Aragorn build (Helm's Deep battle gear stuff, WIP)

belligerent

New Member
Hi there. New member but have been lurking for several months. Figured I'd start a build thread, hoping that it will keep me accountable and motivate me to finishing all this before I need to have it finished.

Brief personal background:
Semi-veteran "cosplayer" (since 2010), gradually have been moving into more elaborate things. Motorcyclist, former professional artist, metalhead, INTJ.

Build info:
I need to have this done for a con in September (you can try and guess which one but you probably won't be right). I picked this specific costume because it looked the coolest out of his stuff, basically, IMO, and because it involves chainmaille.

And because I'm crazy.

I'll be updating this first post with progress as it's achieved. Will try to link stuff to the proper posts, pics, etc. We'll see how that goes!

--------------------------------------------
Progress (updated 4/10):
  • Boromir's vambraces - One fully completed, other cut out and ready for tooling/dying/assembly.
  • Quilted vambraces - One fully completed, other cut out and ready for assembly.
  • Red shirt - Pattern and material bought. Pattern will have to be modified to add yoke, different collar, etc.
  • Brown jerkin - Suede bought.
  • Boots - Suede and lining bought, pattern drafted from a last and pieces cut. Soles bought. Research.....
  • Chainmaille shirt - Built jig to make rings, cut several thousand rings (aluminum, butted). Woven about 1sq ft of maille...
  • Belt - Complete except for some stitching.
  • Sword - Bought materials. Lathe on order. Made cutting pattern for blade. May try to cast after master creation, not sure.
  • Glove - Pattern drafted, material bought.
  • Accessories/other weapons - Buy/Make/etc
  • Weather everything.

I can sew jackets all day but can't make a pair of pants to save my life, so luckily I already own a pair of black leather pants. That's pretty much the only thing I'm not doing from scratch. I know I'm forgetting stuff but I'll add it later if I remember...

It's a bit ambitious, maybe, but we'll see how it turns out. Ideally I will have this all done by August so I can get it weathered in time for the con.

After I'm done with this costume configuration, I may make his other layers, too, although finding the right green color in a garment leather for the duster might be an issue.
------------------------------------------

Since I'm new, I don't know when my posts will show up, so I'll go ahead and put a couple images in the thread to make it slightly more interesting (I'll probably take them out later).

bracers1.jpgbracers2.jpg
Vambraces. I'll take better pics/lace them properly when I have both of them done. I'll try to take extensive pics of the process when doing the left arm.
 

belligerent

New Member
Done some work on this jerkin thing.

I made the pattern based on a t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off, essentially making a rub-off and then editing as needed for stuff like seam allowances. Drew the pattern on newsprint, then transferred it to three "econo sueded split" hides I got from Tandy. The cost of the leather in this is maybe $35 altogether?

Sewed it together, added binding (made of strips of the same suede...glued on, then top-stitched, kind of like bias tape...), added lacing to the sides...now I'm working on getting it looking dark/dirty enough. Basically I'm taking a combination of suede dye/leather dye/water to it. I'll do another round of darkening after this (probably with leather dye, since it's harder on the nap of the suede than actual suede dye and is a cooler brown). After these pics were taken, I also hit it with some greenland wax, which is a waterproofing wax but makes the suede look worn if you go over the raised edges.
weathering1.jpgweathering2.jpg
(then this one is pre-weathering, with belt. the mannequin is roughly the same measurements as I am. It is a men's small.)
tumblr_n4d06hu9cD1r29pc0o1_500.jpg

Also after trying to sew a glove myself and getting really annoyed with it, I made a slightly saner decision to buy a pair of unlined police gloves and cut the fingers off the right glove. I took leather cement and glued the seams together so the stitching wouldn't come undone. Also pictured are some of the ties for the front of the jerkin, which I am hand-braiding from strips of the same suede I made the jerkin from. I think the actual costume uses a four-strand braid but I'm not that coordinated and couldn't figure it out. I don't think three strands is going to look all that different...

gloveandties.jpg

I still have to figure out how the ties should attach to the front of the jerkin. It's not totally clear in the pics I'm working from, even though they're really close up.
 
Last edited:

CorriTimigan

Active Member
I'm working on a shoddy (read: budget) Aragorn costume myself and I'm putting off the ties as well. I presume you're working from pictures on Alley Cat Scratch?

It looks as though there are simple holes punched through the leather and the ties are knotted on both sides of the hole to stop them moving. Something about it doesn't seem right, though :unsure
 

belligerent

New Member
Yeah, I'm working mostly from what's on Alley Cat Scratch, and some other random galleries I had to do a massive amount of obscure googling to get to (DVD drive in my computer isn't working or otherwise I'd go through the movies for screenshots).

What I decided on doing is punching a hole and then looping the tie through, around the front, and through itself, then knotting in the back. I don't know how to describe it clearly so I'll take a pic after they're all on to show you what I mean. I don't think that's how it was done on the actual costume, but this is close enough and should be as secure as I need it to be.
 

belligerent

New Member
After trying to start the sword several times and failing, I decided to work on something smaller, first. I bought an inexpensive scroll saw from Harbor Freight and did the elven hunting knife in MDF. The edge was shaped with a dremel. Next is uh bondo I guess??

I need to cut out two more pieces that are handle-shape, laminate them to the blade, and then fill in the gaps. I kind of did this slightly the wrong way, but that's how we learn, right? I have intentions of casting this, but we shall see.

huntingknife.jpg

Also won an auction for a knockoff (I'm assuming, based on price...) of the Strider sword, so once I have that in hand, I think it'll be easier to replicate.

I have a lot of work to do before September...
 
Last edited:

belligerent

New Member
Cut out the handle last night and attached it via wood glue (just kind of sandwiched it on to the "tang" of the blade and clamped it down), then today I got to work with bondo for the first time and I absolutely didn't waste any of it at all and it all went perfectly.

tumblr_n6tevzWGCe1r29pc0o1_500.jpg
This is after about two hours of bondo + shaping with a dremel.

Still need to put the metal bits on it (probably with either apoxie sculpt or craft foam??) and am probably going to break down and finally get a vinyl cutter so I can do the detail on the blade. Then I have to figure out what I'm casting this in. I have some smooth-cast but I don't know if that's the proper route to go with this. If anybody has any guidance, I am all ears.

I imagine I'm going to have to get some brush on silicone for the mold, as well.
 

belligerent

New Member
I've been sick lately and haven't wanted to mess with chemicals/sanding/etc so the last couple days I've been trying to work on little odds and ends while I'm feeling better. Last night, I did the pouches for the belt. Uh, I didn't have a stone to use for the wet-forming, so I just used the most convenient thing about the size and shape of the pouch...which happened to be a kazoo. So this is a kazoo sheath apparently...

kazoosheath.png
 

belligerent

New Member
Uh so here's an update on this since it's been a while. Person I was planning on doing this costume with moved on to other things for the time being, so since I'd already put a bunch of work into it, I went ahead and completed the bulk of this cosplay for DragonCon. I still have to make: boots (partly done), prop sword (also partly done), scabbards for everything... I also want to make a more screen-accurate maille shirt, since the one I bought is steel and is about 30 pounds, and it is difficult to get on and off due to not having closures at the back. (also it's cooler if I make it myself? More cred that way, I guess...)

Did a shoot at Anime Weekend Atlanta with a friend who is a photographer and here are a couple shots of how it turned out:

6nTF0JDPVqQ5r3wg7mFM5Z.jpg
29jqHGuRryi80tS38uNy55.jpg
3Gx36ePRGQFhewpyNig2aB.jpg

Once I get the boots, sword, etc done (aiming for the end of October since I have it entered in something), I'll put up more details here about how I actually made everything.
 

Zalkegeroth

New Member
Its looking good! if you ever need any reference shots of any of the weapons just let me know. Also I assume you have the Weapons and Warfare book, which goes into detail about all the armor and weapons of basically every character in the film.
 

belligerent

New Member
Thanks! I actually don't have that book, but it seems like something I should locate a copy of; thanks for the tip! I do have a metal copy of the sword (a chinese knockoff of the UC strider sword...it's not bad quality but I can't have metal weapons at most cons I go to) that I'm working off of. I'm scaling the one I'm making down a little because I'm not quite as tall as Viggo Mortensen, so I'm trying to make it proportional to my height. I ran around with the metal one at DC but it also didn't seem to balance totally right...I'll have to play with it some to see if I can weight it so it hangs correctly when sheathed...
 

Zalkegeroth

New Member
Thanks! I actually don't have that book, but it seems like something I should locate a copy of; thanks for the tip! I do have a metal copy of the sword (a chinese knockoff of the UC strider sword...it's not bad quality but I can't have metal weapons at most cons I go to) that I'm working off of. I'm scaling the one I'm making down a little because I'm not quite as tall as Viggo Mortensen, so I'm trying to make it proportional to my height. I ran around with the metal one at DC but it also didn't seem to balance totally right...I'll have to play with it some to see if I can weight it so it hangs correctly when sheathed...
It is a book worth getting, though it has gone up in price since when I got it. and for getting it to hang properly, its all about the two leather straps you use and where they are placed, as well as the pommel weight. But it is coming along great!
 
Top