Beskar is one of the toughest metals in the galaxy. Able to deflect blaster bolts, explosions, knives, blunt force weapons, and even lightsabers. The Aluminati Social Society provides members an area where they can get together with like minded members who wanted the heavy feel and authenticity of having tough armor. We sat down with the true Mandalorian walking tank himself, Dresdon Acacin. This is what he had to say about his group:
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Dresdon Acacin, I am a self taught armor smith and more recently a certified welder/fabricator by trade. I’ve been an Official Member since 2014. I applied as soon as I was old enough to join officially and I’ve been on the forums since 2010. My hands-on experience with metal began when I was 4, starting real hands-on fabrication at the age of 8. I made my kit out of metal, because it was more available to me than plastic, like sintra. When I started I had scrap duct work to work with, and 4 tools. A tinner’s hammer, a 31oz ball peen, red left cutting aviation snips, and a mill bastard file. My first kit was nothing to even remotely brag about; The Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club was still in its infancy and I lacked guidance. I didn’t have a real final image or goal in mind and I was just figuring it out as I went along. Guidance, tips, and tricks is what our community is about, to save others from making the early on mistakes I and many other of the old timers here have made.
Nowadays my kit is what you see below, this is my 6th iteration, and over the years, with revisions, I’ve put well over 2500 hours into it. I’ve been going strong for a few years now with the heaviest(literally), and heaviest coverage Mandalorian armor in the world; head to toe full heavy metal, fully encased and built up… Aircraft Aluminum, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Bronze, and even a little Titanium- the key is weight distribution and design so the armor interacts with itself efficiently and without causing injury and discomfort. My kit with arsenal is just shy of 200 pounds and it’s stored in 5 cases; 3 for armor, one for helmet, and one for blasters.
Q: Why did you create this Social Society?
A: I started the Aluminati while at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, it was my first time around other Mercs, let alone other metals. I saw the similarities and, more importantly, the differences, the things you have to learn the hard way through trial and error when it comes to metal armor. I wanted to educate, support, and ultimately celebrate and recognize the skill of metalworking in the Mercs. The Aluminati creates a small corner of the Mercs to help out with the special challenges associated with metal armor, the place you go to when you need metal help, and when you have your kit proudly built of real metal.
Q: What do you love about the Social Society you created?
A: I like seeing the creativity and skill of the metallurgy in the club, and want to see it develop more. If I was able to get to here essentially paving the road, figuring out how metal Mando armor needed to be different to compensate for the challenges of the material, imagine the kind of quality we’ll see coming from members in 10 years. I just look at the roster and think “Wow, all these like-minded people have the drive and will to go beyond the expectation and make something that can last a lifetime, and just imagine the trooping mileage of some kits.”
Q: What is special to you about Social Societies in general? What do you think they do for the members within the Mercs?
A: Social societies are a way of celebrating the diversity of the Mercs, and a way for anyone to be more involved, or feel like a community in the club. The Aluminati is the expert corner when it comes to a challenging build like metal. It’s the perfect place to get the knowledge you need to improve your metal build and make it more user-friendly. Having the right expertise in your grasp is invaluable if you’ve ever had a test troop where you have heavy armor that isn’t mounted or fitted correctly to you. You put so much effort into your build and then you test it, and come back with a revision list. You work at that list and what gives you trouble, the like-minded members who also wear metal are exactly the knowledge resource you need. The roster is like a credential, almost like a directory for metal advice.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone looking to join your Social Society?
A: To join the Aluminati your kit must be 75% or more composed of metal. Typically members have a non-metal helmet such as a cold cast or printed piece, and either resin or printed gauntlets. There are the elite few fully metal Mandos out there as well. Most people call us crazy, but it takes a special kind of skill, endurance, and dedication. Personally I make every piece of armor on a suit but I’ve been doing this a very long time and the learning curve is incredibly steep. To recognize and reward our members who are dedicated to being head to toe metal, I made the title of Full Metal Mando. The members in our roster with FMM next to their name are completely metal; the crazy indestructible builds where quality and durability are paramount. That being said I don’t expect members to take anything to the extremes I do. Plenty of folks have called me their benchmark, but remember, we all start somewhere, even me. Our first build is rarely extraordinary, and sometimes just the practice, and exploration of building a metal kit, testing it, revising it, and remaking parts is what leads to an extremely high quality build. There is no shame in a less than perfect build because we never stop learning and because of that, you never lose the potential for improvement. There is an old saying in MMCC that “your kit will never be done.” Metal is no exception. In this age of readily available props like 3D prints flooding the scene, real metal is becoming even more coveted than ever, the skill and talent in your hands to make something from nothing.
If you have a metal armor kit for your Mandalorian, then this is the group to join! Any metal material is allowed and 75% of your kit must be of that metal. The Aluminati are the hard hitting Mandalorian tanks of the club and welcome any and all!