(this post comes from the drawing table . . . or should that be fabricating table? . . . of Bob Kieffer, pictured above, who made some absolutely fantastic cosplay for Paul Pope’s graphic novel Battling Boy! Here he shows the costume creation in process.)
This was the first piece I started work on . . . Battling Boy’s dad’s helmet. I decided I wanted to try a scratch build out of foam. I watched some videos online to get my bearings and then went after it. I was pretty happy with how this turned out. The photos don’t really show it, but it is IMMENSE . . . as it should be. The next step would be to fashion a face plate and those insane “horns” on the side. The good thing about this is, as big as it is, it’s fairly lightweight.
This is my pattern/template for the face plate and horns for Battling Boy’s dad’s helmet. I was using a much thinner foam here that, after cutting it out and holding in place, just didn’t have the sturdiness I was looking for. My next move will probably be to obtain a thermoplastic of some sort and fashion this part out of that. It’s more rigid and can be heated and molded into almost any shape I want. Once that’s all said and done, everything will get a layer of Plasti-Dip to seal the pores on the foam, then a layer of primer, then the paint.
This is the scale mail vest that Battling Boy’s dad wears. I had a buddy who specializes in dye-sublimated body suits work up this design for me and then had it printed. Everything you see here was printed right onto the lycra by a giant printer. It even has a very light muscle shading to it to…help me out in the areas that need a little help. Ha! Sleeves will be removed so that it’s more of a tank top and better-represents the artwork.
I had another buddy of mine work up the iconic shoulder badges that both Battling Boy and his dad wear as 3D renderings which he then printed, finished up, and created silicone molds from for me. Two sizes – large and small. I then poured the resin and, while they were still hot and curing, removed them from the molds and held them over a basketball as they cooled, so that they’d obtain that domelike shape. Each one was then hand-painted. I used a gold-tinted acrylic that has a FANTASTIC color to it. I tried to paint the gold sections so that they’d look like brushed metal. I think they turned out perfect.
Battling Boy’s dad’s boots were another challenge. I wanted them to be tall and, if not actually made out of leather, to look like it. I used a wet-look spandex so that they’d be lightweight, comfortable, cool, and form-fitting. Basically attached them to a thicker-soled work shoe that I’d removed most of the upper from to give them a boot-like appearance.
Battling Boy’s belt pods. Small furniture sliders spray painted gold. Yup! Works for me!
Battling Boy’s gauntlets and belt complete. My son has tiny little wrists. Making these was challenging. It’s just brown marine-grade vinyl with various sections glued together. I wanted it to have a little more mass than just a single piece of vinyl. The embellishments were buttons that I happened upon at a fabric store. I think they’re perfect. Everything will fasten together with velcro, which I’ll add later.
This is all the stuff I got this morning for Battling Boy’s iconic cape. This is actually the piece I’m MOST hesitant to make. It’s such a glorious piece and seems to have this regal look about it. I know I’m up to the task, but I’m just not sure how I’m going to go about it.
(In conclusion: we think everything looks amazing!)