Tell me a good story for the chance to win free machined Boba Fett parts.

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
I have an extra set of MachineCraft's knee darts and collar/cod studs from their 2016 run. All I ask is that you tell me a good story from within the hobby; anything at all. I will pick a story I like best and will send these pieces to the person who posted it. I will make my choice on Monday, Jan 6, so get to posting!

The first time I ran into the 501st (or even heard of them) was in UF Shands in Gainesville while my stepdaughter was going through treatment for kidney failure. This was back in 2007. They were visiting the hospital, so naturally I went over to see them in person, not knowing that a few years later this would be my own garrison and squad. I was just blown away. My stepdaughter was so excited to see them, it was the best part of her visit.

Fast forward to 2015, but a quick flashback to 1981: my birthday is 10/28 so since I was 4, my mom would make (her versions) of Star Wars characters. It started with Vader, then Chewbacca, then eventually she attempted to make an ewok costume from shag carpet. In FL, you don't wear a costume that's literally carpet. Needless to say I made it about 6 houses before almost passing out that Halloween. Ok, back to 2015. I'm telling you this because my mom was my original costume maker, biggest fan, and encouraged my passion for costuming. She lived in GA, and would occasionally send me pics out and about with members from the Georgia Garrison, telling me how much she'd love to see me do this. So a few months later I ordered my first costume, a stormtrooper. Around that same time, she was diagnosed with cancer. She never got to see the finished costume. She passed in March 2016. I was finished and approved in June 2016. So I have a cancer ribbon painted on the inside of my chest plate, the same one I have tattooed on my ribcage. So when I put my TK on, I wear it for her to honor her memory.

Not even a year later, my nephew (2 at the time) was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He was born 2lbs 2oz, and has literally fought for his life. I chose to convert my TK to a sandtrooper. I wanted my costume to show some wear and tear-to symbolize what he's been put through. I carved his initials on the breastplate. you'd have to look very hard to find this "battle damage". So I wear it to honor him. He's not getting any better, but he's survived 4 different doctors and 5 years of being told "he's not going to make it."

My squad-Squad 7 of Florida Garrison had an event come up at a local con. They do blast a trooper, and raise money for various charities. This time, the command staff chose to not only help raise the money for my nephew (my sis and bro in law were struggling to stay afloat), they made him an honorary squad member.

So there's my good story. Everyone's got their reasons for building costumes, some do it for the fandom. For me, it's personal.


New Hunter
Hello all, Thanks for the invite I want to tell you the story of how I became a replica movie and tv prop builder. It was about 4 years ago and my son then 14 at the time asked me if I could make him armor from a game he liked. I of course said heck yes, I can. I spent the whole week researching watching every video I could find and reading books. Then I bought a pattern, I bought paint, I bought gym matts (yes they actually make cosplay armor out of gym matts as I'm sure many of you know but at the time was news to me) I even got an airbrush and rearrange the garage and built my son a work bench like mine. You have to understand I am a huge nerd and the thought of building stuff with my kid and bonding during this hard time in is teenage years made me ecstatic.

Then I think, perhaps our family would like to watch this journey so I create a facebook page, build us a logo and awesome one BTW.. So, the day comes I am super excited about it, and I go in his room to snag him and get a not today dad I am playing games with friends. The next weekend, sorry I am busy I’m going out.. Finally, after a month I have stacks of stuff in my garage I am out about 250 bucks and have nothing to show for it.

So, I started building the armor without him hoping this would inspire him to join in and I would like to say it did and everything was great but he never joined in. But I found a love in prop building like no hobby ever before. To date I have built props from all the major movies and tv shows, my side business now sustains itself and I have sold props all over the world. I even have a radio I restored from the movie goonies in the Goonie museum in Astoria Oregon. And while I was devastated at first, I am so happy I started down this path, If you are looking for a moral to this story it would be simply this. You have no idea what life will bring you, it could be good, bad or anything in-between and while it may not always be easy if you try to turn a negative into a positive most the time you can overcome anything. And who knows you maybe even find a new passion you can share with others. Thank you for reading this and thank you Art for creating this cool contest and thanks for letting me join your community.

Lord Anvil

New Hunter
About 7 years ago I was playing American Football on a national level here in Belgium (nothing too big or flashy, it was still rather crude) when I broke my collarbone during a scrimmage against a rival team from the south of Belgium (I'm from the north, literally a different language, Belgium's crazy like that). Doctors told me surgery wasn't an option because -and I quote- "American football isn't a high level sport in Belgium". So I got a brace instead for the next 6-8 weeks. It basically streched the front of the chest, forcing the collarbone back into allignment. Only one downside to this: if the brace isn't regularly re-thightened, the bone will start to heal in a wrong position. Guess what didn't happen and what did happen. Result is that my collarbone is now 1 cm shorter than it used to and causes my left arm to be more irritated than normal when used intensively. I tried to pick up Football again after healing up but I just couldn't handle the impacts on that bone anymore. Ergo: bye bye hobby.

Following that I lost my grandparents on both father's and mother's side. This was the proverbial drop that made the bucket go WOOSH. Depression hit hard and I eventually got diagnosed with a form of Bi-Polar disorder.

After a year of therapy, counselling and finding the right meds to keep me from taking that one step too far, I found a new and intrigueing hobby; Costuming. More specifically; I found the Mandalorian Mercs.

A troop was held not far from where I live and I convinced my wife (who had been my rock, savior and lifeline during the past year of hell) to go and meet 'the mandalorians'. Guess she never thought how that would end :')

About a year later I ended up becoming an Official Member after building my kit with my own hands. My wife was watching the whole time, every time I came inside from the shed painting or from my workspace building a new piece, she'd say "I don't understand it, I'll probably never will, but if it makes you happy, you keep going". She even said "you'll never see me wearing one of those things". One of those things meaning my bucket that I wore around the house for nearly a week and dragged everywhere we went to show people.

Fast forward 5 years to the present day.

I'm a Brigade Captain for the Vanguard division of the Mandalorian Mercs. I've trooped in 6 different countries (number 7 is planned in March ), trooped at Celebration Europe alongside Mandalore the Uniter, made friends all over the world, went to MercsCon I, realized Family is more than Blood and best of all; I got to see my wife become Official Member, Regional Commander of Europe and Ori'Ramikad recipient. Funny how life turns out....


New Hunter
How about a some what sad story.....currently putting a SE Fett together and the only thing missing are the knee darts....I have been waiting on a set of machined darts since I ordered them in September (not from here) and just the other day I called the currier, last update was that it arrived to the destination country on the 5th of dec, anyway they said it had been sent back due to some missing info on the customs form. I emailed the seller but they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything untill they were in possession of the parcel.
Anyway, here’s to a great Fett-2020


I will try to keep this short.......
I was born in 1977, two months before the release of Star Wars. I fell in love with Boba Fett around the age of 6 when ROTJ hit theaters, yes I had already seen him in my favorite movie of all time ESB but Jedi was when I really found his armor colors impressive. I mailed away proof of purchases to get my Kenner Boba Fett with rocket firing jetpack (we all know how that turned out) but I still have several opened, boxed and others in different states of disrepair (all thanks to my parents because I was to young to do it myself). I played the paint off that figure and knew everything there was to know about him from the limited information back in the 80's and Westend Games. Fast forward to the 90's when they began re releasing figures and toys and I was buying what I could when I could afford it while in high school and college. Star Wars has always been so much a part of my life that it would only make sense to accumulate as much as I possibly could display simply because of my love and obsession. Jump to the year 2000 in the month of August. I had been married for 2 months, bought a new house that was very small and I set my sights on building a Boba Fett costume that I could wear and display on a manikin in my very small second bedroom with my other Star Wars collectibles. I need to take a moment to tell you about finding The Dented Helmet forums where these guys had already found some of the dimensions and sizing for all things Boba Fett!! It was a treasure trove of everything Fett!! Much to my wife's dismay a gray jumpsuit arrived in the mail with all the soft good I needed for the low low price of 250 dollars from a member of TDH..... That was almost 20 years ago and she still hasn't let me live that down because we had to cancel going out to eat with friend for several months due to lack of money in those early days... I digress... Once I had my soft goods I grabbed a white interior Don Post helmet, repainted it and made my own armor from ABS plastic that I found in some random place and began making gauntlets out of cardboard back before there were good templates for it. With the exception of the soft parts and helmet, I hand fabricated EVERYTHING. Fortunately I have always been skilled at making stuff even though I am an Insurance Agent by trade but throwing myself into working on my favorite all time Star Wars character was the best fun I could have. Solving problems, figuring out how to make this greebly or that rocket dart out of things I'd find and modify or building them from wood and spending hours shaping and carving them was true joy when I conquered a new piece.

I know that all my parts aren't 100% screen accurate and I'm still working on that but any free time I get I rebuild something here or tweek something there. Probably the most accomplished thing I've done to this point is 3D model and print a full size jetpack for my Fett. Even started a small business selling them to finance my other build projects! Sadly after almost 20 years of working on him I have "outgrown" my jumpsuit in the waist area and he sits displayed in my basement now. Fully built, painted and assembled by my hands but never finished. It's probably the one thing I take the most joy out of showing people especially when they ask who made my helmet and I respond... ME! Where did you get leather belt and I say, "I learned leather working just for that" and Who made that jetpack for you? I respond, "I 3D modeled it and printed it myself because I'm to cheap to buy one!" I guess what I'm saying is that The Dented Helmet and Boba Fett himself made me learn new trades and hone skills I never thought I'd possess. It's now a way of life for me and it's spilled into other Star Wars builds and hobbies. I truly wish I had more pictures of my original Fett but I only have 1 Polaroid sadly that I'd have to dig out. It's been quite an adventure and it's still not over! I just made new gantlets a few months go and have just finished a new cod piece and back armor that I haven't even attached yet.
Sorry, I could write a small book about this but I tried to just give you the highlights.


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Active Hunter
When I was a child, my brother was not there for me as he should've been; which he admitted to me when I was older. We were brothers by blood but it felt as if we never interacted like such. Fastfoward sometime, he graduated high school, the time for partying, goofing off was over; he placed a lot of time in his social life. College was not a option due to money circumstances, so he joined the Army, severing what interaction he had from my parents and I.

Then, 9/11 happend, and for the next 8 years, the happenings of Iraq war was a constant topic in my family. It was a time where I felt as a only child, and my parents sheltered me; so much so I was home schooled. At that age (6), I didn't understand much of the reasons why things where happening. My neighborhood didn't have other kids, and we lived far from family. My imagination and backyard was my playground.

Before he deployed for his first tour in 2003, one of the things he gave me before he left was his VHS set of Ep. IV, V, & VI. The face of the stormtrooper on the cover was fimular as I had seen it before but had never seen the films.

Not knowing what Roman numerals were yet, Ep V was my first Star Wars film. The spectical of the Empire vs Rebels unleashed a fury of inspiration for creativity, and I had finally had an outlet. Over time, I started to acquire action figures and create my own Star Wars universe.

Fast forward to 2005, the Macy's Rose Bowl parade aired on TV. I caught a climps of that infamous Stormtrooper face, accompanied by many more. The 501st, real life action figures, marched across the screen and I was blown away. I knew I wanted to do that when I was older.

Fast forward: 2014, My brother and I bonded much more by this time, & we were both big fans of Boba Fett. One night after watching one if the Marvel movies, the topic of cosplay was brought up. Boba Fett would be cool I said, and he challenged me to do it.

Over the next 3 years I began to browse the internet and eventually found the The Dented Helmet. It was the moment I realised that becoming that real life action figure was possible. I settled on ESB, the first Star Wars film I saw when I was a kid.


After collecting and altering parts, the journey concluded in late 2017 when I had completed ESB Boba and trooped in the 501st; bringing the Star Wars magic to young and old.

In early 2019, I retired ESB Fett, and set my sights on building the PP2 Fett CRL suit and guiding my brother on his custom mando build with what I learned putting ESB Fett together. Im greatful for the people Ive met through here and continue to learn the little details no one notices.

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
Love the stories we have coming in! Today is the last day. I will be making the call tonight! Get those stories in!


Active Hunter
OK, Art, I'll throw in my one humorous Boba story. So about three years ago, my daughter who was in pre-K at the time and I were going to be Boba Fett and little pink Boba Fett for Halloween and go to this "Trunk Or Treat" event at our church. Well, she decided early in the build that she then wanted to be pink Darth Vader! So I kept working on my Fett build (ESB) and started making her a Darth Vader. Then, she decided she was going to be a princess! LOL. I think she ended up as Super Girl or something. Well I didn't get my JP completed but otherwise I was OK from the front in my Fett. And we're at the trunk or treat and all these kids and their parents are coming up to me and taking pictures and it was really fun. And then this one jerk said in a real disgusted tone "what, you just had too much time on your hands?" and sneered at me. I just gave him the Boba Fett short nod and didn't say anything. Oh well, there's a bad apple in every bunch. So lessons learned: don't hold a pre-K kid to a decision made in January when Halloween is 10 months away!!! LOL.

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
Wow. I thought this would be easy. This isn't easy at all. While it is cliche to say, there are no winners or losers here. These stories are all winner and now I wish I had more things to give because I enjoyed reading each of your stories. I love this hobby and love this community. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

With that said, Demmoc, please message me your shipping address and I'll have your darts in the mail tomorrow.

Thank you again, everyone, for participating! This was awesome!


I didn't have a story but stumbled on this thread today. I have to say that it was really cool of you to give these away for a cool story. Props to you sir!