Remember a few weeks back, when I posted about the two week Thranduil costume that I made for my husband? Well, there’s a reason I’ve been so quiet since – I got it in my head that I should follow that up with a Thorin costume for myself… again in only two weeks!
Where Porter’s costume was mostly a feat of sewing and logistics – about 200 pieces of fabric to juggle in just his coat! – the Thorin costume was a bunch of different techniques, and a TON of pieces to make. What can I say, I like a challenge!
Much like the Thranduil costume, I started with making the jewelry first. It was pretty simple: two rings, two large gold “bands” for braids in the back of the hair, and two more – smaller, silver – ones for the braids pulled around to the front. Everything is made from Sculpey and painted:
From there, I built the boots. These started off as a pair of winter boots I bought at a thrift shop. I sewed the covers from fun fur and attached it down. The buckles were made from Sculpey and painted before attaching to the pleather strapping. The toe boxes were made from craft foam and plastic canvas, with several layers of paint to give it an aged metallic look:
The most time consuming aspect of this costume build was the armoured tunic. I’d never done any sort of casting before, but there was NO way I was going to individually sculpt over 350 pieces of armour plating!
So, I sculpted one “blank” each of each style and size of plating, and baked them. Then I made molds off of those pieces, and my husband and I spent HOURS casting and baking the armour plating. We then primed and painted with metallic paints. Eventually, we’ll be “aging” them with black acrylic.
The pieces were laid out on the actual tunic (which was several layers of durable fabric itself, with reinforced seams everywhere – engineered to withstand holding the crazy amount of weight those armour plates would add!) and glued down:
I used the same techniques for the bulk of the belt, which I made from a heavyweight pleather and a lightweight navy blue corduroy:
I didn’t actually take any real progress photos of the other garment construction, as it was “just” sewing. Plowed through it too fast to bother!
About a week after starting, I was done everything except the leather bracers, and the wig/beard. My friend Todd is an experienced leather worker, and does amazing cosplay… and he graciously gave up a whole day to teach me how to work with leather, and supervise me making these bracers. He showed me how to trace out my pattern, cut and bevel it, texture it, and everything. 7 hours later, I had a gorgeous pair of bracers – I was SO proud of myself! Todd was an excellent teacher:
The day that I went to Todd’s place to do the bracers, my husband was busily building me a gorgeous “Orcrist” sword. He started with a sheet of plastic – very similar to the kind that cutting boards are made from. He cut, sanded, and beveled it, before passing it off to me to sculpt the hilt.
He attached the hilt, primed and sanded it many times, and finally sprayed it a shiny metallic silver – you’d never know it started as plain white plastic!
I added the final touches – detailed painting on the hilt, raised details on the blade, and a few crystals attached to the very end of the hilt. Gorgeous!
This whole time, we were stressed out about the wig. We had ordered two wigs online, which were to arrive on December 3rd.. giving me plenty of time to take the wefts from one and sew it to the other.
Well… a week after the supposed delivery date, it was declared lost in the mail. (I’m cutting out a lot of the drama here, including hours on the phone with UPS – it was a LOT of stress!)
Then, the next day it arrived. When I opened the package, one wig was completely the wrong colour, and the other one was very… girlie. There was no way it was going to work for me (see the second photo below… I look REAL amused, eh?). I decided it was time for me to learn to make wigs. I think the lost package kind of broke me! We went to a weave supply store, bought some bulk “braid” hair, and I set about making wefts for my new wig on Thursday – the morning before the movie premiere!
It took all day, but the wig looked really good… aside from the “kink” to the hair fibres. I put the wig on my husband and styled it that night, adding the braids and hair jewelry.
The next morning I decided to try ironing the hair, and that went well – smoothing everything out well. Thorin doesn’t have straight hair, though – it’s wavy. I didn’t have curlers, a curling iron, or anything of the sort, myself… so I just braided the rest of the hair and ironed the braids to set the hair into wavys – it worked perfectly! Added a couple strands of grey hair at the temples, and it was done:
With all of THAT behind me, it was time to deal with the beard. I’d never done a beard before, and I am NOT good with makeup.. so this would be an adventure. It took me about 2 hours to build the beard, mustache, and widow’s peak right on my face, but I loved how it turned out! I used leftover braiding hair, and a ton of liquid latex:
Want to see the final costume? Click here to go to another entry to see photos from the outdoor photo shoot we on Friday!
Additionally, we went out for a fun photo shoot a couple days later. As we’d never had an engagement photo shoot when we got married, we thought it would be fun to do one… in costume. 7+ years late, sure… but WAY more awesome. Check out those photos in a gallery on new Costuming Facebook page, here.
While you’re at it, be sure to “like” the page, to keep up on my costuming endeavors! (Which are usually not posted to the main Celebration Generation page!)