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Clones on a Budget

  1. #1
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Clones on a Budget

    Greetings all

    I am currently in the process of throwing together a Clone Trooper Costume (specificly Capt Rex) and im using techniques that may not be conventional, but there something to concider if you want to do a costume but dont have all the stuff or money to get a pro level suit.

    I like you have been to a lot of the Cons, and seen the 501st and other orginizations, and there awesome armor. It looks really cool. But lets face it, a lot of us want to have cool costumes like that but dont have the money to drop on a full armor suit, specily in this econamy. And some of us arnt master sculptors and wouldnt know how to put a vac form tabel together if our lives depended on it. Maybe you dont have the money, or the work space.

    I looked around the net and found that there isnt a lot of help for those of us who dont have the pro level tools. So i thought id thow together my own little "how to" for everyone wanting to make the cool costume but not wanting (or know how) to make the PVC or Polyform suits.

    I will update this thread as i get new parts together, and questions or comments are welcome, im just here to help

    K, enough jabbering, lets get going....

    1st, The Helmet: Probably the most important part, lets face it, if your working on a costume, specily an armord costume, the helmet is the part that people notice first. Long story short, you cant have iron mans armor and put a cardboard cutout face mask on it, It dosent work.

    Clone trooper masks are expensive, iv looked around and the cheapest one iv found was still in the $70 range. And a specilty one like Rex, biiiig money. The Salution? the kids one....
    Im serious, I went to Toys R Us and got the Capt Rex clone trooper helmet. It is a FULL helmet, it will fit an adult head (if it fits my melon trust me youll be fine )

    The Pros...
    Its well vented to, it requires only minor assembly, its a good price (got mine for about $25) very sturdy, pleanty of room for the storm trooper voice head set (it dose come with a static burst voice changer but its kinda weak) Pleanty of room for helmet fans (if you want) and most of all it looks great.

    The Cons...
    Needs some foam padding on the inside to make it a lil more comfortable, only other con that i noticed, is the one most people notice, The visor is larger then the movie clone trooper. Its true (look at the pics) but to be honest, for the money saved and the time and work saved, its really a small price to pay.

    All and all, the Voice Changer helmet is a really good choice if you want to save some money and work.
    So that takes care of the first part, im working on the chest and back armor and will update as soon as i have new info.


    Feel free to post any questions or PM me with any Qs
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clone-3-jpg   clone-2-jpg   clone-1-jpg  


  2. #2
    kamel_m's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    *cough* Well, good luck
    If you want to improve this helmet a little bit you might want to fill in the seams with some bondo+ make the visor smaller as well. It won't be accurate then anyway, but it'll be some improvement, and depending on the talent you have and time you spend it might turn out nice if you fix some things in it.
    And you might want to try pepakura as well. There should be some topic with them here, or at least a pointer

    And I hope you know it is not 501st acceptable ?

  3. #3
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    kamel_m said: View Post
    *cough* Well, good luck
    If you want to improve this helmet a little bit you might want to fill in the seams with some bondo+ make the visor smaller as well. It won't be accurate then anyway, but it'll be some improvement, and depending on the talent you have and time you spend it might turn out nice if you fix some things in it.
    And you might want to try pepakura as well. There should be some topic with them here, or at least a pointer

    And I hope you know it is not 501st acceptable ?
    Im thinking you didnt read the whole thing, this is for the people who want to throw together a good costume and dont have the time or knowledge to work with Bondo or like stuff. Its a diffrent way of approaching the costume. And who said anything about acceptance by 501st? I mentioned that they have cool armor, but i didnt say in any form that this was to win there approval. Iv met some of the local members and there really cool, but the orginazation in general is a bit stuck up. Sorry but i call it like i see it, and plenty of others iv talk to think the same.

    Now as i said, im simply trying to approach this from a new perspective and to help people who dont have the time, knowledge, work space, or money to take on a project like this.

  4. #4

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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    go for it dude.

  5. #5

    Member Since
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    right on man, do it up, plus most us aren't really into the 501st.No disrespect, but i like costuming just for fun

  6. #6
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    go for it dude.
    bodyhammer999 said: View Post
    right on man, do it up, plus most us aren't really into the 501st.No disrespect, but i like costuming just for fun
    Agreed, As i said, i have nothing against the 501st, i had the good fortune to meet a few of those guys at a couple of cons and there very cool, i simply think that there rules are a lil to tight, they kill some of the fun of building a costume.

    But any who, Heres what I got so far, (will post pics as soon as i can) Iv been using foam board as a base or skeleton for the armor. now obviously its going to need work so its not so boxy, to solve this problem I am working on Paper Clay, for those who dont know, its a paper mache clay that when dried is quite durable, can be sanded and painted. Its light weight so it wont turn the armor into a tone of bricks and it can be easily sculpted to the shapes needed. Im curious as to how it would do if placed into an acctule armor mold (future expiriment )

    One quick question for, dose anyone know where to buy pads for the helmet, some foam to make it a lil more comfortable?

  7. #7
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    Stuck up you say? Is visiting sick kids in the hospital stuck up? How about walking to support cures for cancer or for local humane society events as well as Library openings.... and the list goes on bro maybe you should stick to comments about your budget clone suit. I agree with you not everyone has the $$ for a pro suit so your thread is valid. I would be glad to offer any advice to aid your cause.

  8. #8
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    woodman said: View Post
    Stuck up you say? Is visiting sick kids in the hospital stuck up? How about walking to support cures for cancer or for local humane society events as well as Library openings.... and the list goes on bro maybe you should stick to comments about your budget clone suit. I agree with you not everyone has the $$ for a pro suit so your thread is valid. I would be glad to offer any advice to aid your cause.
    Yes, "STUCK UP" I said nothing about there CAUSE, Its great that they do all this stuff, but nothing in my opinion of the orginazation has anything to do for what they stand for or the work they do. My opinion of the orginazation comes from what i and people i know have experianced. I could fill up a post with what iv seen, friends who have basicly been told to take a hike becuse they didnt have the shiny plastic armor. Point is that just because they do a lot of good, dosent mean they dont have flaws.

    NOW im tired of talking about the 501st, thats not what this post is about, if you dont like my opinion about them, thats fine, we shall agree to disagree. That being said, I would be happy to accept any advice or ideas about this project. Costuming is spose to be fun for everyone and anyone who enjoys it. And if i can give people who read this thread ideas on how to make a clone trooper or any other costume without having to drop $500 to $1000 bucks, then i have done what i set out to do.
    Last edited by TheDoctor; May 18, 2010 at 4:17 PM. Reason: miss spelled

  9. #9
    Gilmortar's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    TheDoctor said: View Post
    Yes, "STUCK UP" I said nothing about there CAUSE, Its great that they do all this stuff, but nothing in my opinion of the orginazation has anything to do for what they stand for or the work they do. My opinion of the orginazation comes from what i and people i know have experianced. I could fill up a post with what iv seen, friends who have basicly been told to take a hike becuse they didnt have the shiny plastic armor. Point is that just because they do a lot of good, dosent mean they dont have flaws.

    NOW im tired of talking about the 501st, thats not what this post is about, if you dont like my opinion about them, thats fine...
    Well...I am gonna harp on this for just ONE moment, and then I will gladly drop that subject. The 501st you could say are "stuck up", but in all honesty they have the right to be. I'm a 501st member and we have had the pleasure of working with Lucas and LFL themselves on events. There is a reason they call on the 501st...cuz we are the best, and we have some of the most detail oriented costumers out there among our ranks. There are standards that must be met for your membership requirements, so if you take the legion's accuracy standards for being stuck up, then I would take a gander at the place you are posting at now. The Dented Helmet is the definitive resource for Fett Costuming, harboring the most elite of Fett costumers. But all forums/clubs/organizations will have issues, and people will be people and no one is perfect, so there is no need to label the entire 501st because of the more strict costume guidelines. As you said...
    TheDoctor said:
    ...i had the good fortune to meet a few of those guys at a couple of cons and there very cool...
    But none the less...I will put this topic aside...

    So I believe you are totally correct Doc. Costuming SHOULD be fun for everyone and anyone. For some there is a sense of pride in making their costume the best they can. Some for knowing they are the only ones with that costume, etc, etc. There are ways you can build costumes for less than the "typical going rate" Like someone stated, Pepakura, its pretty easy and COST EFFECTIVE. And with that, you can find some of the most accurate Pep files out there giving you an accurate costume on the best budget. I'm interested in hearing of this "paper clay" it sounds like the same working consistancy as Bondo....which means you could easily make your pep mold armature and throw the paper clay on it and sand it down for your armor pieces.

  10. #10
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    Gilmore of OK said: View Post
    Well...I am gonna harp on this for just ONE moment, and then I will gladly drop that subject. The 501st you could say are "stuck up", but in all honesty they have the right to be. I'm a 501st member and we have had the pleasure of working with Lucas and LFL themselves on events. There is a reason they call on the 501st...cuz we are the best, and we have some of the most detail oriented costumers out there among our ranks. There are standards that must be met for your membership requirements, so if you take the legion's accuracy standards for being stuck up, then I would take a gander at the place you are posting at now. The Dented Helmet is the definitive resource for Fett Costuming, harboring the most elite of Fett costumers. But all forums/clubs/organizations will have issues, and people will be people and no one is perfect, so there is no need to label the entire 501st because of the more strict costume guidelines. As you said...


    But none the less...I will put this topic aside...

    So I believe you are totally correct Doc. Costuming SHOULD be fun for everyone and anyone. For some there is a sense of pride in making their costume the best they can. Some for knowing they are the only ones with that costume, etc, etc. There are ways you can build costumes for less than the "typical going rate" Like someone stated, Pepakura, its pretty easy and COST EFFECTIVE. And with that, you can find some of the most accurate Pep files out there giving you an accurate costume on the best budget. I'm interested in hearing of this "paper clay" it sounds like the same working consistancy as Bondo....which means you could easily make your pep mold armature and throw the paper clay on it and sand it down for your armor pieces.
    Agreed, lets table the topic, lol at this rate others could start more heated arguments and next thing you know well have a new galactic civil war.

    I have been looking at the Pepakura files, that program holds great intrest, but i havent found a down loadable CT armor file yet. But in all truth, even the price of printer ink and paper would be far less then you would pay for a set of ABS or other plastic armor. SO if you know where to find some Star Wars pep files i would be most interested. I have seen the Halo stuff people have been making and im very impressed

    Now as for the Paper clay, I havent had the chance to really mess with it yet, iv seen it in craft stores, but its a lil expensive, however i looked it up online and found that it can be created somewhat simply, I plan to mess with it, and as soon as i know that it works and wont make my (or anyone elses) armor look like swamp thing lol, I will deff post all the details

  11. #11
    Renigade16's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    I love this idea of a budge low set of armor. I myself have been trying to get some $$$ for a set of armor but seeing as I have no extra money right now its hard.
    I did find this a few days ago I thought I might post it.

    *NOTE THiS IS NOT MINE I DID NOT MAKE IT.



    Mando Helmet DONE by ~cptmeatman
    Artisan Crafts / Miscellaneous 2009-2010 ~cptmeatman
    Oh I just had to take the picture with me in the Hawaiian shirt, it is so awesome, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I'm going to take a break from the crafting for a few weeks since school is about to start again but once I get back into the studying rhythm I will get on my full Beskar'gam of which I have the collar bone piece built but not painted...

    Using cardboard and poster board but I may look into some pvc plastic if I can find some cheep.

  12. #12
    stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    The thing with pepakura is that it's not JUST paper... People start out with the cardstock then glue it and coat it in resin / bondo, then sand it all smooth. It's still a lot of work beyond the printing / folding stage.

    I've used paperclay for some things. I don't personally think it's a good choice for armor. It's not very strong, especially in large, thin pieces. One bump into something and it will fall apart, unless you make it REALLY thick.

    I guess it's all a matter of perspective and what you want to go for. What do you plan to actually *do* with this armor? Wear it to halloween parties? conventions? How often will you be wearing it.

    Part of the reason we require suits to be made of certain materials / in certain ways is that the stuff is designed to take a beating. I've worn my Rex suit at least 30 times, if not more. A suit made out of paper, cardboard, etc... might not take that much abuse.

    So figuring out what the goal of the armor is will help you find an appropriate building material.

  13. #13
    Tankboy's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    TheDoctor said: View Post
    I have been looking at the Pepakura files, that program holds great intrest, but i havent found a down loadable CT armor file yet. But in all truth, even the price of printer ink and paper would be far less then you would pay for a set of ABS or other plastic armor. SO if you know where to find some Star Wars pep files i would be most interested. I have seen the Halo stuff people have been making and im very impressed
    Nintendude of the 405th (aka Vagabond) has a set of pretty HD pep files. They're hard to assemble, but they're out there. I'd link you to them, but the 405th is under a DDOS attack at the moment... There are a lot of other files too for SW. Dungbeetle has a full set of stormie armor, including a very good helmet. He also has the ep. 2 clone bucket, and some other stuff. The big names in SW pepakura are: Dungbeetlem, vagabond, MatrixSkull (IRP papercrafters or something, he's been making a ton of clone buckets) and Skip (though his cost $8 per file. but they are WORTH it!) Check out the pepakura prop forum by dungbeetle. Hope it helps!

    (Oh, and pepakura can actually be MORE expensive than plastic armor, it depends on your methods. Paper mache is dirt chep, but the quality is low. Smooth-cast or fiberglass to harden the paper is about $100-300 a suit, depending on type and quality. Just FYI.)

    Pepakura armor WILL take a beating, people have (quite stupidly) played paintball with the stuff. That will crack it in no time, but it WILL withstand impacts. Plastic stuff is far more likely to give, fiberglass is going to crack. But wearing it 30-40-50 times won't do much to it. You'll have a few spots to patch up here and there, but hey. Ok, I'm getting too long-winded.

  14. #14
    Aussie Phantom's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    I've done some work with Paper mache - you can get good results but i'd steer clear of flour paste and anythign else that contains water... water plus pepakura equals mush.

    I tried PVA - it worked oK but if you tried to do more than one layer at a time the carboard would lose shape and go wavey. it took a couple of days to dry enough to re-coat but once dry it was pretty strong I'd say 5 or 6 layer would be enough...

    I tried Elmers "no wrinkles' paper craft glue - worked better than PVA and the cardboard didn't wrinkle but had the weird effect that each layer of glue melted the layer underneath and it wasn't waterproof - oh and the glue was so expensive that enough to do a helmet would be marginally more expensive than epoxy/glass and slightly less than 2 pack polyurethane and would still need sereval coats of varnish inside and out or it will turn to mush about an hour after you put it on (seriously if you doubt me put on a plastic shower cap and walk around the house for an hour - send photos) .

    I've considered using clear 'oil based' one-pack polyurethane floor varnish as the adhesive... it doesn't contain water so it shouldn't soften the cardboard and when dry it is actually a fairly rigid polyurethane so it should be reasonably structural and might even be sandable assuming the paper wets out all the way through. The catch is that the reinforcing paper won't conform as well as normal paper mache for the same reason the cardboard form won't soften...

    Did I mention that each layer of paper mache took me about an hour to do the inside surface of one of Skip's EP.2 clone helmets... and using PVA in mid summer (32degC to 35degC average) it still took a day or two for each layer to dry enough to recoat. Not a fast process.

    Like any techniques I'm sure you can get good results with paper mache and there are examples out there but for my tinme and effort I'll be using other techniques.

    I mention the mush one more time because it would be a shame to put in th effort to make great helmet and/or costuem only to destroy it on its first trooping just by wearing it.
    Last edited by Aussie Phantom; May 24, 2010 at 10:16 AM.

  15. #15
    mandosoldier's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    in the end only way to REALLY know is if he just builds his version and wears it, then he can report on it's durability etc...

  16. #16
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    theres a guy scratcg building on CTN now

  17. #17
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    iwouldnt go to CTN with this subject, it's a 501st site and I dont think you're gonna get any help there

  18. #18
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Tankboy's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    woodman said: View Post
    iwouldnt go to CTN with this subject, it's a 501st site and I dont think you're gonna get any help there
    Agreed.


    Paper mache works, but as Phantom said, takes a LOT of time, and is very prone to turning to mush/cracking. I wonder what weould happen if you started sweating on paper mache... probably a very disgusting result. FLour-based maches are pretty hard to deal with, and VERY heavy. Amaco makes a paper mache mix... rather expensive, but it may be worth it. It hought about sculptamold, but good lord, the stuff feels like a brick (I use it for diorama groundwork... makes an excellent counterweight for tricycle-gear aircraft too! :P ) I pepped an Emile EVA helmet (Halo Reach) for molding purposes, and I slush-casted the interior with Durham's water putty. It actually did a very nice job, however, that stuff will crack and flake like crazy if dropped, and again, is relatively. But maybe these can get you some more ideas. I am currently building a full suit of Mk. V spartan armor (halo reach, emile) and am using smoothcast 300 for hardening it. I think a single gallon kit (2 gallons of material, $80) should do the trick. The stuff is pretty light, and VERY durable. But I'm 16, very small (5'4") so for a full grown adul in the 6-foot range, it'll be around the $160 range. That would be 4 gallons of material, probably enough to give the entire pep suit a solid coating.

  20. #20
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    do a search for "armor depot florida" in the ebay stores this is r2lass and they make a good set for $375 and even have a make offer option. I got mine for $340 plus shipping.

  21. #21
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    WOW that aint bad howd it end up for you woody? My Clone6 stuff is waiting for me back home

  22. #22
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    It's good stuff

  23. #23
    clonecollector's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    woodman said: View Post
    It's good stuff
    Do you know how the r2lass armor compares to say clonesix or even oscs armor? I'm a stocky guy... I like oscs short leg armor... I'm in the market but I want to start with something that is big enough for me that I can tim down if necessary (instead of having to build up). Thanks!

  24. #24
    Thaxos's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    clonecollector said: View Post
    Do you know how the r2lass armor compares to say clonesix or even oscs armor? I'm a stocky guy... I like oscs short leg armor... I'm in the market but I want to start with something that is big enough for me that I can tim down if necessary (instead of having to build up). Thanks!
    What pieces would you like measured? I've got a kit here I'm slowly working on...

  25. #25
    formerly Woodman woodman's Avatar
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    Re: Clones on a Budget

    I sold my r2lass thighs and shins cause they are sized for someone 6' to 6' plus and i'm 5'8" I bought OSCS legs. The r2lass leg parts were plenty big enough around just way too long for me. I weigh 235 so I am pretty stocky myself. My forearms are 13" around and my biceps are 15" around and the r2lass parts fit great. the handbacks are nice and the shoulders too. doesnt come with any shoulder straps. I cant help you with the clonsix armor I've never seen it in person. I would compare the legs as good but the are made from different materials. This doesnt matter though it all goes together the same way.

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