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Yet another Plo Koon costume (WIP thread)
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Yet another Plo Koon costume (WIP thread) Reply with quote

This is going to be my first costume, a prequel trilogy Plo Koon.
I want to make a masked character so my first obvious idea was an Admiral Ackbar costume. After a long research I found no affordable mask and since I decided to start small I had to find another one.

So came Plo Koon into the picture.
I find him very interesting, the fleshy face with the mechanical parts has a very unique feel. As he is not a main character I did not know a lot about him, but he looks so cool so I decided to make this costume:



The parts are affordable, and once you have the main parts, there are a lot of things you can improve constantly Smile

The most important part of the costume is the mask of course.
I ordered a Rubies Deluxe. I've seen a lot of photos of it, and I've read the threads here, so I was prepared.
Unfortunately when it arrived it was waaaay below my expectations:





I was prepared for the awful beef color and the weak paintwork, I knew the breather tusks are swapped, I've seen photos that it's flimsy. But what surprised me the most, was the low quality of the mold it came from. The surface is very rough and it's full of warts because of the bubbles in the negative. The thickness of the material is varying a lot, and the infamous "Made in Mexico" label seems unremovable:



My first attempt was to restore its shape, since it came in a quite flat box.
I used a lot of small sponge cubes to stuff it and let it sit for a couple of nights.
This way it did not look that horrible, but it had a very fat face:



I detached the "tentacles", and I found out it's a multipart cast glued together - awfully. So I used some putty to hide the seams.





I want to change the tentacle connectors to real metal parts, but I did not find the accurate one. The problem is that the one in the movies (and on StarWars.com) and the "In Concert" mask look different:





That's it for now, let me know what do you think, all suggestions and opinions are welcome.[/img][/url]


Last edited by Zarvox (Lajos Kondor) on Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:05 pm; edited 3 times in total
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hartss ()
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks good so far, the mask is a real pain and takes a lot of time and patience
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hartss wrote:
looks good so far, the mask is a real pain and takes a lot of time and patience


Thanks, that's not much yet, but one has to start somewhere.
I'll do my best Smile
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hartss ()
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i used foam filler on the inside of mine, in the ears and the breath mask
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unexpected progress!

We were window-shopping with my wife for fabric for our costumes, with absolutely no intention to spend money, just to look around.
But we found a shop with bargain prices and an (almost) perfect Plo Koon robe fabric. So we were unable to resist. Smile
It is hard to accurately reproduce brown in photos, but this is the closest to what I bought (my hands are in intentionally, to judge color):



And here are some other pictures:
closeup without flash:



closeup with flash:


I wanted to do the robe later, but seems like I "need" to start it earlier than planned. Laughing
I bought 12 meters (39.37 feet, 13.12 yards) I hope it'll be enough.

Does anyone have the proper Plo Koon robe pattern? I can't seem to find it anywhere.


Last edited by Zarvox (Lajos Kondor) on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is probably the best modification of a Rubies I've seen:
http://www.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40154
...and this is so good, we placed the thread in the Jedi Tutorials forums.

It does look like you've got a good start, but...I know from Rick's experiences, it's a challenging build.

As for the robe pattern? Well, there's a vendor or two who make fairly good looking robes, but there are elements on their robes that are not screen accurate. Plus, the lack of a shoulder seam between the tabards and the hood is something that seems to be a trade secret? Alls I know is that I started research on the Plo robe last year. I asked a number of folks who, honeslty, weren't helpful at all (mostly due to either getting their robe from a commercial vendor, who do not reveal their secrets or patterns OR a relative or friend made it and (I guess) wasn't interested in talking). Developing tutorials isn't easy, and I understand if they don't want to spend the time.

Dang...I think I'm sounding rather negative? I don't mean to.

But...you're in luck Very Happy I did make a Plo Koon robe and have many pictures detailing it's construction. I will be writing a tutorial for the robe and posting it in the Jedi Tutorials forums. "When", you may wonder? Well, it's near the top of my priorities list, but if you need some info before I get the tutorial posted, just let me know Wink

Looking foward to seeing your WIP develop!!!
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all thanks Roger for the encouraging words!

Yes, General_Koon's thread is my main source of inspiration, it is really a breathtaking build. (Though I'll definitely do some things differently.)

As for the robe it's not my top priority yet, as there's still a lot to do with the mask, and my wife is quite busy sewing her own costume Smile
But as soon as she's done (at least for a certain point) we'll definitely need your advice and experience. In return we might help you to write the tutorial. Laughing
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really hated those dents on the breather and it had really worn, bumpy surface which the original did not have...



so I filled it with some putty, and in the meantime I also applied some more from the inside, just enough to make it rigid in the round parts.



Of course I sanded it to have a smooth surface.
It just needs a nice paint which it will have in the weekend hopefully


Last edited by Zarvox (Lajos Kondor) on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rubies mask is very flimsy, out of shape, and big. You can wear it out of the box with disappointing results. I've decided to do the filling with foam padding.

I put it on a Styrofoam head and took notes where and how thick the foam padding should be:


Then I turned the mask inside out:


It is funny that the original color of the latex seems a lot closer to the film than than the paint. Anyways it looks weird Smile

I used thin foam stripes and glued them. (I also added a layer of textile to the back of the "Made In Mexico" label, since the mask became very thin around those parts as I removed it.)



I built it stripe by stripe for three reasons:
    it is more flexible than one thick layer.
    it is easier to build.
    it enables a little more air circulation.
I know how weird it looks, but believe me, this is the right amount of padding this mask requires. And yes I have an average sized head.
If you don't believe me look at this comparison:

Before (fat face) - stuffed evenly with foam bits:


After (correct amount of padding in the back and at the important parts):


Seems like it still needs a little more support around the top to widen it, but it looks a lot better:


Last edited by Zarvox (Lajos Kondor) on Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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EeanLedgor ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow..it's looking nice!
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Roger's instructions I drew the pattern of the main robe:

It is a first version, and has not been tested yet, so anything is possible...

Let me know what do you think.

It is in my size, and of course it does not include the tabard/hood patterns yet.
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the mask lacks the eyepiece I needed to make one.
Fortunately there are lots of good reference photos for the eyepiece from the "Star Wars In Concert" exhibitions.

I am pretty sure that this "grid" is copied from something, but I could not find anything even remotely resembling to the pattern so I've decided to make it from scratch.

I flattened some Sculpey and pushed the underside of a flat Lego brick into it. After removing it I added the diagonal grids with a screwdriver and voila: I had a negative:


After I baked it I pressed some more soft Sculpey into the rigid mold, and I had two eyepeices ready. I baked these ones too, removed the excess material and drilled in the holes:



Then I painted them:



I sprayed them matte black and painted solid copper as a base coat. When it dried I mixed some green and brown ink and tinted them and drybrushed with copper and gold in two steps.

The finished eyepiece:


and in its place:



Some more updates are along the way, but I recently did more doing than posting Smile


Last edited by Zarvox (Lajos Kondor) on Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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Anakin Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarvox wrote:
According to Roger's instructions I drew the pattern of the main robe:

It is a first version, and has not been tested yet, so anything is possible...

Let me know what do you think.

It is in my size, and of course it does not include the tabard/hood patterns yet.


I love it! it looks great and thank you for posting it! (not that I need to make a plo but still Smile )
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anakin Skywalker wrote:

I love it! it looks great and thank you for posting it! (not that I need to make a plo but still Smile )


Thanks, I did it for myself, but shared it for the common good Smile
Also the hints from Roger were essential, so the credit goes for him as well!
An expert friend already spotted some minor issues, so it needs to be updated, and will be soon.
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Zarvox (Lajos Kondor)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also done with the breather tusks.



Painted with the same technique as the eye pieces:
  • Black undercoat
  • Copper base coat
  • A mix of brown and green ink to tint and shade
  • Gold to highlight and details


The final product:

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