I've never known how to quite put into words my opinion on the reception (or lack-of) "custom" Mandalorians. Overall, the circle of those involved in the interpretation of the Mandalorian's is a positive one. For the most part, everyone is as helpful and loving of Stars Wars as those creating strictly canon costumes. However, I would also say that there is a large amount of resentment for the hacking and slashing of canon characters.
When I began my own project, I honestly do not remember the massive amount of customs that there are today (though I may be wrong about that). My reasoning behind it was simple. It had nothing to do with a lack of motivation or patience to create Boba Fett or Jango Fett. The reason was that Boba Fett and Jango Fett were not me.
I've always wanted to be a part of that Galaxy far far away. As much as I respect and admire the work of the Boba and Jango's here, I personally felt at the time that if I wanted to make a contribution, it should be as the character I would be in that Galaxy. I absolutely focused on the canon Star Wars universe as a guide to my own character, but also obviously took some liberty in design. Being generally new to costuming, I didn't completely understand the culture surrounding this hobby yet.
I have never been directly told that my armor is problematic or anything like that (in fact, quite the opposite), but I am always aware of the conflicting views about it. It's a bit frustrating at times, but at the same time I completely understand and respect the popular desire to uphold Star Wars as it was told.
Why am I posting this? Not really sure. But I think there are some issues that need to be resolved in the Dented Variants. There are some extremely patient and well executed works, and there are honestly some which seem to come together much too quickly and with much less attention to detail as our Boba and Jango brothers (no offense). I am not one in any place to tell anyone else how to create their own vision. However, I am trying to determine the areas that cause the most conflict. Most of the larger costuming groups no longer recognize Variants as acceptable. Personally, I understand this stance. That said, I am very proud of my own work and I know it brings joy to many people.
So what can be done?
Maybe nothing...perhaps I am just rambling. Or perhaps, we should step up to more closely scrutinize one another. Perhaps we are not completely canon, but we can surely do our best to adhere to the actual look and feel of the Star Wars Universe. Choices like colors palettes (or lack of), accessories (or lack of), and legitimate weapon options (that at least incorporate significant elements of the known Star Wars Universe) can go a long way into unifying the Mandalorians.
I feel that the lack of unification is the single largest element that causes issue. Without a complete code to follow, we do as we feel, often before consulting any guidelines. This results in an armada of uniqueness, no two alike. My personal (opinion) is that while there would likely be more variance than Boba and Jango, there would also be a lot less than we are creating. How can we solve this, or should it even be solved?
I am curious if anyone else has an opinion on this, or if I am on my own.
Again, no offense intended to ANYONE. These are just a few thoughts I have had on my mind for quite a while now.