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Imperial Knight Build Thread (Now with photos!!!)

 
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:50 am    Post subject: Imperial Knight Build Thread (Now with photos!!!) Reply with quote

Hey, everyone,

I'm getting ready to start my Imperial Knight in earnest and I figured I'd put up a build thread for it. Now, I have no ability whatsoever with armor forming or fiberglass casting, so I did just pull the trigger on what looks like a GORGEOUS suit of armor. It should arrive sometime around mid-February. I want to have this costume done and approved for trooping so I can wear it with the Indiana contingent at Gen Con this year.

Also, in February I will be starting on the undersuit; I'm really looking forward to putting it together. I have a ribbed clonetrooper undersuit but it's not leather-like material so it won't pass muster, and it doesn't have the 8-panel tabard skirt.

The belt will come from the same place as the armor. I'll be ordering that in a few weeks.

I've built a saber, which you can see here, but I am planning to at least replace the electronics and clean up the shroud, if not do a whole new Mk II version for myself.

The boots, surprisingly, will be something of a challenge. I love my Jedi boots, but as they have a faux reptile cuff at top they won't pass muster for the unadorned IK boots, and brown boots aren't cheap. I have black ones that'll suffice, but I'd much rather have the chocolate brown ones.

I have not decided if I'll do a face character or a generic knight. Of the face characters I think the only one I could pull off is Antares Draco, and everyone does him, plus I'd have to shave. There is a new Imperial Knight in the upcoming vol. 2 series named Yalta Val, who I could probably pull off.

Anyway, I'll post updates here as I work on the costume and I'll put a thread up in the Jedi forum when I start the build. Can't wait!
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)


Last edited by Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey) on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pulled out the old Dremel and did a bit of work on my saber hilt today.

When my buddy and I first did it, we were a little sloppy with the window cuts, so they came out pretty uneven. I wanted to try and straighten them out as much as I could--I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Here's the front view:



From the left: Unfortunately I slipped with the grinder Sad. But I guess a little "battle damage" gives the hilt some character.



And the right view:



And finally, here she is all lit up:


_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)


Last edited by Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey) on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here's the armor and belt I have on order. They should be delivered within the month or so...





I'll need to do something about the cogs on the armor, as they should technically be silver and black, rather than red and black.

Then I just need to make the undersuit and tabard skirt.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Jaren Valnor (Ryan Miorelli)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who's the armor maker?
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered it off of ebay. Seller was nexus_enterprising:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Imperial-Knight-Deluxe-Armor-Prop-Star-Wars-Collectors-Cosplay-Regular-Size-/170957735334?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27cde005a6
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The armor and belt arrived today.

The armor looks fabulous, and goes together very easily. The only problem is, there are two small pieces missing--the two abdominal pieces that go above and hang below the belt. I have e-mailed Nexus Enterprising about this issue and hopefully they'll make it right fast.

The belt, on the other hand, is rather cheaply made. With a minor alteration to add a full third layer, it'll pass muster till I can save up to obtain or make a better one. It's a fairly simple design, so I'm tempted to try it myself.

So far overall, while I can't give Nexus a glowing review I can't give them a bad one, either. The armor took a full 11 weeks to get here. Now it was an international shipment, but the estimate was 6-8 weeks. However, Nexus was good with communications.

Now about the Starfortress productions issue: I don't know if Nexus is an alias for, or directly involved with SF, or are a non-affiliated reseller, but the armor looks identical so it's safe to assume that it came from SF at some point. So those of you wary about doing business with SF might want to avoid these guys. I didn't know about SF when I ordered, though I've read recently that Thomas Scheuer is no longer affiliated with the company, which makes me feel a little better. I felt sick when I found out all too late.

I'm inclined to believe that Nexus Enterprises is not the *exact* same company, as their ebay store content differs greatly from the Star Fortress website, and based on their communications and the tracking info, while this armor did originate from Singapore, it went to New Jersey where it was repackaged and sent to me.

Anyway, they also seem to be pretty much the only game in town for IK armor, so since I've already bought the stuff I'm going to hold onto the idea that Thomas Scheuer doesn't work with them anymore.


So, now, onto what I'm going to do for the undersuit and 8-panel tabards. For the undersuit I have some information on giving a leather-like quality to fabric, so I may attempt that with my clonetrooper undersuit and see how it works out. I'll just attempt it on a small patch; that way if it doesn't work maybe I can sell the undersuit and recoup some expenses.

Failing that I'm going to get some vinyl and sew it onto a turtleneck, then do the quilting per a tutorial I found here:

http://www.405th.com/forum/armor-uniform-and-prop-making/creation-discussion/undersuit-and-soft-armor/35632-custom-made-leather-undersuit-darth-vader?s=f11838b267c7756baf327dd3bf24692b

For the tunic, I had a brainstorm. My brother-in-law is a leatherworker and he's been experimenting lately with turning second hand leather jackets into ren faire tunics. Well it occurred to me I could do the same for the tabards. I've put in a bid on a black ladies used leather long coat which actually has eight seams from the waist to the hem. My intent is to remove the lining from the coat, remove the sleeves, then remove the seams from the skirt area, creating the eight-panel tabards, then re-finish them by sewing under. This will create, instead of a skirt that I have to worry about fastening, a sleeveless tunic with a tabard skirt that I can wear under the armor and over the body suit. It's actually very "knight like" in form, and I think it'll work well.

I hesitate to post photos until I have the final pieces of the armor in. I'm hoping Nexus follows through; otherwise I'm going to have to cut up the old Sith Planet half-suit I've got here to make the missing pieces, which will negate me being able to sell it to someone with the skill to finish it proper.

In any case, it's exciting progress!
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)


Last edited by Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey) on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the armor fits very well, but limits mobility moving my arms across the chest. I suppose that's something many armor-clad troopers have to deal with, though.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh.

So this afternoon I was looking over the costume standards again for the IK and was frustrated BEYOND BELIEF to note that we have to have a backplate UNDER the cape where nobody will ever see it, as well as a backplate that caps the cape.

Yes, I know, that's supposedly the way it is in the comics and we have to be exacting. It's still frustrating. I do sometimes find how exacting our standards are for comics characters, whose appearance can change from frame to frame, to be jaw-clenching at times. But it is what it is. I was just telling someone else earlier today that there's a reason I'm not a costume judge (and never will be)--were it up to me, clonetrooper undersuits made from cloth rather than leather would also be acceptable. Anyway, sorry, just a bit of frustration venting. Apologies. Ben

In any case, given that I have absolutely no skill whatsoever in armor making and have been tracking down my suit of IK armor for about 3-4 years, I was just about to throw in the towel on this and just keep my suit for fun.

Then I remembered that some of the beginner Mandos use a technique for crafting armor out of those $10 trash cans you can get at Wal*Mart. So I did some digging, and sure enough, I found a template for a basic back plate that can easily be modified to work with a suit of IK armor. So in case anyone is stumped on the back plate, this should help.

Here's the basic tutorial:
http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/f25/trash-can-armor-pics-6290/

Here are the templates:
http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/f25/updated-printable-armor-templates-various-sizes-7825/

I'm going to give this a shot on payday and see if I can make it work. From what I read after you get the templates cut, you can use heat guns (even a hairdryer) or boiling water to further bend and shape the stuff. Then it's just a matter of making sure I get it colored close enough to the rest of my armor so it looks good.

Wish me luck.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I seem to have found a means to acquire a back plate, so that's good. I also have a scheme for making the tabard tunic. When I get the pieces together I'll post a WIP. Fingers crossed!
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started work on the tunic yesterday - photos coming soon!
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, as promised, here are the tunic photos. Please remember, this is still SEVERELY A WIP and is not really even half-done yet.

So first things first:

This is the design I'm working on--it was a reference photo drawn by Jan Duursema, who created the Imperial Knights for Star Wars: Legacy:



I was thinking about how to best accomplish this, when I recalled an idea my brother-in-law, who is something of a leatherworker, had for creating renaissance faire doublets by using old leather jackets and removing the sleeves and hardware. I thought if that could work for a ren faire doublet, why not for an Imperial Knight tunic, if I could find the right coat to start with.

Then I stumbled across this on ebay:







In the last photo if you look closely you will note that the seams for the skirted part of the coat, from the waist down, do indeed form eight panels.

The first thing I wanted to do was give myself a little more room inside, and make it a bit thinner, so it wouldn't be as heavy or hot (or take up as much bulk under the armor. So I removed the lining:



That's just a shot after the first rough tear-out. I did a lot of clean-up work to trim down the leftovers and clean up frayed fabric and threads, which I saved you the boredom of viewing step by step. There were shoulder pads in the coat; ripping them out gave me quite a bit more room across the back.

I quickly learned that the lining was actually doubled over and part of the same seam that finished the leather, so a thin line of it had to be left; I trimmed down as close to the seam as I could. Some fabric paint at the end of the build will hide the "gold."

I also left the pockets in for now--they will be hidden under the armor and belt and it could just come in handy having them. Their interior is made of the same fabric as the lining; it, too, will be colored black with fabric paint to hide it. If the pockets turn out to be too visible or a nuisance, I can always cover them up later.

The next step was to turn the normal skirted part into a tabard skirt. This, at least at the outset, is as simple as cutting up the seams that hold the skirt sections as one. Like so:



My plan next is to cut away the two side panels on either side, and move them up and in so that they are shorter than the front and back panels and overlap just ever so slightly, as the design photo shows. I have not decided whether I'll sew them in or use an industrial strength leather cement. I will likely go with the latter, as it won't leave a visible seam on the outside of the tunic.

Now, onto the neck seal. Step one was to cut away the collar from the lapels. This accomplished two things: one, it gives me a basis for the neck seal, and two, it allows the lapels to close flush. Here's what the cutaway looks like:



You'll note the angled edges, which yes, leave a visible window in the front. My plan is to use some of the extra leather from the side tunics to create additional shapes around the front so that it's square. I haven't begun this just yet, so I can't explain exactly how it'll look. Think of it as a sort of integrated Dickie.

I need to hit JoAnn fabrics this weekend for some supplies. I'm debating between a hook and eye closure or velcro for the neck seal. Since it'll need to close in front, I'll have to be very careful how I line it up so that it looks seamless.

Yes, I know I'll also have to fix that open seam at the bottom of the collar Wink

Here's how the front looks, closed:



Originally I thought I might use a zipper closure, but now I'm leaning towards velcro, as it'll allow me to fold over the closure and thus hide all but one of the button holes (and that one should be concealed by the belt and/or the fabric that will connect my abdominal and groin plates.

So that's where I am tonight with the soft parts. Once I shorten the side tabards, finish the design on the neck seal, and install the velcro closure on the front, all I should have to do is the quilt-stitching up the sleeves and neck seal.

There is a chance that the stitching on the sleeves won't look quite right. I'm hoping that's not the case, but as a last resort I can replace the sleeves on the coat with these:



That's more of a thin vinyl and may not match the look of the rest of the tunic, so it's a real last resort for me.

Anyway, that's where I stand on the soft parts. Here's the armor:



The vendor accidentally shipped it without the abdominal and groin plates. I'm waiting on them to arrive separately. I am also having a back plate made for under the cape. The trick there will be matching the color of the existing armor, but I am optimistic that I can pull it off.

Unfortunately, the belt that came with the armor was incredibly cheap looking. So I also picked this up:





I'm waiting on delivery of that as well.

This suit is coming together very nicely. I can't wait to get it done!
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my back plate this weekend, as well as the belt last week. The belt is about 55" long so will have to be modified. My brother in law seems to think it should be easy enough to accomplish.

I'm still waiting on the abdomen and groin plates and am starting to suspect the seller is going to screw me over. Fortunately, I've another source for those parts if necessary. The biggest trick will be matching the finish on the back plate to the finish on the rest of the armor, but I'm confident I can get close enough if not perfectly exact. I'm thinking a trip to Advance Auto Parts with a piece of the armor should yield results. Money is tight at the moment so that will have to wait a week or three to accomplish.

I've replaced the black sticker cogs with silver and black embroidered patches, which look great.

The tunic is coming along, but is requiring a lot of exhaustive work to put together.

My scheme for the neck seal has proven more difficult than anticipated. After bending two leather needles going through multiple layers, my brother in law advised that I punch holes first, which will not only help with that problem but enable me to get straighter seams. So that's the next plan. If that fails I'm going to remove the collar altogether and make the neck seal a separate piece like a dickie.

I will try to get some more photos posted this week.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks, if anyone is interested in my progress, I'm keeping an updated thread in the Jedi forums here:

http://www.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=46877

Seems there's been a lot of views here, but not too many comments, so I figured just keep it up in one place rather than two.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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Sugar Jedi (Jason Vey)
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 669
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, if anyone's interested I put up some new photos in the other thread, final test fitting photos.
_________________

"A Jedi knight!? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone gets delusions of grandeur!"
The Sugar Jedi formerly known as The Grey Elf
KJO (Blumfruit Temple)
Echo Base (Western PA)
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