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My X-wing pilot costume progress thread
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject: My X-wing pilot costume progress thread Reply with quote

In the interest of avoiding more faux pas and because it's fun to share, here's my progress thread.

ALL CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM AND HELP IS MOST WELCOME

After having built six stormtroopers, a TIE Figther Pilot and an Imperial Gunner, this will be my first rebel costume. I started this "build" last month, more or less with the intention of finishing in time for carnival in February 2014.

Having already put together this TIE Fighter Pilot, I already had a few components which I can reuse. However, I have recently upgraded a few items on the TIE pilot and I have also replaced the boots with some I prefer/find more accurate (see below).



I'm very much into replicating on-screen looks and love the "bog-standard" stunt versions of characeters. With that in mind, I will be going for this kind of "stunt"/background helmet style with simple markings and dark grey goggles...


I have ordered hard plastic parts from MonCal and arranged for them to pull the goggles in dark grey instead of the standard hero orange tint.


Last edited by Rich330 () on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

19th October 2013
Received the first piece of my X-Wing Pilot costume, i.e. a Far Away Creations (aka MonCal) jumpsuit.

I really like it. It is as accurate a replica as you will find and now they produce them in batches in various standard sizes which keeps the price really affordable too. When I was sourcing my TIE Pilot jumpsuit a couple of years ago, it was really a lot more difficult (or expensive) to get something this good. How times change!





I added my own weathering and think it looks more like working pilot's clothing now. In the end I didn't like the tests I did with spray paint. I heavily diluted some black acrylic paint with water and used a brush and my fingers to smear it on in typical areas where I think dirt would collect. Also referenced some of the screen caps to see what the on-screen pilots looked like.

Luke's grimy elbow ...


This guy's forearm and shoulder seam area ...


The collar, shoulder and outside sleev pockets of these guys ...


I think I did an OK job:











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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

26th October 2013


In the process of acquiring a second alternative jumpsuit. I will proably try the MonCal suit in the next size down at some stage too. I think I might fit in the small.


Last edited by Rich330 () on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:56 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

28th October 2013
Received some aluminium parts from Elvis Trooper.

6 Mini belt flares
I went for 6 initially. I might get some more and fill up the belt if I don't like the half empty look.





1 pocket tool (or "code cylinder")

I had two of these already from my TIE figther pilot costume but I wanted a full set of three.








This is the spare comm. pad I had kicking around and finished with an X-wing paint scheme. It has a slight flaw where it split in the middle but no big deal. Just didn't leave it heating in the water long enough when I was giving it a slight curve and it cracked.
I will also receive a replacement with my helmet and chest box when they come in.





Last edited by Rich330 () on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

30th October 2013

My new boots arrived.
I've been doing some research and it seems most of the originals (Nazi German army jack boots from WWII) had a strap and buckle like my old boots but they had a stitching pattern and overall shape more like my new ones (modern federal German army jack boots).
It's difficult to get boots that match the ones in the movie exactly but overall I think my newer ones are a better solution.





Old boots:


The originals:


The new ones fit me a little better. The old ones were a bit large. I looked a bit like Charlie Chaplin from space at times :grin:
The good thing is I have two solid options and one set of boots which I can leave on my TIE figther display mannequin.
Win!
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And that brings us to today. It was after receiving some good input from James "WedgeAntilles" that I decided I needed to post a build thread and shouldn't just rely on my own eyes ...
Thanks again, James!

5th November 2013

I had in the meantime ammassed various parts, including the flak vest.
In hindsight it was an order I rushed into a little bit. Even after patiently building several costumes over the last three to four years, I still get excited and jump the gun Embarassed.
The other accessory parts look fine I think and in fact everything is very well made and fits great.

James offered his opinion on what he believes are a couple of inaccuracies with the flak vest design.

Quote:
(the) shoulder straps ... connect to the vest in the wrong places, and his back panels are too big in relation to the front panel.


I realise the flak vest is "clearable" and can be modified but I hate to think in terms of what is "clearable", i.e. what is the minimum acceptable. I will be modding the vest but I'd like to get this costume as good and accurate as I possibly can within my own means.
So, after a bit more research and a PM exchange with James, I have ordered a replacement from Claudio (aka Custom Props). It seems to be one of the best options around.

My alternative flightsuit also arrived and fits me a little better. The positioning of the comm. pad pocket on the MonCal suit is more accurate so I will probably try and save my pennies still and get a third (yes, a third) flightsuit.

I also subjected the second suit to my own weathering technique. Fans of clean idealised costumes look away now ... Laughing





Here are some photos of the costume in its current state, i.e. with the MonCal suit but still without hard plastic parts and still with the unmodified flak vest.
I forgot to put on my gloves and pocket tools in the photos but in general I think it's taking shape nicely. Pretty happy with my new boots and from a point of view of how it all fits my physical build I think I'm doing OK. It's always an important aspect, especially of costumes with predominant soft parts.

Really, really looking forward to receiving those two last deliveries to complete this costume!

Thanks for looking.









Last edited by Rich330 () on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:43 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've taken a closer look at my flak vest and subjected it to some proper scrutiny against some references of original vests.

I've come to the conclusion that it's a good replica in many ways with one point letting it down, i.e. the strap connection. I'm going to get it modified and have the straps connected closer to the edges of the vest because otherwise I think it's worth hanging onto.

Here are some photos ...

The straps just need to connect so that they are flush with the top corners (and only the overlapped bias tape should protrude a little further).
The bias tape itself is indeed a good feature.








Last edited by Rich330 () on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:46 pm; edited 5 times in total
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ZoeRow
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow..Rich......

I can't thank you enough for this thread. As a newbie doing research.....This is what we need. Reference pictures, reference pictures....and reference pictures.

I know some of those LCJs who just talk a lot but still have not gotten their own costume up to par. I don't want to name, name but they know who they are.

Again..great job and I will follow your thread.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update 8th Nov 2013

The flak vest is at the hospital for minor surgery
Reattachment of the straps so that they align with the outer edge. And slight shortening by just 15mm or so to raise the vest to the ideal height.

And I am now officially looking for a beginner's sewing/sewing machine class. I really need to be able to do this simple stuff myself.
Smile


Last edited by Rich330 () on Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst waiting for parts I have been using the time to look at my references and study just how the parts of the costume should fit together.

It's a pretty easy costume to complete as most of us buy a set of parts ready-to-wear. I think it's important not to just "throw them all on" without a second thought though.
I see a lot of rather extreme variation on replica costumes with regard to hose length, the height at which the chest box is worn and the relative size and positioning of the flak vest, length of straps etc.

A closer look at the screen captures reveals that in the original movie the costumes were really quite uniform.

These are the references I came up with which I will be using as a guide when modding bits, shortening hoses, adjusting straps etc. in an attempt to get everything sitting in the right place.
Maybe they are of some use to other. Opinions welcome as ever.

Flak vest and chest box:


Hose:
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the flak vest back from the seamstress. She didn't do what I asked her to.
Mad
She moved the straps to the outside which was fine but I also asked her to shorten the straps a little. So what does she do? She shortens the length but measuring only on the inside of the straps. She then reconnects them straight, instead of at an angle. As a result, they are ill-fitting and sit at exactly the same height as before because, without the angle, the outer length - which actually determines the height at which the vest sits - is the same as it was.
Mad Mad Mad

So, that was it. Instead of go back and wait another week, I got out the sewing machine and taught myelf how to use it.
A couple of test runs on an old t-shirt and then I decided to tackle the flak vest today.
I got the back done and, well, it looked kind of messy, like a beginner had done it (funnily enough) but not too bad.
Then I had a heck of a lot of trouble with the front. I don't know why but the top thread kept coming detached from the needle so I had to keep repeating the same seam over and over and over. Add to that my inexperience and subsequent wavy lines of seams and it's rather untidy.
Still, it was my first attempt at sewing ... a "first step into a larger world". I'll try and get to the bottom of the problem and the modications did actual work. It's all secure and everything is in the right place and I don't suppose with a full costume all the untidiness is that noticeable unless you really look for it.
Don't laugh too much! Embarassed My vest from Claudio will be here soon Smile





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gulywhumpr (James)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your needle thread is pulling out when you are sewing you might check the thread tension setting on your machine. Consult your instruction book, but maybe the tension is too tight and is holding the thread back when the needle goes down.
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Rich330 ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would make sense. Thank you for the suggestion. I will experiment tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems the trouble I was having was the onset of a more major mechanical problem. The sewing machine totally gave up the ghost.
The mechanical connection between the motor/hand wheel and the shuttle for the bobbin is non-existent. The shuttle no longer moves.
Neutral
I guess I was lucky to get my vest finished at all.
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gulywhumpr (James)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Owen? This sewing machine has a bad motivator. What about that one? What about that blue one?
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