New guy, REALLY dumb questions.....



Hey everyone, I'm Jack and I'm new here.

Now, before you raise your gauntlets to fry me, please know that I have lots of costume experience(but not with armor), and I've done my homework and read LOTS of the topics on your awesome forum. I have learned SO much! You're all absurdly talented, and frankly, I was nervous registering here after seeing what you're all capable of!

That said, I have some REALLY basic questions that I didn't see covered, and they're so simple you may laugh, or just ignore me, but I have to know what I'm getting into before I start. So, here goes:

1.) Glue: I'm using Sintra and just want to know what's the best thing to bond Sintra to itself for tight angles like on the gauntlets? I saw some people speak of Bondo on more than one occasion. Is it the consensus this is the best?

2.) Attachment: This is such a dumb question, but how are you attaching your armor to your jumpsuit? I know there are several ways one could do this, but what are the most common? And is everything simply secured so that it's all one costume, or do you put on the suit, then attach the armor before wearing?

and finally..

3.) Forming the Sintra: I know that Sintra is a very flexible material, and I now know that I can shape it even with something as simple as a hair dryer (but will probably get a heat gun anyway) but what I don't know is how you're getting the _shape_ of the chest and leg armor to make it hold. Are you, in fact, molding it to your _body_, while heating it? Again, I probably sound like an idiot, but you're talking to a guy that still has a big scar on his chest from a bodysuit/hot glue incident about 4 years ago.

Okay, that covers my big questions. Painting, reference materials, where to find Sintra, I have all that covered (thanks to your posts on this board), just need some help with those few basics I listed and I'm up and running. Thanks for humoring the newbie!

First off, welcome to the group.
Second, no question is stupid or dumb here.

We ALL started out not knowing much, but have learned from each other. That's what makes this group so great and why most of the members are on here EVERY DAY!!!

I for one have learned so much, from so many, from all over the country and world.

I am far from finished so I cannot answer all of your questions, but I will be trying heavy duty velcro to secure the armor to the vest. I guess I am hesitating putting holes in anything.

Unfortunately, that's all I can contribute at this time.

Good luch and once again...WELCOME!

These questions aren't dumb :D lets see if we can't help you out here ;)
1)I haven't worked with sintra, but Bondo is basically a filler for filling gaps, holes and voids, so I'm not really sure if it would help to bond anything.
2)I believe the actual armor was bolted on to he vest through grommets, some people use snaps, velcro, or glue it on. It is good to be able to detach the stuff so it can be painted or replaced if needed. Velcro can shift a bit, and snaps can be hard to attach to plastic armor, what ever you feel would work best.
3)Some of the plastic pieces here (Most :lol: ) are vacuum formed plastic, so it will keep its shape unless it's heated or left in a car in the middle of july ;) I know a few people basically form the stuff while it's hot and dunk in in cold water to make it hold its shape. A few have formed it over their bodies ... with mixed results ;) Just never try that method with the cod piece :lol:
Sintra doesn't really conduct heat all that well. It won't get that hot. Just pluck it out of the boiling water with tongs, then bend it with your hands. It will hold its shape after a minute or less, and you can do the whole dunk-in-cold-water thing if you want. You can push it on your body a little to form it, too. Wear a sweatshirt and some sweatpants or jeans if you're worried, but I've never come even close to being burned from touching Sintra right out of the pot. Be more careful of the big pot of boiling water. I would not use a heatgun on it, as it gives off poisonous fumes.
Hi, and WELCOME!!!
I made my armor from Sintra, and it's real easy to work with.
To shape it I dunked it in boiling water and shape. Redunk and shape until I got the shape I liked.
Some use super glue, but I used contact cement and it worked great. I am also thinking about using PVC cement
Bondo is used to fill the gaps and to shape.( Sanding, lots of sanding.):lol:
To attach we use, Velcro, snaps, bolts, etc.. The choice is yours.
Hope this helps
Welcome, Jack. Looks like your questions have been answered, so I'd like to address something else. I think that your first, and introductory, post was near perfect. You came off as humble and eager to learn. You asked reasonable questions, without making yourself look foolish. Good form.

As for my armor attachment, I used bolts completely passing through my aluminum armor. My backplate is attached by means of several strategically placed panels of industrial-strength Velcro. It hooks over my shoulders and attaches to the collar anyway, so a radical attachment system was unnecessary.

I have never used Sintra, but have heard that super-gluey type stuff works. Go with the expert comments here, though, not mine.

Look forward to updates. :)
Welcome Jack!! Well, we've gotten through the above, now the next question is...

Will you be making:

or or :fettjango or a custom Mandalorian?


take care, and enjoy TDH!!

Hi Jack,

I would like to give you some advice:

1. Get yourself a Dremel tool, with a fiberglass rienforced disc for cutting sintra, and safety goggles.

2. Get yourself a Heat gun, blow dryers do not work well and boiling water is difficult. Trust me when you make your Back armor you wont find a pot large enough to dip the back armor into the boiling water. With a heat gun you can heat certain areas while others remain cool.

3. Lots of GOOP household glue

4. Lots of Velcro

5. Lots of time
I'll shoot for number two and say that I used magnets. I had exceptional luck with them. rare earth magnets bought from home depot. I used three on each of the three main chest plates (9 total). Just glue them onto the sintra with a two-part epoxy that's approved for metal. Then put the other magnets on the inside of the vest. Once you're happy with the placement, take the vest off (keeping the plates attached) and hot glue swabs of fabric in place over the magnets that are inside the vest. Now everything is secured in its place and you didn't poke holes in your vest ;)

I had great luck and through 3 straight days of wear through comic-con I had no problems at all.


Just wow.

This is the coolest response I've received from a new list EVER! Thank you all so much for welcoming me!

Now then, I'll stop gushing and hit the important stuff:

Jedi-Bob - I agree. there's so much freakin' talent here that I can't _help_ but learn a million cool things. I'm in the right place.

Fettcicle - this line: "Just never try that method with the cod piece" had me absolutely cracking up. Good advice, thanks! :)

Lisafett - I spent about a million hours on your "how to" pages today, so pretty much any recommendation you have is gold in my book. Um, speaking of "gold", is it out of line for me, as the new guy, to say you make a hot Slave Leia? ...sorry.

wanabe a fett - Thanks for the sintra help. This stuff really seems a godsend for armor. I can't believe I'd never heard of it until I came to this board!

MegalomaniacalMandalore(*whew*) - Your post just really made me happy. I'm a Mod on a few different costuming boards, and sometimes I just want to burn them down and shoot the remaining survivors. Okay, that was a bit extreme, but you know what I mean. Thanks for the warm welcome and the velcro tips!

Bountys Hunted - Let's say a "variation" for now, because I have no idea if I can pull it off to the detail you all have, so I'm going for a variation on the theme the first time around. Then I can't be as disappointed when it looks nothing like yours ;)

fpoato - GREAT advice! It's funny, I was literally just thinking "but how do I do the back?" You read my mind, thank you!

Again, just, thanks everyone. I hope one day I can make a contribution as well, and please, feel free to keep throwing advice on this thread if you haven't already, I can use all the help I can get!

hi and welcome, i can't say much :D
for the num 1 ... i use metal :D
for 2 velcro lotsa velcro, but i want to change with magnets
and the rest is history, you al ready have the answers :)

welcome to the mandalore armor pal :)
Welcome to the group!

I just wanted to add a couple of things.

In your first post, you mentioned attaching the armor to the jumpsuit. Be aware that there is a 'vest' that's worn over the jumpsuit; that's what the armor is attached to. I wanted to tell you before you glued armor plates directly to your jumpsuit! Most armor vests zipper or Velcro in the back, so you'll need an assistant to help you in and out of the costume. Others on the list have excellent suggestions as well; see the Soft Parts section.

I second the notion about Bondo. Bondo is used for filling gaps, seams or other holes. It is difficult to sand (patience, young Jedi!), but it dires quickly! For general glueing, I suggest cyonacrylite, commonly known as Super Glue. You can find small bottles at hobby stores, and the glue comes in different thicknesses (runny, medium, and gelatinous). The viscosity also refers to drying time as well.

Thirdly, I've found that if you write the individual costume parts/sections down on a sheet of paper (I use an Excel spreadsheet on my computer), it's easy to keep track of your progress as you go through the costume. It also helps as an inventory when it's time to pack it out to convention. I do the same thing everytime I upgrade or repair parts.

I hope these hints help, and welcome!
Hi and welcome CorellianJack.

We aren't experts but we used velcro to attach our armor. Works OK. Want to use magnets though. sounds like a better idea.
We used a heatgun to form our sintra. just make sure you heat the back of the sintra and not the front. it adds a texture to it, unless you want a custom mandalorian, then just be creative and post lots of pics :D.

welcome again :)

Hey welcome to the board, everyone has pretty much answered your questions but I would like to second secol fett's "magnet" thing. I am planning on attatching my armor with magnets :)

if it ever gets here ;)
Oooo, I want to add jmp's idea of "magnets" to my site. That is a really great idea.

Whatever you do, don't just hot-glue the armor to your vest. I did that, and it was terrible. My poor vest. I think we've all decided that's sort of the worst thing to do.

Please do not use a heat gun on Sintra., I refer to the part where it says "PVC is, in principal, an indestructible plastic unless it is burnt, but then toxic hydrochloric acid is released."

Have fun building! :)
I've had a few people ask me about the magnets over time, in the next few days I'll try to write/sketch up a nice pic of how I basically did it. I'll post it in its own thread, shouldn't slip through the cracks ;)

JMP, make sure to include brand names, if available. I went to Home Depot yesterday to get some magnets, and the guy showed me the 'low-end' magnets. When I mentioned rare earth magnets, he raised his eyebrows and sat down, as if I'd asked to see diamonds or something...

He was under the impression rare earth magnets were VERY exepensive.

I saw some of the thicker, ceramic mags there, but that's not what you used, is it?
I have pics of all my armor that I made from sintra on my site. I used 2 part epoxy for bigger pieces and used super glue for smaller pieces like on my knee armor. I used snaps to attach my armor to my vest and for the snaps, I used 2 part epoxy on my armor. Bondo is great for filling in areas, esp for the knee armor and cod piece. I shaped all my sintra with boiling water and I shaped it onto myself- ust be careful as it can be hot- wear thicker clothing or place a towel where you are going to shape it.
I might be off, maybe they were ceramic. I need to pic some up for my chest plates on this suit, I'll be sure to get the names ;)

Hang in there,
I spotted some Rare Earth Mag's not too long ago in the wire/cable section of a Radio Shack. I'm not sure what the ceramics go for, but these are certainly affordable. Not sure what JMP used, but the small ones go for $1.79.

...and if you can make any sense out of this, here's the specs...

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I was planning to check these out myself for use on my armor :D
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