Mage Champion Hawke - Dragon Age II IMAGE HEAVY

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I realize I'm not the only one who has done a breakdown and creation of this iconic Dragon Age costume, but I wanted to post my costume, and a breakdown of the entire thing, including photos, in hopes that it might help others who are also tackling this damn thing! :D

This costume is an asymmetrical nightmare, and big on the geometry, and wholly impractical to wear, even as a mage, casting magic from across a battlefield. Therefore, I'm convinced that some noble in Kirkwall wanted to gift this mess to the new Champion in hopes of garnering favor. No one will convince me that this isn't ceremonial armor and not meant for combat - but you'd never convince Hawke to not wear it into combat.


Look at that mess. I love it so much.

So my first step was to break it down into layers and pieces. After several sketches, looking at multiple reference images from the game and concept art, I determined this:

Layer 1 - Red one sleeved shirt
Layer 2 - Ragged chainmail shirt
Layer 3 - Denim Tunic and trousers, shoulder leather piece
Layer 4 - Leather tabard with red lining
Layer 5 - Belt
Layer 6 - Armor and boots

Once I had that, it was a matter of assembling the materials and getting to work.

All the red fabric, from the red one sleeved shirt to the lining of the leather tabard, was done in a silk dupioni, in order to get a luster suitable for a noble, but the strength of a strong fabric like silk.

The soft pieces, like the tunic and trousers, were cotton denim, and the tabard, belt, and tan or brown pieces were all cowhide. The mantle was made of a faux wolf fur, and the trim on the belt was rabbit fur. All the armor was made of a thermoplastic called worbla, backed with craft foam, which was primed, sanded, painted, and weathered with black and brown acrylic washes for a dirty, used look. I opted for all natural fabrics, for their breath-ability and the textures and look. I asked myself, what fabrics would be used, or similar to what was used, in a medieval type setting like Thedas? What textures did the game designers employ?

So! The breakdown!! All progress photos not included in this post can be seen here:

Layer One: The Red Silk Shirt

I didn't get many good photos of this when I was making it, unfortunately, but all it was, was a basic long sleeve shirt pattern that I added darts to, to remove bulk, and put in a zipper since the fabric was not a knit with give. I omitted one sleeve (since one of Hawke's arms is bare!).

Layer 2 - The chain mail shirt

My first go around, I actually wove bits of chain mail myself, out of steel, but only enough for the sleeves. This created the problem of it pulling and hanging in an uncomfortable way, so when I went back to make repairs, I just purchased and modified a premade zinc steel chain shirt for my purposes. It slips right on over my head and looks great!

Layer 3 - The denim tunic and trousers.

The trousers were simple and straight forward. Since Hawke doesn't have a front zip button and fly, I made skinny jeans with a side zipper, in order for them to fit snugly and slip into my sabatons easily later.

The tunic, however, started as a simple sleeveless pattern, that I measured princess seams into the front and back. I secured them with a flat felled seam for strength, and added the odd "bone" like detailing along those seamlines. It zips closed in the back, and pulls on over my head.




Layer Four - Leather Tabard

I determined that the leather tabard was a tabard by looking at the lines and the way it's worn. It's silly and not practical, but I didn't design it. :D I patterned the tabard based on my own measurements, and did the red lacing by hand up the back in suede lace. The whole thing is lined in the same red silk dupioni as the silk undershirt.


Layer 5 - Belt, Shoulder Leather Piece, and Black Glove

All of these items were made with cowhide, backed with duckcloth, except for the black glove, which was made from goathide. The glove was a basic cuffed glove pattern, but I had to make up the shoulder piece and the belt based on my measurements. The belt buckle is made of worbla and wood, and fastens with hook and eye closures on the side.






Layer 6 - Armor and Boots

As I said before, I drafted the armor from patterns used by a friend, sized up to meet my measurements, onto posterboard, and then made the armor out of worbla backed with craft foam for structure. It was primed with wood glue, sanded, coated in Plastidip, painted with Rustoleum Hammered Chrome, and weathered with black and brown acrylic and watercolor washes.

All of the armor photos are in the link posted above, so here are the boots!


The rest of the costume was wig and makeup - I used my partner's staff, since I am not as skilled at prop making as I am costuming making.

I have done both male and female Hawke, with and without beard! The beard was an exercise in theatrical makeup, but it came out pretty well. :D


The beard was cut from faux fur, measured and trimmed to fit my face. The mustace was a theatrical lace backed mustache. It was applied using theatrical adhesive, and once it set, I took clippings fro mthe fur and pressed them into a line of adhesive to make it appear it was growing out of my skin. I stippled black cream makeup along the edge and under my chin to look like stubble, then set with setting powder and Final Seal. The blood swipe is also cream makeup, set with powder and Final Seal.

Normally, though, I just go as regular female Hawke! MUCH easier to eat! I ended up taking Best in Show at AnimeFest Dallas last year, which was unexpected and awesome!

Anywhere, here is the final complete product, with a cameo by my significant other as Cullen. XD




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