Chris be in Florida last time I checked the local 501st boards.
Vista... I wish it was more stable. It'll be great in a few months. Now, it just slugs your computer down. At least thats what I've seen from my various friends that have gotten college laptops.
Edit: Oops. Posted after you did. Keep up the great work!
Any work on that helmet yet?
can't wait to see the finished product. keep up the awesome work bro!
Thanks guys, Im just getting stuff ready before I head up to tallahassee for college. Since I got the vacu-former done, Im gonna continue making the molds. What I need to finish though is the bicep mold, and the shoulder bell especially before I can move onto the chest pieces. I am thinking however of re-doing the hand armor molds. Ive noticed recently how for example, the FX TK hand armor details are really crisp and defined, where as mine are there, but just not pulling in tight enough. Plus, I think that the mold I have right now may be too small for my hand.
I also picked up a light cone cover for like those small lamps, and I got it because it looks like I can use it for a section of the thruster I need for the JP.
In August, I will be moving into a house in Tally for college, and will be moving this project up with me. Fortunatly, I made the vacu-former transportable (somewhat) so I'll be taking over the garage and backyard for this year.
Keep up on the project. There are many people in the 501st watching this project with great interest. Whether you know it or not, this project may be the start of something waaay bigger.
Keep up the progress reports!
Glad to hear you're going to be able to take everything with you. Keep it up man.
Chris, this is seriously some awesome work, it's been a pleasure to watch your progress. Don't give up!!!
Thanks guys. Jodo, you honestly think this is goin to be something big? LOL, im just tryin to build me a suit so I can change my status from "501st wannabe noob," to "actual 501st member." Im not trying to make anything groundbreaking, and just wanna keep it at the same level as the rest of the suits out there.
You know, Im REALLY thankful to the TDH for letting me keep this thread in the dented variants section, despite the fact its not even a mando related character. I know on other sites, they would have already deleted this and tell me to move it elsewhere. For this, I want to thank the admis for letting me keep this posted here:thumbup:thumbup
Anyways, I got another sheet of MDF today and Im gonna start working on the shoulder bell. I need to add like 2 or 3 more layers, then I can start sculpting that to the shape. I'll keep it going!
Just wanted to add one more thng. I found a plastics place nearby that Im gonna check out this week, and that would really help me out to get plastic locally. And the gunetlet and hand that I formed earlier, Im not going to keep it. Im somewhat dissappointed that the last 2 boxes barely formed, and Im not going to accept that as "good enough." Same thing with the hand guard, Im gonna re-sculpt them and give it a better curve towards the wrist, much like the FX hand guard. Im standing by this when I say that I will not accept **** casts for the final suit, therefore going to keep practicing until I produce something worth wearing.
Hey, if you really think about it the best troops were still cloned from the :jangoFett template so it is kind of mando;):D
Well, either way, Im glad I can still post it here.
On my trip to home depot I picked up this lamp shade. I have seen these everytime Ive gone, and always told myself to see if it would work. Well I think it will. Im gonna have to cut some of it, but the final cone should be adequete for the thruster. I just need to go get another one.
I think its funny how Im just using a PVC cone and a lamp shade, and you instantly have a thruster lol
That looks like it will work pretty great! No shame in the lamp shade! I snatched some intense card board tubes from work yesterday to possibly use to holster refillable dust-off cans in my jet pack for the smoke effect. Anything is possible! We seem to see everything differently when costumes are on the mind!
Keep up the great work! And this thread is too great... and long to delete!
Talk about ingenuity!!! good job:skull
Today I got started on the shoulder bell mold once again. Working on the molds like this requires like a routine or else you'll get lazy and not do anything for awhile lol. I was looking over my diagrams and measurements and I saw that I lables the height of the bell to be 7 1/2 inches tall. So i took measuring tape to 7.5 inches, and held it up to my shoulder and yea, it was too tall, it would have been too bulbus then in the game's model. So I decided to keep it at 6 inches tall (real 6 inches, not the "half of a sub sandwich" kind lol) I just added 4 layers and the glue is drying. I cant start shaping cause Im getting my braces off soon. After that or tomorrow, I'll start the shaping.
Took this pic to show the size comparison of all the arm molds. After seeing this, you can even see how small the hand mold is, and how out of proportion it is.
Hey that's looking great! Keep up the great work, and don't get lazy!
still no helmet pics :( :( :(
Still looking excellent man! Keep up the excellent work! :cheers
Im gonna start shaping the shoulder bell soon to get it started.
Alright, well today's sanding was brought to an abrubt and unexpected stop. Fortunatly, I was sble to start sanding. Here are the pics to show how im approaching this. Yes, it looks like a rock, but I want to assure you that it will be the shoulder bell once I fix my sander!
Please dont laugh at my rock....
absolutely awsome progress man! no laughing at the rock here :) you're doing a great job. gunna have a little giggle at the sander though, :o
continue to keep us on the edge of our seats tubachris!
Ooh that doesn't look like much fun there with your belt sander. Excellent work however! Looks like a few screws and you can get to the belt sander insides to free that up. Hopefully that's all you need to do with it. Good luck with that!
Yea, immediatly after cleaning up from working, I got right on the belt sander. I removed every screw and piece I could. Even removed the whole motpr. I cant seem to figure how to seperate the plastic though. I want to try to remove the wheel that the cord is snaged in, but I cant do aything. If I cant get this out, Im just gonna have to buy a new one. This sander was my grandfathers, and I'd hate to lose it.
I need a belt sander or else I cant really do much to get anywhere with this project.
Is there any places that fix this kind of stuff? That really stinks bro...
I can see if either home depot or lowes can do it, but Im afraid that if they do, by the time its all said and doine, I might as have paid for a new one. The worst case scenario is that I have to cut the cord and re-wire it myself, or buy a new one. Its a great sander and I would hate to lose it. Having to pay for a new one wont really help cause paying for just materials is getting hard. I still need MDF to just make molds, and im only working one sheet at a time.
Ay, just wait till I need more plastic.
You could always try and reverse the motor. I don't know if you could swap wires around to do that or not. I guess there is a possibility of frying the motor. Just a thought.
Sorry I didnt elaborate enough, I was in a rush. I was taking the whole thing apart to try to remove a section of the plastic that was holding the cord in place. Got as far as removing the whole motor and internal guts. No luck with that. So in a small fit of frustration and some man handling, I pulled the cable out. Wasnt strong enough yesterday for some reason, but oh well.
Project is a go..
Man handeling, ha ha! Glad you got that thing fixed! It would not have been too hard to re-wire it if you really had to though. How much did that one cost you anyhow?
Yes, Ive found myself in MANY of those moments T-bone. Cant tell ya how much its saved my butt either!
Skywalker98, fortunatly for me, two of the main tools I use, the circular saw and this sander was my grandfathers. I am lucky enough that my grandmother let me borrow them. Re-wiring wouldnt have been hard though, but in this case, I didnt have to in the end. Although, when I pulled it out, there is a slice in the rubber liner that almost goes down to the main wires.
However, I had to tear apart a perfectly good sheet of belt sandpaper..
Nerts! Double post..
So I decided to check out this plastics place nearby and man, they are expensive! They had the HIPS plastic, but only in one size. So before I decided to get a sheet, it turned out that after its $36 for a 4x8' sheet! There was an additional charge for cutting cause it wouldnt fit into the ford focus we have, and plus after all that, the final charge was $52 for just one sheet. I thought it would be cheaper then ordering it and such, but im just sticking to the online ordering of plastic for now on..
Ouch man... ouch. At least you checked it out though!
Did you think about cutting it down in the parking lot before you put it into the car? Just bring a good knife with you and a quick bend..SNAP and its cut. Just a thought.
Or do you know someone with a truck? I'm sure you could put a nice slice in a truck bed. Nice idea WhiteArmor!
Just wanted to say something...
I know my progress on this is slow, and im sure people who are watching this may be getting impatient with the fact that its so slow. I just want to assure anyone who feels that way that no matter what, you will see a darktrooper suit at the end of this whole thing. Plus, I decided that im only going to join the 501st with suit first, thats if they accept it. If not, I'll just do another suit. I apologize that some things are progressing slower then others, and I admit that I procrastinate on alot of things, this being one of them. So I just want to say that Im working my best to produce something I think is worth while, and I can obviously see the interest in this particlular project. I too get impatient, even with myself because I feel that Im not putting 110% into every aspect of this build up, or im not completing something I know I should have by now (the Jet Pack!!!) If you feel that Im slacking on something or Im not doing as well on something, please LMK, I need constructive critizism. I know this particular trooper is not as studied as the rest of the standards, but in the later part of this, alot of the things you'll start recognizing. So if you see something that you honestly think looks or is like ****, let me know! Dont be afraid to say anything.
I wrote this, because I was getting the feeling that some are getting impatient with this, and that leads to the "no credibility of producing" judgement. Lol I guess what Im really trying to say is I need time to do this, I am, after all one person. Thanks
A good costume takes time man, take all you need. At the end of the day, the only person who should be impressed by it is you. Don't worry about what others think or how much time it takes.
We're not rushing you... now hurry it up! :lol
But seriously, we're not getting impaciant with you. Sorry if you feel pressured by anyone's posts, I'm sure that that was not their intent. Your doing amazing work! Just because you slow down doesn't mean your doing bad or we are getting tired of waiting. Take your time! Trust me, if I had a progress thread for my Jango costume, it would be dead right now. Your doing just fine!
Now get back to work!
I dont know, theres not really any one post that got me to think that, its just a "feeling" I got. Maybe im just beeing to critical..
Anyways, just something small, I think it looks good for the shape. Its the thruster nozzle for the jump jet pack. Worked out good with the lamp shade, and took less than a mintue to mark and cut down. What I need to do is sand down the pvc part, cause I painted it and while drying, wind blew the pvc particles from when I cut it right onto the wet paint. So sand and repaint that, and then got to paint the lamp shade grey. Im thinking of putting greeblies on the inside of it, so that when you look in, it actually looks like something that would be inside a thruster nozzle. I think it looks pretty good for its shape.
Oh yea, I still got to trim and even out the area where the shade meets the pvc.
Sorry guys for the lack of some updates, Ive come down with a fever or something. Going to the doctor today to see whats wrong
get well soon chris
Hope you are feeling better.
Get well soon.
Thanks guys. Im feeling somewhat better today. The fever part of it went away later last night, but Im still having some headaches that havent gone away. Doc is having me do a CAT scan today. I think theres nothing serious, but we'll see. I'll be getting back onto the project soon enough
Everythings fine according to the doctors. Apparently, my brain is "un-remarkable."
Better get back to work then..
Good to hear you are doing better, TubaChris! I think your project looks amazing so far. I can't wait to see more from it!
Its not finished but I decided to paint it while I was semi-alive the other day just to do something.
Im not trying to make excuses or anything, but one thing after another keeping me from working on this project. Between me being sick, and now, there was a random and spontaneuos descision to take a trip up the east coast to New York this saturday http://www.tk560.com/phpBB2/images/s...n_rolleyes.gif I dont mind goin, its just Ive been set back soooooo much to get work done. As stupid as this sounds, I think I had more time to work during school then I am now in summer. My mother has had me install 7 new light fixtures, one track lighting, 3 outdoor lights, 2 indoor dome lights and 1 wall light, forgot the name for them. And now installing a hanging light to hang over our soon to be dinning room, http://www.tk560.com/phpBB2/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif All this in just this past month.
So since its harder for me to get the actual molds worked on, Im gonna focus on the jump jet pack until I can get real time to do something because I know I can spend whatever little time I have working on it.
Its taking a looooooooooong time, and Im not even done with the arm molds yet. Not to mention the mods I need to make to the vac-former. Arg, too much to do, so little time.
Thanks guys for your support and being patient with this.
Just hang in there, man. You'll get it done. If building a costume was easy everyone would do it.
Well, the time has almost arrived, in less then 2 weeks, im moving up to tallahassse into my new home for college. Im gonna try to bring everything that I need to work on this with me, but its gonna be difficult cause I also have my brother moving with me, and sharing the truck. The worst case scenario is either I cant get my vac-former equipment up or even worse, I wont be able to get my locker with all my tools and the molds up. Im not thinking it will be too much of an issue, but theres always the possibility my parents will say "you dont need it, so dont bring it."
So for these last two weeks down, im packin and getting everything I can ready, gotta install another light before I go :rolleyes Armor making aint easy:(
hehe...i take it you are good with wiring then tuba lol...good luck on the move to college, if your college is anyhting like mine you should have a blast and have plenty of time to work on your armour...again good luck (good too hear your better as well lol)
Thanks, im kinda upset cause since I graduated I dont have a tuba to play. Just means I need to get a job so I can get a decent used tuba. Would be a shame to have to stop playing...I can play my fair share of difficult music, played grade 7 for S&E, played the second movment of the Vaughn Williams tuba concerto. Now for those who have never heard it, man, you'll never stereotype tubas anymore..
My brother is a pretty good tuba player, and my parents bought him an old Sousaphone from like 1930s off of ebay for something like $200.
I hope that you can bring the stuff, as I've been itching to see this get done! No rush though, of course. ;)
Well $200 for an old sousa seems like a deal. Usually the old ones generally sound the best, that is, if their in good condition. I need me an up-right 4 valved BBb..hmm...1291 miraphone sounds nice..
(I guess I can only dream about that..)
Im packin up my things now, Ive been gone for awhile, ond trip to New York, and then one more trip to Atlanta, and I got back early this morning. My last week home, leavin saturday. Im lucky enough that I am able to bring everything I have here, tools and locker, whole vac-former set up, all my smaller prop-making items and what not.
I picked up some sanding sealer today so I can really smooth out the molds for casting, the "fuzz" of the MDF gets annoying and Im sure this will help out.
Once again, I apologize for those who are watching this project unfold, for it taking along time for progress, but after we are settled in tally, there will be more progress.
keep up the good work, dont let anyone pressure you, and have fun in college. just make sure your grades come first. this time around you are paying for education. your passion on this project is i think what most people are intent on.. i havent seen someone so hellbent on completing something since... 5 years ago when my friend didnt leave his shop for dayz just to finish a sculpt for a mold of te clone pilot helm. i dont advise this he kinda stank after a few days lol. but its your passion man and i say go for it!
Alright, I finnally have enough time to post something!!!
Im all unpacked and almost completly settled into our new house. Still have ALOT of things that I need to do, need to finish putting together my room, and need to figure where I can work.
The house we got is very nice and we were very lucky to find this place only 5 minutes from FSU's campus. Only thing I am quit upset about is that I need to make a whole new extension cord and plugs cause there is not a single 20 amp socket in the house. I dunno who wired it, but every single socket is the standard 15 amp style, 2 prong slots and a bottom slot for ground. So Im going to have to use at least 10 guage wire for this to work.
I am also planning on modifying my vac-former platen, so that instead of a single hole design, Im going to put on a peg board for better surface suction, which will result in better and tighter pulls.
Im going to start focusing some work onto the jump-jet pack for now, only because Ive gotten lazy with that part of the project and that Im still deciding my work space for the outside.
Anyways, heres some pics of the house and my room...
Had to add this...
Here's my room now. Gotta love that 80's fermica. Gotta hang my ROTJ poster and some others I have.
Best part is that my room is right next to the kitchen lol
Awesome! That's a pretty nice pad you got there. How many people are staying in it? It's good that you were able to bring everything along. Good luck with school!
Only 4 of us, me, my brother and 2 friends. We are all goin to school up here. This place is sweet! http://forums.offtopic.com/images/smilies/hsdance.gifhttp://forums.offtopic.com/images/smilies/hsdance.gif
Wow, how did i miss this thread... Great work TB
You know, im not having to much good luck. I go outside cause I say "hey, Im gonna go do some more MDF shaping on the shoulder bell mold" Spent like 15 minutes, making some good progress, and BAM! The sander keels over and dies, FOR GOOD. Im frankly pissed right now, cause I dunno the next time I'll be able to get another belt sander.
I just read through this entire thread to catch up, and...wow!
it's coming along nicely even if you may think it's going slow. doing something right takes time, and from what I've seen in your progress, you're definitely doing things right. :thumbsup
sorry to hear about the sander btw :(
when the DT gets done, all the time you put into it will be apparent to anyone who knows what they're looking at. so stick with it, and i can't wait to see the finished product. :cheers
Thanks man, lol, Im proud of ya for reading through the whole thing and that goes to anyone who has all in one shot, not an easy task
My biggest issue is money. Since my sander died, its going to set me back $50 for the cheapest one :rolleyes Becuase of this, now its going to be an early B-day gift, despite the fact, my b-day is at the end of october!
I have some little cash left that Im saving to use to modify my vac-former and create a new extension cord so I can actually use the oven. Im kinda stuck not being able to do anything, and its incredibly frustrating since I have absolutly nothing to do until school starts.
Being broke FTL :thumbsd
Thanks to everyone putting up with my constant babble lol
No one that you could borrow one from even? Bummer. Hope that you figure something out.
Not as of right now, still new to tallahassee. Would prefer to have my own anyways..
For about 17 bucks, I have the supplies I need to modify my vac-former. I realized that I dont need to make a whole new extention cord, but that I can just replace the plugs. The wires themselves are already capable of carrying the charge, so it would be a waste to have buy a whole new length of it.
The peg board has like an aluminum coat over the top, which is smooth and will work well. I just need to go work on it now!
I have come to a major conclusion....
I am honestly starting to think that the darktrooper project is cursed in general to anyone trying to make it. Here's why:
1) first person attempted and had just about the same amount of bad luck, one mold made, had a chemical eat through it before being able to cast it.
2) Someone over in England had a shed with several suits and projects, such as a tk and scout armor, but was also building darktrooper armor (had the legs done) came back from work to find that some punk kids had burned his shed to the ground and lost it all. Said the police wouldnt help him.
3)Now to my situation. I really find this to be more difficult than it should be. The setbacks are just getting rediculous and theres nothing I can really do but watch it. The earlier days of the project were the easiest, the whole oven build really set me back though through trial and error, but then, that was just me.
Fast forward: it began with the sander. The cord got caught in the thing and I finally fixed it, but did not touch it until after I moved. So you can recall that my sander died withing the first 15 minutes of me even using it since I had previously fixed it. A new one will cost me $50, and now thats my early B-day gift from my parents.
So the other day, I got supplies to modify the platen and to get the oven working. Oven is working now, but I had started to work with the platen, and put it back where I have always kept it, leaning against the garage wall. Next morning, I come to find out my roomate hit it, and it was lodged under his car's bumper.How it got from where it was, to there has still boggled my mindl. Fortunatly, the only thing I have to do is replace the weather stripping, but I cannot do any modifying until I get that replaced. Im also lacking incredibly with funds right now, and hard enough to just go out and get what I need.
At this rate, Im afraid the day I do finish this, is the day I die.
Curse or what?
It looks awesome man, great job!!!
man that really sucks to hear you are having such a hard time (i hope you severly beat the gun that run over your platen.....with a long pole) keep your chin up chris...everything works out in the end (it could be worse...you could have a shed thats still smoking lol) i heard about that guy from the uk before somewere...i didnt realise he was doing a DT aswell though...i only heard about his TK's and scouts...but yeah...hopefully you'll hit a lucky streak soon man
you won't die in vain!
When your frustrated just step back and take a break. Work on something else for fun. When the time is right you'll be ready to tackle the project with recharged batteries. When your upset you get impatient. When your impatient you take shortcuts, shortcuts lead to mistakes, mistakes lead to smashing things against the wall(Well in my case they do LOL) Take a small break, wait till you have a few bucks saved and come back to the project all charged up!
That's the only advice I can offer, I'm speaking from experience here. Heck I took almost the entire last year off.
Too much frustration will just lead to burnout then you may never finish that awesome suit!
Thanks guys, it is frustrating. Its something that I really enjoy doing, but at the same times makes me just want to run around screaming.
Im working to get a job now, hoping for home depot. Me and roommate might colaborate to start vacu-forming service, and he will help fund it. I'm doing a job for a member here, and my roommate says if everything looks quality to him, then he will help me out with that, and may be able to make some money on the side.
Im also going to try to have a smaller side project just to break me into fiberglassing due to a recent aquizition..
Well, its been awhile since I last visited this thread! Well since I cant really work any of the molds, I decided to go through with the platen modification, and well, tonight I just completed the mod. I think I may need to get a more powerful vaccum eventually though, but it works.
Yes, very good words of wisdom IMO. I think some of the frustration is partialy my fualt, Ive noticed that sometimes when I talk about the project to my friends, that I have a tendancy to sound neagative about the situation, thus, making it harder then it actually is. But I dunno, Im going to finish it either way.
Currently building a new plastic holding frame with help from a friend. Pics to come tomorrow.
Got the new stuff done yet? WE'RE ALL ANXIOUS!
You could always hook it to your cars intake. That'd give you the suction you'd need. Just a thought.
A friend of mine did the opposite. He had a pretty small car and supercharged the air intake with parts from a hand held Dirt Devil. He's crazy like that.
When will you get working on some bucks again?
I ain't done here, gettin a belt sander tomorrow
Can`t wait to see more progress on this project..
This show is back on the road...
This is such a great project, im sure everyone on TDH have looked at this thread atleast once (or every couple of days.....) ....and every time there is something else really great you are doing for your trooper. All I can say is keep going, the progress so far is great....and the finishd thing will be mindblowing!!!!
Looking great, Tubie! Keep up the good work!
The scoop: I bought that belt sander on my own just before my B-day.
I got "tipped off" by my GF that my parents wanted to get me one. So I did not even want to use it until I knew. Turns out they did, however, they had to mail order it for me (long story) Regardless, I had to return the one pictured above (got my $65 bucks back :thumbsup) and I finally got the new one the other day in the mail. So yesterday, I went out, got some more sanding paper and some more "no parking" signs and Im going to start today!
Ive been slackin too long on this, and I apologize to those who are eager to see this finished. I hear of people talking of this project, and I feel worse for having to explain my laziness...
I got several projects going on at the same time, even though I know I shouldnt:
-AT-AT Driver suit (so I can get into the 501st already!)
-Halo 3 master chief armor (working with a buddy)
-Cookimongoloid's ebay bought ****** recasted boba mystery bucket (wont start that for awhile though)
Just rambling on, but now, Im going to work! (for serious this time)
BTW-there will be updates later on the jump jet pack
Looking foward to seeing your progress and updates! :thumbsup
It's been said countless times already Chris, but a project of this size takes time. SO we can be patient as long as you keep working on it. You deside to give up on it though and there might be a bunch of mando's at your door to "MOTIVATE" you to continue;)
Oh and I think it should be a writen/unwritten rule that any more progress pic's have to be taken with you in your DSC uniform :lol... yeah know for -censored- and giggles
Have a good one Chris:cheers
LOL, With the amount of mando's out there, I might not want to consider giving up on this armor. As for the DSC uniform.......*sigh* lets just say I tend to accidentally break up college parties in it....thanks man, I think maybe one year I'll go as that imperial officer in Dark Forces whos in charge of the darktrooper porject lol, I'll need to get my hair all grey.
Anyways, Ive been sitting here all day working on the JP, I got alot done, started building the main box, and I put together all the walls now, so its getting there. I need to build an internal support frame as well so the thing dosnt fall apart under its weight. I'll post some pics later on when Im done for the night.
Okay, updates just like I promised..
I only worked on the JJP today, and got alot more done, may not look like much, but it takes awhile. I managed to get all the outside walls constructed, the only things left to add are the thrusters and the backing.
I started building the main box on the face of it, the screens I have for reference are never clear enough for me to actuall see what it really looks like, so Im doing my best to represent it here.
So here it is now, getting closer, Im goin to have to repaint the grey on the whole thing, then add some clear coat for protection. I am not goin to close the back yet, because I still need to create a harness and or method of attachment. Im considering just taking some long bolts and attaching it to the back plate once thats created, but I will see when that time comes.
The edges as you see do not line up perfectly, keep in mind that Im goin to be doing a bondo run down of all these areas before I paint it up
Looks really nice.
For braceing do you think you could use that expanding foam? Used in little doses so it dosn't bulg out the parts and has room to expand.
Im going to try to knock as much more out from this later today. I want to finish the main box, and paint it. Im not goin to attach it however, until I repaint the main body again. The next issue, is creating the thruster body's. Im not totally sure how I am goin to do this yet, but Im thinkin lol
Well, I originall was going to try to get this done today, based on my previous plans. However, I accidentally stumbled across an new source of reference, in which, it clearly shows the details that were previously hidden before in my screen shots. Because of this, its going to take a bit longer to replicate these details, nothing extravagant, but something I could not get done today.
I'll see what I can get done tomorrow
I would go buy a 4 x 8 sheet of the orange styrofoam from a home improvement store, and cut that into shapes that support the structure.
Its very light, VERY VERY strong. You can stand on it and not put a dent in it, a 1 x 1 foot sheet you probably coudlnt break with your hand strength.
You could cut sections, and glue it in. It would be a rock.
You could almost fill the entire thing with pieces of it, and only gain a pound or two to its total weight.
Its very easy to shape. You can cut it on a scroll saw, and sand it.
Your belt sander would shape it like butter.
I use a ghetto sander a lot in my work to flatten things (The concrete and the curb and some scraping) and you wouldnt believe how easy it is to shape.
Just a thought. Looks pretty cool man.