|Ithano boarding the Meson Martinet|
When I saw him, I decided that the helmet was the difficult piece, and everything else was pretty easy. I was just in the midst of planning an EVA foam helmet, when I saw that Sith Camaro was sculpting one. I decided right then that I had to get one of those and was on my way!
The helmet came in plain grey with some significant, but expected flashing. I proceeded to trim and drill out all the sections around the eyes and to clean up the edges. You can see in the below picture that one of the four holes in front was significantly off from the reference pictures, so I just filled it with worbla and drilled an appropriate hole. I made sure to drill these out for some air-flow.
After trimming it all up, I primed the helmet with a good solid spray primer and let that dry. I then got a dark red - I think Colonial Red - spray can and went to work on the base coat. I have to admit that I had a TON of trouble with this paint finish. The paint bled and cracked and made weird textures on the surface.
I ended up stripping, sanding and painting this helmet at least three times. I think it was a combination of the red paint, the humidity and not letting the paint REALLY dry long enough. I ended up also using my baby powder trick to fix the "still sticky" paint a bit before putting on the gloss coat. I actually ended up sanding the gloss coat quite a bit as well and re-doing it a few times.
I taped off the appropriate sections and just used plain flat black for the dark sections, as I was going to gloss-coat this thing anyway.
I used the airbrush to put in all the details and tried to follow the reference pictures very closely.
When I sanded the gloss coat, I used 800 grit sandpaper and water. The surface would get all foggy, but the re-application of gloss clear coat solved that.
For the upper portions, I decided to use EVA foam to give the look of the glossy black textured skin. I used a rotary tool to mark up the surface with gouges, sealed and painted the foam gloss black. I then just glued it to the inside of the helmet.
The finished helmet in all of its glory. For the rear flap, I just used a piece of EVA foam coated in black Plastidip. It attached with Velcro inside the helmet.
For all of the armor, I decided to cut out the patterns in very thin 3mm foam and cover with worbla. I measured my arms and legs and did patterns in paper (no pic) and then transferred to foam to make sure I had a proper fit.
I added on the rivet details with foam and made sure to seal'm up good.
Sanding a bit between all the layers is super important. You don't have to go crazy, but a little goes a long way with so many layers.
I decided to line the armor with some leftover black cloth I had sitting around. That would make the overall look more finished and hopefully reduce the wear and tear from the pieces rubbing together as I wore the costume.
I used spray adhesive to glue the lining down and then just trimmed to shape with a sharp knife.
For the smaller pieces, I just used elastic bands and glued them in real good with strapping scraps to keep them in pace.
I used a lot of clamps to make sure that the straps were secure. This design has more straps than are necessary to hold the armor on, but it does match the reference!
The armor was fun to do and did not take too long. Since I have worn the costume a few times, I have had to touch up here and there. I went with a satin clear coat, as the armor is a bit more than flat, but not quite gloss.
I was also quite lucky in that I had some black cuffed motorcycle gloves just sitting around, so I used them!
This damn tunic was WAY beyond me, so I got hooked up with a fellow 501st member to make this for me. The tunic had to be quilted and have a leather-like edge on it.
The red we chose was a BIT bright, but that was ok, as I could use the airbrush to darken it up. I used a custom mix of paint to darken up the base red, then used grey to add in some weathering.
I sewed on all the detail myself using a huge needle and some thick thread. I tried to mimic the style seen in the reference, and I think I did ok. This took a long time.
|That's just light through the blinds on the shoulder.|
I was really happy with how this tunic came out. My tailor did a great job and I struggled through the details. There is Velcro all up the sides and on one shoulder to make this easy to get in and out of.
For the belts, I made them from EVA foam and covered with thin vinyl. If I had to do this again, I would make them all out of leather (which I plan to do later). Vinyl just sticks to everything forever. There are some good reference photos out there, so pay attention, as each of the three belts are different.
The pants were made with a dark red cloth and constructed like baggy sweatpants with a drawstring for the waist. I did make some elastic gaiters to use on the bottom of the legs to keep the pants inside the boots and bloused nicely.
The boots are by eXelement, and I believe that they are the exact boots used on the costume. The eXelement name is seen on the side buckled (painted black) and I THINK I can JUST see that name in some of the reference pictures.
So, the gun. It really isn't seen in the movie, but there is some reference out there. I had my main man Jamie build me the basic gun, and he did a great job! I took it from there and added in the bone stock, lengthened it a bit and added other details.
I made the stock out of EVA foam and covered with with worbla. I used multiple layers and shaped it with my rotary tool and some sandpaper.
I painted the whole thing with some aluminum spray paint and weathered and added detail from there. I actually think I could use a bit more weathering here, and I might get back to this paint job at a later date.
There is some leather detail on the gun and I added that in. I have since improved the area between the barrel and the weird bone spike underneath.
The sidearm that Ithano carries is not picture, but it sure looks like they re-used a weapon for another character in the opening scenes on Jakku. It is pictured in the visual guide, so I went with it.
EVA foam, worbla, PVC, brass rod, and anything else I could find. I made the trigger larger for durability.
For the cape, I rolled the dice and ordered a mexican blanket online - on eBay, search for "large grey woven mexican blanket". I then used fabric paint, some suede tape and yarn to add in the red details. I think it turned out ok!