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New Canadian Chewbacca – A modified Dougie Fett
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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Joined: 26 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:09 am    Post subject: New Canadian Chewbacca – A modified Dougie Fett Reply with quote

Hello fellow Wookies! This is my first post on the Rebel Legion.

I have been costuming for years, as Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper. For a long time I have been wanting Chewbacca but never been able to afford one until now. I know my skill sets and I knew I could never build the quality of a chewie build that I would want. So I splurged and got a full Dougie Fett Chewbacca. It took a while, but it was worth the wait!

I received him only a few days before Halloween and so had no time to do anything with him, so my first time in full costume was Halloween. Let me say that I am so glad my first time was not a troop. Why? Because this Wookie was in need of some work. Don’t get me wrong, the quality of this costume is nothing short of amazing, but as it is a prebuild costume, it was not built for my frame and so did not look right. Here are a few shots from Halloween.







He looks great up close, but head to toe needs tweaking so as to fit me properly. So let me break down what was wrong with the costume as worn on Halloween and then what I have done since then to modify it.

1. THE FEET
What it came with was similar in style as shown below.



With these lifts I was a towering 7’7. WAYYY too tall for my comfort and I felt way too unstable. I found myself leaning against stuff (such as in the picture above) most of the night as I felt like I was going to fall over. It was also hard to interact with small kids. The design I think works great for those shorter than me, but as I am 6’2 I just found myself way to tall.


So I decided to completely redesign them. So as I stripped the feet apart, I scoured these build forums for ideas.



I don’t need a massive amount of height so I decided to go for a 7'2 Wookie and a shoe style foot. The lower part of the original foot was a plastic paint can in a Wookie foot mold, so I chopped the can in half, and attached a shoe to the top of it.




Next was to build the foot out, so, I used soft foam and wrapped the whole thing in a ton of black "Gorilla" duct tape. Tying the foot up in tape made it feel very secure and solid. I then ran E6000 along all the seams. I didn’t want the toes resting on the ground, so I attached a 1/2cm foamy rubber sole on the bottom of the foot, which made the foot even more stable and protects the toes from wear and tear.



Liking the result I reapplied the hair, again with a lot of E6000 and the end result was amazing.




I am so proud of these feet. They are easy to put on, super comfortable and very stable. And once connected to a leg, looks amazing. Plus I can sit down and get up with ease. The feet are done!

2. THE BODY
On Halloween I looked like a starving, malnourished Wookie. I was WAYY to skinny. So to Sports Chek I went. I wanted to add bulk, but not a huge amount. So I bought a nice pair of hockey shoulder pads, and a pair of referee shorts.



The shoulder pads nicely built up the upper body, and the shorts the waist and upper legs. These particular shorts were awesome as the design allows one to remove or add extra padding.

The below picture is a test with the shoulder pads and raw feet. Waist and legs are still skinny as I did not have the shorts yet.





3. THE SEAMS
As for the actual shirt and pants, I had very little to do. They are made out of NTF fur which is in essence hairy and stretchy fabric, so great for flexibility in costuming.

I have seen pics of Wookies where you can tell they are wearing a Wookie shirt, pants, and feet. How? The seams between the pieces do not overlap properly. I did not want that happening. I want the entire outfit to look like one solid piece. So to accomplish this I decided to install magnetic snaps, strategically installed along the seams so as to hold everything together nice and snug. It took a while to figure out a design that worked, but eventually got it, and again, it worked better than I imagined.





4. THE HANDS
The hands were black work gloves with hair glued on the back, which is close to what he wore in ESB and ROTJ. But these gloves did not breathe at all and my hands were sweating like crazy. The kids are seeing the hands, doing high fives and the details were lacking. So extreme hand makeover. I found a place on eBay that sells latex gorilla gloves, so I got a pair, removed the gorilla hair and replaced it with Wookie hair. Again, the end result was way better than I hoped for. The latex fingers are simply glued onto light nylon, elbow length gloves, so it breaths very well and actually allows for pretty good finger dexterity.




5. SOUND
It is great to look like Chewbacca but one also needs to sound like him. And the only way to sound exactly like Chewbacca is too actually sound exactly like him. So I created a Wookie Vocal Glove. I based it on the same concept as Spiderman’s web shooter.




I have a sound board and battery pack in a component box on my wrist. There are 4 trigger buttons coming out that are glued to the palm of the inner glove (a very light water proof painter’s glove). Each trigger can be pressed using a different finger. Each trigger has a select group of sounds, chattering, growling, snarling and laughing. The Akers speaker is located on the front of the shoulder pads and blends with the upper bulk so is not noticed. It sits right under the jaw on the mask so it truly sounds like it is coming from the mouth.

For Halloween I used a prototype of this setup and it worked amazing. At least for 30 minutes, then the sweat from the work gloves would short it out. I am hopeful that the new design will endure a full troop. I really liked the glove idea as it gave me full control of what Chewie is saying but no one notices you doing it. This was the one piece of Chewbacca magic that went well and was amazingly well received.

6. THE MASK
The final, yet the most important part. The outside of the mask was perfect, what needed some modifications was the inside. First off, the original strap was a simple large elastic and one would slide your head in. I added a band coming down from the top to add more stability, as the head kept wanting to slide forward.



However I wasn’t happy and just replaced the entire strapping system with Velcro straps. Now I can tighten it as much as I want and the head sits super secure.



Next came the inside. There is a lot of extra room in the top of the head so I installed two fans from my TK to cool things down a bit.



The next big thing was to add a motion to the mouth. I installed two metal springs, connecting the upper head to the lower jaw, which are connected via a hinge. The springs I glued in like crazy and they are not moving anywhere. I love E6000. I also put in a black mesh behind the teeth so when the mouth opens one can’t see my face, but it still breathes. Added some foam to comfort my nose which gets squished up against the mask and a bit of foam on the lower jaw of the teeth, as that is where my lower jaw rests. From here I can open and close the mouth. Having a mouth that opens and closes adds such a huge element to the overall effect.



Test shot closed mouth:



Test shot open mouth:



And finally the finished head!





Thanks to all of you who have been posting your builds for the last few years. You all inspired me!

I'll post my approval pictures soon...


Last edited by Sparrow (Steve Goldsack) on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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luiscespedes ()
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Joined: 19 May 2014
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Location: Olesa de Montserrat, Barcelona
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi steve. I´ve got a mask like yours and I´m having the same problem with it. It moves forward when I try to open the mouth and hurts in my nose as its the part that holds the mask in its site. I´ve seen your solution with the velcros and I wonder If you can tell me where to buy and how to install them ( or send me more photos of the system). I´m from Spain but perhaps you can point me to somewhere in the net to buy the velcro strips. Thanks.
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Fuzzball ()
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the gorilla gloves and the idea for the wookie sounds . Great stuff man
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Luiscespedes. They are easy to find online, it is VELCRO BRAND. I have attached the links for you. For the main strap:

http://www.velcro.com/products/ties-and-straps/900600__All-Purpose-Strap#/?color=2f0946dde4d8407b96fdb976c147323a&shape=7d82aa5b97df47cbb63519d9210586e4&size=36in x 2in

For the slimmer strap from the top to the main strap:

http://www.velcro.com/products/ties-and-straps/900601__All-Purpose-Strap-Elastic#/?color=2f0946dde4d8407b96fdb976c147323a

Installation of the main strap is easy. Cut out the center of the original strap, LEAVING 3 inches on either side. Then you just glue the new one onto what remains of the old.



The strap on the left side I cut at 12 inches long and the right side with the D Ring I cut 3 inches.

I glued it on using E6000, put in a grip for an hour then let it set for 2 days before testing it out. Depending on the feel, you may want to add the top strap for additional security.

The top strap consists of two pieces. The top half with the D Ring I cut at 4 inches and glued it to the top of the head support and the bottom part with the Velcro I cut at 9 inches and glued it to the inside of the main strap.


Hope this helps!


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luiscespedes ()
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I´m going to try this. I thought the main strip was wider but the wider option in the link is 2in. Its that ok?
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strap I used as the main is 2 inches. It is fine.
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ZeroCooL ()
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blooming eck, looks great so far mate.

Gotta love Dave's work :-)

One question... Have you glued the toes onto the wrong feet? Shouldn't the big toe(s) be on the inside...?
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually both feet are identical. The feet are symmetrical so there is no big or little toe.
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whole picture? I'm dying to see what you've done in its completed state Smile
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You and me both. Just waiting on some nice weather so I can take my application pics and get some creative shots. We might get snow this week so could make for some cool pics.

One thing I just realized I still need to do is weather my belt. It looks brand new so can't have that. I trimmed down the original so I have some leather I am test weathering. Soaked it in water then went to town on it with fine sand paper and twisted it around. Just waiting for it to dry but should come out nicely worn.

I'll probably add some shoes polish to the bag when I weather it do dirty it up.I used newspaper to weather my TK, I suppose that could work as well.
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ZeroCooL ()
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sparrow wrote:
Actually both feet are identical. The feet are symmetrical so there is no big or little toe.


Ahh that explains that then :-)

From this pic it looked back to front

http://s1237.photobucket.com/user/timelessones/media/IMAG1237_zps106b91d2.jpg.html

Fair dooz to you mate on the hands, best I've seen so far personally..
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FINALLY DONE!












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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking GREAT! Definitely an improvement on those feet! Love it! Sorry for all the exclamation points!
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Dutchwookiee (Hans van Beek)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a first of many questions, but how tall are you now with the suit on?

Its looking awesome btw Very Happy
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Sparrow (Steve Goldsack)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm am 7"2
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