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Starting a very unique Wookiee
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject: Starting a very unique Wookiee Reply with quote

Hey all, I'm a theatre design grad student, so I'm going to be working on this project bit by bit for the next few years (hopefully as I learn techniques necessary to complete it in a manner befitting the proud Wookiee race). I'm lucky enough to be able to use a lot of the elements of the suit for class projects. I'm currently building a bowcaster in my pneumatics class that's going to fire foam darts and light up (photos to come).

The reason I'm posting this as a "unique" project is that, well, frankly, I'm only 5'2" and lifts wouldn't do enough to get me to seven feet. I'm also a girl and don't know of another female Wookie (anybody out there feel free to say hey!)

That's about all I got right now, going to start on the actual suit as soon as I find some good mesh and get my costume-designer friend to help pattern it out with me Smile
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nierfherder (Shad Thomas)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

That's awesome! Welcome to the club. My wife is 5' tall. She was thinking of doing the exact same thing! Keep us posted.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've actually got two or three women who've made Chewie suits.

Drywall stilts start at 14" and go up from there.

One of our Wooks, ForestMoonStudios, made arm extensions for his Wookiee. There are various plans for mechanical arm extensions on Instructables.Com
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick support guys! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this endeavor Smile Wow, arm extensions? but wouldn't that make the arm bend in the wrong place(s)? I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I'm torn between wanting to make 7 feet tall and wanting to not look awkward in costume.
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jedimika ()
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kolbe! Good luck on your project. I see you're in Ky, I hope you'll check in with us in Corellian Base. Even better come out to an event and you may even see Matt's Chewie in person...it's one of the best in the Legion.
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Dougie Fett ()



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of luck with it, are you going for a Chewie look or another ROTS wookiee?

To be honest, if you can get your height to 6' 6" you'll be fine!
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Wookiewannabe ()
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Luck with your build....yes the arm extensions will give you a arm bend at an awkward place. You ll have to balance how much of a lift you do by how long you want your arms to look. Correct proportions in this costume as far as leg to arm length and torso length are sooooo important in making this costume look real. Keep us posted on your progress...
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WookieDiego (Sam)



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

congratulations on starting a build! It is exciting to see someone starting a new project.

As for the height and arm extensions, the best advice I got (on this page I should mention, everyone has been great throughout my build) is that you are going to have to make some compromise. Since none of us are over 7' tall something is going to be off and you just have to hide it as best you can. If you use any sort of stilt or lift your knee is going to be in the wrong place and the lower leg is going to be too bulky. If you don't use arm extensions your arms are going to be too short compared to the legs if you do the elbow will be in the wrong place. It is all a matter of deciding what is most important to you (translation what you think will look best) and what imperfections you feel you can most effectively hide. If you ask I am sure people will gladly share their reasons for the choices they made.

There are a lot of good tips on here to help you address all of the issues you will encounter. If you are still having difficulty just post the question. Like I said everyone on here is really helpful and they seem to operate under the "no question is a dumb question" philosophy. Trust me if they haven't made fun of some of the questions I have asked they sure won't do it to you Smile

Good luck, I look forward to seeing your progress.
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, all! I've got two questions, first, I'd like to address the dilemma of height real fast and where I am with that (and I'd love any opinion y'all have): From some things I've read in other posts, it seems that short Wookiees are frowned upon by some, but I'd venture to say that no Wookiee started life at 7-8 feet tall. That said, is it acceptable to claim oneself as a young Wookiee and not bother with major lifts and arm extensions? Or would it be better to make small sacrifices to anatomical correctness and go for lifts and extensions? I know how to build both lifts and extensions from my theatre and puppetry background, so technology isn't an issue, but I also know that I could probably make a higher quality suit if I stick to my own height, as vertically challenged as that may be Smile I haven't started the suit yet because I want to be absolutely certain of my decision (there's no turning back once I start).

On another note, I've started my bowcaster thanks to the plethora of materials an references on RL and elsewhere. It's already carved and sanded, but since I'm using it for a class pneumatics project, I'm casting it in a two-part plaster mold and going for fiberglass (process photos to come, hopefully). I'm blessed that my professor is as much of a nerd as I am and, if all goes well, the bowcaster will fire foam darts. Anyone have any tips about fiberglass? I know it can be dangerous, but I've heard only good things about the quality of the results.
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Wookiewannabe ()
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a great out look on your build. A regular wookiee can be pretty much any height you feel comfortable with doing. Quality build and some tricks to hide and visiually extend your proportions is the key. You want to be comfortable in your suit because wookiees get alot of hugs and attention. Be comfortable and safe on whatever height you choose. If any costume is a pain to wear you wont want to wear it as much. Im 5'11 and I stand 7'9" in my costume and can say the visual tricks Ive used for my arms ,torso, and knee have made me look totally in proportion. Im super comfortable in my suit and can troop for hours. Let me know if you need any help. We are all here to see some great Wookiees.
[img]
IMG_2148 by mcm1015, on Flickr[/img]
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Tag Aldeggon ()
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HOLY......That's freakin' AMAZING dude! I've seen a bunch of Chewie's here, but that is the best! Just superb!

WOW!
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Lumpy (Chris Blackstock)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, a "mini Wookiee" would only really work if you had a "regulation size" Wookiee to hang around with. Otherwise it would just look kind of weird. People will call you Chewbacca anyway and wonder why you weren't taller.
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would between 6'8" and 7' be an acceptable height? I've decided to build 14" lifts and do some artful concealing with the short arm issue. Who knows, there may be robotic arms in my future Smile
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Lumpy (Chris Blackstock)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you got up that tall, you should be good enough. Very Happy
I was talking about your idea of a Wookiee youngling.
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, Chris. I wasn't too fond of the Wookiee youngling idea either, I just wanted to put it out there because my professors suggested it. I'm starting plans for lifts and should be able to start my build next week (after the play I'm working on is over and I can work on my own stuff in the shop without feeling too guilty). Again, thanks everyone for all your support, you've no idea how much it means to me!
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