Cosplay Construction Spotlight: An Inquisitors Boots and Armor

Nobody expects the Inquisition: Lets explore the leatherwork creation process of JAFantasyArt’s Inquisitor Adrastia!

Top image: Inquisitor Adrastia by JAFantasyArt. Image by Daniel Grove Photography

Welcome to the Cosplay Artist Spotlight!

My chief weapons are surprise and fear.

— Attributed to Inquisitor Adrastia, Ordo Hereticus

This week we dive deep into the Ordo Hereticus, taking a close look at the construction process for the Inquisitor Adrastia created by artist JAFantasy Art. This artist delves deep into her creation process and inspiration for us, so we’re doing a three part feature of her complete build and technique. Check out her Cosplay and contact her for your next Warhammer 40k Cosplay project!


The Inspiration

“Inquisitor Adrastia is a character I have wanted to cosplay since I first played Dawn of War 2 Retribution years ago in college. At the time, I knew I would not be able to do it the justice it deserved, so I put it in my list of costumes to make “eventually”. For PAX south every year, my partner and I make and debut a new costume and we usually end up rushing and getting them done in 3-4 weeks. The first step was collecting screenshots from different angles, which was easy with the game camera. The box art also gave me a lot of inspiration. I tracked the hours on this build and it totaled up to about 180 hours of work, and about 80 hours of 3D printing.”

The Boots

I initially wanted to make the boots from scratch, but was getting down to about the two week mark and decided to instead order some cheap thigh high pleather clubbing boots. They were a little too high, so I cut them down to the shape I needed.  The most tedious part was all the straps on the sides of the boots; I cut, slicked, dyed, and riveted fourteen straps to the sides.

The metallic toppers above the knees are also leather that I designed to match the concept art.  Asymmetry is something I absolutely love in a costume, even at such a small level.  One of the knee caps is adorned with a skull and star decoration.
The armor plates on the top of the foot are made from foam.  I considered making them from leather but I needed some thickness to balance out the size of the foam gorget around the neck. The foam pieces (foot covers) were relatively quick. I use foam from TNT Cosplay Supply and my favorite adhesive is Barge cement.  Same as with the leather, I make the pattern, cut it out and instead of riveting or sewing, I glue the pieces together. They are each three layers, cut and glued together, then shaped with a heat gun. The foam is then sprayed with a rubber coating called Plastidip that makes it take paint evenly. The final step is paint. I like to dust the edges with a little silver to give them more dimension and bring out the details.

Pro-tip:  Try to break your cosplay shoes in over the course of a couple weeks before your convention.  Otherwise you could hurt your feet, knees, and back wearing them for too long.

The Armor

Overall the process was the same for the chest piece.  But the most difficult part was patterning it in paper on a mannequin.

The overall shape of the chest plate is complicated because not only is it 8 layers, it is made to give the impression of extreme posture. The cups on the chest pieces are made of a thermoplastic called Worbla.

I tried to shape leather cups but with the crease up the center, I couldn’t get it to look right. Things don’t always work out the way you plan so it is good to improvise.


The foam pieces (The neck gorget), were relatively quick. I use the same foam as the boots, and the Barge Cement.  Pattern, cutting, sewing, gluing, all as pictured above.  Then the Plastidip, and done! All ready for paint.



The Artist

If you are interested in learning more about leather-working, chatting about the process or want to commission a piece of your own, you can reach anywhere on social media or on the web at:

~Join us Friday for more Cosplay! Coverage~

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  • Simon Chatterley

    I’m not really into the whole cosplay thing but I do appreciate the effort that goes into the costumes and like to look at the work.

    Even by my less than knowledgeable eye this is an insane level of detail. Most people I see use foam….actually doing it with leather is near artisan level of cosplay no?

    Someone you knows their stuff on this please let me know!

    • Absolutely. This artist has a business that does custom leather work for clients. She is absolutely a professional with an amazing eye for detail.

      • Simon Chatterley

        Yeah I thought that when I read the previous hat article. Amazed by the level of detail and quality of the work.