Vader Costume...

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by SHalamar, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I've always wanted a Darth Vader Costume. I've searched the forums here, but, being new, I'm not quite sure what is good, what is accurate and so forth.

    It is all rather overwhelming. There are some peices for sale on E-bay, but again, its hard to figure out where to start, since I'll have to build the outfit peicemeal. I'm not made of money.

    I know the most expensive peices will be the helmet, and the leather 'suit'. Those I'll likely have to get last.

    But my question is, how to know if any of this will 'fit'? The armor, the helmet, etc. I'm not a small guy. 6'6", 235lbs, so I should at least have the imposing figure in the costume.

    What to do about glasses? I don't like contacts, but can one aquire perscription lenses for the helmet?

    I know the vast majority of you have far more knowledge than I, so I'm hoiping for a little assistance. Basically on where I should start, and what pieces to look out for.

    :confused

    **Update. See my post on 4/1/06 for my beginnings towards Vader**

    **Update 4/26/06. New shoulder armor.**

    **Update 5/7/06 Bodysuit.**

    **Update 5/15/06 Almost done.**
     
  2. DarkLordSalvo

    DarkLordSalvo Well-Known Member

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    At 6'6" you should fit everything okay I would think. I don't wear glasses but there is room in my Rubies Supreme for them if I did. You might be able to permanently mount a pair of lenses behind the helmets' lenses so you don't have to worry about them.

    PM sent on places to look.
     
  3. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    A loaded question that has been asked many times before...so don't feel bad. Personally, I think the 1st question you have to ask yourself is "What do I want to accomplish?"...In other words, do you want a reasonable facsimile of Vader...or do you want to look like you just walked off the screen?

    If you want something that looks close....there's many options. There's a plethora of GT and GT clone items on ebay and elsewhere...these items look the part but typically these items are slightly undersized and have different details and proportions that are not screen accurate. However, when you suit up....99% of the people out there won't notice the differences. They'll see Darth Vader. Plus, these items are generally far less expensive and more plentiful than screen accurate pieces. You can find them in the JY here, ebay, etc...

    Armor pieces with some pedigree are few and far between.....you really have to keep your eyes peeled...

    Also depends on your wallet....you can easily spend $800 - $1000 on a quality helmet alone.

    My advice.....research, research, research....then decide what you're going to buy....
     
  4. DarkLordSalvo

    DarkLordSalvo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, yesss, to KevVader you listen. :D

    If all you need to do is look like Vader, go with GT.
     
  5. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Hrm. Someone is selling a set of GT armor on ebay right now. Unpainted, untrimmed and the like. I would, of course, love to look accurate, but I imagine that those peices will be nigh impossibnle to find, and will break my bank account.

    Other than GT, what else should I look for? And If I dared to post ebay links, I'd ask advice on a chest armor/helmet for sale.
     
  6. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    As per the CoC, you can't post links to live auctions. However, you can pm for info...
     
  7. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Well, if you want a quick costume you could go the Rubies route... though, it is not very accurate and the armor pieces, I've been told, are a bit flimsy.

    The DPCA is also reported to be an excellent helmet, if you plan to wear the costume for longer periods of time. It is made of leightweigh vinyl and several are up for sale on eBay atm.

    Though, I would seriously recommend you to acquire the helmet first. That is the main part of the Vader costume and will most likely inspire you to get the rest of the costume and armor - but in the meantime you have a cool Vader helmet sitting on display, until you have the rest to complete the costume.

    There are several helmets to choose from, but I would simply advise you to go after the one you like the best, since no one can really agree what the best and most accurate helmet is. The price is another matter. The top quality fiberglass version go for $800+. Be prepared to spend that much on the helmet, as a minimum.

    You can never do too much research.

    Good luck with your search and acquisition of the baddest evil dude in the Universe. .)
     
  8. yakcam

    yakcam Sr Member

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    Hi SHalamar,

    What version of Vader do you want to be? ANH, ESB, ROTJ or ROTS?

    After you've made that decision, study the components, because there are differences between them, Helmet, chest box, belt boxes, buckle, gloves......

    In my opinion, I'd suggest that you get the most accurate parts you can from the get go. The reason I say this is because it will become an obsession and, if you don't get the "good stuff" you eventially will, so it will essentially cost more.

    I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, I lack the skills of putting what I want to say into a coherent post sometimes :lol

    Cheers,

    Kraig
     
  9. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Well, I just wanted to say you made perfect sense to me.

    No point in cutting corners, 'cause it will end up haunting you later. If you go for accurate, then there is no substitute. But if you just want "Vader"... then the cheapest alternative is the Rubies Vader. I'm not advocating this, 'cause I think you will regret buying it later, if you are like me: an accurate nut. .)
     
  10. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    I wanted Vader since I was six years old, finally I broke down and bought a rubies.
    Lots of folks dont like rubies and thats o.k. I read thread after thread, on board after board. I realized that an actual "walked off the screen Vader" was a huge investment, and something that I could aquire a piece at a time. So with this being said, the most sensible route for me was to get the rubies, and start to replace each part a piece at a time... That way, my Vader display will always look complete to a novice, and eventually I will have the "walked off the screen Vader"


    Kell
     
  11. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking either ESB, or ROTJ. Probably ESB< as that movies feels more like the 'Vader' Movie to me.

    As for the Rubies costume, when I saw it, I wanted it. The more I saw it, the less I liked it. It seemed.. off.. to me. It wasn't quite right. So I never picked it up. So I'll do the peicemeal route.

    Asw for the Helmet. Aie. I know that those can go for a great deal. And will be the serious crimp in my budget. But I have to start somewhere.. right? :p
     
  12. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Yes, start with the helmet. That's always a good place to begin, imo. .)
     
  13. darthgordon

    darthgordon Sr Member

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    I have seen amazing things done w/ the rubies helmet. Allot of work though since it's not very good out of the box. But it isn't allot of money for the mask, nor is it very much money to fix; does take allot of skill and research though. There's a really decent site on modifying it. The reason I personally like this route is b/c if I spent 800 on a fiberglass helmet, I don't think I'd ever wear it out of fear of it getting broken, scratched, chipped ect.
     
  14. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    I started out with a Rubies and I regret it. I have spent a lot of $$ on upgrades. Here is what I have replaced/upgraded:

    1. Spent money to upgrade m Rubies helemt PLUS I bought a cKing fiberglass lid that cost $750 (and I got a deal on that)
    2. New Leather Gloves
    3. GT Shoulder Armor, about to be replaced by Gino armor
    4. New 2 piece leather Suit
    5. New Satin Lined Cape and Pleated Robe
    6 Installed Cape Hook and Chain on Rubies armor, plus new paint job on Rubies armor
    7. Bought a chestbox kit, have yet to finish
    8. I replaced the back of my one piece Rubies suit with a breathable mesh material.

    Thats all I can think of right now.

    My advice, go for quality and do not try and save by going a cheaper route. If you get a cheap costume you will inevitably want a better one, trust me. Once the accuracy bug bites the accuracy disease spreads like a toxic poison. :D
     
  15. IanL

    IanL New Member

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    Hi

    To answer some of your questions....I think your size makes you a perfect Vader. I am 6'3" and about 315 lbs, and plan on getting 4" of lifts and heels to get myself to the "canon" size of 6'7". As it stands I already tower over most of the guys in the squad, so a little extra height can't hurt. And to honest (don't take this the wrong way) but Stormtrooper armor would probably look silly on someone of your size. Vader is perfect

    As for eyesight, you might want to get a helmet and try it on yourself before you commit. I have horrible eyesight (20/200 with astigmatism) but your vision is greatly limited in the mask Other guys have done the contacts, or taped lenses from old glasses in their mask, but you may find that for what you need to see, you don't need anything. You won't be reading books or programming computers in a costume.What you CAN see might be good enough.
     
  16. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Because of my hieght, I never ever considered Stormtrooper armor. I'm just too tall.

    As for the glasses, I need glasses to be able to walk without seriously injuring myself. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Still have to find a helmet first. Budgetwise, I may have to get a Rubies supreme and alter it, or see if I can snag a damaged MR one.
     
  17. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    The Rubies can be a good helemt with a lot of work. I did mine and I am pleased with it and wear it trooping a lot.
     
  18. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    How much does it take to mod one? I've seen some of the 'walk throughs', but sadly, I don't always have the time for all the extensive work that would go into it. Some, yes, but there's a lot on the rubies to do.

    (That and the wife looks at me funny when I mention all the work that would have to go into it.)
     
  19. DarkLordSalvo

    DarkLordSalvo Well-Known Member

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    Truthfully, for trooping purposes, good, careful prep work and a careful repaint will improve a Rubies Supreme quite a bit. Then maybe replace the lenses so they aren't all warpy. Might set you back maybe $200 including the price of the helmet.

    Just my 2 cents.

    (oh, and if she's anything like my wife, bring up how much time they spend everyday with their makeup and she'll never bring up "how much work" goes into making your props look "perfect" again... or get you a night on the ol' couch. Either one.:D
     
  20. Darth Domain

    Darth Domain Well-Known Member

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    My Girlfriend can't understand why i took my rubies apart to upgrade it, i explained it was not good enough as is out of the box but it falls upon ears that don't quite understand :lol . That being said, it is alot of work to do it and slow due to needing to get it as perfect as possible. But there aer plenty of guys on the RPF who could offer advice. I would not have started mine without the extensive help/advice i did get (and am still getting) :thumbsup This is where i am with it so far, only difference is i've now filled the eye sockets for the new lenses http://www.rpf.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=103589
     
  21. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    Heres what my rubies test helmet looks like todate. Everytime i learn somthing new or find somthing not right i work it out on this helmet. Now i think i am about ready to do another rubies befor i start working on the reveled vader i have been kicking around. Till i master what i am doing then i will suplt a vader helmet from all i have learned.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Excellent mod-job. :thumbsup

    Did you remove the nose on that thing? It looks like it. I have followed many mods on the Rubies and that is always one of the things done to it, however, that just makes the helmet less accurate... all you have to do is to fill the seam-line and then it'll be perfect. Taking out the nose plug and you will get a too thin nose ridge and a too large nose area. Just thought I would pass that on. (If I'm wrong about this, please let me know.)

    I will definitely be interested in seeing an original sculpt. Please keep us updated on that project if you go forward with it. .)
     
  23. vaderfanforever

    vaderfanforever Active Member

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    If you are going for a ESB Vader, I wouldn't think you would want to get a "damaged" MR helmet at that price. Besides, the MR helmet is ROTS, not ESB.

    I am part of the 501st. Since I do quit a bit of trooping, I bought a DP CA helmet. It is perfect. Light weight, and fairly easy to see through with a lense upgrade. I am planning on pulling the padding out, and replacing it with pluming insulation strips. I am also going to install possibly 2 cpu fans....this is a MUST if you plan on trooping with your lid. It will prevent the lenses from fogging up, and making you go blind ;)

    And since I do troop a lot, I bought a set of 2005 GT armor...(I know Kev.) I think that the GT is the best for trooping....looks good, inexpensive. If you want to know where I got it, send me a PM.

    But most of all, like it was said before, do your reseacrh, and you will come out with a kick a$$ Vader.. However, HAVE FUN.

    VFF
     
  24. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Well a repaint and new lenses would do a world of good but I personally would not be happy with that. To do a good job requires time and patience but it's worth it in the end.
     
  25. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Looks good man. What did you use for clear coat? :D
     
  26. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Y'know, ever since it came out......Ive read on this and other forums as to how supposedly crappy the Rubies Supreme helmet is...and frankly, I had my own reservations about it. But these and similar posts and pics prove just how good the Rubies can look with some time and effort.

    Outstanding work, guys. :thumbsup
     
  27. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    I think for the bucket, I'll try and find either a good quality Don Post CA, or if those are difficult to find, I'll get a rubies and try the extensive mods on it.

    I'll likely have to hold out on a superior helmet for the time being due to monetary limitations. (I'm not that Limited, but if I want an outfit in les than 2 years..)
     
  28. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    DP CAs can go for outrageous $...unless you can luck out. As evidenced here, the Rubies can look just as good as a CA with some effort.

    If I were you, I'd buy and mod a Rubies and save your $ for a prop built lid later on.....
     
  29. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    [/quote]
    Excellent mod-job. :thumbsup

    Did you remove the nose on that thing? It looks like it. I have followed many mods on the Rubies and that is always one of the things done to it, however, that just makes the helmet less accurate... all you have to do is to fill the seam-line and then it'll be perfect. Taking out the nose plug and you will get a too thin nose ridge and a too large nose area. Just thought I would pass that on. (If I'm wrong about this, please let me know.)

    I will definitely be interested in seeing an original sculpt. Please keep us updated on that project if you go forward with it. .)
    [snapback]1183119[/snapback]​
    [/quote]

    Yeah i did remove the nose piece then i notice it was a bit odd looking so i sulpted the face. So it would look alot worse if i had not done that, and thanks for the info i'll see how it looks on the next helmet ;)
    and thank you for all your kind words toward my work so far :love
     
  30. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    "Looks good man. What did you use for clear coat? :D"
    I Went out and got "Novus polish set" and it works wonderful i sanded down my dome till it was as smooth as i could get it then i polished till it felt like my arm was going to fall off... :D

    Heres a shot of the 2 helmets side by side, as soon as i finish this post i am starting work on the next rubies helmet it just got here:D

    [​IMG]
     
  31. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Ok. I may go for a Rubies Supreme Helmet, and mod it. Still researching.

    WHat are folks thoughts on the body suit?

    And I really appreciate the help. You guys will make sure I DO get this done.
     
  32. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Well-Known Member

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    If you check out the link in my sig, you'll see my Rubies' mod-job. I had no experience going into it and I honestly think it looks decent. Under $500 including paint job. I'll probably end up having another go at it now that I've got a bit more experience. I already redid my way-too-long belt boxes, and they look great. One thing you have to be ready for is the obsession with constant improvements. You may THINK you won't become obsessed, but "you will be, you will be." Welcome to the wonderful world of Vadering.
     
  33. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    I dont like the Body suit. Its one piece, which limits mobility, and it's warm as hell. I got the back cut out of mine and replaced with mesh. It is somewhat tolerabel like that but in it's original form it is very uncomfortable.
     
  34. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Not the rubies Suit.

    I wanted peoples opinions/ideas on a GOOD body suit for the Vader.
     
  35. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A GOOD body suit? Save up for a real leather one. You'll have to pay throught the nose for one, but it will be good.

    I have a will-do-for-now suit in pleather. Sure, it means I'm essentially wrapped-up in car upholstery material, but at this juncture, I couldn't bring myself to go for a real leather $600-$800 suit. I got it off eBay for $200, a two-piece vinyl suit... ridiculously hot (I will mod the back with mesh like Darth Kahnt described above) and not entirely accurate. Still, the suit doesn't really show that much under the capes and civilians won't notice the inaccuracies anyway. As for the leather look - well, sure - but once you don a pair of real leather gloves and a leather belt, the difference in material is obvious.

    [​IMG]

    So... is it a GOOD option? Naah. I'd say it's an acceptable option. It's affordable and it looks the part, kinda sorta. Still, it's the only option if not choosing to invest in a leather outfit but still wanting to pass as a reasonable Vader facsimile. :)
     
  36. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Oops.

    TMP makes a good leather suit. If you cant afford leather there are some pleather ones that come up in the Junkyard from time to time.
     
  37. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    There are two DP CA helmets on eBay atm + a really good fiberglass DP CA copy with extra dome on eBay too, just search for "Vader Helmet". .)
     
  38. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Glad to help.

    Another thing that could be nice was to do something about the center stripe on the dome. It is not supposed to be rounded, but squared, if you know what I mean, though, it is impossible to sand it down to add a window rubber band (ask if you don't know what I mean). I plan to mod my Rubies a step at a time. Really hope it'll get to look just as good as yours. :)
     
  39. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Wife looked at me funny when I mentioned modding a Rubies Helmet. She told me not to be stupid, and that if I was going to do this, I might as well get a good fiberglass helmet thats as accurate as I can afford.

    As for the Bodysuit... Anyone know where I may be able to locate a pattern for one? Wife is willing to help me out with the outfit. She's a pretty darn good seamstress.
     
  40. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Well-Known Member

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    So your wife ENCOURAGED you to go ahead and get a fiberglass helmet? :eek
    Way to go. :thumbsup :lol
     
  41. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. She figured that since I really want to do this (Been wanting to for years), I may as well do it RIGHT.

    That and she will happily make the cloth/leather portions. (If only to save a few bucks). She's great. :)
     
  42. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Wish I could say that. :p

    Seriously though, my wife is pretty tolerant of my hobbies and shes very understanding.
     
  43. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Well-Known Member

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    My lady is too, I can't complain. :love
     
  44. SHalamar

    SHalamar Well-Known Member

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    For any of you that havethe Vader Bodysuits, how wide is the 'ribbing' on the outfit? Looks to be about an inch or so, and thinner on the arms.
     
  45. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    I never got to doing the center strip on the test helmet, believe it or not but i am thinking about trying to model the new rubies helmet to look like a ghost host A.N.H, i am useing the picture as a base to work on from an rpf member here who's name is yakcam i hope he dosent mind, but when i was lookinga at the G.H i thought to my self... i think it can be done. [​IMG]

    the bigg'est problem will be the dome to me, but the face work should be no big deal
    it's just that * dome, i don't know if i want to try and sand it down or resulpt the the whole thing, i hope i think of somthing soon. Any ideas about the center strip on the dome i am open to. And send a picture of the window rubber band, is it a car window rubber band?? frist thought that crossed my mind when you said it

    P.S i have all you guys beat my girlfriend got me a GT belt and fiberglass shin's :love
     
  46. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Well, basically, the topic is gone from http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/ so I cannot show you what a user there did to mod his dome. I believe it was a length of rubber strip with adhesive on one side and he got it in the width and length he needed and then after having sanded down the original ridge, he attached the rubber strip and perhaps glued it one for extra hold and then sculpted the part down at the "widows peak" with bondo or epoxy resin or something similar. Then it was primed and then no more posts... would have loved to have seen the final result when painted. It was a DP recast dome he had bought.

    I believe you can buy the rubber strips on rolls in various sizes - width-, thickness- and length wise - in practically any hardware store.

    This however is not possible on the Rubies dome, since it is a raised area - when looking on the inside - and if you sand it down, you will end up with two halves. So that is not an option. Though, you can use the rubber strips to attach on either side of the center strip and then put epoxy resin in the area between the strips. Then you should be able to remove the strips and then have a straight, instead of rounded center stripe. Though, this is just an idea I've had and I've actually not been able to test if it works. I though buying a new dome would be easier, but would probably be more expensive.
     
  47. iceman

    iceman Well-Known Member

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    I made my own body suit, ( actually - 2 ) it was made to be worn and has great freedom of movement and ventilation, it is not a one-piece, but has separate parts joined by velcro. If your interested I can post some pics.

    As for the perscription lenses, I cannot wear contacts so I went to my Optometrist, explained what I was doing, and obtained two perscription "blanks" , that is, the lenses before they are cut and fitted into the frames. They are actually very inexpensive ( $ 12 for the pair ) you want the Polycarbonate ones, and make sure they mark the center and orientation of the lens, this is important if you don't want to get a headache .

    The Polycarbonate lenses cut and grind very easily, and I glued mine in with silicone, to make for easy removal if needed.
     
  48. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ...prescription Vader lenses....ingenuity knows no bounds.... :)
     
  49. yakcam

    yakcam Sr Member

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    I don't mind at all, I hope it helps you :)

    Cheers,

    Kraig
     
  50. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    It helped alot :D
     

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