Another Thorin Oakenshield Costume - The Hobbit

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by jessamygriffin, Jun 10, 2015.

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  1. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Let me start by saying the costume is done. It was finished in time for the opening of The Desolation of Smaug, which opened here in Japan February 28th 2014, two months after it opened in the States.

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    Photo by yuichiii


    And since the Weta Cloaks and Daggers book wasn't out at the time and I was working from screencaps and promo shots available, the costume isn't screen accurate, as I later found out to my dismay. And like all costumes, in the year after it mas made, more was added, some things that could be tweaked were changed, and life went on. It's a great costume, the one costume that really launched me into cosplay. (Not counting the Sherlock coat. I use that every winter for normal use.)

    But I loved doing it, it was hard as hell, I learned a lot and though there are loads of others who have their build threads up on the RPF, I'm going to add mine, to commemorate it.

    Those who are here for pure accuracy, turn your eyes away. But I will note differences from later research into the costume.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  2. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    I usually start all costumes off with the under stuff, even when it's hardly ever going to be seen. I had plans for doing a muscle suit, but I'd given myself about three months to work on this costume after work and with breaks for sanity, and decided I'd leave that for later. Thus the shirt came first.

    First inaccuracy - I found out later (you'll hear this phrase a lot in this thread) that Thorin's shirt was silk noile, and that it had quilting on the shoulders, a chevron seam design on the chest and edging with piping along its hem.
    1495251_607291549306454_1191344114_o.jpg shirt2.jpg tumblr_n190fqRLw01rsujm4o1_500.png

    What I was working from were design sketches on the web and some blurry pics of Richard Armitage practising sword work in the shirt, so mine wound up a lot simpler. I knew the shirt had a shoulder yoke, laced up the front, had side slits, a collar and gathered sleeves. I used a plain cotton that I dyed with blue and black to get the worn and faded look of Thorin's shirt. The pics below are a bit washed out - the actual shirt is darker.

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  3. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Boots - Thorin's great hairy boots are wonderful. I was jonesing for the super oversized dwarf ones, but decided I didn't have the facilities and materials to make my own.

    Inaccuracy note - from Unexpected Journey and the promo shots, I thought the fur was a dark brown. Turns out it was actually black, and just really dusty and/or aged in the shots I had. I also didn't bother making the same buckles, since I'm leery of breaking things that come under strain.

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    I started with a clunky pair of secondhand boots that had a broken zipper, padded them slightly and counted on the fur, leather and boot caps bulking them up to something more dwarf-like in proportion.

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    The fake fur pattern is as above, with an upper that went down to cover the top of the boot. I attached a canvas lining to the boot with Shoe Goo, spreading open and glueing the zipper side of the boot to make it easier to get on and flipped the fur down and glued that as well. The scent of Shoe Goo haunted the apartment for months during the project.

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    The long piece of leather up the back of the boot was machine stitched on with belt loops before the boot upper was attached to the base.
    The heel back pattern was cut and handstitched in a heavy brown leather. The boot sides have stitching at the op as well, though as these piece were glued on in the end, the stitched is decorative. The belts were hand-stamped with a Copic marker cap that happened to be the right size and shape as the patterning on Thorin's boot straps. I wound up cracking the cap, it was only plastic.
    Inaccuracy note - the real straps were apparently black, not the brown I made them. THANKS FOR NOTHING, colour corrected promo shots and dusty boot screenshots!
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    The boot caps were my first time working with Worbla, and I was pretty happy with that experiment. I discovered to my horror that I'd applied one of the designs on upside down, but no one but me, my flatmate and now you know this. My hands wore out hand-cutting the designs with a craft knife, and thus though they should be higher/deeper, I gave up and used paint ageing to make them stand out more. The caps were painted with gold weathered down with brown and black acrylic and finished with clear. I used brass screws to attach them into the side of the sole.
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    Notes - the boots are mad comfy. A touch warm, but they are boots. My flatmate has borrowed them for occasional use, since looking like a Clydesdale horse from the calf down is a viable and fashionable choice in Tokyo in winter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  4. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Under Gauntlets

    Thorin's got black fingerless gloves with a decorative stitch on the seams and on the knuckle area.
    Untitled-1.jpg Untitled-2.jpg [​IMG]
    So it was relatively easy to take some thin black leather and bang out a set of the same. In the pics, the gloves are loose on my forearms but when I got the muscle layer done, they were snug.

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    The vambraces were a touch more tricky. I loathe leatherworking, but chose nonetheless to make them out of leather because I knew that with going to cons in Japan, making them from foam and then wedging them along with the rest of a really bulky costume into a rolling suitcase to get on trains wasn't going to work.
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    To say the vambraces were a touch over-engineered on my part would probably be putting it mildly. If I added a clamshell of leather to cover the fingers, they'd work as combat ready SCA armor, provided I had some elbow cops.
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    The top layer is tooled leather (I hate tooling leather and I know it annoyed my neighbours to have tap-tapping noises for days), layered on a med-weight leather and stitched to look like the production piece. Black leather dye was applied repeatedly - it was this cheap Japanese brand and utterly infuriating.
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    I water-hardened the outer leather in hot water, curved it around my arm that was wrapped in a towel, and as it cooled wound some elastics around it to help it keeps its shape. It can turn a dagger now, at the least.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  5. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Vambraces continued

    Next was to attach the hard leather to the softer stuff that would wrap around my arm. Contact cement did the work there.
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    For the knuckle guard, two soft straps were attached and stitched together overlapping in the middle so that if the leather stretched out or I needed more finger room, I could unpick it. To attach the guard to the main section, I had to use a hand drill in the hardened leather, and attached them fairly simply with long pop-rivets which were all I had available. Easy to replace, though, if they blow out.
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    I kind of gave up on the black dye, counting on the final finishing to darken it further and if it looked patchy, well. The costume needed to look a bit worn anyway, not new.
    The blue design was simply blue acrylic, which I also applied inside the knuckle section of the vambraces.
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    Overall, amateur leather tooling (with the few and probably wrong leather tools I have) aside, I'm happy with the flexibility in the wrist and how tough these little guys are. They look quite accurate to the real props in terms of layers of leather and stitching.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  6. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    The pic in the first post isn't working for me.

    So far, I am loving the look of this. The bracers are great!

    Also, the comment about looking like a Clydesdale gave me the giggles.
     
  7. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Ah. Let me check that. I uploaded/backed up all my pics to my Flickr recently (and have started using it to post pics to the posts here, so no one has to click to see it, unless they want a super size version that takes them to my Flickr). The photo might have privacy permission set or something. The uploader set all the new pics as private. Let me know of any more turn up weird - I'd like to get that sorted and and if I can use my Flickr for ease, I will.

    Oh man, the fashions you see here sometimes. No one, NOT A PERSON, looked twice when she wore those boots about.

    Edit - Right - the photo is set to public. So...
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  8. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Gambeson padded arms

    In the usual spirit of overkill, they were indeed quilted with one layer of cotton quilting and two layers of black cotton in a white thread. Eyelets were put in at the tops to allow them to be tied to the brigandine armour layer. The pattern echoed the shape of the armour plates and I used that for a size template for the quilting.

    Quilting is tedious, I must say. Quilters may disagree, but the actual sewing? Nope.

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    Pants
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    From what I could see from promo shots, the fabric was black, either a nice thick brushed cotton or cotton velvet, something that gave the impression of suede. Large, baggy, and with that attached knee-pad of lather with the pressed pattern, which I didn't know how to replicate.

    The pattern was impossible to tell at the time from the shots, and of course, now that the Weta costume book is out and other costume details have come to light recently, I know that the pattern I chose to doe, in paint on suede, isn't accurate, or at least the bottom half isn't I just winged that, and since it's obscured with being partially tucked into boots, no one really knows.

    Here's the actual pattern for you lucky few making this after me.

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    For anyone looking for costume details for the rest of the dwarves from this exhibit in Japan (Sakai city is the sister city of Wellington), check this Tumblr page.
    This page would have very nice to have when I was doing the bracers, the belt buckle, oh, everything with a pattern, yeah?

    I put together a design in Photoshop, printed two on sticker paper, cut them out with the craft knife and airbrushed them on to the suede. The suede was backed with with cotton quilting to make them stiffer and more what you see in the photos.

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    The pants themselves are button-fly cotton grey-black cotton velvet, gathered into a waistband. I don't actually have a picture of the pants by themselves, sorry. But as I was keeping in mind doing the muscle suit at some point, there's a vent in the back with lacing to allow for a bigger waist if needed, and the bottoms are gathered into a band and closed with a button.

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
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  9. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Brigandine Armour

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    And here's where I ventured into a new area - sculpting, molding and casting. Japan has tons of resources for this, being model crazy, though it was a bit intimidating to parse a sea of kanji in instructions in packages.

    Ergo, I started with the easier portion - sewing the base layer.

    Inaccuracy note - I found out from the Weta costume book that his armour is on a dark blue suede. Well, the promo shots and screen caps read so dark, I just assumed it was a slightly faded black and picked up a suede fabric for the project. It was a touch flimsy, so it has three layers - the suede fabric, a thin cotton broadcloth interfacing and a cotton backing in a traditional Japanese pattern that I dyed indigo. It has that nice angular look that seems very dwarven to me. No one ever sees it but me, but I liked the added touch.

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    Above - the lining fabric, and the front body and skirt panels.
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    Above - the back body, one back skirt panel and the arm. The pieces put together. All the edges were finished with self-bias of the same suede fabric, which is accurate to the movies as seen below. You can also see the gambeson arms look as if they are another really dark blue, so I didn't get those quite right either.
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    I made the decision to make the piece as flexible as possible in terms of wear, like any decent armour. The arms attach to the body with with eyelets and ties, the underam seam was left open to be tied closed with more eyelets, which is actually accurate to the movie model as seen in the screenshot below.
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    Lacing holes also go up the sides and back. I wasn't sure how much help I'd get in putting the thing on at times and wanted the side ties for this reason.
     
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  10. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Armour plates

    With sewing done, it was on to the dread sculpting, and I had never done that before. I did the best I could, the little plates aren't perfectly accurate, but that's down to my lack of skill.

    Materials - oil clay for the sculpt, silicon for the mold, and plastic model resin that mixed 50/50 for the plates.
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    It will come as no surprise to others who have done this costume or people who have read other threads that the way to not go completely mad is to make a mold that will cast many pieces at once. Above are the main armour plates, the original sculpt, the first silicon mold and the castings and then multi-piece mold. I did this for all the various plate types needed for the brigandine.

    I also coloured the resin plastic with black dyes before pouring, knowing that if the silver paint got chipped off, I didn't want pure white shining through. This proved to be a very, very good choice, and I recommend it to anyone who is hard on costumes.

    You end up with a lot of pieces to be trimmed, primed, painted and aged. The process of making plates took about two weeks of time spent after work in the evenings. It was madness.
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    Ageing was dark grey acrylic paint slightly thinned and jammed in with a brush, then wiped partially away with a paper towel. A clear coat was laid on after to help protect the finish.
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    The final part of the madness was to glue the plates down.
     
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  11. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Lastly for the brigandine was placing the plates in the correct pattern or nearest approximation since my costume was a touch smaller than Richard Armitage's, not being a six foot tall actor. Jiggering the neck pieces with all the types that went into it turned out the hardest.
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    And the other great issue was glue. I had no plans to rivet or sew the plates down. Attaching plastic to fabric, even a grippy one like the suede, was tricky, since some of the plates were going over stress areas with sharp curves (shoulders), and normal wear could mean I would lose some pieces.

    The great glue experiment - leather glue, bicycle tire repair glue, contact cement, crazy glue, white glue, some glues that claimed to be able to attach anything, expoxy glue, hot glue, Shoe Goo. I took several test plates, roughed up the smooth back of the plastic with the rotary brush for my hand drill and tried them all on the fabric. After suitable curing times, I bent, rolled and twiddle the fabric to see which plates would begin lifting corners, peeling away and falling off.

    To my actual lack of surprise it was the Shoe Goo that won. I know it's a great product (and please note - it's one of the few good glue-things I could easily get in Japan, I would have tried Barge's Cement or Master's if I could get my grubby mitts on it because I love Masters. It's no good to point out to me there are better glues. I had to work with what was available in Japan without paying disgusting shipping or overseas pricing.

    I have in fact, during a trip back home, acquired a small can of Masters and have used it since for a few plates that started coming away (the corners get caught on things sometimes, and then there's the ones I end up sitting on, on the back panels - I cracked two). Not even the Masters can help the stubborn ones on the shoulders - I've had to drill holes and sew some of those down with sinew. But I only had to fix the shoulders after four wearings of the costume - the Shoe Goo worked tremendously well. Next time I ought to cast the shoulder plates, pop them out before they cure completely and give them a bit of a curve. It would help.

    So, for my money, Shoe Goo was it. If it can affix leather and cloth uppers to plastic/rubber soles of shoes, it was going to be decent with plastic resin and cloth. If you can, give it a shot. It's pretty price compatible for a lot of glues out there. Three tubes did my project.

    Thus, the layout began.

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    And the end result, with all the lacing done up.

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    Notes - The arms are heavy with all the plates on it, and I prefer to have someone lace me into the piece. It's big enough I can drop it over my head when it's laced up, but I have to put on make-up and wig and bag my head to avoid snagging hair before attempting this. I CAN lace it myself up the sides, though, which is a blessing when I've gone to events alone. Aside from the aforementioned issue with the shoulder plates and the replacement of a few plates because they cracked when I sat on them, it's a great piece. It really pulled the costume together.

    All in all, I was really happy with my first venture into casting. I'll definitely be doing a lot more of that in the future and I hope my sculpting gets better with the process.
     
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  12. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    I love the way the gambeson turned out! It looks really good. I also love the lining fabric you used - I agree the pattern looks very Dwarf-like.
     
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  13. muttmo

    muttmo Well-Known Member

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    very impressive costume. YOU look like the actor too.
     
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  14. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Thanks! The lining for the blue vest is very Dwarven as well. I was pretty happy with the quilting and the arnour!
     
  15. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Blue Velvet robe

    The one confusing part of this costume for me was the pattern on the velvet. The costume book said it was originally a grey velvet with a raised pattern that was dyed to blue. In the Sakai display book, the interlocking skewed Greek Key pattern is horizontal, but from what I could see of the costume pics from the movie, it was more vertical. I still haven't found any good shots of just the vest to tell me.
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    So I decided to heck with it and and went with a vertical orientation. Some work in Photoshop with online clip art of Greek Key quilt fabrics gave me the pattern below, the right hand one being the full page size I printed out on sticker paper with overlaps to apply to the velvet.

    Also, please excuse if the pattern doesn't quite look the same as the Sakai city book's (the pic is way up in the pants post). I made mine before that was put on display. Just another example of working from screenshots and not quite getting the angles right.

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    The brilliant thing about sticker paper is that it works really well for spray work. The not-brilliant part is that it can be pricey, and that the velvet pile fuzz will keep it from sticking more than twice. With the amount of stencils I needed, I was bally well going to re-use the pieces and thus 3M's Design Bond spray glue came into play. It's used for graphic designers etc who want something a bit like a Post-it note than can be lifted and moved and reattached. Presto - the velvet fuzz problem was vanquished with applications of Design Bond to the paper.

    I'd put up the pattern design for the vest shape, but I forgot to take pics, unfortunately.


    Fabric Tale

    Way back when the first Hobbit movie came out, I said to myself, "That's something I want to make, that costume." And I actually had a gorgeous upholstery weight cotton velvet in the perfect shade, deep and luscious. But I lost my job, got a new job, quit that job for a much better one and also moved to a new place before I actually started the costume. Fabric being what it is, the huge stash came along and the velvet languished until my family decided that 12 years in Japan was quite long enough for them to not have come and visited me before.

    And what does that have to do with the costume? Well, I had a new apartment, completely bare except with what I'd brought. And... curtainless. You see where this is going? My family was coming, it's a nice well lit apartment and besides neighbours looking in, there was the fact that I couldn't put up jet-lagged family in a sun-drenched place. Completely forgetting what I'd kept the velvet for, I pulled it out, said, "This will block the light nicely!" and made a nice set of curtains.

    I hope they appreciated them. They were nice. And when the time came for the vest to be made and I was digging through the fabric hoard with puzzlement looking for blue velvet I suddenly remembered. Oh god. Oh... well.

    They were nice curtains. Down they came, and I hadn't cut the fabric too much not to get the Thorin vest from them. I have a new set in my room now. Made of winter fleece, actually. Keeps the room warm in winter and insulates it in summer to keep the air conditioning in.


    Fabric Tip

    Anyway - the edging on Thorin's vest is a slightly lighter tone that sort of matches how the light catches the raised patterning of the rest of the vest. I wasn't about to get more fabric in that shade. Since velvet hanging properly has the nap facing up so it looks darker and richer, I merely laid the edging pattern so the nap of the velvet faced down and the light reflected from it, making it look lighter. There. That's a good tip for people unwilling to buy two kinds of velvet. Just cheat.

    Spraying the Fabric

    I matched the lighter look of the reversed nap velvet in acrylic paint and thinned it down for airbrushing. The stencil pieces were laid and the tedious process of spraying began.
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    Ah, wait, I did have one pic of a pattern piece for the vest. The last one there - that's the side front before the edging was added. The notches indicate waist area and where the front hook and eye would be placed.

    Stencilling like this is just about as tedious as quilting. And like making the armour plates, lord, it takes time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  16. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Blue Robe Finished


    There's a black piping of some kind on Thorin's robe along the edges of the trim, quite dark. I picked up some cord braid for pillows to use. I also used some cotton quilt batting behind the applied lighter trim to add some bulk.
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    Thorin's hefty belt is partly held in place with some straps on the velvet robe, and I just added some cords on the sides and back to do the same. Good thing, too - my flatmate judged I was wearing the belt too girlishly high and kept loosening it. I don't have a lot of hip flare and I don't wear the muscle layer when it's too hot and it kept slipping down.
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    The lining of the epaulettes is dark, from what I can see in pics, so I used leftover dyed cotton lining from the brigandine armour to finish them. The body lining, from the few blurred screenshots I saw of Thorin fighting the Trolls (he isn't wearing his belt or the leather robe in that scene) showed a lighter colour, white or grey.

    Japanese traditional fabric came to the rescue again - I found this great satiny stuff with a similar motif to the outer layer and was able to use that. The silver goes with the whole Thorin look. I love it.

    You rarely see that lining, again, but it gives great satisfaction.

    Below are pics from the first outing of the costume, hence the wig was still in pristine condition (and missing Thorin's side beads to keep my hair back) and I hadn't quite worked out the beard and makeup yet.

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  17. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Thank you! It's kind of great when people think I look like the actor. My own nose could be bigger, but I'm glad it's not. Though by looking like the character so much, it's caused some hilarity when I'm done at cons and want to go into the girl's change room. Staff who haven't seen me come out keep trying to herd me into the men's area. I actually now have some ID on a lanyard around my neck to keep the astonished reaction to a minimum, since all I really want at the end of a day is to get that heavy stuff off.
     
  18. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    That is insanely amazing!! Great job and attention to detail is mind blowing. Very impressed. :D
     
  19. muttmo

    muttmo Well-Known Member

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    From Looking at your photos posted of you in the costume.. I would have never known either.. that you are of the female side..
     
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  20. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Well, since the character is a man, best to go hard or go home, right? I didn't want my Thorin to look girlish. My main thought behind the costume was be as close to the character as possible.
     
  21. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Belt

    This belt is great. It's huge and heavy.
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    Belt of Scraps

    For my belt, I raided the leather bin and pulled out scraps and a few hideous pieces of skeevy black leather I wasn't going to use for anything else. Since I want a belt that would support the plates with bending under them and creasing and eventually breaking them off, I pieced together two heavy-weight pieces in brown with some edge stitching and a smooth piece glued on the seam to keep it from flexing too much at that point. The skeevy black leather, which was really thin, needed to be pieced because it wasn't long enough. But the seam falls at the back of the belt where np one looks. The blue leather edging (again - pieced) was sewn on by machine and the diagonal pieces by hand. I wanted that hand-sewn look where it counted.

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    The black was glued on top of the heavy brown leather. I kept the black suede side out, since that seemed to match his belt best. The blue edging was then wrapped around to the back and contact cemented down.

    I was running out of nice belt-weight leather and used some scraps of heavy suede glued in a double layer to make the back belt straps, which were hand sewn on. The one is sewn at and angle because it came up to the edge of one of the blue diagonals and I didn't want to spoil the look. I used a bog-standard buckle, since the buckle was rarely going to be seen.

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    With the help of a printout of the belt, I planned the placement of the plates, roughed up the backs of them with a wire grinder and glued them with Shoe Goo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  22. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Belt Buckle

    Inaccuracy note - at the time of making, I couldn't tell what the central gem in his belt was. It was shiny, it had gold. Since the other stones looked like blue gems, I made a guess that the central piece was gold-flecked crystal or something like that. Thus that's not right - it turns out the central piece was simply gold. I also mucked up the shape, but that's more down to me being crap at sculpting. Really bad. Especially with angles.

    I decided that since the buckle (not really a buckle at all, it's more like a central decorative plate but we'll go with buckle) wasn't actually a buckle, it wouldn't come under much strain and I could make it from Fimo/Sculpey.

    I used the Thorin buckle silver pendant design as my basis for the pattern by enlarging it and sculpting on top.

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    The Fimo sculpt was done the way a piemaker decorates pies - I rolled out the Fimo, used a craft knife and did it in layers. This is how non-sculptors can do the thing.

    Layer one, scored for attaching Layer 2, and Layer 2 attached.

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    Layer Three, the first of the angle pieces, and some stippling. I used a paintbrush that had old crusted paint on it to stab the pattern in.

    Layer Four, more angled pieces. I managed these by getting a plastic box with a sharp angle, rolling the Fimo into a snake and jamming it into the corner to get a sharp 90 degree edge. I used a craft knife to cut the angles and very carefully managed to get them together and onto Layer Two without destroying too many of the nice lines I'd created.

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    Layer Five - another roll-out and stencil cut of Fimo in a thicker layer. And the wonky jewel shape.

    Layer six - the back of the buckle.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Layer 7 - Since the design of the buckle looks as if it's free floating, these bits were added on to go under the other layers and lift them free of the backing. I planned on attaching the buckle with screws and washers, so it added thickness in areas I could drill as well.

    Almost ready for baking - I needed to clean up the sides where the layers could be seen better.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Just under 18 cm in length. I don't even know if my face is that big. Also, here are some of the jewels I cast. The blue were a pain, kept bubbling up. I backed them with some silver foil.

    The clear ones were a pain also since I'm new at casting and my mold made the surface cloudy. I sanded and sprayed them with clear coat to make them somewhat clear again.

    The crystal one with multi-colours was made with some wrapping plastic with a rainbow sheen, shredded and added to the mold. The gold fleck ones were gold foil for crafts, again shredded and mixed in the plastic resin. I believe I wound up using the second gold flecked one from the right.

    But, as I said above - the actual belt central piece was just plain gold. Not fancy gold streaked crystal. Such a shame, all that effort I wasted.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  23. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Buckle - Completed (But not accurate due to central stone)

    The Fimo was baked and the buckle sprayed in silver, with black paint in acrylic to age it. I also put a clear coat on top to keep the ageing from wearing away, but that turned out to be a mistake. The clear coat was a cheap brand and it gets tacky in high humidity. Hence, my buckle now isn't as shiny-new as it looks below. It's dull grey and occasionally I have to pick off a piece of lint or fur from the outer robe. I try to do it in a kingly fashion, as one should when fiddling and picking at one's groin area in public. Well, well. Live and learn.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I was pretty chuffed with how it turned out. I in fact cast it in silicon, just in case I ever needed (ha ha) another buckle.

    I pre-drilled four holes in the back and attached it to the leather belt with screws and washers to protect the Fimo and keep the screws from pulling through the leather. The diamond pieces on Thorin's belt looked a different tone to the other pieces, gold-ish, and I thought it was likely as a theme for the piece, since the buckle has that central gold piece. I blobbed on some gold paint after I'd glued it down, so it's not nicely painted (was terrified of getting it on the suede), but it works nonetheless.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] thorin-costume-close.jpg

    And then it was done. And I walked around the apartment for a while holding it over my head like a pro-wrestler. Shouting may have been involved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  24. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    OMG the work involved in this is mind-boggling! The vest is gorgeous (is it weird that I love the lining almost more than the outside? I can't believe you found such a perfect fabric!), and the belt is seriously impressive. Even if it's not accurate, I really love the gold-fleck look of that central gem. So neat! And I laughed at the line about you poking at your groin in a kingly fashion. ;)

    I haven't cosplayed as a truly male character yet (I really don't want to mess around with binding or a muscle suit - yet!) but I will remember your experiences with the bathrooms if I ever do, lol.
     
  25. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    No, no, I don't find it weird the lining is as cool as the exterior on the blue vest. It IS a great fabric, I've been very spoiled getting all these traditional japanese pattern fabrics, they suit the dwarf aesthetic perfectly. There was one more that I picked up and dyed but decided not to use, has a kind of simple angular knotwork. And anyway someone ought to love the lining the way I did, thank you!

    Turns out I was wrong about all the gems - the blue ones on the actual prop look more like a turquoise sort of thing. It's a bit dull for a king of the dwarves, tbh. But I guess it keeps thieves from grabbing at things that Thorin would not take kindly to. "Whoa, look at THOSE jewels!" Maybe it happened anyway. Maybe that's why he's so grumpy at The Prancing Pony. Poor grumpy king.

    I think, re: the cons and changing rooms - the staff probably meant to be kind to the obviously not-Japanese person who seemingly doesn't understand Japanese and hence got in the wrong line. When I was in line for actual toilets, I would just say hello in my non-male voice to the other ladies in line and they would be OH. And think nothing of it. But the poor staff. It happened four times that one day at Comiket, and the last one, the one that drove me to laughter all the way home, occurred when I was actually just inside the change room and looking for a place to sling my gear. Poor tiny lady, wondering how this pervy 'guy' had made it past all the other staff and actually into the change room to ogle the females. Well, Comiket. It's huge and the staff are nice about talking to me, at least.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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  26. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Thank you! It's a good thing I love a challenge. It was hard, hard work that finally paid off, the most involved costume I've made and I love it.
     
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  27. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Oak Shield

    [​IMG]

    I was going to post up about the black fur trimmed over robe next, but I actually don't have very many build pics. Later, then.

    The oaken shield was built out of interlocked foam floor tiles that were about an inch thick, glued together with a Japanese brand glue called B17 or something, I can't remember. For the rounding at the top, I cut notches into the foam and glued it, used a heat gun to curve the foam, and added on details and bits with more foam and glue. Since the oak is uneven and craggy, extra layers of foam were laid on.

    A wood piece is the handle, and some straps which are slightly superfluous were added in.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Carving was done with a craft knife. For the rough bits at the top of the shield, I tore at the layers of foam with needle nose pliers. I used a dremel sanding bit to smooth out the foam. Sword marks and gouges were added with a soldering iron. Black gesso sealed the foam.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The painting isn't sterling, but anyway - I started with dark brown, varied it with some dry brushing of lighter or redder tones, and touched up the gougles with black and dark brown.

    The metal tips were done in two layers of Worbla, sealed, painted and aged. They were very firmly attached with the last of my Masters contact glue.

    The thing I like about the shield is that unlike so much of the rest of the costume, it's really light.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
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  28. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    That turned out REALLY GOOD! I love it! I also really like the pic with all the weapons. ;)
     
  29. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Thank you! I'm fond of that pic too, though now I see Kili's ultra pretty bow is kinda obscured by whopping great Orchrist.


    Oh, on the note of Orchrist for anyone reading the thread - Japanese cons being what they are, and swords not being allowed in Japan unless registered, and not having the will power or material to do Orchrist myself well, I just bought the LARP verson of the sword. I like it, no one hassles me about it. I did make the scabbard for it in a last minute scrabble, but that'll be a later post.
     
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  30. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    The leather robe

    I wish I could say that I had decent pattern pieces of this, since those are most useful to costumers who come after, but I flat don't. At some point during a build, I get too involved to remember to take progress pics, and this was one of those times.

    The production piece in all its magnificent hair glory.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The robe has decorative stitching similar to what we have on the under gauntlets, a criss-cross stitch. The ends of the fur collar are a bit ragged. The whole fur collar looks badly pieced. It's nice fur, but that collar says either it was done by a loving amateur (family working with what they had), or it was just what a King with no kingdom could afford. From the few shots we see with it swinging wide, the inside looks grey - either lined, or it's just the rough side of the leather showing lighter than the black exterior.

    Your guess is as good as mine on type of fur - the costume book said it was made from several types of pelts and that it was tricky to dye, since the different furs took dye differently.

    Mine was made from a decent-weight pleather that had, happily, a nice even coloured grey knit backing. It also was a touch stretchy, which was a pain to sew but gave it the flexibility, stretch and swing of actual leather. I was never going to find enough actual black leather coats to do this, so pleather it was.

    The first iteration of the robe I made had a fake fur collar. I was having difficulty finding a really plush fake fur but had some I'd bought abroad, which I sprayed down slightly with my airbrush. And I couldn't find any real fur coats to cut up for a good price. The fake fur wasn't bad.

    The inside edge of the fur at the bottom and sides was attached with a blind stitch and the outer edge whip stitched to the edge of the pleather. The collar is backed with more pleather - the edges aren't turned in, just raw edges laid together and whip stitched to keep the edges from being too bulky. One of the draw backs of the fake fur was I couldn't think of a way to give it that really messy and ragged look, though I did try with some hair wax and glue. Didn't really work - nothing clings well to fake fur,
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sorry, those are the only photos I have that'll give an idea about my pattern. The hem edging was just machine stitched on with the blind hem stitch and the outer edges caught with a whip stitch by hand. The seams were done as if for a French seam with the overlap and the decorative stitch held the edge down, and was done in heavy cotton.

    Back, sort of side and front views
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Inaccuracy note - One thing I discovered after the fact, when all the nice pics came out, was about the collar. From some screen shoots, it look as if there were two extra shoulder piece with fur on that went out over the armour. Turns out, it was just the collar. It was so wide, it was resting on the shoulder epaulettes of the blue velvet robe beneath. Oh well. My design, as you can see, does have these shoulder pieces on, and one thing they did do well was made me look incredible broad side to side. This is no bad thing, though, yeah yeah, accuracy.

    But here's the thing - I decided that I wasn't crazy about the fake fur. At the end of this winter, I found some Japanese shops online that were selling off their winter stock of used fur coats. They weren't yard sale specials in price - but on the other hand I got a coat where the condition was stated on the website and the pelt and leather was in reasonable condition and not cracking, dry or losing hair.

    So, the next post is about the remake of the collar, and the despoiling of a fur coat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  31. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    New collar for the robe

    I scored for about $70 dollars a coat online from a shop that does used clothes in Japan. It was labelled as Japanese sable, which I suppose explains the different colouring to what I normally see in sable. The only issue was... it was TOO nice. All those pelts, properly aligned so the fur blended beautifully into graded stripes! It had to go.

    [​IMG]r[​IMG]

    In this pic you can see the original fake fur collar in the upper left, and the sable in front after I'd ripped out the lining. The sable is much nicer and plusher. In the end, it's hard to beat the real thing.
    [​IMG]
    The next issue was just - chop and piece, chop and piece. Every time I cut into that fur and sewed new seams, I knew I was shrinking the overall amount of pelt I had and I was praying I would have enough. I cut pieces at diagonals, triangles, everything, in order to get a variegated look to the fur topside. It took ages, and everything had fine under fur stuck to it. There were fur balls drifting like tumble-weeds on the hardwood floors of the flat, even after vacuuming.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I also did (since I hadn't realized) shoulder wings that made the robe look even broader. Some quilt batting was put under the fur before attaching to the pleather to bulk it up even more. It was crazy.
    One *-up was that I wound up having to add a bit more of leftover pleather to the back of the collar, but since it's the underside, no one will see this. Plus, I could leave bits and bobs of the pelt hanging loose and ragged, and painted the leather side in browns to match.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The end result, and the sad baggy of scraps that remain. I had just enough.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  32. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    So, I guess it was worth it. The real fur looks much nicer. I put an old coat to a better use, and I did eventually recycle the fake fur into another part of the Thorin costume, but more on that later.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] YUI_2531.JPG

    Urgh, what's left to say about this costume? Can't be too many more posts left to do.

    Hm. A little bit about the wig and beard and make-up, Orchrist's scabbard and baldric, and Thorin's man-purse. Accessories brag, maybe, but since I bought his jewellery, it doesn't really count.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
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  33. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    I'm very interested to hear about the face stuff (beard and makeup) since it looks so amazing!
     
  34. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Argh, I wish I could post loads of pics about the wig and the wefting, but I can't/ I was in stress mode trying to get the costume finished before an event, and pic evidence went by the wayside.

    Right. Wig and Beads and Ears.

    The wig itself, with practically no style needed, was this one out of China, shop was formerly called V-dress or V Style, but now it's Aliwigs. Maybe a subsidiary of Alibaba, since now they have AliExpress (where feikoi got her Fili wig) which means you aren't obligated to get a wholesale purchase of 100 wigs or something ridiculous. Anyway, I know people can get antsy about buying out of China sometimes, but with Feikoi and I, we had no issues. When I got the wig two years back, it was cheaper but had shipping added on. Now it's free shipping worldwide and the price is up. Ha ha, I see what you did there.

    If you search 'Vampire Diaries long wavy wig', this would pop up. Reasons I got this one - it was long, NOT STUPID CURLY, it had good variety of colours, and it had a lace front. I can't find the order form for it, but I think I got the 1b, natural black. Though the dark brown would probably also work. It's quite a good wig! Great style, thick, really nice. I loved it just as it is, it looked like an Albrecht Duhrer self portrait.

    For the side braids, Feikoi had some long black Japanese wefts with clips, which we just brute shoved into the wig's weft, and I pulled them over my ears. I later went back and sewed them into place over the bit of the wig that goes in front of the ear, since they kept trying to shift each time turned my head and I was getting tired of dragging them forward and potentially messing up my wig's hair.

    The braid itself is a round braid, not a three strand plait.
    tumblr_ni33dmEcae1qmr9fvo1_1280.gif
    Tutorials on doing them can be found here and here.

    The most important bit was the wefting, since Thorin has streaks in his hair as well as the deep widow's peak. Like feikoi, I used this tutorial on wefting using a sewing needle.
    We had hanks of Japan's brand of synthetic hair, Kanekalon. It's a great fiber, since you can style it with curling irons. I deepened the widow's peak with natural black and added in a white that feikoi had kicking around.

    Behold - my sole 'making' photo from that time.
    [​IMG]
    Process - Get Styrofoam wig head and if possible, T-bar headed pins, or something with a big head that won't stress the wig or lace front integrity.
    Tack wig down to head firmly.
    Put piece of paper under lace front with lines indicating where you are going to weft to, or if you feel lucky, use some kind of washable marker on the lace?
    Pin the heck out of the paper as well so it doesn't shift.
    Fold several strands of hair in half and thread through your sewing needle.
    Pick up a thread of lace and pull hair through until the folded piece is through, un-thread needle, carefully open that loop and pull the rest of the strands through, pull to tighten. But not so hard you stress where you folded that hair and break it or the lace. The white hair in particular was a bear for breaking for some reason.

    The white fabric was laid on so I could see the hair as I worked it. I added hair at the temples, widow's peak and the bits in front of the ears. In the centre front I started with five strand wefts, but as I got closer to the new hairline, got down to two or three. Then I cut the lace front about a centimetre or so out from the hair line. I probably could have left more, but I know nothing about properly covering lace fronts with silicon or whatever. Gotta say, spirit gum and make-up made the hairline a mess and it needs cleaning every time.

    How long did the wefting take? Well. About three or four movies worth - I sat until my butt was numb with a foam head clenched between my knees (we didn't have a stand or table clamp) and wefted through the extended editions of Lord of the Rings and Unexpected Journey, and maybe parts of the DVD 'Making of the Hobbit". There may have been more movies, but it's all a blur now.

    Being crap at actual styling with hair tongs, since I have curly hair and don't need them, feikoi took charge of styling the straight Kanekalon wefted hair into waves to match the rest of the wig.

    My first time out, I didn't bother with any beads in the wig aside from some clunky Fimo ones I made for the braid tips. The rest was left loose, and now I know why Thorin had his hair train back. It just got every where and feikoi had to groom me like a monkey. Or an actual top-flight Hollywood star (staring holes into YOU, Richard Armitage!)
    [​IMG]

    The beard and moustache were a set I got from Germany, the Robber Baron set. I'd emailed them to ask about the colour of the beard in the photo on the model, they assured me it was dark brown. It was not. Too light. But it was real hair, so I got some hair dye and fixed that. The moustache wasn't great, though. I wound up getting out another beard I bought on sale in Japan that was ridiculous and too big for my face and chopped new moustaches out of it. The white in the beard was at first just streaked in with white mascara stuff. I had to trim the beard, as well - the beard hair was quite long and I needed it to be closer to my chin. The first time I wore it, I bobby-pinned it. Second time out, I used a curling iron and spirit glue to stick it to the underside of my jaw. Third time, I cut the *.

    I eventually did the wiser thing and used some more white Kanekalon to weft the white streaks into Thorin's beard, and general thickened it up with black since it was a bit sparse in areas.

    I did make some gold beads from Worbla to pull his hair back on the sides, but I hope to buy some of these from this Etsy seller.

    I don't have any prosthetics aside from dwarf ears from Aradani (they do sell large and small dwarf noses and brows, though...). I haven't reached the point of cosplay where I'm going to invest in making my own pieces. YET.

    Anyway, what with the massive amounts of hair, hardly anyone notices either the ears or the hair beads, so perhaps I will save my money. That way I don't get cranky if I lose a braid bead the way I have already. (New Worbla set for those as well.)

    This pic is about the only one I have where you can see the ear clearly. The second is one of the few where you see the side bead. Yes, that Bilbo (yuichiiii) is... pretty much the correct size proportionate to my Thorin, lucky, aren't I?
    YUI_2551.JPG B9kPL1uIAAE7QYh.jpg

    How has the wig held up over several wearings, being stuffed into bags and trotted over Japan? Pretty well. It was getting tangled at one point, especially at the back of the neck underneath. And the curls get snagged on things like Orchrist's baldric buckle, or scabbard. I found out I could jam a wig head onto a dress dummy pole, pinned the wig to it and got to work.

    Use loads of detangling spray if you do this, and accept the fact you will lose hair. Start from the ends of the hair with a wide tooth comb, work the tangles carefully out with comb and fingers and spray. Clip the untangled bits out of the way, rinse and repeat going in small sections. Then get out your curling tongs and hey, why not - hairspray. I used a stiff spray, reset the waves, and that was that. Thank goodness, since I was terrified of ruining the wig.

    I'll post a little bit more on make-up later, but there's nothing too ground breaking there, since I didn't add on to my nasal proboscis in any way.
     
  35. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    You did such a good job with the hair parts! I'm not sure I will have the patience for wefting, but I have bought lace and a wefting needle to possibly remake my Bilbo foot pads at some point so I will definitely give it a try (eventually). My Bilbo wig had so much hair in it that I didn't even bother with the Hobbit ears (I couldn't find the correct shape anyways, only very tiny Elf-sized ones).
     
  36. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    I think we have two or three sets of ears now. We got a set from the place that had my beard set, and another set from the place selling Dwarf ears. I'm sure they are out there, those leaf-shaped hobbit ears.

    Wefting takes freaking forever. Maybe if I had that hook...! Good luck with that!
     
  37. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Orchrist's scabbard and baldric

    As I said upthread, due to Japanese law, I'm not able to buy a metal sword with doing this whole registration process that's convoluted and having it renewed as if the thing were a firearm every two years. And it'd be pointless, since most cons don't allow 'dangerous' props. I got the LARP version of Orchrist and have been pretty happy with it. If anything, my one issue is that I wanted to make a scabbard and the sword is rather thicker than a metal one would be.

    So, problem 1 - the scabbard will have to be much wider to accomodate the LARP sword.

    Problem 2 is my terror of breaking props. I don't have a car, I put things in suitcases and backpacks and take them on trains. It's not a gentle journey. I had wanted to make one out of foam, but scrapped it for one out of wood and plywood. Out came the jigsaw and my insouciant attitude towards shop safety and neighbouring apartments.

    Weta was kind enough to put up lots of nice pics of Orchrist's scabbard, including the art design version.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I used the thinnest plywood I could find and some pine that was about 3/4 or 1" thick to make the scabbard. Glue tests below.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    With the top piece of ply, there was just enough clearance for me to add a cloth lining in blue to keep scratching on the LARP sword to a minimum. Glue and finishing nails kept it together.
    [​IMG]
    Next came the Worbla, and I may as well say, I am such an amateur at Worbla. AND I was trying to the get sword done before Winter Comiket in two days. I managed to get the last bits of paint on and attach the fittings the night before the event, as one does. So the Worbla... could have been smoother. I just didn't have time to gesso the heck out of it. So. It's a bit rough and wobbly in places.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So, it's... yeah. I wish I had had more time. It gets the idea across, though. If I had time enough and space...
     
  38. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    I need to make a scabbard for Sting at some point - carrying it around all day at the con with nowhere to put it was annoying. :p I guess I should start thinking about that soon, if I want it ready for September!
     
  39. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    You ought to make one, at least Bilbo's is super-convenient! I mean, don't get me wrong, Thorin's back-scabbard looks as hot as, didn't The Highlander have one? It was annoying when I didn't have the scabbard, but... I really strain to pull and sheath the sword and usually just ask someone to put the darn thing away for me.


    Anyway - to better topics! What's your scabbard going to be made of? You have a metal Sting? Actual swords make me jealous.
     
  40. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    Back scabbards look so cool but are so impractical. :p

    No, I made a con-safe Sting from foam and worbla. Though I do have a lot of other real swords - I took swordfighting lessons for years. But no movie replica ones (yet).

    I haven't entirely decided what I'll make it from yet. I have a friend who made a scabbard for his plastic version of Glamdring so I'm going to pick his brain. I think he used cardboard (lined with felt, covered with pleather), but I could be wrong. It was a few years ago, and I know at one point he was talking about using thin plywood, but I think he ended up using cardboard instead (because he already had it so it was free!). I will have to look at some tutorials and figure out the best method for me.
     
  41. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    I had actually typed up a rant on how the heck has Thorin supposed to draw Orchrist fast from a back scabbard with how it's connected to the baldric, the length of the blade and his dwarfy arms, much less put it away. But I cut it. I don't have the DVD of the last movie yet but did you know I could not find any actually footage of him drawing i in the first two moviest? Or re-sheathing it? Points for cool and the actual practicality of having a long sword on the back for travelling because it won't be slapping your leg constantly as you walk. Minus points for, you know. Verisimilitude.

    Yeah. I've a set of schlager rapiers in Japan, but people get so antsy and weird about STEEL, I dunno that I'll ever use them for anything other than fencing (of course) and photoshoots. Never mind they are tipped with a huge ridic orange button. It's a pity, I'm working on an Aramis costume from the truly terrible 2011 movie.

    Cardboard, hm. I'd try that. I'd probably over engineer it, being me, to the point that it'd be laminated varnish and cardboard equivalent to actual wood. Thin plywood... hm, how? the 1/8 inch or veneer can be curved and steamed but for the odd shape of Sting's sheath at the tip, it might be tough. I've tried steaming veneer and it's hard to do and it warped then cracked. And I am not ashamed to admit that particular project ended in rage with me, the veneer and a blow torch and the fire pit. Good luck with the material of your choice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  42. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Orchrist's baldric

    I found a place in Japan that carried extra long belt blanks for guitar straps and got that. While also moaning that I hoped it would get to my place in time (time to convention running out) and cursing myself for doing projects that involve leather working.

    [​IMG]

    I tooled that sucker furiously when it came in and got it done in an evening.

    [​IMG]

    For the aged, pebbly look, hitting it with tools or whatever wasn't quite working, so I took the belt outside, found a decorative concrete planter edging that had a gravelly top, laid it on top and jumped up and down on it. The I picked out bits of rock that embedded in the leather. Worked perfectly; my proudest leather working moment.

    The fittings were sculpted and cast in a flurry - the belt casting, when I pulled it free, was actually not very good compared to the sculpt. But, no time! I embedded a large buckle into the resin for that piece. Prime, paint, added touches to colour to simulate blued steel and I called them done. I was so short on time that when I found I didn't have rivets in the correct size for the belt tip, I just snipped off some nails, shoved them in and glued it all together.

    Progress pic before I aged-painted the leather.

    [​IMG]

    After age-painting and finishing, done with acrylic paints over the leather dye.

    [​IMG]

    Belt buckle roughness aside, I was happy to get this thing together. One thing I found at that convention was the wood scabbard dragged the whole rig askew, and I wound up adding a punched piece of leather to the bottom of the baldric and tying it off to a thong that went through a slit in my pant's leg and around my thigh. ANOTHER reason back scabbards suck. There should be something like in these rigs - a leather belt around the waist, or a thigh band to keep it in place. Now y'all know.

    Right, almost at the end of the build notes. There's the non-canon-ish bag I made, and that's about it, aside from boring details of makeup. Oh, and more cosplay pics.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  43. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    I love how you textured the leather! Super clever, and also hilariously awesome.

    I'm thinking cardboard will probably be the way to go for Sting's scabbard, but I will have to do some investigating. I'll have to see if my friend is free this weekend so I can see how he made his scabbard, and I'll have to start collecting reference photos. I didn't bother when I was making Sting for my earlier con because I knew I wouldn't have time to make it before then - I finished Sting the night before, and sewed the hair pads onto my shoes the morning of, lol.
     
  44. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Production-inspired bag

    One of the things I'd noted from the first movie, back when all the dwarves still had nice gear and loads of it (like, where did Thorin use that bow he had in some pics? Does he ever use that axe or did he bury it in a Warg skull while they were being chased and leave it behind?) was that they all had nice packs and bags. Thorin had something interesting he was carrying around, but you never get any good screen shots of it. When the Weta book came in, I eagerly searched for more hero-accessories, but was disappointed. They featured other Dwarf's packs, but not his. Blurry screen shots it was for reference, then.

    The Weta book did state in the section about Dwarf belongings that Thorin's bedroll was a royal looking thing that had posh gold thread, ooh la la, but that's all I learned. In the screen shots, you can see it's draped over a sort of satchel/messenger bag style thing. The only details of the bag itself was that it had fur, and probably a leather strap. You can see the bedroll lavishly draped over it, along with the oak shield with a belt threaded through its straps (mine has a carrying strap on it that unclips which is simpler). The last pic is the only decent shot I have of the bag. Looks like leather with a decoration, and that hairy bottom.

    Well, hairy bottom bag it was then.

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    I toyed with the idea of making the bedroll, wondered when I'd ever use such a thing again and decided against it. Instead, I decided to combine the two things into one sort-canon bag. It would have the blue and gold idea of the bedroll, some leather, and the fur.

    Thorin's Hairy Man-bag Purse thing

    The pattern I went for was based on a messenger bag, and rather than worry about getting new materials for it, it was made up of scraps from the rest of the costume.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Pleather - from scraps of Thorin's leather outer robe.
    Blue velvet, pieced - from scraps of the blue velvet long waistcoat.
    Fur - from the fake fur collar of the leather robe, the one I pulled off and replaced with real fur.
    Lining - From potential lining for the armour (I eventually used one that had a smaller pattern, and this is a traditional Japanese festival print that still has that Dwarven aesthetic.)
    Backing for the embroidery - from leftover blue wool of Bard The Bowman's loose trousers.
    Leather for the shoulder (not very Hobbit-movie-ish but darned if I want that strap cutting into my neck) - from leftovers of making the belt.

    New items - 100 yen elastic, 220 yen worth of blue canvas strapping. The gold thread was a lucky strike - a shop was selling off 5000 m spools for 1000 yen and I took a chance - and it's the best embroidery thread in gold I've ever had - no breaking or fraying. The gold cord was something I've had in my closet for ages, but you can bet I wouldn't have paid much for it, and it has metal content so it won't fade or melt.

    [​IMG]r[​IMG]

    The bag is fairly big - I do lots of fan book shopping and the bottom will hold a B5 fan book laid flat, and then you can stack 20 pounds more of books on top. The pocket is NECESSARY. I don't have pockets anywhere else on the costume, not even on the pants. A shame, but it'd be a chore getting past all the other layers to reach them anyway.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The bag went together fairly quickly, aside from the embroidery. (Had to reinstall my pirated embroidery software - never ever buy Husqvarna unless you are a software thief like me. Each square took about 15 minutes or so for the machine to do). Out of the thousands of patterns I have, I tested about ten (used the rest to make little medieval pouches to sell) and decided on this one. Celtic, sort of Dwarfish, good enough. The blue velvet and gold echoes the thematic idea of the draped bedroll; the pleather and fur imitate the actual satchel Thorin carries. I applied the squares of embroidery to the velvet with the same gold thread in a thick zigzag stitch.

    I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but the more I look at it, the better it seems, and I'll probably use it for school or whatever when winter rolls around. This is Tokyo, and mad accessories are the least of fashion choices here. It's barbaric and rich-looking and that's cool enough for me.

    Anyway, there you have it - the last item made for the costume. Like the bag I made for the Bard costume, it's not a real thing the character has, but it matches the costume in style and is worthy to be carried at conventions without one looking stupid for having (as I've done already while in Thorin costume and dragging a wheeled suitcase because the bag check was full) a Sherlock printed bag or similar. Mind you, several people did want to know where I'd got the Sherlock bag, and I directed them to the artist's stuff on Society 6.

    I s'pose the last post will be a couple of notes on make-up, such as it is, and the other accessories, which were all purchased.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  45. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    I really, really like the bag (and I love that you call it a hairy man-purse, lol). The embroidery is gorgeous, and I cannot get over how beautiful that lining fabric is. I seriously wish I could go to Japan just to shop for fabric!

    If I ever get around to remaking parts of my Bilbo costume, I will replace the thrifted skirt with one that I make that has actual pockets. There are a couple of pockets in the jacket, but I don't want to carry much in them because the fabric is pretty lightweight so anything that's not small and flat shows up in pictures. And I need to keep one of them empty so I can put the One Ring in it and don't have to dig around to find it. ;)
     
  46. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Well, if you ever really hanker for the Japanese prints, they do nice ones. The stuff I used for lining is a med-heavish weight cotton, the print for the festival haoris is usually white on colours like green, blue and others. They do fantastic quilt fabrics with so many things from cute to elegant. Was at fabric store today (one of the pricier ones) and the med weight ones range from 580 yen to 780, I think? I wasn't paying attention. You don't find them for much cheaper since they are a touch specialized. That silver polyester one lining the blue velvet robe was 780 yen I think, but I really really wanted it. But there's always surface shipping to Canada, so it'd be somewhat cheaper at least, tho takes forever. Mind, you might find the prints in Canada for a decent price. I know my mom like the quilting cottons and they carry those in Canada. And there's all the obi fabrics, etc. But if you ever did get to Japan, Nippori station in Tokyo has Fabric Town - about 30 small to mid size shops. It's where the fashion students go to pick up cheap fabrics. When I go home on vacation, I always pick up 200-500 yen wools for friends. I mean, really, $2 for wools? Fan bloody tastic. This one shop which is tiny and has a fast revolving stock due to the fact nothing is over 300 yen often has odd things, like this silk-cotton that was dyed in real indigo. 200 yen. (I didn't buy it because I couldn't think of a reason and my storage is stuffed.) For some fabrics, in Nippori, it's so much cheaper than bloody Fabric-sodding-land.

    I love my hairy man-bag. I shall carry and pet it.

    But absolute yes to pockets in costumes! I put one in the Bard coat because it's so annoying not to have one. (And I didn't think of putting any in the pants, ugh, my thinking is so medieval at times.)

    And double yes to having the One Ring convenient! Must have Precious ready to pull out and use when needed.
     
  47. Yrien

    Yrien Well-Known Member

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    The fabric availability where I live is terrible, ugh. At some point I hope to make a trip to the fabric districts in Montreal or Toronto to see what I can find. In the meantime, I'm planning a trip to the States soon to check out JoAnn's Fabric, since I can't find half of what I need for costumes at the Fabricland here. :(

    Someday I'd love to visit Japan! I actually have a friend going in a couple of months. Maybe I'll see if she's willing to bring me back something, lol.
     
  48. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    There's a good section for fabric shops in Hamilton as well. Montreal I can't speak to, but Toronto's fabric district isn't bad. JoAnn's fabrics used to be better, imop as a former cross border shopper. They started branching out into more crafts, quilts and home decor and ya know, I'd rather just go to a plain fabric shop sometimes? And they could carry more fabric and fewer glue guns and stuff? Research the shops first, I guess.
     
  49. jessamygriffin

    jessamygriffin Active Member

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    Right, last notes.

    Muscle Suit - I started out with nothing but a T-shirt that I sewed pieces of heavy floor mat tiles to, in order to broaden the shoulders and help support that heavy, heavy armour. The issue was the mat was so wide and stiff I had trouble lifting my arms.
    [​IMG]

    So, I plunged into making a muscle suit off two layers of stretchy fabric, zaigzag stitched in vague muscle shapes to make pockets. I snipped the backs of the pockets open and stuffed them. It's a fairly similar suit to the one I made for Fili's, but mine has ab muscles where hers doesn't. I'm just going to use the picture of hers - they're similar enough it won't matter.

    2015-01-23 23.39.45.jpg



    Make up - I use ELF foundation stick and powder, and either brown eye-shadow or this brown eyebrow shaping pressed powder I got from the hundred yen shape for shaping under the cheekbones, the sides of the nose to make more like Armitage's and in the eye sockets to make them deeper. I usually don't bother with much age-lining, since I tend be have under-slept getting ready for cons and this nature provides the bags under the eyes naturally. Thanks, Nature. A bit of highlighting powder (It's Japanese, they sell this stuff to make their noses look high-bridged) for the forehead, nose, and cheekbones to raise them, and if I'm in the mood, some smears of wet brown shadow for dirt.

    The moustache and beard are applied with spirit gum if I have time and I'll be wearing them a while. (Note - even female should shave before applying this gunk. Ow.)
    If I don't have time and won't be wearing the hair appliances for more than a few hours, clear eyelash glue from the 100 yen shop is wonderful, wonderful stuff. I rec it for short term appliance work.

    Eyebrows - like prosthetics for the nose and brows, I've no idea how to make those or get the right materials while living abroad, so I handle the brows with three things. The brow powder mentioned above is first. Next a very fine felt-tipped eyeliner to add extra hairs to fill in below my brows, on the inside tips for that unplucked manly looked and more at the outer edges to widen and just generally bulk them up.

    The last product is slightly odd and I haven't seen the exact equivalent on Amazon US in this style, so I'll describe it. It's like a mascara, but the liquid is thinner, and it's a product for your hair sold in Japan to cover up greys. It comes in brown or black, and the quality will depend on price - the 100 yen stuff is good in a pinch but too runny, the drugstore option is better. Actual mascara will work, too, but I find it's a bit thick. I use this to colour the brow hair, and also brush it into better shape, which means instead of along the length, I brush it up and out. It's great stuff, washes out well.

    I think I mentioned my Dwarf ears upthread, but yeah - spirit gum or eyelash glue to apply them and it doesn't need to be a neat job since the hair covers all faults.

    Accessories - I bought the Key of Erebor from Weta and strung it on a thong for my neck. I also bought the bluestone ring Thorin wears from them. The last ring I got from a Japanese vendor. Other optional things I'll bring depending on the situation - an Arkenstone. It's a large faceted glass thing I got for 500 yen and I have a small multi LED keychain that lights it up in your hand. I've got some of the gold coins of the dragon's hoard from Weta. And lastly, I've got about 5 different flower crowns for Hobbit wedding and party pics, which we've used most of all - every one loves wearing those!

    And on to some pics. First bunch are from the first wearing of the costume.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    We didn't plan this group, they all just showed up. Gandalf is a Japanese girl with amazing lifts and elevator boots on - I'm 5'10" myself. Bilbo played by Feikoi, my flatmate. We're all girls, though I should mention. Haven't met a male yet in Japan who does Hobbit cosplay.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    AND THE WINNER OF THE MATCH BY K.O. - BILBO BAGGINS!

    Nice venue, but it was SO HOT in the cosplay area that by the end I was just, "GOD HELP ME OUT OF A LAYER OR THREE." And this was before I'd made the muscle suit.
    But since there was a camera, we had to make it more interesting.
    [​IMG]r

    Anyway, despite sweating my life out, we had a great time premièring the costumes for this venue.

    [​IMG]
     
    Yrien likes this.
  50. LancLancDoubleD

    LancLancDoubleD New Member

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    This is awesome! Your attention to detail and the use of so many techniques and materials is great. I love characters with so many different and diverse textures. You nailed the look and feel of the character and and the world he comes from. Kudos
     

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