Showoff : Custom Illuminated Base for Stormtrooper Mannequin

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Stormtrooper

Well-Known Member
Well, since my first replica stormtrooper costume waaay back in '99 I've always thought it would be cool to have a Star Wars themed base for the mannequin to stand on.... better than a plain ole' chrome plate like you see on store mannequins.
So my first homemade mannequin had an octagonal piece of plywood, which I covered in adhesive-backed black plastic, and added an Imperial Navy logo sticker to it.

But I thought my current set of Stormtrooper armour deserved something a lil' bit better, so a couple of months ago I headed to B&Q (UK version of Home Depot) and loaded up on wood, screws, mitre-saw, adhesive-backed plastic sheeting..... oh, and some 'Link Light' flourescent lights :D



The mannequin is a rigid fibreglass one (as opposed to poseable) which I then modified extensively by cutting the arms in 2, and fibreglassing wire into the elbows to allow them to bend (vital when putting the stormtrooper bicep armour onto them, as the arms have to be straight to slide the bicep armour on) and cutting the feet to allow the thigh armour to slide on etc. etc.



The base itself is made from a plywood base and lid (covered in adhesive-backed black plastic). The side panels are hardwood from which I cut out the windows with a holesaw and jigsaw. These were covered in more adhesive-backed plastic sheeting to minimise the amount of seams between the panels.... the front 3 panels are on one 'strip' of plastic, and the rear 3 panels are on another strip of plastic.
I experimented with 6 strip-lights inside but found that the light was TOO BRIGHT, and just didn't look right... so I settled on 4 strip-lights instead.
And then I added some orange and red gel lighting sheets to the back of these panels for the desired Carbon-Freezing-Chamber look :)
Also added tracing paper to the back of these sheets, to help diffuse the light, and to ensure that you can't see the lights and components inside the base by looking inside the windows ;)





A spray-can of car Dashboard Shine adds the finishing touch :love



The hands are re-used from my old homemade mannequin.... basically wooden bodies with wire coathanger fingers covered in garden hose and bits of foam 'n' duct-tape.... super-poseable and strong enough to hold a valuable 27 year-old resin blaster :)

The costume is now back at my friend's office / showroom where it is safely protected by commercial insurance.... and I'm once again left with a replica Stormtrooper suit with a plain jane mannequin. :lol

Oh, and happy 1000th post to me. Woo-hoo .. It may have taken me 6 years but I finally got there. :cheers

Cheers,
John
 

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HDPE

Well-Known Member
That's a pretty cool idea.

The mannequin definitely has a Bespin pose.

I'd love to see it without the armor on.

BTW John, what's a ROTJ trooper doing on Bespin ;)
 

well paid killer

Well-Known Member
Thats great man, I love the look of it. I think an Endor Moon base would have been a little less cool but might have made more sense with the ROTJ armor. :p Either way your work paid off, this base looks outstanding...
 

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gonk27

Sr Member
That looks fantastic John really effective, it sets your trooper off perfectly. I think I might try something similar for my R2.

I suppose you could even use the same principle to make a two or three-tiered base, each level slightly smaller than the one below for Carbon-Freezing Chamber step effect. (Although it would take up more space).

I've never seen that adhesive plastic in my B&Q it looks like darned useful stuff.


Now build some walls and add some ceiling greeblies.. (you know you want to.) :D

Jeremy
 

rileyreplicas

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Man, that is awesome. Now all you need is to add a small fog machine inside of it and have it puff out some smoke :) Very nice base.
 

_Lee_

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow :eek That looks great John.It really makes it stand out.

Ive just sent you a PM about something mate ;)

Cheers

Lee
 

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Stormtrooper

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the kind words everyone... I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out myself, though I'm probably not quite ready for a full 1:1 replica of the Carbon Chamber Elstree set just yet. :lol

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(HDPE STORMY @ Apr 30 2006, 12:15 PM) [snapback]1235830[/snapback]</div>
I'd love to see it without the armor on.
[/b]
Here you go, Anthony.... before and after the modifications.



I had to shorten the right forearm, as it was way too long after I added the wire to the elbows (you can see where a bit of newspaper has stuck to the fibreglass resin.)
I cut the mannequin's feet *after* this pic... basically each foot is now in 2 parts, with a block of wood inside for each part to screw to.

Jeremy - the adhesive-backed plastic is made by a firm called Fablon, and B&Q have a whole range of different colours like silver, wood-effect etc. pretty cool stuff. If you're looking for some and have difficulty shoot me a PM mate :)

As for the whole 'What's a ROTJ Stormtrooper doing in Cloud City?' argument... hhmmmm.... well Vader *did* threaten to leave a garrison behind in Cloud City in ESB.... maybe he did just that?. Or maybe I need to start looking for an original ESB Stormtrooper suit, now? :p

Here's a couple more 'work in progress' pics... if anyone has any questions about making soimething similar don't hesitate to ask.





Cheers,
John
 

HDPE

Well-Known Member
Cool :thumbsup ,

Is that "number 1" he's holding in the right pic :love ?

Would it be strong enough to hold an all metal E11?

I was thinking about doing something similar for my ROTJ trooper.


A
 

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gonk27

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stormtrooper @ Apr 30 2006, 03:53 PM) [snapback]1235915[/snapback]</div>
Jeremy - the adhesive-backed plastic is made by a firm called Fablon, and B&Q have a whole range of different colours like silver, wood-effect etc. pretty cool stuff. If you're looking for some and have difficulty shoot me a PM mate :)

[/b]

Thanks John, Ah the name Fablon rings a bell I think.

I'll go hunting next time I'm in B&Q. If I come up dry I'll be in touch, thanks mate.


Jeremy
 

Howard

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Pure class - so much better than the thin metal base seen on so many mannequins.

Howard.
 

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