Smallvile Comics Cosplay Contest 2015 Photo by Vanora Naude Photography





Date completed

Hours spent making this costume

Total cost involved in making cosplay

Gate Walker Cosplay – Gerhard Grobler

Reptile from the MK Movie and the 1st game

October 2015

150 hours


Info for the costume

This costume was the second incarnation of Reptile from Mortal Kombat. The first incarnation was for Free Comic Book Day 2015. But even though I placed third place in a cosplay contest with it, I felt there were a few things that could still be improved namely the gloves (which broke that very day of the contest) and the mask (which could use a bit more shock in appearance).

I watched the movie again and I decided its mask was actually laughable. The teeth looked like corn! So I made gloves with LED nails and made a toothy mask with LED inside to show the teeth in low light conditions. It seems the creators of MKX felt the same way. The new Reptile is all scaly and toothy. The rest of the outfit is based on the original game. The second incarnation had armguards made from fiberglass. The first one was cardboard covered with pleather.

I made this costume because….

This started because my brother was doing Sub-Zero for Free Comic Book Day 2015 and there were already several Scorpions running around. So I chose the mystery guest from the first game – Reptile! He’s sort of a cross between Sub-Zero and Scorpion. A secret character they added to the game.

Planning Process

First we looked at how we could improve on the mask. I took a metal plate which I bended to form a jaw line. I then used pattern makers clay to sculpt the mask. When I was happy with the result I made a silicone mold from the mask. The final mask was made from polymers; when polymers are mixed, it turns into plastic. Next I carved out the teeth and painted it. Next up were the new gloves. I bought cheap cotton liner gloves and then I went to work on inserting tubes running down the fingers for the LED nails I was going to install. I first shaped the nails with clay and created a silicone mold from the shapes. After pouring the laminating epoxy, I placed a green LED inside each nail and left to dry completely. After the epoxy has set, I attached wires to each LED and connected them to a battery pack. The mask has its own button cell battery holder and powers four ultra-bright LED’s inside the mask.

Next came the hoody, top and pants. The first Incarnation I made the top out of polar fleece and I nearly died of heatstroke. The pants were store-bought. With this incarnation I bought sheeting and made a new top and pants. The pattern I used was really simple. I took a pullover top and I laid it over the material and cut a 2cm edge around the garment. Then I did the same for the pants. The top was completely hand sewn by me. The sleeves were cut out separately and then sewn in to help make a shoulder. I got some help with the pants though and I ran them through a sewing machine. The leg covers was also hand sewn and they had a cover sewn on the front of the pants to help cover any shoe laces that might be visible. The belt and straps were made from vinyl and pleather. These were also hand sewn as our sewing machine is not an industrial machine.

Techniques Used

  • I used a fiberglass mold to make the arm and shin guards. I then drilled holes in them so I could sew on the pleather. I used sculpting clay to make the mask master mold and then built a silicone mold from it, also including the nails with this one. I roll casted a plastic mask and cast epoxy nails. Basic cos-tronics I learned from The Wizard J enabled me to put LED’s inside the mask and gloves, and to power them.
  • Sewing that I learned from my mom – used to cover the vinyl straps and belt with pleather. Also to make the hood to cover my head and face.

Did you have to learn any new techniques in order to make this costume?

Sculpting on a larger scale. Mold making. To accept failure and try again.

Does this cosplay need special make-up to be done?

I designed it so there are no make-up to be done. All the glitz and glamour goes on the props. Yes the mask and gloves are my props.

At which cons and events did you wear this costume?

rAge 2015(First time! Also where the nails got broken playing Towers of Atlantis at the Amazon stall) rAge Cape Town 2016 and at Geekfest 2016

Have you won any awards for this costume?

I placed third at the Smallville Comics Cosplay Contest 2015 for the first incarnation of this costume. This was before I made the alterations and added my LED’s etc.

Any last thoughts on this costume? (Upgrades you would still like to do, alterations etc.)

The third incarnation I call MK Reptile Reborn. It already has several redesigns and changes. First is the face, and then the new gloves. I looked the arm guards and leg guards. Basically I am upgrading 90% of reptile. This year I am planning on entering it in some of the local cosplay contests again.

About Linda Jager

Linda Jager
I’m proudly Geek and have a passion for all things pop-culture. Huge fan of The Walking Dead. Lover of gadgets and technology and although I’m not a gamer (sadly no hand-eye co-ordination) I find myself drawn to the gaming culture and community and how it connects with one of my biggest passions – collecting action figures and statues. I love to watch movies and series and there’s nothing better than having conversations with other people about the things I feel so passionately about. Being an 80’s child I am a huge fan of retro stuff and my Thundercats collection is one of my most prized possessions. That, and my A-Team van. Follow me on Twitter @LindaAtGES

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