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Yadsmood's TFA Chewbacca Build Log
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:57 pm    Post subject: Yadsmood's TFA Chewbacca Build Log Reply with quote

Hi all!

I'm Brent. I'm 6'7" tall, and live in Los Angeles, California. I am finishing up an X-Wing Pilot costume that I originally wore for the TFA midnight premiere last year. I got SOOOO many comments along the lines of "Are you sure you could fit in an X-Wing?" that I decided I probably should also have a costume that better fits my height. So, as that I am so tall, I was thinking "What costume in the Star Wars universe would be best for me?" and that is why I am here.

I would like to make a TFA version Chewbacca. I don't see it specifically listed in the costume standards but I am going to guess it should be ok. I have been reading a lot of the past and current build logs for a couple of days now and since I am about to start my build I thought I should start my own.

Below are my main goals for the costume:
1. Have a serviceable version of the costume finished before San Diego Comic-Con 2017 (i.e. July 19, 2017).
2. Have the costume accepted into the legion before Episode 8 premieres (December 15, 2017) .
3. Build the costume entirely myself. That means no commissioning others to build parts of the costume. I want this to be a learning experience that will make me grow as a costume and prop builder.
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what have I already done… I rewatched the movie and special features of the movie, capturing a lot of reference images. I have also got reference from The Force Awakens The Visual Dictionary.

It looks like most people start with the feet, so that's where I'll begin. So I need to add 11" to get to the 7'6" of Peter Mayhew in costume. From what I have read, the mask usually adds 2-3" so I will need the feet to add 8-9". I think stilts are not really an option for me because it would make me too tall. The minimum height I found was about 14".

So the next best option seems to be platform shoes. I see that Zaxmon used these 7" platform shoes http://a.co/97zVudJ for his and I might just do the same. From my research I found that Chewie did have actual feet.



Yeah, I know, it's not the best picture but I can't find much better. It could just be this scene because as far as I can tell, it is basically the only scene you really see the bottom of his feet. I was thinking I would try modeling, molding, and casting them. I am a little worried about stability and durability though. As to the durability, I was thinking of going to Reynolds Advanced Materials (a store that sells molding/casting materials to Hollywood prop makers) and see what they suggest.

I would love to hear all of your thoughts!
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mattcamaro (L. Matt Darling)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you have a plan. I guess Jamie and I need to discuss to see if we need a TFA specific Chewie CRL. As his hair color is different and his Bandolier is different too. Look forward to seeing your progress. Just something to think about with wanting to do something with the bottom of your feet. Can you walk on it and how long will it last? Wouldn't want you you to have a great costume and can't walk I. It or have issues and fall. Just a thought. But I'm sure you have thought about it. If you have questions please let us know

Matt
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Johnny ()
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wear those exact same shoes and although they advertise 7 inches, they only add 5 to your total height. In your case, that would make you a couple of inches shorter than Meyhew, but still over the seven foot requirement. I've heard of others using inserts in these shoes, but when I tried (I'm your height) it was too painful to wear, and because I wear a size 13 I can't go up a size because they don't make any larger. I've heard of others getting other shoes that actually add seven inches so they are out there. I just haven't found any yet myself Smile
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Bacca9 (Jamie "Gingersnap")
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Research is an EXCELLENT start! I'm working on a TFA myself right now. Keep in mind that the hair is significantly more blonde where we would typically use a #27/4/6 mix and more brown in the "grey" areas. The bandolier is also shorter with 3 different boxes as opposed to 2. Always glad to help where we can Smile Post lots of photos! Good luck!
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just something to think about with wanting to do something with the bottom of your feet. Can you walk on it and how long will it last? Wouldn't want you you to have a great costume and can't walk I. It or have issues and fall. Just a thought. But I'm sure you have thought about it.


Yeah, I definitely have been thinking about this a lot. I know stability and durability will be things I have to be very aware of. The foot will need to be large to match Chewie's, which I think, if I do it right, may help with stability of such a high platform shoe.

As for durability, I have been researching how people make custom shoe soles. One way you can do it, which I got from an RPF thread here and a Tested video here, is to use a two part 50-60 shore A durometer rubber that I can cast from a mold. These should be relatively durable. According to charts I have seen, that would be as durable as a car tire. That also means it should be somewhat flexible. Though, I still haven't talked to the people at Reynolds Advanced Materials. I will be very interested to hear what they think.

Quote:
I've heard of others using inserts in these shoes, but when I tried (I'm your height) it was too painful to wear, and because I wear a size 13 I can't go up a size because they don't make any larger. I've heard of others getting other shoes that actually add seven inches so they are out there. I just haven't found any yet myself


That is all really good to know. I am between a size 13 and 14 in shoes so I am hoping the size 13 shoe will work for me. But I will stay away from the inserts. Razz

Quote:
Research is an EXCELLENT start! I'm working on a TFA myself right now. Keep in mind that the hair is significantly more blonde where we would typically use a #27/4/6 mix and more brown in the "grey" areas. The bandolier is also shorter with 3 different boxes as opposed to 2.


I noticed the different hair colors. I hope if I spend enough time on it that I get it right. I also saw the difference in boxes from the previous movies. I am not too worried about it. I have a 3D printer, and they seem simple enough in shape to model/print. I am going to wait to build the bandolier until I get the fur body suit done so I can get a better idea of scale for it.

As to photos, your wish is my command! While I don't have anything physical yet, I made a flickr album with all the reference I currently have. It can be found here. This includes tagged photos from the movie and the special features. Unfortunately I couldn't find a good/simple way to capture screenshots from my itunes copy of the movie so I took a pictures of the screen from my phone Sad. The colors/perspective might be a little off but at least I have some reference to start working from.

I am ordering some monster clay to start doing the sculpt of the feet. As soon as I get back from a week on vacation in the snow, I will be patterning and sewing my net suit to start latch-hooking because if I learned anything from reading these build threads, latch hooking takes FOREVER.

Any suggestions on the quantities/colors of the hair I should get with the new colors of the TFA Chewie? I want to start ordering my Kanekalon hair soon. Sorry for the super long post and thanks for all the help!
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The Wookiee Workshop ()
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are actually 4 different box styles with each box being unique unto itself with its details.
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The Wookiee Workshop ()
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are actually 4 different box styles with each box being unique unto itself with its details.
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There are actually 4 different box styles with each box being unique unto itself with its details.


I haven't done a ton of research but I don't think there are 4. I think there are 3 different styles of boxes with one of the boxes flipped over to look different. You can see this in the image below from the The Force Awakens The Visual Dictionary.



I numbered all the boxes so that between photos of different sides of Chewie we can more easily talk about them. I also colored the numbers/boxes to identify which boxes I think are different.

If you look closely at the image, it looks like the boxes numbered in green may be flipped. The light green numbered ones are flat on the edge facing away from the leather and the dark green have the center notched edge pointing out from the leather.

Something also to note is that it looks like they had at least two different bandoliers. The one in the visual dictionary has the boxes in a different order than at least one in the movie/special features. This can be seen in the images below.





The difference is on the back of the bandolier. You can see that boxes 8 through 13 are not in the same order as in the picture from The Force Awakens The Visual Dictionary. Though I think I did find a point in the movie that had the same bandolier as in the Visual Dictionary. This can be seen below.



Unfortunately, the photo is blurry, but at a minimum you can see the sizes of the boxes match that of the visual dictionary and not the other images.
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mattcamaro (L. Matt Darling)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice research. keep yp the awesome work.
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The Wookiee Workshop ()
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 4th box is the large box c flipped over and has been altered. You are correct.
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mattcamaro (L. Matt Darling)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have been watching TFA. If you watch Chewie walk past the late Carrie fisher It like the your third pic I believe not like the visual guide pic you posted So it like
Most things from TFA there were several made and have some differences in them.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They also come in varying sizes depending on the 3 people who played chewie's height.
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all! Sorry for the hiatus. Work/personal life got in the way but now I'm back.

So what have I gotten done? I have bought all the netting/sewing supplies for the suit, and bought this pattern to use as a base that I am modifying. I have cut out all the patterns and extended them based on the reference/tips in this thread. I did this on little sleep so I am definitely going to be double checking all the measurements before I start cutting out/sewing the netting. Next I wanted to start ordering the kanekalon hair.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what colors and what ratios of kanekalon hair for a TFA Chewbacca?

There are some definite color differences between TFA and the rest. I believe that no one has finished one yet but I thought some of you might have suggestions on what you would probably start trying. Any help would be much appreciated! Smile And sorry for no pictures in this post. As soon as I finish the net suit I will post some.
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yadsmood ()
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent Progress: Last weekend I finished my mesh suit. I did it based on the a McCalls pajama pattern and the great reference images from Duck's tips for new wookiee builders which was super helpful. Here is a picture of me in them:



I also ordered and got my wookie hair from SamsBeauty.com. I ordered:
#44 ( x8 )
#4 ( x8 )
#27 ( x15 )
#6 ( x16 )



I didn't realize until I actually got the hair that #27 is not light enough for TFA Chewie so I ordered 10 of #613. In the picture below it looks a lot brighter and is a bit misleading because it is directly under a powerful bright light. Most of the time it just looks like what it does in the package in the picture above.



I also noticed that there are some random lighter hairs mixed in to the grey section that are lighter than #44 so I ordered 4 packs of #51. Unfortunately this means I have to wait another week to start latch hooking... Crying or Very sad

This weekend I'll be modeling and, if time allows, 3D printing the bandolier boxes. I'm planning on only printing one of each of the 3 different designs, then I'll mold and cast a full set of them.
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