I am a huge fan of the art style in the Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games and have been wanting to do a costume from them for a very long time. I may, some day, make a Batman in that style, but for now, I was more than pleased to try and tackle the Arkham City Robin. It challenged both my creative skills and my fitness level!
Photo by Nate Zimmer.
The most challenging part of this costume was the mask. I’ve never made a face hugging prosthetic like this before, so I had to do some learning to figure it out. I started by making a casting of my own head with plaster bandages (I had helpers).
From that I was able to cast a plastic copy of my face. It was pretty rough, since the plaster isn’t really detailed, but I was able to sand it down nicely and use it as a base for sculpting my Robin domino mask.
The mask was sculpted using a non-drying, non-sulfuric modeling clay. This was very similar to my Handsome Jack mask sculpt. I took my time with this, trying really hard to get it nice and smooth, as well as symmetrical. To smooth it, I rubbed it with isopropyl alcohol a whole bunch.
Next I had to mold this thing. I used Smooth-On’s Rebound 25. It was done in several steps to get a good skin of rubber on it and then add registration keys later. Then the front got a Plasti-Paste jacket mold.
Next I pulled the front mold off of the plastic face form. As luck would have it, the clay came right off the form and stayed in the mold. This was huge. Because of this, I had very little issue molding the back of the mask!
Casting the mask was pretty tricky. I used a urethane rubber resin and it is rather viscous while in it’s liquid state. I did some test casts that didn’t go so great, but I ended up with a bit of a jury rigged injection molding process. I drilled two holes into the back of the mask; one to pour resin in and one as an air vent. Then I put a bunch of eye droppers into the liquid resin to suck up the material. One at a time, I inserted the eye droppers into the pouring hole and injected the resin into the mold. I repeated this until resin came out of the air vent. This way I was very sure that there were no air bubbles in the mold!
The belt was another complicated piece. I wanted to duplicate the game model, but I wasn’t concerned with the pouches being functional. I decided to model and cast the buckle and pouches from plastic. They were shaped from pieces of PVC Foam plastic and cast in silicone for molding!
The finished pieces were cast from polyurethane plastic resin. I used a yellow tint in the resin so that the pieces wouldn’t need to be painted. The result was pretty damn close to the source material.
After casting and weathering the belt pieces, I attached them all to a 2″ wide strip of nylon webbing. The plastic pieces were attached via screws. Also attached to the webbing was a buckle clip for easy adjustment and removal.
For the shirt, I tried to make my own shirt from scratch. It was a total disaster and all photo evidence of it has been destroyed. I ended up going with a plain red, athletic compression shirt. I stretched the shirt over a plaster casting that I have of my torso and painted it to resemble the in-game character’s shirt/armor.
For the painting, I drew in guide lines freehand with a fabric marker.
Once everything was laid out, I used my airbrush to paint in the rest of the details. This actually went pretty quickly and I was very pleased with the results. The highlights were done with a gold paint pen. Some of the “damaged” bits were brushed on fabric paint. I also used that technique to cover the Nike Shwoosh on the upper chest.
The “R” on the chest was done much like the belt pieces. It was cut from PVC foam sheets, molded and then cold cast with brass powder so that I could give it a nice, shiny polish.
The forearm and boot armor bits were all made from EVA foam floor mats. The technique here was identical to my N7 Defender armor build. The foam parts were heated with a heat gun and formed over a large PVC pipe.
For the boots, I made foam coverings for a pair of boots that I already owned. The gloves were shop gloves from Harbor Freight that I cut the finger tips off of. With the pieces assembled, everything got some touch up weathering paint.
The weapon is hand down the easiest prop I’ve ever made. It’s a stick. I built it from two pieces of dowel and a PVC pipe. Then I painted lines on it. Done.
The last thing I made was the hood and cape. It’s all one piece, sewn from one piece of black and one piece of yellow cloth. It took me a lot of trial, error, and swearing to get it to fit properly, but it eventually came together. It attaches at the throat with a snap.
That’s it! All done! I wore this get-up to Emerald City Comic Con a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit! I high-fived at least 30 other Robins. Win!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.