How to Make a Real Batman Suit

Written by patrick stothers kwak
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Unless your parents left you with a billion-dollar conglomerate and a psyche full of angst, chances are you won't be donning a Batman suit and storming your city's seedy underbelly anytime soon. Let's say, on the other hand, that you are a middle-class comic book enthusiast with a couple of thousand dollars to spend and a Bruce Wayne complex. Shouldn't there be a Batman suit for you, too?

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Kevlar vest
  • Kevlar groin-protector
  • Cowl
  • Undersuit/Oversuit
  • Black Combat Boots
  • Cape and/or wingsuit
  • Utility Belt

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Instructions

    Get into Character

  1. 1

    Construct an outer armour shell. Batman's armour protects him from stray bullets, explosive blasts and the odd confrontation with cats. According to the Christopher Nolan Batman universe, Bruce Wayne fashioned his bat-suit out of multiple pieces of Kevlar and titanium-dipped Kevlar. Since most of us don't have access to a weapons division headed by a sympathetic Morgan Freeman character, we will have to find a more budget-friendly solution. Kevlar is the lightest and strongest option available to most consumers. Acquire a Kevlar vest, which can be found online for about £325, and a Kevlar groin protector, which will run you about £71. Make sure they are both black.

  2. 2

    Put together your Batman cowl. Here, you essentially have to options: go for an accurate costume replica or a more real-life approach. If you are looking for an authentic Batman cowl, avoid the licensed ones as the quality tends to be very poor. Instead try to find one made by a professional sculptor or costumier. These can be found online and can run anywhere between £65 to £650. The more real-world option would be to purchase a fire-retardent, swat-style Nomex hood (in black, of course). This will cost approximately £19 online and will certainly draw less attention to you than the traditional pointy-eared cowl.

  3. 3

    Acquire a black under/over suit. Replica costumes use neoprene or lycra under-suits on top of which latex armour pieces are glued. These may capture the look of the Batman costume as it appears on screen, but will offer very little in the way of protection and, further, will be very hot and uncomfortable. The better bet is to go with athletic body suits like the Under Armour tactical long-sleeved crew (about £32 online). Not only does the fabric stretch and breath, it will keep you aspiring caped-crusaders warm on those cold Gotham nights. If so desired, a Batman logo can be painted on the chest of the bodysuit.

  4. 4

    Select appropriate footwear. Batman spends a lot of time jumping from building to building, scaling walls and chasing down bad guys. Agility and traction are key, as is foot and toe protection. Try to find something akin to G.I.-type jungle combat boots (in black, obviously). These can be found online for around £19.

  5. 5

    Select a cape or gliding apparatus. An essential feature of Batman's cape in all incarnations of the franchise is the ability to glide from great heights. In the Chris Nolan Batman series, Bruce Wayne used a material called "memory cloth," capable of taking on various shapes by using electrical currents to realign the cape's molecules. While this does not exist, there are real-life options available. Students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv claim to have invented a working bat-suit capable of gliding. According to the students, this allows a trained pilot to glide with arms spread apart (as Batman would), but puts considerable strain on the upper-body. Therefore, only extremely fit individuals are capable of using this technology. Another option would be to use a wingsuit (essentially a jumpsuit that resembles a flying squirrel). By using a wingsuit, in combination with a parachute, individuals are able to glide from tall structures (including buildings) for many miles before deploying their parachute. If you are not an Israeli pilot or a trained base-jumping enthusiast, you will most likely want to forgo the gliding function of Batman's cape and go with a simple cape made of fire-retardent polysatin fabric. Large sheets of fire-retardant fabrics are commercially available and can be cut into the desired shape before being fastened to the armour or bodysuit.

  6. 6

    Purchase a utility belt. These are relatively easy to find at an surplus or police store or online. The various magazine and ammo pouches can be used for whatever gadgets and bat-shaped shurikens you wish to carry.

Tips and warnings

  • This Batman suit is intended as a realistic substitute for a retail Batman costume, not as a suit for actual vigilantism. Taking on actual criminals in a homemade costume is extremely dangerous and do not attempt it. Moreover, do not attempt to use any kind of gliding apparatus unless properly trained in its use by professionals.

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