I just got home from teaching martial arts at Fanime Con in San Jose, CA. While there, I met a scout trooper from the 501st, and I finally thought to talk to someone (him) about his costume and how he made it. After chatting for a bit, I admitted that my interest wasn't in troppers, but rather Fett/Mandalorians. He directed to this site, saying it was the best resource for getting in touch with fellow enthusiasts and costumers.
I'm going to start browsing through these forums, but to let you know where I'm at... I'm at square zero. I have never done any costuming of any kind, and am not even sure if I have the skill set to make my own (though I'd love to learn). It would be great to chat with some of you to see where is the best place to start, and to even help me get an idea of what I'm getting into (budget, time commitment, skills & tools required, etc). My biggest interest is in doing a custom Mandalorian, but I do love classic Fett. I'd like to hear people's thoughts on which I should started with. Should I buy all the armor pieces and customize them, or should I make my own? Also hearing what people's experiences are with custom Mandalorians would be great (colors or color schemes that seemed cool but didn't work, custom gadgets or armor, etc).
To give you a little more background on me... I live in San Diego and work full time as a personal banker. I am also going to school to get my Bachelors in Criminal Justice, with the goal of making a career change into law enforcement. In my spare time I: practice Krav Maga, practice & teach 16th century European weapon styles, target shoot with my recurve bow, game on my PC, read, go to the beach, and spend time with my fiance.
I look forward to getting to know everyone here, and chatting with you all to get the ball rolling on an awesome costume!