Anyone can create an authentic-looking gladiator costume with materials available in their own home but before worrying about the materials and design of the costume itself, anyone interested in dressing up as Maximus at their next cocktail party should learn the basics of how to simulate battle-hardened metal.
The first step to creating that look of authenticity involves unraveling long sheets of aluminum foil. These strips are then gently crushed and stretched back into sheet form, the goal here being to give the metal foil a crumpled, 'poured metal' look. The rumpled aluminum sheets are then carefully attached to strips of cardboard using a hot glue gun. Care must be taken at all times to preserve the wrinkles in the aluminum without ripping the sheets.
To fill-out the armor suit, take the foil-covered cardboard strips and apply them horizontally to an old set of protective sports pads. If there are no sports pads available; carefully sew or glue the strips together so as to create a vest known as a 'cuirass'. This type of chest armor was common in the Roman Imperial period and appears in most Hollywood movies. If done correctly, the cuirass should resemble a vest that is lined with metal strips. To create shin and arm guards, take the crumbled aluminum foil and glue it to shin protectors or carpel tunnel supports. If none are available; cut the basic shapes out of a strong cardboard box and apply the faux metal directly to them. Use the same method to attach the shiny sides of the aluminum strips to a sports helmet or mask.
Painting the armor
Buy cans of black primer and bronze-hued spray paint from a hardware store. Now apply, in loose strokes, the primer and then the paint to the armor of the gladiator costume. This will change the texture of the armor from that of rumpled foil to what looks like cast bronze or scorched iron.
Finally, add any desired details such as plastic swords to the gladiator costume and get ready for the party to begin.