Helmet base is DONE, finally! Read on for notes on each stage of the process :) This build is sponsored by Worbla New Zealand, who are fantastic people and I'm really grateful and honoured to have their support with this costume.
Here is a reference image of the build in its entirety - a Draenei Death Knight from World of Warcraft.
This beast is cardboard, EVA foam, worbla, and a LOT of filler (I use polyfilla). The very base of the helmet was made with a pattern from Kamui Cosplay's pattern book, which I cut in lightweight cardboard and covered in worbla classic.
I built up the plating shapes with EVA foam, covering that again in worbla before using filler to smooth it out. Getting the shape on this thing right was really hard - having to make sure that it fit on my head and is the right shape/proportions for the original model, but not so big that it just looks dumb! There were a lot of do-overs when I started :P
I didn't go about this as well as I could have - I'm very impatient, which is not a good thing with cosplay! I have a strong tendency to slap stuff together really roughly, and then spend ages afterward cleaning it up. Polyfilla is absolutely fantastic for smoothing out little dings and seams, but I rely on it a lot more than I should. Great stuff though, it sands really easily and has a little bit of flex so it's a good choice for use with worbla.
The horns and tusks are insulation foam, carved to shape and covered with black worbla. The texturing on these was done by pressing a small knife into the material while it was still hot. I like using black worbla for stuff that requires a bit more surface detail, as it's smoother and shows fine detail better. The tusks are detachable, and fasten to the helmet “cheeks” with 2x screws each side.
There are actually 2 pairs of horns I've made for this costume - one to sit on the helmet when I wear it, and one to attach to my wig when the helmet is off. These are identical except for the shape at the base; one is stepped so it sits flush against the helmet. Basically if I have the helmet off and under my arm, I don't want it to take my horns with it...so they're detachable! I used 10mm neodymium magnets to hold these in place, there are three on each side of the helmet with filler to smooth out the top, and each horn has nine (3x stacks of 3). I was really surprised how many it took to keep these securely in place, I think part of this is the magnets being tiny, and also the fact that the horns aren’t perfectly flush with the helmet base. I may re-visit this later.
The edging around the forehead jewel (which I have not made yet) and the tusks is black worbla scrap, heated and rolled before being shaped with a bead roller. I got two of these on AliExpress for about $5, and they are fantastic! You need to use a release agent (soapy water works fine, I've heard vaseline is good too) so it doesn't stick, but you just roll your scrap into a rope and press it in. This means nice even trim, without too many fingerprints or variations in size and shape.
So, that's the base of the helmet! I still need to add fur, the forehead jewel, and some lighting/smoke effects, but it's really excellent seeing it all together. Once all the pieces are built, I'll be painting them all at once so the colour/texture is consistent. I'm trying to make this whole costume as easy to transport as possible - there's only really so much I can do, but having the horns and tusks are both detachable will hopefully make this easier.
Next post will cover the breastplate and gorget - stay tuned! You can also follow less organized updates on my facebook page, Static Cosplay :) Thanks everyone - I would love to hear feedback on this entire build, so if you have suggestions or advice that haven't already been covered, please feel free to drop me a line.