Guri's 2015 Halloween Costume Contest Entry - Galadriel Armor - concept design

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Guri

Sr Member
I've costumed Galadriel for over 10 years, but my favorite builds have always been armor. So when I heard they were putting Dol Guldur in the movie my hopes sprang that MAYBE I would see Galadriel in armor - sadly it was not to be so. The movie makers decided to put her barefoot in lace and silks...

However, when Daniel' Falconer's Concept Design book came out for the final Hobbit movie, in it was his first take on the costume for that scene that they did not use. And I had to make it.




Design by Daniel Falconer - from Weta Workshop in the book "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles Art & Design" Written By Daniel Falconer Pg 48

It is gorgeous and better than I imagined it could be (not surprising, as Daniel himself designed it and I've always had an affinity for his work (Haldir and Eomer are my other two favorites that I made) - so, I was even more disappointed that it did not end up on screen.

But why sit with that disappointment? Why not MAKE it happen and bring it into existence myself. And since I am going to Dcon this year - and have the time and amazingly, the $$ to make it happen - it is a perfect storm.

So, despite the fact that maybe only a handful of people will have any clue who I am supposed to be, I went ahead and bought the metal scales from RingLord yesterday. 4500... Let's do this.

Here is my plan:

FIRST LAYER
firstlayer.jpg

SECOND LAYER
secondlayer.jpg


THIRD LAYER
Fourthlayer.jpg

HAIR PIECE
fifthlayer.jpg
This Crown I'll make the same way I made my Galadriel Crown from the Hobbit.
Youtube Tutorial found in the #13 post of this thread: http://www.therpf.com/f24/5-video-tutorials-including-craft-foam-leather-new-one-aluminum-tape-silver-159848

As a submission for the 2015 RPF Costume Contest, here is easier access to my proof photo and gallery photo that were posted elsewhere in the thread:
proofphoto.jpggaladriel.jpg
 

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Yrien

Well-Known Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Definitely subscribed for this! What a great concept - it's really too bad they didn't use it. I can't wait to see how it turns out. :)
 

SmilingOtter

Master Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

I'm *this* close to being angry with PJ for ignoring some really good concept art - the Mirkwood elf hunters, the regal dwarf armor, and your Galadriel armor. I can't wait to see you get this made.

As much as I like TRL, their recommended method of making scale maille - using jump rings - is almost totally non-historical. (The Roman lorica plumata might have been close.) Scales were sewn onto a cloth or leather backing, like you're doing.
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

As much as I like TRL, their recommended method of making scale maille - using jump rings - is almost totally non-historical. (The Roman lorica plumata might have been close.) Scales were sewn onto a cloth or leather backing, like you're doing.
I had no idea - this makes me feel so much better! I thought I was cheating. :D

I wasn't exactly angry with PJ, but my stomach fell with a thud when I heard she would not be wearing armor. Since Daniel designed it and put it in the book I have recovered and am more excited than ever.


BTW, if anyone is going to Dcon and keen on making a Sauron to pose fighting with me, let's talk. I have made his helmet already. My husband is going as Fili and is actually shorter than me and we don't have time to make the fully costume anyway. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
 
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DrSasquatch

New Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

I've been pondering a Sauron costume for several years. But I'm nowhere near dcon :( best of luck though :)
 

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Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Aw, too bad, DrSasqutch... thanks for the luck! I'm feeling like I'm going to need it after getting a look at how many scales there are.

They came today. They are much tinier than I imagined. (so fun that they came on the same day s my Dcon tickets)

scales.jpg

They are beautiful, though - and I'm considering using some gold rub and buff on them here and there to get more shine. Anyone ever done that?
 

Stivie

Well-Known Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

What are they made of? Are they plated? Can they be buffed to a shine? Or possibly tumbled to a higher shine with the correct media.
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

They are Anodized Aluminum. I will test a few to see what effects I can achieve. I don't have a 'tumbler' though.

They do sell a 'mirrored gold' option, but they were out of stock. I just looked it up and they said yesterday the mirrored gold would be ready in "8-10 weeks - we're just ordering the material now"

I supposed I might have been able to wait had I known before I ordered these, but oh well. I'll make it work.

Site: http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=84&cat=Scalemail+Supplies
 
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WereDrelf

New Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Beautiful concept! Looking forward to seeing your finished work. Watching this armor move will be sight to behold. :)
 

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Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

The first stage of the pattern for the fitted underpiece that I will sew the scailles on. This is a striped sheet that really aids in seeing how the pattern matches up. it's on the form wonky so they aren't parallel. The places that have marks on them are where let myself know to match things up. I started by pinning it all and then had to decide what to sew.

basepattern.jpg

Templates for the scales with gold wrapping paper and poster board and found that the straight scales stood out around the curves - which makes sense according to physics... So I changed the shape a bit and made them in craft foam and ironed and bent them, which helped. I'm also thinking I should get some of the larger metal scales as well, as you can see in the photo, to help transition from the small ones to the craft foam/faux leather.

templates.jpg
 
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Though sewing scales is more historically accurate, I've done it with this kind of scales and...it works, but I wouldn't recommend it. You get some more flexibility in what kind of shapes you can make, and it may be a touch lighter, but unless you're unbelievably precise it'll always be messier than doing it with rings, and I don't think it saves any time.

Damn, this design is gorgeous though, so I really hope it works out.
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Thanks for the input on being precise with the scales. I have been considering the fabric for a while now and that really confirms that I need to get something like needlepoint or cross-stitch fabric/mesh so that I can see exactly evenly where I want to sew the scales. I actually thought about using a ruler and marking my canvas fabric, but oy, that would be a task.

The last couple of days I've been testing various combinations of paint, glue, metallic pens and rub n buff to see if I can get a close color and texture on the foam as the scales.

Foam glue watered down a bit actually is working well to seal it with a very smooth finish. I also like the metallic pen to make it look like metal... don't like how many pens that would take, though, so I may try to figure out how to spray paint it. (just using metallic paint on with a brush right now)
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

I gave it a go for a couple of hours today and figured out the distance necessary to get them as close together as possible but still cover the punched hole when they are at rest. This fabric is used for cross stitch and it's pretty heavy - the thread is embroidery strength. It's a bit stiff, but that could be a benefit for holding its shape. The best part is the weave of this fabric makes it super easy to count stitches and get the scales even. The color is nice and neutral too, though, I thought about dying it a more gold tone, but I don't know that it's necessary... thinking about it.
sewingonscales.jpg

Next; to try and cut/sew this material in the pattern I created to see if it will hold up or have too much of a potential to fray. I think if I finish the edges well enough at every seam it should be fine; maybe even do some fabric glue over the edges after the scales are all sewn on.
 

Yrien

Well-Known Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Do you have access to a Serger? I don't know how well it would work on that type of fabric but it might not hurt to try it. Fabric glue/fray check would probably help too but since it's such a loose weave I'd probably try a couple of methods together to make sure it'll be as sturdy as possible.

I can't wait to see the scales finished - they're loking really great already.
 

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Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Progress is slow, but there is some progress.
Early on in the process.
mailleshirt.jpg
After the vest was done I started working on the craft foam pauldrons.
bodiceshoulder.jpg
The pauldrons are painted, but I still have to attach them. You can sort of see the right arm is started here.
shoulders.jpg
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

I love the different sizes of scales. It looks like a golden armored bird. So shimmery!
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: Galadriel Armor - concept design from The Hobbit

Thanks all! :D

Duncanator, Yeah! It feels so nice too, like a reptile. It looks like I'll be making a lot more sizes too because of the way the design is working out for the shoulders, hips and arms.

It's been funny finding little golden scales around the house as I tend to drop them here and there - it's like a dragon is shedding or something. haha!
 

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