mandag 15. april 2013

.The Journey of Boba Fett.

Now when I finally can publish this piece (which is NOT when I am writing is, as I'll be writing this months in advance) I will be a very giddy gal! For months I have kept this a (very bad guarded) secret! Of course all my close friends knew about this, cos I am the worst at keeping secrets... I always want to share.. ANYWAYS! But now you all can see and go through the (horrible) journey with me. This is my journal of how I went from being a nerd, to becoming Fett - THE Fett!

Before I start, I just have to give a MAJOR thanks to Susann. Without her, this project would have never seen the light of day. I've really showed my limits during this costume making period, and I have also shown almost all of my bad sides - I think. But she lasted through it all and saw it through to the end. Thank you!

So, let me take you back to the start. It all began with last year's Desucon. Desucon 07 was my first con ever. I had very mixed feelings about it, but I'll leave out the negative stuff. The good stuff was Nordic Garrison! A fantastic trooping group who guarded the con and kept it safe (haha, bad guys doing good.) While I hadn't been much of a Star Wars fan until then (I know, right...), I had always loved Boba Fett! (I got a major thing for helmets and masks.) And suddenly, none other than the Fett enters the room I am in - MAJOR CRISIS! I ran after the guy as if I were 14 years old again and asked to take photos and get hugs. Totally embarrassing now when I look back at it to be honest.
Still I got this shot and I was very, VERY pleased, to say the least. I mean, hey, I got to hug Boba Fett.
But then later on, this happened:
Aaaaaand I was pretty much sold. I went straight home to see all the Star Wars movies again. When the con was over and done with, I promised a friend that if I somehow amazingly would manage to have a Boba Fett costume by next year, I'd go with her to London Expo. In my head I was like "Yeah right, as if it'll ever happen. I don't even know how to get a costume?!".
But a promise was a promise, and dang I wanted that suit.

I began to look around. At first I had the idea of just buying those lame toy store helmets and redo the paint job. HAHA! Aaah... I quickly understood that would not do it. So I kept looking. Eventually I bumped across a really great thread over at The Dented Helmet. A guy named Asok made really swell Boba helmets - I had to get my hands on one! So I PM'ed him, he put me on a list and that was it, I was on the Boba-train! I figured that once I got the helmet, the rest would basically fix itself... BAHAHAH! GOD! When I look back at it now, I was SO frikkin naive it's REALLY embarrassing. And that's not even the worst part! Listen to this! By the time I had started buying parts, I didn't even know there were different versions of Boba Fett... I didn't even know there were a difference between ESB and ROTJ! And I was gonna dress up as him? Gosh.... Please, dun leave just yet, you guys. It gets better, I promise!

Alright! Summer vacation was over, I was back in the town I study in, and a couple of days later, the helmet arrived. This picture pretty much sums up all the feelings I had:
OH MY GOD!! I had the Boba Fett helmet! I was like, you know, the luckiest gal on earth!! If I only knew by then how much I would end up LOATHING this whole costume, I'd smack that grin of my face right then and there. But at least I was happy once, haha.
I quickly realized that the costume wouldn't just magically appear in my arms once I had the helmet. (I know, disappointing, right??) So I began to look around for other parts. And it's really amazing, but I have been more lucky than I deserve with buying parts. Cos I knew nothing, I just bought parts here and there. Luckily I never got really bad parts from anyone, all my sellers were good!

Back home again, I couldn't wait to pull open the package.
 Uwah! I could see the bottom of it!
ERHMERGERD YOU GUYS! It's the helmet! THE FRIGGIN HELMET!  It was so beautiful and rad and aaah.

More packages arrived! This time from Man of War Studios - really cool guys by the way, check them out.
First, the gauntlets! Already here, my spirit was fading. Already here you guys will understand I was NOT joking when I said I thought the costume would magically be ok. When I saw it dissembled like this, I was like "Da fuk?! What goes where?? I don't even, I.. Eh.. I..." I hadn't even decided which Boba I was gonna be, so it was just pure luck I liked the ROTJ gauntlets best - since today, I love ROTJ Boba the most!
Here's the jetpack! My face grew even more da fuk. I didn't understand how they had managed to hide away the rocket in there!
It was all so sterile and white. And I didn't recognize half the parts. I've never felt like more of an idiot in my life. It's like giving it to a monkey and expect miracles to happen!
Oh well. Life moved on anyway

Then came what I did NOT look forward to:
I actually had to cut the helmet. Myself. With a scary tool I had never used! I was so out of my comfort zone! But at this moment I was still determent to do everything by myself (that too changed in time, haha.)

So I was pretty darn pleased with myself when it was done and over with! I was such a pussy I left a good portion of the glass fiber which I had to sand down by hand - ooooh joy....
Still positive about the project! At least I could somewhat see out of the helmet now.


All of the hard parts had now arrived, and we changed Susann's bedroom into a painting studio. Ssssh, no one were supposed to know this! Haha, but relax, we cleaned up the mess as you'll see by the end of this entry. We secured the place with like TONS of plastic bags.

I ordered a pair of braided wookie scalps! I know they're supposed to be of another texture, but I have to be honest, I enjoy these. Besides - less work for me.

Girl getting ready to do her first paint job! I've never been more nervous in all of my life! And this was just the silver layer, ahahaha! Now you see? Now you'll hopefully start to get the picture of why I ended up hating this project with a passion. No worries. It all ends good.
The first coat was down and I was still positive enough about it all. I mean hey, the coating was pretty.
Quickly I had to realize that this costume would take me through airbrushing - a subject I had never been much fond of, even without trying. I mean, I suck with rattle-cans, so there! But I bought paint (all the wrong kinds as I still didn't know there difference between ESB and ROTJ.) So I bought all the colors for the ESB helmet - great.

It was time for more painting. Thank goodness I was alone that weekend, cos there were a LOT of foul words escaping my mouth that day.
The armor was masked and ready for its first yellow coating.
Here's the masking fluid I used! Today I seriously want to throw this piece of crap in the ocean and never see it again. Masking fluid REALLY tests your patience, as well as how fast you really can paint! Not cool.
Before my brain grew some few more points, I thought that a couple of cans with air would be enough to power my cheap airbrush. In theory, this would have worked. But the can was faulty and did not want to play with my airbrush! So this happened every time! It was truly hell to work with and already here, at my first try, I started to H A T E airbrush (Haha, looks grim thinking about just how much airbrush there is in this project!)
Amazingly enough I got down a decent enough layer. But it took time and a lot of cussing. I swore to never use cans of air again and went to buy a compressor instead.
I also had to test out if the masking actually worked. So I used the piece of the helmet which I cut out a couple of images back.

Things kept dropping down in my mailbox. I ordered a set of chicago bolts for the visor (which proved to be way too big....) As well as some stuffing for the helmet!
I have to be honest with you guys, I laughed a lot when I pulled this weird thing out of the box! It was even funnier when the box said "Halloween prop".
Hot mama! Who needs a helmet with this baby?? Let's just say I put that thing away and kept it there until the helmet was done.
The boots and flight-suit arrived from MoW. Once again, more quality! But it was all white (I of course knew this, I had learned since last time), yet it made me uncomfortable knowing I had to edit all of this to make it right. I do not know if you've understood this by now, but altering is not my strong side! I am not comfortable in changing things when I can royaly screw up (which I tend to do.)
Anyways! It was time for testing:
First of all, let me just make it clear that there's a HUGE reason why I wanna dress up as a masked character, haha. I can NOT pose my face for my life. I am very awkward with a camera...
It was very nice to see it all fit. I had also acquired a chest flattener (those things hurts like a b***, yo!). Let's just say I could not pull of Boba Fett without one - I would have been Booba Fett! I was very relieved to see that there was hope to pull of the dude look, even for me!
(I know, it looks like I only wear/own this set of pants! I assure you that's not it, haha.) I'm cleaning the helmet with dish soap in the shower, it was too big to have in the kitchen sink.
After this image, I completely stopped. A combination of school and no will to work on this project anymore hit home. Christmas came and left and it was time for a new year. It was also getting time for cons. I had half a year to to finish this beauty, but it soon got shortened down several months when we decided to attend more cons. The deadline was cut in half! And I didn't even want to look at this stuff anymore - oh lord!
Back in the city where I study, the room already looked like a tiny bombarded hell and the real work hadn't even begun!
At least the helmet was now all ready for a paint-job! I had sanded down all the sides and Susann had given it a sanding inside as well!

The cod piece had received its silver layer and was ready for masking.
The helmet was prepped and ready to receive its primer coat as well as its silver coat. After a while I got tired of covering up the inside with paper and gave a s** about paint coming on the inside. But for now I was still overly careful!
Since Susann had taken over the mission of airbrushing for the greater good, I started to work on the soft parts! I found some lovely tutorials over at The Dented Helmet (seriously, guys! What would I have done without you?! I don't get why I didn't use that place from the start..)
Here's the first wash coat of gray down, compared to the white fresh boot. Since I didn't own a hairdryer, I had to wait for the boots to dry every time.
The helmet is lovely silver! As well as the rocket being primed.

The jetpack is slowly being primed. The jetpack was hell to work on! Thanks to the material, no paint wanted to stick. So it had to be sanded down several times until the texture was right...
Pretty much all the armor was painted silver at this time, ready for masking. Masking is perhaps the most boring BUT rewarding part of the costume.
Both boots are washed with gray, ready for the more weathered parts.
Added the black stripe in the middle, it makes all the difference! Painting the boots were tedious, yet I actually enjoyed it for most of the part. Cos if I screwed up, I could always save it with a piece of wet cloth!
This was one nerve wrecking moment! Dying the flight suit! We actually sat on the floor in front of the washing machine. I had to just guess the amount of color. I went for the beige look. I KNOW IT'S WASHED OUT BLUE/GREY! But I honestly prefer the khaki look on the ROTJ suit, I think it looks better, sue me! But I had to buy brown dye and just pour out what I didn't need. So I totally had to just guess how much I needed for a flight suit. I was shit scared!
But it seemed to go OK! It turned khaki as we watched!
Masking up the knees and shoulder pieced, prepping them for the second layer of yellow as well as weathering.
We bought a new painting suit so we actually had clothes to paint in instead of ruining old clothes. Looked more like we were getting ready to clone babies, not paint Boba.
Just to illustrate how shitty this place is when it comes to weather, let me demonstrate the view while I was once more painting the boots. One second it was sunny, even a rainbow there somewhere!
Five minutes later, this was the reality.... Grim....
Masking up the helmet to paint the mandible. SCARY!
Finally got the toe spikes from Mojo Fett! They were just lovely (and scary to put on).
All done!! Weathered and all! At a moment I was about to give up as I just didn't get the right look and I kept screwing up big time! But then I bought some yellow sand paper and went apeshit, and tada! Just the look I wanted!
Masked up the damage on the mandible and trim.
Started to weather the pouches - they just looked too new compared to the rest of the costume. It was hard to find good refs of the real Fett's belt, so I just went with the feeling.
This image pretty much sums up my feelings toward airbrushing (not to mention I am dead sexy in that horrible suit....) I was actually as scared as I look in this image! Haha. I so wanted to at least do the helmet myself, but eventually had to give up on that as well... The airbrush simply HATES me! And I hate it, so it's mutual.
That's a BINGO! Finally found the darn hose needed to the gauntlet. I just gambled (AGAIN) and bought a size. Luckily enough it was a dead on fit. Like I told you, sometimes I'm just too lucky..
I think at this moment I had shown one of my less charming sides again. I was very tired of the project, I mean, DEAD TIRED of the project. Even when I didn't do half of the work. Why did my first costume have to be so hard?! Haha. She was gluing the parts of the gauntlets together.
The first layer of damaging color was down and it was time to mask up the second!
Gauntlet is all glued together and ready for priming and silver layer.
Working on the second gauntlet - more of that horse-smelling glue!
This was the last color layer I put down myself. From here on out, the airbrush always kept jacking up when I used it. I'm not joking! I must be cursed with that thing! It kept just spitting out the colors and being a pain in the a**. So I officially admitted defeat and passed on the helmet beacon.
It was so surreal to see the helmet FINALLY taking shape. When I had removed the masking and saw the lovely, vibrant red color screaming at me, it was damn moving! It would actually be a cool looking helmet. It's missing a lot of detailing which I'd add later on.
The weathering of the flight suit had began! I used a mix of yellow, black, white and red mixed together in water to get a really gruesome, muddy color. I damped down the the pants with a sponge and started to apply with another sponge, letting the clothing suck in the colors. I knew that once it was dry, the colors would be lighter, so I went berserker on it and applied tons of color.
My arm after being inside the sleeves and legs while I stained them.
This is about the last image I have of the helmet before everything went straight to hell. The lower cheeks were just down right HORRIBLE to work on. They kept f***ing up. The painting kept dusting and growing this nasty texture and it down right ruined the look. So we figured we'd go with the same plan as on the cod piece (the cod piece kept acting up as well.) Where we had painted silver, then primer to hide that it had been sanded down. But we forgot one crucial thing on the helmet - the silver layer. The primer had a violent reaction with the Humbrol paint and the whole paint job was ruined. That day I went straight to bed in plain depression, haha! I wish that was a joke, but it's not. At that time, I'd so had it with fu** ups, I just wanted to quit, throw the helmet in the ocean and never look back! Luckily Susann didn't give up and kept working while I lay in bed, feeling sorry for myself. (Haha I know right, by this time, you don't even feel I deserve to wear this costume, I'm sure! Haha Trust me, it DOES get better, just.. not yet!)
The good moments finally started to show up in the end of the tunnel! The chest armor went good without any problems. I slapped on the sticker and it looked super rad! (Yup, that's the Mandalorian sticker going on the shoulder piece.)
And it had been weathered, just as the chest sticker.
Assembling the gauntlets, giving them an opening mechanism using door hinges.
Both of them!
I was unsure of how to put on the cod piece and make it stick. But I read on the forum that people just used the two belts to hold it up. After I FINALLY got the girth belt in the mail ( the girth belt and shin tools were the hardest things for me to find), I had to test it out. And it worked! I held up the armor, as I still in this writing moment do not have the flak vest... Hopefully it will come soon as I am about to loose my patience! In the meantime, enjoy this mock-up image!
The shoulder pieces all done and dealt with!
THIS is one of the more memorable moments of the costume making! I spoke with several REALLY cool guys over at The Dented Helmet. I had many silly questions which they all took their time to answer and help out a super noob. And of course, when one is to dress up as Boba Fett, everyone assume you're a dude. I never told them otherwise as it was to be a secret! So when I got this letter in the mail, addressing me as MR. Stenbjørnrød, I had to grin from ear to ear! Sorry for deceiving you, guys! Haha, but you were all a great help to me and I truly appreciate it! I hope you forgive me!
Once more it was a package from the ever lovely Mojo Fett, sending me a set of shin tools! Finally I had everything (besides the darn flak vest.)
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH! Just kidding. We're not nearly there yet. At least the jetpack is coming along nicely - FINALLY! So we prepped it for the second layer of paint.
I'm going over the masking with some masking fluid to secure the small, tricky areas. Also, new hair-cut! Yay!
Another shot of the room of horror! It's starting to look preeeetty messy in here!
I did not look forward to clean the floor - yikes... At least it was just dust from the paint and no actual paint!
Different parts in different stages.
While gluing the visor, I had to keep it stable while the glue dried. And let me tell you, I A: Dun have the patience to sit and hold it and B: WAY too shaky hands to keep it straight. So I had to improvise - and it worked!
Adding the fine details on the knee darts.
Only the blue left of the base colors! Looking edible!
Hand painting on the details on the rockets.
Scary! But the detailing really does the trick!
A lovely break in the painting. The sun was up, we enjoyed soda and chocolate.
The helmet had dusted up AGAIN and I was about to throw it in the ocean. But then I got an idea. I got a micro fiber clout, made it wet and started rubbin all over the paint. Not only did I get away all the dust ( you actually see where the dust ends to the left of the damage), but it also made it so much easier to get off the masking!
Close up of the difference.
Getting there! At this point, I didn't even care all that much that the line between the upper and lower cheeks were still ruined by the primer. It almost looked like normal weathering! Still missing the silver detailing damage here and there.
Before and after we had plucked off the masking It's slowly starting to resemble the real deal! The rocket had yet to be painted properly.
Here I was painting on the black stripes around the jetpack. Now, if I had a brain, I would have wrapped the whole shabang in plastic and rattle-can'ed the black on. But my tiny brain told me to paint it, hens it looked horrible once I removed the shitty tape. Let me tell you, the tape has been another HORRIBLE thing during this whole project. It kept bleeding and getting loose and letting in paint all OVER the place *sobs* anyways. We had to go over and redo the lines by hand.
Masking up the dusted areas of the helmet. Looks like a Smurf barfed on it!
Et voila! The green is down and it just looks superb! I love the contrast of the greens on the ROTJ helmet. The first time I saw it, I wasn't thrilled, but now I truly dig it.
Added more silver damage here and there as well as scratching. I also added the decals - they were hell to put on as the glue on them were non existent... At least they look hella good on!
Sewing together locks for the guantlets. Totally home made.com, but I needed some kind of lock mechanism on them.
Added weathering to the ears, and it looks good if I may say so! I'm really happy with how the ears turned out. They were fun and easy to damage.
Now all the paint is down, the only thing left... The horror... THE KILL STRIPES!! *Psycho music theme*
I'll be honest with you guys. I was scared senseless at this moment! Overly-used to fuck ups, the kill stripes were a tragedy waiting to happen in my head. I was so sure the tape would bleed out or something equal horrible. I did not sleep well that night while the paint dried.
But in the morning, this is what waited for me when I got out of the shower! SUCCESS! The kill stripes did go better than I dared hope for in my wildest imagination!! Now all that was left, was the weathering.
Music was a trusty companion throughout this project, and I bought this ultimate cute little speaker from Hong Kong. Seriously, you can get anything from that place!
The weathering jobs are done and it looks truly magnificent, especially the jetpack is a personal fav! Now it was time for what I had waited for for MONTHS! Cleaning down the room.
Would you look at this? When we began cleaning up, I believed it never would look clean again.
This is all the colors and cans we emptied, as well as bottles of thinners.
Here's all the paint and equipment we used in general. We also had an airbrush inbetween which stopped working. Susann kept referring to it as "The Old Normandy" and how she liked it better, haha!
And here's all the paint I didn't use or barely touched! Anyone in need of some Boba paint? Haha!
(Once again, I swear, those are not the only pants I own, haha!) The cleaning had begun and I were a tad angsty (to say the least) about the tape. It just wouldn't come off!
But I found a cure! White spirit (or however you spell it) made the difference.
Slowly getting better and after three hours, this is how it looked:
Pretty amazing, no? Perhaps we should make a new version of "Home cleaners" or something, haha.
Here's the little altar of Boba Fett armor. The back piece and knee parts are missing.

Then a couple of weeks passed with not much happening, really. We were both REALLY dead tired  by now and I had a big anger issue unsorted. Nothing had gone as planned, and even tho things looked good in the end, stuff always kept going wrong before it went right - which can make anyone loose their sanity. Next up was the worst challenge yet: Mounting the visor.
This was just plain hell. At first we tried the way of inserting chicago bolts into the helmet. Didn't work. Then we inserted screws with nuts. Didn't work either. The glue just kept getting loose and we tried different kinds of glues and shit just hit the fan. Nothing wanted to go our way. On top of it all glue kept going everywhere: on the helmet, on the gauntlets, you name it. I was starting to really loose my patience for good... Then I just said f*** it, let's duct tape this motherf****. And so I did. So now the visor is duct taped on the inside of my helmet. A really cheap solution, but I HATE glue and I did not get the screw/bolt thingie to work, so f** that, haha. Perhaps one day a good Samaritan can help me...  It works for now.
(See, I told you I had other pants!! Amazing!)
Anyways. This pretty much sums up how I felt at the end of the day. Kill me. Kill me now. The time to go home was approaching in major steps and I started to freak out. The damn flak vest was nowhere to be seen and I had still several details left. Not to mention those DARN hoses on the gauntlet!
Mounting the rocket thingies onto the jetpack with glass fiber on the inside. Went superb! Something finally going like it should.
Painting the inside of the rocket thingies black, as we had totally forgot to do so while painting them..
FINALLY!!! Hallelujah!! There is some justice out there after all! The darn flak vest! Finally! I had ordered it in DECEMBER! It never arrived. I complained. The seller made a new one and shipped with "express." Never arrived either... Two weeks left before going home. Freak out. Order from GORGEOUS Man of War Studios! Those heroes! I ordered it to my home address in my hometown, so my mother had to ship it up to me so I could test everything out! Unfortunately, the back didn't have the holes for the jet pack straps, so I couldn't try everything out anyway.. But it wasn't all bad. At least it made us get our asses in gear to fix the rest!
(OK SO I LIED!! I do only own those pants (well not really) but damn.. That's how it seems! Hahah. They're darn comfortable, ok?!) Anyways... Trying on the flakvest. Good thing - it fit, bad thing - it's way too big, haha. So I had to add more velcro when I got to my hometown. But the material is amazing and breathes well. Which is important, cos I'll die in this thing.
A friend of mine in class fixed me these old keyboard keys! I'm sure they're not all correct, but hey, do you know how hard it actually is to locate a 80's keyboard these days? Haha. I think this is from the 90's, and it'll do fine - I hope.
First tho, I had to get rid of the attachers underneath the slots. Which was easy peacy nice and breezy.
Then I needed to sand down the arches as Boba Fett's shoulder studs are way flatter - at least from what I could gather from the reference images.

Attaching the chest armor to the flak vest, EEEEEP!
AND EXCUSE ME WHILE I HAVE MY FANGIRL SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL! This is actually me! ME!! ME ME ME!! I can't believe it's me inside that suit! *gasp and waving hands dramatically in front of face* Ok ok ok... I know, it's not very manly nor Boba Fett of me to react like this, but don't PRETEND to tell me you guys didn't feel the same way when you started to put it on!!! I won't believe it for a second! Haha. So I went outside in the dark, cos mind you, it was around 9PM. And these sporty joggers passed by and let me tell you, haha, the dude could just NOT stop staring! I was sure his head would turn around, possessed style! Haha. Man.. I couldn't wait to wear it all!

Onto the next tedious part! The gauntlet hoses. I'm sure by now you think that I have nothing good to say about this process. And you know what? You're almost right, haha. If it hadn't turned out so darn good, I would have had nothing good to say about it. So my hat is off to you costume makers who go through this year after year for cons! My next costume will for sure be simpler. Anywho. The hoses. The problem with the air pressure hoses is that they're stiff - as heck. So I was constantly worried they would break parts off from the gauntlet. And we had no good way of attaching them. In the end I bought those hose connectors you use on airbrush connectors. And after a little back and forth, it worked!
 Screwing on the connectors.
A close-up of the attaching system. The upper part of the tubes was glued together with really strong tape. I added a little clips on it which I could attach into threads I had sewn into the sleeve of the shirt.
And tada! It's on! Not the greatest flexibility, but I could at least move my arm and hold the blaster - which is the most important thing.
Packing time finally came! I was proper scared for all the parts, and me and Susann had to split Boba into two. She took most of the hard parts, including the jetpack, while I took the soft parts and the helmet. Here's the jetpack properly secured in bubble wrap. Fingers crossed.
Here you can barely spot the helmet inside my bag. I was gonna bring it on me inside the plane.
Of course everything didn't go as planned and stuff broke (the jetpack), but we managed to fix it in the last second before con time.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand what you've all been waiting for (I hope):
 My best friend came as Vader, which made it all perfect!
After over half a year of misery, tears, blood, sweat, excitement, happyness and CRAZY moments, it has finally come to an end! After two cons in a row, the costume had taken some damages here and there (I even lost the flamethrower on my gauntlet...) Even when you're the Fett, people are careless and bump into you - but stuff happens! I've learned that the jetpack is a true pain to carry and that I need to secure the armor much better next time. BUT! In the end, I finally became Boba Fett - a surreal dream realized! And boy did I look handsome, haha.
Last but not least, a little funny image for you guys. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the help you all have given me!

4 kommentarer:

Maphisto86 sa...

Wow . . . this is really awesome work you have done. Such dedication and eye for detail. @_@

Charlotte sa...

What a journey! Thanks for sharing the creative process for your costume. It looks amazing.

Stein Andre olsen sa...

nice build logg! And I am in the marked for esb boba paint. (have a mystey helmet on my bedstand just waiting for me to grow some courage.Is that Kristoffer as "The Boss"?

Boba Fett Fan Club sa...

Wow! What an incredible post! Thank you for sharing all of this.

I run the Boba Fett Fan Club at bobafett.com and we would love to run this article on the site, with attribution/link and upon your approval only.

I can be easily reached at aaron@bobafettfanclub.com or Twitter @bobafettfanclub.

Thank you!

Aaron