Costumes, General questions

Discussion in 'Paducah, KY' started by R2pota2, Jul 27, 2008.

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  1. R2pota2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2008
    General Question to all members of PADUCAH IMPERIALS and Forums:

    How do you Generally aquire your costume or armor?

    Do you guys here in Paducha and the western Ky area have access to a vacu-form machine? If so do you make your own armor?

    Here is the reason I am asking...

    I have been thinking a long time about building a vacu-form machine. I have all the parts I need to build the machine (minus the material used in the process of actual forming, that I would order online or buy from a hardware store) but I havn't built it yet because I didn't deem it cost effective to make for doing only one suit of armor for myself. Not to mention I would have to custom build starting molds of all the pieces.

    That's where you guys could come in and help me help you... let me explain.

    I build the machine, I aquire the polystyrene sheets to use for molding... then someone provides me with a suit of armor for duplicating and producing casts from. I produce an exact copy of the suit and make my suit. Having someone else's suit to get the starting molds from would save me a ton of time and headache (not to mention money).

    Now, not only would I be able to make my suit... BUT!... How many of you guys have cracked a peice or armor or wanted to do soemthing crazy in a suit that would ruin it or needed to get a peice replaced? If you let me duplicate it for my suit, I could whip out a brand new peice for you as well.

    The cost of polystyrene is minimal and depending on what kind of deal I'd get I'd probably be willing do to small replacement parts for free. Whole suits I might consider charging for the cost of the plastic it took to make it, but nothing more.

    Think about the troops we could have on hand....?

    this is all assuming that you guys don't allready have access to a vacu-form machine and arnent allready doing this! lol.

    And of course this is all a thought it my head right now and I want to see what kind of response I'd get... sorry for the rambling post about it.. I'm long winded... fingered?... hmm.... well you know what I mean.

    -Devin
  2. TKYTROOPER Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2005
    star 2
    Let me say welcome aboard. Im sure you will make friends here very quickly if you were to have a vac table. lol We as a club or individuals neither have a vac table but it has been discussed in the past. As far as the molds they would still have to be made. Sure haveing armor to look at and measure will help greatly but you cant just vac form off a set of armor. You have to have a solid form to do that plus your heat would melt the original also. Hope that makes sense. Almost all armor is made of ABS not styrene. ABS is much stronger and durable. If you are interested in costuming many of our members are also members of the 501st. So we would be more than happy to help you with costuming.
    There are some of us that do have kids. Ours are 6 and 7 and there are some kid involved things and some where we leave them at home. We do bring them to the meetings if we have too. But they are wild as well.
  3. R2pota2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Great! I havn't gotten everything I need to build it. I still need to find a heating element of some kind... probably an old oven heating element.

    what I was actually planning on doing with someones armor wasn't molding strait from them on the vacuform machine as you said that would ruin them... :( The heat would ruin the old peice and make the new one inaccurate as well.

    What I was thinking about was using skulpting putty or liquid latex to make a starting mold of the existing armor, then make a hard plastic mold from the negative to use on the vacuform machine. That way the origin armor is still used as the original "mold" but not actually used in the vacu-form process.

    does that make sense?

    I've read several different articles on vacuforming and what material to use. Some recomended ABS sheets others recomended Polystyrene sheets of varying thickness and then others recomended even vinyl or PVC sheets. In all actuallity they are all very similar materials. The strength of the material realy depends on how deep the finished mold stretched the thickness of the original sheet...

    I'll try to find some links to the youtube videos I had saved and other sites I'd looked at in the past if you all are interested in mulling it over more with me.

    The 501st use vacuforming for their suits don't they?
    -Devin
  4. Valhalla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2006
    star 2
    Try www.instructables.com for the vacuform table ideas. This sight is great for macguivering just about anything. Quite a few Star Wars articles too.

  5. R2pota2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2008
    I've decided on a final design for my vacuform machine. I'm going to use a propane burner for the heating element instead of an electric stove or oven element. That makes it more portable and I believe it will make it eisier for me to build, I already have all the parts to build a custom propane burner. I found a similar design online for one as well. It isn't an unusual idea if you think about it, a natural gas stove is no different.

    I'll use metal of some kind to make an oven for the heating end and then a shop vac to start out with for the vacume element.

    Now I just need to find a cheap supplier of materials.

    After doing some research I pegged down what most people use, it's called "high impact polystyrene" at .08 thicknesses. I found several suppliers but they average about $45 per a 4'x8' sheet. Which right now is pretty pricy for me... I may be waiting a while before I actually get to make anything.
  6. TKYTROOPER Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2005
    star 2
    The propane heating thing is a new one on me never seen one like that. The main thing is that it has even heat across the surface. Using H.I.S. is easier to work with than ABS but keep in mind that if your wanting to make stormtrooper armor it will not be glossy. The glossy finish is why ABS is the standard for TK armor. There is a plastics supplier here in Paducah. I know they stock some sheets of styrene and ABS but I don't know the thicknesses or anything.
  7. Nardo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2006
    star 1
    omg. don't use them. they are asses. let me talk to my supplier for work in evansville. just got a ****-ton of stuff from them.
  8. R2pota2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Nardo, where in evansville is your supplier located? You said evansville, how much would it cost to get some from ya?

    Well if I use HIP I would probably apply a clear coating of glossy paint. I'm realy wanting to make myself a Kashyyyk Trooper outfit, the one that is simmilar to a scout trooper only cammoed. We just recently got the kids an action figure and I was realy impressed with the detail they put into it. I realy love the style of that armor and I got to looking online and I couldn't find any instance of anyone making a suit like that.

    Would anyone be willing to send me some detailed pictures of a scout trooper costume so I could do some comparisons? The two armor sets are so simmilar I was thinking about useing the scout trooper set as a starting point.
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