Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Hiatus'd

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brutuswayne

Active Member
After having a few days of rest after NYCC, I'm already feeling the itch to start working again. I did promise myself that I'd take at least 2 or 3 weeks to rest before I get cracking again. But, that doesn't mean I can't start planning out the costume and sourcing all the pieces I'll be buying as opposed to making!

So, the inspiration for this idea comes from a friend of mine who's been wanting to make a Female Steve Rogers (Stella Rogers) costume for a while. She got a start on an Age of Ultron suit for NYCC, but couldn't finish in time and pushed it back to a convention in February called Katsucon. We also have a bunch of other friends that had wanted to do genderswapped versions of the MCU Avengers (specifically Tony, Thor, and Bruce). Being one of their only male cosplay friends, I was immediately designated as the Male Black Widow for the group; the nickname we've given him is the Black Widower. I loved the idea, but the costume seemed too intimidating at the time. But, after completing the AoU Cap suit, I'm feeling bold enough to give this a shot. Starting from November I'll have about 3 months to get this done. I'm hoping that should be enough time as it doesn't seem like it will be as time-consuming or costly as the Cap suit due to a simpler color scheme and design (aside from props and accessories, those'll be intense).

After looking at the suit design from every angle, I've narrowed the amount of fabrics I'll need down to three kinds. The primary material will be black 2-way stretch pleather which I'll be hunting through NYC's fashion district to find one that has the stretch I need, but is still weighty enough to have a solid feel. I'll also be getting some black non-stretch pleather for certain things like the strips that run down the front of the legs, the detail panels on the shoulders, and any other pieces that have the triple topstitching design on it. My reason for mixing the two instead of using all stretch or all non-stretch is that while I'm confident in my patterning ability (especially since I'll be using McCall's new men's bodysuit pattern to make my mockup), I want there to be some room for forgiveness just for safety's sake. But at the same time, there are definitely sections that I want to be solid and maintain a consistent shape; like the shoulders, leg detailing, and bootcovers.

As for the third material...well, I'm actually still deciding on that. It will definitely be a non-stretch as it would be used for the textured panels that makeup the middle of the torso and the top of the arms, but I'll need to collect some sample options first before I decide. My kneejerk decision was black or dark grey cordura, but part of me thinks that may be TOO rigid for a suit like Black Widow's. I've also been thinking of using a black neoprene fabric as it has a mesh-like appearance and would be a pretty good contrast to the smooth pleather. A couple fabric stores nearby have a good selection of utility fabrics used for scuba suits and the like, so I'll also be looking through those to see what I find. I'll definitely be ordering a small amount of cordura regardless though to use for things like the belt and the short straps that hold the elbow/kneepads in place (want to use the cordura as a base and use some cuts of pleather as trim for the sides of the belts and straps to somewhat replicate the movie look).

Next is going to be the big challenge; electronics. I'll be running EL wire between the seams of the suit the same way they do in the movie; using a clear tubed EL wire with a plastic wrap that allows it to be sewn directly as opposed to channeling it through mesh piping. This will let me have the same red-lined look as the suit has in the movie do to the copper wire being visible when the lights are off. Still plotting out how exactly I'll run the lines to minimize the amount of power supplies I'll need, but right now it looks like I'll do it as two separate lines that each start down by the shin (letting me hide the power cell in the boot), running up the body, over the shoulder, down the upper back, and then back around underneath the suit to come down the arms. I also want to use LEDs to to light the kneepads, knuckles, and the widow-bites. I've never worked with electronics in costumes before so this is gonna be a trip. Thankfully, one of my friends who's much more experienced with electronics will be helping me out to get it all sorted.

And lastly, the accessories; Widow's utility belt, spider-bites, kneepads, gun, and batons. This is honestly the most intimidating part for me to tackle just because I'm really not the greatest prop-maker and my experience is really limited to foam and minimal resin-casting. I do plan to buy some pieces of this; hoping to get one of JJGriffin's Black Widow belt kits if he's still making them, the gun I'll be taking care of with a blue rubber training replica of the Glock 26 that I'll repaint black as I think all Glock 26 bb guns have been discontinued due to lawsuits from Glock. But, the spider-bites, kneepads, and batons are going to more or less be all me.

Jung Industries did a pep file for the spiderbites yesterday which I'll be using as a base to pattern mine out of craft foam, hopefully figuring out a way to carve channels for LEDs to shine through. But, to do the bullet-wristband, I'm going to turn to 3D-printing. I've had my eye on a Micro 3D Printer after a friend of mine picked one up for making smaller costume parts, and I'll be ordering one at the end of the month as a sort of birthday gift to myself. In my mind, the easiest way to do things like the bullet-wristband and kneepads that can support LED wiring is to 3D print them in a way so that they're designed to house lights and electronics. The same with the black sections of the batons, while I can use a length of clear plastic pipe with some lights in the base to make it glow, the easiest way to do the rest of the batons I think is to simply print them.

This also means that I'm going to have to teach myself how to model those pieces as well which I'm sure is going to be a long process of trial and error. If possible I actually want to print things like the bullet-wristband and kneepads with a clear filament. That way I can tape off the sections that the LEDs need to shine through, and paint the rest of them black as opposed to leave gaps and then attempting to cover each individual gap with a clear plastic of some sort. Whether or not that will actually work out that way is anyone's guess haha, but I've got friends more experienced with 3D modelling/printing than I am that've volunteered to to steer me in the right direction. As a fall back plan, if I do fail to properly model these pieces myself, I'll have to seek someone out that I can pay to do the modelling work so that I can print it at home.

A lot of this is still very up in the air as I only started plotting it all out about yesterday. But, I think I have a solid enough base plan to hit the ground running when November rolls in. This will definitely be challenging in the amount of new techniques and materials I'll be working with, but if I can make it even half as good as I'm imagining, it'll be worth it. But in the meantime, if you have any tips or advice on anything that I'll be tackling in this build PLEASE don't hesitate to say it! A well-thought out plan by an amateur is still a plan by an amateur after all, and part of the reason I made this thread now despite only being in the planning phase is in the hopes that if someone knows an easier way to do any of these things or sees a disastrous mistake in the plan, they'll point it out before it's too late :lol
 
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brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Just some more research/purchasing work I've been doing in regards to the gun. I noticed that Black Widow's Glock 26 actually has a grip extension, something the blue rubber training gun is lacking. I thought about seeing if there'd be a way to cut off the rubber section that makes up the bottom of the clip so that I could buy a cheap grip extension and glue it on, but I have a feeling that wouldn't come out looking too good. So, I went back to searching for a cheap airsoft that could match the look close enough and I found this.

http://www.hobbytron.com/AirsoftPistolGunSpringBCP698.html

It has the right shape, the grip extension, and it's cheap! It actually looks suspiciously like the discontinued CYMA P698 (P698 is even in the url if you look) despite it being listed as the CYMA Terminator 2 FPS-150. I have my suspicions that they've just changed the listing name as I've also seen other listings for "Terminator 2 FPS-150" and "Terminator 2 FPS-225" airsoft rifles that look like the CYMA P698, but I suppose I'll find out when it gets it.

As for the holster, I was able to track down the brand pretty quickly by just searching "glock 26 left-hand holster" on Amazon. The Blackhawk Serpa line of holsters popped up immediately and it was easy to tell for promo pics and pictures of the hot toys figure that Black Widow's holster definitely came from that line. It took a bit longer to figure out exactly which model (especially since I'm not experienced with molded holsters and didn't realize the look changes with the sizing). But, I'm pretty sure she's using a Blackhawk Serpa CQC Holster in Size 1 that's been unmounted from the paddle attachment. I've found a few listings for around $40-$50 bucks which is a bit pricey, but I'm a stickler for details so I figure why not throw in for it.

holster compare.jpg

The leg strap looks like the same kind that's used to attach the elbows and kneepads, so I'll just sew those myself as well. The strap and clip that are hanging it from the belt look like something I could piece together with some upholstery pleather and a 3D printed piece since the modelling on that should be simple (at least I hope it is). Alright, that's it for now; I've ordered the bodysuit pattern so that'll be coming in next week I hope. While I can't do any sewing of the real suit before November, I may as well throw together a quick bodysuit that I can draw my pattern onto. It'll probably be good for me too since I think NOT working on costumes is giving me stress tension in my neck haha
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Slow and steady update, although in a week or so I'll be cranking full-speed into sewing!

The bb gun from hobbytron arrived and I was right! I scrapped the box already, but it was one of UK Arms' P698 airsofts, a replica of the Glock 26. At some point I'll open it up to remove the guts and glue the trigger in place to make it con-safe, but this was definitely a lucky break considering pretty much all Glock-modeled airsofts have been discontinued.

12192980_10153072006792234_2125166410_o.jpg

I also did some very messy and rough sketches for the Widow Bite gauntlets. I'll be having someone else do the 3D modelling for me and printing the pieces myself. I've spoken to a few guys on the RPF facebook group and am just waiting for quotes back to decide who I go with. This'll cut down a lot of work for me since the modelling would probably take me much longer seeing as I don't have any experience with it. Then I can just print the pieces as I work on the suit and assemble, paint, and rig up the lights as the last part of the build. So for your entertainment, here's my sub-par artistic skills meant to illustrate what I tried explaining with just words before!

12185944_10153070000917234_1548534110_o.jpg 12176326_10153070000892234_1810505449_o.jpg 12181066_10153070000902234_1691030943_o.jpg 11747450_10153070000897234_311762788_o.jpg

I've also recieved the McCall's bodysuit pattern for men to make the mockup suit for patterning, so I'll sew that up next week once I get back from a con this weekend. Should also be receiving the Blackhawk Serpa holster that I ordered by then as well.
 

Timey Wimey

Active Member
Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

I don't know how I've not seen this thread until now. I immensely enjoyed your cap thread and I've planned on taking a lot of inspiration from Black Widow's AOU costume for my potential costumes. I wish I could help with what you want but I don't really know much. I haven't looked at the props but I do have some possible ideas for the costume. When I drew my Black Widow outline on a duct tape dummy I realised there where quite a few things I had to change. I'm sure you've taken this into account but there are a lot of elements designed to accentuate Black Widow's femininity in her costume. You'll need to reposition or remove altogether parts of the wiring and contrast in fabrics around the chest and buttocks. When I did it I just reshaped it but I'm thinking it'd make more sense to have the contrast and wire begin around the stomach for the torso and be disconnected from any shoulder contrast and wire, rather than going across the chest.
The pieces that have the same pattern as Caps helmet in the middle I would make stretch as well, and if you wanted to go all out, screen printed or puff painted. The only reason I can think not to do this would be having too much mobility might damage the wire. The wire in the film was fibre optic cable but I would personally go a bit less screen accurate with the wire and make it wider and possibly even use a contrast fabric instead of lighting altogether. Some reason I think that would be more aesthetically pleasing on a man but I gather you want to go a lot more screen accurate than I wanted so maybe don't heed my advice. I'd also consider using a lot of concept art for inspiration on how to modify. I prefer the legs of the Civil War concepts for Black Widow and some of the Collars and extra contrast in colour with fabric rather than wire in the AOU art book.
 
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brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

I don't know how I've not seen this thread until now. I immensely enjoyed your cap thread and I've planned on taking a lot of inspiration from Black Widow's AOU costume for my potential costumes. I wish I could help with what you want but I don't really know much. I haven't looked at the props but I do have some possible ideas for the costume. When I drew my Black Widow outline on a duct tape dummy I realised there where quite a few things I had to change. I'm sure you've taken this into account but there are a lot of elements designed to accentuate Black Widow's femininity in her costume. You'll need to reposition or remove altogether parts of the wiring and contrast in fabrics around the chest and buttocks. When I did it I just reshaped it but I'm thinking it'd make more sense to have the contrast and wire begin around the stomach for the torso and be disconnected from any shoulder contrast and wire, rather than going across the chest.
The pieces that have the same pattern as Caps helmet in the middle I would make stretch as well, and if you wanted to go all out, screen printed or puff painted. The only reason I can think not to do this would be having too much mobility might damage the wire. The wire in the film was fibre optic cable but I would personally go a bit less screen accurate with the wire and make it wider and possibly even use a contrast fabric instead of lighting altogether. Some reason I think that would be more aesthetically pleasing on a man but I gather you want to go a lot more screen accurate than I wanted so maybe don't heed my advice. I'd also consider using a lot of concept art for inspiration on how to modify. I prefer the legs of the Civil War concepts for Black Widow and some of the Collars and extra contrast in colour with fabric rather than wire in the AOU art book.

Haha well it hasn't been the most active thread yet to be fair! Should be kicking into full gear next week though, and thank you! As for the more 'feminine' designs, I can definitely see where you're coming from but I actually disagree! I think that Black Widow's outfit as it is, aside from the boob-armor seams, is fairly unisex in design. While the suit was definitely tailored to match her figure, the EL Wire cleverly disguises the fact that those seams are more or less just princess seams meant to add dimension to the suit. Men's clothing more often features seams on the sides and back with at most darts being placed at the front, but those seamlines can more or less remain in the same general place I think. To better explain, this is a picture of the sewn-up bodysuit for the pattern I'm using:

bodysuit.jpg

If you look closely, the fabric separations and seamlines are more or less the same as Black Widow's! It has been adjusted to fit a man's body better, but that's more a function of where those seams naturally lie as opposed to being super different. It's all about shaping the suit to the body in the most flattering way :) I'll probably drawn mine a bit closer into the center of the body just so that the fabric panels in the middle aren't so wide, but it's essentially the same method.

I agree with you though about trying to find a textured fabric that's stretched. Screen-printing and puff painting are out for me as both would take up time I don't really have (3 months is still a fairly tight schedule for me). But, I'm looking into embossed and textured neoprene fabrics for those sections and failing that, using black 500D cordura. Either of those fabrics would give enough stability to prevent damage to the EL Wire without making it overly stiff. There's also going to be sections of the suit made with a non-stretch pleather as well, specifically things like the shoulder sections, to act as stabilizing points and to make it easier to do the triple topstitching that are on parts of it. And yeah as you said I am trying to go as screen accurate as possible since her AoU design is my favorite she's had so far and it'll be a fun challenge. But, thank you anyway for your suggestions! I appreciate wanting to help, and talking about what I'm trying to do and why I'm doing it that way definitely helps solidify the concept in my head! :)
 

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ReverendCasey

New Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Hahaha! I just looked at your name and realized I'm coincidentally one of your IG followers. You always do great work man! Looking forward to seeing this idea come to fruition.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Hahaha! I just looked at your name and realized I'm coincidentally one of your IG followers. You always do great work man! Looking forward to seeing this idea come to fruition.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Oh wow! Well thanks for following man, glad you enjoy what I do :)
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Back from the con, re-energized and ready to get cracking on this! Starting the clock and I've got about 3 and a half months to get this done. I've decided to build the suit from the boots up for reasons that will hopefully make sense as I go, so first step will be patterning the boot covers. But first, want to show off the holster that came in for the gun! It got to my mailbox right before I hit the road for AUSA, so of course I had to rip it out of the package and the bb fits like a glove! And it's always nice to have one less thing to worry about. I have tomorrow off-work for election day, so I'm gonna try and knock the pattern out for the boots tomorrow so I can get them sewn up ASAP!

12194447_10153082107522234_208525213_o.jpg 12194331_10153082107487234_404694646_o.jpg
 

Fly4v

Sr Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Interesting premise! In not time at all you will be the one man Team Avengers.
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Interesting premise! In not time at all you will be the one man Team Avengers.

Yeah I think it'll be a fun way to stretch my creative muscles! One of my favorite things to do is design genderbend cosplays, I've done them in the past with Disney princesses. But, this'll be the first time where the initial design really doesn't need much changing other than fitting a male body instead of a female body! And if it weren't for my lackluster craft foam skills, there'd probably be an Iron Man and Thor cosplay in the future too haha.
 

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Fly4v

Sr Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Thor armor should be pretty simple.
But I hear you about a foam armor build, I'd love to have an Iron Patriot to go with my Cap stuff but I doubt I could do the character justice.
 

Inferno77

New Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Thanks for posting this. I am currently in the planning stages of a Black Widow for my wife and a Captain America for myself. Any ideas on how you will do BW's rubberized shield symbol?
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Re: Genderbend Black Widow (Age of Ultron)-Planning Stage

Thanks for posting this. I am currently in the planning stages of a Black Widow for my wife and a Captain America for myself. Any ideas on how you will do BW's rubberized shield symbol?

Do you mean the SHIELD logos that were on his shoulders? Because Widow hasn't had those on her suit since the first Avengers movie, so I won't be making those. If you need/want them for your wifes suit though, my suggestion would be to make the logos out of craft foam, then use that to make a mold so you can make casted-rubber versions of the logos. Those would be easy enough to epoxy onto a suit!

Also, sorry to everyone for not posting any actual build work yet, getting back into the swing of things is tough (still recovering from the work I did for the Cap suit to be honest haha), but hopefully I'll have something to show in a few days!
 

brutuswayne

Active Member
Hey all, just wanted to post this for anyone that wanted to follow this thread. This projects actually being put on hiatus for a while as everyone else in the genderbend group wants to hold off for now due to time/cost restraints. I'll start updating this whenever the project picks back up, but in the meantime I'll be doing a slow-paced Arkham Knight Red Hood DLC build to as a way to practice my sewing more and to get acclimated to 3D printing and modelling. So if you see a thread pop up in the DC boards in the next few weeks, that'll be me
 

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