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Jedi Bin tutorial, with saber blade storage!

 
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OddViking (Colin Adams)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:20 am    Post subject: Jedi Bin tutorial, with saber blade storage! Reply with quote

Jedi Bin tutorial, with saber blade storage!

(In most browsers, click on photos to pop open a version you can zoom in on).

One of my favorite parts of a new costume is creating a bin to go with it. I like to create something that looks like a prop from the universe, as it serves two functions: you arrive in style to troops, and if you are at a con or event table, your bin doesn't have to be hidden away if there is a space issue.

For my Jedi costume bin, I wanted to create a bin that looked like a sort of Jedi Temple foot locker that a Jedi during the clone wars might travel with. It has my temple (Skywalker Temple) in Aurebesh on top. I also wanted to solve the issue I had seen of the saber blades not fitting in most bins, and usually rolling around on top of the bin as people entered troops. Some use a sort of separate case, but I wanted a contained unit. I settled on these internal tubes that use up some empty space in the upper side parts of the bin. This is how it looks:




This bin started with a common black bin, and PVC pipe. To start with, the first step in painted gear is ALWAYS WASH IT FIRST WITH WARM SOAPY WATER. This can be annoying to do in a bathtub, but just like all things from a mold, there is a mold release agent that resists primer. I learned this the hard way with my Endor Trooper bin, and it is constantly flaking off. For this reason also, try to use an all-black bin rather than one with a yellow top, so that if it does flake off, it flakes to black rather than yellow. Also important, use a blade to carve off all lettering from PVC parts and the bin.
I wanted it to end up looking more like well-travelled aluminum. To achieve this, I used a propane torch to warm and melt spots for "dents" and to warm spots to push with a wrench or scrap of metal to get long gouges and such.




This is a risky part, as it can melt through. I had to patch a few spots with putty and epoxy where it got holes. Melting the plastic gets some bulges around the "dents" so I sanded those down as well. After sanding, if needed, use bondo glazing putty to fill in and sand smooth. Also note, if you plan on putting decals like I did, glaze and sand smooth the bumpy surface of the bin, as vinyl decals to not like to adhere to that. I ended up having to add the hexagon shapes in smooth plastic afterwards in order to have a better surface. It looks good, but would have been easier to prepare those surfaces instead.




I like to add scratches and dings all over, so use a wood carving gouge, files, rasps, awls, 60-grit sandpaper, or anything else you have that can give it that look. Think about where something would get abraded: the edges, corners, high-points on the lid, and skipping between high points. Anywhere you do this will let the dark paint fill in and highlight it, so even if you don't see it at this stage, it will show up later.




The saber blade storage took a bit to design. Bring your blade to the hardware store, and find the PVC that fits it. The Saberforge blade feels pretty standard, and it fits just perfectly in the (I believe) 1" inner diameter Schedule 40 PVC. Make it just long enough to be past the end of the blade, so you can reach it with your finger to pull it out, as shown in the middle pic. I primed it before mounting once the end caps were glued on.




I bought the hex caps for the sealed end, but the PVC screw cap isn't something you can screw in by hand. I wanted to be able to easily unscrew it, so you will see down below what I found as a solution. To drill the holes for the pipes to go through the bin, start with a smaller bit (like 3/8" or so) as a pilot. Do not attempt to drill it with a flat 1 1/4" wood bit, as it will probably split the plastic. If found using a step bit to gradually move up to 1/4" was very safe. They can be pricy for good ones, but I found a set of four step bits on Amazon for $12.



Continued below...


Last edited by OddViking (Colin Adams) on Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:40 am; edited 3 times in total
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OddViking (Colin Adams)
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Joined: 05 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continued...

In order to make a better glue bond, I bought some flexible washer things from the plumbing section, to add to the inside. My holes were very exact, so it almost stayed in without glue, but these felt like they would more securely bond it. I used E6000 glue.




For the caps, (which you shouldn't install until the tube is glued in) I went through everything I had, and found that the plastic McCormick spice bottle fits the PVC I used exactly. I bought something cheaper that I could store elsewhere, and cut the threaded tops off. These get glued on to the open ends. (Not shown here, but to cover the Mc logo, I added a fender washer, bolted on with a short flat-head domed bolt, to make it look more industrial.)




Prime it all. Spraypaint it silver. I painted my red handles orange. I added the decals, and as I stated before, prepping the surface of the bin in those areas will make this easier. I had to buy some 1/8" plastic that I could easily cut with a utility knife to make the five hexagons, but this was only to fix a failed decal attempt. I also gouged the "Sterilite" logo on the lid too deep, and glued a small plastic piece from a keychain flashlight to cover it. Star Wars works with greeblies and patching, so make it work. The Aurebesh letters were very difficult to get to adhere, but they are in a groove and so will likely not get peeled off. After adding decals, I like to use some 60 grit sandpaper and other tools to scuff them too, as the weathering will fill in those fine scratches and keep it from looking too shiny and new.




Weathering. I love weathering. To me, weathering is a lot of what makes Star Wars look like Star Wars. There is new stuff, but Tattooine, the Falcon, and most of the rest is dirty and well-worn. For this, I mix a few colors of cheap acrylic paint. I use black, raw umber, and a reddish brown, with water, to mix and dip and paint all over, and then wipe it off with a rag within a few minutes. You can go section by section, and re-apply after for more, or even wipe it all off with water within about ten minutes. Again, think of where grime would stay. Look at old boots, or old tool boxes or old stovetops, and see where the dark is. It is where it is hard to wipe off, in the cracks. Places like the underside of the lip is mostly dark, and every scratch and groove holds some dirt.




I found these aluminum vents in a hardware store, and cut holes for them. Lightly sanded and scratched them, and then the weathering.




Finished bin! I love how it came out, and it is very functional for trooping with the blade storage. There is room for my eventual robe to be put in the top.







Vinyl Jedi decals are from various Etsy stores. Custom Aurebesh lettering was the 16" vinyl decal from this vendor: https://www.etsy.com/listing/551013110/star-wars-aurebesh-custom-text

Bin is a 27 gallon/ 102 Liter (black with red handles) Sterilite bin. On Amazon I could only find a four-pack of bins, but only $15 for one at Target in-store: https://www.target.com/p/sterilite-27-gal-industrial-tote-black-with-red-latches/-/A-15066067
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice and a great idea. Very Happy
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kman ()
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, and great write up!

I love custom bins per costume as well. Working on my Pilot bin now, but I clearly need to step up my game for my Jedi bin, which is still stock. Smile
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Cindewok ()
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great idea!!! Thanks for sharing!
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Oraculo (Agustín)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Colin

Amazing idea! Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

Yours!
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