Making Star Wars Props

Not sure why I’ve never mentioned it here, but for the past year, during the evenings and the weekends, I’ve been selling Star Wars props online. What began with working with sheet plastic and foam and cobbling together found objects to make various props has transitioned into learning 3D design, silicone molding, and resin casting. It’s required a ton of problem solving and learning new skills, but it’s also been the fulfillment of a dream that I’ve had for several years.

I don’t plan on overtaking this blog with prop designs that I’ve made, but it might happen. Until then, for those who are interested, you can get updates on my Facebook page.

 

Halloween 2015

Once again, my wife, kids, and I dressed up in new homemade Star Wars costumes that I created over the last few weeks. Like before, it was a ton of work and a ton of fun.

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From left to right: Ahsoka Tano (from the animated Clone Wars series), young Jedi, Rey (from upcoming Star Wars movie), another young Jedi, Sith Acolyte Eradicator (from a Star Wars video game that I’ve never played), and Luke Skywalker

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Dang, my costume looks tough! Fierce, even.

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And a huge dose of adorable cuteness.

For photos of our last family-wide Star Wars costume fun, go here.

For photos of my Sith Acolyte costume build, go here.

Sith Acolyte Eradicator Costume

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For several years, since I first started working on my Boba Fett costume, I’ve thought it would be fun to build a costume that would be worthy of joining the 501st. If you’re not familiar with the 501st, it’s a international volunteer Star Wars costuming organization. It’s the organization that provides characters to zoos, events, hospital visits to sick kids, and even the characters at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends.

The only problem is that the 501st are very picky about costume details, and I knew that I would have to spend several hundred dollars to finish out my Boba Fett costume. Instead, I decided to sell off the parts and use the money I made to build a new costume. The character I picked was the Sith Acolyte Eradictor from one of the Star Wars video games (that I’ve never played).

Basically, I wanted to carry a lightsaber and wear a mask. And this guy looks awesome. In fact, I think he might be able to take Boba.

Well, after many hours of work, I’ve finally completed my costume, and this afternoon we did a little photo shoot. This evening I submitted my application for the 501st. :)

I made everything except for the mask and the lightsaber. Below, I’ve posted a bunch of photos that I took during the build. As you hover over these images, you should see some notes related to each.

[update 11/2/15: My costume didn’t get 501st approval. Plan on working on an updated set of armor over the next few months.]

Thanks for checking things out! Hopefully I get some good news on my costume approval soon!

If you’re interested in seeing more things like this that I’ve built, check out the category here.

And here’s all the parts bagged up into two large suitcases for the photo shoot:

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Millennium Falcon – for the Kids

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After a bit of an intervention from my wife a few days ago, I have come to realize that I’m a bit of a project junkie. And especially if that project has to do with cosplay, prop making, Star Wars, or Lord of the Ring, I’m hooked. I mean, really. I have almost zero resistance to such urges.

Though I’m an addict, I find a huge amount of creative joy when working on projects of this sort. So when I decided to use my free time over a week to put together a Millennium Falcon cockpit playhouse for my children, I had a blast. And if my son sleeping inside of it whenever he gets a chance is any indication of how much he likes it, then I think it was well worth the effort.

Someone also recently showed me an inexpensive way to tie audio to multiple buttons, so that’s probably an addition that’s happening in the near future as well. How fun!

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For a full writeup of the instructions I made and photos I took while putting the thing together, go here.

In addition, this project has been featured in several blogs, including:

comicbook-com

instructables

make

nerd-approved

technobob

Paper Skull Mask

Skull-head selfie.

Since I’ve been pretty useless with the kids the past two years at Halloween, dressed up like Boba Fett, my wife asked me to do something different this year. I figured I wouldn’t dress up at all until I saw this amazing paper skull mask template on one of my favorite blogs. Like the instructions say, it took about 3 hours to complete, and it’s wonderful.

I didn’t intend this to be a creepy mask, but in the dark, it’s a little terrifying. I think that I’ll probably end up making paper fox masks for Keri and I instead.

Boba Fett Scratchbuilt Jetpack

It’s been a couple of years since I built my Boba Fett suit, but over the last few weeks I’ve been working on a jetpack. There’s a reason that I put this part off – it’s an incredibly difficult part to build from scratch. But since the unpainted resin kit costs $350, I chose to make the pack out of sintra and upholstery tubing which I managed to pick up for free. Other than that, it was just the cost of Bondo, spray paint, some wooden balls, liquid mask, and a few wooden dowels.

This was my first time to do something so elaborate, but I’m very pleased with the results.

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For a full writeup, see my full list of instructions on Instructables.

This project has been featured on:

instructables laughing-squidfashionably-geekmakeadafruittechnobob

Tauriel – Fighting Elf Lady Costume Instructions

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Both my daughter and oldest son decided that they wanted to dress up as Lord of the Rings characters for their birthdays. My son’s costume (Frodo) was easy to pull together using a costume and elements I bought online, but when my daughter decided she wanted to dress up as Tauriel, the fighting elf lady from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies*, I discovered that there aren’t great costumes for that character.

So, I made it myself using some wood, an old green shirt, some fake vinyl leather (on hand from my Boba Fett costume), and a store-bought leggings and boots (both on clearance).

 

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This gray sparkly boot was pretty far from what we needed, but some brown spray paint did the trick nicely.

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Masking off the soles and insides of the boot – to get them ready to paint.

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I used one of my daughter’s shirts as a starting point for the dress. We were very limited on fabric, so I ended up using pretty much every bit of my old shirt.

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Spray painting the black leggings with brown spray paint.

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Preparing the “leather” parts. Here I’m making the upper part of the boots.

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Drawing out the first dagger.

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I clamped the boards together and used a reciprocating saw to cut them out. (One day I’ll have a ban saw.)

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Shaping out the top dagger using a sander.

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Cutting notches using a box cutter.

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Finishing out the details of the dagger.

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After applying spray paint.

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The finished costume!

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*My kids have never seen any of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movies. They’re still pretty terrified to even watch Disney movies right now. But we have read all the books together.

Here’s some additional pics of my son’s Frodo costume.

Star Wars Costumes

For photos of the work in progress, go here.

Boba Fett Costume Build

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been building a Boba Fett costume for Halloween. It began with my wife’s innocent comment that it would be fun to dress up as Star Wars characters as a family, and when the costume I bought online didn’t live up to my expectations, I began to research how I might build my own costume. Fortunately, there’s a ton of great tips online, and I quickly found myself totally hooked. I love a good project, and without a doubt, this has been the best project I’ve ever attempted.

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Below are photos of my costume through the process. I’ll continue to update this post as I add new components.

Rather than just serving as an example of my compulsiveness, I hope that others attempting to build a Boba Fett costume might find some ideas here and avoid some problems I encountered.

Pics of completed costume here.