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How short can you be and still get away with lifts?
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: How short can you be and still get away with lifts? Reply with quote

I'm 5'10" and am doing some research before I start building. I would really like to stay away from stilts because I want to be able to squat down for pictures and such.

My question is, has anyone as short as me made lifts tall enough to get you to the 7 ft mark that are still stable enough for trooping? If so, were you able to squat down very low in them?

I want to stick as close to the 7'-7' 4" range as possible because I don't want to look too out of proportion.
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Lumpy (Chris Blackstock)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well - I'm 5'11 1/2" and you saw me at the Indians game.
The biggest thing is to get the bottoms of the feet flat and even so you don't get wobbley and start rolling your ankle.
It CAN be done.
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much height does your lifts give you? I thought you were a little taller than that.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine are about 10", plus then you get another 3" or so from the mask (usually).
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SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do go for the 7 foot 7 range, you may need to address the small arems issue a bit. Other wookiees have loaded up with more hair down the arms... I believe this has been done well by a few of our other wookiees. I have not added as much in the arms as I should, but I am 6 foot 3 though.
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know. That is why I want to go no higher than 7'4". I was planning on using the long hair on the arms to help the illusion. I figure if I go with the Skywalker stilts on the lowest setting I would be between 7'2" and 7'4" but interaction with kids would be cut down a bit. I just don't know if I could get away with doing lifts.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's important to understand that any "height enhancing footwear" be it lifts or platforms or stilts or any combination thereof will be a trade off of some kind.

With stilts you get a lot of height and a huge stride due to the increased length of your leg. The downside is that your mobility is restricted. Although the ankles move on all drywall stilts, the toes do not and the ankle doesn't roll so you will always move like a guy on stilts no matter how good you get. It's especially noticeable when you want to talk to little kids and when you change directions when walking. You also have the proportion issue to deal with and the tree trunks for legs issue.
All of these issues have solutions that greatly minimize the problems. Marty Miller, aka WookieeWannabe has probably done the best job of minimizing these issues (and probably has the best Wookiee on the planet right now). I would take a look at some of the pics of his suit. Marty is 6" naturally and I don't know how big his stilts are.


Doing it with a combination of platforms and lifts has the advantage of greater mobility, little to no problems with proportion, and no tree trunk leg issue. The downside is that you are limited to how much you can increase your height. 7" - 10" is about as far as you can really go. The taller your lifts are the more they will increase in overall size, so you'll end up with "bigfoot syndrome."
You can minimize this by building them like high heels so that the toes are closer to the ground, and of course the taller you are the more height you can get away with. Take a look at Zaxmon's Chewie. He's 6'6" and uses 7" KISS boots.


I'm 6'4" and my current suit uses 14" drywall stilts. I am very good at walking on the stilts. I can go up and down stairs, jump, walk down a rough southern street without worrying about where I am going, and have even been completely wasted in the costume, all without falling or even coming close.
I'm building a new suit and have decided to go with the platform + lift method. I plan to use a set of 5" platform boots and remove the platform and mount some sandals to them. This will help make the toes even lower profile (due to removing the bump caused by the boot toe) and make them more comfortable during the hot summer months. I'm also going to get some 4" shoe lift inserts that have a thick heal.
This should add 9" - 10" of height but be fairly low profile. I'll lose 4" to 5" but this is an acceptable trade off in my eyes. The reason I am switching is because of the mobility issues. I've seen videos of myself moving around and seen other stilt Wookiees moving around and I want to be able to capture Chewie's body language and I can't do that in the stilts. I also feel like the vintage Kenner action figures when I try to interact with little kids.

We'll see how I feel about these issues in another couple of years. Maybe I'll go back to stilts at some point. Who knows.
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came across Dougie Fett's latest build:

http://www.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30740

He is about my height and has created what kinda looks like a lift/stilt hybrid. I may go this route. He used a plastic paint can and I'm trying to find one of these around here. No luck so far but I just started.

I also saw a Tarfful build over on the rpf where a guy is using modded high steppers. Another option i need to look into.

Edit: Here is that other thread.

http://www.therpf.com/f24/gone-wookie-torments-tarfful-90453/index3.html

Edit again....just realized Torment has a build thread here too...
http://www.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25019


Last edited by Feezle () on Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anybody attempted to use thick walled pvc as the base of their lifts? I imagine it would be similar to the paint can that Dougie Fett used except I can cut it to size. I could even put two smaller pieces together side by side to give me more stability. Build up around it with foam and duct tape to get the shape. Think that would work?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Custom Stilts Reply with quote

Feezle wrote:
Has anybody attempted to use thick walled pvc as the base of their lifts? I imagine it would be similar to the paint can that Dougie Fett used except I can cut it to size. I could even put two smaller pieces together side by side to give me more stability. Build up around it with foam and duct tape to get the shape. Think that would work?



Hey there. I'm still in the building process, but here's a shot of the stilts that I made using PVC and ABS plastic.



The rear pipe is 4" in diameter. The front is 2" in diameter. There is also a 2" diameter pipe inside the 4", so my heal is supported adequately. They measure 12" tall. I will end up using a larger support/strap for around my leg. This way I can attach padding and bring a false knee up to it's proper looking place once the pants are on. I'll share more pics as I get closer.
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Feezle ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very similar to what I was thinking but I didn't think about splitting the one in the back. I was going to use foam and duct tape to make the feet one solid piece(much like a lot of the other lifts I have seen people make) and attach shoes to the top of them. The PVC would just be used to stabilize and build around.

I'm very interested to see how yours turn out. How do you have the ABS attached?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very clever with the PVC cutting, however I would be concerned about the structural support of the calf areas. Does it feel stable when you walk?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feezle wrote:
That is very similar to what I was thinking but I didn't think about splitting the one in the back. I was going to use foam and duct tape to make the feet one solid piece(much like a lot of the other lifts I have seen people make) and attach shoes to the top of them. The PVC would just be used to stabilize and build around.

I'm very interested to see how yours turn out. How do you have the ABS attached?


I used devcon plastic welder to glue all the pieces together. For the base of the foot, I first took a rubber mat (car mat) and cut out the shape. Then I took a work out pad (1/2" foam rubber) and cut the same shape. The stilt attaches to the foam pad. I built up a foam foot that is cut out around the stilt. I'll post pictures of that when I get home tonight.

You definitely need something up around your shins for support.
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nierfherder (Shad Thomas)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoloYT1300 wrote:
Very clever with the PVC cutting, however I would be concerned about the structural support of the calf areas. Does it feel stable when you walk?


It does actually. I will be adding more support in the front of the calf (shin area) though. I put a nice pad between the pvc and my legs. The shin piece will be not unlike a soccer shin guard. This way I should have adequate stability.

In hindsight, I would have made the pieces come up the back of my leg just a few more inches. But this will suffice.

It feels much better when walking on a pad, rather than the abs plastic by itself. For this reason, I added a 1/2" pad between the rubber sole of the foot and the base of the stilt.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be really curious to see videos of these various custom stilts in action. A video comparing all the different options (Skywalker Stilts, rectangular drywall stilts, foam platforms, platforms+lifts, and custom made stilts) would be pretty cool/useful for future Wooks.

Maybe we'll do this at CVI.
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