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Wild Card Prize - The Textures! The details! The feet!
Smaug The Magnificent
Outline the story …
"The Hobbit" has been a favorite book of mine since I was seven years old, and ever since I began costuming I’ve had the idea to create a costume of Smaug, the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamaties. Over the years I’ve sketched several iterations but all had several things in common - a jeweled corset, a long tail, horns, wings, fangs and claws. When I finally set out to build this costume I went back to the text. Smaug describes himself as being heavily armored," “My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!” so I decided to incorporate armor into the costume and leave a gap just under the left breast, for the fatal blow which is dealt by Bard's flying arrow. I also wanted to incorporate the Arkenstone, the pride of the hoard and a jewel so beautiful it drives both Thorin and his father mad with treasure-fever. "It shone with its own pale light, but when outer light fell upon the Arkenstone, it changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow". The other main design component was that I rarely have a handler at events - I needed to be able to dress and undress myself, eat, drink and use the restroom, so I needed everything to be in small, easily removable pieces.
Outline the construction…
The tail based on a small bustle, which I extended into a longer boned tail. The underside of the tail is partially enclosed by a zippered panel which opens so it can lay flat for transport, the face is covered in a patchwork of silk, beaded and metallic fabrics smocked in a dragonscale pattern. The fins are made of wire covered in angelina film painted and decorated with rhinestones. The bejeweled “waistcoat” is a steel-boned underbust corset, made of coutil covered in shibori dyed silk, before being covered with hand-sewn rhinestones. The armor itself is made of heat shaped craft-foam and thermoplastic, to create greaves, pauldrons, bracers and hip armor, all of which are painted with Smaug’s descriptions of himself in Tolkien style runic writing and decorated with jewels and puff paints to create surface texture. A beaded bikini top fits under the top edge of the corset comfortably but uses dangling trim to bridge the gap and create a continuation of the stomach armor. The feet and horns are made of sculpted, coated and painted foam. The feet were then attached to a heelless boot with claws of thermoplastic shaped over wire. The horns sit on on a headband which is worn underneath a buckram hat covered in pleated fabric and angelina film covered spines to match the tail. Hand-dyed tights and long sleeve shirt create the base layer for the costume, and the teeth, contacts and makeup complete the look.