Jun 20, 2012, 7:39 PM - James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH *New pics 5/22
Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed of 'being' Darth Vader, or at least having his costume. When I joined the RPF back in 2002 I remember seeing some really amazing Vader builds and I would daydream that someday I'd have my own.
I started gathering parts back in 2004 and never looked back. I did most of the work myself 'on the cheap', I think at last count my kit is about $2500 spread out over a few years.
Old WIP Thread is here, has some build pics: http://www.therpf.com/f24/my-anh-vad...ts-pics-34753/
As most people know, a Vader costume is never really finished. But I think I've got it in a good spot these days. There are still a few upgrades I'd like to make but I'm not sure I ever will.
I had made most of these upgrades before going to SDCC in 2010 but I suffered an epic costume fail that included breaking a tusk on the facemask. After a year or so doing nothing I repaired the tusk and now I've worn it to a few local area cons.
And a few short videos on me in the suit:
Darth Vader 2012 Dallas Sci-Fi Expo - YouTube
Darth Vader 'Force Choking' at Dallas Sci-Fi Expo 2012 - YouTube
Darth Vader at Dallas Comic Con 2012 - YouTube
The breakdown of the parts are:
Facemask: fiberglass Don Post
Dome: angrywookiees from Italy
Armor: Larger 2008 GT version
Chestbox: Homemade from wood and leather, Russ parts, resin rockers, real buttons
Belt: homemade from Tandy blank, Russ boxes and buckle
Shins: Vac-formed from ebay, sitharmor IIRC
Boots: Leather boots from Sportsman Guide
Leather body suit: Custom Props
Capes: Custom Props
Saber: Mostly an MR with a Larbel clamp
My wife's cousin is a big time photographer and I was planning on going to his studio for some nice costume shots, but since I've got an Efx Limited Vader helmet on order I decided to wait until it comes in and I can get photos with both my helmet and the Efx. I only wish I had a Legend.
I really love wearing this costume out to local shows because everyone really seems to like it and I will take hundreds of photos, especially with little kids who are meeting 'Darth Vader'. It's a ton of fun.
The down side is I have only been able to stay in costume for about 4 hours total before I have to either take a break or change back into street clothes.
Partially it's the heat and the heavy costume, mostly it's the inner boot lifts inside my boots. Barefoot I'm 5'8" but between the lifts and the height of the dome I come in at about 6'5" in costume.
This is a shot I did for fun. I set up a tripod and took 2 pictures from the exact same place/angle. One barefoot, the other in costume.
My feet would probably feel better without the lifts, but a short Vader looks odd and I just can't dig the platform disco shoes some Vaders use.
I built myself custom inner lifts after using commercially available ones. I usually wear a sixe 10 but the boots are size 14 to give me extra room for the lift.
Last edited by James Kenobi 1138; May 22, 2013 at 7:08 PM.
Jun 20, 2012, 8:08 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Man, your Vader is incredible! I would never have believed your actual height without the pic. Again, utterly in awe of your suit.
Jun 20, 2012, 8:21 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Jun 20, 2012, 8:32 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Definitely a thumbs up
Very motivating to finish mine! (Though ESB :P )
Jun 20, 2012, 8:40 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
ANH Vader, best version of the 4!
Jun 20, 2012, 8:41 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Great work! Lot's of dedication to the build.
As Vader, are you shocked by how many people hand you their babies? I have an Officer's costume (that used to fit me) and I'd assist Vaders a lot. Parents were constantly handing Vader their baby for pictures. I always thought "He can barely see, hardly and he's a total stranger. What are you doing!"
Jun 20, 2012, 8:48 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Rock on, this is a great suit. Looks flawless to me, but I'm no Vader expert.
I would definitely be taking pictures of you if I ever saw you at a con
Jun 20, 2012, 9:24 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
That is truly an awesome ANH Vader! The only issue that I see is the coin slots, they didn't flash or light up in ANH. That feature only came in ESB and forward. The belt boxes and chest box could use some weathering, but only if you are going for a 'screen accurate' look.
Jun 20, 2012, 9:33 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Look'n good James Kenobi 1138! Rock on!!!
Jun 20, 2012, 9:49 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Wish I could see this in person. Great job.
Jun 20, 2012, 10:30 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
I never get tired of seeing your Vader, James. Outstanding. I miss my Vader a lot!
Jun 20, 2012, 10:41 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Outstanding. This is what I am going to enjoy about the Showcase section, getting to see all of these amazing costumes again. Thanks
Jun 21, 2012, 12:25 AM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Jun 21, 2012, 12:52 AM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Strange how you attach the light saber ...
Jun 21, 2012, 11:14 AM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Marvelous. The ANH Vader has always been a favorite.
This is really inspiring to those of us under six feet!
Jun 21, 2012, 3:25 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Most Excellent! As a ANH Vader myself I would say that is one right on costume. Nice work bro. G-man
Jun 21, 2012, 11:59 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
My goal was always to make the Darth Vader you see on-screen, the way people remember him, not exactly the way the movie costume looks. I don't want to look like a guy in a Darth Vader costume, I want to look like Darth Vader.
I usually say my costume is the Episode 3.5 version. Upgraded from the Ep3, but not yet weathered from EP4.
Plus, the blinking lights are a crowd favorite. I have a voice amp and a breathing loop, and I always year "oh, and look at the lights and everything !". I know it's not accurate, but neither is a 6'5" Vader.
One of these days when I retire from wearing this costume and I put it on a mannequin I'll probably weather-up the belt boxes and stuff, go for a more movie-accurate look.
Jun 25, 2012, 11:22 AM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Brilliant vader. I am taking a lot of ideas from this for my own anh vader. Thanks
Jun 27, 2012, 12:25 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
That's a cool looking Vader and looks like you are having fun. Wouldn't have believed you weren't that tall out of costume compared to when in it, as you make quite an impact, in terms of height and presence. WOW.
Only suggestion I could make: post more pictures!!! .)
Jun 27, 2012, 8:12 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Thanks for your list of suppliers! It goes into my ever growing list of possible suppliers so that I too may one day be Vader too!
Jun 27, 2012, 11:05 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Last edited by James Kenobi 1138; Jun 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM.
Jun 27, 2012, 11:22 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Last edited by James Kenobi 1138; Mar 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM.
Jul 1, 2012, 10:15 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Wow, the costume adds 9 inches to your height? That is amazing. Im around 6'0, and I absoutely couldn't image being taller! That makes me want to be Darth Vader really bad though.
Jul 2, 2012, 10:16 PM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH
Yes, but it's more of an illusion.
The boots naturally with a heel give about 1". My inner lifts are a little over 3", so in the boots I'm already about 4" taller making me about 6' without the helmet.
With the helmet on my eyes are right behind the lenses, but on the lower part. If you look there is a good 4-5 inches between the lenses and the top of the dome.
So 3-4" under the feet and 4-5" above my head make 5'8" into 6'4" or 6'5". When I stand next to a guy who is 6'-6'3" we see 'eye-to-eye' but I'm just a few inches taller.
Jul 12, 2012, 12:10 AM - Re: James Kenobi 1138- Darth Vader ANH