I don't post often but I have been a member here for over 10 years and have finally achieved a wearable costume! This thread is several things:
It will help me keep track of the progress I've made and the improvements still to come.
It will let me show off to the people who will really appreciate what I'm doing.
It will allow me to publicly thank the people who have helped me in this project.
I've tried to place the moment when I decided this would be a good use of my time, but I can't pinpoint it. During the summer of 2005 I was on my own doing a biological survey. Episode III had just come out, reinvigorating my love of Star Wars. I had lots of free time, and spent most of it on the internet. At some point I discovered the 501st and realized that the guys I had seen in costume at the Magic of Myth exhibit in Toledo were not Lucasfilm employees, but fans who had actually made their own costumes. I could do that too, right? There was only one choice for me: build the most complicated costume with my zero painting, sewing, or sculpting skills!
I looked into the old Don Post and Rubies helmets and attempted scratchbuilding one:
I bought a US Army half-shelter from a local surplus store and made a cape:
In 2006 I finally spent some real money and bought a Sgt Fang mystery helmet. I started painting it by hand.
I also found some leather boots that seemed close enough for my purposes, though I wasn't sure how I would modify them yet.
At this point I slowly started buying up cheap pieces. I built my ammo belt using 99centtaco's functional wooden boxes and painted some chest/ab armor. I made little progress, but I always had that nice helmet reminding me to finish what I started.
Boba came to a halt in 2010. I got engaged, had a kid, and set the project aside. I focused on my work and taking care of my family. I intended to come back someday, but had no idea when I would be able.
At the end of 2014 I got a full-time job, and a nice raise to go with it. I now had the money and a self-imposed deadline: Star Wars: Episode VII. All I needed was approval from my family, and my wonderful fiancee and kids encouraged me to sink some time and money into the costume.
So I bought a jetpack.
And some armor from RedKraytDragon to go with a nice vest and jumpsuit from Arkady.
I worked on this thing nearly every day for the whole summer, using stormtrooperguy's paint list, and finally tried it on after 10 years of false starts, repaints, blood, burns, and paint fumes.
I got the gauntlets and boots in good enough shape to dress up for our Boo at the Zoo last weekend, so I laid it out on the bed.
And suited up!
The girls and I are doing a theme this Halloween. Can you guess what it is?
I can hear the screams of "too clean!" already, so soft parts weathering is something I have yet to tackle. Also on the list are: paint gauntlet rocket, install visor securely (still just taped), adjust helmet padding so it stops tilting due to the heavy rangefinder, get a balaclava and chin cover, finish piping and spikes on boots, adjust the knees, secure gauntlet hose inside sleeve, get the shoulder braids, paint shin tools, paint blaster rifle, install calc board into helmet, and re-glue gauntlet dart that snapped off during the zoo trip. I have a girth belt that still needs dyed, and the jetpack is not even close to being done. I would also like to have a full electronics set someday; servo, rangefinder lights, voice amp, chest display, gauntlet lights, jetpack beacon, and "radar sound."
Unfortunately, I will not be wearing the costume to The Force Awakens due to AMC theaters' costume policy. So my new goal is to eventually join the 501st. No idea when that will be, but I'm on my way.
Thanks to TK409, Sgt Fang, Rogue Studios, Arkady, redkraytdragon, stormtrooperguy and so many others who provided inspiration, encouragement, supplies, and tutorials. Finally, thanks to my loving family who supported me during this process. I don't think any of us understood how intense it would be. I'll keep you posted as I make progress.