Protocol Droid Armor/Suits

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by pahket, Jul 20, 2003.

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  1. pahket Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2001
    star 4
    I just did a complete search of the Costuming forum, and a google search turned up nothing. Is there anyone out there who has sculpted, molded, cast (or vacu-formed), metallicized or even weathered a protocol droid suit? Even if you've only worn one I'd like to hear from ya! Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. Stubbzilla TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2001
    star 2
    I have seen them, or at least ones that could be wearable by someone who's incredibly thin. I hear it's very expensive to do the electro-plating.
  3. pahket Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2001
    star 4
    Any idea where you saw it? ...And that's what I heard [about the electroplating] as well. Somebody mentioned silver spraypaint and some sort of laquer for a metallic finish alternative, but I'd have to do a few tests. I only wish 3PO stuff was as abundant as R2 resources!

    "Any help would be...................helpful."
  4. oggiebendoggie2001 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 1
    You might check with the folks in the Fyberdyne costuming group. They've got a lot of experience with this type of costume. There are some photos on their website of a really excellent Iron Man helmet one of their members made. According to the narrative, they used the plating techniques you're talking about, and were planning on building the whole suit.
  5. Q99213 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 4
    I've thought about it. I would love to do a 3PO costume, but I have way too many projects under my belt as it is.
  6. skip1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 3
    Actually,
    there is a kit you can buy and chrome or "gold" plate plastic at home.the basic kit is $200 which is not bad at all.you can then gold plate the droid vacuumformed pcs yourself.this would look much nicer than any type of spraypaint.
    then once youve gotten the hang of it im sure youll be able to chrome plate all types of parts for people to make some money back.
    i was looking at some "cylon" armor and possibly buying this setup.

    http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/silvachrome.html?source=overture
  7. pahket Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2001
    star 4
    Awesome! Many thanks for that link. Takes care of my second biggest worry with the costume. How durable is the spray-on plating, though? It's not that I'm planning on having my protocol unit do any rigorous stunt work, but I've heard horror stories about how plating likes to flake off and how practically half of 3PO's scenes were spent trying to touch up his gold. Should I just swallow my pride and have a red or white unit? I suppose my other concern now is how chrome would interact with blue/greenscreen. I know they did it in TPM, and I've noticed many telltale signs of blue spill removal on TC-14... Perhaps the problem could be solved with setting up softboxes out of camera range so that the chrome would reflect those instead of blue or green. We'll see. I've found a very nice costume a gentleman has made on the 3PO Builder's Group on Yahoo!, so now it's just a matter of getting in contact with this guy and seeing if he's willing to share the mold or sell a cast of it. In any case, thanks for the help, folks. You really gave me a shove in the right direction. :)
  8. skip1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 3
    since ive never used it i couldnt be certain.i know from having trooper armor that the plastic will flex a little but not much.the C3PO has alot less movement then trooper armor so i would suspect the gold would stay on pretty good.

    as for the actual armor/pcs you need to buy.the last set of 3PO armor i saw sold for around 1000! it was plastic pulled over molds just like trooper armor.but since its so rare it sold high.if you can get a set of 3Po armor for around 800 then buy the gold plating kit for 200 then youd have your self one heck of a costume.

    dont know anything about the filming aspects of this.i didnt realize this was for a film.jeditoren may know about those filming problems and chrome.

    if you just need a droid for a film why dont you try to find someone with the costume and pay them to come be in the film.it will be alot easier and cheaper too.
  9. JediToren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 4
    I really don't know enough about blue screen to help you in the blue-spill department. I know that chrome is a very hard problem. I know that in Starman they actually projected footage of helicopters onto a white sphere in front of a blue screen to fake the effect. Flight of the Navigator relied on CGI projection mapping and used some relatively flat real life models and 1:1 mockups when they weren't using the CGI ship. The fact that the Episode I and II Threepio's have no chrome surfaces helps support that this is a very difficult problem on any level of FX.

    What part does the droid play in your film? If it is a background character I would go with CGI.

    If it is a major character then I would find someone who has the suit. Like Skip said these guys are quite rare. Someone with a Threepio suit attended the San Fransisco Episode II charity premiere. I also know a guy who is building a suit somewhere in Illinois. Most of the other folks working on protocol droids are making dispaly statues or busts or just heads as this costume is quite expensive plus you have to be a very specific body type, size, and shape to fit into this suit. Allot of the joints fit togethor just a certain way and if your not the right size you could have allot of problems.

    The only kit I know of is $1400 for the full droid and still requires allot of skill and time to assemble. I've seen some other Threepio's that were done for cheap but they looked cheap.
  10. Skaught Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2001
    star 2
    Check the RPF board. There's a guy there who has made a suit. He recently finished a Death Star Droid, too. Very cool looking.

    Scott
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