Nazgul costume (WIP) *TEXT HEAVY in places*

GasMaskSaxon

New Member
So after a recent LOTR marathon, I realised that the Ringwraiths are seriously badass. Therefore, the only path open to me was to make a costume.

There is quite a high chance that I will make a Witch King of Angmar costume, but since his armour is very very complicated, I figured I'd start off on the (slightly) simpler dogsbody Ringwraiths and get some experience under my belt, then potentially move on to the Witch King. Besides, if that's the case, then I'll already have the robes done, which will make things easier...

I would also like to say I'm actually at university right now, so this build will take a LONG time due to constraints of time and money, so sorry in advance if this thread isn't often updated.

The first thing I did was rummage for references, and there really aren't very many. However, a guy called Kropserkel has done an incredible Witch King/Nazgul build here. He has also provided many many pictures, which prove very useful:
Kropserkel: Dark Rider Nazgul WitchKing costume and armor

Another good site might be this one, they've made both steel and plastic gauntlets, and while they haven't documented the building at all, they are trying to sell them (I think), so there are a couple of very close-up photos:
Nazgul Ringwraith Blackrider Armor

I decided to start with the gauntlets, something I already have a little experience with. I purchased a gauntlet template from here, for 499 of your American cents, then printed it off to toy with it. The template was perfect for providing a base for all those articulating pieces across the wrist and the back of the hand, so all I had to do was change their shape so they looked like the plates of the Nazgul armour. I also didn't need any of the finger pieces because the fingers of a Nazgul gauntlet are more like a strip of hinged scales than articulated fingers, so they are simpler in that regard, but they are somewhat time-consuming to cut. They may be a deciding factor in whether the armour is made of metal or Worbla, because I'd have to use my pillar drill to get the right shape on the finger scales if they were metal, and I don't have access to that at the moment.

Anyway, after much fiddling and tweaking and recutting of pieces, I ended up with a card model, hinged with drawing pins:

IMG_0951[1].JPG

I decided that making all four fingers would be a little pointless, because they're all exactly the same except for the number of shaped scales they have. The vambrace isn't actually shown here how it will be on the gauntlet, because it has a segmented look like the hand section, and I haven't made a piece for the underside of the vambrace either, but this is pretty much it. I think the initial batch will be made of Worbla, and maybe I'll move to steel once I have better equipment and a good idea of how this gauntlet works in a proper material.

Apologies for text:photo ratio, but hopefully the rest of the process will be better documented...
 
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GasMaskSaxon

New Member
Not really, I'm actually pretty new to this myself...it sorta depends on the nature of your issues/what stage you're at with them...
 

GasMaskSaxon

New Member
So after a huge hiatus (sorry), I managed to buy myself some Worbla, and it is an absolutely cracking material. Easy to use, very forgiving and perfect for this build. To that end, I managed to get a whole gauntlet made up in Worbla, and may make a second, depending on a few other things.

I started in the logical place, taking the pieces of my card prototype apart and tracing them out onto the plastic, marking holes and fold lines, then cutting those out. I had to trace and cut 24 of the the spiked finger lames with scissors...not recommended.

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Then to shaping! For all the finger pieces, because they all needed a uniform curve, I just dipped the pieces in boiling water to soften them, then formed them over a gluestick. The gluestick just happened to be the right size for what I wanted, and I managed to get the fingers done pretty quickly. Worbla is just so easy to shape, it blows my mind.

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Then is was rinse and repeat for the pieces along the hand, except I used a lighter rather than boiling water, so I could heat small sections of each piece to better control how I shaped it. Each piece was tested regularly with others, to make sure it could still articulate properly with the ridges, which were now more pronounced than in the cardboard model, while still making sure it would fit my hand. Drawing pins were used as temporary hinges.
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The knuckle plate looks complicated, but Worbla made my life very easy. I made a mold of the shape I wanted out of card, then just heated each knuckle until it was fairly soft, then just pushed it over my card form. Worbla cools quite slowly, so you're given a good amount of time to rework it. Then I just folded it to fit the rest of the gauntlet.
IMG_1030.JPG

The vambrace was tricky, because it required creases along its length in two directions. I had to fold it piece by piece, again using my lighter, then try and shape it afterwards without losing too much definition. It took a long time, but was worth it in the end. The gauntlet is now ready for paint and drilling, once I know what rivets I'll be using.

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As always, let me know what you think and feel free to ask questions. I'll update again whenever I have more for you, (WHICH MIGHT BE SOME TIME).
 

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Stinkape

Active Member
Nice I'm doing the same thing for a armor project . You are a few days ahead of me .. wow thank you for posting !!! Looking forward to more from your build
 

mickc22

Active Member
that looks damn sweet! gotta do these later this year along with the feet, I got given some Kydex so had a play with that, came out real nice, and is easy to shape too

IMAG0672.jpg
 

Alex41

New Member
Looking great. This looks like a MUCH easier medium than making them out of metal. Keep the updates coming. Alex.
 

GasMaskSaxon

New Member
Seriously, Worbla is amazing. With a proper paintjob, it looks amazing. To do this kind of shaping in metal would require an anvil and a ballpen hammer at the very least, but worbla only requires a lighter and some patience.
 

TheMuffinMan7

New Member
Could you go into some more detail on how you made the vambrace? It looks amazing! I'm new to cosplay and the amount of time put into these, how much time did you put into the gauntlet? Also, what paint do you think one should use? Do you have a finished version?
 
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