Time for another long-winded, pic heavy thread...
We really enjoyed hanging out in our judge outfits at the 2000AD booth this year and meeting so many people at SDCC.
Here's some info on how it all came together:
(click on the photos below to see them larger)
Since wearing my Dredd costume at Comic-Con in 2011,
(you can find out more about that and how the costume first came together at this thread:
I'd been wanting to put together an Psi Judge Anderson to troop alongside me. The guys at Rebellion / 2000ad encouraged me to make it happen and so I got in touch with a model friend of mine who I knew would make a great Anderson.
Judge Anderson model:
My friend Dan over at Planet Replicas in the UK started putting some costume items together. But given the time and expense of shipping from London, I knew I would also have to sort out some of the costume items here in Los Angeles (like the ones that would require very accurate sizing and perhaps tailoring).
We used a blonde wig because, even though our Anderson model is blonde, she had just recently shaved her head.
For Anderson's leathers, I used a Dr. Who Martha Jones jacket from Abbyshot. It was on sale and was already pretty close to the pattern we needed for the female judge jacket. Mods we did were:
Tailored it to fit all over. Shortened the collar slightly. Added sewn-on velcro for attaching the judge armor. And added belt loops.
I also had the zipper replaced with a custom large judge zipper-pull I made. The big Judge zippers are kind of iconic, so I like to take this extra step. I make metal ones by cutting the end off of a hinge and then painting them gold (you can see detailed photos in an old Judge Dredd costume build thread I did last year).
The biggest change was painting the whole jacket black using a special black acrylic for leather. It's pretty durable and looks great when complete. Here's a photo of the nearly-finished jacket. You can see the original red color on the inside.
For pants, I found a pair of black women's stretch pants at BCBG that looked great. Not leather, but hard to tell once they're on, and they matched the jacket pretty well (after a zipper replacement). More importantly, they fit very tight. This was comic-con after all, so we figured making a sexy version of Anderson would not be a bad idea.
Gloves - My original gloves were the Planet Replicas version, but I had a hard time finding another pair of those last year, so I made my own pair with a slightly different type of motocross glove. I added some leather strips to the back of the hand for those iconic "knuckle strips" that the comic book judge gloves have.
In the Comic-Con pics, I'm wearing the Planet Replicas gloves and Anderson has my newer version. For the pro pics later, we both wear the newer version (Two reasons - I wanted our gloves to match, and the PR gloves have a very warm lining that is not that comfortable to wear in the LA Summer heat.)
Boots - For my Dredd boots I had bought a U.S. pair of motocross boots that were nearly identical to the Planet Replicas version. But for Anderson's boots, I decided to go with a high-heeled, feminine boot. It might not be the most realistic choice, but it's how Anderson creator Brian Bolland chose to draw her when she made her first comic book appearance (in fact, he gave all the female judges high heels).
A friend had given me a free pair of women's boots to use, so I couldn't pass that up. After some green paint and the addition of soccer shin guards, they were ready to go (special toe caps were added between comic-con and the pro photoshoot.)
Holster - For Anderson's holster I had one of the original holster designs that had been made by the Planet Replicas guys for the Judge Minty fan film, whereas my Dredd holster is a very cool boot holster designed by RPFer Mr. Bungle.
At first it bothered me a bit that the holsters wouldn't match, but I decided it was okay for the following reasons:
1. The boot holster requires adding some magnets to the Lawgiver prop to make it attach well, and I didn't want to drill up a second Lawgiver.
2. Anderson doesn't use her gun that much. She has psychic powers.
3. The boot holster isn't used as much in the comics anymore. I have a theory about that: The Lawgiver Mk 1 was a slimmer gun, and fit just fine in a boot holster. Holstering a gun in the boot is a little awkward, but it made Judges kind of unique. When the bulkier Lawgiver Mk 2 came along, many artists stopped drawing Dredd with the boot holster and switched to a more traditional hip holster. So, story-wise, I have this idea that the justice department has phased out the boot holster, but senior judges who got used to them over the years (like Dredd) are still allowed to use them. I know I love having mine...
Daysticks - for the judge's iconic billy clubs, i found a police supply place that still had wooden night sticks for sale. The ends were flat so I sanded them round to match the comic version (and made Anderson's a bit shorter for her smaller body size). Then I used Mr. Bungle's idea of a bayonet frog (leather holder for wearing on a belt) to hang them on the utility belt. But instead of searching for vintage, I had mine made as custom leather items so that everything would fit perfectly.
Badge - I was very excited to be the first recipient of a prototype of the Planet Replicas "Psi" badge. It looks awesome.
Finally, some friends of mine helped me put together a special "citation" business card. We handed it out to photographers at Con so that they would have an email address to send photos to after SDCC (it really increased the number of pics we were able to get).
The card is printed on transparent plastic to make it more futuristic.
(Thanks to Steve for the design, Steven for the graphics, and Mike for shooting the video.)
Coolest of all, the card uses augmented reality to embed a video. If you have the app LAYAR installed on your Android or iPhone, you can try it yourself. Here is the card image:
If that doesn't work for you, you can look at the video the old fashioned way by clicking here:
We had a great time trooping at SDCC and meeting so many of you. Here are a few photos:
At the hotel:
The closet of Dredd:
Preparing the wig:
Lots of gear:
You can see a complete gallery in full-res here:
Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson at SDCC 2012 - a set on Flickr
If any of you took photos of us that you want to share, you'll find my email address on the business card image above. (We're still looking for the 3D photo that someone took of us! And any video)
One of the highlights of Con was getting to attend the special screening of Dredd (thanks again to 2000ad for getting us in!). The movie was awesome and I'm excited for the rest of you to see it this September. I love my comic-style uniform, but the ones in the new movie are really growing on me too. I don't really see them as better or worse, just different.
We also went in uniform to the 2000ad / Judge Dredd 35th anniversary panel.
After con was over, we really wanted to do a proper photoshoot with our friend, the VERY talented Adam Chilson.
In preparation for that, I made a few more things. I wanted a big gun (in the comics it used to be called a Lawrod, then they had the Long Gun, and then the justice department renamed it again as the Widow Maker).
I added a justice department eagle to a modified toy gun I'd made previously from a Max Force brand Shadow Hawk-100
We did some costume upgrades here and there (a repaint and toe caps on Anderson's boots, new gloves for me), but the main thing I wanted for the shoot was a battle-damaged Dredd uniform. Dan was able to get me an imperfect helmet from London so that I could tear it up a bit. I based the final version on one he himself had made for the Judge Minty film. I got it done just in time to use for the photo shoot.
I had an old leather jacket that I didn't mind wrecking, so after making some mods so that it looked pretty close to a judge jacket, I proceeded to tear it up. For the zipper, I didn't have time to do a complete zipper replacement, so I simply hot-glued a piece of plastic over the real zipper pull.
Here's a test photo:
And now for the photos from the shoot. I love the way these came out. Adam is a genius. These were taken at his studio outside Los Angeles with his custom lighting and rain gear.
Yes, he may be available to shoot your costume pics. No he's not cheap. Yes, he is worth it.
You can see the full flickr gallery here:
Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson photoshoot by Adam Chilson Aug 2012 - a set on Flickr