Witch King of Angmar

(Lord of the Rings)

The Witch King of Angmar was one of my first 'complete' cosplays that tried to be as accurate to the original as possible. I used a lot of reference including screengrabs from LOTR as well as a few background images. But a huge shoutout to Kropserkel, who built metal versions complete with strapping that was essential in understanding how the various plates worked together.

The costume was built in 2010, and it was first worn I believe at ECCC in 2011. It was and still is one of my most accurate costumes, but it was also incredibly uncomfortable, with crappy leather gloves that filled with sweat and caused my hands to swell, and hard plastic plates that limited motion. Still I wore the costume quite a bit.

Materials Used: Styrene, fabric, pop rivets

The Witch King of Angmar is was built out of styrene sheets. I began with cardstock patterns. I transferred these to styrene sheets, that I then scored and snapped out of the styrene. I molded the parts by hand with a heat gun and used bits of thick gauge wire as a mold for the ridges.

The parts were then sanded and painted, then riveted together using pop rivets with washer backs. This allowed the costume to be reasonably durable, however these washers were much stronger than the plastic and would eventually break it in a few pieces.

A copy of my helmet pattern. Still the top result for Witch King Helmet pattern, and thus has also been stolen, copied, and resold without my permission, but whatever at this point

The hardest part of the gauntlet was punching a bunch of tiny holes to rivet the plates in place. This is not an ideal solution

A bit of extra mobility was added on the costume with the use of thick leather straps. So the armor could 'breathe' a little bit and flex as I moved.

The helmet is also made of styrene with carved wooden sticks for spikes. In addition I used generous amounts of hot glue for the 'weld'.

One thing that should be noted with the helm, is that it does not sit like a normal helm, it's more of a crown, the eyes should be on your forehead and you see out of the mouth

The leg plates were made the same. As a test fit i used nuts and bolts rather than rivets

A bit here is the infamous boot covers. One of these broke AS I was walking into the convention. Didn't even make it up the stairs. It's still broken 10 years later

Sadly, I don't have a lot of photos beyond this point of the build process. But it's more of the above. Styrene, pop rivets. Then everything with lightly sanded and spraypainted with hammered metal. Then a black wash was applied to darken it a bit more.

The fabric work was always a huge mess. I bought a ton of lightweight fabric and ripped and shredded it and cobbled together a Naz'gul looking outfit. I was honestly never happy with this part.

This costume still today holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first real 'accurate' costumes, and it super wowed people back then. I could barely move without getting my photo taken. It is, really the costume that set me on my path as a cosplayer.