C3po tutorial

waldo kent

New Member
Let's start with the TK409 Calves. Each one comes in 2 sections. They will be hinged together to allow you to put them on and lock them in place with L shaped pins you will make. The calves are then connected to the thighs using bungee cords.


You'll need a pack of 1 1/2" finishing nails, 6 picture hangers, 8 1"x1" brass hinges (I bought an extra pack for the screws in case the heads strip out) 4 10" bungee cords. I bought these at LOWES.

NOTE: I purchased some of my C3PO parts secondhand so you may see unusual holes drilled in some of the parts. Do not drill these hole they are wrong. I will fill them in later.

To see about where the hinges are placed, here is a finished calve. Note the L shaped pins holding the hinges together. The lower hinges should be placed high enough so that they do not impede the ankle (sock) of the shoe. It comes up inside the calve several inches. Test fit it first.

Starting with the rear calf half, make a pencil mark for your hinge placement. Mark the edge. Insure the hinges lay flat on the inside surface. I used a Dremel to smooth out the fiberglass bumps. You don't want your hinges to wobble. Take care not to remove too much. One thing I learned later was it might be a good idea to sand around that groove you just made because you may want to lay some fiberglass over the hinges to reinforce them.

Remove the pins from the hinges by using a nail and a hammer. Bend the top of the finishing nail into an L shape and insert into the hinges. Place the first hinge on the pencil mark and clamp in place. Drill pilot hole all the way through and insert screw. The screws will be too long but we will fix that later. repeat this with the remaining 3 hinges.

Test fit the front shin to the back calf and make sure you know how it will line up. on one side of the add a small amount of hot glue on the 2 hinges and quickly fit the hinges to the front shin. Once cool, remove the L pins and screw the hinges in place.

As you can see in the picture the hot glue simply holds the hinge in place so that you can screw it. Once you have completed one side, place the L pins back in the hinges and match up the other side. Hot glue the inges inplace, remove the pins and screw in place.

Connect the thigh and the shins.

Attach one hook end on the bungee cord to the nut and bolt of the Knee Piston. For now hook the other end on the top edge of the thigh. we will place picture hangers near the top after we make sure they will fit with the shorts.

Using an extra screw from your hinges, drill a pilot hole in the center of the knee disk and attach a picture frame hook. UPDATE: I felt later that the fiberglass here was too thin for a screw. I chose not to use a screw to attach the hook but you can use hot glue temporarily. I then fiberglassed it in place.

Attach the other bungee to the hook and other end to the top of the thigh. Now go try it on but get someone to help you. Once you are satisfied, MARK EACH SCREW at the surface, REMOVE ONE HINGE SCREW, CUT IT DOWN, REPLACE, and repeat for each screw including the knee disk. I would advise you not to cut or grind the screws while in place. it may damage the surface. You may find you will only be left with 3 or 4 threads per screw. We will fill the holes later. I will also fiberglass over the hinges for a better hold.


I grinded all of the screws down, glued the hinges in place with Gorilla Glue and placed a strip of fiberglass over each hinge.


Shins/calves are complete now just need some light sanding on the new primer. Note-the hinges are taped up.

We had an armor party at my house and it gave me an opportunity to get helped into the chest and a few other parts. The chest was pretty tight on me so I made two cuts in the front of the chest to open it up. 2 inches was what I wanted but made the it look like a beer belly so I went with 1 1/2 inches. I fiber glassed the inside, fill the top with resin and now all I have to do is fiberglass the front and sand and fill.



At first I went with 2 inches but decided to go with 1 1/2 inches.


After the fiberglass, came the Bondo and the spot putty. Oh and did I mention sanding?

To create the molding I simply dribbled resin where the replacement need to be, sanded to shape and now starting the bondo. We'll be able to see any imperfections once it's primed.


Now that it is sanded and primed we can put it in some direct sunlight and look for imperfections to sand and smoothe out. It's not tood bad right now.

Each finger is very well made but each finger is one piece and does not allow you to bend your fingers. This I think is a great mod and should be done before sending it off for surfacing.

Use a pencil to mark your cut at the upper joint on each finger. Use a Dremmel cutting wheel and cut each finger . I chose NOT to cut the thumbs. Personally, the thumb on my left hand was pinned due to an accident and I can't move it anyway.

Be sure to sand each cut carefully and prime. I slightly rounded the edges and put several coats of primer on the edges.

I sprayed an extra coat of primer on each finger and sanded with a 320 grit sponge. As you sand look for any pitts or imprefections and fill/sand.

Though I wanted to use a fiberglass helmet I really found no assurance from any of the makers if the helmet would fit someone with a head 23 inches around. So, I decided to go with a vacuform helmet I got from MonCal. With Vacuform, a lot of the details are lost.

As you can see all of the edges are soft and some detal like above the lip are completely gone.

Using Milput Superfine White (Hobby Lobby) putty. I lightly sanded the areas I was repairing just so the Milput would stick better. Using some scupting tools and some water, I sharpened up the edges. After sitting over night I sanded everything down. Once sanded I used spot putty to fill in any cracks or pits, then sanded the areas again.

The detail to the upper lip is completely gone. What is there is just a bump which we will remove. I made a pencil mark as reference for cutting it away.


This is what the detail should look like.

Using a dremel I sanded the bump down. Using a higher grain of sandpaper I smoothed it down.

Next, place a popsicle stick in the mouth and trace curve of the mouth using a pencil. Use a dremel to cut he curve. Glue the stick in place then sand it down. With mine I will most likely increase the opening of the upper most part of the mouth.

UPDATED CHANGE I felt the placement of the lip was too high, removed it made a new one. Above shows the popsicle stick cut out and glued to the face. Use CA Glue.

Use a dremel to grind the rest down. Finish with sand paper.
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I did not make the progress I was hoping to this weekend however I did solve one problem and managed to at least get started on the shorts.

They Brass eyes I received from MC are awesome. When installed in the helmet, the edges on the rear of each eye dug into my eyesockets.
One solution was to remove the light panels and bulbs and grind the edges down. They come out very easy.


The front of the helmet at the top uses an electrical connector that the head antenna goes through and is screwed into the back of the helmet.

By adding a few washers behind the connector, it provides a llttle more space inside the helmet. Problem solved.
As for the shorts I have found no clear example of how one is supposed to put these together. So we'll just have to wing it. First I would suggest you have your legs completed first before you start cutting and fitting your shorts. Remember they must fit inside the thighs as well as your waist.


The ABS shorts are also from MonCal. The advantage is the ABS allows for a liitle more flex than the fiberglass shorts. The dissadvantege is the sharp defintions and details are lost. For a rough trim I used a dremmel and cleaned up the edges with a sanding block.


For the very top I left as much as I could and still "barely" fit into the shorts. I will use an iron and round these edges later. That will give us more room around the waist.
Starting at the top I lined the two halves together, edge on edge. I used c-clamps then duct tape. At the bottom I overlaped the front half over the back half. At the bottom for the OUTER SEAM ONLY I measured one inch edge to edge, c-clamped and taped it up. (The top edges are together and the bottom overlap)

Once together I taped up the seams inside and out just for fitting. My waist is 30 and it was a tight fit to get on once I past my hips. All seamed well once I got the legs on. The shorts come with extra long legs and we we cut them shorter once I'm sure they are working well. One thing I noticed is it is a tight fit and getting the bunjee cords connected was pretty rough. Iam rethinking the way I will use the bujee cords now.


Note the unattached sections near the crotch. I most likely will leave these loose. They are quite thin because of the vacuform process and I will reinforce them later. But when the legs are worn these sections overlap and allow the legs of the shorts to taper and spread a bit.
That's it for now!
The detail in this is eye opening (and eye watering!) to see how much effort goes into putting this costume together.

I'm actually kind of glad I'd never fit into it lest I be tempted by a similar undertaking..!
Did you go with the far away creations style eyes? I just ordered a set of the zorg eyes from mc. The resin eyes that came with my mask are larger than I like (1.5") which is a shame because i already expanded the eye sockets which probably would have fit the smaller size eyes if i didn't change them. i'll have to do some filling to correct it. your mask is looking really good btw.
Did you go with the far away creations style eyes? I just ordered a set of the zorg eyes from mc. The resin eyes that came with my mask are larger than I like (1.5") which is a shame because i already expanded the eye sockets which probably would have fit the smaller size eyes if i didn't change them. i'll have to do some filling to correct it. your mask is looking really good btw.

Thanks for all of the kind words. Yes the eyes are from Far away (MonCal) I saw you bought the eyes. Now you just need some bulbs. I will probably wire mine up using R/C cable and connectors. Try adding some millput to your eye socket if the new eyes are too big and sand.
Judging by your progress the millput looks like a really good option. How much working time does it have? As far as sculpting, is it similar to working with clay? Besides the eyes I'll be redoing some of the detail along the sides of the brow. One side of my mask has less detail than it should. (highlighted some of the area here)
I'm working on a 3PO as well here, but it's a slow going project. Nice to see this again (I've read all this on the 3PO builders club before :))

To show an example using Milliput we are going to fix the hole that was caused by sanding down the bump under the lower lip.


I am using Milliput Superfine White. It is a 2 part epoxy putty used for scupting. It runs about $14 at Hobby Lobby or most Hobby shops. For this project I have been using just a liitle bit at a time. I cut about a 1/4 inch off of each roll, mix it in my fingers for about 6 minutes and adding water to my finger tips to keep from sticking. Working time is about an hour. (Read Instructions Carefully)


Rough up the area on the helmet with sandpaper to get a good bond. Rolling a small portion in a tube, place it inside the helmet under the lower lip. Wet a spatula and smash down the edge. Work the putty into the hole and smooth it out on the front of the helmet. Use a wet sponge to smooth it down.


Now lets replace the roof of the mouth lost due to making the opening a little bigger. Let the Milliput set over night and then sand. To learn more about Milliput visit the website Milliput
Man, I can't imagine taking the time to build one of these. This is why I'll probably get someone to build my stormtrooper armor, once I purchase it. Anyway, great build and good luck.
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