View Full Version : Tutorial: Judgement Armor (Warcraft)

06-26-2007, 11:40 AM
I'm not sure if this fits better in the Props forum, as the tutorial essentially details creating various props, but this seemed to most apply to this forum. If I do end up remaking this costume, I will create a page on my website to host this tutorial with step-by-step pictures.

Without further ado, I present the Judgement Armor from World of Warcraft:
EBK Photo (front) (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1050871)
EBK Photo (back) (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1050872)
My Gallery (http://images.cosplay.com/gallery.php?cat=67604&member=66240)

Reference Images:
Judgement Concept Art (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/1p9/images/general/ss6.jpg)
3D Model Implementation (http://www.goblinworkshop.com/gallery/albums/goaq/normal_pally.jpg)

Here are quick tutorial links that you should already have checked and/or know:
TR Rose's Cosplay Beginner's How-To Guide (http://www.trsrockin.com/cosplay_howto.html)
Amethyst Angel's Armormaking (with Foam and Plastic) Guide (http://amethyst-angel.com/armormaking.html)
Jedi Elf Queen's Website (http://www.jedielfqueen.com/)
+Penwiper's Craft Foam Armor Tutorial (http://entropyhouse.com/penwiper/costumes/helmsdeep.html) (my method, but with Rub'n'Buff wax)
+Costume.org Glove Tutorial (http://www.costumes.org/classes/254pages/projects/armoredgloves.htm) (my method)


This costume will take you a minimum of one month to complete, spending three hours a day. If you are inexperienced, give yourself about three months.

The largest issue with this costume is getting the shoulders together and secure--it was for me. I really hope you've got a lot of time for the costume, because there's a crazy number of fabricated parts to it. This is my first costume and first tutorial, and I still welcome tips for making either better. I will try to re-make the costume if I have the money, and will take pictures of each step if I do.

I personally try to work in a very ordered manner, so I broke the costume down into separate stages of construction and would complete one before I go on to the other.

In my costume, there were six basic levels of construction: base items (shoes, gloves, cloth items), a base layer of mostly thick craft foam, a second layer of foam for edging, a layer of decorative thin craft foam, a layer of foam sealant, and a layer of other decoration (chains, ribbons, paint).

1. Basic Construction Items

Glue Gun
Glue Sticks x Lots
1/8 in. (2mm) Craft Foam (black) x Tons
1/4 in. (6mm) Craft Foam (black) – minimum of six (suggested eight) 12”x 24” sheets
Gold Metallic Spray Paint – minimum of five cans
Silver Metallic Spray Paint x1
Black Flat Spray Paint x1
Metallic Red Enamel x3
Plastic Swords x2
Brass Chain 1yd (1m) x4
Nylon Strap 3yd (3m)
Lighter (to singe nylon)
(Leather) Gloves
(Slip On) Shoes
Black Belt.

2. Theory/Base Items

Most of your work and around half of your time is going to go into the shoulders. The basic idea you're shooting for here is a harness. When the shoulders are made you need straps/connections between both sides of the insides (in front and behind you when you wear them). I had a strap in the back and connected them directly to the chestpiece base in front. I also covered up the strapping in the back with a cape.

The strapping material was a fat strip of woven nylon. Hot glue works great for attaching this to foam. On the mask there is a single strap with glue on one side and Velcro for the other. Be sure to give yourself a decent sized patch of Velcro fuzz on the foam side. There was a similar Velcro attachment on the inside of the back of the shoulders, but I wish I would have had time to make a snap/clasp. There was also another, lower strap to hold the lower part of the chest against my fat stomach, which also used Velcro (again a snap or clasp would have kept this from coming undone every ten minutes).

For cloth items (kek priest gearz) I had a hood sewn onto a black long-sleeved silk shirt, a cape that had a V cut for the top, and a velcro-bound black linen split skirt (please wear a pair of black pants/tights, guys!). I only used a black skirt, but the full Judgement look would also ask for strips of red (felt?) fabric and extra foam plates at the bottom of the skirt. You would also want to use metallic gold 3D craft paints to put designs on the red cloth.

The base for the gloves was a pair of black leather riding gloves. If you have a choice, get the tightest pair of gloves that you can make a fist in. The tighter the glove, the more able to grasp handles and knobs or pick up things (like your swords when someone knocks them off >:0 )

The base for the shoes was a pair of old white sneakers (very comfortable, highly recommended!) If you have a choice, use slip-on low top sneakers.

3. Patterns and Pattern Creation

Here are my first-layer patterns (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1012129). The chestpiece parts are the two on the far right. The shoulder templates are the two at the top. The glove is on the far left, and includes both trapezoids. The four on the bottom are for the feet. The Mask pattern should be easy to locate. Whenever you make a pattern, cut out at least one more than you're going to use to model, so that you can use that piece as a template to keep and use on the foam (or to base a pattern modification off of). Be sure to keep your patterns after you have cut the foam, as you will want to make similar looking pieces for your much of the decorative foam layer.

I strongly suggest buying posterboard for your patterns. It will work very similar to craft foam, is cheaper, and scotch tape sticks well to it. To get the size (and initially shape) for the shoulderpads (and other items) that I needed, I used posterboard to model how I was going to create them.

With the pattern for the shoulders, I made them so that the foam would need to be bent together and glued, instead of only using heat to bend it. This also allowed me to use paper to model them well, as paper can’t warp in the shapes foam does with heat.

The wedge that is taken out of the shoulder is bent together first, causing it to bend near the top. With the paper model, you only need to tape this together. After you've done this, repeat it with another piece (bending in the reverse direction so it bends the other way). Then take these two pieces and tape them together to make the bowl of the shoulder piece.

If you have not worked with craft foam before and have foam to spare, it would be a good idea make a few prototypes (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1006143) with foam to get a better idea of how it will act (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1008898).

4. Thick/Base Foam Construction

I created two pauldrons for each shoulder (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1012578) to make the costume more accurate (making only a single pair would take away about 1/10 the shoulder work/time), the smaller one is lower and pushes against the shoulders, and the other is higher and resting on top of it. There is a large amount of extra foam placed between them to firmly attach them and to make the lower pair rest directly on my shoulders. I am not sure of how well it would stay put without the lower pair of shoulders, but it would look mostly accurate.

When you use foam be sure to use Scotch tape (masking tape will usually ruin the foam's surface), and note that it will NOT stick very well. You need to be careful in getting this together, and have as much patience as you can muster. After you get all of the foam lined up each time, with tape on only the “out” side (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1012486) of it, add hot glue to the back side of the foam. Quickly add strips of craft foam over the hot glue (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1012508) to secure the sides together. Do this is small (3-8 inch) sections. Be sure to hold the foam together as tightly as you can for nearly a minute between applications of hot glue, as you want the glue to bond them as close and as secure as possible.

If you are using thick craft foam (The shoulders will be stiffer and look better if you do, 1/4 inch craft foam works well enough for things this size) you will need to inject some hot glue between the creases when you are gluing it together.

The chest is a simple base item to create. Mine was made from a diamondy chevron and two rounded rectangles. Glue them together and set them aside until your decorative layer is painted and ready to be attached.

The glove is moderately difficult to make fit correctly. Be sure to model the size of its pieces with the glove on your hand. The upper bracer portion (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1024378) of them is meant to wrap around (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1006143) and glue directly along the piece under the wrist, though you could probably make it attach to the lower piece with Velcro or other attachment devices to make the glove easier to place your hand into. Wait to assemble this until you have added the decorative layer.

The mask and shoe plates are made out of thin foam. Make very sure they are the right sizes for your face and shoes. You want the mask to be at least large enough to not see any forehead in the mirror, and be sure to get the eyes at the correct height (hold your pattern in front of your face and draw in front of your eyes, make multiple versions). For the shoes (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029887), you want the foam to go from right next to the bottom of your shoe and meet with its mate on the other side of your shoe with a small space to glue them together.

06-26-2007, 11:41 AM
5. Edging Layer

After you get your entire first layer of foam made, you need to decide if you want a second layer of foam on everything to make it stand out more. The edges of the gauntlets, the edge and center of the mask, and the edges of the shoulders can have a raised lip on them, which will make them look better and hold together better.

If you decide to do this, use the patterns from before to make similar patterns. I made edges that were around 1/4 in. and used thick foam for the major set of pauldrons.

After this is made, slowly glue it to your pieces, making sure to keep their edges lined up. It may help to try and cut the edges to be straighter afterwards, but layered foam may be difficult to cut.

I also added the wings to the gauntlets at this point.

You can wait to add these pieces later, as these are different colors (gold) than the major pieces (black) to allow you to initially spray paint them instead of hand-paint. I did not do this.

6. Heat It!

When all of the glue dries and you are finished with it, you need to heat the foam up (over a stove element works well, don't get it very hot). When the foam is warm, you can bend it, and it will remember the shape you bend it into after it cools. You will probably need to heat thick foam up 3-5 times to get it to stay correctly. Don’t get to foam too hot: if it can take up your fingerprints, it’s almost too warm.

The only pieces I needed to heat were the four shoulders and the upper part of the gauntlets. I also waited until after painting to bend the gauntlets, which worked fine.

7. Foam Decorative Layer

There is an extra decorative layer of foam and items to complete the costume, though they should be spray painted and then hand-painted separately from other pieces and assembled at the very end of the process.

The glove is made out of the gauntlet piece, two pieces to place on the back of the hand, and multiple scales for each finger. There is also a circle with wings and a “gem” inside that is placed on the back of the hand. You will want to cut many, many of the finger pieces. I overshot by double the amount needed for two gloves, and only had a handful (pun!) of extra viable pieces.

The costume has many medallion-like objects on it, which are simply various sized circles. The four largest of these are attached to the belt, and have the nylon strapping on the back to make a belt loop. There are another four medallions on the chest, and yet another four on the books. There are another eight sets of square shaped pieces for either end of the gauntlets.

There are four sets of diamond (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029886) (square) shaped pieces that will later be attached to the shoulders. These, in turn, have an inner raised edge and a set of scales inside of them. I assembled this before spray painting, and colored in the background afterward.

There is a large gold chevron (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029883) that is on the chest piece, and it is the background for a silver cross. Below this chevron is also a rectangle (which I did not make as I had already glued my chevron).

There is also an elongated chevron over the crotch which will also need two belt loops attached to it. This item will cover your belt buckle. It would be a good idea to have the belt loops on this attach with snaps, so you can put it on without buckling your belt. This item also needs edging, and an eagle that has a gold and silver cross its head. This dual-cross is similar to the chest cross. I assembled this without the silver piece and painted it whole.

I made the book entirely out of foam to keep the shoulders lightweight. The binding is made out of three rectangles of thick foam (one is a 2x7 ratio, the others are a 3x4 ratio) and the leaves are made out of halves of normal thickness foam. I did start this item dead-last, after most of my pieces were done sealing. Each piece waited to be attached until after being painted, and both sides of every piece were glued and spray painted. Remember that this shouldn’t be attached until after the shoulders are completely ready.

8. Foam Sealing

This will be the longest phase, and you should start this point with at least a week left. You will need to have at least a full day after everything is completely done painting to assemble everything together, you will likely want another day for paint-touch up, and yet another day for modifying it to fit you well and be functional.

The first step is to seal your foam with a sealant of your choice. I used flexible glue, as outlined in the entropy house tutorial. As long as you use black craft foam, you will not need to put glue or paint on both sides of most things. I used entirely black/dk.grey foam and the only foam pieces that needed paint on both sides were the book bindings and leaves.

Paint everything with a glue/water mixture to seal the foam (or use another method to seal it). Sealing the foam makes the surface flat, and makes the spraypaint look shiny and smooth. (I used 1/4 sobo glue, 1/4 flex. fabric glue, 1/2 water) Your pieces will need at least five coats, and the each coat takes at least one hour to dry. You only need to paint a single side of most everything. It also helps, especially for small pieces, to use scotch tape on the back side to stick them down.

Try to lay out as many pieces at once as you can and give them a coat all at once. You will know a piece is done when the entire surface is both dry and shiny. Be careful when you pick up the glued pieces, as they will be slightly glued to what is around them (hopefully newspaper).(Foam Painting)

9. Painting

Spraypainted Shoulders (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029911)
First coat on the Gauntlets (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029914)
(I put oil paint on the diamonds, which looked bad and was removed. I also added the diamonds before adding the white ribbon, which was a mistake.)
Nearly Finished Mask paint (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1036674)
Finished Shoulders w/o Book (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1036673)

I used Krylon metallic Gold and Silver spray paint, Krylon flat Black spray paint, and Testor’s metallic red model enamel paint (I actually used purple for school colors). Stick the small pieces to your newspaper with scotch tape so the spray doesn’t send them flying around.

You will want to add at least two coats of spray-paint, and will probably need at least five coats of enamel. Also, most of the metal flake in the enamel will probably have settled to the bottom. Make your first coats on all of your pieces with the top half of your enamel, and save the shiniest coats for last. Be sure to try and shake/mix up the enamel as well as you reasonably can. I went through one can of black, one can of silver, and five cans of gold. I also had to purchase three tiny bottles of metallic enamel. Be careful and wear trash clothes as both enamel and spray paint dry extremely fast and are very difficult to remove.

To do gold touch-up work or to paint places where you cannot simply spray, you will want to use spray paint in liquid form. To do this, you need to have a paintbrush and a container that you won’t use again. A clean jar with a tapered neck works very well for this, and will keep most of the overspray in the jar. To extract the paint, simply shake up the spray paint very well and spray it directly into the container. You will need to extract a fairly large amount of paint to easily use with a brush.

Make sure you have a moderately thin brush to apply it with, and paint thinner if you want to save the brush. You have to put the brush in the thinner immediately when you finish, or else the paint will dry enough to ruin the brush.

Go slow when you paint. Don’t get too much paint on your brush at once, as the liquid spray paint is very thin and will run very easily. When you put the paint on the object, try to “lay” the paint on and not “drag” the paint on. If you have a layer of paint below it the liquid paint will dissolve some of it, and dragging the brush across the surface will cause the paints to mix. You will probably want to add at least two coats.

Another paint modification I made was to put black paint on the gold chevron so that it would show the grooves in the silver cross strongly. This will go best if you paint before attaching the cross.

The swords may also be spray painted (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029913) to give them a shinier look. The plastic will normally look much more dull and flat. Simply cover one side to prevent overspray when you paint.

10. Non-Foam Decoration

There are extra decoration pieces that you will now need to purchase: Stiff gold ribbon or blanket binding (which could be substituted for sealed/painted thin foam), white ribbon, a belt, and brass chain (or spraypainted aluminum/steel chain) in four strips of about yard-long lengths. Chains can be found at Home Depot or similar outlets. To cut a V shape in a normal ribbon, draw a V with fabric glue and then cut along it.

06-26-2007, 11:41 AM
11. Foam Assembly

The first step in assembling the foam is to attach all of your painted pieces together in the correct spots. By now you should be very acquainted with what the armor looks like and how you’ve modeled it on yourself. Put everything in the right spots and glue them together with hot glue.

When you assemble the medallion pieces, tack the ribbon to the back of them. Remember that there are also lengths of white ribbon on your gauntlets between the diamonds.

Now that you’ve got the single pieces grouped and glued together, look them over to see if they need touch-up work. Any work done later will be more difficult.

The shoes can be a bit tricky to glue foam to, but just start with the heel and toe plates, and work your way in. To get a decent amount of movement, only glue along the sole of the shoe and then where the similar plates touch each other. This will allow your shoe to bend more without pulling on the foam.

I glued the glove together while it was on my father’s hand, whose hands were only barely smaller than mine (also, don’t burn your help with the glue gun!).

I first had him wear the glove normally and then attached the piece for under the wrist. I did the second wrist, and then let them dry. After this, I had him remove his hand, and strech out the wrist of the glove with his hand in it. I did this so that my hand will be able to squeeze into the glove comfortably. I then centered the main bracer over the wrist, and then glued only the spot that was under the diamond. After this, the bracer needs to be completely bent to where it needs to be, hold a single side of the wrist down, and then glue it where it lies. When both sides of the wrist are glued, glue sides of the top bracer part to the lower. Wait for this to cool, and then make sure your hand can get in and out of the glove.

The other end of the glove needs to be started at the fingers (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029884). If you’re using a leather glove, don’t worry about burning a hand inside of it with the glue. Pick out your best looking finger scales, and place the smaller ones first at the ends of the fingers, and glue the entire piece down. The rest of the scales only need to be glued along the flat edge (they are D shaped), and should overlap the higher scales. Do not put glue on the top of neighboring scales (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029915), and use larger scales as the fingers widen.

When you reach the knuckles, you need to fit the small and large back-hand (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1029885) pieces. Make sure that the flat end of the large piece starts and the base of your wrist and that you can’t see finger scales under it. The small piece goes directly under the top of the large piece; glue it down first only at either end of your knuckles. When you glue the large piece down, only glue the very edges of it, and do not glue where it overlaps the small piece. When this cools, your gloves are finished (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1033106)!

When you assemble the book, first glue all of the leaves together along a single edge into a block. After you have done this, glue the bound edge to the normal binding. When this has dried, add the cover of the book to either side and glue it directly to the binding. Now pull down the single pages and glue their edges to the cover and other pages until it looks like an opened book. The swords should fit nicely into the fold of each book (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1037159). There should be a medallion and ribbon (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1037160) for each side of each book.

All of the chest armor is straightforward. Place the chevron and cross in the center and place the ribbon/medallions near it.

12. Costume Assembly

Now you need to attach the nylon cord to the armor and mask, and make the belt loops for your hip medallions. When doing the shoulders, having any sort of model or someone to do this using you as a model will help you greatly. I suggest using your Velcro/snaps only on the chest armor and mask, so that you can undo them yourself. It is optional to put snaps on the cord that attaches the two shoulders in the rear, but do not use Velcro on them. This rear cord can simply be glued directly to the shoulders at the right spot.

You will cinch a belt around your waist that will hold up the chains and hip medallions. The chains and medallions will slide into place, and then be held firmly when the belt is tight.

When you put the costume on, be sure to put your gloves and chest/shoulder armor on dead last. You will not be able to raise your hands above your head, and your gloves will make it more difficult to grasp or squeeze things.

13. Rock. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=SAyeLvx9A9U)

That's all you have left to do!

06-27-2007, 06:29 AM
Wow, thanks for posting such a thorough tutorial! I'm sure it'll definitely help a few people out!

I think it could use more images to help with the descriptions, but then I'm a visual learner. ^_~

06-27-2007, 12:18 PM
Oh. My goodness. Thank you for posting such a detailed tutorial!! And very, very nice armor. :D

You make my life complete.

06-27-2007, 12:46 PM
I'm going to get the pictures I did end up taking (I kept having my camera "borrowed" when I made it) integrated through the post this afternoon, and do some revising to make sure everything is legible. Thanks for the positive comments!

06-27-2007, 12:51 PM
Wow... just plain wow (no pun intended). There are some great tips there! I have a different character planned that could benefit from these tips!

06-27-2007, 04:47 PM
There shouldn't need to be any more revision, unless someone finds something I was unclear on. Enjoy!

06-27-2007, 10:01 PM
Awesome tutorial my man! Intense! Really motivating me to do that Orc Blade Master! Oh and loved the YouTube vid!

07-16-2007, 09:54 AM
I will be rebuilding this costume this December (and money willing, making another foam-filled costume). This of course means that I'll be remaking this topic in January or February with a full spread of how-to pictures.

07-24-2007, 02:46 AM
Sweet! It's cool to see WoW costumes!

Awesome tutorial by the way. :rockon:

07-25-2007, 01:06 PM
holy hell what a sweet ass costume!

10-02-2007, 04:04 PM
I'll be making weapons for Halloween starting tomorrow, including The Ashbringer (http://img228.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ashbringer8nd.jpg), in preparation for next SakuraCon. I'll be sure to get another blunder-tutorial for that made around Christmas.

12-02-2007, 05:39 PM
Progress was delayed, but I'm still planning on creating an Ashbringer. A tutorial for it, an elaborate giant sword, would surely be popular. I still plan on making that, but I doubt it will be ready before February now.

I'm also planning on remaking Judgement and/or doing the non-gladiator PVP armor for Paladin/Warrior this winter.

Would people be interested in my revising and updating this tutorial?

03-13-2008, 03:51 PM
Ashbringer progress pictures (http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/100839/) uploaded. It will get its own thread when the tutorial is made.

04-04-2008, 09:41 AM
Wow, nice Judgement Armor!

I'm loving the Ashbringer so far, keep up the good work! :D

10-22-2008, 01:50 PM
sweet beyond all reason.in the video the gloves have awesome arculation.

12-22-2008, 08:03 PM
The armor will be rebuilt soon, and so will the sword.

I'm waiting to write an Ashbringer tutorial until after a second attempt as the fiberglass job was a non-fatal catastrophe. I'm going to test other methods of sealing, and be sure to properly seal certian areas, which were pocked with dissolved craters from painting. I want to have something that works better if I'm going to write about it.

01-09-2009, 01:55 PM
Wow, what a tutorial! (Talk about thread necromancy.) Superb work!

I absolutely love craft foam armor. I just wanted to add a few things.

If you have difficulty finding either of the glues listed in Entropy House's tutorial, another sealant I have found that works quite well is Mod Podge (http://www.save-on-crafts.com/modpodglos.html). It is basically really thick Elmer's glue, but it dries quite smooth and clear. :)

Also, if you are still working on the Ashbringer, give the foam another go! I have some suggestions to help smooth and finish it.

1) You can sand the foam. (You probably know that but just in case. :D)
2) Since it is a pretty normal angular shape, you can wrap it with this awesome stuff called Rigid Wrap (http://yhst-52311476090387.stores.yahoo.net/acriwr4x18.html). It is basically a craft version of what's used to make medical casts. A few layers of this will make your foam base hard as a rock and help mask imperfections in the blade.(Hot knives are really hard to control in foam!) It's also super effective at sealing the foam. No nasty pockmarks!

You can spackle on top of the Rigid Wrap, but it doesn't take nearly as much, thus saving you both materials and weight. Also, between the Rigid Wrap, spackle, and paint primer, your foam is safe!

I used this technique to make my Warrior Rikku sword (http://www.cosplay.com/photo/992656/), if you are interested in seeing it. Nearly six feet long and the sword is super light and very smooth.

Anyway, I hope you'll post pics once you finish your Ashbringer - WoW weapons are for the win!

06-06-2009, 04:24 PM
I am SO glad I stumbled on this! I have been out of the loop in cosplay since losing a few of my models but I figured it was time to treat myself. I was SO excited when I saw this tutorial and your work was so kick ass!

It was really helpful and gave me insight! While fashion design may be a forte for me, armor definitely is NOT. I will be doing T2 Bloodfang for the next convention season and the shoulders were giving me a massive migraine. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!


11-09-2009, 09:56 AM
I did it it! ^__^ But in a different way...


Giant Alucard
11-23-2009, 03:21 AM
Hey man, awesome stuff! I'm starting the tier 3 human warrior set (the one used for the Archilon Shadowheart figure). I was stumped on a couple things but you gave me some awesome ideas!! Keep up the good work.

06-06-2010, 11:14 AM
This tutorial is amazing! I'm totally using this for my Sylvanas cosplay!

04-03-2014, 09:55 AM
One of my favorite armor sets. Any chance someone could fix the 6(/10) dead links at the beginning? Most of them led to a 404 or a homepage that wasnt what the link indicated.