piece
1. measure out your bicep and cut a strip that will wrap around your arm.
2. create all your EVA pieces from your paper templates (pic 1)
3. i made sure to add a front bicep piece (pic 2)
4. The seam is located on the inner bicep
1. Use a thicker EVA for the shoulder as it will give you a more stocky look.
2. Use your paper template to cut the front and back of the shoulder pieces. (pic 4)
3. use a heating gun to warm up the EVA and push it into a bowl to curve the pieces. (pic 5)
4. cut a EVA strip for the middle (pic 6 and pic 7)
5. i created an under ledge. (pic 8)
6. now you can add your details with craft foam and grooves by using an exacto knife and heat gun
Step 5: Helmet
1. There are plenty of online paper templates. I fashioned a black panther template to the helmet i wanted. (pic 1)
2. transfer your paper templates to EVA and glue together (pic 2 and 3)
3. i liked the grooves in the helmet so i used the heat gun to expand them. (pic 4)
4. Seal and Paint the helmet. (pic 5 and 6)
5. I used red sunglass lenses for the eyes (pic 7 and 8)
6. i later decided to use the soldering iron to puncture air holes along the side of the mouth plate
Step 6: Abdomen
1. Start out with taking a measurement of your abdomen and your chest.
2. Cut out a paper square with the measurements and then fold the paper vertically in half. (pic 1)
3. Draw out all your details and shape. Since your armor will be symmetrical, you only have to draw it out on one side. (pic 2)
4.take the whole abdomen strip and cut the whole piece out of EVA foam.
5.Cut each piece out from the paper, but save all the templates so you know where to glue everything. (pic 3)
6. Take your templates and draw each of the pieces onto EVA foam. (pic 4)
7. Take your paper template and place on the EVA abdomen strip. Use a sharpie to mark where all the abdomen pieces are supposed to go.
8. Cut out the pieces (pic 5)Now is the time to create any designs in the abdomen pieces. i used a variation of tools like exacto knives and soldering irons to create holes, crisscross designs, etc. If you want to create lines, then cut them with an exacto knife and then use a heat gun to open them up a bit.
9. Hot glue all the abdomen pieces and use buckles in the back to secure it together. (pic 6)
10. I made a mistake and thought that i could keep the undies with the abdomen. I later abandoned this idea and had the undies as a completely separate piece.
Step 7: Belt and Undies
The pics are not from the Azrael build, but the concept is exactly the same
1. Measure your waistline and cut a strip of EVA foam that size. I usually just use the width of the ruler i am using, which is 1.5 inches.
2. Create your codpiece by measuring the sides of your groin and how long it needs to be. Transfer the measurements onto paper and then onto foam
3. I wanted to create an edge so i used the soldering iron to burn a groove down the back of the codpiece. place hot glue in groove, hold the codpiece in the position and wait for glue to completely cool (pic 1)
4. Add your details. I used some craft foam to add little sections to the codpiece here and there. I used the soldering iron to create some burns and then use the hole punch to pluck out some pieces(pic 2)
5. You can do the same process with the butt piece. measure out your butt piece, and cut it out of eva foam (pic 3).
6. The seam of the belt will be on your side, and that way, you can put on the undies and still have the crotch and the butt-piece intact. glue your belt to your crotch piece (pic 4)
7. I sometimes take some fabric and glue it onto the seam of the codpiece. I also use a piece of elastic to connect the tip of the codpiece of the middle of the butt piece (so that the elastic goes in between your legs)
8. you can start creating the pockets and gluing them onto the waistline. I used a thicker EVA foam to give the belt a bit of bulk (pic 5)
Step 8: Chest Piece (Part A)
1. Fold your paper chest template and fold it in half. Start drawing in your details. (pic 1)
2. unfold your template and transfer onto EVA foam. (pic 2)
3. Flip the chest piece over and use a soldering iron to create a line down the middle of the chest. fill the groove with hot glue. I also created a ledge on the bottom of the chest piece. (pic 3)
4. Put the chest piece on and repeat the the process to create the back piece. measure your back and transfer the measurement to paper. then repeat steps 1 and 2. glue the front and back
4. I used the paper template to draw out and cut strips of EVA foam. I then sanded off the tread (pic 4)
5. Start gluing on the strips to the chest piece. (pic 5)
6. you can now glue the chest to the abdomen piece.
Step 9: Chest Piece (part B), Fins, and Collar
Blue Chest Piece
1. first create your paper template and draw in the details (pic 1)
2, cut out of EVA foam and glue front and back onto the chest armor.
3. Create your fins (pic 2)
4. Attach them onto the blue armored piece (pic 3).
5. When i first made the suit, i incorrectly angled them, so make sure they are supposed to be spanning out and not in. (pic 4)
6. I used black straps and attached them to buckles. i then inserted them into the shoulders which would be way that the cape attaches to the suit. (pic 5)
7. Use the paper template to create the front plate of the collar. (pic 6)
8. transfer to EVA foam and then glue to the blue chest piece (pic 7 and pic 8). Make sure you are wearing your helmet to ensure that it will fit within the collar.
9. Start taking EVA and create a collar. I used strips of craft foam covered up the seams (pic 9)
10. Now cut out the paper bat emblem and transfer to craft foam (pic 10 and pic 11)
11. i used an orange plastic cd case for the screen. (pic 12)
12. I bought two small orange lights and attached them to the inside of the collar to illuminate them. i sanded them so that the light would be more dispersed (pic 13 + pic 14)
Step 10: Lycra Body Suit
1. You may need an extra hand for this process as its a bit easier. if not, still doable.
2. Put on your suit and grab your chalk to mark out where your face is, where your forearm gauntlets end, and where the shoulders end.
3. Cut out the face and cut off the gloves BELOW the chalk line to give you some excess fabric.
4. Put on your torso armor and use your chalk mark where your shoulders are visible.
5. Cut out the fabric and then use it as a template for your gold fabric (pic 2)
6. Sew the new gold shoulder sections back onto the suit (pic 3)
7. I used an airbrush to darken the fabric so its not so shiny.
Step 11: Shoes and Shin Guards
1. Take your black boats and cover them with masking tape.
2. Take a sharpie and draw your designs directly onto the shoe
3. Cut out the masking tape pieces and transfer them onto EVA foam. Sand off the tread from the back of each piece (pic 1)
4. Hot glue each piece back onto the shoe.
5. repeat the process until your shoes are armored up. (pic 2-4)
1. Measure your knee, transfer it to paper and fold in half
2.draw your details on the folded paper (pic 5)
3. Create your layers from EVA foam (pic 6)
4. Glue your layers together and then add your details (pic 7)
1. Measure your shin with your shoes on, transfer the measurements to paper and fold in half
2.draw your details on the folded paper,cut out and transfer stencil to EVA foam, and cut out of EVA foam(pic 8)
3.Glue your layers together and then add your details (pic 9)
4. I used black buckles in the back of the shin pieces to close them (pic 10)
5. I use fabric to connect the shin piece to the knee piece. I use elastic for the knee piece to strap around my knees.
6. Cut out the fins from a thicker EVA foam and glue into place (pic 11)
7. this is how they shins/ knees/ and shoes can look (pic 12)
Step 12: Thigh Armor
1. take your measurements for your thigh and transfer them to a paper template (not from this build, but concept is the same
2. transfer the template to your EVA foam and use your heat gun to warm the foam and shape it. (pic 2)
3. Place the front thigh piece against your thigh and create a back thigh piece out of foam. Glue the seams together (pic 3)
4. From there, you can start adding any type of detail you would like. use layers, a soldering iron to burn in grooves, and a heat gun and exacto knife to cut in lines. (pic 4-7)
Step 13: Cape
1. Measure out your cape and cut the desired length.
2. Fold the fair in half and cut out your shape (pic 1).
3. open your fabric and you should have this picture (pic 2). Repeat for 4-5 wedges.
4. Sew all the wedges together (pic 3)
5. cut a circle out from the adjoining point of the cape. this will be for the neck. (Pic 4)
6. attached the cape to the shoulders with the black buckles that are already attached to the chest piece
7. that should be game. You may want to make sure all your seams are all clean.
Step 14: Finished!!!
So the hard part is over! Just a few more things:
1. Seal the entire suit with modge podge or a few layers of plasti dip before painting
2. pic your colors well. i used a metallic blue as my main color.
3. seal with a clear coat when finished.
4. glue elastic to the shoulders and then attach them to the chest piece. Do this with the bicep as well and attach it to the shoulders. You can also use elastic and buckles to attach the undies to the chest piece.
5. to give it a more armored look, i attached a few silver metal thumbtacks to the suit in various places
6. You can take an airbrush and darken some of the areas of the suit as you see fit to accept certain areas.
Make sure you get your poses down and don't be afraid to have some open claw pics.