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  1. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 6, 2009, 4:42 PM - Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #1

    Hey there Zammers!

    As you know, I'm the Seattle Zam Project, running around at cons and parades this year in my version of the Zam Wesell costume. This is a really hard costume to make, to wear, and to maintain.

    I've learned a ton, just completed my 12th day of trooping in it. For SDCC, I was in it for 7 hours the first day, 8 hours the second day, and 10 hours the last day.

    So I thought I'd share what I've learned as this might help other Zammers. We have to make our costumes better than the originals because we wear them longer, and in more heat.

    Belt - as you'll notice from pics, the belt failed me at SDCC. I have lost weight and with my upcoming surgery, will change my midsection a bit more. The original belt for Zam didn't appear to be made flexible or adjustable in size.

    New plan: I'm putting a cloth military-like belt underneath the floppy ridged leather "belt" so that I can adjust it and keep it at my waist, where it belongs. Adding belt loops to the inside to keep the skirt and everything attached. That skirt is heavy and it pulls down more than you might think. (And I used a super thin leather, too.)

    Vest: THe vest refuses to stay tucked down into the belt on its own. So I am adding controls to make it fasten to the inside of the new belt array.

    Thumb guards: These pop off like freakin' crazy. I caught one in the middle of a parade halfway to the ground. Velcro keeps them on, but they are in a place that gets brushed off a lot.

    toe claws: Hey, keep checking to see if they are on. One good brush of another person's foot - or you trip on a curb or something - and you can lose a claw. The paint came off the tips of them after the second troop.

    Arm greeblie: The magnets are holding it to the sleeve, thank goodness, cause it comes untied if you look at it funny. I have a magnet in the back of the greeblie and another in the cloth pouch in the inside sleeve.

    Making the same thing for the thigh greeblie because it takes a dive off of my leg all the time.

    The neoprene is also getting fuzzies from the costume rubbing it in key spots.

    Pics upcoming. Let me know if this is helpful.

    Deunan Shiruba
    Seattle Zam Project
  2. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 6, 2009, 4:43 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #2

    Oh, pics from SDCC on my Facebook account: Deunan Berkeley. Befriend me if you haven't already!

    Deunan
  3. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Aug 7, 2009, 2:39 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #3

    I had a friend of mine there (Belle) who ran into you I believe. I haven't seen her pics yet, so I'm not sure.

    What was that saying... The best plans never make it through contact with the enemy? Something like that. Our best work doesn't make it through the first troop eh? Some of the things you mention, other Zammers have mentioned too... the weight of the skirt, the leg and arm greeblies flopping off, and the toe spike flinging off... *sighs*

    Thanks for posting these though... it will certainly help other Zammers as they plan their costumes and hopefully can plan ahead.

    No... the original belt on Zam is not adjustable in size... which stinks IMHO because, well... that just stinks. As far as the skirt weight... well, I'm stuck with what I've got. I think I'm just gonna prop myself up against a wall and stay put I already have back pain... don't even want to think where this is heading.

    The vest - I think we need to make sure our vests are longer then when we make them... or like you concoct a way to make it stay put.

    Neoprene... I knew that would be a problem...
  4. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 10, 2009, 6:33 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #4

    MaulMaus, I hear your pain. If you have a sore back, don't do the Zam costume. All the weight of the greeblies and armor in the front is either clipped into the front vest, pulling on your shoulders, or in my case, looped around the back of my neck. Then there's the skirt weight. Please please please use the thinnest leather you can find. The combined weight of all those plates and a few hours of standing up can really get to you.

    Fortunately, unlike your basic torso TK/stormtrooper, we can sit down. But you have to rearrange the vest and tuck it back in all over again.

    Since the damage thread is popular, I'm going to post pics of the damage shortly so you can see what happened. And for the record, the first troop went really well. This is the eighth troop in it. I think it's the four mile parade a few months ago that really broke in everything (including my ankles where those bolts bite in).

    Anyone found a cure for that yet? I have scars.

    Hugs
    Deunan "Shiruba"
  5. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 10, 2009, 7:33 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #5

    Okay, Zammers, here you go.























    Which is causing these scars on my ankles from the bolts inside:



    So you can see, I have some painting and fixing to do. I'm going to shorten the hoses a little and reattach them, and put a magnet in the back of the leg greeblie. Got a lot of work to do, actually.

    Open to suggestions as well. The skivver leather covering the shoes was turned silver by the rub n buff, and then peeled off slowly after miles of walking in this.

    Deunan Shiruba
  6. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 10, 2009, 7:35 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #6

    And yes, to answer that question, that is henna tattoo (temp tattoo) on my hand. I do henna on people. See my myspace at DeunanShiruba for more pics, or my Facebook (Deunan Berkeley).

    Deunan
  7. Blue's Avatar
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    Aug 11, 2009, 9:24 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #7

    I have some of the same issues you do.

    I cut the ends of the bolts off after the first time I wore them. It's made a big difference. After DC last year, I had worn a hole in the elastic on the boot.

    I plan to re-make the vest one of these days to make it longer, but have found that tucking the ends of the tie strings in the belt with the skirt on it helps to keep it in place a little better.

    And watch the toe spikes. I had one crack on me and it is constantly falling off. I almost had a kid run off with it once. We ended up using a some e6000 on it and I have had good results with it.
  8. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 11, 2009, 4:53 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #8

    Hey there Blue!

    Love your Zam kit, it looks great. I did trim the ends off of the bolts; I tried using skinnier bolts on the inside, but they wouldn't stay on and popped off a few hours into the first day. Had to switch back to the painful larger ones.

    I am planning to redo the vest completely too; also the purple dyes are fading in sunshine, despite putting protective clear gloss on the top. I'm waterproof (in Seattle, I have to be) but the sun will fade this stuff really quick!

    Thanks for the tip for the toe spikes. I'm going to try a different epoxy to get them to stay on. Also, I switched out the gloves a few troops ago to "Rose gardening" gloves, which are longer. I cut them just short of the elbow-end of the vanbraces, and now they stay tucked in rather nicely.

    If you get the gloves wet before you dye them, you can shrink them to fit your hands better, and I can even unwrap candy and shoot pictures in them now. The gloves were ten bucks at Fred Meyers, gardening section. Warning, they are tan, so they take a different shade of purple than everything else. I think I have 16+ shades going now. Formulas available if you want them.

    I also blew out (completely off) the snaps in the shins. At this point, I'm going to replace them with earth magnets. I'll post pics if anyone's curious. I'm a bit more muscley in the legs and 5'7", so I might be a bit oversize for the original cast size of the polyurethane shins.

    Deunan
  9. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Aug 16, 2009, 9:34 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #9

    Just FYI, all damage repaired (except the permanent scars on my ankles). I'll be in it at Dragon Con.

    I even squeezed in a few upgrades (new magnets on the backside of the thigh's greeblie) to help. Still futzing with the helmet to get it exactly right, though. I also shortened my hoses by 1.5" on each side, to help them stay put and look better.

    (They are attached to supersculpey plugs which are permanently attached to the "feet" shapes, which have earth magnets in them. The vest has internal pockets with receiving earth magnets in them too.) Be careful hugging people - I have enough magnets on me to mess up many credit cards!

    Deunan
    Seattle Zam Project!!
  10. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Aug 17, 2009, 3:13 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #10

    Thanks for the pics... I think! Man... I dunno... I've been trooping with troopers, Maul's, Vader's even a Tusken... but it seems like Zam get the most damage.

    I've got a harness rigged up for the front armor -like what MonCal has... I know my neck can't take the weight. As for the skirt.. it's already done and I'm not re-doing it. I'll simply not troop as long - I know I'll never do an 8-10 hour troop.

    I'm curious why you applied another layer of leather to your boots? Did you find that easier? I just painted mine with leather paint. I do have to apply those purple center stripes...
  11. Blue's Avatar
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    Aug 18, 2009, 9:35 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #11

    I painted my boots with leather paint as well. About a year later, I'm having a problem of the paint actually peeling off now. One of these days I'm going to figure out a way to re-paint the painted parts of the boots.
  12. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Aug 21, 2009, 2:47 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #12

    Hubby inserted foam inside the shins to prevent getting scars after my first hour trooping. He also casted my toe spikes in a rubbery resin that would just Twang back. hehe.Before, it was hard and rigid and broke 100% of the times that I trooped. Smooth-on makes the flexible resin. I think with the leather paint issues, you have to know how to get it it prepped real good and stripped before painting. I can't remember if it was denatured alcohol or mineral spirits or something. And leather paint is better, because it will flex with the leather. I still had cracking with mine too. But I don't think I used leather paint -can't remember. I have to get my stuff touched up for a baseball game tomorrow, hubby is throwing opening pitch
    Last edited by Zam I Am; Aug 21, 2009 at 2:54 PM.
  13. FANGS's Avatar
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    Aug 24, 2009, 3:25 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #13

    I dunno ladies....I find this to be really not a heavy costume at all. And my skirt is 8 ounce tooling leather. Perhaps with all my other gear experience I just unintentially made this thing with the weight distributed. I definitely can feel the weight of the skirt when I take it off.....but not while wearing it. And I've done parades and long wears in this thing. I haven't had the bolts dig in either so clearly I'm uber lucky there. I built this gear to withstand kids hangin' from it and long troops. My Galatic Marine is way heavier than this gear.

    Perhaps the fact that my belts and the vest do up REALLY tight.....corset like, really. I think that helps a ton with the weight. I have a harness for my chest stuff but I haven't even bothered to do it up yet!

    I'm defnitely going to cast some toe spikes out of rubber....and I'm thinking I could probably just sculpt a whole new toe cap in rubber or other flexible material to avoid that boo boo that poor Shiruba got! Yay....another winter project...hahahaha
  14. DeepCFett's Avatar
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    Aug 24, 2009, 3:53 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #14

    couldn't you use chicago screws where the bolt and nut are digging into your ankles?
  15. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Sep 8, 2009, 10:01 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #15

    Hey crew,

    Yes, the chicago screws are an excellent upgrade idea, one I'm taking to heart. Amber had them on her Zam at Dragon Con - we both did the parade as Zam, two at once!! Awesomeness!!

    As for the weight, Fangs, you are dead on. It's how tight the waist of the belt is to your body. I'm losing weight and having belly issues, of course, so that area is super touchy for the next six months, so I had to invent an adjustable belt system for the interim.

    That was a good idea but there is simply too much bulk and stuff on the waist. I'm going to go back and rethink it.

    Could zammers post pics of their skirt waist solutions? I will get pics of mine. It would help me and all the other Zammers putting this together in figuring their own solutions. There isn't one thing that will work for everybody, but we can share different ideas on this.

    Thanks for everybody's advice and help. The costume was super popular at Dragon Con, couldn't walk two feet without a photo request, and I was solo (no Jango to pose with - that would have doubled or tripled it). Regrettably, I didn't win any awards in the costume contests, but that's okay, since I got beat by some outstanding work (Big Daddy from Bioshock and full spacesuits from the first Alien movie, made out of poly padding. They were so sweaty, poor things... )

    And I made a lot of friends!

    Deunan "Shiruba"
  16. FANGS's Avatar
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    Sep 15, 2009, 3:17 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #16

    I did see you once going down and escaltor but you know what it's like trying to get to anyone at DCon. I'm sorry we didn't get to meet.
  17. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Oct 16, 2009, 1:29 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #17

    Ah bummer. Well, next time, Fangs. And I think you're dead on in that cinch it tight thing. How are you hanging the skirt from the belt and cummerbund? I'm redesigning that right now and pics would be awesome (from the inside).

    I had to add an adjustable belt, I'm changing sizes and the skirt is moving around too much.

    Deunan
  18. Jango72's Avatar
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    Oct 16, 2009, 9:14 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #18

    It's good to see that others like my chicago screw idea for attaching the boot spats to Ambers shins.

    If I come up with any more clever revelations when Amber and I are re-vamping and repairing her Zam, I'll be sure that one of us posts them up here.

    As for D-Con, it's really cool to see the parade pics of not one but two Zams! I just wish that I could've afforded to go... I could've been Ambers personal Jango photo-accessory.
  19. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Oct 17, 2009, 3:06 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #19

    LOL! All Zammers need a personal Jango Photo-Accessory!
  20. Mar 27, 2012, 6:24 AM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #20

    Hey, guys, I went trooping one time, tripped over something, and landed with my head to the sidewalk. My helmet's totally smashed up. I was wondering if any of you could/would help me make a new one.(through the thread) Thanks in advance!

    ~HothLeia109714
  21. formerly Shiruba SeattleZam's Avatar
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    Apr 6, 2012, 10:09 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #21

    Hey there HothLeia,

    Sorry to hear that you tripped, that sucks. I don't know where you'd get a new one, we haven't had many "runs" for official Zam parts, and yours was budget, right? Mine's elite, about 5,000 bucks so far and still counting, so my materials and my advice are probably going to cost too much, sorry.

    And to the rest of the thread...

    Did MORE damage this weekend at Emerald City Comic Con... huge thanks to my friends in Garrison Titan who helped patch me together long enough to last through the con. This time I ripped the zipper of the vest; I recommend you use a heavy jeans zipper or a boot zipper, NOT the small ones you get for sewing fabric at the stores. Too light for leather. Also, my ankle guards shattered in half, the old ones, so now I need to reshape the new ones to fit my not-skinny ankles and boots and then paint them up!

    Also in the works, new vest, new belt, new rifle, and replacement shirt. And my arms are too muscley to fit the Zam resin-cast vanbraces, so I may make a larger set for a wider arm. That would be summer project, so don't hold your breath. Would also like a larger fiberglass helmet - this one is better for a smaller head.

    Huge thanks to our new Jango from Cloud City who joined me for a purple/blue combo at the con. That was awesome.

    SeattleZam
  22. Apr 6, 2012, 10:39 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #22

    Thanks, SeattleZam, for your support. I'm really sorry to hear that you can't help immediatly... I was kinda hoping that I could get some help from you... I'm also sorry to hear that you Ripped the zipper to your vest and shattered your ankleguards... those might take a while to rebuild/replace. I also took another spill this week... landing hard on my elbows and knees and tearing through part of th jumpsuit. The fall also gave me roadrash on my right elbow, nothing serious, though. I'm tough... I'm fine. The costume is another story, though. Should I just sew it up or would that cost me the authenticy of the costume?
  23. Sirene's Avatar
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    Apr 23, 2012, 12:15 PM - Re: Zam Damage and Trooping Repairs #23

    It's encouraging to see people still posting in here. I just got a huge stack of materials to start making my Zam costume, but I'm still missing parts like vambraces, shin guards, toe & toe spikes. I need a good weekend where I"m not busy to sit down and take stock and figure out exactly what I need =/

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