Kialna's 2014 Halloween Costume Contest Entry - Smaug the Magnificent

kialna

Sr Member
Halloween Costume Contest Entry 2014

I saw the Hobbit and got the crazy idea to try and create Smaug. Mostly for the premiere in December 2014, for the last movie. The costume was parts easy, parts hard and I had to cut down on things. When I started, Smaug wasn't revealed so I just winged it a bit. Eventually I saw the Desolation of Smaug and went to work. Yet, in that same month, I suddenly got a job. This job would set me back for about 40 to 50 hours a week, so my time would have to be spent carefully. Often in the weekends I worked hard to get it done. This costume was full of firsts. First time sewing, first time molding silicone and making casts, first time scalemail. I was faced with several challenges, mainly funds and how to create molds within budget. The wings had problems, I never got the tail animatronic as I wanted, and lots of things ended in disappointment for me. But then the head started taking shape and the silicone went (rather) well. Not entirely as I wanted it, but good enough for me as a first timer. And I didn't have the time and money to make a new mold, as I had decided to participate in EuroCos at the biggest convention in NL.

The costume was a big succes and people loved it! I dislike some of the construction defects and the costume will be updated to overcome some of the challenges. But for now, it's done, and I have other projects on my plate.







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So yeah.. I sketched a possible costume idea, complete with undersuit and stuff, and somewhere deep inside me, I want to do this. The other side of me goes; where are you going to store it? how are you going to carry it?

Maybe by the time I'm finished I have my driver's license. Anyway, here's a design sketch including a mask. I would like to add a helmet OVER the mask, but that's care for later... But this might take a year or two and lots of money ( I do not have, not yet.)



Idea's anyone? Like, foam to pad the legs and stuff. Make it lightweight?
Maybe moving wings... no idea, this is just a mindwarp of me.
 
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w a s

New Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

I think you should do it, the costume design looks really good. You could do something like this Fish Man Halloween Costume : BFX : Build - YouTube For the mask. It's not the best, but with more money and harder work it could look better (There are probably some better ways to do it as well). But that's all I've got, help wise.
 

kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Well I started on it. I might regret this, but I have started it and I will try to keep this as low in price as I can. I am not sure if I will go through with the stilts, or will just make something that makes the illusion of stilts. We'll see. I've started on the first part of the (redesigned) breastplate. For moveability, I broke it up in several parts. This is the first part.









Its primed and will be painted as soon as I can. I'm still thinking of painting it black and then dry brush gold tints on it, or the other way around and give it weathering by a blackwash....
 

Juicebox

Active Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Great start to and awesome idea! I'll be watching this one.
 

Riceball

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Looks like a pretty cool design & I like what you have so far. My only problem with it is, how are you supposed to be recognized as being Smaug in human form as opposed to some sort of generic dragon man or even a Draconian because, right now, there's nothing about your design that really says Smaug. Since Smaug, as written, was supposed to have a jewel encrusted belly & chest with only 1 small chink in his armor I'd glue all kinds of (fake) gems to your torso while leaving one small part exposed,
 

kialna

Sr Member
The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

That is entirely true. It is a generic design right now and I don't expect to finish it anytime soon. In december te movie comes out and then I'll take a look at recognisable features.

About the gems; that is something I thought about, and again; I'll see how it goes. That design is a general idea, not law ;)
 

kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

So I ordered a test-set scalemail. I am actually very happy with how it looks.

Could work very well!

tumblr_mvraevJAWQ1s4hm69o1_1280.jpg

tumblr_mvraevJAWQ1s4hm69o2_1280.jpg
 

kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Ok I have decided to go for a fur-suit-type style head, but shape it like a dragon's head with movable jaw. I might start on that when I can ASAP for a base. Since I still have fiberglass and resin. The only thing that holds me back for the details, is the movie. I am waiting for the details of that before I can work on it. But I figured it'd be more fitting than a latex-mask.
 

Froggie

Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

A latex mask could work, or individual latex parts, depending on what you're going for.

You could go a middle path like they did in Pan's labyrinth the the faun.

panimage~13.jpgpanDDT~15.jpg

This would severely limit your eyesight though. Maybe just adding latex parts to break up the human profile could work well, or make the skin be more like the scales and rough crocodile texture he seems to be covered in.

You could top it off with a golden tint like what Rumpelstiltskin has going on, but with more roughness to the skin. This is also a good example of crocodile skin, which his costume is partially made of.
Carlyle-Rumple-poster.jpg

I personally think that one of the main focuses should be the eyes. Since Smaug is a non human character they will most likely focus a lot of emotion in the eyes, which makes them recognizable.
There is also the fact that they stand out in a crowd as it is.

smaug-eye-feature.jpg
I don't think there's an exact comparison in the real world, but they've clearly taken inspiration from old reptilian families in this respect, which fits as Smaug is supposed to be something like a prehistoric monster.

The closest I can find are these.
Reptile-and-Amphibian-Eyes-06.jpgj8xxYNU.jpg

If you can wear contacts you could custom order a pair of sclera lenses with Smaug's design on them, or if you made an animatronic head or mask you could have them in acrylic. In any case they'd probably tip people off to who this is supposed to be.

Another thing I'd throw out there is that the wings could be a weak point. Getting that kind of complexity to work and look good, especially since they're not covered in feathers, is going to be a major pain. They're also going to be heavy to carry around.
If I could make a suggestion it'd be to skip the wings in favor for a long, draping cloak, but not made of fabric but of soft leather or skin, maybe printed to resemble his wing membranes.
The long cloak gives an impression of royalty, especially if it trails behind you. Smaug thinks very highly of himself, and this could echo in his apparel.
This could also have gold dust to accentuate it. What you could do is have tiny sparkles of gold shine here and there, giving the impression of a huge figure despite not being a giant dragon at the time.

Having a clear cut helmet might take away from the core idea of the character. Smaug is completely sure of his own invulnerability. He thinks he's a god, and as such can not be beaten. Having him wear protective gear would take away from that. Instead of having it be a helmet it could be incorporated into the skull itself, it's part of his natural defenses.
I also realize that he purposefully mashed gemstones into his underbelly, but I see this as a sign of his other main character trait and flaw;
Vanity. Smaug is as vain as they come. He loves praise and having his ego stroked, and adorns himself with jewels to enhance his own image even further. He can steal a show completely, both by looks and by personality.
One could think of him as an evil Liberace with superpowers.

On another note I think I'd warn you about the scale mail. If you cover any large surfaces with it, it will make the suit heavy. Extremely heavy if you make a whole shirt of it.

I saw images of a homemade shirt in scale mail a few years back, where the person making it had etched each scale with a pattern. Maybe you could do a similar thing, but less time consuming, like making them vary in color and shift slightly like Smaug does in the movie (this of course requires studying the movie first)

As for the feet you could always go the route that Crowley does in Good Omens; wear alligator shoes. Except you don't wear shoes.


Hopefully this isn't completely scrambled and incomprehensible. Just wanted to throw what came to my mind into the mix.
 
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kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

There are some good ideas in it. Luckily I'm not very big so my scalemail shirt would be rather small. And the part that's covered by the breastplates doesn't need to be covered, just overlap. So I may work with that too.

The helmet has been ditched a while ago, and I was thinking of the acrylic eyes rather than the contacts, since I already wear contacts with strength, and the idea with the head I had, was lending itself for acrylic eyes. I still have leds from my (now dismantled) gundam, so maybe we're going to play around with them too.

Long story short; the movie needs to be seen first before I can make detailed decisions. If he has 2 paws and the wings are connected to the arms like bats, I could make a simpler wing-structure that connect to my arms, which I can release at any time if I want. If he doesn't, the cape idea may be much better.
 

Froggie

Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

I didn't realize you wouldn't make the entire shirt. That certainly makes things easier, both in terms of weight and in how complicated it'd be to finish. The shoulders and armpits are usually what seems to be a pain.
I managed to find the scale shirt build I was talking about. It should have some good info on scale size, etching, backing and stuff like that.
[of brass, bronze, and bone]
It's worth reading through all the way. Really recommended as a starting point if this is your first time working with scale.
I'd recommend looking at the etching effect especially. Not the symbols but the color variation it brings. The pattern and base color of your scales is good but they seem a little bit too identical. A bit of imperfection could make them seem more worn and "alive".
King of like this.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AVDc6Zh22uQ/SyNoF_jf32I/AAAAAAAAAPw/cEVyL1vkwUw/s1600-h/collar_no_leather1.jpg
Like you said it still remains to see what Smaug actually looks like until the movie comes out though, so I might eat my words.:)

Contacts/Acrylic: I hear you. I too wear corrective lenses and while it's possible to find custom order contacts with strength they're priced almost like cheap cars.
It seems like the acrylic eyes might be a much better option, especially if you're going with a full head prop. If you go with the LED's, don't overdo it. While his eyes do seem to glow LED's might overpower the pattern and just make them light bulbs, which might be a lot less impressive than having slightly back lit eyes. Then again you could always dampen them if it comes to that.

I think he will have four legs. The map seems to depict him as this, but it's mostly a feeling.
Although, as you said, time will tell.

Edit: I had forgotten to add the link.
 
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kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Well my LED's are already powered down with some resistance built in. I just literally pulled them out of my gundam costume.

Here's an example of how downpowered the LED's are:

Stagesmall.jpg

here is how I kind of imagine (scale wise) how the head would be. Yes you guessed it, like a skyrim argonian...I thought the scale would be good.





 
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Cobbleface

New Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

This is a really neat idea, that scalemail looks awesome. You should definitely use that.
 
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

WOW,

Hey man this is a GREAT concept! You have a TON of work ahead of you though! You knew that :)

Well, if you need any advice/help with materials I would love to have a chat with you about it.

There are quite a few things to take into account. Especially when it comes to comfort and range of motion for costumes.

So far this costume looks like it would bake you alive if you used "traditional" materials.

I can suggest a few things but some would also just be experimental.

I plan on making a suit like this at some point and also very impressed at how close this looks to a "Gargoyle" from the Disney Cartoon. Which I would love to make a suit like as well at some point.

I can think of a few ways that would probably save you time and save your legs from melting.

This however does involve a decent amount of experience with materials.

Let me know if I can help. Otherwise I would probably go on and on with suggestions.

Thanks,

Tank.
 

RvanAken

Active Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

For the scalemail, make sure you wear most of the weight on your hips by using a belt over or under the mail. I wear chainmail a lot and a good belt helps a lot. This will also work for other costume parts, getting some weight of the shoulders.

-R-
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Very cool idea! I"m going to be following for sure.

Have you ever seen the work by Prince Armory? He does (they do?) some amazing stuff in leather and it could give you some ideas of how to approach aspects of your dragon costume:

http://www.princearmory.com/gallery.php

Pretty sure he's a member here too.
 

kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

I know him from deviantart. Very inspirational work too :) But I'm not nearly as good with leather. In fact, I have leather laying around, waiting to be used and tested, but I have no tools nor knowledge yet. So I work with what I know. I'm working on arm-casts right now and will recieve latex later this week. Which makes me able to sculpt dragon claw-gloves.

I should really update the sketch, for it is no longer accurate in what I want. hahaha
 

Guri

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

If you want something cheaper and easier to work with that has the leather look, you can try craft foam. :)

Here's my tutorial on how to make craft foam look like leather:

How to make Craft Foam look like Leather - YouTube

Just trying to expand your options to as far as your creativity wants to go because I REALLY am into this project. :D


In that tutorial it shows only a soft curve on the craft foam, but you can get a hard angle to with the heat, shape and cool method. It's how I made my Sauron helmet.
 

kialna

Sr Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

That tutorial is amazing! But right know, I wouldn't know what to use it for...not yet at least. Maybe later. To add detail like pouches. (so I FINALLY Have a costume where I can take my phone and wallet with me)

Also; here are the updated sketches.


This one is my favourite....because the wing construction I have seen for this method could be light-weight.


This would be heavier and more complex.


The above-named-cape solution.
 
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Krovnovsky

New Member
Re: The Hobbit - Smaug the magnificent [Human form]

Did you read the book? There could be some more details be described in there, too. It is ages ago since I read it, so my memories are just vague.
 
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