When I set out to make this costume, I was very determined to make it look as authentic as possible. I considered using vinyl for the garment portion of the costume, but decided that it would not give the look I wanted to achieve. So I went to Tandy leather and got one of their clearance/cheaper hides for this project. The original color of the leather was light warm red-brown. It was the closest color hide that I could find in my budget. Being as it was not the color I wanted, I de-glazed the hide and re-dyed it a darker color. Since Aela’s outfit is so unique, as it is a backless leotard with a four-part loin cloth/skirt….thing, I didn’t even try to look for a base pattern to modify. I drafted own patterns by draping spare cotton on my dress form. Aela’s ‘top’ looked like a leotard to me based on how taught it was vertically. However, since she doesn’t have a true back to it, just straps, I ended up making a spandex thong that then snapped to straps coming from my waist. The leotard then goes around my neck in halter. For the loin cloth, it really is just a glorified belt with four panels sewed to it. For all the straps on this costume, I glued to pieces of leather together with rubber cement and then stitched them together. The hide I was using was to soft to use on it’s own and needed to be reinforced in order to keep everything in place. I used a mixture of snaps and domed rivets to hold all the straps in place. At some joints I did sew it for extra stability.
For the armor I used a new material called Worbla. It’s a thermal plastic that is super easy to work with. For the hip armor I used Eva foam for the base, then used strips to do the all the details and googly eyes for the rivets. The plates have snaps on the back and just snap to the loincloth/ skirt. The front plate’s base is also eva foam base with details done worbla too. The gauntlets are eva foam bases, with worbla edging and detailing. I used the same re-dyed leather to also cover parts of the gauntlets. Real rivets were used on the gauntlet because I was afraid glued re-painted googly eyes would be too prone to being knocked off. The gauntlets stay closed with lacing on the back. For the arm cuffs, the base is craft foam covered in Worbla. The turquoise gems I got at Michael’s, so no clue if they are real or not (I would wager a no on that one! haha). The cuffs just slide up my arm and stay on their own. Chest pieces are also eva foam, covered in Worbla, and detailed with the same gems as the cuffs. They have little loops in the back and piece of leather is strung through it and attached on each side of the top. Similar to how I made the rest of the armor, I used Worbla. For the bulk of it I used craft foam as base, but unlike the other pieces I sandwiched the craftfoam between two layers of Worbla. I did this so it would extra sturdy and because I was going to be attaching more Worbla to the underside. The rings on the back are held in place with Worbla as well. For the front a strip of leather with a snap feeds through the fur to the body suit and snaps in place. All the armor pieces were then primed black, then sprayed with hammered metal spray, then silver spray, then given an black acrylic wash, and then finally highlighted with rub-n-buff.
The chainmail was made by hand. Wire was coiled which were then cut into the rings. A 4 in 1 weave was used in this mail. The chainmail is then held in place to the loin cloth/skirt via rivets. If you want a good tutorial on the who process I recommend following this: http://www.instructables.com/id/European-4-in-1-maille-chainmail-speedweaving/?ALLSTEPS
The sword was made by Ice Man Props. I did the detailing on the hilt and weathering of the sword. I also used more craft foam and Worbla to make the scabbard for the sword. It too snaps to my belt.
The shoes were boots that I purchased. I removed the fringe and dyed them a dark brown to match the leather boot covers I made. The boot base helps keep up the cover, but I use a belt too.
The wig is a lace front wig that trimmed up. It was purchased from Internationalwigs.com; the color is 130.
Finally for warpaint I used BenNye creme make up in green and black. I did a layer of black then added a little green to give it that super dark green, almost black, look. It was set with BenNye translucent powder.
BGZ Photography, Anna Fischer, Ice Man Props
FanimeCon 2013 Närcon 2014 Santa Rosa Toy Con 2014 Wizard World Sacramento 2014 Comic Media Expo 2015