Behind the Cosplay
Project Ebon Blade started with a bunch of friends coming up with a fun idea to have the Four Horsemen from World of Warcraft reimagined and designed by our good friend Zach Fischer of Zach Fischer Illustration.
Zach was very excited by the idea and took it one step further; he wanted to make an entire Death Knight army. An army full of, faction leaders, NPCs, and dragons. Project Ebon Blade evolved into one of the biggest cosplay groups to ever be done.
Chad was entrusted with the construction of Lich King Bolvar and started 3D modeling the costume right after BlizzCon 2017. It took over a year to complete, but it was an incredible labor of love that resulted in one of our favorite costumes to date.
Chad started the armor construction by first 3D modeling all of the pieces in Zbrush. He used a 3D scan of his body so that the everything would fit him perfectly. Once he finished a model, he would start the 3D printing process and before long we had a literal pile of models in need of priming, sanding and finishing.
Eventually, after weeks of sanding, all the pieces were ready for a base coat of high gloss black paint followed by quick silver chrome to give all the armor a real metal shine. Lastly came the weathering of the armor which was a combination of multiple different paints to give us the effect we desired.
Once everything was finished we started working on the strapping. We used the leather harness we originally made for Chad’s Uther cosplay to mount the armor for Lich King as well. We used leather straps connected by chicago screws to attach the straps to the 3D prints and metal buckles to then attach them to the harness. The harness helps distribute the weight of the 3D prints and was the most secure way keep everything on.
Finally came the lights and smoke/vape units, which were all put into the hidden holes that Chad designed in the armor when he was 3D modeling and then held in place by EVA foam in the back.
We wanted the cloak to have a heavy weight to it, on top of that Zach had a very specific color in mind for the fabric pieces. We went with an undyed heavy weave linen fabric and used 3 different color dyes to achieve the correct color.
In the concept art the cloak itself was not only tattered, it looked singed and on fire. Chad really wanted to incorporate that into the cloak somehow. After brain storming for a few days, he came up with the idea to sew fiber optics into the “inner” layer of the cloak. We ended up going with two different sizes and I sewed them into the cloak one at a time. We ended up with over one hundred fiber optics running throughout the inner part of the cloak.
But we didn’t stop there, with fire comes smoke right? We were already making a ton of small smoke machines for the armor, so we went ahead with making two more for the cloak. We ran small silicone tubing along the inner cloak and put holes through out the tube so the smoke would release slowly.
Once that was complete, the inner cloak was then sandwiched in the outer cloak. Once everything was sewn together and closed we weathered the bottom and at last the cloak was completed.
We wanted the Lich King’s eyes to exude the immense power of the Lich King barely being contained. A feature found commonly in the Warcraft universe is creatures and beings of magic often have a soft glow emitted from their eyes. We wanted to also have smoke effects so we created a custom housing that had recessed LED’s with an exhaust port in front. This port was then hooked up to a miniature smoke machine allowing us to deliver smoke to the eyes. The effect was staggering not only for those not prepared but also for Chad since it made it incredibly hard to see.
As Previously mentioned we decided to incorporate elements of smoke into the costume, it was with this notion