The Builder ESB Build


Hi all,

This thread will show the ESB build that I recently completed. A little background on myself and why I came to go after such an in depth and detail oriented costume is because of my previous build on my sons Commander Cody. We then decided to tackle ESB Boba Fett. I am an artist by trade and the creation of these costumes has always interested me. I hope this thread and photos might be a resource and I will try and answer any and all questions you may have. I want to thank the Dented Helmet and all of the resources that it has provided me in this 2 year build process. Here are a couple of finished photos and I will update with specific parts to the costume in more detail in this thread. Once again thanks again to all at TDH.


Thanks very much. I'm no authority on ESB Boba, the combined efforts of the Dented Helmet forums take care of that for sure. All I'll ever speak about is my personal thoughts and approach to our build. Why the choice of ESB over ROTJ? Because to my eye he is, in addition to his screen appearance, a subtle balance of colors and textures. My choice.of paints were Humbrol enamels for the hard surfaces and water based acrylic for the soft parts. My background in oil painting and photography for many years helped in looking at the rather limited reference in a blue-ray version of ESB and the pics in the DH. The variations in the way that photos can be exposed when taken and printed can make choices of values and contrast when painting a real personal guessing game. For instance...a lot has been said in the forums about how much weathering is enough to do on Boba. Before our Boba was finished we were at a 501st event where a Boba was trooping. I overheard a viewer say "He looks so dirty"! and I had to agree. In the forums it has been said....if you weather your costume and it looks good....take a picture....if it doesn't show as much,do more. Remember because of the film medium they use a lot more makeup on people and things to compensate for reality. So unless your Boba is going to be used in a film remake of ESB,( I won't hold my breath on ours,) make it look good to yourself and then to real people in real time and space.George Lucas wanted all characters to be seen and remembered in your minds eye as real. Weathering is not just making it look dirty, but making it look used...thats the trick. Boba Fett is essentially a independent soldier... and unless in battle soldiers keep their equipment clean.. because their life depends on it. I believe that Boba can be battle scared and moderately dirty from the ground up at the same time. That was my thinking.


Fantastic Job on the costumes !! They are Amazing !! I really appreciate your attention to detail !! Looking forward to your other pictures !!!


Thanks again..I'll get some more photos on soon...just learning this posting process and how to move photos around.Take pity on me. Yes I'm behind the times. Tomorrow for sure.


Here are some more photos: DSC_7100.jpgDSC_7100.jpgDSC_7078.jpgDSC_7080.jpgDSC_7081.jpgDSC_7125.jpgDSC_7134.jpg

Thought I’d say a few words about my approach to painting Boba. I think if you want the best results an airbrush is worth the modest investment. I used a inexpensive two stage Badger system. Mix the paint to the consistency of milk, if too thick it will spatter. Don’t expect it to cover in one coat. I usually take between 5-6 coats...sometimes more. Enamel thinner sets up quick and need not be completely dry to do the next layer.This is very useful in order to weather parts as you go. An example would be the body armor. Here’s my basic approach...

The Humbrol color chart on TDH says #76 is the basic green for the armor. Every color can be broken into lighter and darker values. Add white or black or a lighter or darker color. There is no color on Boba that I didn’t paint at least three values. Because a lot of #76&#78 were needed I decided to save a little on Humbrol and I took a color sample of each to the local Sherman Willams paint store and found two close,slightly darker,enamel color matches... #(SW0065 Vogue Green for the body armor) and#(SW6461 Isle of pines with #78 for the gauntlets and jet pack). These were applied over the first masked layers of color...silver..yellow..gray..ect. Finally I used three values each of #76&78 to highlight and contour each piece.You don’t want solid coverage from any color just one tone or value supporting another.Use three paint cups and move between them as you paint. Flat color is visually so dull that I do what I can to stay away from it…... All colors on Boba are layered except a few small areas of wash and some opaque touches to add texture and interest on the helmet and armor. Hope this made sense.

I want to say that I admire all of those builders that want to make every part of Boba ,inside and out, match the ESB hero costume.Our build followed most of their research and advice. As artists it was efficient for the prop makers to paint and make changes with topical painting methods. They understood that on film the weathering visually represents as layered paint to the eye. So I painted with that in mind.

I’ll say more a little more about paint and finish decisions we used another time.


Think that I'll just be posting more about this build for now. Took quite a few pics over this long project....nearly two years.
Nothing written in stone,but anything that helped fit, comfort,and construction for us could help someone else.
I always found that seeing the inside of a build was very helpful to me. There's a million things that add up to looking good on the outside of Boba... as anyone who has worked or is working through a build like this knows.
Just want to be helpful.
As far as future Builds..I know my son has talked about a First Order Stormtrooper. After this how hard could it be? No offense TKs.


Thought I'd go through the build starting with the EE-3 and Pluce 40.

First the cleaned up and fitted sub- sections before disassembly and painting.

The casting was good but had major flaws in the screw heads and threads.... too hard to fill.
I replaced them with nylon screws which are easy to cut and work with.Find them at any hardware store. You can see them in this pic.

Some parts after painting and staining.
When painting sections of the gun, from grip and barrel... to scope mounts... to stock support
I changed to different metal looks. Steel, aluminum,burnt metal etc. Mixed and matched Testors metal paints for all metallic surfaces on Fetts gear. Humbrol for everything else.

Final assembly...



As long as I mentioned something about painting I'll give you a paint tip that really worked for me . A primary concern when I started to think about the Boba paint up was the way that
silver paint reflects when giving a real look to paint damage. So I tested all kinds of spray sealers over all kinds of metallic paints.The degree to which they killed the shine was discouraging.
The answer for me came with Testers Model Master (non-buffing) Metalizer Sealer over Model Master- Non Buff Aluminum paint.

It became my silver base coat under everything that I layered....which you know is just about everything on Boba. This metalizer lacquer became my seal coat for ALL of the paint on the costume.
I applied as many as 3-4 coats and it, in my opinion, adds a depth of color with minimal sheen to the surface. Completely flat paint may work for making movies under heavy lighting but in reality makes
hard surfaces look too soft to me. I never saw this mentioned in the forums and it really did work.

This stuff....



Here are some thoughts on this part of the build.

I'm working with MOW gauntlets having a lot of wall thickness which I like for grinding, drilling or running screws etc.

There are some light kits for the right gauntlet now but this was my solution for less than $10 + batteries.
I happened to spot a small key chain led light on a rack at the grocery store. Although the bulb was the right size I had to find a switch and battery holder that would work.
A local surplus store that handles electrical stuff came through with everything including a square button switch that was the size I needed.DSC_5340.jpg

I cut the end off the key light, fit and tested the battery and wiring then fit it in.

Preliminary fit...

It didn't look to me that the switch button was red in ESB so I went to black before final assembly.

Here is a shot of the placement of the remote helmet rangefinder switches in position.

Complete interior electric set up.

I chose to hold the gauntlets together with magnets. I didn't want to see a hinge so I installed 6 pairs of magnets in each gaunt. Found them
at Lowies big box store.
They serve two purposes. The first is plenty of strength to hold the halves together, the second, by offsetting, where the magnets each come together, above and below the seam lines..... they create an alinement so the top and bottom halves can't move in and out.
In the pics you can see the magnets above and below the seams. After these are in place and closed you can sand the outside of the seam to a perfect match before painting.
You can also see some black soft hinge straps to help when suiting up. They don't hold anything when closed but will hold the bottom half if it did open.
Finally..the red velcro wrist straps. Because the left gauntlet is especially top heavy, if you put a wrist strap where your arm is basically rectangular in cross section it really helps the problem..Also the magnets weight helps to lower the center of gravity offsetting that weight as well.

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If you want a real metallic look on parts of your build try Bare Metal Foil. It is extremely thin with adhesive backing. Sold with different surfaces.
Here's some on the flame thrower and rocket.

This is the way I mounted the tube to the right gauntlet.
It is a brass fitting that was at the hardware store....Had a nut on each end. I fitted one nut into the gauntlet fitting,after grinding it down a bit.
The other end was a nice fit for the tube.Rough up inside the tube before gluing and you can unscrew the other end if you want to.
I have added a dark wire down the center of the tube since these pictures were taken... Always
trying to be more accurate.

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There isn't much that I can say about the jetpack build that can improve on the info in other threads on the TDH.I used them for inspiration myself.
As I described earlier, I used many layers of Humbrol colors changing values to bring out the structure ,light on the high points dark on the low,over a base of Testors non-buff aluminum.
Then I dry brushed Testors aluminum and some German silver and Chrome silver very carefully over most of the surface to give a worn metal look.
When I say dry brush I really mean very very little pigment! Take your time. Sealed everything with Testors Non-Buff Metalizer sealer.

The only change I made to this MOW pack was to rebuild the piano keys section because the parts were badly warped and had the wrong number of keys.
I replaced them with 3-D printed ones. They added a different texture to that area of the pack, and if subtle,I like that sort of thing.

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You're very kind ....thanks.
I know how much I relied on the other builders on TDH when starting this project. You can never get enough info...I ended up with four three ring binders full of tips and pics.
Couldn't have done it without that research help.

About the jetpack paint up..Masking makes for hard edges so for the silver I stayed inside what I felt would be the final soft edge areas of that color. That way dry brush blending can be done back and fourth
with the silver and surface colors.
I have recently (after 501st approval) changed the color of the dental file from blue to a more blue green with a soft touch of the jetpack yellow on the top 1/3 or so. Was
reading a discussion about this on TDH and tend to agree that it looks more like the movie. Are these things ever done?

The white dot kind of bothered me in that if just painted on ,like it seems to be in ESB,it doesn't look to have any mechanical purpose.So I made it a little 3-D like a button. A you can see I'm not a purest....just almost!
I also understand that my photos make it look like there is a lot of shine on the pack....just the photo flood lights I used....Not near that much in real life. They do bring out the amount of surface texture I like to end up with though.

More to come later.... happy building.


Nothing too dramatic...just some of the finish work on a few of the "soft parts'"


As you can see I'm using locking pin backs to hold the armor. Just about the time I was going to use nuts and bolts through grommets I found a discussion about this method on TDH.
It proved to be easy, light weight,and simple to adjust and install. Just mark the pin holes outside and inside when you're all set... Have had no problem with them holding.
The battery pack for the chest lights is mounted inside the side seam where it is easy to reach and turn the lights on and off. The wires are trapped between strips of sew on Velcro to protect them......Also used this method to manage helmet interior wiring with sticky back Velcro covered with strips of sew on Velcro.

For the Wookie braids I sewed some nylon fishing line to a piece of Velcro and then stick it to Velcro on top of the shoulder of the vest.
It allows for easy adjustment or removal.We just leave them on. DSC_7491.jpg DSC_7493.jpg DSC_7495.jpg

This was my first attempt at sewing gloves. I'll be trying a second set soon.
I found instruction on YouTube showing how to do a ladder stitch to put the pads on. Really looks like how it may have been done in ESB.
It's not hard to do... check it out if interested.
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A couple of shots of boot weathering...Acrylic on dampened boots.The spikes are painted to look metallic then weathered.

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The reference photos you have here are excellent. Especially enjoyed the gauntlets with electronics and hose attachment. I'm looking forward to seeing the helmet interior as well. Outstanding work!

I'm ready to start masking the silver layers on everything and put on the greens. I have 4 different rattle cans of green and some airbrush colors for the color variation, but looking at your color detail makes me consider looking into airbrush options for the whole paint job.

Great info here, looking forward to reading more.


Wow, I've just saved every single photo here. Going to bookmark the thread. I don't know how you got the great weathered metallic look on the EE3 and the jetpack.