Game of Thrones: Jorah Mormont Leather Armor Build

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Wailonskydog, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    After updating my Jorah sword and scabbard to high-quality leather (http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=232235) I'm setting my sights on rebuilding the armor in leather. I originally made it out of EVA foam with leather and vinyl coverings (http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=228404) but now I want to make it completely out of vegetable tanned leather as the "original" would have been.


    [​IMG]


    The armor consists of the chest and back plates which will be a base of leather tooled/stamped to the woven pattern with leather overlays around the top/bottom and sides, the two bicep guards, the bracer, and the pauldrons. Lots of pieces to glue together and tool. I'll have to make some custom stamps to get some of the patterns. It's a bit daunting but since I've already made one I think I have most of the design and details worked out and just need to transfer it to the leather. We'll see how it goes.



    [​IMG]

    I first made templates for the front and back of the breastplate out of aluminum foil and duct tape. I used the old armor as a guide and updated the shape where needed. I can trace these patterns onto the leather and also cut them down for templates for the leather rims around the outside. I already drew on some of the addition pieces which I'll cut out eventually.



    [​IMG]

    Here they are cut of of some 9/10oz leather from a double shoulder. I'll be using that and some heavier 12/14oz leather for most of the pieces.



    [​IMG][​IMG]


    And a template for the front panel.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    I cut out the main front and back pieces and also the side pieces. Those were a little thick so I skived them down on my homemade skiving machine.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Each piece got wet down, sides marked with the divider, and upper edge bevelled.


    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Got all the pieces ready for dying. The chocolate color looks like a pretty good match.






    [​IMG]


    Once the dye dried, I rounded the edges with a burnisher and then went over them again with a wax blend to seal them up. I also oiled up the leather since the dye tends to dry it out and sealed with a finishing wax.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    This is the weird rounded piece from the bottom of the breastplate. On my old version of the armor I could never figure out how to get this right but working with nice leather made it easier. I was able to form it into roughly the right shape after giving the leather a good soak. The top part that isn't dyed with be under the front leather piece. I made need to skive that down a bit once things start coming together but I'm happy with it for now.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    This is the medallion on the front. I was able to draw a nice circle with the divider but putting the center point on another piece of leather I taped to the center so it didn't damage the piece. I scribed another circle which I'll use later when I try to tool the details into the piece. I cut it out using a rotary cutter making closer and closer tangential cuts. Still need to sand down the edges with my dremel and bevel the edge. I won't dye and finish this until I tool the design on which will be interesting since I haven't done much of that kind of work before.

    That's it for now but I hope to be making a lot of progress on this quickly since I want it ready by the end of the month.
     

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  4. closet batfan

    closet batfan Well-Known Member

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    Wholly cow this looks great, it's looks like you know what you're doing, you've certainly got all the gear. I'm looking forward to seeing how this armour progresses.
     
  5. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    A couples updates: I though about a couple ways to make a leather stamp to imprint the thatch pattern onto the armor. I discounted grinding it into a steel bolt or carving out of a wood dowel because the pattern seemed too hard to replicate that way. I ended up molding the pattern out of Sculpy and then casting that in resin. It's not as tough as steel or oak but it turned out pretty well and I can cast more if it breaks. You can see the piece glued to the end of a dowel and the imprints it made. I also dyed the leather black and tried some different finishing options as I want this part to be a little glossy. I think it turned out more than passable but it's going to be a lot of work to stamp this over almost the entire project.

    As a side note, I forgot to reverse the pattern from the actual armor when I molded it so the longer point is on the right but should be on the left. I guess that's pretty minor but not worth fixing at this point.





    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Also cut out the pieces for the bicep guards and vambrace. And some top pieces that will be glued on the vambrace. They're cut a little long to account for the curvature of the part and I'll trim them off once glued on.


    Until next time...
     

    Attached Files:

  6. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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    Looks great! And kudos for going with actual leather...
     
  7. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Got the arm pieces pretty much finished up. Leather embossed, painted, and finished. Border pieces glued on with special cobblers contact cement. Eyelets installed on the bicep guards - had to countersink the leather a bit so they would fit. And just punched some hole on the vambrace since I don't think the prop used eyelets there.



    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Cased (soaked in water and let dry slightly) the front and back plates and started to emboss with my stamp. That was lots of work but my stamps and arm held up alright. Getting ready to dye the back plate since it's all dried out.
     

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  8. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Got all the pieces finished and glued onto the breastplate and back armor. I ended up redoing the * to make it a little more consistent and I like the way it turned out. I dyed and burnished all the edges where the pieces come together and I'll get some pics of that later. Installed some eyelets for strapping the shoulders together and made some preliminary holes for attaching the sides of the armor. I'd like to use small metal O-rings like in the original but haven't quite figured out how to do that yet.

    Also made some of the pendants that go across the front. Cut them out of some leather that I thinned down and then stamped them to look like a dragon-scale pattern. I'll paint those gold and then glue and sew them onto the breastplate with leather string. There are lots of other sewed section in the armor which I'll also thread up.

    Starting to actually see and end to this project but some of the hardest parts are yet to come - the pauldrons and the tooled medallion.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. PotionMistress

    PotionMistress Sr Member

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    BLIMEY! This is Top-of-the-line GORGEOUS! I just love to see beautifully handled leatherwork, and this sure is being done well. It's so nice to see projects with real quality in mind. This must have cost you a small fortune in primo leather and accoutrements.

    Can't wait to see it completed. :thumbsup
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  10. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! I actually have a little hobby business (https://www.etsy.com/shop/DistrictGoods) making leather goods so I had a lot of the tools/hardware/supplies on hand. This project is a nice chance to use some of those skills I've been working on to do something a bit different.


    Also check out my completed Jorah scabbard/belt which gave me the impetus do do this.

    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=232235






     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  11. Gator Fett

    Gator Fett Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love working with leather. So much can be done using the right tools and techniques.

    Your armor looks fantastic, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
  12. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks - trying to get it finished up for Ren Faire so working quick.


    [​IMG]



    Here's the medallion on the front of the armor. I found the House Mormont sigil online and was able to trace it onto the leather and do some tooling to give it a little texture. It turned out so nice it's gonna be a shame to cover it up with paint.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    But I did paint it up and have it and everything else mounted to the armor. All the dragon-scaled plates are glued and stitched and the the rim pieces are also stitched on as per the original. I couldn't figure out how to attach the O-rings to the side with the wire I had and ended up just using black zip ties. Slightly anachronistic materials-wise but worked like a charm. I had to do a little trimming to the top of the breast-plate to get it to sit just right and lost some length on the top dragon-scale bits but the armor fits much better overall.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Finished up a couple accessories too. I stitched the back of the scabbard because the glue kept letting go and the vinyl was lifting off. The stitching solved that problem and makes it look pretty cool too. Also made up a little bracelet to wear on the right wrist.



    To Do List:

    - the pauldrons are the big one. I haven't figured out how to mold the leather into the right shape so may just be using my old foam ones for now. I'm gonna try a few more things first though and if anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it.

    - righthand and sword grip wrap. There's a patterned fabric that Jorah wears that I think came from his wife. I have some cloth in the right color and need to imprint the pattern on it. Easier said than done though.

    - weathering. Gonna weather up the armor a bit more and try to darken all the leather lacing.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  13. Cameron1138

    Cameron1138 Active Member

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    The chest piece looks beautiful!
     
  14. Ikras

    Ikras Active Member

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    The detail and craftsmanship in this is amazing. Such an attention to detail.

    I've always thought leather must be really hard to work with but you make it look so good.
    Great work.
     
  15. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just a couple updates:

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    I lined the top part of the armor with some sheep leather I found for cheap. The shoulders are a lot more comfortable now. I also updated the rings on the side with solid ones that are a little tougher and attached them with leather lace rather than the plastic zip ties. I like the way this worked out much better and it keeps with the period materials.


    [​IMG]


    I think I've finalized the pattern, shape, and technique for the pauldrons. At least I hope so because I'm out of the leather I allocated for this project. I traced the dragon pattern onto the leather and then will soak it in almost boiling water until it becomes flexible so I can mold it into the right shape. My fingers are crossed but I did a lot of planning to make it to this point.
     

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  16. Mobjack

    Mobjack Member

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    Holy crap that is awesome. Even better that you posted all of the progress pics as well. Well done bud.
     
  17. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Got the pauldrons shaped and lined with the sheep leather. I don't think I'm going to be able to tool the outside of these so the new plan is to shape a thin piece of leather to the form then tool that to the dragon pattern. Then I can glue that to the top and hopefully retain all the details.

    Here's all the armor pieces assembled. Everything fits right so far and the color scheme matches great.

    [​IMG]




    I also made a leather shoulder strap that Jorah and Daenerys and various Dothraki wear at times.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    The end is in sight. I have a few random items on order and once I get those and finish up the pauldrons I'll essentially be done. I want to fix up the way the skirt ties and make a few other small changes/add-ons but those will just be icing on the cake.
     

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  18. Gator Fett

    Gator Fett Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Your pauldrons came out great. I had so much trouble getting my Maximus pauldron into the correct shape, that I gave up and sourced that out.

    The only constructive comment I would have from your reference photo is that the inner edge of the pauldron seems to curve in a little between the connection point at the top and the round corner at the front of your chest. It could be a trick of the angle and position of Jorah's arm, but I can see a bit more of the upper breast plate strap.

    Overall the armor looks fantastic!
     
  19. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! The problem is it's really hard to test the shapes because you can't really tell what the final product will look like without going through the whole process. I may try to taper the ends a bit when I add the top layer to make them a little pointier at the end. I think that will get close to what you're saying. The positioning of the pauldron on the armor also changes the way it looks pretty dramatically but I think you're right in general.



     
  20. Gator Fett

    Gator Fett Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sorry for the roughly drawn line, but this is what I was trying to describe. You're right about the initial shapes an how that translates to the final product, but you should be able to trim off a 1/4" or so if you want. Not that I'm 100% sure I'm correct, but based on the reference photo, that's what I see.

    Either way, the armor is awesome!

    Pauldron.png
     
  21. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Photo Oct 01, 10 57 06 PM.jpg Photo Oct 01, 11 55 37 PM.jpg [​IMG]

    This totally killed me. After some experimenting I scrapped my plan and just tooled and cut out the dragon pattern, glued it on to the pauldron and called it a day. I also glued on the rim I made out of 1/4" strip I stamped the scale pattern on and burnished up the edges. And as per Gator Fett's suggestion trimmed the upper edges of the pauldron ever so slightly but enough to replicate the armor overlap in the reference photos. Now I just have to do it again for the other shoulder and paint 'em up.






     

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  22. Gator Fett

    Gator Fett Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That came out amazing. :thumbsup
     
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  23. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    Got them pretty much finished up. Started with a metallic gold paint, then went over that with black, and rubbed or sanded off some highlights before the black dried. Lastly sealed it all up with a leather finish.

    Might be a week or so before I can get pictures of the whole ensemble, but I'm looking forward to putting together all the pieces.
     

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  24. Il Princerino

    Il Princerino Sr Member

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    this is insanely good
     
  25. mirandasdad

    mirandasdad New Member

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    Holy crap, you did an amazing job!
     
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  26. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    A few last details coming together. I ran some of the leather lace through some black shoe polish to make them appear darker and worn like on some places on the actual armor. I finally found a good piece of woven fabric to use for the Jorah's neck tie or whatever it is. It started much more blue but I bleached and dyed it to the turquoise color. I also found a nice little fancy safety pin to secure it. Next up is some of the fabric I used to wrap to the sword hilt weathered up. He wraps this around his right hand. Lastly, I have several woven cotton straps that will wrap around the left arm and both boots. Only thing left that I may or may not get is a big ring for the right hand.

    I'll be putting everything together for the first time this weekend at the Ren Fest so I'll get some pictures of then.

    And bonus, above the Jorah stuff on my bench I've got a Han Solo belt in progress for someone through my Etsy site.
     

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  27. Riceball

    Riceball Sr Member

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    Very nice! Excellent work. For maximum authenticity you should back the cuirass and pauldrons with metal sheets since leather by itself makes for crap armor. Regardless, everything turned out really nice and look like it came straight off the set.
     
  28. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    attachment.jpg attachment.jpg attachment.jpg

    Got a couple shots and one to compare. Everything came together great and it was more comfortable and easier to move around that I thought it was going to be. Got some nice feedback too and I'm looking forward to Halloween to break it out again though I might not wear the full armor depending on the parties I go to as it might be tough in tight indoor spaces and I can't lace up the cuirass without a hand.

    As always thanks to everyone on the RPF, it's always an inspiration checking out what people are up to here.
     

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  29. Il Princerino

    Il Princerino Sr Member

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    That looks like the TX Renfest, I was there Opening Day. Wish I could have seen this in person, man, it looks amazing.
     
  30. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! It's actually Maryland.



     
  31. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    So if I'm seeing this correctly, I'm new to leather, you tool it, then oil it, then dye it and then wax it? And that's when it gets it's leather shine?
     
  32. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It depends on exactly what you're going for. On the breastplate, cased it with water to allow it to be tooled, tooled it, dyed it, then rubbed on a light coat of neatsfoot oil. From that point there's a few options. On the tooled part I finished it with a gloss acrylic leather finish called Resolene to give it a slight shine and harder protection. On other parts I used a wax-based finisher/water-proofer to leave it a bit more natural feeling.
     
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  33. PotionMistress

    PotionMistress Sr Member

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    Handsomely done down to the last! :cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  34. Chrisj

    Chrisj New Member

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    This is a great completed look, well documented in your process photos and explanations.

    Fantastic!
     
  35. springsteel

    springsteel Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful work.
     
  36. foxybadger42

    foxybadger42 New Member

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    Would you by any chance sell some
    Silicon molds for the embrossing tools? I'm planning to make this armour too somewhere in the future but I'm starting on the bracers this summer. But this post will be very helpful in the future for me!
     
  37. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hi - I don't think I even have them anymore. They weren't too hard to make (I don't even have a lot of experience working with molds and casting) especially if you use my pictures as reference. I started with the design made from sculpy and made a silicon mold from that.
     
  38. foxybadger42

    foxybadger42 New Member

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    Ah that sounds easy enough! I'll have a go at that!
     
  39. JadeD16

    JadeD16 Active Member

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    nope! (she said in a, there's no hope for the rest of us way)... Great work.
     
  40. AKthePropeteer

    AKthePropeteer New Member

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    FANTASTIC WORK!!!!!
    your leather working skills are absolutely astonishing :eek
     
  41. SongOfRoland

    SongOfRoland New Member

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    I stumbled across this while googling armor builds and being a big fan of Jorah I want to say this is spot on! By any chance did you take any photos of the "shirt" making process? Ive been wanting to something similar for a fantasy armor build but for some reason I can't find anyone talking about materials or the stiffness of the skirt.

    thanks in advance.
     
  42. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The shirt, I actually just got on ebay and did some minor alterations. The skirt, however, was the most annoying part because I don't have a lot of sewing experience and it's unclear how the thing actually ties up. I ended up using 4 rectangles that I lined and essentially sewed a length across the top and double wrapped it to secure. The fabric is from a curtain set I got at Target. It has a nice weight to it and it's doubled up. I hand drew on the pattern with fabric marker and a stencil I made.

     
  43. bookworm

    bookworm New Member

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    Great job. Beautiful work!
     
  44. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Had some time and inspiration to work on Jorah's "casual" belt. I've had this on the bench for months but finally finished it up.

    029.jpg Jorah-Mormont-jorah-mormont-38576013-2995-4500.jpg



    Here's what I came up with after finding the screen accurate buckle and belt tip. I started by making the belt from some veg-tan leather I had on stock and dyed and finished it up.

    Photo Aug 31, 3 32 47 PM.jpg


    I thought about doing the scale blocks with a brass sheet but it was to much trouble to cut and engrave them all. I ended up using some thin leather. Here's the sheet after embossing the details and painting with gold acrylic.

    Photo Sep 09, 5 04 34 PM.jpg


    I then cut to shape and riveted each piece to the belt with brass rivets. And the finished product!

    Photo Sep 24, 5 00 11 PM.jpg Photo Sep 24, 5 16 17 PM.jpg
     
  45. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Made some big updates/additions to my Jorah gear recently. Here's what I did.

    First, I rebuilt the sword scabbard since the original version used some vinyl and sticky glue and generally did not look/feel all that great.

    IMG_2744.JPG

    I've build scabbards from birch plywood. The top/bottom is 3mm (I believe) and the core is the thickness of the blade of the sword. I'll sand the blade down a bit to get a nice snug fit.


    IMG_2745.JPG

    Here's the glue-up. Next, I'll round over the edges with a router and sand everything down smoothly.

    IMG_2747.JPG

    The throat of the scabbard. I finished it with just black spray paint and spray lacquer. I've found I can get a really nice finish with that if I'm not doing a leather wrap.

    IMG_2746.JPG

    I sprayed the lacquer on over the feathers to adhere them to the scabbard.

    IMG_2763.JPG IMG_2764.JPG


    The chape is made from epoxy putty, painted with metallic paint then coated with black and scratched off in a few places to show wear and tear. I also made a dirk and scabbard using the same techniques. There's a separate thread on that somewhere around in my history too.


    This scabbard is much more streamlined and just feels much better than the old one. Glad I remade it.
     
  46. Wailonskydog

    Wailonskydog Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    IMG_2741.JPG IMG_2742.JPG IMG_2743.JPG


    I also made Jorah's "skirt" from season 1/2. This was my first time really making anything using the sewing machine so it was a bit of a challenge but it turned out alright in the end. I even tried to include the little black liner that sometimes sticks up over the skirt sometimes.


    And here's everything for the season 1 getup at the Penn Renn Fest which includes:

    New:
    sword scabbard
    dirk and scabbard
    arm wraps
    wrist guard
    skirt
    bandana so I don't get skin cancer - maybe I'll have to invest in a blonde wig I con's happen.



    IMG_2748.JPG IMG_2755.JPG IMG_2750.JPG IMG_2753.JPG
     

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