Hellboy Build


I got started late with Hellboy.  I really liked the Del Toro movies and have gotten a little bit in to the Mignola comic books...meaning I have like 3/4 of them and have read maybe 1/4!

When I saw Adam Savage do Hellboy, I knew that I just had to put one together.  "Big Red" is such and awesome character and has such a fantastic, unique look - I was a little scared of tackling this.  But, I just dove in and - again - figured that if I could get the head right, I'd be able to pull this thing off.

I figured that some sort of latex would be weird and I saw nothing online that looked very good.  I found some folks had basically made an EVA foam helmet - Adam Savage had one commissioned - so I decided to pursue that option.

I started off with the standard Evil Ted helmet pattern and modified the front to close it up and give me a base for the face.  I used some floor mats to make the basic helmet.


Modified Evil Ted pattern with face drawn on.
Drawing on the front with a sharpie helped me to map out all the shapes.  I made use of a ton of previous folks' work I saw on the web -- too many to mention individually -- just do a search and you'll find some great work out there!


I used various thicknesses of EVA foam for the eyebrows, cheekbones, nose and upper portion of the face.  I built out the top and figured that I could chop off the bottom later to add in the lower jaw.


Three layers of the somewhat thinner floor mats make up the horns.  I use Alex Caulk to fill in, as it is flexible and relatively sandable.  I use some water on my finger to thin it out and spread it around.


I added in another bit to lengthen the face, which I later removed (big mistake!).


I mapped out the scars with sharpie and glued on some thin craft foam for the soul patch.


The lamb chops are 1/4" foam.  I used some craft paper to map out a pattern and cut two versions.



Smoothed out and primed.  This looks pretty good, but - spoiler alert - I think it ended up a little too "Iron Giant" looking.


Big Red's mug painted with a base coat of red.



For the eyes, I just purchased some of those cheap wrap-around sunglasses and took out the lenses.  A little glue and there ya go!


For the Right Hand of Doom, I used layers of cheap floor mat to make the basic shapes.


I put this cross piece of foam in for me to hold on to.  I chose to make the hand come off for ease of transport.  I started by making a circle that would become a cylinder that would fit inside the RHoD forearm.


Here, I am just using 1/4" EVA foam to get the basic shap of the hand.


I began the thumb by hand - I didn't have any templates or anything, just worked it out.


I used a soldering iron and my dremel to make the shapes on the RHoD.  I drew everything out with a sharpie first, then got to work.  Be careful with the iron, but you will need to go over each place a few times to get depth and to make it kind of smooth.


For the fingers, I glued together several layers of foam to make blocks.  I measured out the width of the fingers on the palm and cut blocks to shape.  I then angled the sides to get some natural curve to the fingers.  All the white stuff is the Alex Caulk I used to get some additional smoothness.


The RHoD all painted up!  I used my airbrush to add some weathering and variety to the paint job.  That forearm looks a little small....


I mapped this out to my body size and made some paper templates.  I cut separate pieces for each of the ab plates and put in some extra foam to reach around my torso.

All dipped up!


I decided that the chest was good, but didn't look bulky enough under my coat.  I made some very simple shoulder bells and didn't bother to make them look good because they are under the coat.  These are on with some elastic so they can move around.

I put in a simple adjustable strapping system for the chest piece using hot glue and 2" strapping and a click buckle.  

Base Red all done!

Airbrush details!


I ordered a nice coat online that was just perfect.  I decided against the leather coat, as it would just cost too much and/or I'd have to make it!  I ordered a rather large coat to make sure that the chest piece would fit underneath.  I planned to just tuck the extra into the RHoD, but changed my mind later (see below).

Luckily, the coat was long enough for me to just fold over the left arm's corduroy edging and sew it in place.


For the neck, I ordered a red balaclava and did some light airbrushing on it to make it fit in a little better and not be so bright red.


I ordered the BRPD and 4th Army patches from eBay.  Apparently, it was the 4th Army Hellboy worked with in WWII, hence, the patch.


For the gun, I wan't too interested in the replicas for sale online.  I took some leftover plastic gun I had sitting around and added some PVC and foam details to get it right...or at least close.

Primed up and ready!


I made a very simple holster and even tried my hand at some fancy leather stitching!  I am not much of a leather-worker, but I can get by with some simple stuff.



For the holster, I decided that I needed a leg-strap, so I made one out of the leather I had sitting around.  To make it a bit flexible, I used a snap to affix it to the holster - that way I can transport and store separate if I like.


Pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself!  The flap is attached on the back with rivets and I had the folks at Tandy help me pick out the stud thing that holds it shut.  I had to put the strap on the back that holds it to the belt at a pretty big angle, as that is necessary to replicate the movie look and to be able to actually draw the gun.


I went with a more movie-version belt and made a second, thicker under-belt?  Anyway, it fits the belt I found online with the two rows of holes (See below).



All of my leather stuff comes from Tandy and I try to get it all on sale.  If you are getting in to leather work, I suggest hitting up a local store and talking to them.  There are also some good videos on YouTube to get you good enough for cosplay.

I made a horseshoe out of foam and attached it.  The BPRD belt buckle is EVA foam with some kydex on the back for rigidity.  The details on the buckle were drawn with puffy paint then finished.

This is the leather dye I used.


For the tail, I used some insulation from the hardware store -- it goes around pipes. I made up a simple mount with EVA foam and some webbing - it just slips on to the belt.

RHoD too little!

Finished product!  For pants, I just re-used some old Dredd leather pants and some boots I use for like half my costumes!

I was pretty happy with it, especially the great Strike & Hide photos below!



So, I though the RHoD was a LITTLE thin, so I made another one!  Good thing I made the hand detachable!  I just added some webbing straps and velcro that keeps the hand attached to the forearm.

Bigger is better, right?

Much better!
So, in addition to re-doing the arm, I also decided that I wasn't happy with the mask/helmet....so I made another one!


Blessed is the Evil Ted helmet pattern!  I have started soooooo many things with this!!



Longer face, smaller eyes.  I also was happier with the way I got the upper lip to look more polished.


Yes Yes!  I ended up selling the old one on eBay to someone in, I think, Italy.


I made a foam cigar and put magnets on the mask to make it stick.  Im still not 100% happy with this mask - I think the chin need to be narrower, but oh well.


So, I also wanted to modify the coat to look more like the Hellboy movie -- I know, I've mixed this costume up quite a bit!  I got some cool looking 1" buckles and cut some leather to get the length I needed.


I used some Dark Brown leather dye gel for these guys.  I generally figure out about where the hole needs to be for a good fit, then do a couple on either side or so.



I cut off the sleeve where needed and used some scrap brown material to cover my upper arm.


This is the final product.  I used rivets, but I put in a piece of scrap leather on the inside of the coat to make sure that these didn't just pop out of the thin canvas the coat is made of - it isn't lined.



For the communicators, I had The Kid 3D print these bad boys.  I used some coat hangar wire to make the bars at the bottom.  They turned out ok - was a bit of a rough print!

I hope this helps you create Big Red if he's on your list!  Thanks to all those before me - I did a LOT of drooling at other people's stuff.


This is the current state of the costume.

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