Hi, I'm new to costume builds so where to begin?


New Member
The title says it all pretty much. I've been admiring all the stuff people have been building on this website for a while now, and a good costume costs WAY too much (I paid 1200 for my Darth Vader costume). I figured I'd give it a go. I'm in college trying to get an art major so I'm not bad with an airbrush, certain construction methods, etc. So now, I'm asking everyone here, where should I start? Am I supposed to start small and easy or dive right in? As far as what I'd like to eventually build, the sky is pretty much the limit, especially if there's a way to profit. Alot of my friends are willing to pay a good bit for certain costumes.

Here's a small list, let me know if any of these are easier than the others...

Armor/full costumes:

Iron Man (Mark III)
Master Chief Mark VI (Halo)
Batman, any except Adam West's
COG armor (Lancer included)
Captain America
Shepard's N7 Armor (Mass Effect)
Ultimate Thor's armor
Magneto (at least the helmet from first class)

Guns/handheld items

The gizmos and gadgets from above, but above all else either Malcolm Reynolds' gun from Firefly, or Han Solo's DL-44 blaster from Episode IV.

Again, I don't know where to start. Money isn't exactly tight for me, I just want a really well done costume. I understand projects of this magnitude can be frustrating and I might not even get something finished, but I want to try. Can/Does anybody want to help?

Also, the molds I see people making (with bolts in it) look like it's made with resin and fiberglass am I right? I'm in sculpture II right now and I've only made casts with plaster, 100% silicone, and alginate. I'm trying to find an example and will post it when I find it.

Thanks in advance!


Well-Known Member
hey stig,
first of all: welcome!

i'm a long-time lurker here in the costume-area, but haven't done that much, so i can't really tell you what is easier or more difficult to make, but i guess even i can give you some advice.

first of all you should be aware of your abilities: ironman and shepard's n7 armor can best be made out of eva-foam, just like the armor of (at least some of) batman-costumes. that's more or less cutting out the patterns and gluing them together, which means that these are easy to start with)

other costumes (for example captain america) include more sewing and stuff like that, so if you are not very good with the sewing machine, this isn't something i would recommend starting with.

my advice: use the search-function and gather ideas. i've seen tons of ironman and batman costumes here, some following the same methods, some spreading in new ideas, so depending on which method you follow, it will be easier or more difficult. i can't remember seeing lots of n7 armors here, but volpin did one and showed it in his blog

also, you can find great ideas with the search function that will help you to cut some work short. for example i remember someone here who took a boba fett helmet and modified it to a magneto-helmet. turned out great.

i hope this helped you (and i also hope that you will get more qualified answers :lol), and good luck with your costumes!
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