Female Armor Resources
The old resource thread was getting a little dated, so I figure it's time for a refresh. Here you will find a host of links and resources to help you get started on building a set of female armor. This post, like armor, is a work in progress, and I'd like to keep adding to it.
Number 1 thing to remember when you start ideating your female Mando armor: there is no “right” or “best” way/style to do it. Everyone will try to tell you what they like (more often than not, they’ll try to tell you what they don’t
like, as if it has any bearing on your preferences), but you have to do what you
like, and what works for your body shape. The number 2 thing to remember about making female Mando armor is that no two women have quite the same body shape or the same needs when it comes to fitting armor to it; you have to do what works for you, and oftentimes, that means working in new territory where you really do have to just feel your way through it. The third thing to remember is that there actually is a lot of crossover with male armor building methods; don’t forget to use male resources and sources, because you’re going to learn a lot of what you need for female armor there! Hopefully this thread will help get you started.THE BASICS OF STYLING
There are a few basic styles of female armor plates that most people tend to fall into; that is not to say that there aren’t other ways to do them or that there aren’t new styles being created every month. Again, I reiterate: there is no “right” style. It’s all about what you like, what you can attain, and what you’re comfortable wearing. Here is a basic rundown, from my own perspective:
The “cupped” style is the most outwardly feminine. You attain this style through either metal work, a hanging torso mannequin, fiberglass, or vacuform (the first and last of which requires a considerable amount more skill or learning/prep time than most other methods). Keep in mind that a hanging torso mannequin can get a bit too “anatomically correct” in a lot of cases, so just be wary of too-accurate proportions or errant nipples.
Darted or “Ergonomic”
The “darted” or “ergonomic” style also produces a slight cup shape, but nowhere near that of the cupped style. This provides a bit of curve and shaping with a rounder outer edge and more feminine curve without being as deep or as pronounced. This works really well with sintra and other thermoplastics, and is a relatively attainable option for most builders. It can be done with just a few cuts and heat gun or oven by hand (with finishing, of course).
“Subtle shaping” is probably the easiest way to go about making plates, but definitely don’t think of it as a “cop out.” It produces some really nice shapes if a less pronounced and subtle look is what you’re going for. All this involves usually is a properly trimmed/drafted template and a heat gun to gently mold the plate to the lines of the body. A more balanced look can be achieved by combining this with a dart or two in some cases for more deft shaping. A person can also achieve a look like this with metal work, or fiberglass.
Angular or “Paneled”
This is a style that is picking up some speed recently. The “angular” or “paneled” look uses mostly flat panel patterns glued together at the seams to make harsher lines and sharper angles. You can get really creative with this and throw in curved panels, as well, to mix up all the ways you can make it work. I consider Bo-Katan or Nite Owl armor to fall into this category.
Legacy style plates can be made with any of the above methods, but you’ll be working with a single, whole chest panel.
Obviously, you can choose to just stick with male styled templates, too, though you may have to get creative with binding if you are well-endowed, or give the plates a liiiiittle bit more shaping in some areas to accommodate.THE BASICS OF DESIGNING
Any rickety sketch will do, but if you have zero artistic skills, here is a classic to get you started:
MandoMaker, by Pam: http://mandalorianmercs.org/downloadables/MANDOMAKER23.swfTHE BASICS OF FITTING
WOF Templates: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=ezportal;sa=page;p=1
Even if you want to make as close to male armor as you can, chances are you will not be able to print out the straight WOF templates and start cutting plates that fit from there without a little tweaking. They are, however, an excellent starting point for drafting patterns from. They give you basic shapes to start cutting down from, and this can be a sanity-saver when you’re first getting started.
If you are making more feminine armor, I find it helps to operate on the assumption that what looks like a correctly sized armor template is in fact too big. Especially if you are a smaller build, templates can look ridiculously tiny when they are truly properly sized. But, as it is with everything, it is easier to size down than size up, so cut big, but don’t be afraid to trim. Remember, you don’t want to look like you are swimming in your armor.
Many women find making a duct tape dummy model of themselves to be extremely helpful in drafting armor templates. His gives you a “life model” of yourself to draw plate shapes straight onto, which you can then cut out and translate to cardstock or paper, and ultimately, to your armor plates. They also help as a way to test fit your armor (to a point) if you have no one around to help with sizing/trying on.
Paper Tape Dummy Tutorial (can also be made with duct tape) : http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3633/paper-tape-dress-formCANON REFERENCES
Here is a brief rundown of some canon references of female armor. By no means do you have to fit into any of these categories with your own designs, but it helps to know the source! *Please feel free to suggest other pictures or references to be added to this section. This is not a complete bank of information.
Vhonte Tervho: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Vhonte_Tervho
Rav Bralor: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rav_Bralor
Nite Owls: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Nite_Owls
Mirta Gev: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mirta_Gev
Tes Vevec: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tes_Vevec
Sabine (reference picture collection thread) : http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=72536.0
*It should be noted that female Mandalorians in armor were described in Karen Traviss’s work as being indiscernible from males in many cases, suggesting armor similar to what males would wear.PURCHASING FEMALE ARMOR
While it is possible to draft and shape your own, not everyone wants to struggle with every piece, or has the time or resources to struggle through the learning process. Please find links to female armor sellers in the individual sections of this guide, separated by parts offered.
It should be noted, however, that you will likely not be able to find every style of armor you could possibly want, or an exact fit. Every woman is shaped a little differently, and if you want perfection, you will probably want to consider making your own plates in many cases. Female armor is still a limited commodity when it comes to finding it all pre-made and ready to go.EXAMPLES OF COMPLETED KITS
Here is a list of links to completed female armor. Please view these for inspiration, as a resource, and as a way to get to know the builders around the forums. Many of these women have provided build/WIP threads that will be of immense help for you to read. *Please feel free to suggest other completed female armor threads to be added to this list. Suggest yourself if you’re missing, too!
Vhe Oyre’s Ivven Oyre: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=28072.0
& WIP thread: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=19125.0
Seugtai’s Early Crusader (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=32070.0
Jay Krayt’s “Krayt Sisters”: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=63206.0
& WIP thread: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=56864.0
& continued upgrades: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=65328.0
Linora Void: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=66363.0
& WIP thread: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=43053.0
Hydra’s Umi: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=11927.0
Arden Fisk: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=60317.0
Vexa Seragon (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=62132.0
Ni’ka (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=36385.0
Arch (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=30886.0
Risika Skirata (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=63085.15
Sarad Ordo (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=54567.15
Mav Runi (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=43880.90
Coreysnaps (WIP thread): http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=55662.msg856820#msg856820CHEST ARMOR
Arguably the hardest part of a female kit, and much the centerpiece that makes-or-breaks the look in the opinion of many. Here you will find links to tutorials, examples, and links to armor providers. Purchasable Chest Plates
: *Please suggest links
-Vhe Oyre: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=72937.0
Occasionally sells metal (hammered aluminum) chest sets. Send her a PM inquiry.
-The Mandalorian Arsenal: http://www.themandalorianarsenal.com/products.html
Several styles, including TCW Death Watch. Sells more than chest plates, as well.
-Trooper Jasher: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=69332.0
Offers Legacy styles.
-Plastic Hanging Mannequin Sources:
*Please suggest! You can find these on ebay with a search, however. Make your own examples:
Fiberglass and Body Mold Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=43053.0
(Linora Void) http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=37982.0
(Rav Sta’is) http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=16740.msg241837#msg241837
Metal Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=19125.0
(Vhe Oyre) http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=22540.0
Hanging Torso Mannequin Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=62132.45
(Vexa Seragon) http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=63085.15
Dart Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=79340.0
(Kuu) *NEW http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=14553.15
Angular or “Paneled” Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=53595.0
: *We are sorely lacking in pure tutorials; however, much of what you need can be found in WIP thread examples. Please, please, please explore the forums for resources! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Dishing and Planishing metal, the basics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOFBj0BeQqM
*Please watch all 6 videos in the series
Angular or “Paneled” Tutorial: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=54817.0
Cupped Plastic Tutorial: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=67535.0
Dart Placement Tutorial: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=19868.0
Dishing Tutorial (Member banned, picture links broken. Information remains) : http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=28523.0
Pep Files for Bo-Katan: http://www.therpf.com/f24/pepakura-files-t_bone-179767/
Female Template Download (can anyone source this?) : http://www.mediafire.com/download/dbws61k7fwwl48c/Mercs-Female-ChestPlate-prototype.pdfHELMETS
Helmet sizing can be a real pain if you’re a smaller framed woman. My biggest piece of advice is to find a female kit with a wearer who has a frame similar to yours, and ask them about the helmet they used. The only “female specific” helmet out there is the Bo-Katan Nite Owl style, and even that one is not restricted to female use. Many smaller women end up using modified Jango 2-pieces, though this is certainly not the highest quality helmet out there. Many women find success with the smaller size options of “male” options out there; depending on your frame, you can probably pull off most male helmets, as well! All helmets look large until you pair them with armor; you’d be surprised how armor will fill out your look. As a general rule of thumb, you will only run into a potential “bobble head” problem if you are an exceptionally slight female, and even then, there are only a few helmets I would absolutely cross off the list. Purchasable Helmets
-The Mandalorian Arsenal: http://www.themandalorianarsenal.com/products.html
Sells Nite Owl/Bo-Katan style helmets.
-NME Mercenary 2.0: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=69899.0
The small size here is likely going to work for even the shortest and slightest of women, while still working for taller or larger women, too. This is a good option for those of you who want the classic helmet look. Very clean sculpt. Check out NME’s other style offerings, as well.
-Asok’s Helmets: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=69950.0
The cold-cast Jango especially is known to work well for women who are afraid of looking like a bobble head.
-Jango 2-piece Source: http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RU4116#.UsDEl2RDtLk
*temporarily out of stock. Anyone know of any other sources? Keep in mind these will take a considerable amount of modification to reach a quality standard.
*As always, scratchbuilding is an option, though most people (male and female alike) start with a purchased blank mold.
**Helmets to be wary of if you have a very small frame:
-Anything with excessive flare. These will look very large!
Most women cut the cod plate template down considerably. We refer to them as “bikini cods.” Use a bikini style swim suit or pair of underwear to translate that sort of shape to a reduced cod plate. Take a look at some finished armor sets for examples.GAUNTLETS
This is another armor piece that is usually waaaaaay too big for women if they try to use a male set or go from the male templates. If you’re making your own, make a note not to make them too long/go too far up your arm; it seems to be a common mistake. Purchasable Gauntlets
-Rav Sta’is: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=59788.0
Rav makes 3d printed female gauntlets (TCW Nite Owl style), and she can print them to fit your exact measurements!
-The Mandalorian Arsenal: http://www.themandalorianarsenal.com/products.html
Sells TCW Death Watch gauntlets with their female kits. Make your own examples
PVC Pipe Method: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=50398.0
Plastic Cups Method:
(link suggestion?) *Using plastic cups with cuts up the side and a piano hinge closure is another popular way to get a basic curved shape to build greeblies over.BACKPLATES
Backplates are also a difficult and uncomfortable armor piece, that many women choose to cut down the coverage on. Here are some examples of what people have done to play with the backplate pattern.http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af20/em_memory/Ivven%20Oyre%20v2/12.jpg
(more to come)BO-KATAN
Proving to be a very popular canon build these days, here are some helpful links if you are interested in building a Bo-Katan costume. *Link suggestion are appreciated!
Build threads: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=49916.0 http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=53481.0
The Mandalorian Arsenal: http://www.themandalorianarsenal.com/products.html
Pep Files: http://www.therpf.com/f24/pepakura-files-t_bone-179767/
Bo-Katan Reference Library: http://dodeathwatch.com/costume-library/
Wookieepedia Entry: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bo-Katan_Kryze
*Can someone please locate this/direct me to this?FINAL THOUGHTS
This thread will in no way be as useful to you as going out there on the forums, following WIP threads, posting your own, and asking questions. Tutorials rarely drop into our laps, but Mando armor is truly “learn by doing,” so don’t be afraid to experiment and throw attempts out. Hopefully this long-winded post has given you a place to start, though.
I will be working to polish this resource post in the next few days, as well as work on a soft parts equivalent to replace the old/defunct resource thread.
Also, please, please, please
post in this thread with suggestions or links to be added to sections of this resource thread. I need help to complete this, and your perspective would be greatly appreciated! I will endeavor to keep this post edited and up to date. It is impossible for me to scour every corner of the forums for information, so please help me fill this in. If you are an official member and your armor thread is not posted here, could you please also provide the link? I would love to add it.