BRIENNE OF TARTH - GAME OF THRONES
I started this in about November 2014 and finished it March 2015.
This was the most ambitious Cosplay that I had made at the time, and was certainly the most time consuming and expensive. But that's because it was the first time I had ever made armour! I have since improved massively, but I am still proud of what I was able to achieve.
I intended to enter this Cosplay into the 2015 London Super Comic Con Cosplay Championship (Which was my first time entering a major competition - I was judged by Yaya Han and Bill Droan, cosplay heroes of mine!) and I only just managed to get it done in time - by that I mean I was still making parts in the hotel room the morning of the competition.
I wasn't at all happy with how it was at LSCC, as it was 1. Unfinished and 2. Wouldn't stay on me as I had left the attachments to the last minute, and then they wouldn't work! However, I had great fun with my Cosplay group, and Cosplayed the new and improved (and fixed) costume at MCM May!
However we didn't just Cosplay to the convention - that weekend we were incredibly lucky and were asked to be guests on the Sky Atlantic show Thronecast (Think The Talking Dead but about Game of Thrones) We had SUCH a good time, and thank you so much to Sky for inviting us!
Below is an overview of how I made the costume.
For the gambeson, I used a dark green polycotton (because I knew nothing of fabrics at the time), which I made two large rectangles out of, and filled with wadding. I then quilted it by sewing all the squares in the same pattern that is on Brienne's costume ( one side is two lines, one side one), then added bronze rivets in each corner of the squares. I used a hook and eye, and a popper to attach it around my waist. My trousers for Brienne were an absolute disaster, as it was my first time using a commercial pattern and it went horribly wrong of course. They were made from a beige linen, and fastened with lacing through eyelets at the front.
I originally attempted to make real chainmail for the chainmail shirt, but this soon proved to be way too time consuming for me to deal with with my short attention span, so I used a fake silver mesh fabric to make a shirt. After weathering it, it looked really effective in photos!
I made Brienne's sword out of MDF, with an iron cross guard and pommel. My mum's partner is a blacksmith, so I was very lucky to be able to borrow his workshop to make it!
First I used an industrial milling machine to carve out the fuller on both sides of the wood, then cut out the shape of the blade around it, before sanding the edges to shape it into a blade. (this picture shows the machine with plywood and not MDF, as I tried plywood first, but it didn't work.) For the hilt, I screwed in a strip of left over metal to strengthen it and balance the weight of the sword. I then welded 2 strips of metal around the sword, then welded and flattened the ends for the crossguard, and welded on a hollow metal ball for the pommel. I then filled the gaps in the cross guard with car body filler, and sanded and primed the heck out of it and the blade. I then painted it with car spray paint (Nissan 'Blade Silver' to be exact), and then wrapped the handle with faux leather.
Now, Brienne's wig was an absolute nightmare for me. At the time I could not afford/had no idea what a lacefront was, so i settled for a 'fake lacefront' from EpicCosplay. The problem with Brienne's hair is that it is so short that a wig will never be able to look natural, unless you get a full lace human hair wig, but they are ridiculously priced! I spent so long trying to get it to look right and it just wasn't working and it was so frustrating that I almost gave up and literally had booked a haircut for it. Luckily I managed to get it to look acceptable the day before my appointment! Below is before and after styling (and my makeup test!)
I only wore the cloak once - at LSCC. This is for a couple of reasons:
1. It was cold back in March, but not in May XD
2. It obscured the armour in most photos
3. It betrayed me during my competition performance by getting caught on my pauldron and pulling it off, and I have never forgiven it.
Brienne and Renly's cloaks are an odd shape - sort of square? I made my cloak by draping it around my dress form until I think I had it about the shape I wanted, cutting in the neck hole, then gathering the front and tying it where i wanted the gathers.
For Brienne's super long belt, I bought two cheap embossed belts, chopped the ends off and hodge-podged them together with contact cement. It worked, but I wouldn't recomment doing this if the belt has to take any strain.
For the majority of the patterning I adapted the patterns that are in Kamui Cosplay's Male Armour Pattern Book, but some of the oddly shaped ones I had to freehand (those goddamn elbow cops).
However I made all the armour with the same method.
I started by patterning it out obviously, and I then cut all the armour out of standard craft foam.
All of Brienne's gold pieces of armour (minus the Hell-bow Cops) have the embossed line details on them. To do this I measured out where I would be having each line, then contact cement-ed waxed cord down on the foam (and when I ran out just before doing the neck piece, I used ordinary string, which worked just as fine in the end). I then worbla-d over the foam, taking my time to work my way along each line, making sure they were pressed in and defined. Instead of the sandwich method I just wrapped the edges over, to save money. All of the armour was primed using about 4 layers of wood glue, because I'm way too lazy for gesso. I then painted it all with car spray paint, and weathered the hell out of everything.
And that's it! At the time of making, I was super proud of this, and looking back now, even though I cringe at the quality of the costume, I'm still proud of what I was able to achieve, especially as it was my very first foray into competitive cosplay (which is now my entire cosplay motivation!) Making this costume aslo led me to gaining some fantastic friends in the Game of Thrones Cosplay community, so I am ever grateful for that. At some point in the future I feel I may remake parts of this costume so that I can wear it again and be happy with it, but not yet!