Assassin's Creed Revelations Ezio WIP (Lots'a pics)

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by WereDrelf, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    I am late to the Auditore party, but I just recently discovered the Assassin’s Creed games, falling in love with the series and simply had to make my own Ezio. I especially like his outfit and the game atmosphere in Revelations. So I set out to make my first replica-build ever, and shooting for high accuracy, I am paying for my lofty plans with a long time-frame...

    Here is what I have so far. Still a long way to go, but I am much enjoying the process.

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    I will describe the making of the pieces one by one. Starting with the armor.

    The Upper Arm Plates:

    I don’t have Ezio’s guns, so I needed to adjust width dimensions to my non-building-scaling arms, but I like the way it turned out.
    The two plates were tooled individually, then merged.

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    I used fairly thick (belly) veg tan leather. The pattern was hand-drawn with the help of endless screen shots I took during gaming as well as other pictures available. All leather edges were beveled. Transfer of the pattern to the leather was made after wetting the leather, tracing the lines with a modeling tool, or old ballpoint pen. I cut the lines with the swivel knife, then tooled with a smooth beveler.

    While the leather was still moist I wrapped one piece around a towel-wrapped water-bottle (roughly the diameter of my arm) and tied the piece in place with a cotton cloth. I shaped the upper edge by stuffing a terry wash-cloth behind it. This is how I let the whole thing dry. It kept its shape nicely.

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    Once the piece was dry, I could stain it with a tan rub. This had to dry as well, then I hand-painted all “metal” parts with silver acrylic leather paint (two coats with drying in between). Once this was dry, I used a paint-and-rub technique for the aging: I painted a small area of the “metal” with black acrylic paint and almost immediately rubbed it back off with a cotton cloth (or actually an old sock…). The black paint stuck to the crevices, making the part look like old, corroded metal. The rest of the metal parts received a bit of a watered-down black rub to take off some of that metallic luster.

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    The straps are made of a thinner leather. They attach and detach underneath the plates with Velcro (authentic 15th century Velcro, of course!), to allow for width adjustment. The straps received a straight line indentation using a craft-tool to mimic stitching lines. I died these with a darker color. Both leather plates were fused together with gunmetal colored rivets, some of which are also holding the straps and Velcro in place.

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    I have worn my first piece of armor during dinner and for other project work, and so far have not sustained any upper arm wounds.

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
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  2. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    The Spaulders

    After cutting the piece (also an eye-balled shape with trial versions in paper), beveling the edges and tooling, it was time to shape the form.

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    These were a little trickier than the arm plates, because they needed to be shaped fully three dimensional, not just wrapped around a bottle. But once again, my trusty little salad bowl (I will be describing it more under the Robes section.) came in very handy! After tooling, the leather was still almost moist enough for shaping, so I added just a little water on the back side and then started to manhandle the leather piece into the shoulder-fitting spaulder shape, using the bowl as an aid.

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    It took a fairly long time and patience, but once it had nice smooth curves I was able to tie it around the bowl (like I did with the water bottle before). The bowl also has a nice lip, which came in handy for the outward curving edges.

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    Once the piece was dry, I treated it just like the arm plates: Tan with leather dye gel, dry, paint the “metal” parts with silver acrylic (two coats with a dry day in between), then aging with a black acrylic rub. This time I diluted the black paint more to create a somewhat more subtle aging effect. Of course, now the arm plates don’t completely match the spaulders, but maybe I will repaint them later…

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    The outer spaulder is a complete piece. I did not have enough leather for a whole second one, but since most of the inner one will be tucked under the outside one anyway, I simply cut, tooled and painted what I had. Both parts were glued together.

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    This photo also shows the aged versus the non-aged metal sections.

    Once that glue was dry, I glued a scrap piece of a different kind of leather to the inside (a wonderful oil tanned leather that feels so good, I keep wanting to touch it). This was cut to the right shape after drying. This piece is the little leather flap that shows between the spaulders and the fabric cushioning.

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    Then I went completely crazy: There appear to be no round fasteners of any kind on Ezio’s spaulders, but I wanted to use at least one rivet per corner strap. So, I got out the trusty Dremel and turned four round rivets into four square(ish) ones, which at least somewhat match the little diamond shaped doohickeys on the originals. Doing all of this free-hand, I of course shot a few rivets across the kitchen, never to be seen again…

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    The progression of (anything but) perfection

    I am still working on the harness straps, so this is as far as I got on the spaulders so far.
     
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  3. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    The Robes

    The fabric for Ezio’s robes has baffled many a cosplayer. I decided to go with fabric that gives me the right look from a distance as well as the right drape, but I compromised by not looking for the detailed, subtle patterning, which is only visible at certain angles. I ended up using a linen/rayon twill and a linen/cotton twill, which are both yarn-dyed and have an almost denim-like look. One is a little darker blue grey than the other.

    The basic construction is a (slightly tailored) jacket with the four undermost panels attached (darker fabric); and a vest (using the same pattern as the jacket, only shorter) onto which I attached the rest of the “dangly bits” as well as the hood (lighter fabric). The vest piece hides the zipper in the jacket piece.

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    The underjacket part with zipper but without attachments, and the upper vest part at a later stage

    Some of the hanging panels are single layer fabric, some are double, depending on how I wanted them to move. For most pieces I made a muslin version first. This helped to see how they would hang and move.

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    Before the final attachment of all panels I had to check the exact placement again, so all pieces were only pinned to the jacket and vest at first. Needless to say, it was not easy to don and doff this prickly piece of robe mess…

    I rimmed the innermost (darker) robe tails with light grey bias tape. 9 yards of tape…. (And then it turned out a good yard was not supposed to be there. Ah, backwards progress!)

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    The straight embroidery lines on the robes are zigzag stitching or various widths. The top of the hood plus beak as well as the larger side panel designs I embroidered by hand, and borders like the hood sides for example I decided to machine embroider with my regular sewing machine (My fingers remain miraculously safe from getting sewed on, so far…!).

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    Machine embroidery; hand embroidery side; hand embroidery hood; and bonzai-Ezio pointing out an error. Everyone's a critic...

    Of course, this brought up the problem of fabric warping (especially for the single layer fabric), but pressing the pieces through a damp cotton cloth solved most of the wave-problems.

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    Somewhat hard to see, but it's before and after pressing

    The hood – the hood, the hood, the hood… bane of every AC cosplayer. THE iconic symbol of any assassin. It needs to be accurate.

    My very first step of this whole project had been to try and figure out the basic hood pattern pieces. So I measured, drew and cut until I came up with a reasonably ok looking center hood piece cut out of a black plastic bag (for better drape). I pinned this piece to the top of a Styrofoam wig head, and there it stayed – until much later in the process, when I actually dared to tackle this thing for good.

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    One thing I realized quickly was that my dress dummy Helga needed a head of my personal dimensions to create a well-fitting hood. I had seen a few of those internet blurbs about making a dress dummy with duct tape, so I applied this technique to my head: I cut open one long side of a plastic bag, pulled it over my head with only the face sticking out and started to wrap it with lots and lots of duct tape pieces, covering everything but my face. I pulled the bag across the front of my neck and taped all around it as well. Once the shape was nice and firm, I cut it open in the front of the neck (fun to do with sharp scissors in front of a mirror…). This is what it looked like:

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    I then taped the face part shut and stuffed the whole thing with plastic bags. Helga has a nice plinth on her neck, so I only had to shove the duct tape head on top – Voila! This head helped tremendously!

    All hood pieces are eye-balled from photos, drawn on paper, measured, adjusted, cut out of pattern paper, adjusted again, cut out of muslin, sewn together and tried on, followed by more adjustments, before I dared a fabric attempt. Even after I had a somewhat satisfying hood, I continued to make small adjustments for a while, until I was happy with the fit and drape.

    Moist-ironing the hood into shape presented another new problem. The solution was found in a grocery store: I bought a small salad bowl with a round-ish bottom and filled the not-round part with polymer clay, which I baked. The result was a nice, firm, round platform to use for ironing-shaping the hood.
    Here are some photos of this sidekick:

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    Still lots of embroidery to do… I will post updates.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  4. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    The Pants

    For the pants I splurged and bought Italian linen, because it is a wonderful fabric, making the pants wearable without the costume, and because it simply tickled me to have Italian pants for my Italian Ezio.
    The pattern is an easy (slightly modified, of course) drawstring/elastic waistband lounge pants pattern, but it ended up fitting so well that I can wear the pants for casual summer events as well.

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    Just to have some fun, I decided to machine embroider the pocket on the back with the assassin insignia. This pocket, as well as a leg side-pocket, I added to the pants to have some place for a wallet as well as a cell phone at a con (the leather pouches worn on the back seem just too tempting for those pesky AC pickpockets).

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    A tip for those who have not machine embroidered before: Do NOT forget to put the foot mechanism down! (Easy to forget, because the foot is detached) This will lead to a nice bird’s nest mess of loops on the back of the fabric!


    The Scarf

    Clearly Ezio’s scarf is wrapped, not some kind of a tube. But when one wraps a scarf with stripes, said stripes will end up diagonal in one way or another (Yet another “accurate or workable puzzle”).
    Additionally, an earlier version of my wrapped scarf made it look like I got swallowed by a giant sock. I ended up cheating: To cut down on fabric, I made a minimal, tighter wrap for around the neck only, which closes with Velcro in the back. Then I made a type of bib and attached it in exactly the diagonal wrap position I wanted. When worn under the hood, it looks just like a wrapped scarf.

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    That's it for now. I will continue to add to this thread. Thanks for checking in. :)
     
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  5. dog of ulthar

    dog of ulthar Member

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    Everything is looking really good, and I appreciate the detailed walkthrough for the armor. I'm glad nobody managed to stab you at dinner.

    Really nice job on the embroidery. I've done both extensive satin-stitching and hand embroidery before and both take incredible patience.
     
  6. GingerLiz

    GingerLiz New Member

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    This is super awesome. You're putting so much thought and experimenting into this, and it's looking so fantastic! I really like the method you used for Helga; I might have to borrow it.
     
  7. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Thank you for your kind words, dog of ulthar and GingerLiz! Yes, embroidery sure is a test of patience (which I admit I still have to master). By all means, feel free to borrow the Helga head method, GingerLiz. She would be honored. :)

    And just a little add-on:

    The Sash

    This is simply a long piece of flowy fabric that wraps around the waist a few times. I picked a synthetic fabric that shines a little brighter red, when the sun hits it.

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    Yup, I was using tweezers to roll the hems of the entire sash, 2 inches at a time….

    If the sash is wide enough, one end can be left hanging out at the lower left hip, creating that “triangle” on Ezio’s side.

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    Still need to finish that one side...

    I will secure the start, end and wraps with little pieces of Velcro, once I know exactly how the fit will be. That way Ezio will be free to sword-play without coming undone.

    Soon I will write up the making of the first leather pouch.
     
  8. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    A brief addendum to the spaulders:

    First straps are done, so the dremel'ed rivets now spring into action (as opposed to all over my kitchen).

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    And just for fun:

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    Working on more authentic methods of leather weathering

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    An artsyfied shot of my hood, which I liked so much, I made it my new avatar

    Happy Sunday all! :)
     
  9. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Sitting here with my arm on ice - good time for an update.

    The first Pouch

    I started with the middle (medicine?) pouch. This is the one Ezio has from the beginning, so if I don’t get around to the other pouches, at least the important one is there.
    The pouch is made out of 3-4 oz veg tan leather. I pressed all the lines into the moist leather pieces using a craft tool and a ruler. Then I dyed and finished all pieces, before I arrived at the stitching part.

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    For this project I taught myself to hand-stitch leather, using the saddle stitch, which turned out to be fun. And it was made quite a bit easier by using a stitching pony. The basic process is to create a stitching grove, mark equal-distance stitching holes with an overstitch wheel, and then stitch with two needles, one on each end of the waxed thread. This way every hole gets stitched through from both sides and the seam will still hold, if one side is damaged. It also looks good.

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    Making the stitching grove; stitching; and the turned pouch

    I decided that non-visible inside seams would look most accurate. This also meant that the seams would be hidden, in case my first ever leather stitching attempt turned into Frankenstein’s monster. Thankfully it didn’t, and I found leather stitching to be a fairly easy, rewarding activity. Turning the sewed pouch right-side out was much easier with the thin leather I used.

    Another puzzle: If you look very closely at Ezio’s pouch in the game, you will soon realize that the latch in this configuration is not a workable closure. To maintain accuracy, yet have a closable pouch, I used snap closures instead of rivets to attach the latch strip.

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    The mostly finished pouch:
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    The snaps on the back straps will get attached, once I have the belt done, as I will need to know its width. I also still need to add some more weathering.

    A comparison with a game shot:
    Middle Pouch comparison.jpg
     
  10. Athanasios

    Athanasios Active Member

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    Very nice work so far, keep it up! One thing I would recommend when tooling the leather, take your time with the beveling tool, and tap the hammer more often while moving it forward in smaller increments. That way you get a smooth finish and you don't have individual divets.
     
  11. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Thank you! And thanks for your input! Yes, I was thinking about trying to strop the beveler more on the jeweler's rouge to make it glide instead of hop. :)
     
  12. Athanasios

    Athanasios Active Member

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    Hmm... I've never stropped my beveler, so I don't know what effect that would have. The issue with hopping is mostly in the skill of the user. You have to tap the hammer more quickly while sliding the beveler evenly along the edge of the line. Also depending on how wet the leather is, it may be more difficult to smoothly move the tool.
     
  13. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    I definitely need more practice... :)
     
  14. Belleb08

    Belleb08 Active Member

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    dude!!! this is some awesome work!!
     
  15. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Thank you very much, Belleb08!

    And apologies for the lack of updates. It has been too nice outside to get much done... Working on armor harness and more embroidery right now.
     
  16. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Not much progress during the summer, but I finally made it back to my sewing machine and finished (minus a few still needed adjustments) the crest embroidery on my cloak.

    Ezio.jpg
     
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  17. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Ever wondered how an assassin starts to make bracers...? ;)

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  18. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    The first bracer (or vambrace, if you prefer) is done!

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    The leather work and tooling was pretty much the same as for all other armor, so I won't bore you with endless repetition. One difference, however, was that I used a beveler with shading pattern and a pear shader for the tooling, because all screenshots show Ezio's bracers to have a subtle background pattern. This also made the ornamentation pop out nicely, once I applied the color.

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    The leather pieces and added paper pattern pieces - It took a while to hand-draw all these from screenshots.

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    A half tooled piece showing the difference in 3D effect

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    All tooled parts together for a test fit, and after dye application - I love the ratty look of the uneven dye.

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    Then came the exciting assembly; all done with rivets, no glue - I added a few hidden rivets, just in case the decorative ones pop off at an inopportune moment.

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    Yup, it is possible to swing a hammer while wearing a hidden blade!

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    The finished bracer again. Just need to add the fur on both ends.
    The hidden blade is purchased (the rubber Black Flag version). I may get into building my own in the distant future.

    Now to building the second bracer....
     
  19. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    The bracers now have fur.

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    And I made a small change:
    I did not want to permanently attach the fur to the leather (or use a complete furry underwrap), so that I could wear leather-only bracers as well. I ended up attaching the faux fur pieces with Velcro. I integrated the straps into the rivets, and sewed the opposite pieces onto the fur (Fun...!). The bottom Velcro strap now also has another important function - I can close the end-flaps tightly around my wrists to keep the bracer from simply slipping off, when worn without a hidden blade.

    DSC_4689_A.jpg
     
  20. CheesyKNB

    CheesyKNB New Member

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    great overall build! i used a very similar fur my old ezio as well
     
  21. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Thank you, CheesyKNB! Yes, that fur is a nice match for the original. Do you have a write-up of your Ezio creation?
     
  22. CheesyKNB

    CheesyKNB New Member

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    Unfortunately not :( Just a couple of pictures scattered on my FB and Deviantart (http://cheesyknight.deviantart.com/)
     
  23. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    Oh yes! I remember your Ezio well. What a beautiful replica! Your details were definitely a source of inspiration, when I started mine. And the photography with your friend modeling was gorgeous as well.
    Yes, that fur looks very similar to mine. :)
     
  24. CheesyKNB

    CheesyKNB New Member

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    thank you! i never actually got around to making the pauldron properly so i will be taking some inspiration from you in return :D
     
  25. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    :lol Love it! And I am honored! Do post photos, if you can. :)
     

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