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Into Battle by WindoftheStars Into Battle by WindoftheStars
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Prints of this costume (and others) can be found here:

Aela the Huntress from the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I have to say that Aela is one of my favorite badasses in this game. Being a werwolf is just bonus points in my book. I had planned on making this costume much later this year, but I had the opportunity to do a snow shoot in lake Tahoe with one of my favorite photographers. Sadly, this was one of those costumes that just took WAY more time than you ever thought it would. I ended up not being able to shoot with him but, it allowed me to finish Aela at the speed it needed to be and not rushed. In the end it was worth it because I'm really happy I took the extra time on this to create it how I envisioned it.

About the Construction
When I set out to make this costume, I was very determined to make it look as authentic as possible. I considered using vinyl for the garment portion of the costume, but decided that it would not give the look I wanted to achieve. So I went to Tandy leather and got one of their clearance/cheaper hides for this project. The original color of the leather was light warm red-brown. It was the closest color hide that I could find in my budget. Being as it was not the color I wanted, I de-glazed the hide and re-dyed it a darker color. Since Aela's outfit is so unique, as it is a backless leotard with a four-part loin cloth/skirt....thing, I didn't even try to look for a base pattern to modify. I drafted own patterns by draping spare cotton on my dress form. Aela's 'top' looked like a leotard to me based on how taught it was vertically. However, since she doesn't have a true back to it, just straps, I ended up making a spandex thong that then snapped to straps coming from my waist. The leotard then goes around my neck in halter. For the loin cloth, it really is just a glorified belt with four panels sewed to it. For all the straps on this costume, I glued to pieces of leather together with rubber cement and then stitched them together. The hide I was using was to soft to use on it's own and needed to be reinforced in order to keep everything in place. I used a mixture of snaps and domed rivets to hold all the straps in place. At some joints I did sew it for extra stability.

For the armor I used a new material called Worbla. It's a thermal plastic that is super easy to work with. I got mine from Yaya Han For the hip armor I used Eva foam for the base, then used strips to do the all the details and googly eyes for the rivets. The plates have snaps on the back and just snap to the loincloth/ skirt. The front plate's base is also eva foam base with details done worbla too. The gauntlets are eva foam bases, with worbla edging and detailing. I used the same re-dyed leather to also cover parts of the gauntlets. Real rivets were used on the gauntlet because I was afraid glued re-painted googly eyes would be too prone to being knocked off. The gauntlets stay closed with lacing on the back. For the arm cuffs, the base is craft foam covered in Worbla. The turquoise gems I got at Michael's, so no clue if they are real or not (I would wager a no on that one! haha). The cuffs just slide up my arm and stay on their own. Chest pieces are also eva foam, covered in Worbla, and detailed with the same gems as the cuffs. They have little loops in the back and piece of leather is strung through it and attached on each side of the top. Similar to how I made the rest of the armor, I used Worbla. For the bulk of it I used craft foam as base, but unlike the other pieces I sandwiched the craftfoam between two layers of Worbla. I did this so it would extra sturdy and because I was going to be attaching more Worbla to the underside. The rings on the back are held in place with Worbla as well. For the front a strip of leather with a snap feeds through the fur to the body suit and snaps in place. All the armor pieces were then primed black, then sprayed with hammered metal spray, then silver spray, then given an black acrylic wash, and then finally highlighted with rub-n-buff.

The chainmaille was made by hand. Wire was coiled which were then cut into the rings. A 4 in 1 weave was used in this maille. The chainmaille is then held in place to the loin cloth/skirt via rivets. If you want a good tutorial on the who process I recommend following this:…

The sword was made by :iconice_Man_props:. I did the detailing on the hilt and weathering of the sword. I also used more craft foam and Worbla to make the scabbard for the sword. It too snaps to my belt.

The shoes were boots that I purchased. I removed the fringe and dyed them a dark brown to match the leather boot covers I made. The boot base helps keep up the cover, but I use a belt too.

The wig is a lace front wig that trimmed up. It was purchased from; the color is 130.

Finally for warpaint I used BenNye creme make up in green and black. I did a layer of black then added a little green to give it that super dark green, almost black, look. It was set with BenNye translucent powder.

Of course if you have further questions let me know!

Costume made and worn by: Windofthestars
Sword made by :iconiceman-props:
Photo by: :iconbgzstudios:

More of this costume
Hunter by WindoftheStarsAela the Huntress by WindoftheStarsThe Hunter by WindoftheStarsShield Sister by WindoftheStars
Add a Comment:
MotherOfDragons64 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool cosplay
texasguy00000 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015
You are, without a doubt, THE hottest cosplayer.
valaraukor Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
By the power of Greyskull.... how awesome is this?! Love this cosplay and the level of detail and dedication. From a big fan of the game, well done!!!
Gabbo87 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
Awesome Aela job. Ever thought about possibly doing a Vex or Alva cosplay?
GrimweaverArt Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My Dovah married her. I have a bit of a crush on her :)
powderberry Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Student Filmographer
gotta admit, that's pretty bad-ass...
Matadorstudio Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great pose! Excellent
DeadlyRose167 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
wow as soon as i saw this i was shocked cuz you look so much like her lol u have done a fantastic job and thanks for telling us how you made it. keep up the great work
I-Can-See-4-Miles Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Really good. This looks a lot like Aela, especially in this particular picture.
AleksWarrior Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Hello ..I got a neklace of Mara :P hahaha know just in case haha

but anyways lol AMAZING Aela cosply! 
Absolutely amazing and pretty :D
Mikkillerib Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Very clever, bro. I gotta admit, you are a genius.
vee-kay Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aela The Huntress, in real life!

Your hard work and focus pays off, and it is awesome to see you bring a very interesting character and costume to life. Thanks!
Mydreaminggeekzone Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
So much win :eager: by darkmoon3636, good job Judge .
HePhoto Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
simpkly .. waouuu
true-soldier Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, awesome
dragonturtle Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
very nice .Always liked Aela from the moment I met her outside of Whiterun killing a giant .

TheReptilianGeneral Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
i would of used vinyl if i made that and craft foam for the armor pieces but that's just my because i have a budget looks like you my friend may have a larger budget than me ...... have you ever tried small globs of hot glue for the rivets? it works perfectly.
MegatronDX Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
Wow just wow!!!
ColoredPencils Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is amazing. I love it.

I also love that you used googly eyes for the rivets.
zarliaz Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
so much beautiful^^___costplayPikachus nuzzles cheeks
Andymo5000 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Just Yes. C:
Lixadry Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
Tundrakurpitsa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
heh,  i know this character but i couldn't figure out the name until i read the description
ToNyEmBlEy Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Professional Writer
This is friggen badass. O__O
Sahilee Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing cosplay! It looks so perfekt, that my first impression was that of a digital photo, but then I realized that its real - just wow! :clap:
shadowwulf82 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a very beautifully well done cosplay, one of the best I've seen
Belcatar Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
You really put a lot of time and effort into your costumes, and I'm really impressed with your willingness to share your knowledge and experience with others. Your efforts have certainly paid off. The costume could fit comfortably in a big-budget fantasy film. Thanks for sharing the photo and the "making of" description with us.
d-a-price Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
costume freakin rocks +fav
DeviantANG3L Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pst Awesome!
NUclear-Snot Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
FEMALE POWER Headbang! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RedElement Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Saw her on hero's of cosplay on the sci-fi channel, nice cosplay :icongreatjobplz:
astromilk Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Is she going to make me get her shield again?
N-o-va Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely amazing, and put on the front of deviant art too. Not to mention it's a Skyrim cosplay, and female! I lvoe to see Skyrim cosplays, because I know the people who make them, but their heart in to it. And in the end make them so realistic 
HeroofEnelios Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013   Writer
This is... amazing and right on the front page when I enter Deviantart. Simply incredible
RandomThoughts189 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
WOW. Okay, that costume, and your look--perfect for Aela, I think. (As I've played the game, I think you suit her COMPLETELY.) Great job, with everything.
royshtoyer Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Student General Artist
gersandelf Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy shit good cosplay is goood
pookykay58 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Student Photographer
:O This is really cool.... I'm Impressed :D
Twizzid Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Awesome Artwork!!!
KyuremObsession Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is some kickass cosplay!
Flagged as Spam
BlazeDriver Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That doesn't even make fucking sense. Get help, you spambots are hopeless.
Phantom-Spectre Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
best cosplay ever!
NecromancerYsuran Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
most epic cosplay i've ever seen :) i'm not really fond of cosplays in general but this one is something !!I am a dummy!
Mg912 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Amazing costume D:
Flagged as Spam
BlazeDriver Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your buddy's sto-mother is a camwhore.
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Submitted on
August 23, 2013
Image Size
425 KB


83,071 (1 today)
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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/100 second
Focal Length
150 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 26, 2013, 8:48:42 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Macintosh)