Design Planning for the Captain Rex Armor
Before I undertake any project, I would like to do a little research of what others have done with similar projects. I am looking for ideas that I can use to save time and effort. In the Star Wars universe there are A LOT stuff on the Internet about making Clone Trooper or Stormtrooper armor. Most of these are targeted for adults and making them out of foam or plastic sheets. Nonetheless a lot of the techniques they use can still be helpful on my project. Another challenge I need to address especially when designing a full body plate armor figuring out how to attach the armor pieces to the wearer. For that solution I will look to an era when people wore plate armor on a regular bases. During the Middle Ages when plate mail were used, the key component that made wearing plate armor practical was the development of arming clothes. These cloth garments were worn underneath their plate mail prevented chaffing and pinching and provided attachment or arming points for the individual plate pieces. The Order of Seloharr has an informative write up on how arming clothes were used with plate mail armor.
Now let’s move onto the Star Wars universe. All armored soldiers, whether they are Clone Troopers or Stormtroopers, have a black under suit beneath the white plate armor pieces. I am not sure if the costume designers used the under suit to attach the plate pieces like the arming clothes of the Middle Ages. From my perspective it makes a lot sense that the under suit is used to attach armor pieces especially given modern attachment options such as Velcro, which would make taking the armor on and off much easier and perhaps even make it something that the wearer can do by themselves.
Making the Costume Comfortable to Wear is Important
Just in case you think that I am “over designing” this costume, comfortable is important even for a costume. The Captain Rex Armor is actually my second attempt at designing a full body armor. During my first attempt, the armor pieces did not fit very well, either they were too large or the pieces slipped loose when my son moved around. This severely restricted how much he can move and caused him to stiffen his limbs which made wearing the armor very tiring. So a lessons learned for me make the costume at least a little comfortable to wear especially if you are planning use it for an extended period of time, like Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood. Plus he has expressed strong interest in wanting to use this costume for NERF battles, so comfort and ergonomics becomes a priority.
Now let’s look pictures of the Clone Trooper or Captain Rex armor to plan out how to design and attach the armor. For those of you not immersed in the details Star Wars universe, there are two types of Clone Trooper armor, Phase 1 and Phase 2. The Phase 2 armor supposed to be an upgraded version of the Phase 1 armor to address various ergonomic issues. For my project, I WILL NOT adhere strictly to one design or the other, again, I am not looking to create a replica of the armor from the movies.
Potential Issues with the Captain Rex Armor
ISSUE 1 – From my past experience with designing armor for the arms, I need to be careful with the design so that the wearer is able to bend their elbows comfortable. I may need to cut out the a relief so that this is possible.
ISSUE 2 – I don’t think that the keen armor wraps around the back of the knee. If it did, it will severely restrict how much the wearer can bend his knees. Plus a hard armor piece will make walking really uncomfortable and stiff. For my version I will have the hard potion terminate on t he side and have soft foam wrap around the back of the knee.
ISSUE 3 – I believe that upper arm armor need to slide underneath the shoulder armor piece otherwise when you lift your arms, even slightly, will cause these two pieces to collide. Either make the shoulder piece always sit on top of the upper arm piece or find a way to ensure that there is alway a gap of the piece to slide under.
ISSUE 4a – You can see how the upper arm piece slide underneath the shoulder piece. Also note that the shoulder piece must be able to lift up so that the upper arm piece and move freely when the wearer swings his arms forward and backwards.
ISSUE 4b – To avoid have the shoulder piece pop off, I may need to design it to be smaller and mounted outside the plane of rotation for the shoulder.
ISSUE 5 – Just like the elbow area, I may need to cut out relief areas so that the wearer is able to bend their knees freely.
ISSUE 6 – I may need to leave more gap so these pieces will not interferer with the hip area.
With little more research and looking at what other people have done with their Clone Trooper or Stormtrooper costume. I am ready to begin designing the breastplate.