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Here’s How They Made Hera’s Insanely Cool Headdress in Thor: Ragnarok

One of the coolest effects in Thor: Ragnarok is sartorial (of sorts)—it’s the first moment Hera (Cate Blanchett) reveals her wicked, horned headdress to brothers Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). This is a very early scene in the movie, after the siblings do a little catching up. Hera calmly tells the fellas to kneel to their new queen, and when they demure, she unveils the form she takes when she’s ready to do battle—headdress and swords complete the look—and things quickly go downhill for the Asgardian brothers from there.

The gang at Tested hit this year’s DesignerCon, where they met the costume and prop fabricators at Ironhead Studio, the folks who created Hela’s fantastic headdress. The children of Odin are not new to fancy helmets. Ironhead also made Thor’s helmet, and Loki’s audacious horned headgear as well, but as Ironhead’s Jose Fernandez explains, Hera’s was a few notches above even those. Fernadez walks them through how they created Hera’s intimidating look, with a helmet that’s made using practical effects—although you may be mistaken and assume the headdress is entirely CGI, very often what you see Hera wearing on screen is real. The CGI comes in when the headdress grows the horns—the finished product is real, physical helmet Blanchett wore. The helmet is made of primarily of carbon fiber, which made it light enough for Blanchett to wear comfortably (it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of four pounds). Marvel wanted the helmet to be modular, so they could remove some of the horns as Hera battles her way throughout the film.

The helmet was then 3D printed, allowing Ironhead to create a bunch of different helmets, with different finishes, and then their painter comes in to layer the helmet in lots of layers, up to ten, which gives the helmet an otherworldly feel.

Ironhead worked on Black Manta, the villain in Aquaman, which Fernandez said is very excited for folks to see that imagery come out.

For now, check out how Fernandez and his team gave Hera those nasty horns. Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.

Featured image: Cate Blanchett is Hera in Thor: Ragnarok. Courtesy Marvel/Walt Disney Studios

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