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Friday, August 29, 2014

Judge Dredd - The Boots

This is part of the Judge Dredd series of posts.  See the Main Article for more information.

Last Update: September 18th, 2015.

The Build - The Boots

This was going to be a challenge, as there was really nothing available at the time I was building.  I believe that some screen-accurate boots are on the way, but I had to scrounge for something.  Again, I did a ton of research and settled on some older O'Neal Elements for about $80 on eBay.

The first thing I did with these boots is to rip off all of the plastic and such that did not fit the build.  You can see where I cut off areas and replaced them with some cheap leather or suede pieces.  I decided not to alter the number of buckles (they should have 3, not 4) as that just seemed too involved.  I took my trusty silver sharpie and made the fasteners look more like the screen-used ones.  

Once that was done, I set about making the heels and toes.  The heels were just craft foam cut out to look like what I saw in pictures on the web.  I made a paper template and went to town.  I hand-sanded the craft foam to get the proper look.  I used a ballpoint pen to draw in the shallow lines on the heels.  I also found some brass screws that looked good enough to attach to the foam.  Plastidip and paint.


Update: September 18th, 2015:

I went ahead and ordered some toe caps from Bawz Props.  Make sure you use IC-2000 rubberized superglue to attach these things - none of my regular glues work.

---- End Update

For the shin guards, I used the template in the instructables.  This was difficult to assemble and I wish I had a better idea for how to make these.  My shin guards look a little concave, but they are passable.  I actually ordered some from a vendor, but they were WAY too small for my boots (size 11).  After building and painting, I simply used Velcro to attach to the boots.

OK from this angle...

...terrible from this one.  Will be fixing soon.
UPDATE - 8/25/2014

I worked on the shins, and I think I have something acceptable.  I built up layers of craft foam to fix the concave surface of the shins.  I then added another, slightly larger front piece to look fairly close to the Dredd ones.  These are not perfect, but much better.

--- end update

UPDATE - 9/22/2014

I recently ordered some suede for another project and took the opportunity to order some extra to upgrade my boots.  In keeping with the build it, wear it, upgrade it philosophy, I am upgrading the boots to have the inside suede heat-shield seen on the Dredd boots.

This is what the movie boots look like.  Picture from Studio Creations.

My O'Neal boots.
As you can see, my boots are not exactly the same as above, but I think I can add some suede to give more of the look of the screen boots.

For materials, I ordered half a yard (WAY too much) 6807 Ultrasuede Heavy Weight #6807 Ash from Fields Fabrics.  All darkened up, I think that this stuff is pretty close.

Above, see me making a template.  I love to use painter's tape and paper - so easy!  Since the area I want to fill is recessed, I simply tape along the edges and push it down with my fingers.  Once the tape is good and in there, I use a pen to make sure I get the line correctly.  Next, cut out with a hobby knife.

Above, see the two pieces of suede I cut out.  I went over them with a little flat black spray paint.  I went pretty light, as I can always add more later.  DO NOT try to actually burn these black, as that will only ruin the fabric.  At least, that is what I hear. >.<

I used hot glue to attach the suede to the boot.  I made sure to go lightly and to apply pressure to the suede to keep the bumps to a minimum.

To give a finished look, I cut another piece of suede for each booth.  The piece is about 2" wide and 15" long.  I made sure to darken them up a lot with the black spray paint, as I think the originals are actually black.

I glued the trim piece around the top.  I made sure to stretch out the boot tongue flat to glue the pieces on.  I cut the trim as show above to give a more finished look.

Above, see the finished boot.  I will weather and such to make the whole thing match.  I am pretty happy with how this turned out.  I think the boot looks much closer to screen now.

--- end update

The toe caps were the scariest piece, so I saved it or last.  With the shin guards being too small, I figured anything I ordered would be too small too, so I decided to make these.  I needed a pattern, so I used blue masking tape to create a toe cap on the boots.  I just put on layers of tape over the toe until I was 3-4 layers in.  I then took a razor blade and cut away tape until the toe cap looked right.  Next, I used a sharpie to draw in the panel lines as seen on the Dredd boot.  

After peeling off the tape, I cut along the lines I drew and had my pattern.  I used the templates to cut out 2mm craft foam and heat-shaped to fit.  There were some gaps between the foam I cut and the soles of the boots, so I just cut out several strips of craft foam to fill in the open spaces, building up with layers. This created a much better base to glue the caps on.

Hot glue was used to attach to the boots.  I then used a ballpoint pen to create the line around the top edge.  Seal with white glue and paint (after masking).  I used the Hunter Green paint suggested, but I found that to be WAY too bright.  I went back and misted on some flat black until I got the shade I wanted.

I feel like the toe caps and heels are still a little soft.  I got some gouges on them at my first show, so I will be looking to strengthen them.  I think I will try another couple of layers of white glue.  Maybe I will mask again and hit them with some plastidip.

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