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Dernhelm (Eowyn in Armor)

V 1.6 December, 2004

Eowyn is bound and determined that she will also fight to defend her lands and her people.  She dresses up as a boy in armor and joins the ranks of the fighters in ROTK


Basic Description:

Preliminary, based on:  Action figure, Action figure box, sticker from calendar, brief glimpse in special features on TTT Theatrical version,
comparison to other Rohirrim costumes, possibly other sources.

Riding Boots, dark brown, scuffed and worn.

Dark brown pants, relatively fitted. Tapered toward the ankle makes for easier wear with tall boots.

Olive green tunic, to mid-thigh, split front & back for riding.

Open Questions:

Is tunic also split on the sides?

Is sleeveless and with another shirt on underneath or if it is a long sleeved tunic with tapered sleeves?  So far the sleeves appear to be olive green just like the tunic but...


Chain mail hauberk with sleeves to (or just below) the elbow, also to mid-thigh, about 2" shorter than green tunic; split front and back for riding.  Shoulder seam hits beyond the point of the shoulder, as this was made for a larger man.  Grainline of the maille on the sleeves runs perpendicular to the grainline on the body.

Hauberk has a leather plackard in front, which laces up. Over that, the leather amour breastplate has a v-neck to about 4" below the collar bone, at which point there's lacing, maybe as far as halfway to the waistline from that point.

Leather vambraces, dark brown, with leather ties underneath.  5 holes/eyes on each side.  Crisscrossed in x's, tied on the end close to the elbow.  No photos yet of detailing, but there's bound to be some.

Leather gloves - dark brown or black

Leather amour, old and scuffed, dyed in fading shades of red, green, and dark brown, with gold leaf detailing.  Front is split part way down the chest with leather lacing. Possibly held together on the sides with leather cord, and not separated at the shoulder.

Deep Red leather baldric strap to hold on her sword. Decoratively tooled, with lovely silver clasps and a buckle. There are at least two points where the scabbard attaches, and the scabbard itself is red, also.  Great concept sketch of this on Eomer in Art of TTT.

Ocular helmet - pretty good photo on the box for the toy. Has the same horse detail ridge down the center that Eomer's has. Parts are riveted on. Celtic-inspired knot work on the brow and cheek sections. 


We've also included these comments about the leather armor, although we can't see enough of it yet to confirm or deny any of this:

Check out the Rohan section of Art of TTT for a nice concept  sketch.  It's not exact, but it gives a good feel for the piece. I think there are three main layers to this:

  • 1) the bottom layer, goes around  the body, lacing on the left side, and over the shoulders, slit at the neck that laces up;
  • 2) a...yoke? Can't for the life of me think of a better word. But it's double-layered leather from the neckline down in a v-shape. The cross-hatched strips tooled on are on this layer. Tooling doesn't go over her shoulders.
  • 3) the attached tassets.


Thanks to SunnyJim, Garfeimao, Gena, and Naomi MLB 



Construction Suggestions for Dernhelm's Breast Plate

Adam's reply to a question on how to get started....

While the basic design of the breastplate isn't that complex (less complex than the Rohan armour design sketch in your photo folder), the detailed tooling and finishing details look a little taunting. But there's some tips you might find useful.

I'd recommend a good 8/9 oz. undyed vegetable-tanned leather for the tooled sections. You could go heavier, but it'd be more expensive, and this weight should have enough body to hold up well for a costume piece. It'll probably require a really heavy-duty industrial sewing machine though, unless you're going to hand-sew the pieces together. Even a lighter 5/6 oz. tooling leather will give domestic machines trouble, and I don't know if you'd want to go much lighter than that. I won't get into how to do the actual tooling, as there are many, many books out there dedicated to the topic, and it's not easily covered in email.

You're going to want to have *all* of your tooling finished before dying and top-finishing the pieces prior to assembly; test scrap pieces of leather from the same hide with the dyes to get a feel as to how they are going to behave and how to apply them streak-free (it'd be a shame to ruin a piece you spent hours on with a bad dye job ;).. An airbrush does wonders for applying leather dyes evenly (wear a vapour mask to avoid poisoning yourself). Seal and protect the dyed finish with a clear leather acrylic finish like "Super-Sheen".

There appear to be metal plates in the rib panels and hanging panels of Eowyn's armour; if you're going to attempt this effect with Rub-n-Buff, metal leaf or other paints you can apply these after the acrylic finish has fully dried.

Seam allowances are going to need to be added if your paper or bristolboard template is assembled edge-to-edge. The tooled pieces look like they are edge-finished and top-stitched on a lap-join to other pieces (one edge simply overlapping another), like where the front pieces are attached to the front rib sections and the waistband. There also appears to be a rolled-edge or piped lining all exposed edges, even around the hanging panels in the front. A quarter-inch allowance should be plenty if your pattern is dead-on accurate. If there's some question as to how the pieces will fit together then go for a 3/8" allowance.

Something else to consider with heavier leather is the amount of inside dimension you lose when you curve it around your body. Because the leather has significant thickness, the inside surface is compressed and the outside surface is stretched when it is bent on a curve. On an average-sized breastplate I've found I need to add up to an entire inch in the overall circumference to get the fit to match measurements and the thin bristolboard template. Your mileage may vary, depending on the leather.

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This page was last updated 04/22/08