Captain Rex Armor is DONE!
With one week to Halloween, I FINALLY finished my son’s Captain Rex costume. I have to say it was, by far, the most difficult built I have ever undertaken. Depending on how you count the armor pieces, there are 28 separate armor pieces in my build. If you count the front and back halves separately, then the number of armor pieces increases to 39. This include the following items:
- One (1) Helmet
- Two (2) pieces for the Pauldron
- Two (2) shoulder armor pieces
- Two (2) upper arm armor pieces
- Two (2) elbow armor pieces
- Two (2) forearm armor pieces
- Two (2) back hand plates
- Two (2) Pistols
- One (1) Breastplate
- One (1) Abdominal Armor
- One (1) Belt
- One (1) Kama
- Two (2) Holster (not shown)
- One (1) Hip armor piece
- Two (2) Upper Leg armor pieces
- Two (2) Knee armor pieces
- Two (2) Lower Leg armor pieces
This project took A LOT of effort to complete but I am immensely proud of what I was able to accomplish! I have to admit I was a little worried that I would not finish by Halloween since I encountered a number of hiccups during the design and build. I am happy to report that I was able to accomplish most of the objectives I laid out at the onset of this project. My son is able to move fairly comfortably in the armor and he is able to sit without much discomfort. The only objective I could not achieve was allow the armor to be taken off by the wearer. I used mostly Velcro to fasten the pieces together and the adhesives on the Velcro do not adhere to cardboard securely. When taking off the armor, I need to be gentle with the straps otherwise the Velcro will strip off. In the future I need to find something that is NOT an adhesive to attach Velcro or use other fastening options, like buttons or clips.
I originally planned to do a writeup on how each pieces were built and designed but it will take much more effort that spills beyond Halloween. Instead, let me show off the build and let my son bask in his glory of being his favorite Star Wars character this Halloween!
Designing the Pieces
As I stated in earlier posts, I always start with a hand sketch then I move to Adobe Illustrator to complete the design for all armor pieces. This does add more time to the design process but, I believe it actually made my life easier since I was able to adjust each pieces more accurately on Illustrator as oppose to a freehanded method. Additionally for symmetrical pieces like the upper arm and leg armor, it was a simple mirror operation to complete the design for both sides after finishing the design for one side. The last advantage is that if I ever want to scale up the armor to an adult size costume for myself, the files provide a solid foundation to start that process and probably save me a lot of design time. I am very excited by the prospect of more very own Clone Trooper armor.
I am going to save the details of the design process for a later date. I will say that there was a lot of measuring and remeasuring, fitting and refitting. All the armor pieces were custom fitted to my son, which made the armor look much better when he wears it. There were a number of pieces I had to do major redesigns because it just did not fit well. It actually a bit tricky to figure out which part of the armor you want to cover which affects your measurements. I struggled with the forearm and lower leg armor.
One of the biggest advantage of making your own costume is that you control how much detail you want to add to your costume. As you can guess, I LOVE adding details. One thing I want to highlight is the backplate. I did not skip on adding features such as the vents and a cooling cover and I added a flip-up compartment that allow me to add electronics in the future. I am think a voice-activated walkie-talkie. Stay tune!
My October Surprise – “Night Stalker” Armor
With the presidential elections just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to add my very own “October Surprise” (Sorry this is probably one of the few times you will hear me attempt a joke about politics!) Back in late-September I purchased a roll of glow-in-the-dark tape on Amazon while shopping for craft supplies. When I saw it I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have glow-in-the-dark pieces on the armor. It would dial the “coolness” factor on this costume to 11!” One thing I wanted to avoid with the glow-in-the-dark pieces to overwhelm the armor and spoil the aesthetics when it is not dark. Less is definitely more in this case. I present to you the “Night Stalker” version of the Captain Rex armor. The photo on the left does not do the glow-in-the-dark piece justice. It is actually quite an intense blue and makes the armor “pop” in complete darkness. My son absolute loves this feature even though he cannot see it with the tinted lens on his helmet.
This build was, by far, the hardest I have ever attempted, but it was a lot of fun! The best part is that my son LOVE his costume and, on Halloween this year, he gets to unleash his inner hero!