Dawn of Justice Superman - Budget Build

Discussion in 'DC Costumes and Props' started by djd585, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    Hi folks, I have decided to try to make the new Superman costume before London Comicon next summer (so I have plenty of time to get it finished), but I want to try to do this as cheaply as possible. So I have started with the chest symbol and I think this has worked ok. Here is how I made this:

    Cut a template using thin card.


    Traced this onto craft foam.


    Using a Sharpie I drew the pattern on the foam - this is the most important part. As you can see my pattern is quite inconsistent. If I were to make another I would put a lot more time into this.


    I then used a soldering iron to carve into the foam everywhere except where I had drawn.


    After a few hours (with breaks) I ended up with this. The heat from the soldering iron bends the thin foam so I used a heat gun to lightly heat it enough to flattern it back out.

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    I then glued this to another sheet of craft foam and cut around the outer edge (leaving a border to match the design on the new suit). I used a few books to hold the sheets together whilst the glue dried.

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    A few coats of watered down wood glue to seal the foam, and then I began painting. First I used a dark red mixed with silver and bronze in the hope of making a red with a slight metalic colouring, but it mostly just looked dark red so I then used gold paint to highlight the raised areas.

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    Again my hope was that this would allow some of the gold to show through the top layer of lighter red which I then drybrushed onto the piece. However in order to get an even coat it ended up being too thick for the gold to show through in most places (though there are still hints of it in places).

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    I had originally intended to remove the foam from the middle parts in order to allow the suit fabric to show through underneath, but I changed my mind as I was not certain I could do this at this stage without damaging what I had already done. So instead I used puff paint to paint the pattern into the gaps. Unfortunately this was my first time using puff paint (I would recommend doing a test piece first) so the pattern was very uneven and in most places barely puffed at all.


    I then painted the gold which currently has not done a great job of covering the dark blue puff paint. Maybe a lighter coloured puff paint would have been easier to cover with the gold (do they make gold puff paint?), but it is only from some angles that this is obvious (I have tried to take photos showing it both ways).

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    I will add more gold in order to try to cover the blue more thoroughly, and I need to add some supreglue in a few places where the two layers are not perfectly stuck together, but all in all I am quite happy with it.

    Admittedly, I had a soldering iron, and most of the paints available already, but one sheet of A3 craft foam was enough for this (£0.80), the puff paint was £2.00, so I was able to make this for the total cost of £2.80.


    It is far from perfect and not screen accurate but more time on the pattern and with the soldering iron would have helped with this. All in all I like it. I ordered a navy blue spandex suit off ebay the other week which has just arrived today so that will be my next step. Updates might be slow though as I want to do more tests with puff paint before I ruin my suit.

    Any feedback or advice anyone has would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
    NOMAD202, Vlair, JPH and 3 others like this.
  2. Bogleo

    Bogleo Well-Known Member

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  3. brucebatman

    brucebatman Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great work!!
  4. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words guys. I have been working on a muscle suit to go under the spandex.


    It still needs lots more work but I am happy with it so far. Here are photos of me with and without the musle suit (without on the left and with on the right).

    20150906_205326.jpg 20150906_205054.jpg

    It isn't a huge difference but I think it still looks relatively natural so far. I intend to try covering the foam pieces in chrome tape and seeing if that helps the muscle layer look a little more defined. I have also touched up the puff paint layer on the emblem and will repaint the gold over that, so will add a little more progress soon.

    Thanks again for reading.
  5. jeasan

    jeasan New Member

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    wow that is awesome...man looking forward for your built!!
  6. Moonix

    Moonix New Member

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    The amount of detail you're putting on this costume is outstanding! Great work, looking forward to see more progress!
  7. Sunsetgrey

    Sunsetgrey New Member

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    Really really cool! Any updates?
  8. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    Sorry for the very slow updates. I actually have a small update to share as I have been trying to paint some details onto the suit. First I built half of a duct tape dummy.

    Then I started painting the muscles in. I've just been using watered down acrylic black and applying with a sponge brush, gradually building up the darkness.


    Still needs some more work but I think I'm getting there. As always I would really appreciate feedback.
  9. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    So I got a little more painting on the suit.
    2016-01-20 21.05.11.jpg

    Attached Files:

    creative stress likes this.
  10. Speedtospare

    Speedtospare New Member

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    looking good so far!
  11. Dreddful

    Dreddful Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool!
  12. topdog2805

    topdog2805 New Member

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    Do you have the patterns for the muscles
  13. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    Sorry I don't have the patterns for the muscles. I looked at pictures of the muscle suit from Man of Steel and then just standard anatomy pictures to see how the muscles should look and then pretty much made something up. The Man of Steel muscle suit is not anatomically correct and it is a different design again for the Dawn of Justice suit so it gives you a little creative freedom.

    Plus I think the biggest thing about a muscle suit is making work with your body type. As I carry more weight around my middle I'm worried the ab muscles will stick out more so a solution to this could be making the chest thicker and the abs thinner to hide this. (I'm currently playing around with this idea along with telling myself I'll work out more - we'll see which works out lol).

    If you wanted to try a muscle suit the same way I did though the photo above is pretty flat so the shape would just need to be enlarged accordingly. Let me know if you need any more help :)
  14. topdog2805

    topdog2805 New Member

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    Do you have the basic patterns for the suit? Been looking everywhere but no luck..thanks in advance
  15. djd585

    djd585 New Member

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    No sorry I just used a blue morph suit and will be altering the collar and using puff paint to add the texture. It is a longer process but so far it is working out ok and I'm hoping it adds a lot more detail to the overall look.

    And even though it takes longer the morph suit only cost £20 so it is way cheaper than a printed one would cost.
    PropReplicator2 likes this.

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