Home Features Building the ultimate Batman cosplay – Part 2: The classic armour

Building the ultimate Batman cosplay – Part 2: The classic armour

4 min read
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The mark of any great character is just how recognisable they are through nothing more than their silhouette. That one shape, that defines their personality through the absence of light alone. If you’re looking to strike out into the cosplay scene and portray a certain caped crusader, you know exactly what I’m talking about here, as Batman’s core design is one that works best in the shadows.

Seeing all that armour up close though? That’s kind of priceless. So where do you even begin with such a project if you’re looking to assemble the parts? With numerous films, costumes and actors over the years, it can be a daunting task to find the right outfit. Let’s focus on the classic films then, the Batman movies that defined the modern era of superhero action. Those films include:

  • Batman
  • Batman Returns
  • Batman Forever
  • Batman & Robin

And now for a word of warning: BE PREPARED TO SUFFER. The classic Keaton, Kilmer and Clooney costumes are infamous for being tortorous costumes, portable saunas that can be properly deadly if you aren’t prepared for the baking heat that they produce. For the love of all that is holy, remember to hydrate and have a friend close by if you plan to wear one of these costumes. The costumes themselves come in a variety of flavours to choose from.

You have the original 1989 costume in all of its stiff glory, the more industrial suit worn in Batman Returns and the Panther suit that made rubber nipples a thing in Batman Forever. Batman & Robin essentially recycled the Panther suit, albeit with a bluer tint added to the costume. Between the standard Batman costumes, Batman Forever also introduced the Sonar suit while Batman & Robin took that endgame outfit and recoloured it for the showdown with Mr Freeze as an ice-proof ensemble.

Here’s a breakdown on who has what for sale:

Batman 1989 armour parts

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ASDivision and GauntletFX have what’s considered to be the best in the business and most accurate 89 armour parts out there, with sets made up of torso, legs, calves and forearm parts.

Batman Returns armour parts

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ASDivision has the armour planned for production eventually, but for now the best place to source it is a generic front facade suit from Artsee1. Be warned, the latex armour favours a taller build of cosplayer.

Batman Forever

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This one is kind of tricky. The Batman Forever armour seems to have largely fallen out of favour over the years, with parts from Gauntlet FX and Inferno Designs being prized amongst dedicated cosplay collectors. There is some hope though! Iconic FX appears to be in Batman Forever game, so hit that shop up to get details on a possible run of that armour. Xtreme Design FX may also be worth having a look at, for armour that is similar to Batman Forever although not 100% accurate as it has zero nipples to make fun of.

Batman Forever Sonar suit

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The pickings may be slim, but there is a chance that the lone artist in the sonar costume game may have the best armour ever conceived. Iconic FX has been teasing some of the sharpest and smoothest sonar armour I’ve ever seen, so hopefully, a run of the stuff will be on the way soon. Check out his Instagram for a sneak peek at some gorgeous rubber armour that deserves a whole lot more love.

Batman & Robin

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Same story as Batman Forever here, as artists interested in making accurate replicas of the Clooney armour have seemingly vanished into the ether. What a pity, as Clooney’s film may be fantastic for all the wrong reasons but his costume was still an absolute masterpiece of cinematic design.

The Undersuit

Once you have all the parts, you’ll need an undersuit to glue them onto! The go-to method for these specific Batman costumes is to use a Neoprene undersuit, essentially a wet suit to troop around in for a day. Bear in mind they are stiflingly hot, but that’s the price of cosplay accuracy. Alternatively, LaTelaDiJu on Etsy sells an undersuit which looks fantastic. It’s thin enough to allow your body to breathe, it has a great shine to it and the various materials even allow for some flexibility. Not a bad deal at all!

And that’s it for the classic armour! Tune in next week when we take a look at more modern armour, perfect for Batman Begins and Dark Knight fans!

In case you missed it:

So you want to create the ultimate Batman costume for cosplay – Part 1: The Cowl

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Last Updated: January 16, 2020


  1. Son of Banana Jim

    January 16, 2020 at 15:00

    Speaking of etsy, I really miss the now defunct regretsy blog. I still chuckle at the thought of all those horrible and funny homemade crafts…


  2. Admiral Chief

    January 16, 2020 at 15:16

    So, more pads to absorb moisture?


    • The D

      January 16, 2020 at 15:41

      Actually, yes! Because of the nature of the classic rubber costumes, you don’t have much mobility in your arms so some guys have added underarm pads there for all of the moisture that these suits generate.


  3. BradeLunner

    January 17, 2020 at 12:26

    This market is so much bigger than I knew


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