So sometime back in June, my 11 year old got hooked on the character of Mortal Kombat's Scorpion, the black and yellow clad ninja anti-hero with a penchant for slicing and dicing enemies with his trusty kunai and katanas.
Every year I make him a Halloween costume with props to attend an event called "After Dark" hosted by our local Asian Civilization Museum (ACM) and the previous years I had him go as BvS' Batman, The Watchmen's Rorschach and just last year as one of Batman's many Gotham allies, The Red Hood (see images).
Given his obsession with Scorpion, it was evident what costume and props he wanted this year!
What you're going to need:
1) White or light colored roller blinds - yes, roller blinds, cheaper than fabric (where I'm from anyway), easy to spray paint to what ever color you want and also sturdy enough to use contact glue without having to sew anything.
2) 3 or 5 mm EVA foam in black and white, 7mm EVA foam in black
3) Curtain webbing or similar material (for the trimmings)
4) Contact glue (Have big, WELL VENTILATED SPACES when using the contact glue!)
5) Velcro strips
5) Some thin rope like material
6) Paint pens (black and yellow for touch up and painting small areas)
7) Spray paint (black, yellow, silver, gray, deep brown)
8) Painter's breathing mask (VERY Important - DO NOT PAINT WITHOUT IT!!!)
9) Cardboard (to form the Kunai blade)
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Step 1: Plan It Out!
First of all - HAVE A PLAN!
This version of Scorpion is complex, so get as many reference images from the web as you can showing the character from as many angles as you can find.
Once that is done, draw out your version of it and how you are going to use the materials you have to form them into something closely resembling the character's costume because lets face it, you're never going to get the exact same materials or design as what the character is supposed to have and you're going to have to make do with the materials you have. I spent a good hour drawing out my version and figuring out how to put all the stuff together and what materials which I had should be used and where.
Step 2: The Tunic
Folks would probably think the tunic is the hardest part to make - they'd be wrong.
It took me 2 hours to get the initial form of the tunic cut from the roller binds, fitted and glued down - that's right GLUED DOWN with contact glue.
*Fun fact: There was absolutely NO SEWING done whatsoever with this entire project!
It was a matter of painting the strips of the cut roller blinds and gluing them in the correct order, the pieces that are dark brown and the trimming (using the curtain webbing) below the piece that is yellow.
The collar of the tunic with trimming was done separately as it had to be fitted on AFTER the shoulder shield padding was completed.
The shoulder shield padding was made from the 3mm thick white EVA foam. Using scrap paper stuck together I made a space in the front of the paper to fit my son's neck and drew out the shape of the shield padding based on the pictures of Scorpion I found on the web, then I cut it out giving me a template to cut the EVA foam from.
I used a heat gun (or a stove lighter gun or a lighter with large flame will do) to seal the foam and painted it yellow adding different shades of yellow and scratching the material from time to time with sandpaper to give it a " battle damaged" look. Added some silver painted 3mm thick EVA foam for the edges and the curtain webbing as trimming between the yellow and silver pieces and we had our shoulder shield padding.
After that it was a matter of lining up the shoulder shield padding with the body section and the collar and gluing it all down with contact glue. Don't worry about the uneven surfaces and dirt getting on the material, it all adds to the "battle worn" look and makes it all the more realistic.
Step 3: The Hood
This was the most difficult part. Why? Because the hood had to fit snugly around the head of the person wearing it. From all the pictures on the web, the hood was almost wrapped tightly around the head. So it was necessary to get the template for the hood right. The other thing, was that the hood was made of 3 parts - left, right and a center piece, not the typical 2 pieces joined in the middle.
I wrapped my son's head with cling wrap (with the necessary cut outs so he could breath) and using a marker marked out an opening for his face and divided the hood into 3 parts, left, right and center. Carefully cut along the left and right lines to remove the cling wrap and then cut out the face opening. Now I had templates to cut the individual pieces out of the roller bind. This is also where I screwed up initially. When I cut out the pieces, I had forgotten to leave any extra border at the edges for me to glue the 3 pieces together later. So I had to re-cut the pieces and waste the roller blind material.
Eventually I had it all done and I tried a first fitting. Sort of worked, except that I had to tighten the hood around my son's head a little more. This I did by strategically stuffing scraps of EVA foam inside the hood and gluing them down to fill out the whole thing, giving the impression that it was snug around my son's head.
Final step was to spray the whole thing black and add velcro strips to hold the two sides together and add some decorative trimmings like the costume in the reference pictures.
Step 4: The Belt
This was relatively easy compared with what I had to go through for the tunic and hood.
I popped into one of our local shops that sells Halloween decorations and found this plastic skull about 3 inches wide. I cut that close to the front, removing the back of the skull and stuffed the hollow back with EVA foam (glued down) to make it more rigid and give it a base that I could glue flat onto the belt. I sprayed the thing with silver and black and used a marker to make the features stand out more and finished it off with the black paint pen to color in the eye sockets and nose.
The belt itself was made in 3 pieces. The center piece which was shaped like a WWE championship belt (which was easy to find a template for) adjusted to fit my son and cut out from 7mm thick EVA foam.
Once I had that, I cut strips of 3mm white EVA foam for the "lightning" and border pieces, painted them sliver and added them to the center piece, and then it was a simple matter of gluing the skull in place in the center of the belt.
The remaining 2 pieces, left and right were just thick strips also from 7mm thick EVA foam, width matching the width of the ends of the centerpiece. Once the 2 pieces were glued to the center piece, it was only necessary to add velcro strips joining the left and right pieces at the back to hold the belt in place on my son's waist while still making it easy to put on and take off.
Step 5: The Sash
I call it the sash, because frankly I don't know what else to call it. This was made as a separate piece.
Anyway, this takes very little imagination. I put the tunic, hood, (a temporary mask) and the belt on my son to see how everything would fit up to the belt and then marked out the position the belt would be in.
After that it was a matter of cutting the sash strips from the roller blinds, painting and adding the trimmings. I made it slightly longer than it was supposed to be so I could attach it to the tunic. The point of gluing it down would be just in the middle of where the belt would be so the joint line would be hidden by the belt.
Step 6: The Arm/Leg Guards
Using cling wrap again, I wrapped up my son's forearms and shins and drew out the pattern of the guards. Once I had it cut out, I used it as a template to cut out the various shapes from 7mm and 3mm thick EVA foam. Using a heat gun, I sealed the foam and at the same time curved the guard pieces so the would form nicely around my son's forearms and shins. Once the foam cooled down, the curved shape was locked in.
Painted the pieces yellow and black and then glued them all down before adding long strips of 3mm thick black EVA foam with velcro at the ends so that the guards could be secured firmly around my son's forearms and shins when he put them on.
Step 7: The Shoes
Now I could have just not done anything for the shoes and just let my son wear the black canvas shoes as they were, but I figured after going through all the work already, might as well do it all!
I had my son put on the shoes and again cling wrapped his foot and the shoe and marked out the pattern to get a template from which I cut out the pieces from 3mm thick EVA foam. After painting and gluing the pieces together, I stuck the foam down to the shoes with velcro strips (placed around the perimeter of the shoes) and were all done.
Step 8: The Mask
I had a template for the mask I used for my son's Red Hood costume last year and if you look carefully, its pretty clear you can make Scorpion's mask with just a few modifications to the template. In fact the temporary mask I was using was cut out from a spoilt version of Red Hood mask from the previous year.
Once I had the template modified, I used it with 7mm thick EVA foam to cut out the left and right side pieces and glued them together. Used a heat gun to form the mask to shape and cut some indents on the INSIDE so I could form the nose bridge
Painted the whole thing yellow and when it was dry, I used 3mm thick black EVA foam cut into long strips of 5-6mm width to add as trimming to the mask. A simple set of rubber bands at the back and it would hold onto my son's face without issue. You could use velcro at the ends of strips of 3mm thick EVA foam for more comfort, but the rubber bands are good enough.
Step 9: The Pants
Now the pants were a real pain. Only because they needed to be really baggy (think MC hammer) and my son has hips (and thighs) that don't lie, so nothing actually looks baggy on him. Finally found this ONE pair that worked a few days before the ACM event and it was worrisome because if I didn't get it right and ruined them, I might not have been able to find another in time!
In any case, the side block pattern was easy to make. Cut a thick strip from the roller blind, masked out the edges of 20mm each and painted the exposed area silver and gray. After it was dry I masked off everything except 10mm thickness from each edge and sprayed the exposed 10mm areas yellow. When that dried, I masked out the center silver/gray and the yellow edges and sprayed the remaining exposed areas black. That gave me a piece with 5 strips that was yellow (10mm width), black (10mm width), silver/gray (60mm width), black (10mm width), yellow (10mm width) - see the pictures. Then it was a matter of gluing blocks of 7mm thick black EVA foam over it at regular intervals.
Made 2 sets of that for both legs of the pants and then glued them down to the pants using contact glue - be patient when doing this and DO NOT stretch the pants material when gluing down otherwise when the glue dries, that part of the pants will warp. Also make sure you have a piece of scrap paper on the inside of the pants leg so that the glue doesn't seep through to the other side and ruin the pants.
Next I had to make the strips running across the thigh. I cut 20mm thick long strips from the roller blind again and masked off 10mm thickness and sprayed the exposed 10mm yellow. After that dried, I removed the masking tape and then masked out the part I just sprayed yellow and spray that exposed area black. You end up with strips half yellow and half black, each of 10mm width (see pictures).
With my son wearing the pants I sprayed the half yellow, half black strips with 3M spray glue (the stronger stuff!) and carefully adjusted the strip from the block pattern to just where the behind of his knee would start on the inside of his thigh, and pressed it down. You could reinforce this strip by adding contact glue but the 3M spray glue is good enough.
Step 10: The Kunai
This was most satisfying for me because it was my own design.
The kunai blade that Scorpion uses is a plain diamond shaped blade with a loop on the top connected to a chain. I wanted something a little more fierce.
I got another plastic skull (smaller than the one I used on the belt - about half the size) and also some plastic shackle chains. So I bought a few of these shackles and removed the chain part and joined them together to from a 2m long chain.
I sprayed the skull silver with some black and scratching it with sandpaper to give it a worn look. Then I painted the eye sockets and nose with the paint pen and used a dremmel tool to bore holes in the bottom (where the shaft of the blade would be inserted) and on the sides of the skull (so the chain link could be fastened to the skull).
The kunai itself was made with cardboard pieces that were cut and made to form the 3D diamond shape when glued together. Using an old marker pen, I used the thinner rope like material and wrapped it tightly around the marker pen to form the shaft, hot gluing the rope down as I wrapped it.
After hot gluing the shaft to the skull, I stuck strips of newspaper onto the blade section with watered down PVA glue or Mod Podge and coated the entire blade with the stuff and when it dried it was a stiff, hard surface with proper rigid edges. Sanded the whole blade down so it was smooth and after masking off the stem and skull, sprayed the blade silver with shades of black and gray to make it look "battle worn". After it was dried, I masked off the blade and exposed the rope shaft and sprayed that part brown with some black (like there was dirt and dried blood).
After which it was a matter of attaching the chain through the two holes I made with the dremmel tool in the sides of the skull.
Looking at the finished product, you can see why I'm quite proud of it!
Step 11: The Finishing Touches
The finishing touches included wrapping (like boxing tape) for the legs from the ankle up to the knee (which would be covered by the leg guards), some arm gloves, a black turtle neck sleeveless tee shirt (to be worn beneath the hood), a toy katana (I didn't have time to make one, so I just bough it off the Halloween decor store - was just the right size for my son too!) and of course, you can't forget the white-out contact lenses!
Step 12: The Final Product
And with a day to go before the ACM After Dark event, the costume was finished!
You can see the comparisons between what I made and the actual costume in the pictures - from the feedback I've been getting and the obvious attention my son got at the event, I'm thinking it was a close match!
This is my most difficult costume to date - it was even harder than making the armored vest and mask for the Red Hood costume last year, but I'm glad I pushed on and got it done, because the smile, excitement and joy from my son when he put it on, definitely made it all worth while PLUS I got to learn a few new techniques!
Hope you like the build and my Instructable - its my very first Instructable, so I hope you'll forgive me if its not all that good - cheers!
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