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 Post subject: Greetings!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
Hello folks.

So - I began a very ambitious venture a few weeks ago. I set out to make a Darth Vader costume from scratch. After searching high and low, I found out about the 501st (an organization I had previously been oblivious about) and was suddenly excited; a whole national organization of people that are as enthusiastic (some much more) as me about Star Wars costuming!? Awesome.

So - after some research, I applied to be a member here, if nothing else than for some support on this massive endeavor.

Not much time to talk this moment, but what is made / what I have so far is:

Modified Ruby's Helmet (1994?)
Outer Cape
Gloves
Cod piece
Boots
Modified Hasbro voice box chest piece

In the works:
Fiberglass chest armor (over half-way done on this, I believe)
Fiberglass shin guards (foam molding has been started)
Belt boxes - made from black plastic for ease of working on, then polished and shined to look like metal
Jumpsuit (with batting sewed in 1 inch apart) - finishing touches on this one this weekend

To be made:
Surcoat
Belt buckle
More helmet and chest box mods (need to put a bigger speaker in the voice changer)

At this point, I have no idea how screen accurate everything will be. I am going for ROTS Vader, but with budget constraints and this bein the first try at these components, it may be off in some place.

Here's some shots of the fiberglass foam armor underlay from the other day and while I was working on it yesterday. The first one is the foam armor before I added the final pauldron stripe that sort of connects the pauldron to the chest piece, and the second one is after the second coat of fiberglass, but before I sanded it all down. The right (to us) pauldron on the fiberglass shot looks bad; I had some goopiness going on, but it sanded down just fine. Enjoy the pics. More as I make stuff!

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foamchest1.jpg

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foamchest2.jpg

foamchest2.jpg [ 77.43 KiB | Viewed 4700 times ]


I know, I know. It's really rough and the texturing could use a lot of work. However, I have a wife, kids, job, etc., so time is a bit short, and I do what I can to make it look as accurate as I can. Plus, the real texturing comes with a practiced hand in sanding after all the layers of fiberglass are on. Then I can get to sanding some additional textures and smoothing lines out.

Cheers everyone, keep on troopin!

Anthony


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:50 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Sith Lord 1st Class

Joined: July 26, 2008
Posts: 233
Location: Provo
Age: 32
Hey Anthony! Welcome to the Dark Side :vader:

Here is a link to the 501st Legion Costume Reference Library (CRL) entry for ROTS Vader: http://www.501st.com/databank/Costuming:SL_rots_vader

As the name implies, this a reference guide to help get the costume as close to accurate as possible. There are also a number of other 'Vaders' here on the boards that will be willing to help out with advice. All you have to do is ask :mrgreen:

Again, welcome to the Garrison


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:37 pm 
Imperial Recruit
Cadet

Joined: February 1, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Age: 34
Welcome Anthony, I look forward to seeing your progress. Are you wanting to work towards 501st membership, or are you working on something to use for halloween etc., or both? Log on here: http://forum.501stsithlords.com/ Spend lots of time, ask lots of questions, and you will not be led astray. I've been working on my ESB Vader for about 2 and a half years and hopefully will have it in a "troopable" state this fall. You can look through my thread here for any ideas as well: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9503

Again, welcome. There are some truly great people here!

"You underestimate my power!... D'oh!"
"Your taste buds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!"


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
Hey everyone. Thanks for the replies. Weemansith, I actually read through your thread extensively, which ended up being the reason I registered. Your build is looking great. Any tips on creating or buying the belt boxes? A guy named Randy quoted me $140 for the belt boxes, belt, and buckle. (Electronics in as well.) Does that seem congruent with other pricings? I feel like I could make it for so much less than that. But, I suppose you are paying for the time, mostly.

To answer some other questions:

Right now I am just looking to make a wearable Vader suit. Albeit, a nice one. I'd have bought the Supreme Edition, but I figure that everyone mods that one anyway, I'd just make what I want and mod stuff I have. Overall, my aim is a complete ROTS Vader, so I am doing what I can to adhere to the minimum standards of the 501st ROTS rules. I had read through them before I began working on the chest armor. From what I can tell, the chest armor I currently have going is inline with the guide.

It's not my goal to have 501st approved Vader this season, but I do have a party on the 20th where I aim to be a convincing Darth Vader. Other than that, it'll be a slow and meticulous process, but I will eventually have a full-on 501st approved 3rd level ROTS Vader Suit. :deathstar1:

At this point in time, the belt looks like it might take the most time. Any tips to making the pieces or obtaining them in somewhat of an inexpensive fashion is appreciated. What I had in mind is this (a quick fix, for sure): I have moldable plastic. The stuff is super awesome. It hardens smooth and very strong. I was going to make a front, sides, top and bottom for both boxes out of plastic, cut them smooth and mold them together to make my two boxes with open backs. (The plastic can easily be dyed ivory black with dry pigment, which I also have. This produces a deep black that can be shined.) I can then drill holes where needed and put in electronics as needed. For a really quick fix, I can make all the knobs/textures from plastic too, and just paint it with modeling paint.

Once more, thanks for the hellos. Hope to have fun things to show in the future.

Cheers.

Anthony


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:28 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Imperial Officer Master

Joined: April 18, 2007
Posts: 2901
Location: No.Salt Lake
Age: 75
Anthony, How about some info on your mold able plastic? It sounds like something I could definitely use.

We will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the landing grounds, we will fight in the streets and in the fields. We will never surrender. Winston Churchill

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
Dusty wrote:
Anthony, How about some info on your mold able plastic? It sounds like something I could definitely use.

It is called:

InstaMorph Moldable Plastic

It comes in a variety of sizes.

Not only is it perfect for elongating your Darth Vader Helmet neck piece, but its uses are uncountable. Plus it is a safe, non-toxic substance that makes a perfect activity / toy with your children. I also recommend your favorite dry pigment to sprinkle on when heating, knead it in, then you have perfectly colored plastic that you do not have to paint (for the most part).

It really is wonderful stuff.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:19 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Sith Lord Master

Joined: December 19, 2002
Posts: 10884
Location: Planet 10 by way of the 8th dimension
Welcome Anthony! Another Bountifulite! Awesome. I'd offer my limited assistance, but it looks like you're well on your way already!

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
Lord Helmet wrote:
Welcome Anthony! Another Bountifulite! Awesome. I'd offer my limited assistance, but it looks like you're well on your way already!



Thanks! I wish I could say that I am liking the direction things are headed with the suit, but a lot of what I am working on just doesn't seem to be turning out the greatest quality. :|

Hopefully, when it is all pieced and worn together, it will look better than the individual sum of the pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
So - if I want to buy some of these pieces, where/who is the best (priced?) to go to?


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:20 am 
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Joined: December 19, 2002
Posts: 10884
Location: Planet 10 by way of the 8th dimension
If you need a close up look at parts, armor: chest or shin, or the boxes...let me know.
I would say 1st off, contact JediJeffrey here on the boards, he lives north a bit farther and makes some awesome stuff for better than reasonable prices.

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
Thank you for the information, sir, I have sent him a message. Perhaps I might own some of his awesome work soon.

There doesn't happen to be, specifically, a Vader thread which lists materials and components commonly used for a Vader suit, is there? I spent a week or more searching before I found out the belt boxes commonly used were the Hammond ABS boxes.

It sure would help. For example, is there a good place to get nice bright green LEDs for your belt boxes? How about the (12v?) red globe light? I already have the tubing commonly used for the mesh looking part on the belt box, but knowing what screws/pieces for the knobs would also be helpful.

I am sure there is something like this somewhere, right?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Joined: November 7, 2003
Posts: 751
Location: Roy, Utah
Age: 44
I love the foam idea, i was going to start messing around with some foam myself.

"Those who anger you control you"


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Joined: February 1, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Age: 34
My boxes were the Hammond boxes you refer to. I was lucky with my components for my boxes, I got pretty much everything for free through contacts I had with work at that time. For the knobs on the boxes, I used threaded thumb screws and then put bondo in the allen wrench part, sanded it down, and painted. Simple and easy.

"You underestimate my power!... D'oh!"
"Your taste buds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!"


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Joined: September 18, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Age: 33
weemansith wrote:
My boxes were the Hammond boxes you refer to. I was lucky with my components for my boxes, I got pretty much everything for free through contacts I had with work at that time. For the knobs on the boxes, I used threaded thumb screws and then put bondo in the allen wrench part, sanded it down, and painted. Simple and easy.


Thanks for the info, mate. I am probably going with the Hammond boxes, but I am meeting with JediJeffrey sometime next week, and am going to see what we can drum up together, then go from there. Super stoked! Jeff got back to me immediately, wow what a cool guy he is!

First, though, I am headed to my brother-in-law's on Thursday (he's a master electrician with L3) and he's going to wire in my fans and mic/voice changer to the helmet. Exciting times!


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:25 am 
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Joined: February 1, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Age: 34
I'd love to see pics of your helmet and chest box. I want to see what you are working with for fun.

"You underestimate my power!... D'oh!"
"Your taste buds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!"


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