HOW TO BUILD A JUDGE DREDD COSTUME
BY KEVIN GOLDSMITH
Now that I had finished building the costume (phew!) all I had to do was paint it, and this proved to be just as problematic!
As styrene plastic and Humbrol paints were well known to me, I decided to use Humbrol for as many colours as I could. In the end the only non-Humbrol colour that I used was Plasti-cote Gold, in spray can form. Apparently you can get it in small cans for about £1, but all I could get from my local Homebase was a large version for nearly £6 - bummer! The Humbrol colours that I used were coal black-85, aluminium-56, satin u.s. compass grey-128, gloss white-22, silver fox-11, gold- 16, gloss varnish-35 and matt varnish-49.
I started with the upper armour. I was going to airbrush for a better overall finish, but after running a test I found that the paint scraped off too easily, so I decided to use a standard brush so that the paint would go on thicker.
Using the 'Making Of' book as a guide, as well as the video (one thing that the video told me was that the three overlapping plates that go down to the bottom of Dredd's back are gloss grey), I painted the armour, leaving the gold areas until last. Once I had masked off everything I sprayed on the gold. I put on three coats in all. The results were superb. Trouble was, that once I had removed the masking I found that the spray gets everywhere (!), especially the dry dust! Once I had got the dust off, I had to repaint some areas of the black, grey and aluminium.
Note: In future spray the gold on first, then add the other colours. This would have been a bloody sight easier and quicker!
For the six gold pieces on the bottom rear of the armour, I tried an old trick. I sprayed on a sheet of newspaper (the same area) for several seconds to form a puddle. Trouble was the paint had gone all thin and 'watery', so in the end I had to paint these areas in Humbrol.
I then added the underarm straps to the armour. I could not do these previously because no doubt they would be daubed in spray and paint and got messy. The right strap was not meant to move, and with the left one, the front section holds in place at the front with Velcro.
For the gauntlets and arm armour I painted everything except the gold areas satin black. This required two coats. For the stitching on the gauntlets and the six belts, I was going to use black leather dye, but at $2 a go, and the fact that (based on personal experience) the stuff takes weeks to dry, despite what it says on the bottle, I decided to use black marker pens, the 'bullet tip' variety. This method worked out extremely well, and I soon had the gauntlets and armour finished.
For the belt, the eagle emblem was sprayed separately, and the metal bits that held the gun holster were masked off and sprayed as well. The straps were blackened with a marker.
The crotch guard and plates were given two coats of aluminium-56. The lowest plate was removed from the guard so that the entire guard could be painted. Once this was dry, the lower plate was replaced and the six small areas painted with Humbrol gold.
The gun holster straps were also blackened with a marker, and the holster was painted satin black: one coat for the inside, which could hardly be seen; and two for the outside.
The gun was given 2 coats of matt black-33. The entire weapon was painted except for the trigger area and the bottom of the handle. The upper barrel end was silver fox-11 as per the picture in the 'Making Of' book.
I was planning to do the kneepads with a marker pen, but the idea did not work out, so I had to buy a bottle of black leather dye at £2.55. Two coats soon sorted the pads out.
The shin guards were sprayed gold and the straps blackened using the marker pen method. I also made a change to the straps themselves. I had had a bit of difficulty pulling the things up and down my legs, so using some bra-strap clasps that I managed to scrounge up (2 for each strap - 12 in all), I first of all sewed pieces of webbing to the ends of the straps and then sewed the clasps to these.
For the straps that hold the pieces of leather in place on the boots, I again used the marker pen method.
The backs of the heel pieces were done with Humbrol gold, and the toecaps were two coats of aluminium.