Wednesday 9 October 2013

Skara Update!

I'm still working on her first photostory (my muse has disappeared again, typical) but for now, here's a bit of a costume update.

When you last saw her, Skara was kitted out in a very basic shirt 'n' trousers combo which, while fine for escaping a burning town and whatnot it just wasn't suitable for everyday adventuring. Her kit needed some work too, so...

First to be tweaked was the costume. I use a lot of custom mods on my copy of Skyrim for the PC and by far, my favourite is -this armour- set I got from the Skyrim Nexus. I didn't want to copy it completely, just get the feel of it so I tweaked things rather a lot.

Here she is in game... (oh and I have a tumblr for all my screenshots now too, -here-)

First to be made was the leather breastplate. In hindsight, I should have made it a bit differently but hey-ho, I'm pleased with how it turned out nonetheless!

I used some tooling leather I had lying about and using a picture of some celtic knotwork I found online, began to carve it out. As often happens when a sudden bout of creative inspiration occurs, I found myself entirely without leatherworking tools so I was forced to improvise. In place of a punch, I had a mini screwdriver and my 'mallet' consisted of a bottle of water. Oh and did I mention that I was doing this not at my desk or in a specific working area but right in front of the PC with my parents trying to watch a film in the room almost directly below? Yeeeah, they weren't particularly impressed with the noise I was making but once I'd dampened the leather I couldn't just stop so they had to put up with it! :P

Skara WIP

I'd never really carved leather before and aside from the tremendous noise I ended up producing alongside it, I really enjoyed it. The runes on the back piece say 'shadow' in Dovah script - an apt phrase to apply to a sneakthief archer I thought - and the symbols alongside relate to Skyrim's Thieves Guild.

I didn't have anything to treat the leather with once it was finished so after I had finished carving it I dampened it down and formed it to Skara's body so it would hold its shape once it dried, then I used a combination of acrylic washes and hand cream to keep the leather supple.

Skara WIP

Oh and the hat is just fine leather from a charity shop purse (£1, bargain!) with some fur fabric. I had a little scrap of rabbit fur I was going to use instead as it looked nicer but I couldn't get it to sit properly. I've trimmed the fur since the picture too.

Next up was the maille. I'd attempted to make my own using tiny jump rings but gave up after only a row and a half as it was incredibly fiddly so I had to use my backup plan - metal mesh from an old purse. (another charity shop find) One one side it has flat metal pieces but the other side can double as chainmaille if you squint a bit.

Metal Mesh

Either way, it was only a couple of pounds for the bag so I thought I'd better give it a go. The 'rings' are a little too big and I have another purse of the same material in a smaller size that would look better, only they're in a much more gold/bronze colour which isn't really what I wanted so I'll just have to put up with it for now until I can find some smaller stuff.

Skara WIP

I made her a nice cosy looking overtunic out of some £1 shop socks the other day and oooft, I HATE sewing sleeves! I sewed one inside out at least twice and messed up the other once but now that they're done I can't say I'm too disappointed although now that I look at photos I realise I made it woefully too short. Bugger.
Oh well, she probably took them off someone else anyway so we can just say that it wasn't her size...

Skara WIP

Skara WIP

Skara WIP

At some point in her story (which I will commence writing again once this is posted!) she will make her way to the small village of Falkreath which is one of my favourite places in the game. All the guards carry shields with the individual Hold's sigils so I thought it might be nice to make her one too as I tend to use a shield with her and a sword. I made it from balsa wood, with superglue/bicarb for the metal parts. The sigil I drew from a reference picture and ended up having to repaint it several times as it was so fiddly!

She got a sword too, though it's only temporary as I made it in a couple of hours from a wooden coffee stirrer and I'm not confident it'll last long, haha!

Skara's sword

Skara's sword

(on a strangely related side note, it sits in the above picture on the blade of a German WW1 bayonet that we found recently in my grandpa's garage. This is odd in many ways but mostly because he wasn't around in the First World War and even in the second he served in India on the trains so we have literally no idea how he came by it and neither does he!)

I'll be taking her and Inky down to Dumfries with me this weekend for a week's holiday so I'll be taking lots of photos, weather permitting!


  1. Dude, I am so jealous of your mad tooling skills! I can't believe that's your first time doing it. Beautiful work- the whole outfit looks great.

  2. Whoa fantastic work!! (and sorry I am so out of the loop, I lost your link when our computer died.

  3. Wow! That leather carving is awesome! Wonderful work!
    About the sword- the Icefalcon wrecked his wooden sword pretty quickly, too. (He fell off his horse and broke it... o.O) But he was lucky, because I found a realistic looking pewter-sword that was intended to be a pendant.
    Skara being in the taller scale might be lucky with a smaller sword-shaped letter-opener? There might be some fancy ones to have that could be customized to her likings, then.

    1. I've actually been looking for sword shaped letter openers but to no avail! They're either way too big, too small or too 'modern' in style. :(

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