I always want to make a Spartacus / Roman Centurion costume. And when i was in rome this summer I buy a gladius so thats how I start =)
I always believe the most difficult parts are in the costumes are details like boots, bracelets, weapons, helmets, masks or even googles when I have a gladius ready the rest was easy =)
I make this costume for the halloween party in our city İzmir (6million lives here) and i won all prizes in two days row in all competitions and bars. =) (Edit: now 3 years in row, all prizes XD )
Now I am going to tell you how I build this costume without giving much detail like how i did that battle damage, but im going to give you the main idea that how you can make this costume like I do in 10 days!
First of all I'm seriously thinking about that costume for 5 years, so when I saw a movie or a picture or even a doorbell! I save it in my mind. For example the lion in my belt is a door bell.
Shopping and savaging materials for this costume takes 30 days, but building maximum takes 10 days if you are an amateur.
I make the chest in 1 day than add buckles +1 day +4 day for the golden finish which i remove later, 1 day for the shoulderpads and 2 days for the belt. 1 day recoloring belt. 1 day for the sandals.
Step 1: Armor
For the armor materials are simple:
-A plastic male torso (mannequin) - for the main armor
-Silver spray paint.
-Shoe Paint (black) - for battle damage
-4 Leather belts - for the shoulder pads and buckles.
-A piece of a leather - for the leather part connects front and back armor.
First step cut the shoulders and the extra parts like the neck of this mannequin.
Then paint the armor, when dried use shoe paint with sponge to make those battle damages and dirts. (use extra for the muscles like shadow)
Add top leather parts and connect with a screw (like me) or a rivet.
Add belt buckles to sides use screws rivets or tack (like me) Preffer big and antique looking ones, you saw those in the furnitures like sofas generaly. Use big and small sizes for variations.
Add details! Dont be shy cut a eagle like me or write s.p.q.r. add chains buttons!
Add Shoulderpads (for the shoulder pads use your leftover pieces of belts.) Attach armor with a screw or a drawer pull like me.
Before shoulderpads i add this golden detail and i use a simple water pipe (those mad ideas like water pipe, mannequins, tacks or pipes didnt came in 1 day, it actually take years. I think about savaging materials for this costume for years!)
I rip off those golden pipes (yes I know they look great) because they make this armor more like a armor of a general, spartacus in novel, series or film just use the old armors of roman soldiers when in arena or when they die. So for being loyal to history I ripped this detail =) (after removal I need to paint this parts again, P.S. I hate you glue)
wear a tshirt or tank top inside. (first I made an original tunic with using a sack but it makes me itchy and its very thick than I dont use it)
Step 2: Wrist Armor
I got idea from this photo but when I finished i made a work way better =)
This step is obious just cut the leather how you wish, than make holes and use a shoelaces. (also you can put your mobilephone in this wrist armor add details as you wish, mine I cut stripes and color them with black paint (for darker color) and connect them with my good old friend tacks.
Step 3: Belt / Skirt
First of all you need lots of leather for this one, I use genuine and a very high quality leather in this one, but any kind of a leather works (preffer thick and dense ones)
Cut the upper part of the belt as you saw or wish.
Cut lots of bands for the skirt, connect them to the belt with using tacks, also use those tacks for detailing.
Use chains, doorbells (lion) and drawer pulls like me for decorating.
For the edges use this think (I dont know the name of this material) this is the think which used by the upholsterers for the edge of sofas or chairs. Also you can use laces like stitches or you can sew with a thick rope-cord.
Use 2-3 color of shoe paint for the details.
Use hook and eye for the both endings of belt for wearing it.
Step 4: Skirt
For the skirt buy a cheap fabric (cotton if you don't want to sweat a lot) choose a fabric which suits your leather and didn't show the inside.
Don't measure your waist or anything just take this piece of fabric and sew it like a very large skirt. (if you don't do it large, you cannot move in it, also it has to be short if it is long and cover your knee also you cannot move.) add rubber one side for the waist, if you dont want to sew anything use this rubber like a belt and simply tie it with a node. When you wear waist armor they hide them.
Step 5: Paludamentum (Cape)
Use a simple fabric (preffer cotton again) Measurements are 100cm X (your height - 10cm) for example I'm 1.89 my cape 100x180cm
You should take 2 ends of the narrow part and tie them in your shoulders seperated (look at the photo) also you can use hooks like me and connect them to your shoulder. If you use my measurements and instructions also you got the decollete at the back which reveal your awesome armor!
Step 6: Caligae (Sandals)
A smooth sandal costs like 30-40 € so after 1 day searc I found this ugly sandals which is white and plastic details like brands logos everywhere. And it is white, so ugly like hell and no one buys it for years. I offer 5 € and got it then rip this plastic parts and color it 25-30 times.
Crafting a sandal is a very hard work because it needs lots of sew and sewing skills, and only special machines can sew leather. So I reccomend you to buy one. If it costs too much search solutions like me. (or be lucky like me)
P.S. when you wear sandals you want to kick everyone around. :D damn u Leonidas.
Step 7: Gladius (Sword)
Sorry you need to make this with wood if you dont have one like me allready. Actually Gladius is a very easy sword to craft.
Just carve the handle if you want i also craft one gladius and put that in my instructions.
Step 8: Mobile Phone Cover
If you are going to carry a mobile phone in this day, carry like a hero! Also diy your telephone cover, this way nobody notice this high-tech device in your hand or in your wrist armor.
Also use or craft pouch for putting your money and cards. Even bring your antique looking mug for drinks!
And show, the most important part is the show, use your sword, gain the love of the crowd! take attention, charm people, talk a little bit latin, ROLEPLAY all day!
Step 9: Ending
Don't hesitate asking questions or ideas and please share photos if you craft my instruction.
Thanks for your attention
with love Spartacus.
Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest