If somebody wants to translate it, be my guest! Maybe I'll translate is later but not for now, I've been working on it since this morning. I hope I can give some inspiration to other costumers, please let me see your projects then!
If you use this tutorial somewhere else, link or let me know plz...
EDIT: thanks to someone who sent me a part of this already translated by computer, I started translating and editting that text. The result:
In this tutorial I describe how I made my Imperial Knight armor. I made this armour this way because I have a small budget and I wanted to use materials that are not to difficult to obtain. If you want to make, for instance, a not yet exported armor, or a piece of an armor, and you dont want to spend more than hundred Euros, I think this is the best method. This armor, however, has not been made to catch large blows. But a standard plastic clone/stormtrooper armor isnt really as well. You will need someone for the first steps also, and this person has to be someone you trusts and has some handyness.
The dutch tutorial has been already published before in Teekay-421 the Belgian Star Wars fanclub magazine. Since I had the question from other men outside Belgium to read the tutorial I made, I made it also available online. If you have any questions, you can always contact me!
What you need:
- gips-rolls/ plaster (to find in hobby store and pharmacists);
- synthetic clay (dolls clay);
- a (large) plastic bag / the plastic you can put over food etc in the kitchen (dunno the English name);
- a knife or something else where you can sculpt with;
- ground paint/ primer that entirely covers the material, best suitable for all sorts of material;
- possible fortification material for the armor, like wire or hard plastic;
- the finishing off of the chestplate or other parts is done with rubber leaf;
- very soft shed papers; (I dunno if this is right, but I mean sanding papers)
First and especially, you have to know where to begin. I first looked up some reference. Then I drew all parts myself, with close-ups on the more difficult parts. This is a good way to know your armor. Also you have to calculate beforehand how much and which materials you necessarily will have to use. Buy better something more then something less.
The armpieces and the top breast piece are made from plaster. Other parts are made from rubber leaf, because of the elasticity. EDIT: see that your layers of rubber are thick enough. You can use its elasticity for bending them while making the final forms, but youll have to see that this form stays that way when you start painting and after. Otherwise youll start to have cracks in the paint. For this project, I needed approximately 7 rolls plaster. Below you find a method to make the armor:
(Pic caption: Sigel Dare, Imperial knight from the Legacy- comics, drawn by Jan Duursema)
- Pack the part of the body, of which you want to make an armor, with a plastic bag or the kitchen thing. See that these plastics are closely attached to the body, and that they contain not much irregularities.
- Take the plaster rolls and cut the wire in pieces. Dip them in a scale with water, so that the plaster begins to attach, and bring on. Put them on your body breadthwise at the place you want the armor to be made. Take better some more pieces than some less. See that they are attached to eachother and that you have some spares at the side of the armor. When you are finishing, you will have to cut of some of the sides to make them look good.
- Do this layer by layer, according to your own choice. Do not forget that the armor must be thick enough. This means really a half centimeter minimum.
- When you work on crucial spots, you can make those stronger, for instance by wiring the harnass from inside or in the plaster. This was certainly necessarily at my shoulders because it had to rest there, and also I have to put in on and off there.
(Pic caption Own reference material imperial knight)
- now youll have to sit and eventually walk around with the plaster on your body, until you feel that the plaster is (almost) dry. If it is hard enough, you can remove it and leave it further to dry.
- As it is totally dry, you can begin with the borders. With a saw, dremel or sanding paper, you can cut out the general form. This doesnt have to be detailed yet.
- At the sides you just cut out, you can best lay some plaster pieces. Fold these pieces in such a way around the sides so it covers all the irregularities. Your edges will look more beautiful and finished.
- Smooth the unwanted pits and bumps. First, mark them with an alcohol stylus or something of that kind. This is very important, do this very often while filling the gaps. Use different light raid to discover these inequalities. This you can do best with naturally and artificial light.
- Now the filling of the holes begins. Take a small piece of synthetic clay and knead it. If the clay becomes sticky, then wet your fingers. How more wet you make the clay, how more details you can sculpt. Too wet is not good as well, use thus only your fingers to sprinkle it.
- Bring on the clay and smooth these irregularities untill all the indicated pits are filled up. Make your fingers wet to smooth the sides out enough.
- As this clay is dry, you can rub the armor with a very soft sanding paper.
- View if youre satisfied with the result. Search for new and old inequalities and repeat the previous steps.
- Youll have to do this until you totally satisfied. Then you have the basic form you can sculpt the details on. EDIT: its very important that your base is clear, dont start adding details before the base is ok!
- In the case of this costume, we had to add grooves. Be sure that the place where these must come are covered thick enough with the clay. If youre not sure, put another layer on it. Letit dry before you start to cut. This is a dangerous work, a little mistake can wrong or even destruct your armor! So be cautious. Work step by step!
- To make the armor more easily wearable, we shot a pop revet on a place that wasnt yet covered with clay (there still need to be a broader part at the edges) At this pop revet, we attached a uhmm how do you call it, a wire that can grow and shrink, like bungie jumpers, with a clicking system at the end. Now the armor stays attached on my body, so that it doesnt wobbles uncomfortably.
- There must also be a thickened edge around particular zones of the armor. We rolled sausages with the clay and laid these on the right places. Then we pasted them on the harnass with water.
- At the back of the armor there came other more geometrical thickened pieces. We cut the forms in rubber foam leaf and we glued these on the back with power glue. Use glue that glues directly at the parts that do not want to be glued with the hot glue. If youre rich, you can use that glue everywhere, the rubber is pasted very fast and good that way, but hot glue can do as well.
- Which parts of the armor that arent looking good, or need to be made more durable, can be adapted with Milliput or some other strong sculpting material like apoxie sculpt. These are very strong but also expensive products that consists of two components.
- Sand all parts yet once until you are convinced that the armor is totally in order.
- The armor is now almost ready. It is ready for the first paint round. We packed the bungie thing away in a plastic bag, and begun to lay the first layer. Paintjobs are very essential. It strengthens the armor and makes each form of unevennesses back clear. You can always rub and sand on your layers with primer. Like this, you can make the armor yet more smoother, but just watch out that you dont sand too deeply so that the plaster becomes visible again! Lay enough layers. Better a surplus then too little. All rules of painting count here, so better thin without irregularities, and many, than thick and afterwards ugly.
- As the primer is entirely dried, you can start coloring. Sprayers are the best option if you want a good looking even armor. As the color to your taste is and the armor is totally dried, can you always start weathering. We used the weathering techniques to draw the attention on the (wanted) gaps in the armor. You can so give the armor visually more depth.
I also put velco on my armor (not visible), to attach the shoulder pieces and the coat on it.
The armpieces have been made in the same way as the breast piece. These are much more easily made, because of the simplicity of the arms. The upper forms are made with with rubber leaf again. The seams between the rubber pieces can be removed afterwards with clay or milliput or something else.
The other parts (shoulder piece, hand piece, belly piece and the waist piece) have been made from rubber leaf. The shoulder piece is also made with a found rubber armor piece, from some childs costume playset. The height difference between the rubber and the rubber leaf has been altered at some places with milliput.
(pic caption the priming and paint of other pieces)
(pic caption the pieces in rubber leaf design and execution)
The lighsaber consists mainly of a tube of a vacuumcleanrt and a pond tube. In that tube there are the electronics from the 2 LEDs that I have used. For more information about custom lightsabers: [link]
Thee lightsabers blade must be silver according to Jan Duursema.
The coat lifts a reddish brown color according to Jan. This color is quite difficult to find, and I gave an own interpretation at the color so that it fits better with the armor colour. The color of the fabrics were a little off the image I had, perhaps I will replace them some day.
The belt is artificial leather on a form cut out of vinyl (like what you can lay on the ground) and then pasted with hot glue. Inside and all around the belt I attached Velcro to hang the fabric pieces (tabards) on. I did this over the whole belt so I can adjust the tabards just the way I want.
I carry normal black pants. The sweater is a sort of sports underwear where I put theVelcro on, to hold the belly plate and my coat. When I ever find something more suitable I will replace that shirt. A Darth Vader jumpsuit would be perfect but its expensive like hell and I only need the upper part, which I wont find in female form anyway.
- An sum of the materials:
- Approximately 7 rolls plaster
- Rubber foam leaves
- 1 package synthetic clay
- Primer paint
- pot paint bottom layer
- 1 liter spray Can Motip red buses
Hereby are not counted: the glues and Velcro. Also the buying of fabrics is not to underestimate.
Good luck and enjoy!