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.
Early version of the Rey Staff
Designing an updated Rey Staff
Working on details for the Rey Staff
Second Version of the Rey Staff
Staff splits into multiple pieces
Final version of the Rey Staff
Final version of the Rey Staff
Bouschh (Leia) staff design
A customer sent me this photo which includes my Boushh staff prop.
Desiging Chirrut's chest box
After 3D printing, sanding, and filling, prep for molding
Design for Chirrut's gauntlet
Chirrut's chest box and gauntlet casting
Detail of gauntlet casting
Tall mold for bottom half of Chirrut's staff
Finished Chirrut staff
Chirrut staff detail
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.
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.
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
Dang, my costume looks tough! Fierce, even.
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.
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.]
I started by cutting out the chest piece from 1/2" foam.
Adding details with a Dremel tool
Using a heat gun to shape the piece and seal the foam a bit.
Painting the armor with black plasti-dip to finish the seal on the foam.
Cutting the thigh armor.
Thigh armor detailed out
Armor has been fitted to my legs and connected on the back side.
Preparing the elbow armor.
I used a second piece of foam glued to the back to give these pieces some dimension.
Cutting out the robe fabric.
Cutting the hood material.
Beginning work on the top half of the gauntlets.
Using the heat gun to shape the piece and tape to hold the shape.
Adding details to the gauntlets - thin craft foam is perfect for this.
Upper gauntlets sprayed with plasti-dip
Working on the hand armor.
So happy with the way these turned out. Once they're painted, they look vicious!
Trying things on.
Trying out the silver Rub n' Buff
Working on the harness for the chest piece.
Cutting the belt buckle.
Cutting out the pouches.
Making bottom halves for the gauntlets.
Connecting up the gauntlets.
Gluing all the foam details to my tactical gloves.
After some work, I decided to connect an abdomen/codpiece component directly to the chest piece.
After a test fit, I determined that my chest piece was too wide and too tall. Here are the pieces that I cut off.
Building pauldrons for my shoulders.
Without a doubt, the hardest part of the costume were the lower leg pieces.
After a couple of failed attempts, I decided to go with a solid piece that would open up with a zipper.
Wish that I had installed this zipper higher on the leg or the zipper was longer. It's very difficult to get these on, but they work. :)
Adding details to the leg pieces
Additional parts for the lower legs.
Adding Rub n' Buff
Finished legs! Finally!
Rough cutting some three-layered foam for the belt canister.
Got a tip to use cheap concrete boots. Ended up cutting off the uppers and leaving them like a slip-on shoe.
Covering the shoe with craft foam.
Using fabric paint to paint the sleeves.
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:
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!
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:
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).
This gray sparkly boot was pretty far from what we needed, but some brown spray paint did the trick nicely.
Masking off the soles and insides of the boot – to get them ready to paint.
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.
Spray painting the black leggings with brown spray paint.
Preparing the “leather” parts. Here I’m making the upper part of the boots.
Drawing out the first dagger.
I clamped the boards together and used a reciprocating saw to cut them out. (One day I’ll have a ban saw.)
Shaping out the top dagger using a sander.
Cutting notches using a box cutter.
Finishing out the details of the dagger.
After applying spray paint.
The finished costume!
*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.