Over a year ago, I picked up a completed Boushh Helmet (Todd's cast and paint up by alvomedia) and was blown away by it.
The paint up that Alvomedia is absolutely stunning. Todd's mold is equally as sharp. The helmet inspired me to go forward with building a complete Boushh costume for my wife....well maybe more for me, but for her to to wear for me!
I reached out to Dark Shadow (Scott) who does limited Boushh armor kit runs and placed my order for the armor, tank and bandoliers kits with him. After patiently waiting for almost a year, his kit was ready for shipment and I received the below in the mail.
Armed with my reference book, reference images and armor...it was time to go to work.
The first thing I tackled was the armor. Scott's kit comes in 3 pieces and requires bonding. I overlapped the front collar pieces over the rear panel to my liking and used gaffers tape to hold them together.
Next, I used repair putty, which bonds hard and solid to hold the pieces together.
Once that dried solid. I started the processing sanding the edges and smoothing out the putty. In addition, I used bondo in some areas to help cover over the rough areas. I attempted to sand down the shoulder curve as much as could, so it would sit lower on the shoulders and allow more space so the helmet could fit properly around the neck.
Next came the test fitting with the helmet on.
Scott, when designing his armor had hands on opportunity to measure the actual prop worn by Carrie Fisher. Therefore, this armor is definitely made for a small petite frame. My wife got it on without issue, but no way I could get it on my bigger frame. If I would of forced it on, I likely would of cracked the bond.
The armor mold already has some intended imperfections and damage grooves, but I personally wanted a few more and added them. Once that was done I went to sanding and priming.
After priming, I wanted to nail down the alignment for the tank and backing before I went onto final painting. So I actually had to start getting the tank semi built in order to do this (I will get into that build later) did some quick measuring, spacing and hole drilling to make sure everything would sit properly once assembled.
For the base paint. I opted for Tamiya Linoleum Deck Brown TS-69 Spray. For bigger area coverage, I just prefer the Tamiya or Model Masters spray cans. They apply evenly and smoothly. Yes they are more expensive then the paint for airbrushes, but lets me honest...I'm just lazy and hate cleaning up the air brush equipment and mess I make.
Lastly, for the finishing touches on the armor, I added the weathering details with an airbrush. I used a mix of deck brown with black to create a darker brown and a black wash mist. Once dried I gave it a semi-gloss clear coat to match the screen used reference.
The kit is essentially a 3 & 4 inch PVC pipe base with resin caps and greeblies.
And from that...the goal is to get to this:
Using some reference photos, I glued the greeblies together and cut out the areas needed on the left tank using a dremel and drill.
Next, I glued the greeblies inside the cut out slots and used simple nuts and bolts to attach the right and left tanks and backing together.
I continued with gluing the U rod together , marking it and screwing it into both the tanks. I did not get the curve correct and needed to use some putty to help fill in the gaps.
I wanted it to be noted that I have avoided putting on the tank caps for the simple reason that I need to be able to access the interior to secure the bolts and nuts, particularly to the armor.
Once I got most of the tank built, I pre-drilled the holes and aligned it with the armor.
For the leather strap that attaches on the upper collar, I realized that is not weight barring and just simply for appearance. I just glued it to the backer board and drilled holes to attach it.
Once I got everything were I wanted. I glued the top tank tops on, but still leaving the bottom open to access the nuts. I spray painted it with primer. While taking a look at the reference photos, I observed there is green damage to the U Bar on the tanks. After primer, I used some green spray paint to color this area and mask it off.
Although my post are several days aparts, the building process so far has been about 3-4 weeks. Having to cut, research, screw, let the glue and paint dry and life just getting in the way. So I am basically just playing catch up on this build documentation. Anyways, continuing on with the tank. After the primer dried and looking at the metallic silver on the tank from the references, it closely resembled the Tamiya Gun Metal TS-38 Spray that I used on the Han Solo in Carbonite build, so I went with that option.
I let the paint dry for a few days and I took a sanding pad and started to lightly wear down the areas on the tank that had scour marks.
Taking a look at the reference images, I started to tape of areas of the tank and paint the areas needed. I used an airbrush to paint on plain blue to the smaller cylinder greeblie and a green mixed with white to paint the panel green and top of the tanks a faded light green.
The next challenge I had was creating the symbols that go on the left tanks. I knew trying to free hand was going to be a mess. To do this, I pulled up the best reference images could find and I created the symbol on photoshop. The symbols were designed to be a 4x4 inches. However that size was too big, but with the assistance of my wife, we printed the symbols to about 3x3 using her vinyl sticker printer.
After applying the decal, I airbrushed a thin layer of white, in hopes it would help create the white boarder and when I lightly sand the top colors, it will be revealed. While the paint on the stencils were drying, I decided to add some weathering touches on the tanks using black and brown washes and misting it on in certain areas to give a dirty look.
I then used red and brown airbrush paint to color in the appropriate symbols.
If, you would like the way the stencil came out. Here are the template I designed for you to use.
Continuing with the tanks. I used both a soft sanding block and sanding sticks to get the distressed lettering and markings. Once I got everything to my liking, I used socket screws to secure the tanks to the back of the armor plates. Once they were secured, I used E600 to glue on the bottom tank caps.
Taking a look at the reference images, the armor had inner padding. To create this, I used 1/2 foam and picked up a light tan suede like material from Joann's fabric for $7.00. I then cut the foam to form around the armor and cut the fabric to match as well. Using hot glue and E6000, I glued the fabric to the foam. I then added velcro to the armor and foam backing. Lastly, I weathered it with brown and black paint to darken it.
Here is my semi finished tank and armor. I think I will add a bit more weathering and I also still need to attach the front strap and greeblie to the armor, but the hard part of this piece is done.