Today I am showcasing a small Wellington treasure for my New Zealand spotlight. I love showing you all what Middle Earth has to offer and you can imagine the excitement when I discovered a genuine elf costume from the Hobbit movie still being exhibited here in Wellington.
Many of my overseas readers know that New Zealand is the home of the Oscar® winning movies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and also the famous effects and armour company Weta Workshop. A busy specialist industry continues to serve the worldwide movie industry (including the upcoming Avatar movies) in 2022.
I am gathering more information on which specific type of armour this is and will update my post (unless a reader can help).
- I have revised the report on Thorin Oakensheld’s costume.
Leather Stitching Closeups
A quick search online will give you a lot of different representations of elven armour and weaponry. You can find the Mirkwood elf costumes, and dozens of photos and sketches of elves such as Legolas and Thranduil.
A real trademark of the Weta and New Zealand Lord of the Rings and Hobbit costumes has been the elaborate leather fastenings. These can be seen on the costumes of elves, dwarves and men. It may be the simple but quirky tie of a belt or something more formal and elaborate like these sword fastenings.
Take a moment too, to check out the elegant stitching on the leather breastplate underneath the belt and metal armour. I was unable to take a full front shot due to reflections on the glass but you can find a clearer shot here. My post focuses on the details cosplayers need to havr to make an accurate costume representation.
Metalwork and Tooling
You will see from the two photographs below that there are differently shaped chest and shoulder pieces. The curled elven motifs continue across each piece of metal and looks either engraved and embossed depending on the location of the piece. The shoulder armour looks less segmented which makes sense as it protects the heart whereas the hip armour needs to be flexible and is shaped more like stylised leaves.
Bow and Mail Shirt Details
I am including an image of the ‘mail’ shirt under the metal armour. This undershirt is made up of small piece of what seems to be gold coloured leatherette/pleather or leather. Each appears to be individually attached. I do not know if you can buy the scale fabric ready made, but doing it on the cheap is not the Weta way.
Quality and durability comes first for Weta. These costumes were used for real in movie scenes and no-one wants a movie costume to fall apart on a shoot miles from the nearest sewing machine!
The bow looks gorgeously elegant and resonates with touches of the natural world. I wonder if it could have been 3-D carved from an original, especially if the bow was one of many produced for closeups of solders.
Finally I showcase two closeups. One of an elven helmet and the front of the lower body armour.
I am happy to send a copy of a photo of it helps you recreate details for cosplay and your next ComiCon visit!