October rolls around and you frantically race from store to store in hopes of piecing together a last minute costume. Some years you are better prepared. Chances are you aren't spending nights and weekends 3D modeling, printing, sanding, and spray-painting parts for the perfect Halloween costume. At Empire, we don't leave anything up to chance.
As an avid fan of Star Wars, it was a no-brainer that our Lead Design Engineer, Ryan, would choose a character from the epic trilogy. His character choice may be one of the classics—but with a twist.
In 2011, Hasbro offered a collectible Boba Fett in white "prototype armor". Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston are responsible for the early concept sketches which these models were based off of. Boba Fett was originally going to be a "Super Trooper" which was reflected in the white coloring of his uniform. They eventually moved away from this idea and Boba fell into the role of Bounty Hunter.
Ryan came across one of these “prototype” Boba Fett toys and loved the idea of it. He contemplated the idea of creating the costume for several years before it finally came to life this October.
Lets take an inside look at the costume process in our Q&A:
Q: How did you create the armor plating?
A: The majority of the armor plating was made using an expanded PVC foam sheet called Sintra. It molds really easily by hand after heating it with an oven or heat gun. I got the patterns from The Dented Helmet Forum and cut them out using the band saw and disc sander.
Q: Which parts were created using 3D printing?
A: The gauntlets, kneepads, and belt were all 3D printed with white ABS filament on our small hobby printer. I designed those parts in Solidworks because there were no available 3D files to choose from online. These parts and the white Sintra parts were left raw (no finish work). For the belt cargo pockets, I opted to print the shell and used a white craft foam with Velcro to form the lid. I didn't want to spend a lot of time sewing things and printing them was a more efficient way to do it.
Q: Were there any components you were able to purchase?
A: I made a trip to Savers for the under garments and bought a white tactile vest from Amazon to mount the armor to. The armor pieces were attached using name tag magnets also purchased from Amazon.
Q: How did you create the helmet?
A: The helmet was a toy from Hasbro that I painted white. The toy's original range finder was broken so I modeled and 3D printed a new piece to complete the helmet.
Q: What challenges did you come across while making this costume?
A: The hobby grade printer had some issues printing the larger pieces and some of the parts cracked in several places. I alleviated most of those issues by adding a heat lamp near the printer. This eliminated some of the temperature differences. I still have a few minor cracks, but I think they’ll go with the “prototype” Prototype Boba Fett theme.
Q: Last but not least, what is your favorite candy to have around Halloween?
A: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.