Apr 152011
General costume


I searched long for an excuse to analyze such a ’simple‘ costume… until I took a closer look and found that it’s not exactly *that* simple at all. Let me tell you why…

Alright. Close your eyes after reading the following question and try to come up with an image in your mind. (doesn’t count if you already *have* studied that costume closely!):

What exactly is Richard B. Riddick wearing in the ‚Riddick Chronicles‘? (you have one minute with your eyes closed; then read on!)

I’ll tell you what you came up with:
First, the trademark wielding goggles. A black tank top, probably much likely in structure to a black dyed male underwear shirt. Black cargo pants. Oh, and of course he must wear combat boots.
Right? *Wrong*. Because on good ol‘ Richard B’s clothing, just like on the man himself, nothing is what it seems to be…

I’ll start with the thing that got me hooked up on this subject: the trousers, or, cargo pants. This one screenshot made my day when I found myself staring at it…: (the *very* good thing about being a costumer girl is, actually, that you can stare at a gorgeous man’s trousers without *anyone* suspecting that you *might* possibly be drooling over anything else than, well, the costume, of course…. whoops, what did I write there…?)

I just stared and stared and stared… and thought… waidda minute… *Pinstripes and satin piping*???

Then I took this screenshot (Yesss, that scene’s a hottie, and hottie scenes deserve to be screenshotted – and be it just for the purpose of a new wallpaper for my desktop – don’t you dare asking… all, of course, still for the purpose of studying the costumes, dammit!):
Look at the *right* pair of pants in the picture – that’s Vin Diesel as Riddick. Gentlemen – *Right* side I said, okay?

..and I found myself thinking… *crocodile pattern*???

And then I saw this…:

and thought for a moment that pinstripes, satin piping and crocodile pattern was all just an illusion.

Then I started studying the following pictures of the original costume, as taken by the Propstore of London:

and the mystery started to resolve itself.

Ladies, Gentlemen – what Mr. Riddick is wearing there are not black cargo pants.
He’s actually wearing *very* dark brown cargo pants, which were heavily modified by the costuming department.
The upper front portion of the pants has been reinforced with square quilted dark brown leather.

The seventh picture from the Propstore above shows this pretty well. This is obviously a later modification – I strongly think that those originally were off-the-rack cargos, which were then modified to ‚Riddick‘ state.
You can see to where the modification reaches – to the side pocket, and above the side pockets on the trousers.
The lower edge of that enforcement has been decorated with what I first thought to be ’satin piping‘ – a strongly woven narrow twill tape in mid brown.
Same twill tape goes straight down the front, and is attached to the top of the back trousers – note the loops it is forming there.

Loops of twill tape can also be seen at the side bottoms of the legs – you can see them pretty clearly in the fifth picture above.
All snaps and rivets are silver on those cargo pants.
If you scroll this page down and look at other Riddick costumes he’s wearing throughout the movie, you will discover that he’s actually wearing those trousers (and the upcoming shirt) with all of them, indicating that a massive amount of those items has been made for the movie.
If you compare them, you will find little to no difference in their making; so I assume that the above given description is a pretty accurate one of the actual cargo pants the character Riddick is supposed to wear during the entire events of the ‚Chronicles of Riddick‘ – I can’t remember that he has a backpack with him somewhere for some spare pants…

However, he obviously did change all of his clothes since the events in ‚Pitch Black‘ – the trousers he’s wearing there look like this…:

Those were grey trousers, with a front-/side zip fly front and a velcro, belt-like closure over it. The knees sported some interesting zips, and for my life I can’t imagine that those zips over the knees would have been comfortable in any possible way if he, for example, dropped to his knees on them. I don’t assume those zips to be closures for pockets – who would want *pockets* on his knees? – and I also can’t imagine what other use those zips could possibly have.

Then to the shirt. The pictures from the Propstore above show pretty clearly that this is not the usual tank top, at least not material-wise. It is structured, yes, and has some kind of ribbing – but none that I would ever have seen before on a tank top. It’s obviously been aged pretty much; and its color is a grey-brownish black. There is no piping around the neckline and / or armholes.

(See also above for the pictures from the Propstore)

This shirt also changed since ‚Pitch Black‘ – there, he indeed wore a ribbed tank top shirt, which *had* the typical ‚underwear‘ piping around neckline and armholes…

Did I mention combat boots?
Well. here you are. That’s not what I would really call ‚combat boots‘ – they actually close with *velcro straps*.
Believe me, I have army combat boots in my closet (Yes, they’re mine. And yes, I’m still a girl who loves dresses. Well, everyone has some dark secrets, right?) (And, no, I don’t expect Riddick to have a medieval gown in his closet – I strongly doubt he even *has* anything that could serve as a closet! Could we now end this discussion I’m having with my ever thriving mind, please…?) – uhm – well, I *know* army combat boots, and they are closed with lacings over hooks and definitely not with velcro. Those boots there look much more like the comfortable walking boots my father likes so much…

Again, in contrast to that, here’s what his feet wore in Pitch Black – this is what I would let pass as ‚combat boots‘:

Then there are the bracers he’s wearing.
Nice, strong leather work, beautifully aged
– but for my life I can’t imagine that the velcro with which they close could in any way withstand longer than a day of use Riddick puts to his bracers in real life.

Modifications of the above listed ‚basic items‘:

UV6 – Frigeon System
(Isn’t that system’s name just hilarious, considering that Planet 6 is an ice planet…?)

Anyway, what Riddick is wearing there is not just a surprising amount of dreadlocked, tangled facial and scalp hair, but also a cloak made from white furs – the fur is pointing to the inside, not the outside, which will keep him warmer.
He’s also wearing at least two different, ragged sweaters – one with a Polo neckline, the other with a front zipper. Anything else seems to be standard Riddick costume, as described above.

Pictures of the original costume, as sold by the Propstore of London:

Aboard the skiff

When Riddick gets away with Toombs‘ skiff, his clothes start to drop.
Gone are the aforementioned fur cloak and the two sweaters, and we’re presented with yet another, very ragged light blue crocheted sweater, which is obviously worn over the standard tank top.
The sweater is crocheted in a rather interesting pattern, by the way – I’ll see if I can find instructions for that particular pattern.
Not that I would want this sweater for myself, but maybe one of you wants it, and I thought it would be nice to have the instructions at hand…

Note that the standard trousers, as shown in the ‚Propstore of London‘ pictures, sport a short ‚down holding banding‘ which is supposed to go below the foot. None of the other cargo pants have this feature.

Pictures of the original costume, as sold by the Propstore of London:

Helion Prime

The temperature increases, the clothes drop…

Now we’re back at almost standard costume. On Helion, Riddick is also wearing a ragged brown leather cloak with hood, though.
For my life I can’t imagine why a man who has just spent several years on a frozen planet would chose to wear a leather cloak on a desert planet, not even at night, but the costume designers obviously found it fashionable – so be it…

Pictures of the original costume, as sold by the Propstore of London:


For the escape from Crematoria and the run over the surface, Riddick, as well as Kyra, The Guv and the others are wearing woolen coats.
In the movie, they appear to be grayish in color, but the Propstore pictures again show that the coat is light dove blue. The cut scenes on the Director’s cut DVD offer a better view on those cloaks, as screenshotted below.

Pictures of the original costume, as sold by the Propstore of London:

Necromonger Armor

The Director’s Cut DVD offers this neat detail on the armor…:

„Because the normal Necromonger costume would not fit Vin Diesel, they created a new rank of Necro officers (with a more tailored costume) so that he could sneak into the basilica.“


There’s one thing that bugged me – two, actually.

First, when Riddick is stabbed by the Lord Marshal, you can see no puncture on his armor in the movie…

…but the stunt costume as sold by the Propstore of London definitely shows this puncture…:

Then the armor is actually bending in some shots, if you look really close. Granted, it’s made from hard rubber, but movie-wise it’s obviously supposed to be made from metal; so a neckline bending like this would be absolutely impossible; not even for Riddick the Furyan:

There is one picture showing how this hard-rubber armor is held together – at the sides, with wide black elastic bandings:

By the way, when Riddick enters the Basilica, he’s also wearing shoulder pauldrons. Those are missing in the later fight scene with the Lord Marshal, and I can’t figure out when he took the time to take them off. The helmet I can understand – simple to take off – but shoulder pauldrons…?

Also, why is no Necro who is crossing his way on his path through the Necropolis suspecting something? He’s not wearing the standard black bodysuit under his armor which all other Necromongers are wearing…

More pictures from the movie as well as from the Propstore who sold various versions of this original armor later:

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  11 Responses to “Riddick”

Comments (11)
  1. I wanted to thank you for your site. I have loved this character since Pitch Black, although, I was originally drawn to that film because of Claudia Black. I’d been a fan of hers since Farscape. Vin Diesel is passionate about the franchise and I hope he continues to develop it. This site was instrumental in helping me create my Riddick cosplay for Phoenix Comicon 2014. It was very well received, although, I cut many corners due to time and money. Picture in my URI.

    Best wishes!


    • Thank you 🙂
      Just one thing though, what you created was not a cosplay. It was a costume.
      If you wear that costume and pose like the character, then you are cosplaying.
      Cosplay = what you do; costume = what you wear.

      Just saying 😉

  2. http://www.therpf.com/f45/pitch-black-vin-diesels-riddick-costume-103978/

    Was looking myself to make up a riddick costume for fancy dress / halloween or summit and see people are having problems with the shoes but then i found the sight above confirming Dr Martens being used as a „Shell“ and then modified. Not cheap haha! Thought i would post as this site gives much info…

  3. im looking to purchase the whole riddick costume , is it availabe… thank you , vinny 727-851-0340

  4. Those boots are modified 511 or possibly but unlikely tactical boots. Combat boots and tactical boots are very different the wider shape and more comfort tennis show style shows its a tactical class. They then added a strip of material over the laces and possible zipper, and covered it with velcro straps.

  5. I own quite a few of these costumes from both Pitch Black & The Chronicles of Riddick, so hopefully I can shed a little light on the boots (and any other questions if you have any).
    The boots worn by Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick were made by ‚Response Gear‘ tactical footwear, the model number for the correct style is: ‚3050 force tac‘. They were obviously then customized for the production (tongue & straps added, painted brown etc). – though the stunt performers boots are just standard army boots with the extras glued in place.
    Similarly Riddicks boots from Pitch Black are also heavily customized ’shells‘ on top of a pair of normal ‚Doc Martin‘ style boots.
    Hope this helps!

  6. yeah but what name brand of boots are the ones he’s wearing from chronicles of riddick?

    • No idea, sorry. I guess they’ve been custom made by the costume department, particularly because of that particular type of velcro closures, which I’ve never seen on combat boots. I did try some Google searches but didn’t come up with anything that even just remotely looks like those boots.
      Best wishes,

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