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B-Wing Pilot Outfit & Helmet V2 (Lots of Images)
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also much lighter and a little more comfortable to wear. Though it's still painful to take off. Don't think there's much I can do about that, heh. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very very impressive work!
I admire your view for details...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice my friend. Glad to see you added the visor. Are you looking for a certain belt box? Do you know the one you need or are you just looking for something similar?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phenomenal work!
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. Smile

dirty tusken wrote:
Very nice my friend. Glad to see you added the visor. Are you looking for a certain belt box? Do you know the one you need or are you just looking for something similar?

I had to add the visor. It just looks so much cooler. Laughing
In the future I'm planning to make two more helmets: one with the green-yellow/clear visor and one without a visor. I've got the rubber molds, the resin and the fiberglass, so why not?

Actually, I've got pretty much everything I need for the "belt box"except for a smaller box that glues onto the front. I don't know exactly what was used for the belt box in RotJ but I've found some parts that should look pretty close once put together.
The last thing I need is a 2" x 2" black plastic box with a grain finish to put on the front of the larger box. The grain finish probably isn't entirely needed but the large box I have (which is a project box) has a grain finish to it, so I figured the 2" x 2" box would be good to have it as well so it would match.
But so far I can't find any 2" x 2" (or even 2" x 2 1/2" inch) black plastic box, let alone one with a grain finish. Never thought it would be so hard to find one. It doesn't seem like that absurd of a thing...

The closest thing I've found so far is an enclosure that's 1.97" x 1.38" x 0.8", and that does have a grain finish. The 1.97" is probably close enough, though I wish the other dimension would have been closer than 1.38". And I'm not sure about the thickness, either... it seems pretty thin at 0.8"...

I'm actually using this for the largest part of the "belt box". It's not perfect but judging by the references I've seen it's pretty close. Close enough. I just can't find the smaller box for it.
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've finally finished "version two" of the outfit. Version three will have a new flak vest, a more accurately sized chestbox, and I'm thinking of making a new pair of gaiters out of vinyl (which looks to be what was used in RotJ). I also need to shorten up the belt... now that I've lost weight the belt is too big for me. Heh.

But for version two I've made a new helmet, which I've already shown, revised the belt and ejection harness, revised my old flak vest (resized it), made new greeblies for the flak vest, made a new hose cover after the first one was ruined, and made a new "belt box". There's also the custom blaster and holster I whipped up.

I made one of the flak vest greeblies from scratch, and the other is an accurate (and real) Bendix connector (I think it's a bulkhead plug or something like that). From what I can tell this connector is screen accurate. Though it's hard to see in the picture, the resin-cast connector does have threading around the outside.
I made rubber molds of both and was able to make resin copies of them.
The greeblie I made by hand is as close as I could make. Unfortunately, only half of the greeblie is visible in any clear references, the other half is covered up by Ten/Nien's hose, so the hidden half I made to look like the greeblie shown in the action figure artwork for the Keyan Farlander action figure (the figure set, not the individual figure).
Here's how they looked after being cast in resin..

And here they are painted and weathered....




The black rectangular parts on the greeblie that looks like a computer piece, I wrote on them (as those pieces usually have model numbers on them). I wrote on them to make them look a bit more "real". One's model number is "THX1138", and the other is "RX782" (I'll see if anyone can figure out where the latter comes from Razz).

One thing I didn't notice before is that there are actually two sets of greeblies worn by Ten Numb in the pre-production pictures. If you look on the left side (the greeblie under the hose) in this picture you'll see that it's different from the one in this picture. The greeblie I made is the one from the latter picture, though I'm planning to make the other one as well. These are much easier to see in the "Star Wars Character Encyclopedia" book here and here.

The new "belt box" was made out of two project boxes, an electronic cable and its fitting plug, and a computer connector. The white mark on the side was just painted on (I couldn't get a water-slide decal to stick, and it was hard to cut it perfectly anyway). I added another plug, which I cast in resin, at the top so the cable from my helmet could "plug" into it. In V3 of my outfit I'm thinking of leaving that plug, as well as the cord, off of the piece.
I'm also thinking of making an A-wing pilot "belt box" for the heck of it-- which the only difference I can see is that there's a red mark on the side instead of white.





And here it is together...










And another thing I made...
What Star Wars fan doesn't want their own action figure? Seeing as it's probably going to be quite some time before Hasbro decides to make an "Alex Buirch"/"Alejander Bui'loch" action figure, I decided to make one myself. At least to the best of my (limited) abilities.















Yeah, I know, B-wing pilots don't have a commpad or code cylinders (for some reason). Call me crazy, but I like the looks of 'em, so I have 'em with my outfit. In V3 I'm going to try to make it so I can take the commpad out without it being so noticeable when I want to. Right now it's attached with Velcro, so if the commpad is out, there's a big spot of Velcro visible. Next time I'm going to try to hide it better.

I'm working on whipping up a white backdrop to take pictures in front of. No more taking cluttered pictures (hopefully)!
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Last edited by Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch) on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also made a couple interesting discoveries. At least I think that they're interesting, anyway.

First is that I didn't think that any of the human B-wing pilots in RotJ had a "belt box", but after watching the Blu-ray (again) I noticed that, in the hangar scene that follows the briefing room, there's a B-wing pilot who passes by the screen, and if you look closely at his belt, you can see that he has a "belt box".
It's hard to see in this picture because I took a picture of it with a digital camera while the movie was playing on my television, but you can still see the outline of the box on his belt. He may also have greeblies on his flak vest, because there seems to be some sort of silvery aura below his chestox, but I can't tell for certain.


...He also seems to be wearing an A-wing pilot helmet. Laughing

The other thing I noticed is that I may have finally figured out what the square shape is on the front of the straps for the A-wing, B-wing, Y-wing, and gunner gaiters. You can tell that there's something there, but I've never been able to figure out what. After giving the RotJ deleted scenes another look, it finally dawned on me... I think the squares are just stitching. It could either be for looks or to keep the straps in place, but if it's just stitching in square shape, it would explain why you can clearly see "something" there, but it's the color of the straps.
It also looks to me like the gaiters may have been made out of vinyl, or a similar material. I found some vinyl at a local fabric store that's nearly the same color and texture, and I'm thinking of making a pair of gaiters from that and see how they turn out.
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Last edited by Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch) on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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HazardThree (Jon Paulson)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vest is looking much better Alex!
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Smile

For some reason it still seems like it's a little big, but it fits a 9x9 square (chestbox) perfectly, so I'm thinking that it just naturally looks big. It may also help once I have a more accurately sized chestbox. It may even help when I make it out of the felt material I picked up.
I gave up on making the vest out of underlayment. I've had a hard time finding it in the appropriate color (I often find a spongy green or a light gray with a rainbow of "specks"), and it's too expensive anyway. Not to mention that what am I going to do with 100 feet of the stuff?

I think the felt I picked up is as close as I'm going to get without it being too expensive.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just perfect bro! great details, a very sharp build! Awing
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Smile

Oops, forgot to post the pictures of me brandishing Alex Junior. Edited. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I need to pay more attention to what goes on around here. Your outfit is looking great, Alex! I can see I've got some catching up to do -- the helmet visor, microphone and wires, the vest greeblies, the belt box. Outstanding!
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Smile

I'm thinking of offering the flak vest greeblies for sale pretty soon. Some of them-- well, mostly just the Bendix connector-- can be used for other Star Wars props as well. I'm debating if I should offer to sell the "belt box" (I have no idea what else to call it) as well, though it's not too difficult to put together yourself. I guess selling them could be more of a convenience thing if there's interest.
The one I have right now, with the cord, is probably better suited for a Rebel Fleet Controller, but I just wanted to see how it would look with a pilot outfit. I can always make another.

At some point I'm hoping to offer all of the greeblies for sale-- helmet, chestbox, and so on. But I'm just not sure of what size they need to be without having better measurements of the real helmet and chestbox. But I'm not sure what's going on with the person who was going to be selling the helmet and chestbox on the RPF, so I may have to take a guess at them. Though there's probably not much point in offering them if there is no chestbox or helmet to attach them to. . Laughing

I'll probably start working on a new chestbox this weekend, and I'm thinking of playing around to see if I can make any resin copies of it, and how difficult it would be to do so. Though it should be much easier than the helmet.
But if it seems feasible to do it, I may also offer the chestbox. But that wouldn't be for a while.

I was hoping to just get a chestbox from the guy on the RPF... But Celebration VI is drawing closer, and I don't want to run out of time...
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I think I've finally found some decent material for the new flak vest. I've looked, and looked, and looked and I think that this is as good as I'm going to get.

I went over to a fabric store this past Saturday that I hadn't been to before-- it's this huge fabric store, and they even have a flooring department to boot. I went there and searched high-and-low through the place. I looked through every section there, wools, and even the flooring section. I couldn't find anything, and even in the flooring section, though they did have underlayment, there was nothing I could use, just the same stuff I've seen before: either spongy green, light gray, or it had rubber on the back (and was still light gray).
And then I went into the felt section and something caught my eye. I found some material that is nearly the same as the other felt I bought before, but the pattern is a tiny bit different and the material is much thicker. While it's not underlayment, I think this has a pretty close look to it. Or at least as much as I'm going to get.



Here's an example of its thickness...


It's 1/4 inch thick if I remember correctly. It's dark gray and has white fibers (and round "specks"), and even has a very thin dusting of red-brown fibers here and there.

Judging by the picture here, as well as a few other references, I think that the thickness should be just about spot-on. In the references I don't see a seam going down the side as if there's two pieces of material sewn together, it looks like the flak vest was just cut out of one thick piece of material. With the felt I found I should be able to do just that.

Because it is felt the material isn't extremely strong, but to compensate for that I bought some interfacing to strengthen it up. I tried to find some that matches the color as closely as possible, but it'll be on the back of the vest so it shouldn't be seen, anyway. I thought that I (or the person who will be helping me sew this, to be exact) might put even a couple layers of the interfacing in some of the areas that get a lot of stress, such as where the side straps connect, and where the ejection harness is sewn onto. Hopefully that will keep the felt from stretching or tearing.

The only problem is, and I didn't think about it until I got home, that I have no idea how the heck I'm going to make ribbing with that material. It's so thick, the ribbing would be huge. One idea I had is that I might just make the flak vest from this thick felt, and sew the ribbing on separately and made from the thin felt I picked up before. The ribbing would just be a separate rectangular piece of material sewn onto the front of the flak vest. It's worth a shot, it's the only idea I have right now.
The thinner felt isn't exactly the same as the thick felt, but the color is almost exact, it's just the white fibers are a tiny bit different. But I don't think the difference will be enough to really be noticed on such a small area. I hope.

For an example of what I mean, here's a picture of the three materials together. The middle fabric is the thick felt that I just purchased on Saturday, the material in the top left is the thin felt I picked up a few weeks ago, and the material on the bottom right is the interfacing...


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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the box for the 1999 Power of the Force "Rebel Pilot" action figure set (I didn't even know I still had the thing), and I happened to look at the back, and I was surprised to see what a great picture of B-wing pilots it has. It's a picture that's been shown a thousand times before, but it's really clear on the box. Not sure why I never noticed it before.



A few observations...
-Keyan Farlander (the brown haired guy second from the left) is wearing the Nien Nunb/Ten Numb style chestbox. So at least there's proof that humans wore that chestbox, too.
-Keyan and the dark-skinned pilot next to him are holding B-wing pilot helmets. Great for size comparison! And I'm glad to see that the helmets really did make it into the final cut of the movie, even if we never see a decent shot of them.
-All of the pilots have greeblies on their flak vests. It's more clear on Keyan's flak vest, but it looks like the dark-skinned pilot and Palso Thern (the blonde pilot) have them as well. On the dark pilot and Palso the greeblies are very light and covered in shadow, but it looks like they're there...
-All of them have the "belt box", though Keyan has it worn on is right, and it's up-side down. No clue how it's staying in place like that. Laughing
-It doesn't look like there are any pockets on the coverall sleeves. Keyan may have a commpad pocket, but I'm not sure. 'Course, the picture isn't that clear, so maybe there are pockets.

I can't really see much of anything on the pilot with the cap, leaning over the railing. His arms cover up most of his flak vest and chestbox.

Anywho, I thought it was interesting. Not sure why I never noticed that picture on the box before...

P.S. Another thing I noticed. Kind of funny. The painting on the dark-skinned pilot's helmet looks strangely a lot like mine. Well, at least the helmet looks like it's been painted silver with blue around the "grill" on the side "domes". Cool
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