Chewbacca ~ WIP (Wookie In Progress)

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chwbcc

New Member
Hello everyone, I have been a long time lurker here and finally broke down and decided to start my Chewbacca Build. Dougie Fett has inspired me to give it a try... (I've only read his WIP thread about a 1000 times) I finally think I can scrape together the funds and self confidence to give the build my best effort.

I will be building it is stages.
  • Stage I ~ Feet
  • Stage II ~ Undersuit
  • Stage III ~ Fur
  • Stage IV ~ Head, Part 1 - Underskull
  • Stage V ~ Head, Part 2 - Skin
  • Stage VI ~ Head, Part 3 - Fur
  • Stage VII ~ Dance at Star War Celebration VI
(NOTE To SELF: Learn to dance!)

Just a little background. I am 6'4" and I used to work at WDW and had the honor of portraying everyone's favorite wookie during Star Wars Weekends for many years.

I know what you are saying! 6'4"... WTF, Chew is like a BILLION feet taller than that! And you are right. However there were secrets that we used to make us taller. Dougie Fett touched the most basic. Shoe lifts.

Granted our shoe lifts were not as drastic as the stilts I have seen around the site but never-the-less we wore 4-5" shoe shells to increase our height. The rest of the height was gained at the top of our head.

I stood a good 7 feet tall at the top of my head. It's not exactly the right height but standing next to the average person (5'11"-6'2") I looked enormous!

I hope to bring to this build my working knowledge of the suits used at Disney and the shortcuts discovered by the other Wookie Builders here on the RFP. Now on with the build!

Stage 1 ~ Feet (Shoe Shells)

I bought some matting from Walmart (Found in the Exercise Section for $20) to build some Warhammer costumes. I started building a foam Bolter but have really lost interest since my other pieces and parts are not coming together like I wanted. So I've moved on to something that makes more sense to me right now.

The first step was to freestyle an outline of a foot onto the foam. I marked out all the toes and the nails as well. I sketched in the basic details and I will used these as a guide when I start to dremmel out the detail later on.

Next cut out the first piece and duplicated it 4 more times. I will need 8 layers of foam for each foot to build up to 4".

I will be gluing these together with Gorilla Glue (AKA Wookie Glue) later this weekend after I purchase more mat.

There will be (2) 2" wide velcro straps sandwiched between the top two layers to help secure my shoes to the shell and a layer of female Velcro add to the top of the Shell to hold a pair of bottom Velcro Shoes. (which I will need to make as well.

The Fur will also be attached using velcro so I can remove it and clean it after a long day of trooping. But that my friends is for another WIP Post.

Right now check out the photos below:






 

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chwbcc

New Member
A little up date:

I bought more mat at Wal-Mart today. They only had Gold's Gym Mats for sale so I picked them up at $20 for 6 squares. They are larger then the mat I got from Target. This worked out better because now I could get three up on a sheet.



A little set back my work table broke so I pulled it out into the driveway and put it back together. It was a good excuse to get outside and enjoy the 70 degree winter cold front passing through today.


The Gold's Gym Mat is also a tad thicker so now I've got an extra 1/2" in my shoe shells.


I lined up my shoe strapping on the balls of the toe and the front of the heel. This will allow me to really strap in my toes and my upper foot really firm.


The straps are 2"x11" and I placed the male velcro face down (top strips) and the female velcro face up. (bottom strips) I prefer to have the male velco facing up (when I strap my shoes in the shell) so it doesn't stick to my laces or to the female velco that will line the bottom of the shoe shell.

NOTE: The velco has to be facing opposite as shown below otherwise it wont match up when you try to strap in your shoes.


Finally I added the top layer of the shoe shell.


And last but not least apply pressure and wait.


Hopefully tomorrow things will be set and I will be able to take the sander to it to clean up the edges and start roughing in the toes and nail details.
 

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chwbcc

New Member
Thanks guys it means a lot. I'm shooting for the stars let's hope it all works out! I have been thinking about making the head out of the left over foam. similar to the Wampa build I saw at CV. But I have a ways to go before I start on the head.

I can't leave well enough alone and I've checked out the show shells and I don't know if the strapping is going to hold as well as I thought it might.

I have to see if some of my old costuming friends have the recipe for the shoe glue they used to make. That stuff could stick to anything ... FOREVER!!!

Regardless of the strapping I will be working on shaping the feet tomorrow as the kids try to kill themselves on their bikes again! It's always good times here at the Wookie House!

Stay Tuned.
 

chwbcc

New Member
I have not forsaken this, I have just been busy building Warhammer Space Marine Helms. But I did find some time in between projects to fix the EVA foam lifts and do a little bit of detailing to them.

I also solved the problem with the adhesion problem I had with my first attempt. It seams that EVA mats are coated with a sealant that repells almost anything, including glue! So I simply pulled all my pieces a part, sanded the glue and the coating off the tops and glued and clamped them back together. Now the pieces are securely fastened together.

I started detailing the toes and even did some detailing to the soles for fun. Now I might just have to walk out in the woods and make wookie prints for all the Big foot people to find.

I will finish detailing these tomorrow as my friends are working on ronding a Anya Chest from Gears of Wars... The garage is starting to look like a regular production facility!

Oh I almost forgot I have also started working on the muscle suit. but I realized I can't sew. My suit is way too large so I will now have to teach myself how to un-sew what I have done and adjust the suit by about 10 inches!!! And I guess I will have to make a duck tape dummy here shortly too to start hanging things on. (Adds manniquin to list)

And I built the under skull in Maya a few weeks ago so I will be able to pep that next weekend and rondo it solid.

That will give me a solid base to start sculping the facial features and a durable mold to cast a solid plastic underskull.

I will be unfolding it later tonight and will post it up on my 4shared.com account after supper.

I may have been gone for a few months but I have not stopped working, stay tuned.





 

McAullay

New Member
Awesome man, this is definitely a build I will be keeping a keen eye on. Looking forward to building one myself. Will your headpiece allow for facial expression to be made by the wearer in a make up sence or just a straight mask?
 

chwbcc

New Member
And as promised my pepakura underskull, all nice and neatly unfolded.

NOTE: I am unsure of the scale for this right now and will be building it later this week. So for now the scale is based on 400 MM high and it may be too large right now but it's a start.

SO for now the idea is:
Rondo this piece to make a solid underskull then either vacume formed or cast in Smooth-on to make the working parts. Then I will sculpt on this buck to create the skin, then cast it in silicon and punch a lot of hair.

Check it out and let me know what you think:

Chewbacca Underskull.pdo

 

chwbcc

New Member
I just started Pepping this and it's looks pretty good so far. It's going to be about 15" tall which is about right for the size. Once I get skin and fur on it it should put me at about 7'2.

I'll have some photos later tonight or tomorrow.
 

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chwbcc

New Member
Ok, I pep'd the under skull and I am really happy with the design, but not so happy with the size. It's about an inch too big so I will have to do it again. Not a big deal since its only 10 pages of easy pep'n. I built it in about an hour and a half.

The I didn't do the tiny rings around the eyes since I won't need them in the end so I decided to not rack my brain out trying to put them on. Most likely they will be covered or cut out later anyway.

So it seems that everything with this costume is meant to be done twice! That's ok I'm pretty sure I could use the practice in patience. Too bad I can't pep me so patience. Cause pep'n is what I seem to be doing a lot lately!!! Lol

Check out the photos of my first attempt of the underskull:



 

chwbcc

New Member
Finished the basics for the feet today. They are not as tall as I had hoped but the still give me 3 1/2 inches in height. Give or take the boots and I should be standing at about 6'8" ish with out the head.

I sanded the foam into the basic shapes I wanted and added the Velcro to the shoe shells and the bottom of the boots I will wear in them.

Once the liquid nail dries I will add some more velcro strapping to lay over the boots to better secure them in the shells and finally coat them with plasti-dip.

The next step will be to add the trim Velcro for the shoe covers and they will be finished.

I have given thought to cutting up the pep under skull an using it as a template for a foam one. I don't know about that idea though because I still will need to create a solid version to sculpt and cast the face.

I'm still in the garage cleaning up but will post some photos shortly. Tapatalk does let me post photos for some reason.
 
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chwbcc

New Member
Here are some pics:

I found that Liquid Nails is a really good way to glue foam together. It's strong and still flexable and holds really well with the stress of bending. when I finish the strapping and try these on I will test them even more but so far these are looking great.

They are different colors because I glued them up differently but hey they still work.

I'd love to know what everyone thinks.







 

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chwbcc

New Member
Ok I rescaled the underskull to 350mm and it is much better. The eyes line up better and this will give me a really nice base to start sculpting the face.

The next step is to rondo the inside and make it solid and then scrap together some coins for some Sculpty for the teeth and gums and for some clay.

Slowly but surely I am moving forward. And the feet came out great so far I will test the velcro later in the week.





 

chwbcc

New Member
I slushed in some Long Hair Bondo (bondo mixed with fiberglass strands [they make long and short hair versions]) and Fiberglass resin. Rondo Glass?



I don't ever seal my Peps with resin because the tape renforces it enough to hold the shape while I slush the rondo inside.

Tape also makes pepping a lot faster and easier to do.

After I slush rondo I let it harden and then remove the tape. It's an extra step but I like to do it because it peals off much of the top layers of paper making it easier to remove the paper when I sand it or take it in the shower to soften up the paper.

With this piece It's only a forming buck to hold the slay while I sculpt the face. Then it will be used to create the skull to articulate the silicon face.

It's nothing that hasn't been done by Dougie Fett, I'm just using the pep as my base but everything is more or less trying to mimic his amazing work. Ok the shoes are different too but only because I am much taller than he is.

Here are some photos of the first hour playing with the clay trying to sculpt the face.

I roughly sanded the skull pep to get rid of the sharp edges then started throwing down some clay. I was a bit nervous laying it on the pep but it's solid and really takes the pressure of me pushing and pulling it around the milk crate as a sculpt.



After a few minutes I moved inside so I could look at some references on the net. And after about an hour of laying down clay I am at this point:





I know it's not perfect and there is a lot of work to do on it yet but hey it's not bad for a beginner right? It was the first time I've actually try to sculpt something out of clay and I'm pretty impressed! Thanks Youtube for all the lessons.

What do you think so far?
 

Katsu Ma'roy

New Member
This is looking great! Knowing folks that have made a Chewie, I would recommend getting a jump on the suit. Latch hooking that fur will take you months, but it's something you can do while watching tv, etc.
 

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