There were some VERY specific things that concerned me when I set out to create the chest bat emblem for this costume:
Firstly, I intended to use the “new look” concept Batman chest emblem ushered in by Julius Swartz in 1964. This was the one that featured the black bat encased within a golden yellow oval. I found this far more visually appealing than just the large black bat against the dark grey tights (which I knew would be tough to see on stage with spooky shadowy lighting). The yellow oval provided a nice contrast for the bat to be seen and gave the uniform some added visual interest with a splash of color picked up from the prominent utility belt.
Secondly, I needed the emblem to be fashioned out of something that would be flexible and TOUGH, and also be VERY sharp and clean in its presentation.
Thirdly, the size and position of the chest emblem was also a consideration. For example, I always found Adam West’s bat emblem to be slightly small and positioned too low on his chest. The optimal size and position would have to be experimented with.
Fourthly, the specific design of the Bat-silhouette itself would need some “adjustment” on my part since I did not really care for the Adam West design, nor any particular bat-shape from the comics.
Lastly, I wanted this chest emblem to have a subtle sculpted look rather than a flat, printed one. To me, that meant that the emblem would have to be “assembled” and painted in separate layers, and then combined.
I began with an Adoble Photoshop rendering of my own preferred design for the shape of the bat silhouette. I encased it within an oval, ensuring an even border space all around the bat. I then printed out my design and checked its size and positioning on my planning mannequin until I was happy.
Next, I used my printout as a pattern to cut a template of the basic oval out of thin, white, flexible styrene. I spent several hours sanding the edges smooth and even. I then used the same pattern to cut a template of the bat itself , also out of the white flex styrene. I sanded the edges perfectly round and smooth and checked the fit against the base oval. Perfect fit. Once the two parts were painted separately and then glued together, the final emblem was stunning, with an edge to the bat that rested in raised relief on the surface of the base oval.
The emblem is permanently affixed to the grey bodysuit with 3M spray adhesive. Strong stuff!