Try this site: www.alleycatscratch.com
. It's helped me so freakin' much, along with their Yahoo fan group linked on the site. They basically tear the costumes apart and give their opinions and thoughts on how to recreate them along with a boatload of pics.
For my LotR OC, I have good news! Thanks to a very lovely, helpful cosplayer I found a way to make my body paint smooth, long-lasting, and the near-perfect color! I tested it on my arm yesterday and will test it on my face Monday before AMA so I can work out everything before the con. I've conned a friend into taking photos of my costume, so I'll be uploading them within the next couple weeks -uberexcited-