This is my first mock-up of the articulated pauldron. Each cauldron is comprised of 7 overlapping pieces and is intended to look like a bird’s wing.

rear view of the pauldron pattern

The pattern for the greaves was very simple. I made a crude duct tape cast of my leg so that I could more easily make a pattern that would fit me well.

I made every piece of armor by sandwiching craft foam between two layers of Worbla. I did not have sheets large enough to cut the greaves in single pieces, so I notched the craft foam together.

Here I am laying the foam onto the first layer of Worbla. I then heated the second layer and laid it on top, firmly pressing the edges together all the way around (I cut the Worbla about 1/8" larger all the way around to make sure it would overlap the craft foam).

The vambrace layers

layers of the hand piece

To create the raised detailing on the vambraces and hand pieces, I rolled clay into long strands and glued it to the Worbla (after I had shaped it). Once the clay hardened, I “caulked” around it with glue for additional support and to smooth the transition from the vambrace to the raised detail.

Prior to applying the raised detailing, I had to apply filler to smooth out some rough places in the Worbla.

On the pauldrons I used tiny strips of foam instead of clay for the raised detailing. Since these pieces would constantly be rubbing against each other, I was afraid clay would eventually crack off. The foam worked well!

To mold the greaves identically, I created a foam board base to allow the Worbla to cool on. I scored each of these lines so that I could bend the greave into the desired shape, then I filled these scores with hot glue to make it rigid.d

Here is the foam board base for the greaves once I firmed it up with hot glue in the cracks.

Once all the armor pieces had the raised detail applied, I applied several coats of Plasti-dip. This created a very smooth surface for the spray paint later, and it also gave all the armor additional flexibility so that the paint would not crack off. It also provided additional cushion for the clay detailing.

I shaped each of the 14 pauldron pieces using a dress form. I then glued each individual piece to a leather strap which runs along the center underneath each pauldron. These straps fastened at my shoulder via whopper poppers, and I used an elastic band to secure it around my bicep.

I constructed the crown by first de-constructing two other crowns. The bulk of Thranduil’s crown is at center back as opposed to center front, so I “stacked” the center fronts of two crowns in the back.

Once I had stacked the two fronts, I created an additional point to make it extend further down the back of my head.

I used scraps to piece the front back together and to create a holder for the jewel to rest at the forehead.

The jewel is made of Worbla, which I then spray painted.

This is the decorative center of the belt. I stitched it to the full belt once I had applied to raised detailing.

After I had cut out each of the small pieces, I traced their outlines onto the belt using a sharpie to help me place them later.

I cut each of these small pieces out of Worbla,

the Worbla detailing, prior to paint

Once painted, I heated the Worbla and it adhered to the belt easily.

After I had the full belt cut, I cut a larger “second” belt so that I could wrap it over the edge and give the appearance (from the front, at least) of a finished edge.

Here you can see how I wrapped the larger belt around the actual-sized belt. I then top-stitched the two together.

Once the main belt was done, I top-stitched then decorative center piece onto the top.

The belt fastened in back via two grommets.

I drafted this tunic from a basic male bodice. I added a skirt, then divided each half of the front into 11 panels which are edged in leather piping. The tunic is longest at center front and center back and falls to just below the knee and entry curves up at each side seam. The center front and center back are split to just below the waist for mobility (and because Thranduil rides an elk in the film!).

The collar is cut as one piece that is actually an extension of the first of the 11 panels of each half of the front. It is seamed at the center back of the neck and is lined with the same fashion fabrics the outside of the tunic.

The back of the tunic has 5 panels on each half, and I added a slightly triangular yolk to tie in with the “V” lines of the front.

The tunic has a full ling, except for the sleeves.

I patterned the cloak to be almost a full circle.

I wanted to avoid a seam at center back of the cloak, but discovered that the cloak in the film was also seamed at center back. Rather than stress over how to get all the material I needed with no ugly seems, I just went with this!

For the feathers that hang down Thranduil’s back from under his pauldrons, I patterned “wings” comprised of 19 feathers each.

I sewed each of the 38 feathers with a silver top and black backing.

This is one of the wings with one piece of the pauldron on top.

The feathers are all attached to a “shoulder pad” of sorts, which attached to the underside of the pauldrons via velcro.

To mimic some of the texture of the wings in the movie, I cut hundreds of small black squares and glued them to the points of all the feathers.

Thranduil Battle Costume

“Battle of the Five Armies”