Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 08FEB2012]

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Sandman0077, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Been on a leather kick lately, so I've decided to do some Lord of the Rings themed pieces starting with Legolas. Can't seem to find any original type buckles for sale, so that will have to be last, but I can do the tooling and dying for now.

    To start with, does anyone know the actual length of the original belt? I bought a 56" belt blank (as I've run out of uncut leather that size). I'm REALLY SKINNY (28" waist) so I can't use myself for average size. I'm thinking I should cut it down to 42" because that's the biggest I see at the store for sale.

    Opinions?

    Anyways, back to the build, I started with these photos:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And through some clever computer work, came up with this pattern:

    [​IMG]

    Currently cutting the tip and tracing the pattern. If anyone could give me a proper length that would be awesome! If not, it will be around 50".


    **UPDATE**
    Thought outside the box and googled Orlando Bloom's waist size. Strange enough, I actually found it. 32 1/2". So considering that the Legolas belt is over pants, shirt, AND tunic, I'd say that give it about a 33-34" length minimum. So take that, and the fact that he has to put the end in a knot, I think it's safe to say at least 42", possibly 46". I haven't measured it out yet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
    Guri likes this.
  2. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Got the cutting and grooving done already.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Starting the tracing now.

    Anyone know where to get Legolas's buckles from?
     
  3. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Calling it quits for the night. Got 1/4 of the belt pattern traced out. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Onkelpsycho

    Onkelpsycho Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Nice... :thumbsup
     
  5. spacemarine

    spacemarine Well-Known Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    That looks awesome ! If you ever make any items for the 2nd age elven warrior
    let me know :love
     
  6. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    I may do some of that. Always liked the armour. I think next will be his vambraces though. Work my way up :)
     
  7. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    ***UPDATE***

    So I just got home and almost murdered my cats. They happened to knock over my dampening bowl and soaked a section of the belt for an unknown amount of time. I'm trying to salvage it by soaking the entire belt in cold water and letting it air dry. Hopefully this works. If not I will be starting from scratch :'(
     
  8. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Cold water shouldn't have any negative effect on the leather whatsoever. Unless there was something mixed into it.
     
  9. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    No, just water. My main concern was it darkening the leather and making it splotchy and show after staining. It seems to be doing well as of now. I will attempt some pattern tracing in the morning while it is still damp.
     
  10. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    As long as the water in the bowl wasn't really dirty the difference should be negligible. For best results, just soak the rest of the belt while its still wet and let it all dry together.
     
  11. Elvean

    Elvean New Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    I've gotten back into a LotR kick lately, and your belt just fuels it. The tooling looks great so far, and really looking forward to the progress.
     
  12. Dung0beetle

    Dung0beetle Well-Known Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Please use an awl for punching holes. The belt will last much longer. With holes that close together, there is a huge risk of the leather ripping between the stitch holes. If you punch with an awl, the leather retains most of it's strength and the leather relaxes over the hole and holds the stitch more securely.
     
  13. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Thanks a lot!

    Good to know :thumbsup I don't currently have an awl, but I will be sure to order one. I have never used one, just always punched my holes and have never heard of it weakening the leather. Thanks for letting me know early on in my leathering experience! I don't think I haven't learned something new from each project. :)
     
  14. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    That is true about the awl, but with the holes punched lengthwise as opposed to across the width of the belt, the odds of the leather tearing, especially in belt thickness, are pretty low. You'd have to use an awful lot of force to make it tear.
     
  15. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    That's what I thought.
     
  16. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Very excited about this project! I'm getting back into LOTR's as well... It's looking great so far! Glad the cats didn't do too much damage. When I first started reading it I thought it was going to say they chewed it up! Water isn't so bad...
     
  17. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    No no they didn't chew it. They wouldn't be alive at this point if that's what had happened haha.
     
  18. CelticRuins

    CelticRuins Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Gorgeous! We're having this made by a friend of our's, along with the rest of his gear.

    Your's looks gorgeous! I'm slowly learning the tricks of the leather trade, so I can be this good one day ;)!
     
  19. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    First of all, thank you all for the kind words! Kind words = Motivation!

    Started the tooling work, and ran into some kind-of-obvious issues I didn't notice. The leaves are completely flat on the original, where as my tools leave a somewhat 'dotted' appearance. I'm thinking of making my own tool for this out of a bolt probably. Too late for this belt, but if I ever do another one I can do it flat. Also, the vines are not cut, but what appear to be grooved out. Luckily I caught that before I started cutting the vines on the outside (already cut the ones at the folded portion; Good thing you won't see those!) I will have to get a stand alone groover for the vines, and hope I don't mess it up!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Here are a couple tools I can recommend for you:

    Tandy Leather Factory - Craftool Pro Modeling Tool Med/Large Round Spoon

    Tandy Leather Factory - B60 Craftool Beveler Stamp

    This design isn't cut at all and from what I can see there's no damage done to the leather. The original was most likely not made by hand, but by a special attachment for an embossing machine. Basically a pattern carved into a cylinder. The belt is soaked and then pulled through a machine, and the cylinder sets in a repeating pattern. That would probably be at least $1000 worth of tools though. These ones will allow you to make the same pattern if you're careful enough, which you appear to be from what you've done so far.
     
  21. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Thanks for those links Risu. I have a spooning tool (totally forgot about that!) that I will have to give a try tomorrow. I also have a beveler, but I think the one you showed is the smooth one that I need. Mine is dotted for some reason. I would order one now but I literally JUST ordered stuff from Tandy yesterday and the wife would have a cow I think. I try to make their shipments as worthwhile as possible, as the shipping is $12 minimum :(

    EDIT:
    I originally tried to make a roller with this design. Failed horribly haha. I am trying to keep it as screen accurate as possible.
     
  22. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Yea, I've got the smooth one and the dotted one (actually two sizes of each). I assume you got the starter kit? I had to buy the smooth ones separately.
     
  23. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Yeah it was the basic tooling set. Came with 6 different tools and the swivel knife.
     
  24. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt

    Finally done with the leaves. Whew! That took longer than expected. I'm thinking of grooving out the vines. I don't think stenciling them deep with look right.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 02FEB2012]

    I don't think you should carve them, and here's why. When you carve the leather, it exposes the layers underneath the smooth top layer. It looks fine when you're working with it, but when you dye it, the carved lines are going to be significantly lighter or darker depending on the color of dye you use, then the the surface. Also, those details will end up much deeper than the rest of it once you've embossed them.
     
  26. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 02FEB2012]

    What would you suggest then Risu? I'm at a lose.
     
  27. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 02FEB2012]

    Same way you did the rest of it, just emboss them without carving. Your leaves turned out looking perfect, and from what I can see in your first post, the vines look the same as the leaves on the original.
     
  28. SailorEarth

    SailorEarth Active Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 02FEB2012]

    Very nice work! I'm glad your kitties attempt at sabotaging it failed :lol
     
  29. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 02FEB2012]

    Hm..I shall experiment with a scrap piece haha.
     
  30. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    This project is slowly becoming more and more difficult to remain screen accurate. Beings as it was rolled with a press its difficult to mimic the tooling. I'm becoming very dissatisfied with this project.

    Some of the vines are done:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  31. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 03FEB2012]

    I think you're doing an excellent job. I would have embossed the vines down instead of up, but it still looks great. I noticed your edges are a bit rough, if you'd like some advice on making them smooth and clean, take a look at one of my more recent posts in my Altair build thread. It's an involved process, but it makes a huge difference.
     
  32. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Well thanks for the positive reinforcement :) I told my wife I wanted to restart the project and she told me if I didn't finish this belt I was a dead man haha.

    I've always had a bit of trouble with beveling the edges, but I just bought the wooden slicker you spoke of and it shoud be in tomorrow. I won't do the edges until after dying so I'm not too concerned with them at this point. The tool I'm using for the vines is just too wide so I can't really get in the tight curves as I want to. This has been a good training exerience so I don't have ny complaints there lol.
     
  33. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Finished the tooling and dyed this bad boy:

    [​IMG]

    Burnished the edges nice and smooth thanks to my new slicker I got in today.

    I'll start carving the buckle out of clay tonight. We'll see how that goes!
     
  34. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Looks gorgeous - very inspiring...

    When I made a buckle out of clay for Haldir's armor, I reinforced it with jewelry wire as it's base. :)
     
  35. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Was that for the initial sculpting? Or did you use the clay for the final buckle? I plan on casting a copy of the clay in some type of metal.
     
  36. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Ah! Okay - mine was for the final product. :) I use cheap fake stuff. :lol

    Carry on. :$

    I've actually been so inspired by your work that I've started practicing on craft foam for the belt on my son's Legolas costume... Didn't turn out too bad. :thumbsup
     
  37. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    I don't think you realize how much that just pumped me up haha! Rarely do I make something that inspires others. Leather is a great thing. I wish I'd started sooner. If you need patterns or reference pictures I have some saved :)
     
  38. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Oh, I totally get it, that can be the best part of costuming! Thanks for the offer too! Since my son is 10 it'll be a modified version, scaling it down. I'm not too concerned with accuracy on this piece, but I'll let you know if I get stuck.

    Just seeing the way you cut out the buckle slot and holes for sewing was extremely helpful already!
     
  39. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    Glad to be of help!

    Test fitting with the newly punched holes (Ignore my Cookie Monster MANjama's :love)

    [​IMG]

    Also, I'm attempting to use solder as my prototype buckle. I've twisted several strands together to get a thick piece and melted them together. Now I can beat the pattern out as it seems its just a flat piece twisted onto itself. We shall see...
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  40. CorriTimigan

    CorriTimigan Active Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    I just want to say this looks absolutely fantastic, and that you are to be commended!
    Can't wait for the finished product!
     
  41. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    I'm currently waiting to receive an email back from someone who made buckles before, hoping to buy a cast from him. At this point there is not much else to do but wait for the buckle. Thanks for all the kind replies!
     
  42. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    It's beautiful!!!

    Are you planning a costume or was this just to feed your leather working interest?
     
  43. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    I wanted to do the whole costume but I live in Kansas, so there really isn't any costuming events near me to validate the whole thing. Being in the Army I move around so I can't have much a of 'prop room' set up because I would hate to tear it down for deployments and moving.

    I will probably end up selling this once I'm done with it. It's not a perfect recreation, but it could serve someone else more than sitting in a box at my house lol.
     
  44. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Legolas's Belt [NEW PICS 04FEB2012]

    UPDATE

    Got the belt buckle in today. Excellent resin copy (credit to Rick over at ucforums.com). I'll be either cold casting it or using aluminum.

    [​IMG]
     
  45. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    That's beautiful!
     
  46. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Agreed. And I lucked out because his version was for a 1" belt, but he had luckily made a copy of an official buckle that was for 1.25" belts. Perfect fit.
     
  47. CelticRuins

    CelticRuins Sr Member

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    Gorgeous work! *drools over tooling*
     
  48. CelticRuins

    CelticRuins Sr Member

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    I know I'm reviving an old thread here, but I'm currently desperate -_-.

    Did you have any luck casting that belt buckle?? I really need one at the moment. My bf and I commissioned out the Legolas rig to a friend and well...he seriously faltered in areas. One of them being the buckles.

    [​IMG]

    I'm in need of 3 quiver buckles as well. I've sculpted my own but have no background in casting work. The quiver buckles have to be made out of some sort of metal strong enough to hold the back rig. Either that or I'm going to have to do what they did in the movie and make a dummy rig underneath his silver shirt out of elastic staps, and make the quiver straps fake.

    If you or anyone can help me with this, I'd be most grateful!
     
  49. Zlurpo

    Zlurpo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In this thread I documented how I made buckles for a costume I was building. They're sculpted in clay and molded. I then bent a wire-hanger skeleton, which went inside the mold. I used fiberglass resin as a casting agent, and made casts of buckles that had a metal inside. They held up pretty well.
    Not as good as metal buckles, but it might work!
     
  50. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Sorry, but I never got the buckle casted before I deployed. I attempted to use soldering wire, which worked rather well, but the impurities we very evident in the final product.
     

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