My homemade ESB Darth Vader Costume (Finished on page 4)- 501st approved

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by darthvader073, May 13, 2015.

  1. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Hello everybody,
    After months of planning, I decided to start with my own build.
    In 2009, when I was 14, I made my first Darth Vader costume, it wasn't that special but for the 14 year old kid it was awesome. Here it is...

    [​IMG]

    Six years have passed by and I decided to give it another shot. My main goal is to make it ready for The Force Awakens premiere in December.
    I will do everything myself, including the helmet (mostly because my budget and also as a challenge). It won't be 100% screen accurate ( the third one will be probably :lol ), but I'll do my best. It will be some kind of the Original trilogy hybrid.

    Two days ago I started with the mask. I'm working with water-based clay. When it dries I'll apply bondo, sand it, and then make a silicone mold.

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    P.S. You guys here are awesome, I've learnt sooo much from you, and also got my inspiration for this project. So I would much appreciate your thoughts :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  2. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Very nice to see a full clay sculpt! Keep up the good work!
     
  3. halliwax

    halliwax Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    at 14yrs old you were very talented! with age comes experience, im very impressed with your clay sculpt. thats something i couldnt do, i look forward to your build, please keep us updated! i look forward to it
     
  4. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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  5. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    14 year old costume looks pretty impressive. New costume looking good so far.
     
  6. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Thank you guys :D
    You'll be updated with everything, not to worry.

    Mac, your work was in fact the biggest inspiration for this... there's actually a folder with your name in my reference images folder haha :D

    Right now I'm dealing with some clay cracking , to be worst, I'm leaving my apartment for the weekend. I feel like I'm leaving a small baby on its own, fearing what will I find when I come back.
    I made some kind of a water vapor chamber to keep it in a humid environment 'till I return.

    Can't wait to take a next step :D
     
  7. Tumbler

    Tumbler Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    For 14 that costume is fantastic. I think at 14 the best I could muster myself was a cardboard box strapped to my back and a vacuum hose to pose as a ghostbuster. Really looking forward to seeing your sculpt finish out. Looks great so far.
     
  8. enrico

    enrico Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Very nice work: congrats for your skills and keep us updated!

    enrico
     
  9. jimmiroquai

    jimmiroquai Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    That is some great sculpting! Do you still need bondo with water-based clay? Can't you just use water to smoothen it out?
     
  10. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Thank you for all the support!
    As I promised, more updates, though not much. I'm still dealing with clay. Yesterday I've added "cheek tubes" (I don't know how they are called haha), smoothen out some areas and connected the mask to the base (for easier molding). I also erased chin triangle, will cut it out more precisely after casting.
    As for the bondo, I'll use a wood filler. It has given me some great results before, and great thing about it is that it dries much faster than clay. So I'll make some more adjustments with clay, and after it dries, here comes the filler.

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  11. DarkMagician

    DarkMagician New Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Jealous. JEALOUS!!
     
  12. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    It looks great however could you try to make an upright picture of the mask and from 6 feet or more away and then zoom in if you must to get it full frame? That's the way to shoot Vader so experts can chime in with their suggestions ... from these pictures it seems as if the main upper and back of the mask is not high enough and to short but I'll have to see a correct picture taken to be absolutely certain.

    Chaim
     
  13. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Do you have any references for measures? Keep in mind that the faceplate and the dome in the original ones were quite bulky.
    If I were you I would double check around for these before go ahead.
    I could give you some as I'll be back home tonight
     
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  14. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    I'll take the photo when I got home. ;)

    P3laton3: If you can provide me with some additional measures, I would much appreciate that. I still have time and possibility to fix some things on it.
     
  15. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    I will :thumbsup
     
  16. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Thanks ;)

    Now for the photos, here they are. One taken from close to 6 feet, and others from various angles. I have a feeling that the base of the head should be wider. Please comment and feel free to give any suggestions.

    As for the measures, have in mind I'm 183 cm tall, so maybe the mask shouldn't be 100% original size (but you are here to give me the advice ;) ).

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    And please tell me it's fixable, whatever is wrong....
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  17. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Looks quite good actually :) Now if you take another picture of Vader's original mask from the same position and make an 50% overlay over yours in Photoshop you can see how much you'll need to alter ;)

    Chaim
     
  18. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Updates:

    Small improvements have been made. I've reshaped eyes, upper parts of the cheeks and shortened neck :D

    [​IMG]


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    As for the thin white line on the left side of the forehead, that's just reflection ;)
     
  19. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Now I really have a feeling that the face base should be wider, and photo matching shows that. But then, one part of me says the mask will be too big then.
    Any help on this? Please?
     
  20. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    When I first got a Darth Ugly in my hands ... I thought ... wow look at the size of that thing :wacko . . . however with some additional inner padding it fits rather snug ... so yeah it's supposed to be quite large ... as well as impressive when trooping ... and at 1.83m you may need additional soles on your boots as seen here :

    [​IMG]

    Darth 'Ugly' Vader ESB :

    [​IMG]

    With left-over foam from a camera case :

    [​IMG]

    Chaim
     
  21. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Sorry I've been busy but here we go. I took some pics this morning some of them are over exposed but I wanted show you some details usually hidden in the dark spots.
    Hope this help you
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  22. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

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  23. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    P3laton3: Thanks man, these are pure gold to me. I can't believe how close I was. I'll upload some pics when I get home, so you can see what I've done yesterday :)
     
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  24. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Sorry I haven't posted anything in the last few days. I had a lot of work at my college, so Vader was drying during this time. I'm satisfied with the results so far. There's a heart-shaped face plate pattern I wanted, and the chin triangle will complete the look of it in the end. I also fixed the eyes, thicken the head and neck to match the measures provided from P3laton3. Now all I have to do is wait for it to dries some more, and then start sanding it. Teeth will be added later.

    Now let's finally move away from the helmet.
    I made a blueprint for the chest box and gave it to my father to make it from fibreboard. He works at the furniture factory and they have some really helpful stuff there ;)
    I've also made 3D greeblies for the chest box, and forwarded them to a friend with a 3D printer. If someone's interested, PM me so I can send you .obj file.
    It will be the ESB chest box.

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  25. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Sorry my helmet is ANH one
     
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  26. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    P3laton3,

    Is that helmet by Vadermaker?
     
  27. P3laton3

    P3laton3 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Yes I've been told is a VaderMaker v2

    Love all your sculpts!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
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  28. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    No problem, I said that my costume will be OT hybrid ;)
     
  29. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    BUMP!

    This thread is alive. I mean, I haven't posted anything for two months, but I'm working on it full steam ahead.
    Here's the progress on the mask. I won't take long for us to see the first cast. I also did a pre-vis in photoshop. I'm satisfied with the result, given the fact that this is my first sculpt. But we'll see the real product by the end of September (hopefully)...

    Rest of the costume is also in progress (Belt almost done, steel tusks arrived too, purchased fake leather....). Belt buckle and teeth will be laser cut, probably next week. Overall, I'm having a great and busy summer ;)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    That facemask is coming along nicely ... well done ... and I read you already purchased fake leather ... but I must warn you it can ge very hot and uncomfortable inside a full costume of faux leather, it would be better to go with real 'breathing' black leather ... tip : if you check the pictures of Custom Props and Fenix Props for their 1 piece suit on ebay, you'll see that they use a black mesh fabric on the back, so you can still breath and transpire more easily and the back is covered by robes and cape anyways so nobody will notice the lack of leather.

    Chaim
     
  31. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Sym: I plan to add a mesh for the easier breathing ;)

    Now some updates:
    Still working on the mask, and helmet. Now everything's mostly about sanding, sanding and some more sanding. It's better to work my a** off to get a perfectly smooth cast every time (if possible), so I don't have to spend more time on every cast I take. It's amazing how huge the helmet is in person! (Please, please tell me it is!!! Tell me I got the measures right haha :D ) Yesterday I also purchased silicon rubber and epoxy. A friend of my dad made me tusks and chest box rods, all in stainless steel. Chest box base is also done, together with the lights and circuits. They're blinking. Since we're not at Hogwarts, and I'm too lazy to make a gif, you'll have to trust me on that one.
    Also huge thanks to Studio49, I used your template for the belt buckle. I had it made from laser cut plexiglass.

    As usual, here are the pics. Tell me what do you think ;)

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  32. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Updates:

    Belt almost complete, only belt hook and electronics missing.
    Helmet is getting there too.
    I've purchased a color-change lightsaber. I modded it to glow only red, added 60 more LEDs, and will make the hilt looks like chrome metal. It's only temporary solution. I plan to buy Force FX in the future.
    Today I got a really big sintra panel. 1,5 X 1,5 meters, 5mm thick. I cut out and glued pieces for the armor, and this weekend I will use a heat gun to form it. Shins are next.

    Now for the photos:

    Any thoughts?

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  33. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Is the center of the dome supposed to go inwards like that? It's quite hard to tell without it being on the facemask if it's okay :wacko However that said . . . you've got some great skills my friend ... :)

    Chaim
     
  34. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Thanks Sym, and not to worry, it will be fixed before molding ;)
     
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  35. ChickenHaunt

    ChickenHaunt Well-Known Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    This is great. So cool to see someone diving right in the old fashioned way.
     
  36. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Thank you for your support guys!
    Cod piece finished!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Todays' progress:

    [​IMG]

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  38. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)

    Wow ... that's brilliant ... with all the equipment you have available ... keep going on :)

    Chaim
     
  39. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Help needed!)

    Guys I need your help. Today I tried to make shoulder bells. I used an 8'' globe, but it was too small. I need something to trace the contour of the armor, and the regular sphere isn't good for it. Any suggestions, links maybe? I'm trying to avoid the ones that use molding process.

    Thanks :)
     
  40. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Help needed!)

    Okay . . . let's see . . . this is roughly the 'rounded' shape you seek . . . with 2 strips added on top :

    [​IMG]

    Now what other real part around you could produce that shape? Perhaps a plastic rugby football?

    Chaim
     
  41. Studio 49

    Studio 49 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Mask in progress)


    Hey, I recognise that little fella:D
    I just found this thread today and thought "hey I recognise that"
    Great to know people reckon I'm doing some good stuff

    Also it's great to see another person building parts from scratch.
    Are you planning on trying to join the 501st Legion by any chance?
     
  42. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Help needed!)

    Sym: Thanks for the tip. I found a flower pot with the similar curvature. I need to cut it with dremel and we'll see how it fits.

    Studio 49: Thanks again for the template. My primary goal is to make it ready for TFA premiere trooping, but eventually yes, I plain to join when I upgrade it a bit.


    Some sad news:
    Unfortunately, I must postpone the mask and helmet project. Silicone is just too expensive and I can't afford myself mistakes. So until the better times come, the project will be put to carbon freeze. I hope it will see the light of a day someday next year.
    However, the show must go on. Though the mask won't be homemade, everything else will ;)

    Today I finished painting the shins and sanding the armor. Since the shins are black, they don't look as beautiful on pics as they do in person.

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  43. Celtic007

    Celtic007 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Chest armour looks great! I wanna try doing that myself one day. Keep it up!
     
  44. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Great idea about the flower pot ... very clever! Now since your mask and dome are temporarily in 'carbon freeze' you can also post a WTB (Want To Buy) here in the Junkyard and also at the SLD Forum, to speed getting a Vader mask and dome that's been neglected for to long and may be offered to you instead to still be ready before TFA premiere night ;)

    Chaim
     
  45. Studio 49

    Studio 49 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Entirely homemade Darth Vader Costume (Help needed!)

    Looking good (unfortunate to hear about old Vader's dome though).
    Also great to see you have made an account over on the SLD, welcome to the family... I mean Dark Side:D
     
  46. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Just wanted to share with you to where I got with my Vader helmet,
    I really hope to finish it someday... :(

    [​IMG]
     
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  47. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Updates:
    Finally, finally I was able to make a decent shoulder bells. As I said in the post above, I found a hard plastic flower pot with the acceptable curvature. It's amazing how difficult it is to make them look right....
    Also, with the help of fellow fans, I was able to find the helmet. It should arrive in the next two weeks.
    Now I'm waiting for the 3D printed greebllies for the chest box, and the fabric for the cape. After that the costume should be taking a shape....
    Here's the progress ;)

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  48. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    You could use a cheap kids skater helmet or a halloween costume helmet like you can get at toys r us.
     
  49. THXBOY

    THXBOY Active Member

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Not sure how much feedback you're looking for but there are a couple of easy tweaks I would make. Your shins are way to narrow. Heat them up and flare them out of you can. The shoulder bells present kind of a concave look instead of the rounded convex shape. Maybe you can heat and adjust those as well. This will be important when you put a cape over it. The silhouette will be very off with their current shape.
     
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  50. darthvader073

    darthvader073 Active Member

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    Re: My homemade Darth Vader Costume

    Well it's over now haha
    But I'm glad this solution worked well too.

    Todays' progress: Let there be light!
    Belt boxes electronics installed, it's running on a 9V battery. I'm really proud on that small and discrete switch :D
    Now all I have to do is some weathering, which I'm really reluctant to do since I like them the way they are now haha

    [​IMG]

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