MOW Gauntlets for beginners (like me!)


I could not find a start to finish how-to for gauntlets of any kind here, so I'd thought I'd make one. Super-stoked about this, everyone!
I just received Man Of War Studios' ESB gauntlets from Christian today, and I'd thought I would share my build-up of these items for my new Boba costume.
Disclaimer: I am a brand-new costumer. I am hoping to organize and share my experience and what I've found on this site in an easy-to-read and easy-to-find spot. If any veterans have any advice they'd like to share, please feel free! :D

So, what comes in the box from MOW Studios, anyways?

I found a bunch of well-wrapped and well-protected items. Christian used bubble wrap, big packing bubbles, and cling-wrap to secure everything for shipment from Newark to the Great White North. Awesome!

I got 3 bubble-wrapped packages: 2 pairs of gauntlet halves thoughtfully wrapped separately in left/right packs, a pack of larger parts, and a ziploc baggie of greeblies. Snoogins! :rolleyes

Funnily enough, I'm more interested in what's on the inside of the gaunts. Why? Best practice with resin gaunts is to line the insides with fibreglass, to provide strength and durability. To make sure the fibreglass sticks well, we need a rough inside for the fibreglass to bite into.


Yup, I labelled which is Right and which is Left. By the time we're done, we should know from constantly checking reference pics from the gallery here on TDH which is which, but you can't be too careful.



This is under the calculator keypad... interesting! :p

You'll find pour plugs on all sorts of parts, and in all sorts of places in this kit. It's a natural part of the resin molding process. No worries, we'll take care of them soon enough!
And now, the rocket...

As far as pretty much everyone is concerned, this is a metal part in the SW Universe. However, look at the texture on it. You'll find the same sort of texture on lots of the larger pieces in this kit. It's like an old melamine countertop.

Unfortunately, it makes me want to shell out for one of the very rare aluminum/copper machined rockets a few of our members here sport on their costumes. But at $200 a pop (I think), we'll make do with this for now. I'll show you how to create that smooth, sharp sheen and surface that only metal has with a few tricks!

I just watched Jedi tonight. I assumed that this part was the whipcord launcher/housing on Boba's right gauntlet, but it looks like the actual whipcord in the movie was launched from somewhere underneath Boba's gauntlet. Just some movie magic? Vets, feel free to correct me...


And, now onto the bag of goodies....

It's pretty overwhelming. Let's look at the gas cylinder things.

And we have our first casualty.

Looks like an air bubble was trapped in the narrow collar of this piece. No worries, though. I'll show you how to pin and fill this so it looks like it was never there in the first place!

On the Casio keypad face, you can see the melamine texture I was talking about earlier. This can be sanded out in a lot of cases, but I'm afraid it'll have to stay here. I don't want to shill out for an authentic keypad, and if I sand this texture off I risk losing all the raised letter/number detail.



I did a quick layout of the parts for the base of the flamethrower unit. Check your references to see how this part gets assembled. You'll find a bunch of trapezoid-shaped blocks that make up the detail here.

I also dry-fit the nozzles for the flamethrower. Christian provided a diagram for me to follow for this assembly. I recommend that you carefully study the drawings, and match up the parts to the drawing. Test-fit (trim any resin flash on the insides with an X-Acto knife). Correct your mistakes. Disassemble and lay out your parts again. Test fit your parts. Disassemble them. Repeat until you are comfortable with the assembly and parts identification.
Personally, I am probably going to replace the tube sleeves with brass or aluminum tubes of similar size from my hobby shop. As for the collars, I will scour my local hardware stores for similar items. Vets, is there any info you can contribute for this step of the build?

The cool part about these nozzles is that the skinny tip assemblies slide into the larger rear assemblies. This should ensure that your parts are straight.

A cool shot of the dry-fitted flamethrower assembly.

The kit also includes 10 of these resin pins. These are for attaching clips to the inside of your gaunts.
The idea is that you buy some mini-clips that lock together, and wrap some metal strip around the ends. Drill or punch a hole in the metal straps attached to the clips. Drill a corresponding hole through your gaunts, using these pins to secure the clips. Use super-glue or epoxy to secure the pin through the clip in place, and trim/sand the excess protruding through the 'show' side of your gauntlets.
There are some different methods for closing your gauntlets. Some use this method. Some use 'piano hinge' epoxied or drilled into the insides of the gauntlets, creating a hinge for the gauntlets to wrap around. They'll then epoxy or glue matching hinges on the other side of their gauntlets. The central pivot wire is removed, and they will use another removable wire to secure the other side of the gauntlets closed. Some will use piano hinge on one side, and clips on the other side. Some use Velcro closures (like on the movie prop costume). What will I use? Piano hinge appeals to me, simply because it squares up the sides and edges of the gauntlets. However, the idea of drilling through the sides of your brand-new gaunts and having to cover the resulting battle scars does not. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.


So, how do we put these things together?
Step 1: Cleaning off the mold release residue
When you bake cookies, you need to apply some sort of oil or cooking spray to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan. Likewise, resin molders also need a way to prevent their parts from sticking to the molds. They need to use some sort of mold-release agent to fre their parts from a mold, just like you need to use some sort of 'cookie-release-agent' like cooking spray, non-stick foil, etc. to free your cookies from the pan easily.
Now, cookie mold-release is no problem for us, since we can eat it. When it comes to resin parts, we DO need to get rid of the mold-release on the surface of our resin parts. This stuff will prevent glue, fibreglass, and paint from sticking properly. Here's how to do it.

All my parts and materials are laid out here. Get yourself a small, soft scrubbing brush (preferably not the one used for food items).

I use concentrated Simple Green, a cleaner/degreaser commonly found here in Alberta. Super Clean, Purple Power, and oven cleaner are other effective degreasers that are pretty safe for resin parts.
Now, here is where the mixing ratios get technical :p : A couple quick pours of Simple Green into about a 1/4 sink full of cool water. Why cool water? Warm or hot water will soften resin, making it pliable and possibly deforming or bending your parts out of shape. We'll use this property of resin to our advantage later...
I put all of my really small parts into a separate container. I used a half-and-half mix of Simple Green and water for these greeblies. I don't really feel like scrubbing down all of these parts, so I'll allow the higher concentration of degreaser and time do the work for me. This parts bath will sit overnight before rinsing and drying.
Your bigger parts will need to be cleaned and scrubbed down in the sink. Use your soft scrub brush (soft so it won't scratch your rather expensive parts) to get into all the nooks and crannies, both inside and outside the gauntlets.

Allow your large parts to dry overnight. See y'all soon!

Darth Voorhees

Well-Known Hunter
Preferred Vendor
Great work so far! (y) Make sure you cut those dome shapes off the back end of the 3 cylinders that go in the flame thrower. those are just fill spouts! :)
Here is my build thread if you need any ideas or reference :)

Simple green is awesome for this folks! to Necronaut, you listen lol

Do you plan to reinforce them with fiberglass? MOW recommends it, and i agree with that. Resin can too easily warp on ya.

looking forward to your next installment! :cheers
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Wow, thanks for all of the positive feedback, everyone!

No pics for tonight's little task, since I don't really see the need. Still working on the parts container full of greeblies. They have been sitting in their degreaser bath for a full 24 hours. If your sink plug is like mine, it's one of those stainless steel sieve-things with a rubber grommet around the bottom. Twist it just right in the sink drain, and it seals the sink. Twist it 90 degrees either way from there and it should rest in the drain allowing water to drain out, but catching food bits, etc. Set your drain plug as such. It will catch any parts that accidentally escape your greeblie container in the following step.
I poured off the Simple Green mix, using the container lid to keep the parts in the container. If any escape the container, your sink plug should catch them. If you have a spare food collander with a fine mesh, you might consider using that to rinse the bits instead. I refilled the container with cool water and drained it off about 5 or 6 times to give the parts a decent rinse. However, I am still going to let the parts soak overnight again in clean water, to try and get the degreaser off of them. I'll likely repeat this 2 or 3 times over the weekend. Cheers!


Back at it...
Step 2: Cutting off mold blocks

It's a cold and snow day here in Alberta. Which sucks, because our next step will require some good ventilation. Those of you in warmer climates can do this outside, but that's not going to work for me.

To the school shop area! I don't own a garage, so this will do fine for our next step. A big advantage of working here is that all of the table saws, band saws, sander stations, etc. are connected to a central sawdust evacuator system. Cutting resin generates some very nasty fumes and dust, so proper ventilation is essential.

After unpacking my gauntlets, I set to work at the planer station (you'll see why later).

I'll be using a Dremel with a cutoff wheel (tool #420) to slice off the larger bits of pour residue. I'm also using a respirator with Organic Solvent filters. In addition to filtering out the resin dust, it'll also filter out the nasty fumes created when heating, cutting, or sanding resin.



These little guys are what's going to be sliced off.

Ensure your Dremel or other rotary tool is on its lowest setting. Resin can catch fire if subjected to enough heat.

Let's start slicing! Now, go slowly and allow the Dremel to do the cutting for you. If you try and dig in, you'll risk igniting the resin. Worse, your cutoff wheel will shatter and send shrapnel everywhere.

It's OK to leave a little behind. We'll remove the excess with a grinding bit.

Unfortunately, my grinding bit has disappeared... so I used one of the grinding stones in my kit. Slow work, and I had to stop several times to brush off the debris from the stone. If there was a Canadian Tire 10 minutes from where I live, I would have gone and bought one. Such is not the case, unfortunately. Once again, go slowly and let your tool do the work for you.

That's looking better! I didn't grind off the pour mark completely, since we'll need to do some extensive sanding work anyways once we fibreglass the insides.



All right, here's why I set up at the planer station. I'm going to sand the join areas of the gauntlets flat. This should ensure that when the gauntlets clasp together, their mating edges are as flush as possible. Being a planer (the tool that will sand/grind a wood sheet or plank flat), I think I can safely assume that it's a pretty darn flat and true surface. I taped a sheet of 120 grit sandpaper to the surface with some masking tape, trying to keep it as flat and wrinkle-free as possible. Not too hard with this stuff.

I went to work, grinding off the excess on the edges of the gauntlets. Attempt to keep even and uniform pressure all over the gauntlets when you do this. Every minute or so, I would check the straightness of the sanding/mating surfaces against the metal surface of the table saw. Funny enough, there was a high spot in the centre of the planer surface! I sanded the end areas of the gauntlet surfaces a little more to compensate for this.

Sorry, no pics of this step. I thought that while I was sanding the edges of the gauntlets, I could also sand the insides of the gauntlets a little too. I want to just score and mark up the insides of the gauntlets, so that the fibreglass we'll soon apply to the insides of the gaunts have a surface that it can bite into and stick. I used a coarse grit drywall sanding sponge. It's coarse, because I just want to rough up the insides of the gauntlets. It's a sponge, because it can conform to the irregular surface of the insides of the gauntlets. Done!


Step 3: Reshaping the Gauntlet sides
Something quick and easy for tonight, before we venture into fibreglass territory.

There's an alignment issue with my left gauntlet. Looks like one side of the gauntlet bottom curves in a little too much. Here's how we can correct it.

I have a sink full of cold water and a pot full of hot (not boiling) water. I'll be using the hot water to soften the resin of the gauntlet bottom in order to widen it.

Don't dunk your part completely in the water. I only want to reshape the curvature of the one side of the gauntlet, so that's the only part that's getting immersed. Leave it in for about 45 seconds. That should be enough to make the resin pliable.
Gently work the offending part a little more open. Don't use too much force here. Check your alignment. If you're not satisfied, re-dunk it in to re-soften the resin. It took me 2 tries to get an alignment I was happy with.

Once it's reshaped to your satisfaction, immediately and gently immerse the part in cold water. The shock of the cool water will stiffen the resin, allowing it to hold its new shape.
The alignment on the right gauntlet was already pretty good, but there was one corner of the gauntlet bottom that needed just a little tweaking. That was the only area that was immersed in the hot water. It was reshaped to my liking, and dunked in the cool water immediately after.


Seeing as these parts were sanded yesterday, creating a lot of resin dust that was probably still on the surface of the gauntlets, I decided to scrub them down again with some Simple Green. When we start fiberglassing tomorrow, I don't want any of that dust interfering with the fiberglass' ability to stick to the insides of the gauntlets.

Back on the dish rack, and we're done for the evening! Cheers!


sounds like the same things I tried, hope yours go better, but I have used the flamethrower and whip cord housing to help close them, they went wide after fibre glassing from the heat of the catalyst reaction, so my advice is to secure them in some way, may be tying some string around when fibre glassing.


Step 4: First Layer of Fiberglass

This is my first time ever laying fiberglass, and I learned a lot today!

Fiberglass will heat up as it reacts and hardens, so my first order of business was to build a simple form for the gauntlets to rest in as they cured. I did not want them to reshape themselves from the heat of the fiberglass curing.

All my supplies are layed out here: stir sticks, disposable Ziploc containers for the fiberglass resin, disposable paint brushes, lots of rubber/latex gloves, and some really good fabric scissors.

I got to work mixing up the resin and hardener. When mixing this, be sure to mix it well but not too vigorously. Otherwise, you'll get air bubbles in it, which is bad.

I used fiberglass mat (randomly oriented strands of fibre held together with a glue that dissolves in the resin you apply). This is better than the cloth because it will easily conform to irregular surfaces. Now I just rough-cut some sheets to size. Don't do this! Take the time to trim these pieces as best as possible to your part. I learned my lesson by the time I got to the last gauntlet half. :p



Brush some of your freshly mixed resin on the inside surface of your part. Don't be afraid to use lots! I found that more brushed on beforehand helped the initial contact and softened the mat enough for it to conform to the insides easily.

Lay on your mat. Press it into the resin you just layed down. Now, ditch your gloves (they're all covered in the loose fiberglass strands) and put on a fresh set.

Start dabbing on your resin. Don't use a brush-stroke. This will pull fiberglass strands from the mat and before you know it, your brush is all matted up.

As you saturate the mat with your resin, you might notice air pockets forming. My brush had some stiff bristles, and I was able to pop most of them by stabbing at the bubble. The proper way to do it is to gently roll them out to the edge with a small fiberglass roller. They look like paint rollers with super-skinny ridges. Darned if i could find one around here, though. :rolleyes

Here's the inside of my first gauntlet half. Kinda messy. Like I said, trim off the excess mat!

I used some cellophane food wrap over the wood form I made to keep the fresh resin from sticking to the form.

Fingers crossed! Here's hoping this works!


Ok, the post game report...
I probably spent about 15 minutes applying resin and just stabbing at the air pockets on my first gauntlet. A lot of that was caused by having flops of fiberglass mat sticking out the sides. The extra material would constantly pull away from the inside of the gauntlet. When I re-stuck it on, more air bubbles would appear.
I used almost a litre (2 pints) of resin to do these 4 gauntlets, and most of it was wasted. I found that by the time I was finished one gauntlet half, the resin was already gelling up. Tomorrow, I'm going to try smaller resin batches so there's less waste.
My last gauntlet half was the quickest, easiest, least 'bubbly', and the neatest of the 4. A rough cut of the mat really impedes your work. It's nasty stuff to touch, but take the time to do a precisely fitted cut of the mat.
By the time I finished my last gauntlet, my first gauntlet was pretty much all cured up and cooling down. And just the single layer has substantially improved the stiffness of these things!
The forms worked like a charm. The cellophane doesn't stick to the resin I had layed down, and it doesn't melt from the heat, either. My gauntlet halves still line up too!