Custom Mando WIP build

SonOfCorvinus

New Hunter
Hey everyone, I've been skulking around these forums long enough now I figured it was probably time I posted a WIP thread for the custom Mando armour (<-- yes I'm Canadian) I've been working on. It's a bit pic heavy since I started this last summer and have worked on it intermittently between work and home life and everything in between. Prior to undertaking this build I had a total of zero experience building props, armour or anything for that matter so please, criticism and suggestions are not only welcome but encouraged.
Also note that progress on this build has been a little hindered of late as I recently moved across country for work and now live in a remote fly in area only, so the materials available to me are super limited and I have to either work around it or pull some shady stunt to get one of the work pilots to smuggle in some materials!

The first thing I started working on was cutting, sanding and shaping the armour plates out of 6mm Sintra, the templates were downloaded from this site (Thanks Wizardofflight).
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Below is the preliminary result of the shaped plates. This was pretty much the first time I saw the armour start to take shape.
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The picture below was taken last Halloween when I mounted everything temporarily to check for placement, fit, sizing, etc. I was happy with what I had accomplished by this point, however with this test run I quickly discovered what was working on the suit, and more importantly what wasn't. After that night I hung the project up and forgot about it for a little while as I felt a bit deflated to have done all that work only to find that I'd have to go over most of what I worked on to trim, reshape and modify what I had already built. Many more hours were spent on forums scouring every source for information and knowledge to improve the build.
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More to come..
 

SonOfCorvinus

New Hunter
I guess I should have started this thread with the concept I sketched out before rambling on. This was the initial idea based off a Jango template. I used it to try out different colour schemes, eventually settling on something roughly looking like this:

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For the bucket I reached out to an awesome guy from the Mandalorian mercs site by the handle of Droodles, he had some pretty nice resin casts which he sculpted himself. In retrospect after having done way more research I would have probably opted for an FPH2 from Wasted_Fett, but that doesn't mean that won't happen in the future. I opted for no rangefinder for 2 reasons, #1) I find it makes for a more streamline helmet which is a bit different from what I've seen so far, and #2) I'm 6'4", so there's no way that somewhere, somehow that rangefinder wouldn't be ripped out of the socket due to some low hanging doorframes, lighting fixtures or whatever else may be hovering just above my head.
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Added the 3D printed keyslot that came with the cast.

I tried my hand at scratch building a pair of gauntlets, I was in over my head at the time so I ended up scrapping them and buying a set of vacformed gauntlets I found online. I thought they were a little brittle out of the box so I decided to reinforce them with fiberglass.
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It was at this point where I had accepted a transfer to an isolated fly in only post and realized that the movers wouldn't ship any compressed, or hazardous materials, ie: paint rattle cans, bondo.. basically anything you need in order to complete a work in progress. Given this revelation, and having only about a week to use up anything I couldn't transport, I got to work trimming, reshaping, wet sanding, priming, more wet sanding and base coating everything with Testor's metallic silver.
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Sorry, some of the full sized images aren't uploading properly.

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SonOfCorvinus

New Hunter
Thanks for the positive feedback guys!

With the armour plates base coated metallic silver I packed everything up into a storage bin and moved across the country. Some of the parts got a little dinged up, but I'll chalk that up to some battle damage/wear and tear on the final result. Once relocated I started working on the soft parts as I'd need something to attach everything to.
Before the move I had bought a pair of coveralls from Mark's warehouse, as well as an XL work shirt of the same brand and material, I un-stitched the sleeves from the shirt and had the sleeves sewn onto the coveralls and removed all the pockets. (Credit goes to my brother's girlfriend, I can't sew worth a sh%$). Further to that, I took the flight suit with me on vacation back to my hometown to have the legs tapered and slimmed down as the coveralls were pretty baggy.
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Once ready to work on it further I started on the weathering process which consisted of brewing vast amounts of tea and soaking the fabric for about 2 hours or so in the sink. I washed the suit on a light rinse and I sanded down areas that would incur the most amount of friction damage with 150 grit sandpaper, including the front of the thighs, elbows, base of the legs etc. The suit was given a second round of dye with the tea, then using a strong brewed batch of coffee I took a sponge brush and applied the brew generously throughout the crevices and seam lines to vary the intensity of the stains. The suit was left to dry for a few hours then I tossed it in the dryer to set all the stains properly. Once dried I used my airbrush for the first time ever and started misting the spots that would be the first to accumulate dirt, grime and stains with some thinned down Tamiya rubber black and dark brown. Eventually I got to a point where I was pretty happy for the time being, however I'm sure as the build progresses and the suit is worn I'll add some touch-ups. Note that I mainly focused on areas that would be visible while wearing the armour so as to not waste too much of my precious limited supply of paint as shipping costs to this place are astronomical.
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Once that was all said and done I started on the leather parts which consist of the girth belt, over belt and holster rig. I managed to find a surplus of RCMP Sam Browne ceremonial dress leather belts, ammo/handcuff pouches and holsters which suited my needs pretty much perfectly. Once having decided the layout of the belt I cut and riveted the straps to form a dual holster setup that matches somewhat the Jango Fett style rig. The weathering process consisted of sanding down the leather with 150 grit sandpaper to remove any leather protector that may have been added by the manufacturer, as well as to rough up the leather to give it worn/used look. The great part about genuine leather is once you sand through the initial top layer, it becomes incredibly absorbent and receptive to dyes and polish. I used a wood burner to burnish and rough up any areas that needed to be cut during the construction process, adding gashes and nicks while attempting to keep the damage realistic without overdoing it. Once the physical damage had been added it was time to start with the colour. Using a bottle of liquid black Kiwi shoe polish I did a wash over each piece one at a time, allowing about 2-3 minutes or so to dry to a tacky state, then took a damp cloth and rubbed away at the high spots, leaving a nice layered look. I repeated this process as many times as needed on each piece and tried to keep the look uniform over the entirety of the belt.
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When I started this build last summer, I had a friend from work who's also a member on TDH as Chewie (which happens to legit be his nickname in real life) come over and pretty much lose his mind at the build I had started, causing him to get involved and start his own screen accurate Jango armour. We've kept in touch despite now living across the country from one another and periodically send each other updates on our builds. Chewie got it into his head that he was going to scratch build a leather Jango girth belt and started chatting with Cruzer on how to get it done. Chewie offered to make one for me as well in exchange for some items I sent him in return. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago when I received the package in the mail, and holy hell was I blown away at how well he did on that belt! The girth belt ended up matching beautifully with my top belt and holster rig. Shoutout to having talented friends willing to get their hands dirty to build you a belt!
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