Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

  1. #1
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    So awhile back, after seeing the amazing Mandalorian armor people have made, I decided I would do up a kit for myself. So far, it has proven to be no less than a challenge, but most important, it has been a learning experience. It first started with a full jango-style suit that I made out of cardboard for a parade. After receiving a dozen compliments from people, I decided that it would soon be time to upgrade to a full armored, non-cardboard suit. that is where I experienced the most difficulty. After spending hours looking online for plastic sheets, Sintra and PVC, I could find none in my price range: $50-. I have fairly limited amounts of credits to shell out on a kit like this so I've been picking up little bits here and there from junkyards and thrift stores but the armor itself still evaded me...


    Recently, I discovered some 6" PVC pipe below the deck of my house, I guess I had forgotten it all along. That said, I cut it apart and unfolded it with a heat gun, ran it through a ban saw, sanded it and molded it again. My first trial produced two shoulder bells. The second yielded two of the breast plates and a boot plate. At present, I have the full chest armor rig with the boot plates and a thigh piece. The pipes aren't big enough for the back plate and it will be a challenge building the cod and the knees and possibly even the shins (getting that ridge in them along the front).

    I am creating this thread as both a tutorial for PVC pipe armor and for some help and advice, as this is my first full attempt at a Mercs grade costume....

    Right now, I have a dark blue jumpsuit, two rubber Boba Fett-looking boots which I found at a thrift store, a leather belt with some ammo cases which I built out of wood (two look like clone trooper belt cases) and a helmet which I built out of cardboard. I have painted up a DL-44 and a nerf gun, now a JAS-77, and have a DC-15s in the works.

    I'm curious, has anyone ever tried this before? Also, can anyone reccommend a technique or supplier for a backplate, cod plate and knee armor and guantlets (all jango-style or similar)?
    Any help is appreciated and I would like to especially thank WoF for the excellent templates. Without them, this project would not exist.


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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Wil's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    My entire chest and back set up is made out of a PVC pipe...! Great material... Little harder to work with than Sintra but much more sturdy...! For the back plate I went with a segmented look because, like you said, the pipe isn't big enough...

    I also made the knee armor with the pipe... I followed WOF templates... Boba style though, but you shouldn't have any problems with the Jango ones.

    Great work so far!! And that blaster rifle is SUH-WEET!!!!

  3. #3
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Thanks! I might do a thread on the rifle later. I am considering molding up the parts and casting them in plastic, resin or hard rubber, but I don't want to promise anything yet...

  4. #4
    spectre312's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    dude, that helmet is ****'n BOSS! I love the work you're doing! You're absolutely on the right track in every way. I would love to see a WIP on that rifle also, it's great work. Keep us posted, if i don't see updates on this I will cry in public.

  5. #5
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    I wish I could've updated this earlier. I am disappointed by my own lack of progress on this project so far. I have had to balance a lot of work that I have rarely had a chance to do much to the armor. I am pleased to announce, though, that I have finished the shaping of the right thigh plate and have cut out one of the shin plates as well as all of the parts to build one of the knee plates. I still have one 4' section of pipe to hack apart now which I am hoping will be sufficient for the other shin plate and cod plate. I find it aggravating that there are these two rows of holes every six or so inches down the pipe, thus limiting me to using only half of the full plastic of the pipe, but I should have enough. I am going to try to unroll the third pipe tonight and I will try to cut out the cod plate.
    The trouble that I am finding with the shin plate and shaping it is how to get that front ridge on. I am thinking of glueing it down before I shape it, but in the process I may weaken the bond and it just falls off. If I put it on later, it is gonna be a pain in the shebs to get to properly match up with the rest of the plate.

    Next, assembling the knees is also vexing me. Same issue, glue now or later and how do I secure the bottom curved part of the main front knee plate?

    Once I have all of the parts cut and shaped, the only piece I am going to lack will be gauntlets. Does anyone know a good supplier of reliable guantlets that are fairly inexpensive? I don't need any particular style or paint scheme, just something that looks Mandalorian. As for the backplate, I don't think that I will have enough plastic, even for the segmented look (excellent idea though). I will either have to buy one or purchase a sheet of plastic, which may put me out of funds. That or I hope my shredded cape will be enough to cover up my back. Speaking of which, I loathe that vomit green of the cape and kama. They just don't match the blue of the flightsuit. I tried to darken them, but ran out of dye in the process. I will just have to accept them as a gray-green which isn't too bad, I just hope it doesn't ruin the look of the rest of the suit. I used to have a green flightsuit that matched the helmet, but alas, it no longer fits me like it used to.


    Also, thank you guys for your support and comments! I really appreciate them. Also, as for the helmet, I may do a mini section about it in a future update. I went with the skull-like visor both because I like the look of it, and it was the only thing that was small enough to accomodate the shard of clear black platic that I found in a parking lot. I recently added some scratches over the visor to cover up some cracks in the bondo and to symbolize the stripes of the GAR airborne, part of the character's backstory.

    Anyway, enough with the chatter, here are some pictures of the current kit:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails full-kit-october-2nd-jpg   upper-kit-october-2nd-jpg   tracing-templates-jpg  

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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Wil's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    I really like paint and weathering on that bucket!!!! Well done sir!

  7. #7
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Thanks! To be honest, most of the weathering on the helmet was by accident. I was intending to paint the cheeks black, but the paint went on too thick and it was dripping, so, to avoid getting an uneven effect on the cheek plate, I brushed off those parts with some paint thinner. After seeing that result, I painted the whole helmet black, the brushed over it with a sock dipped in more paint thinner. To add a grease effect, I made a heavy black wash that I dripped over the helmet, then I brushed every corner with some silver paint. On top of that, I added 5775, the last four numbers of my character's assigned GAR number: CT 0112/5775. With that came a blood handprint. For that I painted my hand red, added a little water, slapped it on the helmet, then used a red wash to get the blood dripping effect. I dry brushed some red on around the handprint to get a blood spray/splatter effect. Lastly, I added some campaign tallies and my tri-blade clan symbol while also darkening the green that I had painted on the face plate. Here are some pictures of the evolution of the helmet, unfortunately, I never took any when I was building the cardboard frame of it as I was both too impatient and was pretty sure that I would fail (I had attempted this project three times, the end result being a mangled chunk of cardboard and hot glue. This one's success is due in part to the visor, if it was a full T shape, the cheek area would cave in on the helmet unless I got a visor in there quickly, which would've upped the project cost as well as made painting a bit more difficult for a project that might not succeed. Besides, I like commander Neyo's helmet visor design and decided to reflect that in the helmet.).


    I also completed my belt last night. I attached the kama and boxes to it along with 4 blaster bolt heat sinks in the back. Tell me what you guys think.
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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:39 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    DANG! loooking awesome! really digging the dome!

  9. #9
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Over the course of the last week, I wasn't able to get much done, however, I was able to make a few new bits of armor. The first and most major of my accomplishments were the construction of a cod plate, a shin plate and some hand guards. All of these except for the cod plate have remained unpainted (I'll get to it...eventually). So, as for the painting, I have made excellent progress, so good, that everytime I get up in the morning, I must pick it up, try it on and make sure that it is still PVC and not hammered steel. I took the original chrome painted parts from the previous updates and slathered them in a heavy black acrylic wash. To top off the effect, I lightly dabbed them with a paper towel, so the pattern on the towel would rub off onto the paint and acrylic wash. When the wash dried, I was left with some stunning armor plates that were a lot duller, but still retained enough shine to look like metal. The pattern on the armor gave it a hammered look aided by the non-uniformities in the shaping of the PVC already. To finish the effect, I used an orange acrylic wash to add a small amount of rust to the plates, specifically where the plates would hold water and rub against each other. As a personal touch, I added the two green stripes of the 507th Airborne Legion to the right chest plate, collar plate and thigh armor.
    I was also able to pick up another bottle of paint so I can now darken the kama (unfortunately I will have to disassemble it again for the third time) and I plan to darken the belt and buckle as well. Speaking of which, can anyone recommend a method of weathering the buckle?
    Going on, I still need to find a source for gauntlets or gauntlet materials as well as a backplate. Any help is always appreciated!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails full-kit-weathered-rusted-jpg   painted-fresh-cod-plate-2-jpg   weathered-rusted-boot-plate-jpg  

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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM.

  10. #10
    Wil's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Really like that heavy weathered bare metal look!! Has a cool Iron Man MK1 feel to it...!!

  11. #11
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Wil, and anyone else who can help, what method did you use to attach part #2, (in your case, #2 and #3/the lower lip on the front knee plate), to the rest of the knee. I just got around to shaping the left knee today and came across this little obstacle.

    On another note, as a mini update, I will share my plans for the knee plate tools. I am currently considering adding in place of the dart launcher on one of the knees a knife, like the guantlet blade in Republic Commando except on the knee. I was thinking something along the lines of either a retractable or fold-out blade, but will settle for a stationary one. On the other knee would either be a modified dart launcher or a small ammo pouch/magazine. What are your opinions and has anyone ever tried this before?

    Thanks for all of your help with this project so far. I appreciate all of the comments and feedback. Keep it up. At the current rate, I hope to have this armor done by Halloween (though, my flak jacket will need some work and might not be done in time...)
    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:42 PM.

  12. #12
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Ai'ght, this weekend's progress is as follows:

    -Both shin plates formed, sanded, primed, painted, weathered and striped (see picture)
    -Begun work on backpack (see picture), also can't decide on the solid one, or the soft, green army bag
    -Worked on flak jacket (nearly complete, save for armor attachment materials)
    -Cut, trimmed and sanded all of the parts for the knee plates

    So, not too much has changed, armor plate wise, 'scept I added a green stripe down the front ridge, matching the armor with my helmet. I also added green to the ridge on the cod plate as well as one of the shoulder bells (just as a comparison, but I think they're gonna stay that way).

    I've also been meaning to darken the color of my kama, as I recently got a new bottle of black paint. During the week, I kinda got sidetracked, hooked on "The Old Republic fever", and built a model of Darth Revan's helmet. Also, I was able to cut out all of the parts needed to make the knee plates. I'm stuck right now trying to figure out how to assemble the lower lip of the front plate (parts 1 & 2 on WoF Jango Templates). Right now, I have in mind a plastic welder, but that'll cost more than I have budgeted for. I could do it, but I was wondering if there were any more ways that would produce a result just as strong if not stronger. I really need some advice as time to Halloween is growing thin and there is still much work to do on my cape, kama, belt, Deece, flighsuit and flak jacket. Again, thank you for everyone who has offered advice and feedback, I really appreciate it.

    -Also found a Hasbro E-11b in my garage, I weathered that up. In terms of size, about how accurate is the rifle (out of curiosity)?

    -Lastly, what is the best method for armor-vest attachment? Snaps?, Velcro?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cod-plate-green-detail-2-jpg   cod-plate-green-detail-jpg   darth-revans-helmet-2-jpg  

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    Last edited by CT01125775; Nov 5, 2012 at 9:54 PM.

  13. #13
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    So, over the past week and a half, I have been slaving over my knee armor. I finally got to putting all the parts together and I am very happy with the results. I used a plastic welder for attaching the lower and upper lip of the knee plates (parts #2 and #3 on the Jango Templates). The welds are holding currently, but I find it very uncomfortable to kneel with them on, either that or I'm just too afraid of breaking them. I am considering padding them. I have also cut buttonholes in my jumpsuit (this thing is really baggy) and sewn on velcro to my chest and armor. The armor sticks to the velcro alright, but because my jacket was formerly a leather coat that overlapped on the front with three buttons, I find the uneveness attempts to force out the right breast plate.

    Now that most of the soft parts are complete and I need only to paint the knees and wait for the gauntlets to arrive(ordered from TK2280), I got to wear my full costume (minus gauntlets).
    Is it my costume, or is it nearly impossible to walk without some velcro creaking or an elastic strap coming loose?

    Also, I think I need a new velcro-armor attachment method. Right now I am using an incredibly strong double sided tape, used for taping metal plates together, the problem is, when my body heat warms it, it softens and looses its grip. Ireally need help here, Halloween is tomorrow.

    Another update, I have sewn a new kama, this one is black and is divided down the backside (more flexible, less drag). I would burn blaster holes in it, but it is synthetic and that is kinda risky until I can go outside and test it when the rain clears up.
    On the knee plates is a knife mount, and an undersized, overwheighted dart launcher, it is made of solid metal bolts with wood. I made a new dart launcher block, accurately sized, but I don't wanna damage it on halloween. I need to get some plastic dart barrels for it or make them myself.

    This is getting long...

    I painted up another JAS-77 to pair with my other one. I am still trying to get the Deece up in running but that's not gonna happen for Halloween. Also made a clone trooper thermal detonator, if anyone cares.

    Well enough with the chatter, here are some pictures of the individual plates and the full costume as of now.

    I think I'm gonna get rid of the cape and replace it with a black one...


    1025022306-jpg1025022307-jpg1025022307b-jpg1025022308a-jpg2012-10-29_16-25-32_959-jpg2012-10-29_16-25-14_584-jpg

    I love the triple barrel pistols
    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM.

  14. #14
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    In case anyone wanted to see them, I have posted the pictures of my updated knee plates. I have painted them and added a green stripe (barely visible below the battle-damage) to the front as well as the inner panel (the one with the slot in it) of the knee armor. So far, I am quite satisfied with the results. However, I do have some grievances and I really need your help on solving these issues so I can troop in this armor in the near future:

    -I cannot find a good armor strap attachment system: I have velcro on the flightsuit with button holes and elastic straps, but whenever I move, the straps have a tendency to tear the velcro off of the armor plate itself. What adhesive do you recommend for attaching velcro to PVC? What about snaps to PVC?

    -I cannot seem to find an adequate attachment method for the cod plate, because of its location, my legs always seem to jostle it around, resulting in the plate tearing off of its velcro belt.

    -I also want to know how flexible the armor should be, like "how should it feel to troop in Mandalorian armor?" Should the armor be flexible that it doesn'y hinder any movement whatsoever? I really am new to this so any information is helpful.

    Also, I have solved the gauntlet problem, I have ordered a set of basic clam-shells from TK2280 and am eagerly awaiting their arrival. From what I have seen of his work, it is outstanding and affordable. If anyone has any gauntlet building tutorials, I would appreciate it. I am always open to suggestions when it comes to armor building.

    On another note, if anyone is interested in the paint jobs that I have been doing and would like me to paint up a piece of armor for them I would be happy to do so. Just pm me with the look you want and how much battle damage you would like me to add and I will see what I can do.


    Oh, so I don't forget, I am planning on building a new Buy'ce out of the left over PVC pipe that I have and would like to know if there are any tutorials on how to do this using PVC. I saw Antman's cardboard helmet tutorial and am inspired by it so I might build another out of cardboard later. So many projects, so little time: I still have to get that Deece up and running too....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails right-knee-vibro-blade-mount-jpg   left-knee-green-stripe-added-jpg   left-knee-temporary-dart-launcher-jpg  

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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM.

  15. #15
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    This thread ain't dead yet... I recently ordered some gauntlets from TK2280 and they arrived in the mail. Excellent work and great service. Thank you TK2280! Anyway, when I received the gauntlets, they were a bit too tall for my arm, so I shaved them down a bit and re-shaped part of them to better fit my arms. They don't open as wide anymore, but they have a much nicer fit as I have very skinny arms it would seem. Anyway, now I'm on to building up the gauntlets themselves. So far, my plan for them is to put a sliding knife bade onto the right gauntlet (sorta like an Assassin's Creed kind of thing but with a slight nudge toward the clone assassin) and on the left gauntlet, I am planning on building it up to contain some kind of flamethrower or dart shooter system. Really, I'm kinda flexible and am open to any ideas. Right now, I am just dreading all of the sanding that is going to be required to get the wood blocks to match up with the cone-like shape of the gauntlet...

    What do you guys think...

    This is just about the last phase of the project. The only thing left to do after that is to get the backplate and backpack squared away.

    Also, on a sidenote, I recently took a liking to pepakura armor and am starting up a Pepakura clone armor kit. So far, I haven't found anyone who has ever completed a full pepakura clone. Anyway, I'm using Fierfek's template which I was able to get for free. the only problem is that they aren't exactly symmetrical on both sides and that I am lacking the shoulder, bicep, elbow, forearm, hand and knee armor templates... Can anyone help me here?

    In addition to that, I have been crafting a set of wood ear pieces for a Mandalorian helmet, hopefully if there is enough interest and support, I will be able to mold and reproduce the part. I am still working on the DC-15s carbine and am looking to mold that too when it is complete.


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    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:51 PM.

  16. #16
    PunisherFett's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Amazing work Well done!! I really love the bucket!!!

  17. #17
    Con72's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Your work LOOKS Freakin Decent!!!

  18. #18
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    It's a day late but, Merry Christmas!

    Yesterday I got 2 sheets of gray 24"X 24" PVC. I got a little trigger-happy with the power tools and now I have a backplate. Not much else to say besides that. In fact, within 2 hours of opening the box, I was priming the armor. I have some pics of the finished plate (I worked so fast, I didn't bother to take any pictures!). I did the standard armor paint-up procedure with this plate, same as all the others: rust-colored primer, chrome spray, black spray (misted on), black acrylic wash with paper towel, orange acrylic wash..etc. However, I decided to spice things up. Right now, I've got two sets of parallel green lines crawling down from the shoulders to the center of the bottom, continuing and embellishing the Airborne trooper theme. And, because I like the symbol, I threw in a Neo-Crusader skull (I'm not sure it will pass Merc's CRL's as it is technically crossing eras, however, my character's backstory is that he is descended from a long line of mandos back to the time of Revan soooo...). The skull might actually be covered by a backpack in the end but I'm still debating about using one as the last one I used (the old green army one from a previous post) really strained my shoulders on Halloween, so much so that my shoulders ached for days...

    overall-view-backplate-2-jpginside-view-backplate-jpgside-view-backplate-jpg

    For those of you who can't read Aurebesh (that's a good thing, you're not a nerd) I wrote a poem that I created on the back (also references my character's backstory in the Clone Wars):

    "I fought in the Wars,
    I fought in the Stars,
    Soaked in the muck of a 'thousand worlds."

    "I saw Geonosis, Rhen Var and Tibrin,
    Driven by the soldier that lies within,
    And now Palps wants me back again,
    But I ain't gonna fight the war for him..."

    Hope you guys like it. Now I just need to figure out a way to build up these gauntlets. I hate geometry!! Cone-shaped armor and wood do not work well together!!

    Oh, I still have a sheet of plastic left, any suggestions?
    Last edited by CT01125775; Jan 23, 2013 at 5:52 PM.

  19. #19
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    I love the weekends! Last weekend, I wrapped up this project and finished off the gauntlets...sorta. Right now, I have just grown sick of wood working, so, rather that try and build some box-like thing onto the gauntlets, I said, "hey, I'm gonna paint them and do the boxes later when I feel like it." So after I painted and weathered them (made a tutorial on it too) I naturally had to try em' on with the whole suit. So, the end result was some crazy guy snow-blowing his driveway in Mandalorian armor. My neighbors now know that they live next to "that guy." Anyway, here's some images I shot while walking about this fine January. By the way, Mando armor is quite warm in the winter, not overly warm but that perfect room temperature that you just want to maintain throughout the day.

    Background kinda looks like Galidraan...

    Also, I managed to break my helmet fan, so..gonna have to fix that up soon.

    Shot some video too with my phone. Added some sound effects (used seismic charge sound from AotC three times overlaid to get the pistol sound effect). Right now I keep em' on my desktop, 24 seconds of video in all...

    Overall, I'm quite proud of my armor, still gotta work out the backplate mount now...
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  20. #20

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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Wow! I never thought PVC armor would have looked that good. Great work man!

  21. #21
    CT01125775's Avatar
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    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Well, in the past several months, I've kept adding little modifications here and there on the armor. I've been meaning to update this. Anyway, the upgrades I've added:

    -Finally cut the chest slots on the armor- I mounted a little card in there with Aurebesh lettering because I haven't been able to wire a light set up for it yet.
    -Upgraded the knee dart launcher to something more accurately sized- New correctly sized mount block with custom PVC barrels.
    -Added some striping to the right chest and thigh plates- White chevrons airbrushed on.
    -Added a fan and some speakers to the helmet- fan also acts to defog the visor.

    As it turns out, the helmet is a bit undersized- its diameter should be 11", mine's 8". Aside from this being extremely depressing, I've begun work on an accurately sized PVC helmet, but progress is slow going with work.

    I also resumed work on the DC-15s carbine. I've fully assembled her and am working on sanding and painting her at the moment. I hope to have the blaster finished in a few weeks. The cool thing about the carbine is that I designed it to so that it breaks down into 4 pieces- the barrel, the trigger and Tibanna gas cartridge assembly, the magazine (held on with magnets) and the folding stock (which actually can pivot into the extended position). You can see more progress pictures here:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Manda...54998998024171

    Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy these and please tell me what you guys think.



    good-jpgassembled-jpg0319131008-jpg0223132147b-jpg0615131933-jpg0615131933a-jpg0615131930a-jpg

  22. #22
    CT01125775's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2012
    From
    Northeastern Mass
    Posts
    25

    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Ever wonder what happened to that DC-15s I was working on? I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0209141824-jpg   0209141824a-jpg   0209141824b-jpg  

    0209141824c-jpg   0209141824d-jpg   0209141825-jpg  

    0209141825a-jpg   0209141825b-jpg   0209141828-jpg  

    0209141826a-jpg  

  23. #23

    Member Since
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5

    Re: Custom Mandalorian on an Extreme Budget

    Very cool

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