501st approved costumes - question?????

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by pfillery, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. pfillery

    pfillery Active Member

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    Could someone with some knowledge please help me out on this one?

    I am a bit of a novice and I know what the 501st is, but I see a lot of references with replica costumes being 501st approved - what does this refer to? Do they only allow people to use costumes and props of a certain quality? The reason I ask is that some of the relatively cheap stormtrooper kits available on ebay claim to be made in the UK and 501st approved, but selling in kit form for around the $250 mark. Does the suggestion they are approved mean they are of sufficient screen quality or do some sellers just use this as a way to sell more?

    They seem to quite consistently sell at that price and if the quality is there, for the money would make a nice start to a display (I've always wanted a stormtrooper costume). I'm not really looking to get involved with the 501'st, just thinking an approved costume should be reasonable quality or accuracy - is this how it works?

    On the other side of things, if they are just using that as a marketing tool, surely as an organisation, the 501st could take some sort of action to stop them saying that?

    any words of wisdom from the more informed people out there?
  2. carbonitekid

    carbonitekid Well-Known Member

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    No armour, available through ebay or any where else is "501st approved".

    Indeed, if a seller is advertising it as such its normally a strong indication that its crap.
  3. mothmonty

    mothmonty Well-Known Member

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    501st approved means that the costume has met the standards that the legion has put forth for that particular costume. Each costume has it's own set of costume standards, as a general rule things shouldn't be sold saying that they are 501st approved especially when it is a kit. Since you could put it together poorly thus making it not approvable by 501st standards.
    The 501st can't really take action since it is a volunteer organization, and don't own any of the rights to any of the star wars costumes. I could sell something on ebay and say it's david prowes approved.
    If you are looking for a decent TK (stormtrooper kit) that you just want to display, there are kits out there that look good on mannequins i.e. FX but I wouldn't use for 501st anymore. If you want a costume to wear 501st approved or not I would sign up at the here Sign In - First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment all of you Trooper question can be answered.
  4. Troy Downen

    Troy Downen Active Member

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    Well, now hang on before judgements are handed out. The ability to gain 501st approval hinges on two things: 1) the accuracy of the basic components and 2) the effort put into constructing the costume to be as screen accurate as possible.

    As a general rule, stuff on eBay is to be treated with care. Some is good, but some is VERY bad too. And nothing is 501st "approved" until it is built and submitted for approval. So an unbuilt kit cannot be 501st approved, but it can be of sufficient quality to serve as a good foundation for what could become a 501st approved costume.

    I am a 501st approved TK (stormtrooper) so feel free to PM me and we can talk in more detail regarding particular eBay kits. Or better yet, we can discuss reputable sources for armor that are not on eBay.

    But first and foremost, you should register on the 501st forums (you do not need to be a member) and you should introduce yourself there and tell everyone what you want to do (become an approved Stormtrooper?). The 501st is an extremely friendly bunch, and we're here to HELP you build a costume that you can be proud of and that is of sufficient quality that you can join us as an official member.
  5. pfillery

    pfillery Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I'm not really sure where I want to go with this at present. It was more curiousity since the costumes I saw on eBay seemed to be very cheap. Being in Australia the challenges include availability and freight costs. Some I've seen for sale at fancy dress and costume places around $700 or so that claim to be the ultimate costume, others I've seen from $1400 up to $3000. Let's just say I'm not that seriously into it.....yet. But I don't want to end up with something made of thin plastic either, the sort of thing that looks like it came from the toy aisle at a $2 shop.

    I also know the kits don't normally come with under suit gloves neck seal or boots and certainly not weapons or accessories. These are probably easy enough to make or acquire later on. The one I looked at was here STAR WARS STORMTROOPER PRO ARMOR COSTUME KIT NEW | eBay

    They have sold a lot of these but it's hard to gauge quality. By the time you get it and find it is crap it is too late. I'd really like to mould a fiberglass one as i have done fibreglassing on boats etc but lack the resources (a mould).

  6. GF

    GF Sr Member

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    The movie original were actually very thin plastic, but there is thicker high quality movie accurate replicas. I wouldn't recommend a fiberglass suit, way too heavy and no flex very uncomfortable to wear, like the movie original a vaccuformed costume is the way to go.

    Good luck!
  7. Jerome

    Jerome Active Member

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    Well about that guy on ebay if you read his feedback you can see some mixed reviews about the quality of the kits that people received. The two negative ones will give you an indication. I guess you get what you pay for.
  8. MrGzilla

    MrGzilla Well-Known Member

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    the kit in the auction is either an fx suit or a recast of an fx and is not vary accurate at all, its a cleaned up and "idealized' armor with the exception of the helmet which in my opinion is just horrible.. but it can still become approved for some reason.
    i got my armor off ebay for about $280 and its great for what it is (a recast ap armor i think) and has some linage with an original suit, and ive been told by members of the GA Garrison that i could get it approved even with the heavy weathering.
    hope that helps!
  9. StudioCreations

    StudioCreations Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Some propmakers are legit on ebay, stating their wares are 501st approved/accepted, some propmakers are scammers. I would recommend joining-up-to and asking in the appropriate-costume-themed 501st Discussion Forum which makers are reputable and which ones to avoid. Most of the time the regular posters in the discussion boards are the most knowledgeable people around about the current batch of propmakers offering up wares on ebay.

    I know every year I have to pop into the 501st discussion boards and see who is offering what, just to keep current on the propmakers out there. Very few armor makers last longer than 2 years offering kits and/or parts. Most propmakers get into this as a hobby, find out offering pieces and parts is actually a chore, and bow out after they've had enough. Keeping a good reputation is tough, especially in the seedy underground market of Scifi Geek Costumes. :)
  10. pandatrooper

    pandatrooper Well-Known Member

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    Please, visit whitearmor.net for anything Stormtrooper related. Legit approved sellers can be found there along with instruzctions. They are the official detachment for TKs in the 501st.

    I would generally avoid those UK based sellers. Legit armor can be very affordable, just do some research on whitearmor.net :)
  11. abaddon1974

    abaddon1974 Active Member

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    There are at least two sellers of Stormtrooper armour on this site, both of which are taken from original suits.
    One from ANH and one from ROTJ, which although they are not 501st approved (nothing is until it is worn) they are as accurate as you are likely to get and also still a decent price this means that they can certainly be made into a suit which will get 501st approval.
    Both of them are uk made I think which could hurt with the shipping.
    Not sure if I can post seller details but if you search the threads you will no doubt find them without too much trouble

  12. Troy Downen

    Troy Downen Active Member

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    I'd avoid this guy on eBay. Coming from a seller in Thailand makes it HIGHLY suspect - both in terms of quality and legitimacy. Whitearmor (previously mentioned) is a good source, and there are others as well. Your best bet is to sign up on the Legion forums and initiate a discussion there.

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