Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Qartheen Armor

More of my cosplay work can be found here!

I had a couple of comments about my Qartheen Armor that I posted progress pictures of, and I thought I would share my technique for creating Daenerys' belt and filigree armor she wears in the Qarth scenes of A Game of Thrones.

I chose a material that would be inexpensive, easy to use, and flexible (so that I would worry less about it breaking).  What is it? It's hotglue.  Yes, hotglue.

The pattern was made my tracing cardstock on my own body then pinning it to my dress dummy as I went along so that the pieces approximately fit together.  Since I would be gluing the seams with more hot glue, I knew I would have some wiggle room to enlarge or trim pieces as necessary, so my pattern was not extremely accurate, however I have photographed it here for your reference. :)

I'll cover in this tutorial the basic technique I used to create the filigree pieces.  The progress pictures are of the belt.

Materials needed:

Reference Picture of Dany's armor
Hot Glue and Gun
Translucent Silicone Hot Glue Mat
Gold Paint

Hard to find item is the hot glue mat.  I bought a spare and was sad to find it an opaque gray.  The one pictured is the one that comes with this hot glue gun, which I love, and is available inexpensively on Amazon.

I love this gold marker for painting the hot glue (Pilot pen).  I highly recommend  but I do buy it from a local Art and Hobby shop instead, so call around.

I didn't count the number of gluesticks I used to create the belt, or the armor, though I wish I had.  I use hotglue a lot, so I went ahead and bought a bulk amount from http://www.hot-stick.com/ .

On to the crafting!

1.  Take your reference pictures and print it out.  I re-sized mine a little bit to be the scale I wanted the design to be, so you may want to tweak it a bit for your purposes.  Then, trace over the design in a sharpie to make it easier to see.  The filigree design repeats itself in all of her armor pieces, and is very organic in appearance, so it is easy to use this one piece as a template for the entire belt.

2.  Place your silicone mat on top of it.  You should be able to see the design through the mat.

3. Trace with your hot glue!  I simply traced as much as the mat would allow, then let it cool.  The hot glue designs should peel off easily once they have cooled off and firmed up.  Scoot the finished bit down, line it up, then continue tracing until you get the belt to the desired length.

4.  Paint!  I found that the Pilot marker takes very well to hot glue.  Sometimes it will dry a little tacky, in which case a quick coat of Acrylic Gloss will take care of the tackiness, however I found that it takes a little bit of the shine away.

You will end up with a flexible piece.  I used some elastic to weave through the holes in the back to tie the belt on.

You can apply this technique to create the entire armor piece!


  1. How did you fuse the pieces together? Did you use hotglue to make a seam? or did you just meld them some other way?

    Either way this is really awesome and looks incredibly cool!

    1. Thanks!

      Yes, the pieces are simply hotglued together. I placed the small silicone mat between the pieces and my mannequin to join them together and held them in place while the seam cooled off and hardened.

  2. Hey. That looks absolutely phenomenal. Unsure if I'll be able to make it but I'll definitely try! Where'd you get the reference picture for the armor. The link you posted has been removed :(

    1. oops, I did some imgur cleanup and accidentally deleted it. I have fixed the link, thanks!

    2. This is an awesome tutorial! Do you still have the reference piece? Link broken again

    3. I just checked it and it worked, silly imgur... Try either of these:


      They are just show screenshots of Daenerys.

  3. Can I ask how well this held up? I'm planning to make the belt and I'm a little worried about it lasting.

    1. I have heard from others that it holds up quite well. On the bright side, it is entirely made of hotglue, so it should be cheap and easy to repair, should it break!

  4. I am thinking of making the belt with this technique and I was wondering how strong it is. I need the belt strong enough to cinch in the material of my gown and not be afraid that it will break. Any thoughts?

    1. I'll admit, I haven't really worn mine out of the house yet!

      The belt holds up quite well. A girl who made hers with this technique said it help up the dress well on the shoulder pieces, until someone stepped on her dress!

      The thicker you lay on the glue, naturally the stronger it will be. Make a small section and do some tensile testing (read: pull on it!) and see if it will be sufficient for you!

  5. Also your armor looks ballin. I am totally impressed you thought to do this with hot glue!

  6. Do you have pictures of the back? Im interested in seeing how the back of her armour looks

  7. Ahhhh this looks amazing! Please please let me pay you to make me one...