About Us Members Unit Listing Events Costuming Resources Forum Contact Us Trading Cards
 

Forum and Costume Controls

   FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups  medals.php?sid=38de3986c7c372abfebfcb51342741d7Medals   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in

       
REMINDER: Do not change your e-mail address yourself. Please read this first for why.

Chewbacca build chronicle
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Rebel Legion Forum Index -> Costume and Prop Making -> Fringe -> Chewbacca and Other Wookiees
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:59 am    Post subject: Chewbacca build chronicle Reply with quote

I actually did chronicle my build but never got around to putting it up on these boards. But no time like the present!

To start off with, I’ll give credit where credit is due - the underskull and toes were made by Duck. Awesome work! Cyodarun, the woman with mad leather skills, made the bandolier and bag. And last, but most certainly not least, ScubaJedi helped me on some of the facial hairpunching. Thank you all!

I went the drywall stilt option. I elected to go with 14-inch fixed height drywall stilts (which are both lighter and cheaper than adjustable height stilts), and that puts me at an even 7 feet. The mask adds a few inches as well, so I top out at 7'3" when it is all said and done. The feet are made from insulation foam, which is very dense but also very light. I used 2 layers of 2" foam, cut it into interlocking pieces to go around the base of the stilt, and rough carved it to shape. This pic is a very rough carve, as I did not yet have the toes. After I got those, I was able to shape the foot to blend into them.



For the soles of the feet, I went to a surplus store and found what appears to be a rubber shock absorber pad for an industrial floor buffer. It was a very stiff rubber but thin, and thus lightweight, and I used that to support the foamboard.



Here's the shirt. This is a basic baseball shirt pattern I tailored to be more fitted and longer, made from aquatic mesh.



These are the pants. They are very long and are bell-bottomed to cover the stilts. I built in webbing suspenders on the top. I chose webbing because the weight of these pants is significant, and it would stretch out elastic too much, meaning I would have to replace the elastic periodically, which is not fun to do, especially when attaching to a mesh suit. I have one leg about half completed. The hairing of that much took about 30 hours.



Here's a closeup of the pants. To break up the brown, I put in little bits of grey throughout, which blend in nicely once it's worked in with the length of the hair. As it gets up past the knee, it became all grey. I attempted using a homemade hackle, but that experiment ended in disaster, so I opted for the hand-blending option.



A closeup of the latchhooking.



And this is the hair. In this pic, it wasn’t all straightened yet. The hair is a synthetic human hair called kanekalon, which comes out of the package rather frizzy. It has to be straightened with a hair dryer. My workroom looked (and still looks since I have some extra) like I went hunting for Cousin Its.



As you can see, this is very long hair. It comes in 48" lengths. To use it, I tied each side into a pigtail, then cut it in half, creating 24" lengths. When latchhooked, the final length on the mesh is 12".



This is not thinned at this point – that was done when the suit was finished, so in these pics, it’s very bulky, quite unnatural, and is basically a sheet of hair.

Here is a closeup of Cyodarun’s awesome bandolier bag. I couldn’t be happier.


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pants here are completely latchhooked, and just need to be thinned.



The shirt was about half done here - you can't see it in this pic, but it's up to the same point front and back. From those points, the back was slated to be completely grey, and the front was to have grey on the shoulders and front, with brown in the middle. The grey would extend about halfway down each arm, almost in the pattern of a half-sleeve shrug.



I put it on as a test fit and it looked like a cavewoman go-go dress – I wish I had a pic of that. The sleeves have elastic loops at the end that go over my middle fingers to keep the sleeves down even when I raise my arms in a wookiee tantrum.

I almost didn’t get the toes, thanks to the USPS that gave me a “final” notice on a Saturday after the post office closed and said they'd be shipped back, even though I'd never gotten a first, second, or any other notice. But I was able to retrieve them before they went back. They're tinted latex stuffed with polyfill.



The absolute best part of all is that they fit the feet I precarved perfectly, so all I had to do was a final sand of the foam and glue them on.


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mask! The face portion is tinted dragonskin (the minor defects in coloration are not a problem, as there will be almost total hair coverage). This is great, because I didn’t have to worry about painting it and then having the paint peel off.







One of the most interesting features of this mask is that when you open the mouth, the lips pull up to show the teeth and even snarl (although that's not in this pic).


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feet - finished. After the toes went on, I wrapped the feet entirely with black duct tape, scuffed the bottoms a bit for traction, and then covered them with hair.



Suit - needed serious thinning, so Julie's Wookiee Beauty Parlor was open for business.



However, the results were worth it. Unthinned on the left, thinned on the right. I took out an entire garbage bag's worth of hair, and could probably do more.



And here's the finished suit with feet and bag, all put together!



Now, onto the mask. This is the latch-hooked cowl attached to the back. This is the Wookiee Witch Doctor.



First came the padding of the mask. That took 3 days and I took it on and off so much, I actually scraped all the skin off my chin. I can't open the mask very much because of the pressure it puts on the bridge of the nose, so he can "talk", just not roar.

Then came the glueing of the hair to the underskull (this took about 2 days of work)



And then the hair punching. I cannot describe how tedious and time consuming this is. What you see here (and the beard goes to the same point and thickness on the other side) is 8 hours of work, 2 hours every night before I went to bed this week. It's going faster now, but this was honestly the worst part of this build.


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Details about thinning - I don’t have any pics of this, but basically you just take a section of hair, hold it out away from the mask, and use thinning shears (got those at Sally Beauty supply) held at roughly a 45 degree angle to the hair and take several cuts down the section to the end. It only cuts some of the hair with each cut, so it accomplishes 2 things - removing extra bulk and effectively erasing the shingle effect you get from putting in the hair in rows (most prominent in the latch hooked and glued sections).

Then, details about hair punching.

This was early in the punching.



Here's a closeup of that section. In the lower area that will later be covered by other hair, I used more strands and spread them out more.



In the areas that would be visible, around the lips, nose, and eyes, I punched one hair at a time.



Here are the tools. These are simply sewing needles (standard size) with the eyes cut open and sharpened to become little sharp forks. Then, you put them into an x-acto knife. I included a closeup of the needle eyes. I made 2, so ScubaJedi could help me.




To prep the hair, you take a hunk of hair and wrap it around your thumb. You then use the little tool to pull off as many strands as you want. In this section, I want 10" long hair, so I used 20" strands of hair. You put the middle of the strands over your thumb, so you catch it in the middle and when you punch it in - voila! 10" long hair strands



So you take a little bit of hair, depending on where it's going. Here in the rough area, this is about 12 strands. This area is mostly brown with the occasional strands of grey and black thrown in. Then you simply insert it into the dragonskin. You don't need glue - the dragonskin clings very tightly to the hair. While some may come out, unless it's in a critical area, like around the lips or eyes or such, it's not a big deal. Eventually the hairspray will lock it in for good.



And there it is - a new strand of Chewbacca hair.



Do that a few thousand times, and you get a wookiee mask!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally the wookiee was done. I had a goal of getting it done by Halloween last year, and I made it – by about 3 days. It took, all told, about 7 months of work.

So here are some "finished" pics:











Now Chewie will smuggle anything, so here, he's got some terrestrial vehicles that he's trying to unload.



But let's face it, smuggling doesn't always pan out. So Chewie does have another line of work to fall back on in these tough economic times - yard care.



And finally, the Halloween event.

Things started out so well. Chewie and Boushh (ScubaJedi finished her Boushh at around the same time, so we could do the Jabba’s palace bit), both often at odds with the law, arrived as friends, or at least, not as enemies. They even posed together.



But then, well, Chewie got into it with a stormtrooper. He doesn't like stormtroopers to begin with - that whole carbonite affair - and well, things got out of hand (pun intended).



So Boushh, although not particulary upset about a damaged stormtrooper (they are the "law" after all), had to get things back under control for appearances sake. However, Boushh didn't bother trying to get Chewie's prizes away from him.


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some pics from a photoshoot that ObeyWann hosted - he's an absolutely fantastic photographer.





And then I prepped for a trip to Albuquerque to support the Rebels at the first ever Albuquerque Comic Con. I punched more hair around the lips, as I thought they were too prominent, restyled, refreshed, did upkeep - all the things wookiees need to have done. Because, knew that Peter Mayhew was going to be there, and at the dinner hosted by the Dune Sea Garrison, and I wanted Chewie to look his best. I got to meet Mr. Mayhew, got a good story at dinner, and some wonderful pics - the highlight of a young Chewie's career.




_________________


Last edited by Greywolf (Julie Yakes) on Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 5809

Medals: 5 (View more...)
Colorado Wildfires 2012 Relief Award (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much, very well documented!


Bob
_________________
RL Han Solo Archive and information
Han Archive via Photbucket
My Holster
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
TK-6162 (Mark Williams)



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Bloodfin Garrison/Mos Espa Base
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto! Thanks Julie for taking the time to do all this. bow

You Dive yourself? I noticed the BC hanger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bespin Phillips (Bren Phillips)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 85
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazing work Julie, fantastic tutorial. that photo of chewie working in the garden is priceless. Delighted you got to meet Peter Mayhew.. I take my hat off to you for such dedication on a wonderful costume, thanks for posting
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greywolf (Julie Yakes)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 702
Location: Colorado
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TK-6162 wrote:
You Dive yourself? I noticed the BC hanger


I do indeed dive! Very Happy A BC hangar is absolutely perfect for the pants. That happents to be one of the folding ones, which has slots for the suspenders and then you can put the shirt on the wetsuit shoulder sections. This works great for airing out the whole suit, doing repairs, etc.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TheNegotiator (Derek Struchtemeyer)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 548

Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julie, thank you so much for taking the time to put together such an awesome, informative, and entertaining tutorial!!! Extremely well done!
The arms ripped out of the socket is so classic and funny! I'll be stealing that bit methinks! Very Happy
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
sandtrooperscout (Mark Tomasello)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 540
Location: Omaha, NE
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really going to help me out once the time comes! (soon I hope!!) Thanks!!
_________________

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Zaxmon (Ryan Ricks)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 01 Nov 2010
Posts: 185
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
Medals: None

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet!
_________________
Chewie-Changa Facebook
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TK-6162 (Mark Williams)



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Bloodfin Garrison/Mos Espa Base
Medals: None

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greywolf wrote:

I do indeed dive! Very Happy A BC hangar is absolutely perfect for the pants. That happens to be one of the folding ones, which has slots for the suspenders and then you can put the shirt on the wetsuit shoulder sections. This works great for airing out the whole suit, doing repairs, etc.


Right on Julie! I know what I'm going to be using one of my BC hangers for now Smile
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Rebel Legion Forum Index -> Costume and Prop Making -> Fringe -> Chewbacca and Other Wookiees All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can post calendar events in this forum
The Rebel Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred volunteer Rebel costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™ All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group