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The Force Unleashed Shaak Ti :)
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neimhaille ()
Naboo Outpost CO
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:44 am    Post subject: The Force Unleashed Shaak Ti :) Reply with quote

Hello all, I have just finished and debuted my Shaak Ti on Felucia costume in Sydney this last weekend.

I scratch built every part of this and did 90% of the body painting too. All in a bathroom in a hotel. It took four hours to apply and I have no idea when I'll be wearing it all again Wink

Sorry for the fly by visit I'm just very excited to have finished such a big project but am still away from home and easy access to all my files to describe how I made it all Smile

But it was many months of sculpting and casting and sewing and bashing things Wink

Progress added on March 13 NZ time:

I was familiar with the concept artwork but decided to grab a few images of the in game version to see how much leeway I had with colours and textures. I wound up with a mix of the in game style:

The paler colour of her costume reads better against the dark red of her colouring. The last two photos are a bit of a laugh, they are from a mobile version of the game or something. Fun alternative Wink

Costume pieces:
Robes cut and sewn to shape in a nifty dark olive green birds eye weave linen:

I overdyed with a bright red, being the complimentary colour to green, to make a brown. As the green was already on the way to brown I knew this would end up a nice ruddy brown. I'm still a tad worried the dye may run but it is so big it gets the washing machine all to itself....

I made them as a nod to her movie and cartoon alter ego and also as a comfy "I'm not ready" full cover up. Once I had taken the headpiece off I did snuggle into the robes and hid my bald cap and half paint.

Test pattern and the overdyed robes.

The final set for the costume was made from a soft faux suede.
The long ties were made from a deep brown suede made into strips, overlocked and turned then plaited into a four strand plait. These are double the width of fabric so I had to take care joining the ends. They were then painted in latex with paint added to lighten them and give a more leather like appearance. It also leaves the back of the straps suede so as to not rip the paint away from my skin and the latex side grips to itself so that there is no need for any sort of fastening. The ends are pinned to the skirt/briefs under the long drapery at the front.

The bikini set (bikini top, briefs, short skirt and long drapery as well as the leg wrappings) are made from a tan faux suede that was weathered with acrylic ink/pint mixed with water or IA and scissors to cut the fabric. I was going to drag the pieces along rough roads to further tatter but the paint stiffened clean edges really helped sell the worn leather look so I left it.

There are concessions to the event in this costume most notably in this area. Just cutting down on things to worry about with a costume that was hard to wear and not wonder where everyhting was to begin with Wink

The head decoration was made from small pieces of 1.5mm Styrene cut and sanded to shape. I had killed my smallest drill pieces for my dremel a while back so wound up piercing the holes with my sewing machine (the all metal beast so little chance of damaging it) and then using mini files to widen each hole. The chain is an old necklace and the oval loops were a happy find in a cheap store. Well I had set out to find them but was happy I did!

The belt is made from 8 oversized button blanks and 16 smaller but still oversized Wink Each had four holes hammered into the sides and each was then widened with dremel drill bits. Luckily I did have the larger sizes- and also the metal filing bits to smooth down the rough edges.
Then silver elastic links sets of three buttons to silver rings.


This was a last minute build. The electronics were one Cree star mounted led, but due to driver voltage and amperage input and output and size I wasn't able to get the full 250lumen I really wanted. So I wound up buying a 190lumen torch and rebuilding the inside to allow the torch to sit as far to the blade as possible and still be turned on from the outside. Many tubes from pens and and plumbing was used. As well as much tape.

The blade is 20X16mm acrylic with some plastic sanded and glued to the end (a mirror on the inside of the tip as well). Araldite works beautifully here. I also sanded the outside to help diffuse the light more and the inside diffusing material is good old cellophane. About 3m of clear and a double wrap of blue- which was mainly in case my light died or I'd have used a filter in the base of the blade.
The blade is held in place with two short brass screws cut down so they don't interfere with the light. That was fun to try and assemble after being painted. And is the reason there is a pink tinge to my photos. Well that and another issue down further under "paint".

The body of the hilt is made from pvc pipe external connectors, pvc pipe and a few plugs and nylon washers from Placemakers. I'd like to get some aluminium machined but at this late stage I wanted housing for my lighting rig. My next plan is to wire multiple leds in a chain down the blade and thus will require different power supplies- which i haven't yet planned up.
The various greeblies on the outside were made from foam pvc, large snap fasteners and bezeled led lights. I am pretty sure the last were accurate to the original clan saber but I'm not totally sure. I think the large round buttons match the screws used to hold french doors closed, I tested one and the size matches. It's the part that holds the swinging latch.

Sculpting Montrals:
You may notice something different between these two photos:

That green support.... yeah. that'll be because there was about 7.5kg of clay and other support (to reduce the weight of the clay by about 3kg). The pole just popped right through the forehead there... The green tube still dug into the wig head but compared to the head falling through the pole to the floor I think it was a better option.....

Montral molding:

So I hate plaster molding. I really do. Ultracal at least gels and is easier to work with which is great Smile And I have to admit this was actually a lot easier than molding my Asari tentacles as there are fewer fine pointy bits to the mold to break off... It still worried me as there is some shrinkage which as a negative mold means risk of cracking. And this sucker is heavy so it is going to die at some stage just from its own weight. And I have not seen the state of the mold for the last few weeks so i may have to check on it in the morning....
Note the smooth smooth back of the head mold. Sigh. So pretty and clearly was the first part i did when you see the finger grooves of the front.
It's about 15kg of mold so... moving right along.....

Latex casting:

So yeah just to show how big that mold is. Hello little teeny tiny 40L container how ya doin' there?
Three luggage straps to hold it all together and incidentally provide a handy handy to shuffle it across the floor. it's times like these it is good to have a carpeted floor or I would have said goodbye months ago to the mold. it is too heavy to move so it was slowly rolled on the floor to "slush" cast. Not much slushing or sloshing going on!
But it did build up a nice 5mm layer eventually. I think it took a week to get the latex in and then a month to cure. I would need to check time stamps on my photos... The montral tips are naturally the thickest as the latex hunga round there most and also took the longest to cure.

The lekku (or lekky and butterfly butt as the back tentacle became affectionately known) were made as postive molds and the latex painted over the top. I got nice texture from adding paint to thicken the latex and so brush strokes were used to advantage. Again it took a week to get the latex on each piece so took two weeks as I used one mold for both lekku.
Butterfly butt got so named as I realised the shape reminded me of the body of the puriri moth. I got to see one in person and dispose of it after my cat as a kitten brought one home. they are a tad freaky in size and squish factor... So butterfly butt it is and forever shall be.

Goober photos because I could not believe that it worked. And worked so well. Thus why I am wearing coveralls, goofy expression and an untrimmed headpiece.

The lekku (and butterfly butt) were glued to the head with... Shoe Goo! That wonderful super strong but oh so flexible stinky glue. I had trouble once when i decided to cut the tentacles off and reposition them so that the backward bend wouldn't create such deep folds. This was on one of the most humid days of the year and so the glue would not tack. Luckily a fan heater sans heat helped a lot. I have kept the record of that day closed to but a few for a few blue phrases. Or hints of blue phrases.

The montrals are held with foam tubes and fabric and EVA foam all Shoe Gooed into place. The lekku, and butterfly butt, were filled with the stuff used in cuddle buddies and a few pellets. The butterfly butt also has a width of EVA foam from Para Rubber to help keep the oval shape.
The super fine polystyrene filler is kept in place with a width of fabric at the top of each lekku and butterfly butt glued in place with... Shoe Goo. Seriously that stuff is always in my kit. Best glue ever!

I also cleaned the seams and filled them with a mix of cabosil and PA. It really works and I was able to drag a brush through to get a similar texture as I had worked into the sculpt.

Painting montrals and lekku:

Some of the colours. Actually the blue was for Samara but got into the photo as "hey look paint for everything!" Wink
All acrylic art paint so far. Mediums and additives not yet sorted.

First paint run woo! looks pretty but... the flow medium that worked so well on my Samara headpiece did not work for this at all. So all that paint started to flake and peel as paint is wont to do on latex. It was annoying but the fastest way to remove it deliberately was to fill a 40L roller container with warm water and soak the head piece in that to soften the paint to be washed off by hand.

So then I went back to mixing latex and paint and it worked. But naturally left a tacky surface that needed to be powdered. Layers upon layers upon layers:

And then I decided to really test the airbrush after all. Having used it on the fabric components as a test. Naturally this has not held up so well as the latex/paint mix but it lasted long enough and only comes off with cleaner. Next step will be to get some Latona's or similar Smile this was acrylic ink with IA.
The brown tinted black is very different to the blue tinted grey latex/paint mix but adds to the dimention and worn feeling of the original. I wound up though with colouring closer to the movie than game. partly because I knew the pale grey could look washed out in photo from the event. it's also why I really gave the entire piece a wash with the translucent black colour- it would have looked stark white in photos. It's now a dull grey with nearly black markings and it reads much better.

body paint:
PAX. True PAX with a little Liquiset to kept it a little easier to schmear. It took four hours to hand paint. I actually started the night before- powdered and slept in my robes though it really didn't get anywhere- and resumed early the next morning. Working in a mirror is not so easy. I had help with the back but still managed to do most of that by myself (to rephrase Phoebe from friends- I'm very bendy- true- was almost able to paint between my shoulder blades Wink ).
I forgot to pick up powder so used up a whole powder foundation to detack it all!
The white is also PAX but again as I knew how the white will read I got the liquiset and black eyeshadow and made sure to give myself sockets around the eyes Wink I got a better result the next weekend as Shaak Leia but this was still new Smile
There is a bald cap, as above the head piece is designed to sit between 1/2 and 1 inch behind my hairline. I used PA and cabosil to blend as much as I could. Stipple stipple, trowel trowel, stipple, swear, stipple, blow dry...
The weight of the headpice an the PAX on the bald cap hold it in place. Then the head jewellery is glued on (PA again) to hide the edge of the headpiece. I would have made the front edge thinner like my Samara/Asari but the size of the piece and how thick it had to be all over along with the weight of the mold made that just too much more work. I may though sand back the ridge to be less noticeable.

Oh yes. The other reason for the paint to get onto and into my lightsaber. I had some IM with me to make removing the PAX easier. I forgot that one drop will actually break down PAX from a whole brush and that being oily it was liable to transfer easily as well. So I cleaned my hands with it to redo them before I left for the event but was not able to remove all the residue. And it meant any PAX on my hands after did not cure properly.
For the second wearing I purchased PAX remover which is a more astringent remover and did not use it until well after I was done. So did not have the paint transfer issue.

I also find that IM makes PAX really sticky and was worried about leaving paint in the bathroom of the hotel so I wound up just using really hot water and soap instead, it took ten piping hot showers over three days to get 98% of it off. I still have some on my toenails....

I am mildly claustrophobic- controlled easily but it is there, hooray for caving misadventures on high school camps!- so I found being covered in PAX extremely uncomfortable. Not physically but in a creepy unsettling way. Now that I know and that IM is my friend if I have enough and a bathroom I don't mind getting messy it might not be so bad....

I may have a led for a paint alternative but unless I can find a light portable compressor for my airbrush (and a wider spray tip) it may not happen.

Last edited by neimhaille () on Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:37 am; edited 4 times in total
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jungilizt (Eddie)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
Jedi use their powers to defend and to protect.
Jedi respect all life, in any form.
Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.
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Ky-Wan Zann ()
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks incredible
'Just because I don't like to fight. Doesn't mean I can't'
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jedimika ()
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I know it must be a lot of trouble but you should wear that every chance you get!
Great job!
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Jek Danson (Michael Knight)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!! Great job!

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Cyrus (Hoyt Dingus)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXCELLENT WORK!!!! looks amazing
"Anakin, this path has been placed before you. The choice is yours alone."
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Anakin Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woaw! That's just incredibles! awe inspirering work!

"All who gain power are afraid to lose it."
"The whole thing stank, but our noses had been out in the cold for too long..."
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Bespin Phillips (Bren Phillips)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaw droppingly amazing. best Shaak Ti I've seen so far
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Master Jevaho (Jeffrey Van Hove)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy moly! Very nice costume!

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miralys51 (Jackie)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the debut. It looks wonderful!
"Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi." - The Men Who Stare at Goats
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Jolee Bindo (Lothar Werner)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW.....great work...very, very nice costume Thumbs up
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JediMasterMark (Mark Jones)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks fantastic!!! Very well done.

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Jello (Tony)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shiny!! Well done! Surprised

Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's some amazing work! Very nicely done indeed, you should be very proud of it. Smile

If they ever do a live action version of The Force Unleached, Lucas definitely needs to call you for the part of Shaak Ti. Razz
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Magnius ()
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


amazingly done
Tell my tale to those who ask, tell it truly, the evil deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly.......... the rest is silence
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