The knuckle-bow turned out to be much more frustrating and time consuming than I imagined. Getting a good reference image was a nightmare – I ran poor Cassandra around a few different locations, trying to find a spot that was well-lit and with a handy boulder/wall/staircase available to stand her against so that I could force the camera as close as possible. I ended up with three actually useful images – two that showed the shape and curve, and one fairly clear shot of the depiction of June.
Almost a week on, I’ve got the hard part done and the longest part (waiting for layers to cure) is almost over.
I tidied up the edge below the spines with some 2mm craft foam, sealed it with two layers of PVA and tried out my can of Plasti-Dip on it… which just seemed to make the entire thing bendier. I coated the whole thing in a thin layer of resin to give it a bit of stability, then slapped three layers of PVA/water/casting powder over it.
I damp-sanded the blade and sprayed on three coats of Plasti-Kote as a base. Once it’s done curing, I can make a start with the acrylics.
Like the Ardent Blossom helm, Evanura is secreted away in the Emerald Graves and can only be acquired after picking up the codex entry The Silver Knight (a tale which I have rambled on about in other posts, so I shall refrain from doing so again). It is restricted to warrior class characters, so I was gutted that my Dalish rogue couldn’t carry it. I really wished that there were a way to display certain unique weapons on the walls of Skyhold because their designs are gorgeous and the backstories make for interesting reading. I think my Lavellan would have felt much the same affinity for this blade as I do and it seemed a pity that my options were to sell it, keep it hanging around in my inventory or stick it in the Undercroft chest.
When I began making plans for Lindiranae , Evanura was the first thing I wanted to tackle. I’ve tried my hand at a couple of foam creations (Silencer – which I must get around to finishing! – and Mahariel’s breastplate) and decided that foam was probably going to be my best bet. I spent ages working out how the measurements for Evanura in-game (based on an estimate of how wide Cassandra’s hand is!) and made a cardboard mock-up… that was absolutely enormous! The stupidest part is that it wasn’t until I had finished taping it all together that I actually realised how badly I’d calculated it. So I gave all my mangled mathematics to my engineer husband, who laughed at me and scaled up my reference sketch to the right size. The difference was more than a little bit ridiculous…
I stocked up on 3mm yoga mats when our local Poundland had them in, so armed with my new template, I started hacking mats into pieces. I built up the first layer around the cardboard to give the foam a bit more support and slapped on a couple of coats of PVA.
I found foam too fiddly and flimsy for the grip and despite my best efforts to carve my thicker floor mats into the right shape, I just couldn’t get my edges even. I ended up building a scaffold out of corrugated cardboard and layered sections of hardboard over it to keep the octagonal shape. I experimented with a few ways to make the cross-guard and decided I would have to do it in three sections – the écusson built onto the grip to keep the defined edges, then the foam quillons were slotted on underneath. The knuckle-bow has a design worked into it so I thought it would be easier to build that separately to be attached prior to priming.
Building up the layers was significantly easier than I expected. I thought I would end up having to take a rotary tool to it where the edges meet, but by the time I had finished gluing it down, it already looked pretty much how I wanted it. A third layer under the spines went on in the same way.
The next job is to get the knuckle-bow finished and then I can start getting it ready to paint.
I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to anyone that I’m a huge fan of the Dragon Age elves. Mythology and history are long-harbored passions, so I found the snippets about Dalish culture and lore irresistible. I loved collecting the codex entries about their history but there was one particular story that I just couldn’t let go of: the fall of Dirthavaren during the Second Exalted March. It was one of those tales that settles into your brain, takes a look around and decides it’s going to move in on a long lease. I was so enamored with it that The Silver Knight was the first in-game tale that I set to music and then I promptly went away, crammed my head with as much information as I could find on the Emerald Knights, and wrote Lindiranae’s version of events.
Bringing Lindiranae and Evanura back to life as a cosplay project seemed like a natural next step. Since Evanura is an available weapon in game, it was easy enough to get reference images but the only imagery of the Emerald Knights (that I’ve managed to find, at least) were the statues in Din’an Hanin. The same statues are also at the Winter Palace in Halamshiral, which let me get better lit screenshots. Dozens and dozens of screenshots…
Given that they’re the Emerald Knights, I knew greens were going to be predominant in my colour pallet, but I also wanted to include some of the bronze tones from the Sentinel Elves’ armour.
With that in mind, I’ve tested a few colouring ideas out and I think I’ve finally settled on a design that I’m happy with. I’m not expecting to have Lindiranae finished until spring 2017, so I’ve got plenty of time to experiment. Evanura is already well underway and I’m expecting to be priming and painting over the weekend.