Captain Britain Concept WIP (Pic heavy)

SMP Designs

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I've recently opened an Etsy shop and have stocked it with a collection of my favorite base patterns for creating custom concept pieces. Among a number of individual patterns, I've also created a bundle of 9 patterns that can be modified and used to create any character.


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To show how these patterns can be used, I decided to come up with an original concept character using this set of patterns and customizing them. For this project, I selected Captain Britain and will be walking through each of the patterns and how they are used to build the costume.


So, here we go!


I began by selecting some reference art that I liked and wanted to use as my inspiration for the design. These are the 2 main pieces I settled on.


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I really wanted to go with something that was muted, very tactical/military styled and almost period (WWII-era). With the concept in mind,I began with the cowl.

Part 1: Cowl

Using my 2-pc cowl pattern, I created the hood first.


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The hood was made by lining a thin red faux leather with headliner foam. The hood was then assembled and finished with a back zipper and edging around the bottom and face opening.


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Next, I needed to create the 'helmet'. The pattern is the base shape only, so I needed to customize it to create the Union Jack inspired color blocking.


I cut the base helmet out of headliner to create the lining. Then, I drew out the new design onto the paper pattern and cut it apart. The next step was to put the blue background color on the top of both sides of the helmet. To do this, I cut the pieces from a metallic blue faux leather and used Super77 to spray mount the blue to the headliner foam base.


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The stripes went on next. The red for the helmet is a 500D Cordura. I cut stripes out of the red and then made piping out of a sterling silver stretch material. The stripes were then sewn in place.


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Then, the lower red section was added - the piping was applied to the red piece and then the whole thing was spray mounted with Super77 and then stitched down. Once that was done and the eye holes trimmed, the piping around the upper part of the helmet was added and the helmet was assembled.


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I used the same red faux leather that the hood was made of to finish the edges around the bottom of the helmet and the eye holes.


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cap-britain-helmet-9a.jpg
 

SMP Designs

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Part 2: Torso

With the head complete, I moved on to the torso. For this piece, I used my basic hero vest pattern.


vest-pattern.png



I began by taking the base front and redrawing my design for the Union Jack motif. I also cut the entire front from muslin, covered it with metallic blue faux leather and finished the darts that give it shape.


cap-britain-vest-1.jpg
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With the design sorted and the base ready, it was time to start building up the details. The chest was first. Using my pattern, I traced out the chest pad on headliner foam and covered the lower section (below the red stripes with blue and the upper section (that will connect with the shoulders and blend into the cowl) with red.


The lower edge of the chest pad was edged with navy blue Supplex (a thin nylon fabric) and the chest was sewn in place on the base vest. At this point, I also added some ribbing detail to the upper red sections.


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The rest of the front was detailed next. I created some ribbing sections for the abs and ribs by covering headliner foam with the navy blue Supplex and stitching the details in. These pieces were then edged with metallic blue and sewn in place. At the same time, the side red stripes were made out of the red Cordura, edged with silver and attached to incorporate with the blue accents.


cap-britain-vest-5.jpg
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At this point, it was time to add the main red piece to the front. Red Cordura was backed with headliner and edged with silver to complete the front of the vest.


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The shoulder pieces and back were then completed using the same methods as the front.


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The shoulders were then attached and the rest of the edges finished in metallic blue and red faux leather.


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Next: Shoulders and pants

Stay tuned!
 

SMP Designs

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OK, it's been a minute since I've posted, but I'm finally getting back to doing some write-ups and catching up. So, here's some of the latest progress on Cap Britain...

Part 3: Shoulders​

To build the upper arms, I turned to the pauldron variants in the pattern collection.
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pauldron+2.png

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There are 3 different variations in the pattern pack that are meant to be mixed and matched as needed. For Captain Britain, I’m using parts of all 3.

I began with the shoulder bell from variant 1 (far left) but wanted the bicep area to be larger and with more detail. So, I adapted the bicep from variant 2 (center) and added details.

First, I cut the base bicep from the second pattern out of headliner foam and spray-mounted it to the blue metallic. I then created the detail I wanted with headliner foam and Supplex with ribbing details. In a similar fashion to the vest details, these were edged in metallic blue and sewn down.

Then, I built the shoulder bell out of red cordura backed with headliner and edged it in red and silver. The shoulder and bicep were then joined to create the upper arm.

cap-britain-arms-1.jpg

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Next, I wanted to create a version of the one shoulder pad he has in the reference images.

captain-britain-3.png


For this piece, I turned to variant 3 (far right above). I took the pattern and revised a couple of the seams to come up with a design that I felt worked well with the angles in the vest and the Union Jack motif.

The upper part of the pad was made in red cordura backed with headliner and had some small silver details. The lower section of the pad was made of an ivory ripstop with a slight honeycomb pattern. This material will also feature in other accessories as well as be the material for the pants.

I’m also using a dark brown faux leather to edge all of the accessories. I want to tie all of the these pieces together and make them stand out from the rest of the suit.

cap-britain-arms-3.jpg

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Next, I added some padding detail to the ivory section using a medium brown thread to add some depth. I also created the ‘tabs’ for the strap and the bicep strap that will hold the pad to the arm.

I decided to use bespoke buckles for this costume rather than try to buy actual buckles. These buckles were created for another project but are easy to cast in lightweight resin and, since they don’t need to function, are the perfect alternative. Also, I can get exactly the color and finish I want.

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SMP Designs

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Part 4: Gauntlets​

The next pieces were the fitted gauntlets.
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I took the base pattern from the collection and began sketching out the new design lines I wanted.

I then cut the base pieces from headliner foam and began building up the details on top, beginning with the faux leather areas that would make up the outside of the forearm and added the ribbing detail.

Then, the cordura was added to cover the rest of the main pieces. The cordura featured piping in the same dark brown that was used to edge some of the other pieces. Then, the base gauntlet was completely assembled.

cap-britain-gauntlet-1.jpg

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The detail bands were then cut from 2mm eva foam and covered with cordura. These pieces were edged in dark brown and sewn down to the main gauntlets.

Then, an elbow band was cut out of the medium brown faux leather, backed with headliner foam and ribbed. This piece was sewn to the top of the gauntlet and the entire piece was bound in the dark faux leather.

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Lastly, the elbow pad was assembled by covering 2mm eva foam with cordura, sewing the pieces together and edging them with dark brown faux leather.

The elbow pads were attached to the gauntlets with snaps and velcro is used to close the gauntlets up the inside of the arm.

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More accessories and wrap up on this guy coming soon!
 

SMP Designs

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Part 5: Harness​

Continuing with accessories, I moved on to the harness next.
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The first step on the harness was to build the straps. The base straps were cut from 2mm eva foam and spray mounted to the tan cordura. and edged with the dark brown fauk leather. The details for the upper straps were cut from the medium brown faux leather and sewn down.

I’m using the buckle molds originally made for the Spiderman Nightmonkey suit to create the hardware for this costume as well. So, two of those buckles were cast, painted and added to the upper straps.

cap-britain-harness-1.jpg

I then moved on to the back plate. The back plate on the pattern was too big, so I adjusted it simply by cutting off the top ‘tab’ and shortening the bottom to where I wanted it to be.

I then traced out the Union Jack motif I wanted and began cutting the parts from 2mm eva foam. The base and inner stripes were created in foam layers and covered with cordura. The cordura was stitched down around the stripes using a cording foot to ensure the edges stayed nice and sharp.

I then cut the center stripe piece from 2mm foam, covered it in the dark brown faux leather and stitched it in place. The entire back plate was edged in dark brown and the straps attached.
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At this point, having tried all of the pieces together, I decided to make a major change to the vest. I wanted to give it a more vintage look and also break up the large swath of red on the front, so I opted to move the zipper to the front.

I began by cutting the vest straight down the center front. I then created an additional ribbed collar detail that would pull the vest up around the neck and give it a bomber-jacket style feel. The edges were bound all the way around the collar with the dark brown faux leather and an antique brass zipper want set in.
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At the same time, I created the chin cup and strap for the helmet. The chin cup is made of 2mm foam covered with red cordura and padded with headliner foam. I also resin cast small decorative buckles and added them to the sides of the strap. The strap connects to the helmet on ivory ‘ear’ plates with antique nickel snaps.
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SMP Designs

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Part 6: Pants​

With the upper body in good shape for the moment, I began building the lower body. I started with the codpiece and thighs from the pattern pack.
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I want the entire costume to look ‘armored’ and accessorized but still have that vintage style. So, decided to take some insipration from the RAF Sidcot suit and add some extra detail.

sidcot+suit.jpg

I used the same ivory fabric that was used on the shoulder pad and helmet and wanted to carry the quilting detail over to tie all the components together. For the codpiece, I layered the headliner foam behind the ivory fabric that was backed with muslin. I then quilted the entire piece and edged it with dark brown.
cap-britain-pants-1.jpg

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For the thighs, I wanted a little more detail, so I mapped out the design I wanted on a paper copy of the pattern. The top and front/back sections were cut away. The center part of the piece was quilted and the other sections added back to the main piece with some dark brown piping.

The entire thigh piece was then edged in dark brown and straps where made to complete the ribbing theme.
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I then made a basic pair of pants with the ivory material and used antique nickel snaps to attach the thighs and codpiece to it.
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Next up will be the detail on the belt and the boots. Stay tuned!
 

SMP Designs

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The level of detail in ALL YOUR WORK is mind-blowing!!! I love how you show your process. Thank you so much for all the inspiration.
Thank you!! I've been a bit disconnected lately but getting back to the forum and looking forward to sharing and being involved more in 2021. ;)
 

SMP Designs

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Part 7: Boots​

The last of the major pieces to assemble were the boots. I used the fitted boots pattern from the pack.
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The boots were made directly from the pattern with only one simple detail added (which I’ll cover in a moment). The boots are being made to match the same style, materials, and color blocking as the gauntlets.

To build these boots, I start by cutting out the lower fronts and back in headliner foam and then using Super77 to adhere the foam to the back of the fabrics. In this case, the front is being made out of medium brown faux leather and the back is tan Cordura.

The center fronts were sewn together and then the ribbing detail was added. I then created dark brown leather piping to run down the side seams and attached the lower backs to the lower fronts.

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Next, the upper piece was cut out of tan Cordura backed with headliner. Piping was added to this piece as well and it was attached to the lower part of the boot.

The only modification I made to the original pattern was the addition of a detail band around the top of the boot shaft. That piece was traced off the pattern, and made out of tan Cordura backed with 2mm EVA foam. I then bound the lower edge of the detail piece with the same thin brown faux leather used for the piping and stitched it down to the boot.

Then, the top edge of the boot and the bottom edges that go around the foot were bound in that same dark brown. The last step was to build the knee pad and strap. These pieces were built using the same method as the elbow pads and straps for the gauntlet.

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The back edges were then bound in tan Cordura and the zippers added. Here are the completed boots on top of the base shoes that will be used with the costume.

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