Monday, January 20, 2014

Steampunk Mandalorian Costume: Dapper Fett

I have been a life long Star Wars fan, and during the past few years I have gotten more and more into Steampunk. For quite some time I've wanted to create a Star Wars costume to wear, but I never knew what to make. Then it hit me. I've always been a fan of Boba Fett, so why not a Mandalorian costume? I thought it would be nice to add some Steampunk to the costume as well. Here was my build for my Dapper Fett costume/cosplay.

I started out with a helmet. My girlfriend also wanted a Steampunk Mandalorian costume, so I worked on both our helmets at the same time. I looked up all the different ways people made their custom Mandalorian helmets. I wanted something that would look good but that was also cost efficient. I chose to start with a two piece Rubies Jango Fett helmet.

First thing that I had to do was remove the visors and to seal the two halves together. After a quick sanding of all the parts, I used epoxy on the inside and bondo for the top seams.

I added extra bondo randomly to the outside of the helmet. I wanted the surface to be uneven, as if it had been cast in copper. Once the bondo dried, I sanded the helmet till it was mostly smooth. The slight bumps and gashes would give the helmet a worn look.

I sprayed two layers of primer on the helmets.

Next came the copper paint. I used spray paint, and then rubbed on some copper paint pen, to add another shade to the helmet.

My helmet was painted with black/red paint, while my girlfriend's helmet was painted with two shades of green.

The copper areas were rubbed with black paint to fill in the gaps and to highlight the bumps. 

For my girlfriend's helmet, I drew an intricate leaf pattern on the left side using a sharpie. 

The original visors were not dark enough and you could easily see our eyes. I found a local welding shop and purchased two welder's helmet visors. Each was cut to size using the original visors as templates. A top hat was secured onto my helmet.

While working on the helmets, I was also customizing some toy guns. The innards were removed, and all moveable parts were secured.

Each gun was then sanded, screw holes filled in with bondo, and then sanded once more.

After a few layers of primer, the guns were painted. I was going for a steampunk look, but that could still fit in the realm of Star Wars.

Leather was added to the grips, and the guns were done.

Now I am not the best seamstress, so I knew that I would have to look for an outfit to go with the helmet and props. The first incarnation of Mr. & Mrs. Dapper Fett were a more victorian, high society version. The leather pouches and gauntlet seen in the photo below were also made my me.

While I was happy with the result, I felt that the outfit needed to be more rugged. So I went looking for a simple outfit to make. I came across a striped vest from Clockwork Couture and used that as a starting point. Leather shoe covers were found at a flea market and belts were purchased from a Ross. The costume needed some armor, so I made a shoulder and upper arm piece. Again, I was still on a budget and I needed to make these pieces as cheaply as possible.

The shoulder armor was made using cardboard, vire, bondo, and various belts. I used the same painting technique that I used on the Mandalorian helmets.

I found two dart guns at Target for cheap. I modified and painted them.

This was the result of the second phase of the Dapper Fett costumes.

More recently, I decided that my Dapper Fett costume was missing something important: a jetpack. I spent weeks looking at custom mandalorian jet packs, as well as steampunk jet packs. I wanted to find a balance between the two.

The jetpack was made using foam board, bits from a broken toy "hover-car", two squirt guns, and random bits found in our apartment. I came across a Mandalorian jetpack template, and used to to shape the jetpack. 

Testing the positions of the random bits.

Most Mandalorian jet packs are secured using either an under harness or a back armor plate. Neither would work for my costume, so I had to think up another way to keep it on securely. Two extra-long belts found at a thrift store were cut into two pieces. They were secured to the back of the jetpack using screws, washers, and nuts. The belts would strap across my vest.

The interior portion of the jet pack.

All bits were secured, sanded, and then covered in bondo. 

A flamethrower gauntlet would be an extension of the jet pack. 

A pressure sprayer was modified to be used on the gauntlet.

The jet pack received multiple layers of primer.

Time to start painting and detailing.

The finished product.

Comikaze Expo 2013

Recent art projects

This is a collection of random art projects from the past year.

I enjoy drawing on our white board.

Sometimes you do not have many art supplies at your disposal, but you have the urge to create something. This was during a time like that. This robo-chicken was made out of wire, paper, cardboard, tape, and random odds and ends that I had laying around.