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Making a Mando - A Work In Progress

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Bodhran777, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. Bodhran777

    Bodhran777 Jedi Knight star 1

    Nov 1, 2019
    I've personally built a few props here and there over the years, but I finally decided to start a goal of mine: build a suit of Mandalorian armor (beskar'gam), complete with helmet, body armor, and weaponry. For anyone interested in following along with me on this project, I figured I'd drop in my own personal work in progress thread here, both as a way to keep myself on track through the project and maybe inspire anyone else interested in doing the same. Since I'm on a budget, as many people these days are, I hope to also share some tips and tricks I come across to make it easier and less costly, and help people not make the same mistakes I'm bound to make along the way. I'll likely be steering clear of too much 3D printing, seeing as I don't have a printer of my own (Christmas gift idea!), so this will be mostly all scratch-build.

    I have a bit already in the works, so I'll get us caught up, but first, a general road map of where this ship is flying:


    That's the general idea anyway...


    The helmet started as a 2D template. It's probably obvious that this paper model is looking more like the standard Boba helmet, and not the model shown in the design pic. That one will need to be 3D printed...someday. For now, it's there to look awesome. The inside of the paper bucket contains scaffolding cut out of foam-core board to give shaping. The rest of the outer skin is cardstock paper. As you can see, the dome has yet to be taped and placed. Of all the pieces, the cheek panels were the most aggravating, as there is a very specific arc formed to give it a concave shape. Once the dome is on, I'll be using cardboard to bulk out the raised brow areas, and the whole thing will get a few coats of epoxy, and eventually fiberglass. Then it'll be a matter of painting and weathering, and adding a see-through visor.

    Soft Parts (aka Flight Suit, Flak Vest, Belts, etc.)

    To mount the armor plates, we need a flak vest. Since my sewing skills are, ahem, not great, I'll be trying to get along with an altered combat shirt I found on the cheap with a nifty abdomen fabric to add some contrast. Just need to turn it into a vest...
    ...there we go! Some work with a seam ripper and we're on the right track. It's a bit longer than I'd like, so that's something to fix/hide going forward. Fortunately that's why I'll be using a girth belt. That and to hold in the little bit extra in front, but ya know.

    Armor Plates

    The armor plates will give the set a bit more Boba feel, so we'll start with sizing the templates. They should fit on a bit like you see above. Then we transfer those plate templates onto a few kitchen trash cans bought at the store, and a saw or knife hacks them all out.
    Of course, what you aren't seeing are the codpiece and the butt armor, but they're there. I haven't quite done the leg and foot armor yet, since I ran out of space on my trash cans and need one more. Plus, the knee caps on Boba are...interesting, in a tricky sort of way. I'm honestly contemplating just incorporating the knee guards into shin plates to get a shnee setup. Easier on us all, and this isn't gonna be a canon Boba or Jango anyway.

    As for the blaster...

    No progress on that front yet. I do have an airsoft M4 rifle that I have disassembled with the intent on creating a replica A280-CFE, but aside from a BUNCH of parts/greeblies laying around and a hollowed-out receiver, I've got nothing to show yet. I also plan on doing a beskad (Mando knife/sword) as a backup. It's something I would have as a Mando...and is a suitable Plan B if the blaster ends up as a dud.

    Anyhoo, that's where I am for this first post. I'll be working on getting more progress done, and I'll try to post any newsworthy advances here. I'm always open to critique and suggestions, and I can try to answer any questions as I go along, either on my build or in general. Thanks for reading!
  2. spacelady

    spacelady Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 16, 2003
    Hi, @Bodhran777! Your armor pieces are looking great! Excited to see more of your progress! :)
  3. clone commander bossk

    clone commander bossk Ostrich Velocity Expert star 5

    Nov 5, 2019
    Can't wait to see where this goes.
    Bodhran777 likes this.