Guri's son's 2013 Halloween Costume Contest Entry - Thorin from The Hobbit

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Sr Member
Hey! Last year my son wanted to be his favorite character from LOTR - Legolas, the totally awesome elf. But THIS year we had a discussion about what he could be and he actually said it had to be different and stand out, it had to be recognizable and yet something he loved and something he could pull off.

Immediately I was impressed by his thought process. Sure I have talked to him about these things and asked him the questions in the past, but he's 12 this year (last year to be a kid in this contest!!) and it must have sunk in.

That said, he still loves the the Tolkien realm and even though Legolas is in the next The Hobbit movie, he decided - his costume wasn't different enough from what he did last year and he wasn't in the movie everyone has seen, so, he's gone a totally different route: Thorin, a dwarf.

Oh boy - very, very excited that he loves what I love and didn't pick something I wasn't totally into... and yet something new for me!

I've made armor, but never made a DWARF. The link in my sig will take you to my work and costume tutorials on my website.

This being our first year of full blown Homeschool (last two years we did cyber schools where curriculum is chosen for us) I've decided his 'art' is going to partially be how to make a costume. So... I did not make this completely by myself, my son in the costume is a big contributor, as you will see from the in progress photos. (it's easier to take a photo of him working than myself.)

I'm also teaching him as we go - looking for reference material, shopping for 'found' objects to alter to make it easier and cheaper, the principles of "cost/time/accuracy" and "shape/color/texture"... how to make templates, how to experiment with materials etc. etc.

Here's a link to his photo in the gallery for the contest: Thorin Oakenshield - Dwarf from The Hobbit - the RPF Gallery

Here's his rpf photo -


More completed costume photos below in this thread! \\//
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Sr Member
Thanks Michael. :) We still have a lot of work to go!!

The first thing we did after collecting a bunch of photos on line was go out and buy a doll:

Then went to a thrift store to see what we might be able to find anything to lesson the cost and work.

I picked up a blue wool dress to turn into his outer coat. (I forgot to take a photo of it pre-cut and sew) and these boots which still need fur and armor trim:

I also bought this wig and beard - needs some trimming, coloring and metal do-dads:

And we looked at a few Thorin costumes to get ideas:

Thorin Oakenshield costume

Learn-Something-New: Hobbit Costume Tutorial ? Finished Thorin Scalemail

And a couple other friends on FB - I'm going to try to get photos or links to theirs too...

After seeing how the others did the armor, we opted to try an experiment with Craft foam - for price and time. It worked well enough, so we started at it:

Here's the process:

thorinarmor - YouTube

Here he is trying to see how many pieces he needs:

More to come...
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Sr Member
We're still painting the armor and have to glue it down.... Hopefully that will be done this week and I'll take more photos and put them in that post above.

Next we worked on the wrist guard.

He did some sewing of the bottom layer:


I did one, he did one - his turned out better. :p


I then taught him my 'Making Craftfoam look like Leather' method... this video is from last year's costume:

Here he is ironing the heat n' bond to the fabric. We used a faux suede which looks REALLY cool on the back of the foam!


Here he is glue ironing the suede onto the foam:


Cutting the foam:


Laying it all out... the straps are from $3 sandals I bought... they were a pain to sew on to the craft foam, but they add a nice touch.


Here are the wrist guards before the shoe polish and varnish... sorry the lighting is bad. I'll fix that once we weather them.


Some weathering... I used black paint that I rubbed in when it was still wet, varnish, shoe polish and then make up powder for the dirt:


After I aged one, it was time for the little guy to try using mine for reference. Here's a photo of how we get the dirt effect:



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Well-Known Member
This is looking awesome! Super jealous I didn't have a sick costume as a kid. It's great that he's doing so much work on it too. You could certainly make the axe out of foam, Thorin's axe is super chunky which lends itself perfectly to foam, since you tend to need 2 sheets to cover up the usual textured side.

I agree with the beard trimming, Thorin has a goatee, not a full beard. Might be better off getting some Spirit Gum and using that to glue on tiny bits of hair.

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Sr Member
Not sure we'll have time at this point to start over on the axe, but we'll keep it in mind if he wants to dress up for the premiere.

Here are some in progress photos of the sword and ax:

I went ahead and covered the sword with duct tape before I spray it with plasti-dip and paint:

See above for updated photo of vambrace... weathering makes such a difference!! It's at this point I start getting really excited.

He worked on building the sheath and I painted it:

I also made the strap and buckle:

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Sr Member
Worked on the boots today - I did these by myself - little guy has to do real school work at some point during the day! :p

Still gotta figure out how to get these glued on. I've been using Gorilla glue and it is so messy, it expands, dries shiny and takes FOREVER to dry when it does. I'm very unhappy with Fabric Tac - which I used to use, because it dries out almost a month after it's opened so it seems a waste to buy it unless I'm going to use a lot at one sitting - which I never do. :(

Would love to know what others use for foam...


Sr Member
Just finished the blue coat and the belt.

This is that wool dress I bought at the thrift store that I reworked. I made the strips of it lighter with acrylic paint. The belt is vinyl and paint, the rest craft foam.
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Sr Member
Yeah! He was doing Kahn Academy Chemistry and I made him take a 20 second break to pose. haha! (Homeschool rocks)

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Sr Member
The outer coat:

I searched all over for fur the right color and finally gave up and decided to do the coloring myself.

I started with cream colored and used brown shoe polish, palm oil (kind of golden) and black paint. It took a lot of finesse with a tooth brush to make sure it rubbed in well and I didn't let the paint get hard.

Here he is with just the shoe polish:

Here's the cream color and the finished fur compared to the Thorin fur:

And here it is on the black jacket - I still have to do another piece of fur and sew it all on:

I did a color compare outside to see how the fur is shaping up - needs a lot more brown and black:

You never can tell inside and especially at night!
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Sr Member
He decided he wanted to make the shield all by himself. (YES!) I ended up helping a bit to get it ready for the plasti-dip, but up until the point where this picture was taken, I did not touch it.

The best part about this process is watching my 12 year old, who is likely to give up when things get tough just push and push himself to complete this costume. He kept saying 'This is hard!' but did not stop working because he is so excited to have it done for the fair we're going to tomorrow. That is a lesson that I could not teach him without him being inspired... VERY pleased the inspiration is something we both share. :D


Sr Member
He was up at 7:30 am to finish painting that shield! I couldn't believe it! In the end he allowed me to help a tiny bit so it would dry in time. haha! But MOSTLY it was his piece.

A few photos from our big day yesterday:

Higher Rez

Higher Rez

Higher Rez

RPF Photo after a long day of dwarfing around:

Overall it held up pretty well for a 12 year old rough housing in it. Not very many people knew who he was at the events we went to... Farmer's market parade, mall trick-or-treat, Church festival and Police Department parade...

He got 'Game of Thrones' and 'caveman'. One woman said she had to do a double take because she thought he was a real little person. haha! He loved that. A few people were at least close and thought he was a hobbit - one asked where the ring was. He was pretty pleased all the way around, though - people could see it was home made and he was very proud to point out the parts he did himself, where as in prior years it was all my work (except on year when he painted his Perry the Platypus box haha!)

He really wants to do this again, despite the work involved. I'll be curious to see what costume he picks, though. This was VERY labor intensive, much more so than Legolas last year...

Today is our small town festival, so we'll see how that goes... and then Trick-or-treating, of course. But it's so dark when we go out at night, it's nice to go to all these day time events so he can show it off.

One more for fun... ran into a Trooper at the mall. He said he was a member here, but I couldn't catch his username:

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Sr Member
Hey, Michael- thanks!

As for the pics - The picture of him sitting down has his laptop with an RPF screen up on it, but if that's not clear enough I could get another one tomorrow. We are putting him in the costume one more time to go trick - or treating and before that we're heading out to Valley Forge to try to get some photos out in a field to mimic a couple of the Thorin ones from the movie.

If it's overcast and rainy, or they don't come out, I'll use one of the above for the gallery. :)

Here's some fun photos from the playground *hehe*

Here's a Compare:

And I'm going to try posting this next one differently because it's so big... if it doesn't work I'll resize and reload:



Sr Member
Looks amazing! Everything came out really well, I love the eyebrows too hah.
That is super cool, nice work.
Thanks so much!! We've had such a great time working on it together and then traveling all around to different events in it. He doesn't want to wash off the make up and would get dressed up in it again if I asked... I'm waiting for a sunny day so we can go out and get some more photos... doesn't look in the forecast for a while, though.

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