I wanted to learn armor, and of course, I picked something difficult for my first project. I need to stop being so ambitious. Needless to say, this was a huge learning experience for me and really put me to the test. I had to get out of my comfort zone to work on it, and it was certainly the most difficult costume I've made, and tried my patience like no one's business. Good thing I love Griffith.
Berserk is one of my favorite series and possibly my favorite manga series. It's such a great story, and very deep, and I love the characters. Griffith appeals to me, and I love how unique he is, as a character. I really only truly care for Griffith during his Band of the Hawk days, later I feel he seems to lack a lot of flair and personality that drew me to like him to begin with. So naturally, I'm making the BoH armor - not to mention, I feel it is more flattering on me than his post-Eclipse armor, as gorgeous as that is.
The armor is made out of plastic sheeting. I patterned it out based on my body measurements, and used heat to bend the pieces into shape. All of the plates had about 3 bends each, so it was a lot of work getting them to line up on top of eachother nicely. Making sure to maintain symmetry on both sides was especially difficult and trying on my patience. The amor was painted and then aged with acrylic paints by hand. The armor was pieced with with rivets. I lined up the armor and dremelled a hole in through two overlapping layers, and hammered in the rivet to keep the pieces together - and the rivets also allowed for some movement for the plates. I used real leather hide to make the belts and straps - I coated all of the leather so it would not fray, and painted the leather hide on the right side, and used tools to make the holes for the belts, tongues, and buckles. All of the garments were made to match what the character wears under the armor in the manga, which was extra work and attention to detail. I used a serger and sewing machine to make the undershirt and pants, and put grommets into the undershirt and pieces it together in the front with ties. The shirt also has front facing and the collar is interfaced. The cape is made out of Casa satin and lining, and was drafted from scratch. The Hawk's brooch was made out of sculpey, and then casted with two-parts plastic, painted, and aged. I etched in all the detail by hand with tools.
I would realistically estimate 100-150 hours went into this costume, over a period of 8 months of working on it, off and on. I had more injuries working on this costume than anything else, too, lol. I crushed my thumb, burnt myself more times than I can count, and bled a bit making it, but it was worth it and I love the end result.
Best in Show at MetroCon 2008