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B-wing Pilot Version 3
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:32 am    Post subject: B-wing Pilot Version 3 Reply with quote

In my seemingly never-ending attempt to create a screen accurate B-wing pilot, I've made a little more progress. Version two has been submitted for costume approval, and while I wait for that to go through, I thought I'd post up a few pictures of what's coming up in my next (and hopefully final) version.

First off I have a rough sketch pattern for my new chestbox, which I'd like a little feedback on. The chestbox is 9 inches by 9 inches, which is the accurate size going by a photograph from an auction. The pattern got cut off a little bit in the picture below because my scanner isn't big enough for the entire thing, but you should be able to get the basic gist of it.

But after almost six hours of working on this stupid pattern there's something about it that still seems a little "off" to me. But I'm not sure what it is. Something about it seems like it doesn't match up correctly, but what it is I just can't figure out. Does anything look noticeably wrong to you?
The chestbox is a little longer than this picture. Like I mentioned, the pattern got cut off when I scanned it into my computer. The lines and circles and stuff will be cleaned up on the hard version of the chestbox, and all of the edges will be rounded out.
(Ignore the writing on it, those are just notes I made for myself. It's what I used as a pattern to draw the circles.)


One thing that doesn't seem to look right to me is the upper portion of the black "trench" running through the middle of the chestbox. The upper portion doesn't seem to be long enough, but all of the lines seem to match up, and I can't figure out why.
Comparing it to this picture and this picture, the lines seem to match up pretty well... but something still seems amiss...

My new flak vest has also been started, and using the thick felt I found (it's as close to underlayment as I can find).
It still needs to be cleaned up and evened out-- this stuff is really hard to cut. Picked up a Fiskars rotary cutting tool which should (supposedly) make cutting this easier, according to the person at Jo-Ann's. I guess we'll see. My mother had a hard time cutting it evenly, and so did I, simply because it's so darn thick...


And a picture of the vest front with the 9x9" chestbox pattern on top, just for a rough idea of size.


Lastly... I've been working on a new blaster. I wasn't entirely pleased with my first attempt at making a blaster, it just didn't seem "Star Wars-y" enough. It's a neat little blaster, but I just wasn't entirely happy with it, so I started working on a new one. I was inspired by the blasters that come with the recent B-wing pilot action figures, the ones that kind of look like Leia's sporting blaster. I found a toy gun that was as close as I could find to resembling the piece, and then bought a number of plumbing parts. After cutting off the scope that was attached to the blaster and doing some fixing (and rewiring-- I accidentally cut the wire to the speaker and had to solder in a new one), I glued the pieces together, filled in parts with Bondo, and started painting.
Here's how it looks so far. It's not done yet, it still needs another coat or two of paint, then I'll weather it and clear coat it, but so far I think I've done a fairly decent job of matching the look of the figure blaster.
I'll post a before-and-after picture when I get this thing finished.

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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...And it seems I need to buy a new keyboard. If there are some missing D's in my post, it's because the D key isn't working so well. Bah...
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GhostRider01 (Luis Alejandro Mendoza)



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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always Alex, an awesome work, the blaster looks amazing! Awing
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Smile
The blaster was actually a lot easier to put together than I thought it would be, which is nice for a change, except for the whole bit about cutting the speaker wire and having to put in a new one... that was a pain. The trigger guard was a pain, too, 'cause the toy gun I bought didn't have one. But other than that, it wasn't too bad.

The chestbox pattern is harder, believe it or not. I just can't figure out why it looks off, and I can't figure out how to fix it. Everything on the chestbox is aligned, so if I move one thing, then I have to move another and that other one doesn't look right anymore. It's driving me crazy.
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GhostRider01 wrote:
As always Alex, an awesome work, the blaster looks amazing! Awing


Just the same from me! Mr. Green
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it seems that the felt I have wont work after all, it's simply too thick and I can't make it look right. So it's back to the drawing board.

Boy am I ever running out of ideas. I've been to every fabric store in town and I can't find any wool, felt, fleece or anything else that has a similar look to what I need. The thick felt was the closest I've been able to find so far, and I really liked the look of it, too. Bummer...
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After finally finishing the pattern and going over to Kinkos to make about a dozen "just case" copies, I started working on my new chestbox this morning. I got a decent chunk of it done in just a few hours, so hopefully I'll have no problem finishing this up in time for CVI.

I'm going to have to do more clay work than I was hoping... but at least it wont be any where near as much as my old chestbox.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They finally came. I finally got my B-wing pilot helmets in the mail. After a lot of struggling, and worrying that the buyer simply took my money... getting information from this guy was like pulling teeth at times... I'd even given up on ever receiving them. But they finally came.
...And wow, I never realized that they were so tiny! The background actors in Return of the Jedi must've been short and had small heads, 'cause these things are really small. Either that or I have a big head. But with some sanding I should be able to get them to fit.
If I didn't know better I'd say that the helmets were made for kids.

I'm hoping to have at least one painted and ready for CVI. If the Rebel Legion booth would like to borrow one to put up for display, let me know.

Here they are...



I've definitely got my work cut out for me on these. The light gray one isn't too bad, but the other two... well... I didn't know they'd be so... Well, see for yourself...

The backs on all of them are uneven. This shouldn't be too hard to fix, though.


There's blobs of resin on the side of the white one.


And I can tell already that the dark gray one is going to be a real pain in the butt to finish up. But I guess I shouldn't complain, he tossed this one in for free because of how long I had to wait. But the inside... yeesh, that's not going to be fun to cut through.



I've also been working on my chestbox. This one I'm making from scratch, like my first one. It's nearly ready for wood glue and resin, which I'm hoping to be able to start on by Monday...



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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progress on my latest version has been slow but successful. Things are taking longer than I thought they would but that always seems to happen.
I'm in a rush to get these done in time to CVI. I sure hope I can make it.

I've made a fair bit of progress on both the helmets and the chestbox. Here's how they looked a few weeks ago, after the helmets were fixed up (resin blemishes sanded and filled in with Bondo, clay added to the back to bring up the edge) and chestbox was covered in wood glue, and imperfections were fixed with clay and Bondo, and then covered in a few layers of resin...

Chestbox




Helmets





And here's how they look today. One helmet has had some of its greeblies attached (the greeblies for the second helmet are still drying), and the helmet has been coated with primer and two coats of white spray paint. The chestbox has two coats of primer-- I also laid down the first coat of paint on the chestbox after the pictures were taken.




I've also made a whole bunch of new greeblies, which I think are more accurate than my last batch. Including a new microphone tip, which I refined a bit more...


Chestbox greeblies...


One of the helmet greeblies...


Flak vest "buckle cover" greeblies...


A whole mess...


And of course, there's my new flak vest. I was hoping more would be finished by now, but it is nearing the end...
Was able to use the thick felt after all, even though it was a real pain. And though it can't really be seen in the pictures, there are specks of color dotted around the material here and there, mostly a dim yellow and a dim red, and many strands of white. I've been thinking of placing a very few dots of fabric paint on the vest to add a little more color fibers, but I haven't decided yet.
Anywho, here's how it looks so far...




I do have a question... On one of the helmets I plan to spray on a few coats of silver over the white paint, like on the last two versions of my helmets, and after I finish painting the helmet, I'll take some sand paper to it to scratch it up and make some of the white visible under the silver. But I was wondering if I should clear coat the white with a gloss or semi-gloss before putting the silver paint layer over, or if I should just paint the silver directly over the white without clear coat?

Also, I was wondering what a good way would be to add gray or brown "dirt" to the helmet? What's a good way to dirty it up?
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WedgeAntilles (James Norman)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, how'd I miss you were working on yet another version? Can't wait to see what you do with it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iam8114 wrote:
Man, how'd I miss you were working on yet another version? Can't wait to see what you do with it.


Thanks. Smile

I've been pretty much revamping the entire outfit. I'm hoping to have most of it ready for CVI-- which includes the chestbox, new gaiters, and (hopefully) two helmets. I'm planning to put together a new pair of coveralls as well, but that will probably have to wait until after CVI. I'd also like to pick up a new pair of gloves, but that will also wait until after the Celebration. My main focus is the helmet, chestbox and gaiters, and a few minor modifications that may or may not be finished in time.
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Kyle Darklighter (Garrett K McCarthy)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking nice so far. I would definitely clear coat the bottom layer before adding the silver. Go for a Matte finish though, it will take less effort and give you a bit more control when sanding. I've found gloss clear coats gum up the sandpaper and cause it to drag more. As for dirty weathering try using the clone trooper techniques. Take a bottle of windex and add a little acrylic paint to it. Mix it up well and apply with a paper towel for deep grooves for weathering and spray some for overall weathering. Dab the mixture with a clean dry paper towel a few seconds after applying to remove excess paint. The windex will dry much faster than the paint so practice to get the timing right. What size head is that helmet based around?

Garrett
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyle Darklighter wrote:
Looking nice so far. I would definitely clear coat the bottom layer before adding the silver. Go for a Matte finish though, it will take less effort and give you a bit more control when sanding. I've found gloss clear coats gum up the sandpaper and cause it to drag more. As for dirty weathering try using the clone trooper techniques. Take a bottle of windex and add a little acrylic paint to it. Mix it up well and apply with a paper towel for deep grooves for weathering and spray some for overall weathering. Dab the mixture with a clean dry paper towel a few seconds after applying to remove excess paint. The windex will dry much faster than the paint so practice to get the timing right. What size head is that helmet based around?

Garrett

Thanks, I'll give that a shot.
I gather the Windex/paint mixture should be fairly thin and watery? And does the paint need to be dry to mix with the Windex, or does the bottled pre-mixed paint work, too?

As for the helmet size... I don't know. It's from a mold from the screen-used B-wing pilot helmet from RotJ, so it's whatever size the prop makers made. All I know is that it's really small. When I got it I was surprised by how small the overall helmet is. I had the sand the heck out of the bottom just to get it to fit on my big 'ol head. Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plain old model paint in a glass jar is just fine. Should be a liquid at the least. I use cheap Testors model paint. I doesn't take much paint to make the mixture.

Garrett
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how I managed it, but somehow I finished both of my helmets, plus my chestbox, new gaiters, belt, flak vest and ejection harness, and blaster. I didn't have time to add snaps and a chin strap to my cap, or replace the coveralls. I just ran out of time.

I was up until 4:00 AM trying to finish these last night, and still had a few more small things to finish this morning.

Without further ado, here's my progress...

Here's my blaster, which I finally finished after letting it sit around for way too long. I modeled it after the blaster pistols that come with the B-wing pilot action figures (both Hasbro and Kenner figures).
The lights and sounds still work, too!



Next is my flak vest. The ends of the ribbing are a little funky because they started to come unstitched, but the person who sewed this for me is out of town, so I tried to give it a temporary fix. Thankfully you don't really notice it.



My new gaiters, which I think I actually got fairly accurate-- and finally figured out that "buckle" dilemma.


My new chestbox, which includes lights, and is my first ever attempt at weathering (other than just scratching something up).


Note the two-tone paint scheme...


The lights have six different functions...


And last but not least, the helmets.
First, here's my "personal" paint scheme (i.e. my character). The helmet is weathered, but it's kind of hard to see in these pictures. The face shield is also temporary until I find something better-- hopefully a real face shield and not something I make from scratch.









And my second helmet, which is for another character I've been writing a story about. This helmet will be on display at CVI. (The handprint is from an Anomid.) Despite how it looks in the picture, the helmet has a red-brown lining (well, technically, it's red-brown and black)...






And yes, the helmets are rather small!


And...






I'm not sure why the ejection harness looks like it's a different color than the belt in the pictures above-- it's not!

Because I couldn't resist doing it, here's a video of the helmets and chestbox "in action"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rznCihBNpn0&feature=youtu.be
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