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Mad people forge actual WOW Epics

Paladin Tier 2 armour set, since you asked.

The official World of Warcraft website has a remarkable interview with a group of German blacksmiths called BattleHeat today; and an even more remarkable set of photographs.

BattleHeat has created a full set of Epic-quality armour from the game: specifically, the second-tier set for the Paladin class. This is no papier-maché cosplay fake, however. This is real armour, made from steel, brass and leather. Be sure to scroll down and click on "Ready for battle" near the bottom of the page, to see the set in its full glory. Also note "The plate sabotons".

"In total we spent several hundred hours on the tier 2 set for the Paladin," revealed BattleHeat's Tobias in the interview. "The mighty shoulders with the big books and the daggers, which we created out of brass, were especially hard to do. Additionally the shoulders have a substructure to make them lead out as far as they do for a Human Paladin in the game. It was very important for me, that at the end the proportions would be really exact," he added.

So how much does all this weigh? "A full armour normally starts, depending on the strength of the material, at about 20 kg," said Tobias. "An extra heavy version can be at about 35 kg. A typical Night Elf bikini armour has consequently less weight of course," he reasoned.

Asked if he had any further WOW projects in the works, Tobias said, "Personally, I'm hugely fascinated by the Death Knight; I love to include embossed skulls in armours." Each to their own.