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Ornstein Build Log

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


Undoubtedly being one of the more famous/infamous bosses in Dark Souls, Dragonslayer Ornstein was also a huge challenge to build in reality. It's one of those builds that I overestimated how long it would actually take to make, and most of you probably know by now that I'm not great at keeping my schedules. I started working on Ornstein in the winter 2018/2019, with the intention of having him for the SM Qualifier competition at ComicCon Gothenburg in April 2019. That didn't happen (I switched my cosplay to Tyrande instead which honestly wasn't all that bad given that I placed 1st). I then wanted to have him for DreamHack Summer, and then I tried to manage him for Pixelmania but alas, it took me all the way until DreamHack Winter to finish him.

My choice of materials for this build is 90% foam. The exceptions that aren't in foam are the fabric parts (coat and pants) and the chainmail. And technically I guess also the hair for the helmet and the pvc core for the spear. But other than that, it's all foam. Now I'm no novice when it comes to working with foam, but the incredible amount of details was a bit unexpected.

I used primarily the statue by First4Figures as reference, since it has more details than looking at the in-game models of Dark Souls 1. It's also licensed and approved by FromSoftware so it's an official reference to use.

The statue (exclusive version).

So without further rambling, let's dig in to the actual crafting.

To start with I made paper patterns of every single part of the armour from thicker construction paper. I looked at the pictures of the statue from First4Figures website since my own statue didn't arrive until late October in 2019.

Working out the shoe bits and lower leg pices, and the back of the chestpiece

More work figuring out the chestpiece

Figuring out all the layers to the front, and then adding the shoulder

Patterning the skirt part and how I want it layered

Chest, shoulder and skirt patterns done, and starting work on figuring out the helmet.

Ornstein's helmet was the second helmet I ever made, and it wasn't a simple helmet either. It's one of the parts I struggled the most with and the piece I finished up last when I was able to look at the statue properly.

After I had made all the patterns I started the foamwork. I've used various thicknesses of EVA ranging from 2mm to 6mm. I've also used FoamClay for a majority of the decorations, and I'm quite happy with how it went given my very limited use of FoamClay previously.

Taping together everything for the legs and the shoecovers

After gluing the pieces together and adding foamclay, testing the fit

Marking the decorations for the back chestpiece, and the chest taped together

Trying out the fit of the chestpiece and the elbow thingies

Drawing the patterns for the skirt pieces

Starting the foamclay work on the skirt pieces

More foamclay on the skirt pieces, as well as starting the detailwork on the front of the chestpiece

The completed chest pieces and shoulders, ready for attachments. I always find it a bit ironic how the back is way more detailed than the front.

Leg and shoe pieces all done, ready for attachments

The base sculpt of the helmet, as far as I was able to pattern it. And my assembly of wigs and hair for the ponytail.

One ridiculously long wig, and then attaching the hair onto a styrofoam puff to get additional volume.

Starting work on the face

Base of the helmet done and ready for detailing

Adding detailing and sculpts with FoamClay.

The finished elbow bits

The stage of completion of the cosplay when I applied to DreamHack Winter.

The final step to the armour was painting it, I chose a rubber spray for primer and then a gold spraypaint on that. I did some shading in brown after that but it's very minor/hardly shows.

Gold paint in progress

The armour bits for the hands, which I hotglued onto the gloves.

Finished gauntlets.

That's pretty much it as far as the armour goes, so let's move on to the clothes.

I chose a linen-look fabric for the coat and the pants in some kind of synthetic (I would guess Polyester). For the gloves I chose a red stretch suede since that type of fabric is very easy to make gloves out of, and I know the glue will stick well to the surface. Another thing that I guess could be considered fabric work is the harness that I attach the chainmail and the shoulders to, which goes underneath the armour but above the clothes.

testing the fit of the gloves