Fili the Dwarf Costume Build

jessamygriffin

Active Member
The Belt continued

A million carefully cut pieces of leather, two million holes punched and sore hands later, feikoi finished the belt. The back leather was a scrap piece with a particularly ugly finish that was sacrificed and pieced for length. Feikoi bought several types of brown leathers in scraps to make up the overlapping pieces.

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Lacing took some time to copy the real costume belt as closely as possible.

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Belt Findings - feikoi had hoped to make them from Worbla but time constraints meant they were made from a type of eva foam, gesso, painted and aged slightly.

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jessamygriffin

Active Member
Finished Belt
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Feikoi's final comments on the belt from her Tumblr:

"SO PROUD OF THIS BELT
As far as I could count from the Costume Trail pictures, there should be 11-13 columns of tiles. I put in 13, though I will be reducing it to 12 and making the buckle straps shorter, as it proved to be a little too loose in action. (Good thing I didn’t finish the ties off in the back permanently ^^) Another word to the wise – make sure your belt tips will fit through the buckle. The belt loops were wide, and so not a problem, but only the fact that all the belt findings were foam and thus slightly flexible make this doable. The leather tiles are approximately 5x7cm each – a pattern post will go up later. IT IS ALL TO ACCURATE SCALE I AM SO HAPPY"


Wig Beads - Ha. WE DIDN'T MAKE ANY and have no intention of doing so. There's a seller on Etsy that we will eventually get a set from. But because the convention was so close, we improvised decorative beads. I'd found these sort of clasp things for purse straps or maybe curtain cords (no idea) that could be pinched closed. They were silver and gold, and in the sales section of a craft store, so I bought them, knowing we'd need them for this eventuality. And we did.

When the time came for finishing the moustache braids and hair braids, Feikoi tied off the braids with hair elastics. For the wide braid at the back of the wig, the clasp was partially flattened and folded around the braid. For the smaller braids, the clasps were just pinched around the barid. Actually, they were easier to use than real beads.

The Wig, Moustache and Beard

Fili’s golden mane:

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Although feikoi has hair about a metre long and in the same approximate colour, it was decided to use a wig that could be pre-styled and left alone.
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From Feikoi's Tumblr: The wig came in from Alibaba! Last two images are color adjusted to what it approximately looks like in my apartment lights. Also with test braids in :3 It’s not exactly the color I expected (this has a few brown streaks scattered through it), but I like it. And it’s so soft! Texture can be a major worry when ordering online. :)
This is my first time ordering off of aliexpress, so I was a little nervous. I spent a week or two sorting through listings, since obviously the super cheap things are, well, cheaply made, and some images were also obviously ganked from other sellers…

I decided on this wig based on several factors: the seller’s rating, lacefront, 150%+ density, curls and top volume, 24”+ length, and large size wig base (also elastic/open between back lefts, not solid lace, since I have a LOT of hair to fit under it). Some sellers also offer a choice in lace color, which is nice for blending. I purchased the first color option for this item, with added DHL shipping because my event is soon. It still only came to about $65 dollars, and it’s very nice quality. It even has a bit of a widow’s peak in it! (I wasn’t sure if this one typically had it, so I included a note with the order requesting one.^^)


Next - Wig styling
 

jessamygriffin

Active Member
Wig Styling and other parts

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From Feikoi's Tumblr: Fili wig, before and after brushing. (Please excuse the extreme mess ^^;; The ends of the wig are looped up onto the desk, since it was making the styrofoam head slowly topple over…) While brushing it out, I noticed I may have to use those wefts I picked up in the US for added volume after straightening. Dwarf heads are big. XD It also may be useful to make the earlock braids a little thicker…

It looks like I’ll only have to relax the curls slightly after this - supposedly a flat iron is okay to use on it (we’ll certainly see). I like wavy-haired!Fili, but the current state is still a bit too curly.

For anyone new to curly wigs, this is what happens when you take a brush to it. Generally speaking, you’re not supposed to brush (or even comb) wigs with ringlets or sausage curls, as they will split and fluff/frizz out, and it can be very difficult to impossible to make them go back. Cheaper or custom wigs also often have the curls sealed into place, so brushing breaks the bonds or causes frizzy snarls to happen, if you can separate them at all. So be careful! If you want neat-looking curls, never brush. If you want a cloudy mass (like I’ve done here and for my Scarlet Witch wig), take your time and work with small sections at a time, brushing the tips out first.


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Cutting and Styling above.

Moustache and Beard

The moustache was hand-ventilated on fine lace mesh using a sewing needle.
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From Feikoi: "Heck yes, lace ventilation! This is done with a big sewing needle just small enough to pass easily through the beige tulle (the soft fancy dress kind). I learned this method from firewolf826’s cosplay tutorial. It was done pretty heavy handedly, 4 to 10 strands per stitch in every other hole, because the wig fiber was fine and well, fancy braided moustache. It really should be a /little/ wider on my face, but I ran out of time.

Fun facts! I did most of this at work. All my coworkers kept finding reasons to pass by my desk and ask questions about it, or freak out thinking I cut my hair. (I had a good ponytail sized bundle sitting on my desk – jessamygriffin is threatening to leave it on my pillow one morning as a prank. CRUEL) I had done this a little bit last year, for Bilbo’s foot wigs, and they know I cosplay, so they’ll probably be expecting pictures when I see them this week. ^^;;

The beard is originally one of those wide Abe Lincoln ones. Due to time constraints, I just added in a few stitches of the wig hair across the middle to tie in the yellower color a bit, chopped off the sides /in the dressing room, and used about eight bobby pins to make it look cropped around my chin."



We ran out of time to do the beads or order the beads but had filigree little purse cord things that could be clipped around the braids to finish them, or flattened for the wide piece on the top back braid. Better beads will be forthcoming!

The beard was purchased in the US and is human hair, a copy of the Rubies brand one. The moustache was wefted by feikoi from straightened hair left over from the wig. About 8 inches was cut from the wig.

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jessamygriffin

Active Member
So, we did wind up bodging the twin swords from plywood (handcut with a craft knife again!) but have yet to make up the back sheath or to finish the sword hilts. But we have done some cosplay pics.

From start to finish, it took us a month to make the above, and both of us have full time jobs. This costume became the second job. It had a fantastic debut at Movie Paradise con in Tokyo - the last movie had just started showing and there were tons of Hobbit cosplayers at the event.

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From the same event:

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Yrien

Well-Known Member
Really great location for those pics! The Fili costume (and everyone else's!) turned out fantastic. Thanks for sharing the process. :)
 

jessamygriffin

Active Member
looks great, attention to detail is amazing :thumbsup
Thank you! And the killer thing is, there could have been so much MORE attention to detail. We never made special buckles for Fili's vambraces, for example. Still haven't bought the hair beads, too. Ah well.
 

gothic

Sr Member
I think you could go mad going for every little detail and most of the builds on here i bet people are not 100% happy there finished. The best thing about this forum is that your get constructive criticism (trim this, make that wider ect) and they appriciate the level of time and effort people put into there work......................and if any one comes up to you at a CON and says "actually its sunset yellow not yellow" then there not worth your time :)
 

jessamygriffin

Active Member
I think you could go mad going for every little detail and most of the builds on here i bet people are not 100% happy there finished. The best thing about this forum is that your get constructive criticism (trim this, make that wider ect) and they appriciate the level of time and effort people put into there work......................and if any one comes up to you at a CON and says "actually its sunset yellow not yellow" then there not worth your time :)
Oddly, I never considered putting up the actual WIP build things for the Thorin costume here when I was building it. Though I did check the RPF for other build blogs. It might have been helpful.

Ah, the authenticity police. I've heard tell of them, particularly from the reenactment community. Sadly for me, none of them have ever had the displeasure of encountering and saying something like that me. I wouldn't take it well, depending on their approach. It's a hobby, it ought to be fun.
 

gothic

Sr Member
yeah i was named and shamed because my Darth Vader cloak was 10mm to long.................yes it was my fault i was tired, the convention was the next day and now...... im a broken man pmsl :lol
 

Guri

Sr Member
Thank you so much for posting your in progress and the details of how you did everything. It is incredibly impressive and informative.

I was just about to start my husband's Fili and was dreading doing all the research because I don't have a lot of time and here I find your amazing resource... I seriously can't thank you enough!! And it looks FANTASTIC!!!! :love
 

jessamygriffin

Active Member
Thank you so much for posting your in progress and the details of how you did everything. It is incredibly impressive and informative.

I was just about to start my husband's Fili and was dreading doing all the research because I don't have a lot of time and here I find your amazing resource... I seriously can't thank you enough!! And it looks FANTASTIC!!!! :love
Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it and that we can help!

If there's something you need, like the patterns feikoi did on Photoshop from the production book (easier and clean for stencil cutting) let me know, I'll post those up as well. I ought to do that anyway, since they are a good resource. I shall ask her forthwith. Once you get those, you can size them on your PC for what fits your pattern best, and use them as paint stencils or whatever. Keep on eye on the thread.

On another note, for the raised patterning, I saw another post. If you decide to go that way (and it will take time, any way you do it) and prefer using a sewing machine, this girl did it very successfully on this post on Tumblr here.
 

Guri

Sr Member
The patterns would be really helpful, if you have time for it. I have a pretty good eye, but it does take time.

My plans right now are to only make the pants, boots, wrist guards, fingerless gloves, under robe and the leather(I'm using vinyl) vest. I'm going to skip the coat because this is for Dcon and it'll be way too hot.

His wig just came in yesterday! Weee!
 

feikoi

New Member
Re: alternate method from tumblr: I don't know if I'd have the patience to do the sewing, but it looks like more durable and more flexible than the foam and glue! Just two cents from someone who's done it, lol. Their finished pattern is less pronounced than mine, but it also will never separate, so, go them. :D (I might have to try this when I redo the pants. Those bloody pants, urgh.)

Anyway, I'm including the pattern pieces here -- sorry to take so long to get them up. I have some notes and tips written in the captions. The original coat, I discovered from some screencaps, has different width skirt panels in the front. WHY, I DON'T KNOW. I just did the same for both, but if you want to do it more accurately, I have both panel designs up. The panels are trapezoidal, so I have some lines marking the angles at which the tall trim should be aligned included.

Fili Reference and Patterns - Album

A few thumbnails from the album:
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Note on the leather belt (above) -- there are two long horizontal bands, each a little more than a centimeter wide. (Should be 1.5, but I don't remember if the leather I had available was actually that width.) The top one is visible, but the bottom one comes under the tiles and over the vertical anchor strip.

Follow the album link for more reference material and patterns!
 

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