This is the second in what is planned to be semi-regular articles about Cosplay builds inspired by Judge Dredd, comic or film. See the first one, Judge Drone.
David Mountain is the costume builder behind, and indeed inside, this build.
Judge Mortis is one of the Dark Judges, with his brothers in arms Judges Death, Fear and Fire. They’ve been around in the comics since the ’80s but David has gone for a 2012 style uniform for this dimension jumping horror.
I’ve not seen this build in person yet – though David was at Thought Bubble last year and I was there both days (I guess I was pretty busy).
This is a very impressive build and David has given me permission to show some of the elements from his WIP photos. The first and last photo in this article were taken and edited by Wiggz.
There is very little of this build that isn’t home-made, beyond the obvious base elements of leathers, boots and gloves. Though you will see that even those have been heavily altered to make the final look seem ancient and decayed.
The key elements used are Sintra Board, Modelling Foam and Liquid Green Stuff. These images are not entirely in the order that David created the parts, I’ve taken liberty with the order of things.
You can see from these shots of the mask that the initial shape is pretty rough in design with the details being built slowly through several stages until the design is finished.
It seems obvious but some people over design (don’t I).
I’ll get back to talking about the head later. I’m turning my eyes on the ground next.
David got his hands on a really nice pair of moto cross boots. Then…
‘had to get a second dremel as weathering a set of bike leathers and chopping a pair of motor cross boots was far too much for it.’
So looking at the boots you can see that the same theory works for the parts bought and the parts fabricated. Start neat and measured and then get a wee bit the other side of ‘distressed’. I commented on how much of a job he’d done on the boots. David said:
“It was a necessity as I had real problems sourcing my original idea of using silicone five toe running shoes, I didn’t want to walk around a con floor bare foot.”
Paired up with some gloves that have had a similar treatment to the boots.
It’s all shaping up to a uniform standard (pun intended).
Mortis’ belt required pouch Dark Justice Department buttons David chose to make each one separately, adding time but saving in costs.
Detailed and put in place on some ammo pouches you can see already how well the belt will match the uniform.
Pouldrons, the Eagle equivalent had two versions made. The opposite shoulder’s armour was made to match the second vulture design. David said at the time he made this decision:
“As this build goes on I find that some of the things that have gone before no longer fit.”
Simple design that again goes through several stages of ‘decay’.
Here they are at early stages of development.
The Badge of course needs to sit on the armoured vest to match the 2012 look.
Here you can see the front of the vest going through the process.
At this point David wanted to get a good idea of how everything was looking when put together. He’d done a few selfies with parts of the suit but this helped him step back and take in the over all effect.
Even laid out on the floor you can see it is a brilliant build. Each aspect fits well with the next. Everything really is looking like it has been to Deadworld and back.
Plus with a bit of photoshop work this photo could depict the destruction of Mortis’ physical form. I can imagine the spirit-form fleeing through the front of the skull.
All that remains is the rear of the uniform.
For this David made the rear plates resemble a spine, in fact this may actually be Mortis’ spine perhaps. And below the spine would be a tail.
David opted for a Morph-suit hood to hide his head, here is one of the selfies I referred to earlier.
Under the skull mask it gives a brilliant look, but what about ease of vision?
“Absolutely brilliant, you lose the peripheral. But the straight on, not a problem. It’s the tail that caused the problems, if it wasn’t getting caught on a boot I had children pulling it”
A very well conceived and executed idea indeed.