Hey Cosplayers! Welcome to the Cosplay Apprentice where we empower you to Forge your Favorite Fandoms in Reality! For the last 3 yrs I have been teaching Cosplay techniques online and at live events, helping people make their dreams a reality with easy to follow tutorials, and simple diy templates. I’m Skyler Ostler and in today’s Apprenticeship I’ll be teaching YOU how to make Black Panthers Helmet Using EVA foam and some binder dividers.
So you want to know how to make Black Panther’s Helmet for your next Cosplay but you are unsure where to begin or if you even have the skills to do it yourself. Maybe you’ve thought about buying it, but everything you’ve found is either super expensive, or doesn’t have the “spot-on” look you are hoping for. Well, if that’s you then you’ve come to the right place, let’s jump in and I’ll show you how using a pattern or template you can forge your fandom in 5 easy steps without being a professional artist or breaking the bank. Ready, Set... F.O.R.G.E!
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Step 1: Find Your Framework
Begin by finding a great template from someone that you trust and have seen the final product to make sure it produces the end result you are going for!!
For this tutorial I will be using a template I created and have available on my website but there are lots of great template makers out there! Templates are awesome because it saves you tons of time in trying to get all the proportions and complicated artistic design elements all figured out, but still gives you that sense of accomplishment because you are the one who made it, and the end product is generally guaranteed to look great!
Step 2: Organize
Alright, so with your framework selected now it’s time to jump into the build and start organizing.
Generally templates like this one will print to scale on 8.5x11 pages making it super easy print out at home. If any items run between two pages you may need to tape a couple pieces of the template pages together but once you have that done you are ready to cut the pieces out making sure to cut out any registration marks on it as well. This is where the real organizing begins! Good templates should be clearly labeled with some sort of sequential system that tells you the order of use. With this one, the pieces are alphabetical so I am laying them all out in order of use on the table. Trace all the pieces onto your material, in this case I am using Foam, and make sure to transfer the same numbers, letters, and registration marks on the template pieces over to your traced pieces as well. Some pieces may need to be traced more than once and some symmetrical duplicates will require flipping the template piece over to trace it for the other side. After you have finished tracing you will cut out all the pieces and once again organize them according to your template. Some templates like mine will tell you whether a given edge should be cut straight, or at a beveled angles, on my template this is denoted by color. Make sure that you are cutting everything at the right angle so you don’t run into problems later.
Step 3: Revisit
Now that you are super organized we need to to review the template instructions and revisit any of the details to individual pieces that may need to be made before assembly.
In this instance we need to make sure to transfer all the detail marks onto the foam, I did that by cutting along all of the detail lines on the template pieces with an exacto knife and then placing the template onto the foam and then running a pen along all those detail cut lines in order to transfer them onto the foam. At this stage you can also take advantage of the the fact that all the pieces are still flat and actually score or burn in all the details now, make sure to remember that the thickness of the lines on the template give you an idea as to how thick you should make the details, use a sharp razor blade and heat for the thin details the deeper you score the foam the thicker the line will be after heating. And for the really thick detail lines you can use a wood burner tool and burn the lines in. I also recommend you do your under cuts now as well while it is flat. The under cuts are labeled on my template using a dashed line and tells you what angles to cut each side as well., You can wait to do all that after you have assembled it but it may be a bit more difficult to do.
Step 4: Glue/Assemble
Alrighty Peeps, it’s time to get our glue on! Depending on what type of glue you are using make sure to wear the proper recommended safety gear for the product. We will be putting these together using contact cement.
Go through in the order the template has set up and assemble the pieces together, glue together the darts and then piece "B" and attach piece "C", the registration marks are critical to follow in this instance to make sure the right shape is being formed. Assemble the left half and the right half separately. Next connect the "A" piece to the left half of the B&C Combination followed by the right half BC combo. and connect the left and right half together.Starting on the left side of helmet, attach the "M" Jaw piece to the front face piece "B". Then connect earpiece "P" to the "A" piece where it says to connect to ear. Then stick together the other half of the ear, piece "Q" to the "P" piece making sure to wrap the edge piece around.. Attach the "T" piece to "Q" and "M" with an offset indentation and the connecting portions of "Q" that attach to the "M" piece on the jaw. Repeat that process on the right half of the helmet. Next, we will assemble the back half of the helmet. Glue together the darts of both "I" pieces and then attach the two "I" pieces together. Who knew that black panther had I's in the back of his head? ;) Get it? I's, cause it's "I" pieces on the back of the.... So... Anyway, that should complete the base assembly of the helmet! Only one step left!!!
Step 5: Embelish
You got it! last step! Embelish!!
In this step we will add any details and secondary level accents that need to be added as well as give it a SWEET Paint job!!
For making Black Panther’s Helmet we are going to start by adding on all the additional detail pieces from the template and end with adding some lights to make this puppy glow! Well, it's black panther so it is probably more like make this kitty glow? I guess. Anyway, start in the back of the helmet by attaching pieces K,L, and J into their respective places on the "I" piece as shown by the grey outlines on the template. Next, do the same with the N and O pieces onto the "M" jaw piece. Then on the face area attach H along the edge that runs along the seam line of "B" along the cheek. G will attach on the Chin, The "F" piece you will want to heat and add some curve to it before placing it under the nose. Lastly the "D" piece do the same as on F in that you should add some curve into it and then place it above the eye and slightly along the cheek. Trace the outline of R&S for both left and right sides onto 6mm foam and cut it out with about a half inch buffer all around. Line it up with the registration marks and glue them in place under the main foam layer, this should give us some wiggle room to get the lights and stuff in.You are doing AWESOME and the black panther mask is really starting to come together!! Now, you can stop here and just add the detailed R and S pieces and be done. Or you can keep going and follow along to add some lights to make it glow. I am using battery powered LED lights some blue and red tinted plastic binder dividers, and some craft foam to get the effect I am going for. We will be lighting up piece "R" and "S" dig a channel along the center of each that you can run the LED along and will later glue it on the inside of the helmet. String the LED through so it passes through all pieces. Cut all "R" and "S" outlines out of inexpensive red and blue binder dividers. Also, Trace and cut "R" & "S" out of craft foam cutting out all of the black detail pieces You will end up gluing the R&S craft foam pieces to the matching color plastic pieces after the craft foam ones have been painted. Then you will hot glue in place after mask and R&S pieces have been painted. Test the lights all throughout the process as you solder pieces together and dry fit them in the helmet. Remove LED’s for now and place them in after painting. It’s Looking super Legit!!!Alright last thing is to attach the back half of the helmet to front. We are going to do that with magnets along the edges. That way the back can hing open to get your head in and out.With that you have yourself a super legit looking Black Panther Helmet! You can add weathering if you would like but because his suit is made out of Vibranium I don't think it will have much damage on it ;)
Now give this thing a sweet paint job using Plastidip to coat the foam, Matte Black on most the helmet except for pieces R and S which will be coated with a gloss black. Paint the silver accents with a silver paint pen and this Helmet will be ready for you to rock one of the Coolest Cosplays ever!. Et Voila C’est Fini!
Step 6: F.O.R.G.E
So, you wanted to know how to make Black Panther’s Helmet and in five simple steps I’ve shown you how using a template or pattern you can quickly, easily, and inexpensively forge your fandom in reality!
If you liked this Tutorial and are a fan of Black Panther then you will love the COSPLAY GUIDE I made for you. It’s got a character breakdown, origin story, weapon details, poses, and everything else you need to put the “Play” in your Cosplay! You can DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE RIGHT HERE! :)
The Template for this can be FOUND HERE!
Thanks for reading! If you want to see more from me, follow my instructables and head over to my
Step 7: All Materials Used and Where to Find Them
Here are all the materials I used and where you can get them