Draenei Warrior Build Log
Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Here's the Build Log for my Draenei, a cosplay that took me about a year to finish and that I've only worn once for a photoshoot. I started it out sometime early 2016 and finished it in the summer of 2017. It sadly turned out so extremely uncomfortable that I haven't bothered with wearing it after that, and my extreme optimism regarding how long it would take to make caused me dropping out of at least two competitions because I overestimated myself with making it. So it's not filled with fond memories, but it sure looks cool and there's a lot of photos for the process of making it. I would like to make it actually wearable someday, but I have no set plans at the time. Right now it's mostly collecting dust in my storage since I can't sell it and don't want to throw it away given all the work and materials that went into it.
So with no more ranting, let's dig into it!
I chose the Wrathful Gladiator's Battlegear as the dedicated set to make since it showed off the hooves and had a collar instead of an actual helmet so I could have a proper wig with the horns. My choice of wig was one of the ponytail styled wigs with a clip on ponytail from Arda Wigs (not sponsored).
Testing the wig on straight out of the package.
The hairstyle I chose to go with is the one named "Elaborate" ingame, the one with the uhm, hair-rolls and ponytail. It also took me about 3 tries of making the horns until I got them at least somewhat resembling the hornstyle I like the most ingame. For the horns I used styrofoam covered in worbla, primed and painted.
The first pair, that came out way too oversized.
The second pair, ALSO oversized but I liked the shape more on these. However it wasn't close enough for me to be happy with them. So third time's the charm.
They didn't come out 100% as I had envisioned them but at this point I was sick of making them over and over and just settled for close enough. Time to move on to the styling! This wig was at the time the most intense wigstyling I had ever done.
Starting out with figuring the fringe and how to pull the hair to make the style. At this point I realized I didn't have the tools nor expertise to really make it with what I had at home so I bought a set of gigantic hair-rolls.
Adding the giant hair-rolls and trying to make sense of this whole thing.
Starting to get somewhere with all the hair placed on and around the rolls, as well as tying the additional clip on ponytail into the rolls. I removed the clip-on part from it to simply tie it around the hair-rolls before layering the hair around them.
The finished wig
Next let's go through the hooves. For them I used the pdf tutorial that Chaos Costumes has on their Etsy. I do highly recommend checking out their work as they are my absolute favourite hoof/stiltmaker. As I did use their pdf tutorial for this I'm not going to go super in depth about the stilts themselves, as the pdf does a far better job at describing that than I do. However I did have to make some alterations based on the materials I was able to get my hands on, for example I used Worbla to create the top part of the legrest and also I chose to have a pair of ballerina style shoes instead of something more solid.
I started out with assembling my materials
Here's the major part of everything that went into making them, with the bottom parts already cut and glued (I got a bit excited when I was starting this out so it was only after making some work that I thought of taking this photo).
Trying them on before adding the additional security parts for the shins. At a later point I also decided to trim down the edges and make them more rounded along the front toe part and the back where my heel is. This was to make it easier to build the hooves and additional armour around it without making it too bulky.
The finished stilts!
Moving on to making the hooves and additional armour. I used EVA foam of varying thickness for all the armour on this costume. It's covered primarily with cosplayflex which I would not recommend anyone to ever use. It's similar to Worbla in every way shape and form, but not at all as good to work with.
That's about it as far as specific hoof-WIP goes so let's move on to the armour.
Making the front and backpieces of the chest, for this I used 2mm EVA in layers to get the texture differences in that I wanted.
Making the "collar" (and in the background the strange kinda panties and the tail).
The collar doesn't have a opening/closing part, it's just made to go over my head, which causes some issues with the wig. I need to have a second person who's able to actually put the wig on, since I can't reach my head with the shoulders and everything else on.
Covering everything in Cosplayflex and shaping it. I'm very fortunate I was able to shape it around my mannequin otherwise I would have struggled way more with the shaping of the chest than I could have been bothered with.
Shoulders all covered in Cosplayflex.
Testing the shoulders out, and then later on when I FINALLY figured out how to attach them to the collar.
Testing out the majority of the costume before priming and painting, and after priming and initial black base paint. At this point I was still struggling with the shoulder attachments to the collar, hence the duct tape. And well the attachments for basically everything, as I only duct taped it together to get an aproximation of how it looked.
Painting the armour was a bit of a struggle, not because it had many different colours but rather because of all the different shades resembling metal. To this day I don't think I've ever spent as much time painting something as I did this entire armour.
Shoulders being basepainted in black
Adding the first layers of metal paints
Drybrushing additional details
Finishing up the paintjob, this is before the absolute final touches in orange.
The complete armour all painted up and finished!
I used mainly string closures for everything on this armour, except for the armguards that were made to just slip into.
So what's left that I haven't talked about yet? Well of course the tail, bodysuit, shorts and gloves!
The tail I made two times, because the first one came out so extremely uneven and way too stiff. The first one I made I used a type of soft foam similar to EVA foam but that's mainly used to construct LARP weapons from.
Gluing all the layers together, and later when it had been carved down. I also had a metal wire in it to be able to pose it correctly. Since I didn't have a dremel at this time though it was basically impossible for me to get it as smooth as I wanted. So I instead opted to make it out of soft mattress foam.
The soft tail being carved.
This one didn't come out completely even either, but it was still much better than the first one. I inserted a metal wire into this one aswell, and covered it in liquid latex dyed blue. It was later glued to the armour-panties.
As for the shorts there's not really much for me to say about them, they're made with fake leather in a super simple 2-piece pattern and handstitched.
The finished shorts.
The gloves were made in a black stretch fake leather, and had the hand-armour bits glued onto them. I didn't bother to add fourchettes or anything like that, I just kept them very basic.
Testing out the glove pieces pinned together before handsewing.
Making the hand/finger armour. For this I used 2mm eva foam and it's the only parts covered with Worbla instead of Cosplayflex.
All the finger armour primed and painted up, ready to be glued onto the gloves.
The bodysuit was one of the first pieces I made for this costume, and I made it from replicating the size and pattern of a zentai I had ordered previously for another cosplay.
The finished bodysuit.
Last but not least the final thing to go over is the sword! This, as many other things for this costume had to be made twice. The first sword I made was in styrofoam with a wooden core covered in worbla/cosplayflex, however this turned out extremely heavy and I wasn't able to make the finer details of it properly nor make it as thin as I wanted.
Taking out the shape of the first sword
After the carving was done on the first sword.
For version two I decided to make it out of EVA foam covered in worbla, to make it thinner but still sturdy. My only issue with it (that I would discover later) was that my choice of core was way too weak to handle this and it broke. I quickly repaired it adding additional metal support to the handle, but it was still a bit unfortunate.
Getting the base done for Sword no. 2.
Adding the parts for the handle aswell as testing if I could re-use the bottom part that I had already made out of Styrofoam. To my joy, it worked really well!
Everything covered up with Worbla/Cosplayflex and ready for priming and painting.
That's about everything for this costume! As this was fairly well photo-documented I can't think of something that I've missed to mention. But if you feel like I have, as usual don't hesitate to tell me. As I mentioned in the start of this post I do consider making this possible to wear without a heatstroke or extreme discomfort, but I have no idea when I'll do that.
Here's two "BTS" photos from that one shoot I had!