The Hobbit: Bard the Bowman Costume

bard the bowman costume 1

Bard the Bowman was a busy guy. Once a simple man of Laketown, he ended up slaying the dragon Smaug and then ended rebuilding the ruined town of Dale at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. He became King of Dale. Luke Evans portrayed the archer in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Hobbit and wore a distinctive, rustic-looking costume. Bard’s outfit is anything but simple. It’s cobbled together from fur, leather, and sturdy fabrics since Laketown isn’t exactly a warm and sunny place. Replica Props Forum (RPF) user jessamygriffin took several stills from the movies and information from behind-the-scenes sources to replicate Bard’s rough look. The costume is almost done, and it’s pretty spot on.

bard the bowman costume 2

Jessamygriffin did an especially good job weathering the fabric and making everything look like it’s been well loved. The long coat was a particular challenge. It was made from kangaroo pelts for the film, but jessamygriffin used a synthetic fabric to get the look and paired it with a winter fur coat from the thrift store:

After piecing the fur coat and cutting the pattern for Bard’s coat, the real fur was attached on the inside of the coat with contact cement (not ideal but it comes in large cans). I actually glued the real fur on TOP of the fake fur, and then began to airbrush and age the fake fur so it wasn’t too jarring if it were seen. I will admit, the fake fur painting is one of the weak areas – all the advice I found about airbrushing fake fur didn’t work well with this really fine textured fur. It got a but clumpy, and the colour match isn’t the best. Oh well, moving on.

The coat required a lot of aging. You can see the dramatic change in the photos. Jessamygriffin said:

Mainly, what happened next with The Coat is a lot of paint ageing, done with watered down acrylics and the Febreze spray bottle. I started with two shades of brown, went on the grey brown and then a weak wash of black.

Acrylic gloss was dry-brushed onto areas that would get the most wear such as the elbows, the shoulders, and cuffs.

bard the bowman costume 3

bard the bowman costume 4

Read more about this very detailed build and see additional photos at The RPF.

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