C3po tutorial

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by waldo kent, Nov 8, 2011.

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  1. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    CALVES
    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    Connect the thigh and the shins.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.

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

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    At first I went with 2 inches but decided to go with 1 1/2 inches.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After the fiberglass, came the Bondo and the spot putty. Oh and did I mention sanding?
    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    Be sure to sand each cut carefully and prime. I slightly rounded the edges and put several coats of primer on the edges.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    As you can see all of the edges are soft and some detal like above the lip are completely gone.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is what the detail should look like.
    [​IMG]
    Using a dremel I sanded the bump down. Using a higher grain of sandpaper I smoothed it down.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    Use a dremel to grind the rest down. Finish with sand paper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
    EyeofSauron likes this.
  2. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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)
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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!
     
    Atlanthia, chimmera30 and Garthok like this.
  3. Zaxmon

    Zaxmon Well-Known Member

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    Always cool to see these things come together.
     
  4. Garthok

    Garthok Sr Member

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    As someone who has never seen one of these go together before, I can only say..wow!
     
  5. Onlyalad19

    Onlyalad19 Active Member

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    I love this! Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. aradia

    aradia Member

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    Wow very impressive! Thanks for sharing
     
  7. mmccreadie

    mmccreadie Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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..!
     
  8. bhodie

    bhodie Active Member

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    Great build tutorial on C3PO. I look forward to more on this build.
     
  9. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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    Excellent tutorial so far.
     
  10. Jardine

    Jardine Member

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    Wow very crazy and thorough build :) looks amazing!
     
  11. GordonTarpley

    GordonTarpley Member

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    Looking good
     
  12. GordonTarpley

    GordonTarpley Member

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    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.
     
  13. Dasgreider

    Dasgreider New Member

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    This is awesome!
     
  14. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    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.
     
  15. GordonTarpley

    GordonTarpley Member

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    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)
     
  16. R2Dan

    R2Dan Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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 :))
     
  17. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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)

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  18. ugameenough

    ugameenough Active Member

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    i so wanna do this build! amazing work man! im speechless!
     
  19. clancampbell

    clancampbell Sr Member

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    Oh this is one of the best tutorials i've seen in a long time! perfect for prop geeks!

    Rich
     
  20. Idlewild

    Idlewild New Member

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    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.
     
  21. Grave

    Grave Well-Known Member

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    the best tutorial i have ever seen!
     
  22. TurboTrey03

    TurboTrey03 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ahhh ive been wanting to get into a 3po..alas i have a 23" head as well. is your helmet the only one that will fit? not sure i could add all those details like you did on your helmet!

    also, did you order the larger chest piece from tk409? i should be able to do a 3po costume being i am 5'9'' 150 lbs with a 23" dome (doh!)
     
  23. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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    Keep it coming.

    Great thread.:thumbsup
     
  24. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    What little information I got back about helmet sizes was for the TK409 fiberglass helmet a head size of 22 1/2" was a pretty tight fit. Knowing a vacuform helmet mostlikely molded from a fiberglass helmet led me to believe it would be larger inside.

    Sounds like you and I are the same size. I bought my chest second hand and was told it was a large TK409 but it was pretty tight. There are a few other makers of the Vac helmets and I'm only guessing that they are about the same size as mine. Hope this helps.
     
  25. Larry Young

    Larry Young Master Member

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    Man, Anthony Daniels must have really wanted to be in pictures.
     
  26. Laamberry

    Laamberry Well-Known Member

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    New favorite thread, I'm going to read it over and over now.
     
  27. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    I felt that the detail of the rear of the helmet was just as poor as the front. The "pie shaped" wedges molded into the helmet were had very soft edges and just did not look good so I grinded them down and removed them.
    [​IMG]
    I cut out a 3 inch circle from a sheet of styrene and glued the resin piece in place. I then cut and shaped the wedges from "door shims". You could use a paint stick as well. Glue these in place.
    [​IMG]
    Glue to the back of the head.
    [​IMG]
    Using milliput, fill in the areas that are needed. and soften the edges.
    [​IMG]
    It is hard to see any imperfections so I lightly painted the face with primer. Using a light at an angle you can see where to fill and sand.
     
  28. SailorEarth

    SailorEarth Active Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to post this process, it's both informative and inspiring!
     
  29. rkeChris

    rkeChris New Member

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    This looks fantastic. Wish I had the build for such a suit.
     
  30. paplooo

    paplooo Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    wow !.. keep , keep going..I like it !
     
  31. Laamberry

    Laamberry Well-Known Member

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    great work, dude
     
  32. JadBean

    JadBean New Member

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    Truly inspiring work, thanks for all the details. This makes me want to start a 3PO, but I'm afraid as to how much the "gold" plating would cost.
     
  33. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Sr Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to document this. It's too easy to charge on and
    forget.

    Fantastic work. Amazing reportage!!!

    Encore!!!
     
  34. TazVader

    TazVader Sr Member

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    I too would like to say "Well Done!" on your tutorial and the brilliant build. It looks pretty intense. Do you plan to plate or paint?

    Have you built anything else? I for one would love to see more of your tutorials. With the exception of the Indy Voodoo doll tutorial this has been one of the most enjoyable ones I've read.

    100 Points!!
    Best
    TAZ
     
  35. Nairod

    Nairod Active Member

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    Good job! Impressive what you have done on the helmet.

    Vacuum forming the helmet wasn't a bad idea, but depending the type of plastic used, it's easy to loose many details. I guess that's an ABS helmet kit?

    I really like the idea to add the ring over the face in order to fix the antenna!! (just like the original.)

    Keep the good work!!
     
  36. sskunky

    sskunky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool thread, I haven't ventured into C3P0 yet. Not that I have the build to wear one! Would still make a cool display.... Not that I have the room to display one! :lol
     
  37. Vexander

    Vexander New Member

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    Great post and awesome work sir! I look forward to the remainder of your tutorial. Now to get that R2 unit finished. *grin*
     
  38. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    Thanks for the support!

    @ TazVader- I plan to have it plated. Also looking at Spectrachrome EDIT(not Cosmichrome) though it's twice the price.
    I've built a TK and scratch built my Hasbro E-11. Sorry no other tutorials.

    @ Nairod- I chose the vacuform helmet becuase I felt the fiberglass ones would not fit me. The wire connector was actually Moncal's idea. Adding a few washers behind will give me a little more room too.

    @ Vexander- Get it going!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  39. GordonTarpley

    GordonTarpley Member

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    Cutting apart the back of the head was a great idea and looks like it's going to work really nicely. The fiberglass version has a big lump on the inside of the mask where that thing is which made the mask close to impossible to put on. I chopped it all the way out and sanded the resin detail part to make it much thinner. Now it doesn't really stick into the inside of helmet much at all. That helped me gain more than 1/4" more space front to back and the mask is much easier to put on now. Looks like I may be able to shave it a tad thinner actually...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I'll be following your advice and picking up some millput this weekend. Hopefully my eyes will be here soon and I can get started on my mods.

    BTW
    Have you purchased the hand pistons yet? After seeing how expensive they are I figured I'll find out what it costs to get them done myself. I contacted a machine shop to find out what they charge. Emailed the drawings today so hopefully get a response tomorrow.
     
  40. jangotony

    jangotony New Member

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    Thats looking fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Is there a paint that will give a good result rather than plating?
     
  41. GordonTarpley

    GordonTarpley Member

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    There's some really nice spray chroming that I've seen in the last few years. It's close to the same price as vac-metallizing (not cheap) and requires special equipment and facilities.
    [​IMG]
    (Sample from spectrachrome site..)



    Alsa makes some pretty good chroming spray paint but it runs close to $50 a can and can give mixed results based on humidity etc.

    I've tried a ton of different cheap paints. Most of them are crap and I wouldn't use any of them for the main suit. maybe to touch up feet and hands but that's about it.. Review here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  42. littledragon88

    littledragon88 Active Member

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    It's great to see so many protocol-builders around!! Can't wait to follow your progress. By the way, I implemented your head antenna fastening method, which works just perfect! Thanks for sharing that!
     
  43. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    After the Milliput cured and sanded, it was time to get the back of the head back into shape.
    [​IMG]
    Here are the steps I took to get to this point:
    1) Filled with milliput and sand using 60 and 220 grit sponges.
    2) Before priming I chose to seal the wood wedges with epoxy thinned with some alcohol, let it dry and sanded lightly with 320 grit. 3) Filled with glazing putty and sanded with 220 and 320 grit sponges
    4) Primed back of helmet, sanded with 320 grit then filled where need with glazing putty again.
    5) Sanded glazing putty and reprime.
    Basically repeat the process until you are happy with it. I will prime and sand one more time and go with a higher grit. Some of the hard to get places can be reached better with folded sand paper. Try not to glaze those hard to reach places if you can help it. It's hard to sand small spaces in the disk.
    ONE thing I did not want to do was scribe into the plastic for fear I would mess it up. The plastic helmet is fairly thin. Originally I glued a piece of wood for the upper lip. I felt it was again too high. I removed it and took my chance on creating it with Milliput and flushed it up to the upper mouth. I let it dry then sanded.
    [​IMG]
    The space between the upper lip and nose was then roughed up with sandpaper. A thin layer of Milliput was used then once smoothed I used a sculpting tool to create the scribing line. Pushing the tool up against the edge of the first piece proved to make a pretty straight line. Once dry, I'll sand and clean it up.
     
  44. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    IN SHORT.....once I got the shorts taped up and test fitted them. I ran a pencil line on the outside of the shorts as well as the inside. This will act as a guide for glueing.
    Rough up the areas you are gluing with sand paper on both sides. I used ABS glue on both sides and then clamped the two halves using two 1x2s and C-clamps.
    [​IMG]
    I recommend you have someone to assist you with this. You must work fast because the glue cures quickly. It's also easier to do one side at a time.
    [​IMG]
    I added a block of wood to the recessed section of the waist and glued it in place using Gorrila Glue.
    [​IMG]
    I had a difficult time lining this side up. It just did not match so I added a piece of sheet plastic to hold the edges in place.
    [​IMG]
    Here's a look at the outside of the shorts which I plan on fiberglassing later.
    [​IMG]
    Using a broomstick and a sheet of wax paper to prevent sticking, let your shorts ride the broom.
    [​IMG]
    Because of the depth of the crotch thinning of the plastic in that area happens when the shorts are vacuformed. Sign plastic may be used on the inside of the leg but the crotch needs reinforcing as well. So I'll add to strips of fiberglass cloth. The photo shows that I added 2 sticks to spread the inside of the legs apart. This will help you work easier. You canalso see by the photo where the plastic is thin.
    [​IMG]
    I used 2 strips of fibergass just to thicken up the crotch area and inside legs. Once dry I'll sand, trim and add bondo to make it smoother.
     
  45. indiefilmgeek

    indiefilmgeek Sr Member

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    Fantastic work! I LOVE your thread - keep up the great work! :):thumbsup
     
  46. ScaryMutt

    ScaryMutt New Member

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    Looking good so far! :)
     
  47. Mardikrewe

    Mardikrewe New Member

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    Very nice Jeff!!!

    I have not seen pic's like this of your build. I had no idea you were this talented. I KNOW this is going to turn out SPOT ON!!!!

    How close are you???

    Jeff S
    Bast Alpha:).
     
  48. mosarmini

    mosarmini Active Member

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    I'm pretty excited to see the result, such a simple looking costume, but so much work to go into it, I'm really impressed!
     
  49. waldo kent

    waldo kent New Member

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    [​IMG]
    As for the helmet, I sprayed my last coat of primer and now to wet sand. the extra work was worth it.
    [​IMG]
    I'm pretty happy with the results of the mouth as well. So the helmet is pretty much done.

    [​IMG]

    With a heat gun I carefully rounded off the top edge of the shorts using my hand wearing gloves of course. The trick is to heat up a small section for about 5 seconds, test to see if it moves, if not give it another 5 secs until the plastic starts to soften up. Hold it in place until it cools or spray it with some water. Do small sections untill your finished. You can also use a iron for heating up MonoKote on RC airplanes. Use a sock.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the result.

    [​IMG]
    YOU DON"T HAVE TO DO THIS-Using a cutting wheel, I chose to cut the back panel out, so that I can install electronics and someone can access them when the suit is worn. It will be re-attached using earth magnets.

    [​IMG]

    Sand the edges on the cuts and smooth. Using sign material or sheet plastic glue the plastic to the edge of the opening. We will later cut an opening and create an inside edge. Be back later with more.
     
  50. Vader1

    Vader1 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    3po is looking great, Jeff!!!:thumbsup
     

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