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WIP: Solo's Custom Build

  1. #1
    Solo's Avatar
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    WIP: Solo's Custom Build

    Just wanted to start a thread showing my progress. I've gotten quite a few other things done but I am close to finishing my knees and wanted to post pics. I've put several armor kits together in the 501st but never built armor from scratch...

    So be gentle and offer advice on any changes if you see some that need to be made. That being said, I can already see where I need to make some changes with these but I thought it was a decent first shot.

    Materials used:
    PVC Pipe
    ABS for the dart holder and detail
    Bondo

    Total cost of these ran less than $10 per knee to make but has taken me about 25 hours so far in work... I have a new found respect for those guys who produce this stuff... Used the WoF Templates for the basic design.



    Last edited by Solo; May 29, 2009 at 9:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    I wanted to take a sec and fill everyone on what I have done so far.

    I was going to do metal armor in the beginning but decided to pick up a 6" diameter 10 foot PVC pipe instead as a first run at this thing. It is about 1/4" thick and appears indestructible.

    I used the WOF templates for Jango as what I am doing will resemble that. After cutting out the parts, I tried a method that I used when I was working on my lenses for my Vader costume... I used the oven to heat the PVC parts till they were flexible and then molded them directly against my body. It worked perfectly and is customized to my body shape!!!

    Heating the oven to 250-275 and placing the part on a baking sheet that had wax paper on it (aluminum foil would work too... don't want the wife getting upset that you runined another kitchen accessory on one of your "stupid projects" by melting PVC/Sintra/ABS, etc. on it!) Once the oven is pre-heated, put the part in for about 10 minutes. You'll have about 1-2 minutes when the part comes out to mold/shape it before it hardens completely.

    Disclaimer: I placed a towel or heavy cloth object between the "hot" armor part and my body. I used gloves to handle the part while it was cooling down. If you don't do this you'll burn yourself... Don't be a noob and do this without thinking!

    Only exception to this were the knees and the cod piece. I used two thick books bound together and after heatin gthe knee cutout, put the spines directly into the center of the knee piece and pressed it into a stack of pillows. That allowed the knee to bend around the books creating almost the perfect shape. I fine adjusted using a heat gun and was pretty happy with the outcome of the shape. On the cod piece I used a heat gun as well but am filling a lot with Bondo to make it Jango-esque.

    Wil try to post some pics tomorrow. At the moment, I just need to do a little more work to the cod, knees, and back plate and I should be finished with the preliminary work on the hard parts. Waiting on the helmet, vest and flightsuit and going to re-finish the gauntlets.

  3. #3
    Solo's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Ok... got one of the knees completed. Cleaned it up and took out several of the little bad spots with bondo and lots of sanding. I will be doing a rub and buff finish on everything so for now all the parts are simply primer coated.







    Also completed the cod piece. I wanted it to look as much like "Cruzer's" as possible so I wanted the detail he has in his reproductions.





    Will post some more pics in the coming days as I complete the thighs, shoulders, neck, chest, abs and shin armor.

  4. #4
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Thanks bro...

    Here is a pic of where I am at the moment with all the armor pieces...


  5. #5
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    I got to looking at what I could do to make my own knee darts since paying $40 for a few little pieces of aluminum seemed ridiculous...

    I went to my local harware store and bought a 1/2" diameter dowel rod and two 1/'2 inch diameter plumbing thingy's with different outside diameters... I probably have $3.00 in these parts.



    This is what I was able to put together with them and a little primer and silver paint...



    Will finish up shins next and post pics soon.

  6. #6
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Outstanding work! Between looking at your armor and Zazarus over at Mercs...I'm really liking what I'm seeing done with PVC.

  7. #7
    Formely Jaing Skirata A'den Skirata's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    From
    Yucca Valley
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Very nice! Seems to be about the same thing as the 6MM PVCX foamboard I used for mine! I know Zazarus took a hit in the back with a baseball bat and his PVC plate withstood it. I actually walked on my backplate and it barely flexed! This is some tough stuff. Very nice build!

  8. #8
    A'den Kyramud's Avatar
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    Glendale, Arizona
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Nice work!!! The darts are awesome!!! very creative solution for them!

  9. #9
    Ordeyn's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Nice! I've never seen pvc amor done before. Looks good to me!

  10. #10
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Been a while since the last update but I wanted to post some progress pics. Even though it has taken a while there is something very fulfilling about having made all my own armor. The back, knees, cod, and shins have taken the longest but it was worth it.

    I am currently in Atlanta on a business trip and decided to bring the armor along and work on it in the evenings in the hotel room.

    So far the armor has been wet sanded with 400 grit, re-primed, and I am getting ready to go at it with 0000 steel wool before doing the rub n buff. I've already added the RnB to the helmet.

    More pics to come...

    Last edited by Solo; May 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM.

  11. #11
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Looking great Jeff! I'm hoping to see it in action in a couple weeks.

  12. #12
    Solo's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Lol... you and me both...

  13. #13
    Rc-2064's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Very nice. I think my next set of armor will be pvc.

  14. #14

    Member Since
    May 2009
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Great work. Love the leg armor.

  15. #15
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Got the rub-n-buf and the snaps applied to the chest armor, vest, and the knees. Just have the back, thighs, and shins to go...

    The armor sits symmetrically but looks a little off since I had to put a pillow in the vest to take the pic...


  16. #16
    Solo's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build




  17. #17
    peanutbutterstrangle's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Looking good.

  18. #18
    Ordeyn's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Nice work! The knee darts are very good.

  19. #19
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    In an effort to make this thing both inexpensively and as nice as possible, I thought of a way to make the girth belt.

    I took 1/4" braided rope and applied it to leather backing. Once the glue dries, I'll paint the rope with black fabric paint. So far I am really happy with how it turned out. At this point, I have about $20.00 in this. I just didn't see the point of dropping $100+ in this piece...

    Hopefully this will work. Here is a pic pre-paint...


  20. #20
    Apollo's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    your pieces look great; very clean lines and something that I'd call professional. Great stuff

  21. #21
    Solo's Avatar
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Got the backplate done tonight too... I need to go on business trips everytime I am working on a costume!



  22. #22
    Mandalore the Ultimate's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    From
    Rockford, Michigan
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Wow, this looks fantastic!

    How much is this project costing altogether? 'Cause it's seriously getting me interested in PVC.

  23. #23
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    For the armor only...

    I have $28.00 in the PVC pipe and $6.00 in the rub-n-buff. I was able to do all of this with one pipe (10' long, 6" in diameter) with some left over.

    So the answer is $34.00 I guess. The biggest reason I chose to do my own armor, other than the cost is because I am 6'6" tall and having buit three clones and a Darth Vader, I can assure you that if anyone has armor to fit someone 6'6" tall that it is going to be scarce. My pet peeve is having armor too small. So I made my own to make sure it would fit properly...

    Other items to consider... I wanted a heat gun to get the armor exactly like I wanted it. The cost for that was $22.00. The only other items I used were bondo on the knees as well as about $3.00 worth of doo dads from a local hardware store to make the darts, a little bit of bondo and small pieces of ABS for the detail on the backplate, sandpaper, wax paper (sat the PVC on it when I put it in the oven), and a few cans of primer and I think that's about it...


    I used a jigsaw to cut the pattern out of the pipe. It worked fantastic. If you don't have one... borrow one to do this. I did use a Dremel for some of the smaller work too.

    Hope this helps some.
    Last edited by Solo; May 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM.

  24. #24

    Member Since
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    NH
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    GOOD JOB

  25. #25
    Solo's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Solo's Custom Build

    Got the helmet done for the most part. Still have a few things that I want to try but for now it's pretty much good to go...



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