The Demonic Gladiator by the Lord of Outlaw Leather

Introduction: The Demonic Gladiator by the Lord of Outlaw Leather

I've been working with leather since 1987 and I haven't stopped since. 2 years ago I decided to create my own halloween costume entirely from the ground up using only my imagination and whatever I had at hand, meaning, leather, hardwear, dyes and various objects of interest that I could work into my costume. Lucky for me I had the foresight to photograph a few things as my project took off and the Demonic Gladiator was born.
I 1st started with just a motorcycle helmet and a pair of deer horns, which I dyed ox blood red. The concept of the helmet came from the movie, {GLADIATOR, staring Russell Crowe} I cut out 4 large lightening bolts, 2 on each side in the front. I covered the helmet with leather, crossing the horns and braiding them onto the helmet with lace that I made and adding studs, spikes, hair, outter fangs made from horn tips, front fangs {teeth} made from leather & LED lights for eyes which I can switch on & off just by a flick of my head. The lights are mini Max finger mounted saftey lites by {ionLite} They have a 3 click setting for steady, slow flash & fast flash, mounted right above my vision of sight. I then built an inner mask with round & diamond studs, that goes on my face first under the helmet mask. I added  black fringe taken off an old suede jacket for a bearded effect. The entire theme behind this costume is {The Lightening Bolt} As you can see on every piece of the costume. The long black hair is from a wig I found that someone threw away. It also happens to be real hair. How cool is that...
Next came the wide collar that I wear around my neck. I took old spanish styled twisted chains from hanging lamps that I have and used those for that, {Keep your dog on a chain} look. Each side of the collar has two, 2ft chains attached to it also for that haunting chain rattleing sound. The collar locks in place by 3 snaps and a dee ring.
Then came the upper armor consisting of rolled leather for horns on the shoulders & back. Two carved lightening bolt dragons on the front {see picture below} and two lightening bolts carved on the back and just about every concho I had in stock as well as most of my Dee Rings for the armor effect.
The lower skirt consist of 2-20 inch x 8 inch pieces of 8/9 oz leather that fold around my hips and 24 1-1/2 inch wide, x 14 inch long leather tassels, each having a lightening bolt cut into the tips. The lightening bolts were dyed red while the rest of the skirt was dyed coal black. I used dee rings for belt loops as well as attaching the lower tassels.
The belt is 2 inches wide and has 16 skulls carved on it in great detail and each skull is totally different from the other. On the tongue tip of the belt is my logo of a screaming skull & crossbones. The buckle I made back in 1987 while I was in a hobby program.
The grives, a.k.a. {knife guards} attache to my forearms and are held in place by 3 straps & buckles.
The frankenstine style boots I created last year. Using an old knee high moccasin patteren & 4 inch x 13 inch blocks of wood cut into the shape of my foot, {size 13} for a taller effect.  I lined the inside with a synthetic sheep wool, for comfort, added chains, spikes & studs, laced up both sides and using diamond studs I placed a 11 inch high cross on the front of each boot. I also incorporated, {after tearing apart an old garden weasel I had} a pair of medieval looking spurs  on the heels of each boot so that whenever I walk, each spur spins with every step I take.  The bottoms of each boot have rubber non-skid soles taken off old sandles. Those combined with the ratteling of the chains really let'um know that I'm coming and to step aside. The spurs are held in place by drilling 1 inch wide x 4 inch long deep holes in the backs on the wooden blocks, then scured by screws & liquid nails. The blocks are held together by metal straps and surrounded by 9 oz belt leather using contact cement & flathead screws. Each boot weighs about 10 pounds plus. Bringing this costume to a total grand weight of 68 pounds. But since the costume is distributed over my entire body, it really dosen't feel that heavy to me when wearing it..
The gloves are just a plain set of $20 motocross gloves that I dressed up with spikes & studs.
My Roman style short sword is made of harden plastic with a leather braided handle and I use my helmet as the sheath. I can draw my sword from between the horns on my head and put it back just as quick, without even looking, than I could if the sword sheath was at my side. It's a very unique, 1 of a kind feature of this costume I might add, and discovered totally by accident.
Overall height of this costume, from the tip of the horns to the bottom of my boots, I stand a whopping 6 foot 8 inches. I used countless rivits, dee rings, spikes, contact cement, super glue, studs of all kinds, eyelets, conchos, buckles, deer & goat horns, leather gauging from 2/3 oz to 7/9oz, suede, liner, homemade lace, dyes, I punched all my own holes, made my own lace, cut all my own patterens and the intire project took me just a little over 2 weeks total over-all time spent, {but over a period of two years} to finish. Believe it or not. But when you've worked with leather as long as I have, then you can do stuff like this. All it takes is the right material and a whole lot of imagination.
Thus was born, the DEMONIC GLADIATOR... Created by The Lord of Outlaw Leather.
Im sure I left a few things out, but if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
Good luck everyone, J.T.

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    John T. Luker

    The over-all cost of this entire costume ran me about $250 in material. I've made that back 3 x's over so far in cash contest prizes over the past 2 halloweens. If I were ever to sell this costume, {which I never will} I would have to ask at least a minimum of $1,500,00 for it. It's proven it self as a 1st place winner two years running.