Hello and welcome to my guide on how I made my daedric armor costume! This project was born as I obsessively played Skyrim for weeks, and thought about how I’d like to expand my cosplay skills. I decided that I really liked the look and the challenge of the daedric armor, and off I went!
Character: Dragonborn / Daedric armor
Finished in: Spring 2014
Cost: Approx. $800
Time: Approx 250-300h
Was it worth it? Totally.
This was my first time working with worbla, and I definitely made some mistakes, so I’m posting this so YOU can learn from my mistakes too! I learned a lot about armor making through this costume and my work definitely changed from the first piece to the last. When I began, I armed myself with some online tutorials and did some small samples, and off I went!
The first thing I decided to start with was the helmet, because it looked the coolest.
It was initially shaped over a volleyball, and the rest of the horns and details were built up from there with foam and worbla. Once the basic shapes were there, I added additional details in the form of rivets and additional panels of foam and worbla. The horns were made by making a cone out of worbla and then shaping it. No additional materials were used in the shaping of the horns to make them look as natural and imperfect as possible. Once the base was done, I mistakenly jumped right into painting. My first attempt was using a spray primer and paint in one. This paint ended up wrinkling up horribly and needed to be sanded off. My second attempt, I followed Kamui Cosplay’s advice and used wood glue.
I was unaware that the wood glue used in germany is vastly different from the wood glue in Canada, and rapidly the wood glue chipped off in giant flakes. Where I could, I removed the wood glue, and reprimed again with brush on gesso. The gesso seemed to stick, so I sanded it smooth and painted over it with a matte black coat of acrylic paint. On top of that, I used fabric puff paint to make the raised texture lines on the helmet. Finally, I used a mix of black and silver paints to achieve the various tones of silver. I used highlights and shading to accentuate the various sections to make them clearly visible on photos.
The shoulders began as flat pieces of foam that were curved and covered in worbla. I layered craft foam to create the various thicknesses to create ridges where panels meet. Once the base was done, I began to build up larger sections with craft foam, then covered those with worbla as well. I followed the same process with the spikes as I did the horns on the helmet – making a cone and shaping it by hand with no additional support.
I then continued to add additional details such as rivets and panels with melted scraps and craft foam.
The torso is like a puzzle piece. Every piece moves separately and had to be made and shaped separately. The top piece in this picture was made out of foam and covered in worbla, the boob cups underneath were made over a styrofoam ball and are two layers of worbla, and the base the boob cups are attached to is foam covered in worbla. The rest of the abdominal pieces were all made of foam first, and later covered in worbla. As I covered each piece in worbla, I shaped the soft worbla around my own body. When finished, all of the pieces fit together nicely. The torso pieces were separated into a front and back half with a velcro closure on the sides.This was for ease of wear as well as ease of storage.
Each piece was primed with gesso, lightly sanded, painted black with acrylic paint, painted with puff paint to create raised lines, and then with my mix of black and silver paints for color. The backs were later painted solid black. Here you can see the three shades of silver I used to paint the armor.
Next, I started on the boots. The base was made out of layers of foam floor tiles. The back was separate and attached with velcro. All the raised details were also made of foam and covered with worbla. I added more pieces to complete the look. In total the boots had: One large main piece, the back plate, an ankle ring, a lace cover, and the base shoes that had the toe piece glued on.
At this point, I had to start moving faster, so my pictures became more sparse. I will attempt to explain what they are as best I can. I finally got my EL lights in and tested them out. These were installed in the chest and abdominal areas. FOR THE HORRDDEEE!!! Ahem, I may have hidden a little easter egg in my armor. This picture is the forearm plate.
The glove armor had a very simple plate on the back of it. Here’s one in progress – I skipped the black base before puff paint because I was making this one very quickly. My glove was stolen on the first day I wore this costume, and I had to make a new glove ASAP after the con that day. I used vinyl for the claws on my gloves for ease of wear. The vinyl is nice because I can still grab onto objects normally – the claws just bend out of the way.
My loincloth was made of many pieces of fabric layered and sewn together at the edge. I used nail polish to stop the fraying and used acrylic paint to accentuate the edges of each layer. The edge was finished with bias tape. The fabric I chose had some problems, as I stitched too close to the edge in places and it frayed. This was fixed by going around the whole thing with nail polish to stop the fraying, and then sewing over the nail polish. I then reinforced it from the back side with fabric glue. My undershirt was made a bit later. The upper part is a knit sports fabric that I painted to show the details under the armor plates. The abdominal area is entirely made of mesh to try and stay cool while wearing the armor.
All in all, this build was an amazing learning experience for me. I got to try out lots of new techniques, made tons of mistakes, and learned from every single one! I do not think I will use worbla again, as this costume was damaged during a photo shoot in direct sunlight. The heat managed to soften and warp my helmet and dagger. On a 25C day, in Canada! As a beginner material, this stuff is great – easy to use, easy to fix if you mess up. But it’s heat sensitivity can be an issue. I am still very happy with this project and still wear it around to this day.