Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Cape

Got my cape in this weekend. It is originally part of a US Army pup tent, just like the Return of the Jedi movie version. (The picture at left is Boba's Empire Strikes Back armor, slight differences throughout. You'll notice that cape is different.  I'm actually building the Jedi version of his armor.

So  I tattered the ends and added holes and pulls:

To do that, I used my wife's fabric rotary cutter...

The cape will hang from the left shoulder armor, something like this:

I also received a custom recreation of a 1970's scuba diver's buckle. This is what was used to hold the jetpack around Boba's waist.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jetpack Construction Complete

Here is the 3/4" PVC tubing rig that keeps the thrusters connected to the jetpack and allows them to pivot:

Here it is installed inside the pack:

And now the final touch, glueing the rocket in place to finish it off.

Having some trouble with the rocket staying in place while the glue dries. I guess I'll know if it holds in 24 hours or so.

Next up, some primer for the jetpack and paint tests before I continue on the gauntlets.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Jetpack & Gauntlets Progress

So the UPS guy pulled up to deliver more paint while I had all this stuff laid out on a table in front of my garage. To his credit, he didn't ask me what the hell I was doing.

Assembling the jetpack with some industrial glue...
The next step will be to primer the whole thing once it's all assembled. To get the thrusters assembled, I'm going to have to do some wizardry with 3/4" PVC tubing on the inside of the pack. 

I also sprayed the gauntlets a metallic silver.

Next up in this department is a spray test with the masking fluid on a piece of scrap plastic, so I can get the hang of applying the fake weathering as I lay down layers of paint.  Once I achieve success with the scrap, I'll get back to the gauntlets.

Probably no updates tomorrow as I'm off to hit a couple vineyard wine tastings. I think I earned it.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


Jumpsuit came in from Argentina today.  I bought a large, just in case they ran small. They don't. The large is too big, but luckily my wife and mother in law are sewing champs. Better that I have too much material, than too little, right? Once it's tailored, I'll start weathering it.

Meanwhile, I've set up a makeshift "spraybooth" in the garage and I've taped off and primed the gauntlets. 

The next layer will be a coat of silver. Then I'll be using liquid mask fluid to create the weathering as seen on the original props. I'll spray the dark red over the masking fluid, and those areas of red paint won't stick to the silver underneath. Peel off the masking fluid, and voila! Beaten up gauntlets.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Have a Jetpack and You Don't

UPS dropped off my jetpack kit!  Weather finally turning around. I can start sanding and priming these pieces.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Deliveries & Dyeing

Some parts in the mail today:
- The groin plate, butt plate, shoulder armor. All ready for priming/painting.
- Nylon tubing for the right gauntlet
- gloves (need to be modified)
- Nylon strapping for various attachments.

Some photos of the dyeing of the girth belt:

Should get the jetpack tomorrow from UPS.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Ordering, ordering, ordering...

Just a quickie update.  The past week has been full of ordering parts and kits.

- I've ordered braided wookie scalps (that dangle off Boba's right shoulder) -- Probably a few weeks to get those in, as they're being hand made for me.

- In talks with the premier prop maker in the UK who specializes in Star Wars recreations. He's given me a quote for all the armor I'm missing except a new helmet. Will order that as soon as I hear back from him. (8-10 week wait for those! Argh!)

- Just sent money to a prop builder in the UK who specializes in firearms. He's going to make me a custom EE-3 blaster. This is the rifle Boba carries in Return of the Jedi, made from an old modified Webley flare gun. (4-6 week wait for that).

- My jetpack kit shipped today from from Man of War Studios (Who also made the gauntlets). Should have that in a week.

- Ordered materials for both of Boba's capes -- the brown/tan one from Empire, and the drab green one from Jedi, that's made from an old army pup tent. This way, depending on my mood, I can dress him in either... like a Barbie doll. Only bigger. And meaner.

- Bought a real, used, army surplus diver's belt on ebay. (for the waist strap for Boba's jetpack)

- Yesterday I dyed the girth belt, and it's hanging in my garage drying.

Sadly, it's been too humid here for me to do any paint tests, or to primer the gauntlets. :(

Made lots of trips to Lowe's and Home Depot. The people there think I'm out of my mind.  They asked what I was doing with all these weird parts, and I told them.

More photos soon -- once the weather changes and I can start painting.


Friday, May 20, 2011


Woohoo! My gauntlets came in. Original cast by Man of War Studios. These are the Return of the Jedi models. Ready to be painted!

Speaking of which, I've started to pick out my colors:

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Got the first piece of the costume in the mail today.  The "girth belt".  Turns out this has something to do with horseback riding, and I had to order mine from Dover Saddlery company.  All I have to do is dye it a rusty red color, and devise a way to buckle it in the back. Originally I found articles on dying it with fabric dye, but further research reveals that this rubs off on your armor!  Someone discovered that Red wood dye actually works better. So I'll be getting that soon.

I have also decided to NOT use the helmet I bought last year, and instead buy an unpainted model and do the painting myself with a labor intensive process of masking layer upon layer of different colors to simulate the "wear" on the "metal".

Are you afraid of the depth I'm willing to go to for this, yet?  I am.  But it will be SO worth it.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Blame My Wife

In late October of 2010, my wife and I were driving through Connecticut on our way to a Halloween party.  Earlier that day I had been bidding on a life-sized, Boba Fett replica helmet. The helmet was a fan creation, cast in Fiberglass Resin and hand painted. The auction was scheduled to end while we were on the road, so I was positive I would lose it. No big deal. The price was a little hefty, anyway. I joked about it with my wife while we sat in bumper to bumper traffic.

That's when she took out my Blackberry and starting watching the time tick away on the auction.  Boredom set in as we inched along the dark highway. That's when she started bidding.  The price went up. And up. I still thought we would lose it as the Blackberry was ridiculously slow to load.  In the end, somehow, she landed the auction, and within a week, the helmet showed up at my doorstep. It was beautiful. Someone put a lot of love into this piece.  It even almost fit me. My head was just a little too big vertically, so that there was a slight issue with lining up my eyes with the visor. No matter. Maybe a little sanding on the inside would fix that.

I started doing a little research, curious about the origin of the helmet.  The eBay seller claimed it was a "Mystery Helmet" -- the term given to a set of recreations that were cast from one of the original Empire Strikes Back props, worn by Jeremy Bulloch in the film.   It turned out later that the helmet might be a re-cast, and not one of the original Mystery Helmets. Still, it was proportionately correct and accurate, and that was good enough for me.

I propped the helmet on a shelf in my office, and there it sat, for seven months...until...

Just a week ago, I was joking with my wife about how awesome it would be to have a full size replica of Boba Fett's armor for the office.  After all, I already had the helmet.

She replied, "I could get behind that."

I don't know if she was kidding -- but it was enough for me to start surfing eBay for more parts.

And so it began.  In the coming weeks (months?) I will chronicle the entire build of my recreation of Boba Fett's armor.  There are over twenty pieces needed for an authentic costume. Most of which are either unpainted, or un-weathered, or custom made by professional prop makers... most of the time, all three. I've been doing exhaustive research online about the three variations on Fett's armor (Empire, Jedi, and Special Ed.). I've immersed myself in the communities of Star Wars cosplayers for the best tips and connections.  No shortcuts. This will be as wearable, sturdy, and complete as I can possibly make it. Come along for the ride.