Flightsuit – existing old coveralls ($25.00 value Redkaps)
Boots – existing used boots (upwards of $150.00 value)
Leather Gaiters (hides show laces) – $15.00
Flak Vest – old leather jacket turned backwards $20.00
Girth Belt – $20.00
Belt – $7.00
Pouches – $24.00
Helmet (Jango Fett Style with both ear caps) from Gary Vail – $113.00
Armour plates – Sintra 3mm $10.00
Knees (bought off the forums) – $40.00 value
Gauntlets (old RKD gaunts ABS from Karl Dha’Werda’s original kit) – $60.00 value
Cape – TBD ($5.00 value)
Blaster (westar) – $10.00
Grand Total = $499.00
Misc. = paint, super glue, JB Kwik Weld, toothpaste, etc.
The parts list above is to give you an idea of how much one of these kits will cost you. This is not the minimal amount as the only pieces we made from scratch where the armour plates, but a good gauge for a quality kit.
One of the first steps to starting a Mandalorian (Mando) kit is utilizing the program called Mando Maker found HERE. This will give you the freedom to start making color selections and schemes to start the brainstorming.
The above image is one of the first concept’s my brother, Michael put together before starting his kit. A little background to Mandalorians came in May 2002 when Star Wars: Attack of the Clones premiered in theaters across the globe.
Halloween of that year (2002) meant for some pretty awesome costumes. Three years prior in 1999 pretty much my whole family dressed in Star Wars costumes except for Sam he was a grim reaper.
Above you can see Michael in white and myself in the brown robes as a Jedi after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace premiered in theaters across the world.
Anyways after that tangent my brother, Michael (above) and myself (also above) went as Boba Fett (arena jetpack) and Jango Fett (Kamino jetpack) for our costumes on Halloween. The helmets were made out of bicycle helmets and cardboard. Pretty sure the jetpacks were cereal boxes with soda cans/bottles. My armour was sewn pieces of faux leather on a blue shirt (sewn by my mother) in the pattern I laid out for her. Duct tape was used for my knees & shins.
Michael recently moved his family to the same town I currently reside in Mandan, ND for work as a diesel mechanic at a CAT location. I got involved with the Mandalorian Mercs in the Oyu’baat after moving up here (from Santa Barbara, CA) for work after finishing my BS degree in Construction Management.
That was almost 5 years ago. Since then I have learned a lot about costume building with multiple kits in both the Mercs and TDE, for myself and my wife. I also have been the Oyu’baat Clan’s Ruus’alor Sol’yc for the past few years in helping recruits with their kits.
The first step we started with was printing out his plate templates found HERE in a zip file for Boba Fett and then selecting his height from the compressed files. I picked up some Sintra from our local sign shop (Plastics Plus) in 3mm thickness.
I recommend for beginners just getting started to go with 3mm vs. 6mm because of the availability with tools. All you need for 3mm is an exacto knife, 6mm can be cut with this but it will be a whole lot more difficult. I prefer a jig saw when working with 6mm.
Anyways I also carry several leather jackets in my boxes of parts and greeblies for new recruits looking to start their kits. I bought some leather pouches off eBay and had extras saved for another kit. I found a girth belt at a local tack shop after talking to my brother about starting his kit.
The leather jacket as seen above is used as a base for a flak vest on a Mandalorian kit. It is of a sturdy material and if worn backwards has a sturdy zipper in the rear.
The sleeves are cut off to be one wearable backwards, but two also fit the style of a Mandalorian flak vest. Be sure when cutting off the sleeves that there is room to attach shoulder bells to the vest.
The flak vest is now ready and plates are laid down to to match up. As seen above you can see gauntlets in place. These are a pair of old gauntlets I had on my first kit (WIP) before I upgraded to a pair of metal gauntlets made by Dresdon Acacin HERE.
Anyways so we used tape to put the pieces on Michael and to make sure they were the right size. Shoulder bells lining up with the seam and above his biceps and over his deltoid area. Armour spacing using the rule of thumb, roughly no more than 1 inch between collar/chest/gut plates. No more than 1/2 inch between diamond and chest plates.
That same day he started weathering his flightsuit, as your armour and soft parts must match with the same effort of weathering across the whole kit.
After kicking it around in the street a bit it was weathered, but since this was at an Armour Party he learned about other methods and decided to try his own with his F350 truck. Weathering flightsuit video HERE.
Unfortunately, after weathering his flight suit in this manner it tore out the zipper. We were able to find some fabric snaps and attach them to the flightsuit for closure. This area is hidden under the flak vest when fully kitted up.
Now that the flight suit is weathered as seen above the armour and helmet will need to match along with the other soft parts.
The next step was using a heat gun to form the Sintra plates to the recruit. We used tape to position the plates on Michael as seen above.
Once the plates were lined up and fitted we spray painted them first black as a primer coat and then several coats of metallic spray paint. Once the reapplication of each coat had dried to the final coat it was weathered with a masking fluid, in this case we used Crest Scope toothpaste. It leaves the armour smelling minty fresh.
The toothpaste dried and then it was time to apply Michael’s chosen color, Old Ford Engine blue. The paint was leftover from an engine rebuild he did last year for his 1965 F100 using a straight six out of a 95′ F150.
The blue paint was applied over the toothpaste onto the metallic sintra plates. Several coats applied.
Once the plates had dried we got Michael fully kitted up for pictures. He borrowed my helmet and cape for the pictures as seen above.
You can still see the toothpaste drying on the plates. It will be removed later to reveal metallic undercoat. Appearance of metal under the paint. Removing the toothpaste/masking fluid weathering video HERE.
After removing the toothpaste a few days later the plates now give the affect of weathering, closer to what Michael’s flightsuit looks like.
Side note: The Clone Phase 2 helmet was a side project I did of where a saber scar is seen across the front. It was making use of an extremely brittle part from the start when I received it.
It was a few weeks later before Michael’s helmet arrived. 3D printed by Gary Vail (Rin V’khari).
I ordered the helmet to be 90% printlines removed, visor cut out, and key slots cut out. This is a Jango style helmet/bucket.
Before the next armour party I started with some prep work. I sanded down the print lines some more, applied a coat of metallic spray paint to the whole thing, and then with the use of a wire brush on my drill I weathered in the effect of brushed metal. I used black spray paint to pop out the weathered lines from the wire brush.
A little bit of army green was added to insure all locations were weathered evenly.
After all this the helmet was rinsed of all residue/debris. The helmet was padded dry with a helmet and then air dried before another couple of layers of metallic spray paint was applied.
A few days later we had an Armour Party at my house and on the agenda was determining the final colour scheme for Michael’s helmet.
Helmet fits good. It will need some padding to prevent bobble when wearing.
First step was to mask off the helmet for the accent area around the visor. I got him a mirrored visor in Sky Blue from Kalevala Visors to use. This color could be offset with his original green color chosen in Mando Maker, but he chose to use Banner Red instead.
Dome & Face = Old Ford Blue | Eyes/Accent Area = Banner Red |
Cheeks = Black | Ears = Metallic Silver
Red accent “Eyes” applied to the helmet this week. Looks kind of cool with the regular metal dome appearance.
Michael’s helmet lined up with mine (Karl Dha’Werda) and one of the recruits Alex’s helmet.
Next step was to paint the gauntlets, since the hunter green was not going to fit with the new color scheme.
Gauntlets were sanded down of majority of the original paint job (hunter green) and layered with several coats of metallic spray paint as seen above. The rocket was removed and extra greeblies that looked like they were just put on were removed.
The gauntlet color would be banner red to match the accent of the helmet and to give a good effect with contrasting warm and cool tones to the overall kit.
The wrist gauntlet grappling cable is now painted blue to give some offset to the gauntlets themselves. The rocket will be added back after weathering is applied to these, since it is already weathered. Thinking of adding some darts to the other gauntlet. Both are equipped with quick disconnect fittings to add gauntlet hoses.
Michael found that some toothpaste residue still was on his plates so he worked on removing the gunk off all the plates while waiting for paint to dry.
The knees were bought of the forums earlier this year to use in place of my broken knees and because they matched my color scheme of hunter green and hunter orange. Unfortunately after wearing them for one troop, I found the knees to be too small and ended up fixing my old knees for my kit.
This meant I had extra knees that Michael could use for his kit. We sanded down the green, so that the metallic paint would have something to adhere to and found yellow underneath. This yellow will be seen in detail work on his helmet later.
Helmet and gauntlets painted. Knees also painted, but see below for how they were weathered.
The method of weathering for these knees was to scrap them against the asphalt similar to the how the flightsuit was weathered. An emphasis was made where the wearer would knee on the ground and scrap the plate. Above you can see the right side weathered vs. the left side not weathered. Do not get confused, the right knee is on the left of the picture above.
The gauntlets were also weathered, but because of the boxy shapes they couldn’t be dragged across the asphalt. Instead I used a similar method of weathering as with the plates and toothpaste, but without the toothpaste. Scratching the surface with a flat head screwdriver.
See above the right gauntlet not weathered vs. the left gauntlet weathered with rocket reattached. Once everything is weathered the same and the helmet is completed, they will have the same weathering effect completed across all.
WESTAR-34 Blaster will be Michael’s weapon for this kit, with potential for dual wielding later and some more equipment in upgrades after his kit approval.
Screw holes were filled with JB Weld and the location at the bottom of the grips was replaced with rivets as seen in the Visual dictionary for reference.
A few logos still need to be removed from this blaster before a final application of weathering and possibly some leather wraps at the grips is applied.
The next Saturday, another armour party Michael worked on prepping his helmet for more paint. The cheek area was to be painted black.
Both the cheeks and key slot area was painted black on his helmet. After a few coats it was set aside to dry.
While waiting for the black paint to dry on the helmet we removed logos off his red and black gloves to meet Costume Requirement List (CRLs).
He also removed the blue spray paint from his chest diamond, repainted with metallic coats, and reapplied red to the diamond. Once it had dried he used a flat head screwdriver to remove the center of the diamond and added weathering marks to match his armour, see above.
Michael had ran out of Old Ford Blue spray paint last week. He picked up some more at our local Napa auto-parts store. The black paint at the cheeks had dried and he was able to mask off everything else on the helmet before applying blue paint as seen above.
Several coats applied with the blue spray paint before the exciting part of removing the painters tape.
Freshly painted helmet above. Front, Left, Back, and Right sides. Looks pretty cool.
The inside was painted with an acrylic black to darken the inside. The reason it is done with acrylic vs. spray paint is for the smell. You are going to be in the helmet for every troop, you don’t want to be inhaling toxic spray paint fumes all the time.
The next step was to start weathering the helmet. Michael watched as I weathered his hard work of a paint job. Said he didn’t want to ruin his new paint job. I used the flat head screw driver after dragging it across the asphalt, see video HERE.
I also used an exacto knife blade to accurately peel back some of the paint in finer details. The above picture looks like I overdid it with weathering, but in the next few images below you will see that it looks pretty good.
Seen above front, left, back, and right images of the weathered helmet. The application used to make this weathered effect was black spray paint sprayed onto the helmet and then wiped away with a rag. Depends on weather outside for this application. I also used acetone to remove some of the black paint to expose the blue or red paint underneath.
Now that the helmet is weathered, it was time to add finer details that you would see upon closer inspection with the use of acrylic paints.
I first used a lighter orangish red to the face area around the visor. Applying and then heavy wiping with a rag to remove most of it, but not all of it. I then applied a warm golden yellow with the same effort.
This leaves little tints of yellow, pink, orange, red, black, and metallic on the visor/face area, as seen above.
Next I did the same thing with blue and light green acrylic paints. The light green worked well in the deep cuts. You can see this effect above below the red rim on the back. I went back in after all this with acetone and remove parts where I may have accidentally wiped red on the ear cap or blue on the red part.
The helmet is now ready for the visor to be inserted, grill to the back key slots, and helmet pads.
Testing the Sky Blue visor with the overall look of the helmet. It fits the color scheme very well. Michael’s kit is going to look awesome.
I will be tackling the plates next, to get the same weathering effect across them.
While weathering some other parts of this kit I noticed that the gloves also needed to be weathering. Using mist of black spray paint and acetone the gloves slowly turned into a weathered pair.
The girth belt used a similar approach with mist of black spray paint but then used actual dirt to rub into the black spray paint. Then later used acetone to remove some of the black paint away.
The pouches were used with a fine layer of tan/almond spray mist and then the pouches were rubbed in the dirt. Same with the black belt.
Then a layer of black spray paint was used. Everything was wiped with a rag of acetone, which weathered the actually leather quite well. Giving the leather an aged look.
Weathering ammo belt HERE.
Next was weathering the knees. The first image shows already weathered left of the image knees with one ready to be weathered. A fine layer of black spray mist was used next in second image above. Then faint hints of yellow acrylic paint was rubbed in to match the same weathering used in the helmet.
The right gauntlet was fitted with “darts” and “blaster barrels” to give a weapon system to that side. I was originally going to use drywall parts for screws and then found these bits leftover from some drill bit boxes I used for my SWTOR Jedi belt.
Then same the weathering of the gauntlets which was the same method as everything else. Black spray mist, acetone rub off, then as seen in the image below adding yellow accent details.
The red armour parts match in the weathering effect; helmet, diamond, gauntlets, and knees.
Weathered knees and gauntlets above.
Testing same weathering method with one of the shoulder bells. Will be continued to weather the rest of his plates.
Weathering the armour the same as the shoulder bell I did a few weeks ago. Trying a different approach as seen above. Shoulder unweathered in top right. Black spray paint on collar plate. Rubbing off black spray paint on chest plate. Bottom right shoulder bell end result.
Next is the weathering of green and yellow acrylic paint accent details. I used way too much acrylic drops, don’t recommend as I had to get all the green out of the leather flak vest (which did help weather that soft part a little).
Using a towel I wiped away most of the green acrylic paint from the plates.
Weathering detail on plates HERE.
After all the green was rubbed off only appearing in a few detail spots the plates were completed to match the same weathering as the helmet.
The acrylic paint was removed from the flak vest in a similar method with black spray paint and acetone, giving it a similar weathering effect to match the other soft parts and armour. This kit is nearing completion with only a few things left to finish up; such as visor, helmet padding, more velcro, and my brother putting it on.
Test fitting for visor and padding placement. The picture above shows where my pads are placed in my helmet. I used a template to measure the visor cutout and for the first time used the common method of hot glue to attach the visor. Never tried this before, but used it to install my visor first. Then install my Michael’s visor.
Visor in place, needs some scoring to remove glue slag, and will probably be painted to weather the glue a little bit.
Michael test fitting the padding inside his helmet. Used my helmet as a template, but ended up doing a different layout inside to fit his head the best with no wobble.
Test fit after weathering, still needs work but we are now able to focus on the parts needing adjustment. Couple things to note are: needs his own cape, weathered to match the rest of his kit. Waist items could be pulled up to his waist area. Reshaping of some of the armor pieces (collar), spacing, and better velcro attachment. Gauntlet hoses, need to find both (in my garage somewhere as these were my old gaunts).
Helmet off photo above.
Now for some action shots because that always shows were to improve a kit. Ignore the blaster, it was for my kit and had an accident on one of my troops last year. Still need to fix it (barrel area).
My brother will be doing a test troop with Oyu’baat Clan’s Alor’ad and Ver’alor to get some additional eyes on this kit. We have two armour parties coming up on the 21st and 28th of September that we can make the adjustments we see.
More action shots. Again waist items need to come up a little bit, and potentially a sash added.
More action shots.
Welp, lots of work to do still, but figured I’d share progress so far. Still needs a Mandalorian name and to get on the forums with a profile.
So Michael finally came up with a Mandalorian name: Gravlax and within this next week will be creating his Mandalorian Mercs profile.
The name Gravlax comes from a Nordic dish of salmon and is an inside joke apparently with his in-laws. Sounds really cool to me, before and after finding out what it is.
Anyways today Michael got the material to make his sash and a cape (which we will need to get more material of, because when we cut out the sash it made the cape significantly shorter than expected). He got one yard of fabric. The first thing we needed to do is make the fabric look less square and more like a cape, starting with cutting up the edges.
Then after the edges were cut I used fire to burn the edges of his cape. Next week we will also be working on a different method to clasps the cape to the collar plate, maybe snaps? The tie method is used just for the test troop tomorrow.
Several different methods were used to weather this cape and make it match the overall weathering of Michael’s kit. Fire, black spray paint, dirt, and whatever was on the floor of my garage.
The same method was applied to the sash as well only with some mist of grey spray paint mixed in to the black. All the soft parts are now weathered the same as the whole kit.
Above you can see a piece of the original fabric next to the weathered fabric. Details matter and make your kit look even more awesome.
The kidney plate was also weathered to match the rest of the armour today. Test troop tomorrow in full kit.
Today was a test troop for Gravlax (Michael) with the Oyu’baat Clan, 501st Wampa Hunter Squad, and another recruit test troop Nanuk.
Above: Tiric Keel (Alor’ad), Karl Dha’Werda (Ruus’alor Sol’yc), recruit Nanuk, recruit Gravlax, Kota Grell (Ver’alor), and Kira Grell. 2019 Walk for Speech Apraxia troop.
It was a great opportunity for Gravlax (Michael) to walk around in kit, meet the different members of the clan, and get pointers of what to fix at the armour party next weekend.
A few fixes and he should be ready for Pre-Apps at our Armour Party next week.
Realized there was no picture of his kidney plate, so see above.
Pre-App Photos 9/21/19 after Alor’ad Tiric Keel and Ver’alor Kota Grell gave the go ahead.
Front Helmet Off
Update 9/28/19 (Pre-App Fixes)
“Alright, it’s time for a full fix list:
– Spacing between chest and collar appears tight. Adjusting the chest plates down a little closer to the ab might be all that’s needed.
– The ab plate floats away from that body a bit. A little heat forming will fix that right up.
– Weather the gaitors. Getting them to a similar level of weathering as the pouches would look great.
– Wear the shoes intended for the kit. The shoes in the wip look good.
– Make sure waist items are at the right levels when kitting up, they appear low here and obscure the cod, which appears to be of a decent size in the wip photos.
– Use stirrups, or something similar, to prevent pant legs from bunching over the knees. Additionally, the flight suit would look good tailored a little more around the the legs. Arms could use to be taken in a bit as well.
– Shoulder bells could use a trim. Scanning the wip, they don’t always touch the chest plates, but they are quite close.
– Use a color-matched balaclava. This will help improve the overall look of the kit.
– The cape appears to be made of a decent fabric, but if it has a tendency to fray easily I would suggest an upgrade. Otherwise it meets CRLs; it fully covers the back neck to waist, shoulder to shoulder and goes well with the kit.”
First thing first this past week I put on Michael’s kit and looked at his plates from his point of view wearing his kit. I was able to see where the plates needed a little more shaping and used the heat gun to shape the ab plate in a little bit.
Then today at the armour party we were able have Gravlax wear his kit and adjust the plates by taking them completely off, adding more velcro, and sticking them back on. We trimmed a few plates to make the shape and spacing more correct as well. We found the center of the collar was off by 0.75″ on one side and trimmed accordingly. Also wearing a black balaclava instead of a tan one.
The gaiters/spats were given the same weathering application as his waist pouches. Tan and grey spray paints mixed with dirt. Then acetone to remove the paint in a worn look from the leather spats (same as the pouches). We also used the shoes that Gravlax used in this WIP, instead of an old pair of boots in my house (forgot his boots for pre-app photos).
When we took his application photos we made sure to take our time, both myself and Tiric Keel (Alor’ad) helped. The waist items were in their proper place, we found with the kidney plate in the correct spot it was harder to cinch down his waist items belt one more notch, but was plenty secure and tight to him.
Michael (Gravlax) added elastic stirrups to the bottom of his pant legs to keep the legs of the flight suit from coming un-tucked and stopped the legs from bunching up. While sewing this he also fixed the side of the suit where a hole from removing a pocket was.
The cape was replaced with a better quality cape instead of just a piece of fabric. Seen above myself trying it out for size, got it at a local costume shop. Was a little said that it is now black instead of red, but the red was either velvet or satin at the costume store and neither of those materials would work for Gravlax’s kit.
The same method of weathering applied to my SWTOR Jedi robe was applied to his cape. Tan and gray spray paints misted and then rubbed in the dirt. A rock was used to tear a few holes in the lower section of the cape wear it could have snagged on something here or there.
After that acrylic paints were used to give the effect of mud splatters along the bottom of his cape. The lighter beige was used for most of it with the chocolate bar brown used for splatter drops. After all this was applied the use of acetone to remove some of the paint and to give it another worn look.
Some mist of black and olive green were used higher up on this cape to give a similar weathered effect throughout the whole thing. Then of course fire was used to shrink some areas, darken/scorch other areas, and create a few more holes along the bottom edge.
Overall the weathering turned out fantastic and really adds to Gravlax’s overall kit.
Application was submitted after fixes from Pre-App were made. Corrections were bounced back from App Team below:
– Spacing between color and chest greater than spacing between chest and ab.
– Spacing around diamond can’t exceed 1/2″ according to CRLs.
– When kitting up, take care to ensure flight suit and vest are snugged down properly to avoid the appearance of bagginess.
– The cod appears as if it could use some additional shaping. Doing so would raise the visual appeal of this kit.
An extension was given due to Gravlax’s grandmother’s passing. Then winter weather and life got in the way. App Team went into holiday for a couple months and we addressed fixes on January 18th at the next Armour Party. Gravlax made all the fixes and suggestions from the App Team and resubmitted on last week.
App Team corrections as of 1/28/2020
1) Weathering for top and bottom of flight suit is inconsistent. Please
weather top to match.
2) Please match weathering on vest to rest of kit.
3) Chest plates appear to be floating around the edges. Please give them
4) Arms and legs of flight suit need additional tailoring to remove
We will be working wtih Gravlax on February 15th at our next Armour Party to make the necessary adjustments to his kit and he can reply back before Feb. 18th.
1) Lighting in the garage made the pictures look off, so if weather permitting we will take pictures outside (ND winters). Top and bottom match, as they are one flight suit and weathering was applied to the whole thing. You can see in his WIP above the weathering applied.
2) Last minute change out of the vest to present applicant overall appearance look better and weather was not applied, simple fix.
3) Our Ver’alor Kota Grell will be working directly with Gravlax on this with plates at the AP.
4) Kira Grell will be working direclty with Gravlax and her sewing machine at the AP.
Worked on Gravlax’s kit at our Armour Party last Saturday, February 15th to make the necessary adjustments to his kit and he can replied back on Sunday, February 16th.
1) He weathered his flightsuit arms to match the legs better. Pictures were taken outside..
2) Weathering applied to new flak vest. Same effects as flight suit with the use of brown and tan spray paints.
3) Tighting waist items and making sure plates were straight were done this time.
4) Kira Grell used her sewing machine and took some fabric out of his legs and arms to remove excess bagginess.
Gravlax is now an OM. Below are some comparison shots of when he first submitted in September, then again in January, and then the fixes from last Saturday. Quite significant improvements from beginning to end. . . not really the end because there are always upgrades.
Total progress 4/13/2019 to 2/15/2020: