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  1. Member Since
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    Jun 25, 2008, 10:07 PM - Starting a Custom Mando #1

    Su'cuy! I've been lurking for quite a while, but now i've got some free time and a plan, and decided to try and start working.

    I do not have much of an idea about a backstory or name yet, but he is supposed to be the kind of soldier who sneaks into the "right" spot and wreaks havok there. Thus the colors are supposed to be dark...

    As for electronics, I intend to have 3 fans, one below the visor, and two blowing out the vents in the back, a pair of headphones/small speakers, and a microphone in the helmet.
    I saw once that someone made a cavity in their chest plate and put blinky lights in it, which shone out the bottom... I'm thinking about doing something similar, but with speakers.

    Armor itself (pictures are attached - more "plans" than drawings, seeing as I can't draw) is slightly modified from the "traditional" style... There are two color schemes that i've come up with so far, I'm leaning towards the lower part of the first one and the upper part of the second.

    The helmet is much like the traditional, just with extra little things added on. the vents in the back should be facing down. I'm not entirely sure how to go about making those things that look like gills on the cheeks - they're supposed to be wedges, and I was hoping to use sintra, which, as far as I know, doesn't come tapered. Wood may work, though.

    I'm not sure where to get the flight suit or vest, but I'd like them to be at least somewhat waterproof...
    I do intend to have a Kama, and a sort of cape-like thing hanging form the shoulder.

    I've also put this up over at the HV&M

    Any comments, questions, ideas?
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  2. vadr_h8r's Avatar
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    Jun 25, 2008, 10:38 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #2

    first thing you should do is have a budget.(weather its $300 or $3000) just like life when doing your monthly bills. you need to know how much your going to spend, then price out all your parts to attain that budget. once you do that, if you list those maybe we can help you further
  3. OrtharRrith's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 5:08 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #3

    You'll find that having speakers IN your helmet can cause you problems. The speakers will have to be so small so as not to cause feed back that you won't get much in the way of volume from them. Most people opt for placing the speaker in a pouch on the waist, then you can be as loud or as quiet as you want.

    As to using wood, you'll find that wood has a grain visible to the naked eye, even when painted. Not a problem with a stock of a blaster but if you are attaching it to your helmet by far the better medium is sintra. It can be sanded to the required shape and glued into place with only a little bit of effort.

    You mention a fan BELOW the visor. As the visor goes all the way to the bottom of the helmet this may prove difficult, not to mention you need space for your mic to be in front of your mouth. Some people place their fans on the inside of the cheeks, tilted up slightly so as to get enough air to them. Others, such as myself; place them inside the ear caps (easy to do with helmets where the ear caps are molded on) with one at the back pulling air through the rear vents (not possible with Boba's helmet due to the board)
  4. Studio Fett's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 9:21 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #4

    Sweet design Photon Man, can't wait to see the finished product.
  5. I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 11:40 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #5

    Sounds like you have a good plan, and design in mind. I'm gonna direct you to the mandomaker2 program to help you refine your armor scheme a little more.

    http://zammap.sitesled.com/iemehahge...andomaker2.swf

    It's an extremely useful program for coming up with armor ideas and looks.

    Now, on to your electronics questions.

    Yes, you can have speakers in your helmet. I use two in the front of my custom helmet that face forward out vents in the mandibles. If you wanna know how good they sound, feel free to watch this quick interview I did for the Knoxville NBC station at AdventureCon a couple weeks ago.

    http://www.wbir.com/video/default.as...ject=770309155

    I can get pretty loud, and sometimes there is a touch of feedback but not normally. I use shielded wires I made myself along with laptop speakers, a radioshack voice amp, and a self built shielded mic module.

    You could place a fan on the inside of the t-visor if your nose doesn't touch. A good friend of mine did a fan that way to keep air blowing on his face. In my old helmet, I actually used epoxy putty to create routes that ran from the MQ1 board to the fans so that I could pull fresh air in through the keyslots and still have the circuit board in place. In my MS custom, the fans pull fresh air through ventilation pipes that run from my jet pack. If your hair isn't long, I always suggest putting your fans at the back of the helmet blowing forward so that you get cooler air blowing around your head instead of on your head. Air moving around a hot area is much better for heat exchange, plus cools you down where the neck seal opens which IMHO is a critical area for heat (lots of blood flow there.). Also, having air blowing towards your T-visor will keep it from fogging without having to put rain-x or some other solution on it.

    If your gonna use wood, might as well use sintra. You can get it to do things wood can't do normally and has a much better industrial look to it.

    Hope I've helped a bit. =)
  6. Member Since
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    Jun 26, 2008, 1:37 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #6

    Thanks for the input!
    As for a budget, I'd like to keep it to the low end (this being my first suit of armor), but not at the sacrifice of quality, although I don't know how much everything usually costs... I've found 3mm sintra around $50 dollars for a 4" by 8" foot sheet (I think that much should be more than ample, at least for the armor itself) but I don't know where to get a vest/flightsuit. A vest seems simple enough to make if I have to, although I'd like to know what materials are best.

    Also, the only thing that I have that I think would be useful in the way of equipment is a lobster pot (large metal pot used for boiling lobster... seems perfect for heating sintra). It seems that it's possible to do it without too much expensive equipment, but I'd have to get it from somewhere.

    I'm hoping that if I put the speakers on the helmet far enough away from the mic, there won't be too much feedback, at least for talking to someone right next to me... if I need to be any louder, I could use louder speakers in the belt.

    For the fans, I could put them in the cheeks and have vents out of those "gills." I'd like a fan somewhere in the front to help the hot air leave

    I think that I've got a couple old laptops that I can take parts off of (IBMs... their screens go kaput after a while). I'm not sure where to put the speakers, though...

    I've tried the Mandomaker and it is somewhat useful. I made one a while ago, and tried it again now with different colors for the cape & kama. I'm thinking either a dark blue (similar to the color on the armor panels), or one of the Ross hunting tartans (hence the green - not perfect, but the Mandomaker doesn't come with Scottish tartan textures). They look dark enough, but I'm not sure how good it would look with the other colors
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  7. I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 2:19 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #7

    Put your speakers in a downward angel where the indentions for your ear caps are on the inside of your helmet. That should give you plenty of room away from the mic to keep you fairly loud.
  8. Formely Jaing Skirata A'den Skirata's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 4:33 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #8

    $50.00 for a 4"X8" piece of Sintra seems very expensive to me. For that pirce, you could get quality armor that is a complete unfinished set and have it shipped to you. I've see sintra on ebay for a couple bucks a sheet. Usually 1 to 2 sheets is enough to build your armor. The shipping is usually UPS flatrate for around $10.00-$15.00. Someone is either a rip-off artist or has discovered the value of sintra to custumers.

    I owuld try to either find one of the lower priced sellers, contact any type of sign, plastics or hardware stores within a 30 mile radius of your home or, go down to WalMart and pick up a plain white kitchen trashcan... there are turtorials on this site (I believe) and on the Mandalorian Mercs site (address is in my signature) that will help you out!

    Good luck!
  9. Member Since
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    Jun 26, 2008, 8:13 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #9

    Sorry... that should be four foot by eight foot... And I've got a local sign shop that (I hope) will have a fair price anyway.

    I considered a trash can, and, while it may be less expensive, it seems a lot less durable.
  10. Formely Jaing Skirata A'den Skirata's Avatar
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    Jun 26, 2008, 10:30 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #10

    i figured you meant 4 foot x 8 foot i just typo'd it as well. however, $50.00 for a sheet that high is still a rediculously high price... from what ive seen.

    ive never had trashcan armor, only sintra, what i can tell you is this... trashcan is thinner and more plaible. sintra even at 3mm is thicker. however, with its stiffness comes its weakness... it can be brittle on edges and such. my right chest plate broke a nice chunk clean off. i fixed it by glueing it and msaking it appear as a "weld mark". that breaking issue isnt as prevalent with trashcan armor.

    actually, if you had the time/skill or the funds, the best way to go would be metal or fiberglass.

    bradley fett sells a very nice vac-formed abs armor on these forums and has very competative prices. however, you miss out on the fun of making your own plates.

    Last edited by A'den Skirata; Jun 26, 2008 at 11:46 PM.
  11. Kad'alor's Avatar
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    Jun 27, 2008, 9:39 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #11

    i used a trashcan from wal-mart and its extreamely durable, you just have to look around the store a bit. try getting more of a laundy hamper, they are usually thicker plastic than garbage bins.
  12. Member Since
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    Jun 27, 2008, 5:00 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #12

    Did the armor break due to normal wear and tear? I considered using metal or fiberglass, but, while I may have the funds (I don't know how much either costs), I know I don't have any skill or experience using either.

    How easy is it to cut up a trash can/hamper? I imagine it would be a bit difficult without being able to lay it flat on something.

    As for buying vac-formed plates, as you said, I would miss out on making my own armor. And, seing as it's a slightly different plate layout than the traditional, that would be a bit of a problem. The cod piece I think is unchanged, but if I'm making the rest of the armor, I might as well make that as well.
  13. Formely Jaing Skirata A'den Skirata's Avatar
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    Jun 27, 2008, 5:38 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #13

    As for cuting the trashcan armor, I would imagine you would use a dremel just like for cutting sintra. Metal armor takes some work as you have to pound it with a mallet... actually, Noval would be the man to talk to about metal armor... He is the Tony Stark of Beskar'gam! LOL... I've never worked with fiberglass so, I can't give you too much info on that. My plate broke while being stored in the box . As for Bradley Fett's stuff... I'm sure there's plenty on this site that can vouch for it. His plates are copies of Boba Fett's armors. From what I can, exact replica's. I ordered his helmet for a future project and can't wait to get my grubby paws on it! His plates come in sheet. For example... all the torso armor is on one sheet and you still have to cut them apart and trim them. So, there's still some fun involved!
  14. ioelus's Avatar
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    Jun 27, 2008, 7:28 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #14

    For more information on trash can armor, go here:

    http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/showt...ht=trash+armor

    Several others have done it to great success. AFettFullofDollars used a craft knife to cut his; the plastic the bin is made out of is the kind that melts and gets gummy if you get impatient with the dremel (which happens to me all the time). I've used metal snips to cut mine, which I'm sure I read as a suggestion here somewhere--Wiss products. Probably a great way to dull a fine tool, though.

    If you go this route, a word of caution: be careful when cutting the pieces that you don't force things. There is a bit of rigidity to the plastic. I tried scoring the plastic and then snapping it along the score--just be careful about corners. My first tries became test plates, since I snapped off corners and parts that stuck out. Probably rudimentary to everyone but me, but only snap a scored line that's straight. Didn't know I was that stupid.

    As for Bradley Fett, I own two of his helmet kits. I've been happy with my dealings with him.
  15. Member Since
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    Jun 27, 2008, 7:38 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #15

    I have seen some of Noval's WIPs, and it looks easy to mess up. I'd love to try making metal armor, but I'd rather mess up on something less expensive. I think that sintra may make some of the angles a bit easier (i've got a new design for the shoulder pieces in my head, and the bicep armor already pictured would be rather hard to make out of a trash can or a hamper) and it means that I will already have sintra to try building a helmet (with the design modifications, I think that it may actually be easier to scratchbuild than to modify an existing helmet)
  16. formerly Sgt. Skirata Huntman's Avatar
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    Jun 27, 2008, 10:06 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #16

    use a plastic bucket it's plastic ,thicker and can be shaped the same way. Paint dept....Wal Mart
  17. Member Since
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    Jun 30, 2008, 2:34 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #17

    I've looked thorough the link from ioleus, and I am leaning towards a garbage can/hamper/plastic bucket for as much of the armor as possible. I'll still need something different for parts of the armor, but I think I'll give it a try.

    At the moment I'm trying to get WoF's Jango template to pring out at the right size and on as few sheets as possible, at which point I can modify it to the custom shape, and make a few test pieces.

    About the plastic bucket idea, is there any specific size, or should I just guess?
  18. Ijaat Ka'rta's Avatar
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    Jul 6, 2008, 9:42 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #18

    Sintra is how most people do it. I'm using 22 gauge sheet steel. It's fairly expensive compared to sintra, but it's worth it. It won't break, it's harder to cut,but its managable, it's fairly easy to bend and weathering is alot easier if you cant paint well like me lol. I love my steel armor. I get mine at lowes. It's about 30 or so bucks for a large sheet which could handle my leg and back armor. so you'll only spend about 70 dollars for the toughest armor you can get.
  19. Ijaat Ka'rta's Avatar
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    Jul 6, 2008, 9:45 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #19

    Hahaha i just read the last part of your intro. I was gonna wear my kilt with my armor too. I think it would look cool. I always think scotland when i think clans.
  20. Member Since
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    Jul 9, 2008, 9:20 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #20

    I'm not sure whether to use a Tartan Kama or an actual kilt - I'm leaning towards the former as I can make it floor-length and not have it get in the way. I'm trying to figure out if I can incorporate a Claymore into my armor (Mandos and massive swords seem to fit well together), but it would likely have to take the place of a jet pack...

    I am giving steel armor considerable thought, and I'll probably it if I decide to remake or make another set of armor, but to start, the trash can seems a bit easier, if only to cut, and major major mistakes (hopefully) won't have as much of an impact.

    For the backplate, however, I'm open to suggestions. I am fairly certain that there is no curve in any trash can/hamper/plastic bucket that has that kind of shape, or is easily bent into it. Sintra seems easy enough to bend into shape, although steel may be just as easy, and I've heard that it's lighter, which is a good thing.

    As for the templates, I've got the chest ones modified and to the right size, and am making test panels to make sure that they will actually work.
  21. Ijaat Ka'rta's Avatar
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    Jul 10, 2008, 7:25 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #21

    If you go with a kama i suggest you take care with the length. If it is too long in the back and your crouching around, there's a good chance you'll step on it. I guess you'll have to see what works. As for the back armor, Steel is fairly easy to bend and shape, but with anything its hard to get a good conture. Sintra is thicker and may look better to you if you want it thick, but steel is light flexible and unbreakable. I'll post a pic of my back armor in a moment. Sorry about the size and fuzzieness, but I think you can tell that it fits good.
    Last edited by Ijaat Ka'rta; Jul 11, 2008 at 4:09 PM.
  22. Member Since
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    Jul 28, 2008, 8:56 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #22

    After a brief trip to New Hampshire, I think that have modified the proportions on all of the custom panels so that they fit, and have gotten cardboard test plates cut out.

    I'll make as much as I can out of the trash can, although some plates (e.g. knees, cod, back) I'll use metal for.

    As for the Kama, I guess I'll try ankle-length, and I can always shorten it if I need to.
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  23. Ijaat Ka'rta's Avatar
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    Jul 29, 2008, 8:23 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #23

    An interesting chest armor design. Can wait to see how it's actually gonna look. Hopefully you'll get more stuff done soon. I'm gonna start working on my vest and flight suit this week and I'll be almost done!!! Helmet still oy!
  24. Member Since
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    Aug 1, 2008, 10:40 AM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #24

    I've got the trash can, and marked the armor, but I don't think that I'll be able to get it all cut out by the time I leave for NC (in a few hours). Good luck on the vest and flight suit!
  25. Member Since
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    Aug 15, 2008, 3:27 PM - Re: Starting a Custom Mando #25

    After spending altogether too much time trying to cut the pieces out, I realized that the blade was dull. I've got the chest and thigh plates, which, I expect, are the only ones that I will make out of the trash can. the shin plates have too much of a curve and the knee and shoulder plates have sharp edges which are not compatible with any part of the trash can. I may be able to make a part of the Cod and bicep armor out of it, but I'm not sure if it will work.

    For that which I can/will not make out of the trash can, I intend to use metal. I remember reading somewhere that Beskar was not the same color as steel or aluminum, but rather a bronze-ish color. I may not do that much weathering, but I would like it to be as accurate as possible. Also, does anyone know if metal flashing (for the side of a house) would work well?

    On the gut/lower chest piece, two of the corners on the right side didn't snap very well, and I'd like to know what the best way to stick them back together is. At the moment they're held in place by masking tape (you can see one of them on the top corner in the picture).
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    Last edited by Photon Man; Aug 15, 2008 at 3:34 PM.

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