Dark Knight Returns Armored Batman


New Member
After tackling my first foam project of McThor (you guessed it, Ronald McDonald Thor) I wanted something on a more serious note. Enter the Dark Knight Returns. Love this Frank Miller classic and started to think I really haven't seen many people try to tackle this. There are no blueprints or diagrams out there for it. So this will be my first free hand project. I found some people that have start to tackle this recently and found even two post on here. So far I've completely finished the arm gauntlets, waiting to paint the legs and arm and leg bands. Will try to make this pic heavy and please feel free to ask anything you'd like. I'm no expert or consider myself any good. Just love this stuff and I've gotten so much help on here that I want to contribute if I can. So here is some pictures.

dark-knight-returns-powered-armor.jpg this is the look I'm going for.

IMG_3258.JPG IMG_3259.JPG arm gauntlets

IMG_3218.JPG messed up a little on drawing the lines so you can see some bondo that I used. First time trying but love the stuff.
IMG_3233.JPG test fitting. May have made the arm and leg bands a bit too big, but that will be corrected with the muscle suit underneath.
IMG_3235.JPG better look at the leg gauntlets
IMG_3250.JPG First work up of the chest armor. As you can see the sides are pretty bumpy. I've actually have gone back, recut and piece back together the side. Used some bondo to even it all out. Actually like the way it looks now, realizing I should have an update picture. I actually have another chest piece I'm working at the same time. Things going a lot smoother with the second version. I need to finish this all by 5/9 for Philadelphia Wizard World. Since need to finish up the chest piece(s), paint the legs and the bands. Make the muscle suit, the helmet, the shoulders, the belt, sew the undersuit and cape too, and pouches and try to make the sonic gun. I need to put the pedal to the metal here.

More pictures to come.


New Member
Looks great so far. I am seriously going to have to go back and rework both my bat suits I am working on. Lots of talented people on here to learn from.


New Member
Here are some progress updates. Fully painted are the arm gauntlets and arm and leg bands. Finished the second chest piece and I'm happier with that even though the bondo repairs came out very well on the first piece. Leg gauntlets are primed and ready for paint. I have one week to complete this so its an all day event tomorrow. Here are some progress pics
IMG_3270.JPG Helmet glued together with my first attempt. Way too bumpy
IMG_3269.JPG Pattern I sloppishly made
IMG_3265.JPG This what I used to try to make the form of the helmet. What I made my pattern to cut from
IMG_3266.JPG Armor comparisons. I'm going to go with the white one as it came out a lot smoother.
IMG_3267.JPG YOu can see on the black one how the bumps are gone from the sides thanks to the bondo applied.
IMG_3263.JPG Arm gauntlet test with gloves. Simply lacross gloves I found that have the look. Had to cut the wrist off of them. Plan to wear black gloves underneath them also. Very happy with the look here.
IMG_3271.JPG Lots and lots of bondo. Just finished this and sleeping on it to start sanding in the am and start to get the shape that I want. Then figuring out how the heck I get the eye and mouth holes in there. I learned that bondo in larger amounts gets pretty damn warm.
IMG_3274.JPG Another shot on the of the chest piece I'm going to go with.

So lets see where I'm at

Helmet- Sand, cut out eyes and mouth. Build and attach ears. Get reflective white for eyes to have a glow. Prime and Paint.
Chest- have final assembly tomorrow. Start priming and painting.
Shoulders- Form of one almost complete. Test fit tomorrow. Build second one. Figure out how to attach to body and arm band, Prime and Paint
Cape- Still need to purchase and make
Muscle suit- purchased foam to make muscle undersuit for arms and legs.
Grey clothes for arms and legs- still need to make
Belt- purchased vinyl to wrap around a foam support. Using boxes from soap and band-aids for structure of pouches
Sonic Gun- Still need to make from foam if time permits.

So basically I still have a lot to do and hope to bang this all out really quickly. Crossing my fingers that this helmet is good to go the first time.


Well-Known Member
Looking good. I really wanted to try this suit but I have enough on my plate. Are you just putting Bondo on the foam? or is there PVA glue or resin or something also?


New Member
Looking good. I really wanted to try this suit but I have enough on my plate. Are you just putting Bondo on the foam? or is there PVA glue or resin or something also?

I applied bondo directly to the foam in this case sadly this experiment failed for me do to time. It would take me way too long to sand it all down to get the desired look. So I did a new pattern that was much cleaner. Finishing glue it today where I will attempt to use wood filler for touch ups only. New helmet is look 1000% better already. Will post so progress pictures tonight
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Well-Known Member
I've been using rondo, a mixture or fiberglass resin and bondo. It goes on much smoother and I've found that it makes for a lot less sanding, you might want to try that.

I've also tried wood filler and found that it was so too soft and would crack.


New Member
I've been using rondo, a mixture or fiberglass resin and bondo. It goes on much smoother and I've found that it makes for a lot less sanding, you might want to try that.

I've also tried wood filler and found that it was so too soft and would crack.

Yeah wood filler also take a long time to dry. I think I'm gonna let it dry and see if I can make it work. I really need to learn how to use resin seems like a much better and smoother way to go.

Heres some up dates. Helmet as good as I'm going to get it shape wise. Made the belt but need to finish the pouches. Think I might have an idea on how to secure the shoulders.

IMG_3278.JPG wood filler on the helmet hoping this works as I'm running out of time.
IMG_3279.JPG couple coats on the armor so the is almost ready to go.
IMG_3280.JPG belt came together rather easily just cut out the foam and wrapped yellow vinyl around it.
IMG_3281.JPG Hot glued this together and will cover with one on the pouches. Shocked how easily this came together on the first try.


Well-Known Member
I've been wondering about using resin over wood filler. Wood filler is so easy to sand and if afterwards the resin holds it together it be worthwile.

the belt looks nice and clean. Are you planning on mounting it directly on the bottom of the armor?


New Member
I am in over drive right now trying to finish this thing but think I've got a good grasp on this where I can finish with out too much insanity. To answer the questions aboveBelt- so happy with how this came out. It will not be attached to the body armor it will sit just beneath it. I'm going to try and tuck it behind the main pouch to make it seem connectedHelmet- by far the biggest challenge. I've done chest armor befit but nothing I need to make round. I end up using the easter basket picture in a previous post as the mold. Wrapped plastic wraps around it followed by masking tape to make a pattern that I cut off and then traced the pattern on Eva foam. Then I just used contact cement to put it all together. Once together I tried filling the gaps from the cuts with wood filler. Not much luck there. I then tried spot putty from bondo and filled that but cause cracking in the bondo. I ended up covering that with the wood filler again with great success and then I used 2-3 total costs of Plasti dip and sprayed extra on the areas I had filled and that worked nicely. You'd have to look really close to spot where the cracks and cuts used to beSo here is the progress and what needs to be doneHelmet is in the primer stage right now so it is just paint and doneChest is almost finished. Just going to add some detailing on the creases to make them pop a little moreShoulders- re did the first and got both done and formed. Awaiting priming and then paint. Attaching them with an elastic band to the chest armor should area which will get covered by the cape. Allows for proper placement and flexibilityCape- still haven't made this but it will be fairly simple just have to measure he length and attach it to the chest armor around the neck pieceGrey clothes. Pants are made just need wait and sewed on. Then do the chest and arms. Muscle suit will be fiber sewed on cloth underneath to help keep the arm and leg bands in place. Likely to use Velcro to help keep in placeBelt- doneSonic gun- unlikely to do this unless I make considerable time tonight. Will post some update pictures tonight


New Member
I am nearly finished with the costume. Did the pants tried them on and all was well. Until I put on the leg foam to meet it bulkier. No fit so no good. Have to make an emergency run in the am to get more fabric and quickly redo the pants.

So head to toe here is the status and what i did.

Helmet- Done. for the eyes I took advice from another thread on here and took a laundry bag and used that for the eye. Overall I'm happy with the helmet but now see its a little uneven. Also one ear appears taller then the other. It works however so I'll live.
Chest Armor- Done. Second set of armor looked best and fits well
Neck band- Attached and looking good.
Shoulders- Finished and looking good and attached
Cape- I actually used my sewing machine to sew it to a thin piece of foam. Then hot glued the foam to the back of the armor and its holding really well and looking nice.
Shirt- I ended up using a shirt I have since I didn't want to attempt to sew that for the first time. Color a tad different but it will work.
Arm Bands- Complete
Arm Muscles- I ended up stuffing pillow cases with fiber filling and sewing it shut. Then sewing it together like an arm floaty. Worked like a charm
Arm Gauntlets- Done
Gloves- Done. Modified some lacrosse gloves
Belt- Hot glue wasn't the answer for the belt as I looked last night and saw that the buckle came off on end. Some gorilla glue and rubber bands later it is fixed and stronger then before.
Pants- Have to complete redo in a very limited amount of time.
Leg Bands- done
Leg Gauntlets done.
Shoes- just going to wear black slip on dress shoes.

IMG_3296.JPG Finally all the foam parts done
IMG_3297.JPG you can see where the mouth is its a little off. too late to fix. I need to get better at measuring this stuff out instead of going off of just look
IMG_3298.JPG The eyes using the laundry bag
IMG_3299.JPG I really like how the chest piece came out. the shoulders have attached well and the cape is looking good
IMG_3300.JPG the cape from behind

The con is Satuday for me and hope to have some good photos to see the final product.


New Member
I give you the finish product. I managed to fix the mouth on the helmet to even it out and got the pants redone in time. Overall was very happy with the how it came out. The foam I used for the chest didn't hold up on the paint by the arms and eventually rubbed off. Overall much better than my first attempts at armor and I'm anxious to see what my next version of this comes out like.

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