The Hobbit

Cosplayer: RSpanner

Variant: Inspired by Brilcrist's design

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

16th May 2014: Feet - Fleecing complete Boy this took some time. All they need now are insoles and weathering, but the latter can only be done once all the dragon parts are done, and that is mostly just the wings that need detailing. So that's my focus for tomorrow. And maybe getting that god damned belt on, I keep forgetting to sew it. I may try to do it tonight if I get cleaned up quick enough.

I'm well on track for a test run by Monday latest, and I can spend the rest of my time solely on the coat, and I'm gonna need as much time as I can get for that.

14th May 2014: Feet - Scales 2 Hot gluing all the scales is certainly made them strong for the feet, I may swallow my pride and use glue on my tail (for the larger scales). I'll try to wait a bit longer for that.

14th May 2014: Feet - Scales Progress is being made on the scales, it's an almost sick sense of deja vu...

11th May 2014: Feet - Movement test 2 Same again, here's a movement test with all the claws on. Sorry if it's hard to see. I am debating whether I should put an insole in them because I keep treading on the hard glue and I can see that giving me blisters.

10th May 2014: Feet - Claws The claws are all done and can be attached at this stage. Each claw was moulded out of worbla over the old foil base I made for the horns, painted brown/black, then glossed. Since they're hollow, I had some trouble deciding how they're going to be attached, and I ended up choosing adding a sort of cuticle/rim of fleece that folded over the top and stuffed into the hollow claw. I'd then make a slit in the toe, and glue it to the foam directly. Most of them aren't going to budge, one or two may need a little extra glue but won't come off without a fight. I just want to make sure they're strong enough to last the day. Both feet have dew claws as the ankle, mostly to tell me which foot is which. Will do a movement test.

10th May 2014: Feet - Sole The paws are near enough fleeced.

10th May 2014: Feet - Pads glued Here the pads have been glued on and I'm starting on the fleecing. Time and money pressures have made me decide that I'm not going to do the duct tape pattern method, and I'm having to use the quicker, and albeit sloppier way of just draping it. More wrinkles appear but it does work in my favour, looking more like the grizzly old dragon's skin. This will be more prevalent when worn.

10th May 2014: Ears - Earrings I'm using these gold hoops from my local fabric shop. I'm not too sure of their original purpose, but they work really well for these earrings, all they need is a snip.

10th May 2014: Ears - Fleeced Ahh the ears are all fleeced now. I experimented with the glue to see if there was anything new I could find, but it ended up soaking through the fleece. No matter, I can use my weathering paint to sort that. Now to find where the piercings are because I'm an idiot that didn't mark where they were.

After that, the next part is to get them fixed onto a head band.

9th May 2014: Feet - Pawpads The paw pads are carved out of a thick EVA floor mat, then shaped with a dremel tool. I wasn't too happy with how grey they were, so I used ink to dye them black. The ink does come off very easily, but it's been holding up quite well considering how long I've been wearing them in tests. Still, I'll do another coat before packing them, and take my ink with me on the day to fix any considerably large areas. I like the mix of the black and grey, especially where there would be natural wear, but if I want the effect to last, I need to keep applying it. It'd probably work if I had some more permanent ink ehehe;;

8th May 2014: Stolen Jewellery - Ouroborus Cloak Ring I had lots of excess worbla when I was making the claws and the ears, so I used them to make this cloak ring. I won't make any more until nearer the deadline, since it's easier to paint this in the hotel room than it is to sew and glue lololol. That, and it's not going to be as missed in the design.

Like a lot of the jewellery he wears in this design, it's stolen this from one of the people he's eaten. He doesn't wear it for his purpose, he has no care for craftsmanship, he just wants to display his wealth.

8th May 2014: Front panel - Failed Attempt ehehe;; well it was a good test of the most evil combination of fabrics I can think of. Spandex velvet, foil bias tape and bent cording. The bent cording is what has made this fail, and besides it doesn't fall the way I wanted it too, so I'm scrapping it from the design.

At least I know what to expect for when working on the coat (which will work out better because it's more suited for that sort of thing), I'll have to make some alterations to the design replace the front panel with some scarves or some other drapey fabrics. As evil as it is, I really love the way the fabrics look together, just as I had imagined.

7th May 2014: Waistcoat - Progress I haven't logged this part much at all because my sewing machine broke and I had to go buy a replacement, so I forgot to take photos of my progress. I will take a photo of it before I cut the back for the wings, the whole thing is lined with armhole facings (first time I've done this and I'm pretty chuffed with the turn out).

I will be cutting the back out when I do the main overcoat. I want to get the rest out of the way first. It needs buttons yet.

3rd May 2014: Feet - Finish Sculpt Sculpt all finished and tested. All that's needed now before fleecing are the claws and paw pads.

3rd May 2014: Feet - Movement test Here's a video of my left foot's movement test. This was recorded around 3am, hence the pink spotty pjs. By the way if it player stops working I'm sorry you know what tumblr's like for these things;;

2nd May 2014: Feet - Basic foam sculpt This is near enough the shape I wanted. I started building up one foot first to make sure it was the right shape, then began work on the other to match. They kept needing to be off the duct tape mannequin to make sure the glue hadn't trapped them. Of course I couldn't resist trying them on either.

1st May 2014: Feet - Toes progress Starting with the toes. They look very clunky here.

30th April 2014: Feet - Set up Here are the beginnings of the feet. I've created a custom lycra base for the upholstery foam to stick to, created a small pattern to follow and gathered all the other supplies I need. It's going to take a lot of additive and subtracts sculpting to make something I'm happy with.

28th April 2014: Ears - Base The base of the ears is made just out of worbla. I've added a little more boning than is seen here to keep them strong, and be more defined under the fleece.

Here I'm just wearing them over my ears (no extra support, just hooked on), I'll be wearing a head band under my wig to keep them on, and they'll go in front of my real ears, covered by a thin black linen patch.

I can't fleece these until I have decided how his earrings will sit, because they have to be pierced.

19th April 2014: Tail - Glueing down the scales I've finally caved and decided to glue all the scales down so they don't fold over any more. I've done 3 coats of fabric glue, and it isn't sticking down too well. However, it's stiffened the fabric enough to keep them flat, which worked just as well. I will try a stronger glue in the areas that need it most. After that, all that's left for the tail is attaching the belt, then once all the dragon parts are done, weathering/shading/highlighting. LOTS TO DO IN 34 DAYS I'D SAY;;

19th April 2014: Tail - Colouring the muslin red I've coloured the entire muslin base with a red sharpie. I really should have started with a red fabric base, then all that time wouldn't have been wasted.

19th April 2014: Main Fabrics Three main fabrics for Smaug's clothes. I've changed out the original golden faux silk dupion (will still be used on the weird obi thing, urgh) to something far more harsh on the wallet, but more in keeping with the fact that Smaug is a dragon, and needs more scale motifs. And what better way that to make his golden waistcoat out of /scales/.

His trousers (pfft if they can even be called that) are going to be made from that blue jersey. It's a different colour that my own alterations to the colours, but the same as Brilcrist's original palette. Still, nothing a little weathering can't handle.

This is an example of the best angle this velvet can be taken from, in other lights it can look very pink/purple, clashing with everything else.

This entire outfit is very harsh in colours and textures, but the goal is to show that he wears his stolen wealth, like a trophy. All the parts come from more than one place. His mismatched jewellery should also help define this more.

19th April 2014: Wings - Membrane Wing membrane all sewn on with a blanket stitch! I still have to make and sew the detailed bones and horns on (no horns until I do the claws on the feet, they have to have the same paint job, and that needs to be done before being attached), but it's beginning to take more form. It's exciting enough to have them on the mannequin.

The point of this before and after is to show that I've bent an elbow into each wing, the extreme anatomical incorrectness was really starting to bug me. That little bend really helps a lot with the silhouette, and even if nobody notices it, it puts me at ease that they are more of a correct shape. It's more of what I envisioned.

18th April 2014: Wings - harness straps / overlocking foot test I tried out my overlocking foot properly for the first time on my wing harness/straps. It's a god send for fraying fabrics like muslin, but it's going to take a bit more getting used to before I use it on easily seen edges (still better than unfinished ones I guess). Right now, it seems to me that it's very similar to a rolled hem foot, but it makes sure all the fabric make it under the stitch, keeping the edge very tidy. It also helps if you cut the fabric straight, and not let it get too messy before doing this. Overall, definitely a great addition to my sewing arsenal, especially for £3/5 on amazon!

6th April 2014: Veneers soon to arrive! My teeth are in the post office! I just have to pick them up tomorrow and I can test them. Excitiiiiing~

4th April 2014: Design change take 3! Since I've gone so far away from Brilcrist's artwork, I've decided to step completely away and design my own interpretation. This way I can incorporate all of the elements I want to (different cultures etc). I'll go into more detail once I have drawn his new design up digitally. A few of the fabrics will be different, so it may mean a trip to London to get some (ie, silks and other natural materials). It'll be the more expensive route but I'd rather make him look correct. Also lots of jewellery and trinkets, because it's Smaug after all.

I'm going to haaaate myself for this when I'm hurry up with the last details on the Thursday night before the con...

3rd April 2014: Duct tape legs Today I had a friend help me tape up my legs so I could make these mannequins for my dragon feet.

This is my first time attempting something like this, needless to say it's quite unnerving to have a replica of my legs about;;

28th March 2014: Wiiiiiings~ Starting to work on the wings now. I've had the basic wire structure made for a while, I've added an extra 'u' for support in the middle - it'll stop the wings from flopping around and it'll stay snug against my back. Next up is the harness, then I can think about covering these with either fleece, lycra or vinyl... decisions, decisions...

20th March 2014: Horns sewn! After much struggle, and a lot of cursing, the horns are sewn to the wig! This was much harder that I thought it'd be, neither of them wanted to stay in the right place, but I finally managed it.

For the head design, I only need to add the ears, jewellery, and facial hair. I'm waiting on the veneers I've ordered to arrive, which will looks really good for this. I'm still debating about contacts, you can see here that I've got blue eyes, which are pale in most light, so they wouldn't really suit him :S. I'll try to get an eye test soon, so I can make sure I'm safe to wear them.

My god I look like I should be a part of homestuck or something.

20th March 2014: Sewing horns Kobra cast is surprisingly easy to sew...

16th March 2014: Design Progress #2 - Head I'm taking a break from the tail to finish up the head design. Originally I was going for the two pairs of horns, but they don't look right on the wig. So I'm opting for one set and large ears instead, then it's more like what Brilcrist originally drew.

Also, those who've seen Smaug's film design will know that his face is covered in spikes. To mix this in with the human element of this costume, I'm giving him facial hair (beard, sideburns, bushy eyebrows). I've never tried this before so it'll be an experience;;

so manry

14th March 2014: Tail progress #7 ALL THE SCALES ARE SEWN. AT LONG LAST. <3

There's a few areas that need some modifying (my god, look at that clump at the base, it's almost hanging XD), other areas need patching, and every single one needs securing. If I pick it up in the wrong direction, they all flop awkwardly and show the sewing beneath, so I have to secure them. I'll be working my way back up for that, so I can just sew them down completely~


12th March 2014: Research! 'Peter kept talking about the eastern quality of the dragon, and he wanted to take it further east.' - Howard Shore (composer for The Hobbit trilogy), talking about Smaug's theme.

I'm so happy I found this, it means my personal add ins for this costume's design are justified. Now I can add a few extra little embellishments in to tie it all in a little more.

(this is mostly for the 'diamond waistcoat' design that I will be wearing under the main overcoat, as seen in the sketches)

12th March 2014: ~TAIL UPDATE~ For the last solid week or so, I've been doing major progress on Smaug's tail. That picture was taken on the 7th, so more has been done since since. It's the scales that have taken up most of the time, but at least I've got about 10 rows of them left (from time of writing this). I have to go all the way back up to fix them all down securely, so they don't flip up and show all the sewing.

The entire thing is made of fleece fabric, foam and stuffing. There's no glue at all.

One of my biggest goal in this costume is to create something that doesn't have to be adjusted every five minutes because it was knocked out of place/wasn't secure enough. I've been making sure all the scales are tightly on, and everything can withstand a little bit of rough treatment (being stepped on, tugging etc). It's working well, but it's taking a long, long time. I'll probably spend another week on it and all the sewing should be done. The feet will be made in the same way, scales all hand sewn to 'socks'. I will only add weathering and details once all the dragon parts of the costume are done, so it's consistent all over (tail, feet, horns, wings and ears).

Next thing to work on after this will likely be the horns and wig, since I really want a change from that scale of sewing. Urghhh...

8th March 2014: Tail progress #6 Alllll the scalesss~

6th March 2014: Tail progress #5
Here is the tail with all the spines attached, ready to have the top scales sewn.

6th March 2014: Tail progress #4 Spines all sewn together, need to be sewn to the base. Each has a craft foam core, the larger ones have 2-3 layers for extra firmness. There are 11 of these.

5th March 2014: Tail progress #3 Tail tip sewn and stuffed. It's extra firm and can hold a shape.

5th March 2014: Tail progress #2 Underbelly plates sewn. Very untidy here, edges will be sewn down later under top scales.

5th March 2014: Tail progress #1 Muslin tail base sewn, scale templates drawn.

4th March 2014: This is still a thing Lots of little progress~ after some recent news, I have been moved around my May plans a lot. I won't be entering Eurocosplay this year, because I won't be available next October, but I shall be entering the Saturday masquerade with this costume. I'm not doing either Aerrow or Pit for this May, so I will just have this costume to focus on (I'll take two of my older costumes with me too for the sake of it, or make something simple), and I want to make this the best that I can.

As usual I'm waiting on deliveries which is setting me back some time, but I have got my huge order of red fleece, and I can get to work!

I am completely scaling the tail. The lines (36 of them) that run up it in the photo are a rough guideline to see how many scales I will need, and I will probably have to add more lines. At least with these journals, I can document the process of me slowly turning insane as I draw, cut and sew each of these scales on.

And to match the look of the tail, I will likely have to do the same to the feet, which I shall work on at a different time. The feet have a very basic upholstery foam base, which I will flesh out and carve to create his toes. They are going to be a pair of socks with flexible soles on them, so I can move my feet around comfortably, but still be somewhat protective. This means I can switch between stand on the flat of my foot onto my toes without much trouble.

The wire armature for the wings is pretty much done. Depending on the harness I use, I may add a little extra support with an extra strip of wire above the bottom join, so that they won't be able to droop.

Something else I have done is add to the design. I'll post it another time, but I don't think I'm going to be comfortable enough to do the open chest binding, and I want to keep my options for the wings harness open just in case they're too heavy and need extra support. So, to create a better binding effect, potential wing support, and still keeping with Smaug's theme, I have design a 'diamond waistcoat' that will go underneath the jacket. It's gold, and it'll be encrusted with jewels, gold etc. I will also be able to add in the weak spot by his heart more effectively. This may not be the only design change that I'll do, I'm trying to experiment with his face a bit more, but for now I'm quite happy with the cloting.

I'm super excited now to work on this, and I'm even tempted to try contacts. I'm not exactly comfortable with them, but it'd really give that extra kick that Smaug will need.


18th January 2014: Horns! I've been playing around with kobracast that I ordered in a coscraft sale to make the horns for this costume. I hadn't used it before this project, but from what I'd heard, it was the perfect material for it since it's really light and is extremely sturdy. Luckily, I was right :D

I made the mistake of trying to shape it without something to mould onto. Still, I managed to create a pair of small straight horns this way. They will have to be covered in fabric to cover the few creases that I made by doing it this way, but I was planning to anyway to match the rest of the scales.

The biggest difference between kobracast and worbla is that kobracast does not like sticking to itself when hot. This is good in some cases, since you can heat it up and use it again for something completely different, also it's useful that it won't stick to the material you're moulding it to, but it's really annoying when you just want the damn thing to join at the seam. I got around it luckily.

After doing this, I decided that to make the larger horns, I'd have to have a base. I settled for using a few plastic bags wrapped in tin foil, shaped to create the shape of the horn. This made the perfect mould for the material; flexible and water proof (if needed to be dunked in water to cool down quickly). They pulled pretty easily too once fully cooled, I was quite worried they'd get stuck since they are rather curved. Things seem to be going well!

I need to figure out a way to secure them to the wig, and I'm probably going to sew them in (kobracast just literally a plastic aida cloth, so it's full of holes that can be used for sewing). With a strong enough thread they should hold themselves well enough without additional support.

I need to buy a lot of stuff still for the rest of this costume, and plenty of work to do. Lots of fleece to get and lots of scales to sew~

5th January 2014: Design Progress I'm still working on this :P

Since the new Hobbit film has been released, so had Smaug's official design, and so I've been working on the costume's design a little bit. I'm keeping as close as possible to Brilcrist's work, but I want to add a little of the official design to make it recognisable, as well as my own flair.

The things I've altered are as follows:-

Added horns and spines that are similar to the movie design
Made the collar upright instead of folded
Made the chest scales cover certain areas - should be obvious why XDDD
Decided on the embroidery pattern
Added his tail spines
Made the trousers flare instead of ripped - I prefer the effect with the long tail
Moved his back toes to the side of his feet

All the armour is going to be the same (I kinda screwed up the leg armour so I'll just use the original reference for that).

My fabric samples arrived, and after I get my patterns, I'm going to be buying fabrics. All the scales (tail, feet, abdomen, wings, maybe horns too) will be made from cut fleece. It'll be time consuming but it'll have a really nice effect, especially when details are put in via paint and such. Some will just be make up (around the neck and face). The coat I'm having a little harder time trying to decide, and I may just end up using fleece because it would work / is cheap enough, but because I'm using it for his scales, I'm not too sure. The other choice I have is some kind of velvet. I'm hoping when I go to London to buy fabrics for this project and another I have planned for May that I will be able to choose.

Also, I bought a wig for this - it's a really awesome wig, and for anyone that wants to cosplay Sherlock, it'd be perfect with a little styling. (this is a really good source for wigs, they take a while with shipping but it's so cheap and a nice quality). This one's super thick, and has just the right amount of curl. It isn't skin top either, so it has a really nice volume.

All I have to do to it is add the rat/pony tail in the back (this will be easy since I have a nice long weft left over from my Lan Fan costume which, while a little off colour, is perfect).

Lots to do! But at least I have a battle plan~

11th December 2013: Starting up I made a start on his tail, from the start I knew I wanted a super huge tail (it's one of the only things we see in the first film of his design and it's loooong) As awesome as it would be to have a super long tail, I've settled for 7ft for practicality's sake, it's still going to be an ass to transport.

For the time being, it's a giant muslin sock stuffed with fabric and foam scraps, which makes it super ridiculously heavy but it moves nicely. If I can afford it/find enough of it, I will replace it with some kind of stuffing, then start hand sewing the scales on. I would have taken photos by now but I just haven't yet.

I've ordered a bunch of fabric samples from a couple of places online, they'll be here in a few days. I won't be able to order anything until I get my measurements down but hey, progress! I'll be checking out my local fabric shop too just in case there is anything I can use there (typically it's cheaper to order online, but I may have to for certain parts).

The next thing I can start on are the feet. I'll be using a high heel base to get the shape, remove the heel, and add foam for the toes. If I possible can, I'll try to make the toes bend (I've seen it done with hinges before on stilts for fursuits I think?). I'll just have to experiment.

WhiteWraith avatar

WhiteWraith - 5th December 2013
This is a gorgeous design! Look forward to seeing your progress :)

Clockwork Dandy Noodles avatar

Clockwork Dandy Noodles - 10th December 2013
I am intrigued to see this come together, it looks pretty awesome.

Heorot avatar

Heorot - 19th December 2013
Omg I remember reblogging this on Tumblr and gushing over the thought of someone cosplaying it. So looking forward to progress!~

Clockwork Fairy avatar

Clockwork Fairy - 27th December 2013
This is going to incredible! What day are you cosplaying this on?

RSpanner avatar

RSpanner - 5th January 2014
Thank you all <3

If things go to plan, I will be cosplaying this on the Sunday :D

Clockwork Fairy avatar

Clockwork Fairy - 5th January 2014
*sQUEAKS* I'm cosplaying Bilbo on sunday! Hopefully see you there! (If I do, any chance of getting a pic? :'D)

RSpanner avatar

RSpanner - 5th January 2014
Awesome! I'd love to~ ˎ₍•ʚ•₎ˏ

Clockwork Fairy avatar

Clockwork Fairy - 7th January 2014
Will keep an eye out for you :)

FullMetal-007 avatar

FullMetal-007 - 26th January 2014
Reference artwork is stunning. Loving this version of Smaug and hoping to see it at May =3

Moonlight_Requiem avatar

Moonlight_Requiem - 20th March 2014
What an absolutely stunning design! I cant wait to see your progress on this!

HarryKurt avatar

HarryKurt - 19th April 2014
Beautiful work on this! I absolutely love that design. Hope I spot you at Expo! :)

Kei Lin Sama avatar

Kei Lin Sama - 30th April 2014
Amazing progress! I love all the work that's gone into your tail. It looks beautiful!
I just want to.. squeeze it!

Kei Lin Sama avatar

Kei Lin Sama - 26th May 2014
Smaugy!! Thank you for your most excellent company in the masquerade queue. You also let me squeeze your tail for luck - thanks for that too!