And so my hobby of cosplaying from Skyrim comes in a full circle.
I think it was mid way though 2015 where I played with the idea of re-making my Nightingale armour set from Skyrim. The armour is by far my favourite set from the game. I am very pleased with my first make of the set, it was my first self made cosplay and was very ambitious considering I hated textiles at school at the time.
That selfie remains to be the best photo of me ever taken. I was 15 then, now 18…
I think whats so appealing about the Nightingale Armour is just how badass it looks. You’re a medieval ninja, whats not to love!!
I wanted to do it better, more details, see how I’ve improved as a costume maker and get some more in character photos.
I’m so happy with the accuracy of the remake so far, it’s already taking a better shape and is more form fitting.
I think something that’s really important to note about the Nightingale armour is that’s you’re far better off referencing source material rather than other cosplayers. There are many details that go into the main pieces and everyone interprets them differently. There’s nothing wrong with using other cosplayers material to guid you however! I referenced Dewbunch a lot when it came to patterning my set.
The main two reference images I used were,
This image from the official Skyrim art book. (Also available in the Man, Mer, Beasts Book)
And this amazing picture which shows the set front and back without the cape!
I started by wrapping myself in plastic wrap and painters tape covering the areas I wanted to pattern. I then cut myself out, put it on my dressform and taped it back up again and began drawing my patterns.
I focused on just patterning the ‘breastplate’ portion this time round. Earlier in the year I had attempted to pattern both the breastplate and the belt portion of the armour in one go, this didn’t work as they layered to closely together making for a very tight fit. I also patterned everything far too small on that attempt!
I then cut these pattern out and numbered them all making a note of what number corresponds with which patterns.
I was happy with the shape and moved onto making a mockup. I just used regular old printing paper in an A3 size.
It was still sitting the way I wanted it to do I tapped it all together for a try on!
It fit perfectly!!
I only made one alteration and that was lowering the neckline by about 1.5cm, it was cutting into my neck a little bit and there needed to be at least 0.5cm for the standing collar.
Next was time to transfer everything to foam!
I used Cosplay Shop EVA Foam in the 0.5cm size.
THIS FOAM IS AMAZING
This is the foam Kamui Cosplay is currently using (endorsing) for all of her cosplays. It’s not expensive, I bought three 0.5cm sheets and a 0.2cm sheet all for £35 including shipping.
When I’ve completed this cosplay I’ll make a full review!
Because I will be covering this in stretch faux leather I wasn’t too worried about damaging the foam so I pinned my patterns to the foam before tracing and then cutting out.
It’s cuts so well too!!! None of that raw edge fraying foam you get with yoga mats. It’s so dense and doesn’t rip unless you put a lot of force on it.
This foam is actually the love of my life
Next I tapped all of my pieces together and tried it on again, happy to find it still worked perfectly!!!
I then patterned the belt and skirting which I don’t have patterning photos of but here’s the finished belt with paper patterns for the skirting
I did another fit test using tape to connect the belt pieces and was once again really happy with the fit and how everything sat.
At this stage I had gone through the two rolls of foam I first ordered and had to wait for my next order to arrive. this time ordering three 5mm rolls and one 2mm roll. When they arrived I transferred the patterns to foam and did a mock fit test.
These picture make me so happy!!! The accuracy is great and I’m so happy to see how I’ve improved as a costume maker in three years!
I’m currently cutting out raised details from the 2mm foam which will boarder some of the edges of the armour pieces to give it some extra texture and more depth making it look layered in areas.
My stretch faux leather sample should be arriving in the post over the next few days and if I’m happy with it I’ll order enough to cover the whole set. This will be glued down with contact cement, I haven’t used it yet but I hope it lives up to its ‘I’ll stick anything together’ reputation!
I’ve also drawn up a blueprint for the Nightingale Bow, you can see how I did that in My previous post.
I’m yet to scale and print it but I’m very happy with how it looks!
I’ll be reusing my cape, bodysuit and boots from my original Nightingale Armour set which means I won’t have to do any sewing for this cosplay, save it all for my ball gown.
Next month I’ll be attending MCM Comic Con in London where I will be wearing my Ana Amari Cosplay, so I’m busy working on that now to get it all finished in time. Jamilla will be Widow Maker and I’m so excited to get a shoot together and meet each other finally!
Ana updates coming but my next post will be about the fabrics I have got for my 1860’s ball gown which I’m so happy with!
Thank you for reading