Bilbo Baggins - "Laketown Version"
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
After the final Hobbit film premiered, I was sad that the series was over. So, I decided to make one last costume. Bilbo is my favorite book protagonist and I love the reminder that small people can accomplish great things.
I used navy velvet and dyed linen for the coat. The vest was made from a soft green denim (mostly because it was easier to weather). The acorn buttons and ears were purchased from WETA Workshop. The wig was purchased from The Five Wits and restyled. I patterned a mix between a frock coat, kimono and a bathrobe and created the mithril shirt using Monty Python's spray-paint-a-sweater trick. My favorite part of this costume is the cool belts! I hand-stamped and tooled each belt.
The trim is handmade. I dyed thick, wool yarn and used a comb to tease out the pieces. I then sewed it down to the edge of the costume before I bagged it. Since the costume is full lined, I reinforced the edge a few times so that it wouldn't get pulled out as I hasseled it. I used Ben Nye dirt to "dirty" up the trim and coat.
Worbla thermoplastic was used to create the belt buckle. Essentially, all of the belt's pieces needed to be oversized. That meant I needed to make all of my own belt hardware. So, I printed out a dead-on picture of the buckle from a screen capture. Then, I sized it so that the belt would fit around the leather, allowing room for motion. I traced the printed stencil onto foam. Form there, I coated it with one layer of worlba on the front and four on the back. I heated it and cut out the shape, pressing weathering marks and texture into the thermoplastic as I went. Then, I painted the buckle black. I used aluminum powder and metallic paint to give it a metal look. To weather it, I spread black, gray and brown pigments into the grooves.
I debuted this costume at Emerald City Comic Con in 2015. Gigawatts, Propaganda Props, Shelby, Ash and I entered the "Group Category" and took home 1st Place. It was a great way to say goodbye to a series we loved. The judges liked the consistency of our group and felt that we all clearly came from the same world. We were even featured on the WETA page!
I still worry that my costume wasn't quite as "flashy" and that I could make it more accurate. I will probably attempt to redo the coat because there are a bunch of nitpicks that I have with it. Cosplay is like any art: by the time you finish, you've gained a bunch of skills so that, looking back on the project, you see it through the eyes of your new abilitie and find that it is never "just perfect."
Completion Date: May 2015.
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