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Night Elf classic Build Log

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


This build log will be winding back time a bit, to a time that simply was more.... Vanilla. The classic Night Elf is an iconic design, done by many and a hugely popular choice of cosplay for people who are into WoW cosplay. It was the first cosplay I ever made back in 2008, and in 2018 I remade it as a 10-year anniversary celebration.

I happen to be one of the few people who own the actual life-size statue of the Night Elf, so that in itself made the costume very easy to understand and make.

I don't have an abundance of photos for this post, but I hope you'll find it interesting nonetheless.

For reference I of course used the statue. It's a bit taller than I am so I had to adjust the patterns I replicated off it to fit me.

My choice of materials for this build was EVA foam, foamclay, black Worbla, genuine leather, rooster feathers, glues and paints as well as some fabric and thin quilt batting.

As usual I'll go over the process piece by piece, starting with the quilted leatherparts.

I begun making a pattern for the legs while wearing the sandals I incoporated to the parts. I'm not at all a fan of walking barefeet, so I opted for a pair of discreet sandals to be attached directly in the parts.

I used a thin fabric to make this pattern since it would be most similar to the final material.

I also patterned the armguards, skirt and shoulders in a similar way though I don't have photos of that. The chestpiece was not pre-patterned since I used a bra as a base for it and draped the leather around it. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself now.

After making my patterns I went ahead and selected which pieces of leather I'd use to make the parts with. Since I 100% used the statue as reference I chose to keep the brown colourscheme instead of the true purple that is seen ingame and for most of the artwork.

Selecting the leather pieces and testing some dye on the edges.

I did dye it sligthly with a purple tint, but it doesn't show up that properly once the leather had dried completely.

Dyeing the leather outside

After all the leather had dried and I had cut my pieces out from it, I begun the quilting work. For this I again had the opportunity to borrow my friend's industrial grade sewing machine. I used a light purple cotton fabric as the backpiece and thin batting.

Halfway quilting done on one of the legpieces, and then when everything was finished with the quilting.

I did not mark the placement of the lines beforehand (hence why some are a bit uneven).

After trimming the excess from the pieces I finished up the edges by adding a long piece of leather and stitching that in place. My own sewing machine managed that just fine fortunately.

When all that was done I added eylet closures to the arm and leg pieces, as well as fixed the sandals into the bottom of the leg pieces.

That's the majority of the leatherwork, so let's move on to the armour parts!

I started with tracing the armour directly off my statue.

Tracing on pattern-paper

Armpart traced, and fixing the scale for the leg parts

Armpart in foam with decorations almost complete, as well as one of the leg pieces

Covering all the parts in Black Worbla

One of the shoulders with foamwork done, before adding Worbla

The bra, after covering in leather and adding the foam decorations

Aaand here's an absolutely awful quality selfie of testing the skirt, bra and shoulders together after priming, painting and adding the feathers to the shoulders.

That's all the photos I have, so here's the customary bullet-points of everything else about the build:

* Priming all the armour parts with woodglue

* Handstitching silver edges onto the skirt aswell as adding foam decorations on it

* Painting everything that's supposed to be silver

* Adding closures to the arm and leg armour bits (leather straps with D rings and buckle closures)

* Glueing and stitching the frontflap of the skirt to the quilted part

* Adding feathers to the top of the quilted legparts

* Adding feathers to the shoulders and then covering the bottom part/inside/underside (whatever you wanna call it) with Worbla and adding hoops for the bra-straps to go through

I don't have any photos at all of the staff, but it's made out of a bunch of EVA foam layers glued together, carved to shape and then I used hotglue for the wood texture. It's not primed, only painted (with 1 brown colour, no gradients or such).

As for the bodypaint I chose ProAiir Hybrid in Amethyst, which worked really well for covering basically my entire body and staying nice for a full day's wear. The wig is a purple wig from WigIsFashion (not sponsored), originally in a curly model, as seen in the first photoshoot I had with this, which I have later on flattened. The eyebrows were first a pair of feathers of the same batch as the ones I have on the shoulders, but later on I made a pair of eyebrows harvesting some hair from the wig.

I think that pretty much covers everything about this build, as usual if you have any questions or feel I've missed something feel free to write!

For the pretty photos of this cosplay head over to the dedicated page!


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