Hello all. First topic for me. I had intended to post a WIP while I was building this but I was too busy building the thing for the Halloween deadline. Did quite make the deadline but had it well enough to sever the general public. Nobody called me on not even having the kill stripes! I have a list of like 25 things I still need to do but I'm open to feedback seeing as my goal was an adult quality suit just shrunk down. You'll see obvious things like missing kill stripes and insignias, boots, wookie braids and shin tools but I'm really curious if I totally missed anything color-wise for an ESB suit.
Here's the Halloween version:
I'm taking a hiatus for a while but I do have in mind to take him to other events with people who have a more discerning eye so I'd like to get it really dialed in - before he outgrows it...
I should also give some big thanks to this site and to Shawn Thorsson who sold me the casting of the helmet and helped me through a "stretching".
So, this all started when my boy was pestering me incessantly for a Boba Fett helmet. To get him off my back I made a really junky cardboard one. A couple weeks later we were at the Maker Faire and ran into Mr. Thorsson's costume booth with all manner of Halo costumes and friends dressed in them. I mentioned that my boy had gone nuts over Boba Fett and I was told that Shawn had done a kid's size helmet. Got in contact, bought the helmet and did the stretching to make it fit. At that point, it was obvious that the rest of the costume was going to have to be of some quality so I dusted off my rusty old scratch built model building skills along with my 30 year old airbrush and compressor. Nice thing is: as an adult, I've got way more tools in the garage and resources to buy what I needed. I also had to get some rudimentary sewing skills together since I couldn't expect to have anything pre-made in his size. I will kill myself if there are kits available for this stuff! Oh well, got to try out some new techniques.
I'm not sure if any of these techniques will come in handy for anyone and they may be old-hat or just not the easiest way to do things but since I was familiar with building plastic models, I went with styrene and acrylic for the armor and jet pack. Mostly from Tap Plastics with some Plastruct pieces. The great thing for a lot of applications here was how the different size tubes fit into each other. For little things like the flame thrower tips and for bigger things like the rocket.
I rushed the proportions on the gauntlets a bit but found a handy little thing at Tap - spring loaded hinges. Completely solved my clipping issue since the spring load keeps them closed. One thing I still need to do there is a make an elastic wrist band with some velcro to hold it in place.
The proportions on the jet pack went a little better although I missed one fundamental measurement by about 3/4 inches. Otherwise, I think they're pretty good. I basically looked at the size of the pack in relation to the shoulder width and measured what I thought would be the equivalent size then measured that width in my boy's shoulders and came up with an 11" wide pack. Then from there, I made a printout of the back and printed a little scaled down ruler I could use to size up everything on the pack. Things worked out really well because the main tubes were landing right around the sizes that were available.
Bending and forming plastic was a new thing for me and I used a heat gun to do it. Had a few tricky compound curves and cuts that intersected with rounds like the top of the pack where the center tube comes out. I already have a band saw, dremel and belt/disk sander and those things were absolutely necessary to do it this way. I may make a small vacuum for table at some point just for fun. Been researching it. Don't have a lot of room in my shop though.
One thing that was new for me which I worked out myself was a method of making cone shapes. I didn't have any kind of lathe or anything so what I did was make a form with a tube and round pieces on each. Then sand the bevel on each piece spinning it against the disc sander. The tube shape was achieved by rolling a sheet of this plastic into 3 layers glued to each other. I found that just rolling onc piece into three layers was better than trying to single layers. Too many seams with single layers. The final seam wasn't too hard to deal with since the laminated plastic could be filed and sanded. I did get a fair amount of warping though so I had to really bondo up a few of them. Although, a little of the still visible warping kind of adds a little character.
For the really shallow cones like the 4 side caps I made a lower circle out of plastic, glued a tube to the middle then built the cone out of bondo. Piece of cake there. Worked great since the plastic was hard enough to serve as a guide.
Doing the balls on the jet pack were a little tricky. I used Tap's acrylic balls. Made a centering jig out of wood and used my circle template to mark of the 90 degree marks. To make them movable, I used a tension spring with a 1/4 20 lag bolt and a lock nut on the other end. Works well and shouldn't ever wear out tension-wise. Used to do this with pen springs on the guns on my spaceship models and I still have one built in 1983 that's still nice and tight. I used the Dremel and some hand files to cut out the cross pattern but went a little too big on that and found out when the cones went on. Next time I'd get the cones sized up before doing the carving.
The stabilizer was made with a cut off sex bolt for strength and the beacon was made from pieces of acrylic tube. The cap just press fits into the stalk. Slight lathe work done on the drill and belt sander.
Painting was fun but more rushed than I wanted it to be. I didn't get to put the insignias or kill stripes on and didn't spray any weathering on or do any dry brush or wash effects. This was the first time I'd used liquid mask and I loved it. I used Microscale and found it easier if I put it on a little thick. I do wish it was a little more opaque so you could see the design of the scratches. Those scratches are a bit of an art form of their own. One problem I had was that the yellow on my armor pulled off with the mask so I ended up with just green and silver armor. I'll probably correct that with a brush which isn't really ideal. We'll see on that. It will definitely get more weathering though.
By the way, does anyone have artwork for all the insignias on the helmet and jet pack? I saw the ones for the armor which are perfect. I'd like to shrink them and print on decal paper. Used this stuff for another application and it's really great stuff.
Otherwise, this is where I'm at with this. I just realized that I don't have any closeups of anything painted. I'll add those tomorrow. Any tips and critiques are appreciated. Thanks again everyone!