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Trashcan Mandolorian Armor

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I was inspired by BananoPower22's build thread and decided to try my hand at home-made Mandolorian armor. Over on the Mando Mercs site they had a tutoral on how to build a set using storage containers, so I downloaded the templates for that and for a helmet and got started.


The helmet was the most intimidating part - I just couldn't visualize how 3 sheets of paper could form together to make the dome of a helmet (especially one to fit my large melon)...but it worked:




So far it's posterboard that will be reinforced with fiberglass and Bondo...but that will happen much later as you'll see below. Here's how it started shaping out:




Shaping the cheeks was a BEAR to do, and when I did get it all put together I found that my chin was visible when wearing the helmet...so I attempted to lenghten it somewhat...and boy is it ugly (so far):






A bit discouraged, I decided to shift gears and work on the armor. Storage totes purchased, I busted out with the templates, some tape, a sharpie and utility knife and cut away:




The vest below it will be the flak jacket the plates attach to. It was lying in my employers' lost & found so I gave it a home. After cutting it up and taking out the insulation/lining it will need some sewing work...which i'll have to farm out to someone who knows what they're doing. Here's how it looked with the plates somewhat held in place:




I'll be using grommets laced with leather strips to pull the sides in:




After much wailing and gnashing of teeth I relented on the helmet for this project and bought one:






Pretty, but it also needs work, and more than just cutting out the t-visor and painting. Enter the Bondo glazing putty for the small airholes and visible seam from the mold:




Back to the armor. After my almost catastrophic experience trying to shape my belt and ammo pack with a heat gun I tried alternatives to shaping the plates...softening them in the oven and dipping them in boiling water didn't yield very good results. So, I used one of my Squad members' 'embossing' heat gun and it yielded better results:




Not done, but on their way at least.


The tubs worked great for the smaller pieces but I had nothing to use for a back plate (i'm not going to have a jetpack on this build...WAY too much trouble). The lids for the tubs were too small, but after some research on TDH I found a thread that suggested using a 50L trashcan, and it was what I needed. After I cut it out, I gave my newly purchased heat gun (on sale for $8.99 @ Harbor Freight!) a try. I was about 5 minutes into shaping the shoulders when all the power went out in the garage. Oops. Back to the boiling water:




again, progress...but I would need a large cauldron to fit the entire back plate in, so I'll have to find a way to use the heat gun w/o killing my breaker box.


The helmet is coming along slowly as well - after sanding it and spraying a bit of primer I found that the seam was still visible - out comes the glazing putty again:




The weapons for this project will also be home made. I'm basing the sidearm off of a nerf gun, hoping to make it into a double barrel. For the long arm I am going to use the pieces I had for a 2nd DLT-19 build.


Very rough blaster:




Still making sketches of what this will be...leaning towards some kind of sniper set-up:




Anyways, this is a fun time-killer until I can fund another 501st build (Republic Commando or Havoc trooper, most likely). It allows personalization and creativity, which is what I found most attractive. Stay tuned!

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Looking cool, good work there

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Thanks everyone - it is taking a bit longer than i'd like it to - since it's not an 'out of the box' build like my TK. This week I hope to get the flak vest dropped off at the sew shop to get it all fixed up and also go to the welding supply place to get a visor for the helmet. I'll start feeling like progress is being made once those two things are out of the way. With the vest done I can start positioning armor plates and figure out what kind of attachment system to use. I have boots on the way, need to pick up some brown leather gloves and track down a flight suit.


With the helmet I am a bit intimidated about cutting out the 'T'...i'm afraid i'll 'over-dremel' and cut something in a way that I can't pass off as battle damage.


And of course there is painting the armor and fabricating weapons...good times. I'll update as progress allows it!

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Small update - my quest to get the flak vest sewn and pick up a welding visor were both scuttled today - the seamstress only works M-F 10-2pm and the welding supply was closed for the holiday weekend...bummer. Oh, and Tandy leather was out of the leather strips I needed to lace my vest. Grrr...


But, my Squad had a lunch get-together followed by an armor party, so I did get some work done on my helmet. Not a whole lot, but did start cutting out the T-visor slit. It was a bit intimidating at first (I am not the steadiest hand when it comes to dremeling), but managed to not do much damage:




I'm finishing it up using my needle files. Tomorrow I'll sand off the bondo on the seam and see if it is filled in better. If so, it's time to start applying primer. If not...apply more bondo! Either way, I need more primer. I kept the pieces I cut out to experiment with the colors I want to use and try weathering utilizing toothpaste. Sounds weird, but I did use the mayonaise method of getting the adhesive off my TK helmet when I upgraded the decals, so I guess sometimes things just 'work'.


I also got a message from a Mandolorian clan member whose GF does seamstress work, so hopefully I'll be able to move forward getting that done which will let me move forward with getting the armor part finished. Stay tuned!

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More progress on the helmet:




I'll be able to install the welding visor soon - have a good idea of how to bolt it in using chicago screws and scrap ABS from my TK build. That will make it removeable, allow airflow to keep my visor to from fogging, and allow me to swap it out. I'm going to go with the standard shade 5 but keeping my options open to maybe go with a red reflective visor as well - red will be the primary color on both the bucket and armor plates. I tested out the spray paint and the toothpaste weathering technique on the armor and it appears to stick well. Not 100% sure about the paint adhesion on the resin of the helmet just yet. I left a piece in to keep the helmets' integrity until I can install the visor/paint it.


I also switched gears on weapon building for now, trying my hand at a Verpine Shatter Rifle:




As it was with my DLT-19 build, it is slow going with hand tools...I have some scrap metal that I'm going to fold over the receiver/scope mount to give it some weight and 'authenticity'...as far as you can with a wooden/PVC gun. But I think anything is better than just spray painting/weathering a Nerf gun or water gun... I haven't mounted the barrel yet - still playing with what greeblies will be added before I do that.


Next weekend I meet up with the seamstress for my Flak Vest so armor painting/weathering and getting it on the vest is on the horizon. I still need a flight suit...my one stop at a 2nd hand store yielded nothing...oh, well. I might just have to break down and buy some Dickies.

Edited by boomshakra

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Looking good :duim: any updates on this?


A couple - i would say i am about 50% done...












The Verp is still in painting process - ran out of hammered black after doing the barrel...but might just do the rest of the stock/receiver in flat black with some gunmetal weathering. I got impatient with it so it still has some rough edges when you look up close. I have a couple of other patterns drawn on blocks of wood to create sidearms, but need access to a scroll saw to get them cut out.


As you can see in the pictures, the kama is a little short coming around the front. I'm dropping it off with my seamstress this weekend to add two more panels to the front to bring it around. The armor still needs to be mounted properly - blue tape is not acceptable for approval - who'd have thunk? :) I FINALLY found a visor to fit inside the helmet. In the profile picture you can see the mandibles extend further out than most Mando buckets...so that lead to sourcing problems to find one that fit. It is trimmed to an approximate shape, just needs to be mounted inside. I also need to paint the kill stripes on it and weather the helmet and armor plates.


I'm missing a few items still - knee pads, gauntlets, gloves and boots, as well as ammo pouches...I have one AK magazine pouch and am looking for at least one more. I have seen a lot of Mercs who use Mosin-Nagant ammo pouches, but I don't like them, so I'll keep looking. My girth belt should be here in the next day or two. I obviously missed my target completion date of Halloween...and hope that it will be done & approved before the end of the year!

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