My first costume that I submitted in 2006 to the 501st Legion was for an Episode 3 Shocktrooper. After seeing the 501st New England Garrison marching in the Woburn Halloween parade, I knew I had to build a Star Wars costume.
Building the first costume is always the hardest. You search all the resources you know – eBay, google images, and other internet sites, and the detachment sites (if you’re lucky enough to find them), and eventually take a risk buying armor. Thinking that fiberglass armor would last longer than ABS or Styrene, I made a purchase from someone trying to unload an old costume. Was not the best decision I ever made, but I did learn that I could modify the armor to make it approvable by the 501st standards.
A better method would be to ask people in your local area about which armor to buy, since there are many types -good and bad, and get that. That advice, plus having the patience to wait for the armor to get made, and sent is the best way to go.
So here you’ll see pics of my first build.
For more you can go here:
UPDATE: I’ve added pics and build notes from my build that I posted on the 501st forums.
Here are some pictures of the Shock trooper that I’m currently building to get into the 501st.
I already have the helmet 90% done, I just need to figure out if I want to put the speaker inside or outside of it. I got the helmet from Tim, and proceeded to gut it. Put a replaceable visor in it, foam padding (I didn’t want someone elses sweat on my head), added computer fans and added the car door protector on the bottom rim. (no pic sorry)
The last piece I was waiting for was the belt. I also got better shoulder bells, since the ones that came with my armor were too tight and had a weird shape. I finally got the shipment, so now I had no more excuses.
I had to cut the belt pieces because they wouldn’t flex. Thanks to JDs website for the tips! The top is the cut version, and the bottom is the un-cut version.
The belt came in 6 pieces, and I had to rivet them together. I wanted to make sure it was straight so I built a jig (2 boards) to use the flat edge.
Here are some Walmart shoes that I converted into Clone shoes, using the Reebok tutorial on the Clonetroopers.net website. They were eventually painted red. They’re not the best, but I figured for $20 I might as well try it!
Here’s my weathered chest armor. Most of the “weathering” uses the rubber cement technique and a screw driver for the scratches. The big scrape on top was the result of a paint blob…… I scraped it off and called it weathering. I also had to sand the paint after because it was too glossy.
This is what the back of my townhouse looked like today!
Belt- now shocked!
The elbows, forearms and biceps were originally intended for a Ep2 clone, which meant the color scheme was off. I had to sand the red off and repaint! This time I whipped out the electric sander…..Shakey hands.
Calves – painted. The second picture has them pre & post weathering…. Weathering is great for someone who stinks at painting.
Here’s the disaster area……
When the paint was drying, I decided to touch-up the DC-15. Its a resin model, which is heavy (the way I like it….I think). I painted it black a couple of weeks ago, but it was too black. I couldn’t see any of the detail, so I busted out the silver and gold weathering markers. I think I did too much though- oh well…. you can also see half of my helmet and a large DD coffee with milk and 4 sugars.
Here’s some more pix. I really want to finish this before next week. Who said it only takes 24 hours to build! I’m at around 45-55 hours on this!
My bucket – with the aerators off. I was installing the speakers today.
Inside the bucket, I used a “Chicago” screw to make the visor removable. It’s a screw that looks like a thumbtack, so you glue the flat part to the helmet and screw the visor on (after you drill a hole in it) with a locknut or lock-washer. When I need to replace the visor, it will be really easy!
Here’s a shot of the computer fans in the helmet before I put in the voice amplifier. The fans are in parallel, running off a 9V in the back.
Here’s shot of what I did all night! I used a Radio Shack amp, switch and microphone, speakers from Triktoys.com and a 9V. I installed the speakers in the aerators, connected the wires, sautered the switch, wires and connections, ripped out the guts of the microphone, glued in the amp, found a good place for the microphone (trying to minimize feedback), installed the microphone, and tucked the wires in the black housing. The mic is actually velcroed to the bottom of the visor, hitting my mouth perfectly – and you can’t see it from the outside.
From this afternoon, my red shoes. I still need to put the buttons on the straps. I need to figure out how to make the buttons from stuff at a hardware store. Any tips would help! =)
Here are more pics of how the shock trooper is coming along……
This is the arm wear (minus the hand armor). These were painted on Saturday, and finally don’t smell. I added the softwear to the back of the shoulder bells, inside the biceps and on the elbows. The forearms are velcroed.
Here are my painted thighs.
2 pics of the belt and boxes. I want to make the large boxes functional. The others will just have elastic attaching them to the belt.
Finally, my Christmas present to myself is done! I just have to fine tune and tweak all of the strap settings.
Oh yeah, and take a picture with a white background and fill out the application!
Anyway, here are some shots….Do you know how hard it is to use the self timer on a camera, put the helmet on, grab the blaster and make sure you’re standing in the right spot. I wish I had a web cam watching me doing this. =)
Now I should probably do some Christmas shopping for other people.
I filled out the application and sent some pictures to spcfalcon! Wish me luck!