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 Totsu - Kiffu Mandalorian (PIC HEAVY)

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RedBirdXlll


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Totsu - Kiffu Mandalorian (PIC HEAVY)
« on: Dec 08, 2019, 01:20 PM »
Okie dokie ner vode!

I am back and working on my new kit. I started it a while back, sort of, but got caught up in being a butt about CRLs. I have since learned some things, redesigned some things, and have set some hard goals to have a new mando for 2020. I'll be doing periodic updates here once I build up enough photos for it to be worth the effort of forum posting, otherwise I post small progress snippets to my IG @RedBird_Makes.

I finally got around to doing some new art for my current, updated concept. I've run everything by Kruser and so far it all seems like it's good to go.





I am Cherokee Nation, a tribe based in Tahlequah, OK and this kit is heavily influenced by that heritage. Everything from the color palette to the motifs are all Cherokee inspired, but adapted so as not to be recognizable. The criss/cross lines on the helmet, for example, will be hairline grooves carved deliberately into the front as kill stripes. Traditionally warriors would mark their faces this way to represent kills in battle or other victories by carving lines with flint and rubbing pigment into the wounds to leave a tattooed mark. This is not only insanely badass, but also seems like something that would fit beautifully into Mandalorian culture, so I opted to include it.








The marks will be very slight and clean so as not to make the face of my helmet super busy. The red hand print across the helmet is possibly the most important part of the bucket for me. This is a nod to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, a movement to raise awareness of how frequently indigenous women are killed, abducted, or otherwise abused. It's extremely personal and important to me, and is largely the reason I will be in this kit - I want to be an avatar for this cause. Plus a mando who hunts down scumbags who kill, kidnap, or abuse women sounds very Mandalorian to me. The hand will not look bloody or gory, but it will be a dark red, as that's the color that represents that movement. I'll have "No More Stolen Sisters" carved into my gauntlet in Aurabesh as a reflection of this cause as well.





The "feather" motif on the neck, chest, and back plates comes from the Cherokee tradition of wearing SUPER rad feather capes and cloaks. The loin cloth style is also inspired by the loin cloth and leggings Cherokee men traditionally wore. It's a Good Look and I want to rock it. There are some other things inspired by my tribe but those are the major points!


So for the actual build, I've mainly started on soft parts, my helmet, and one of my 3 blasters I plan to have equipped.

For my flight suit I opted to go with some tan scrubs. Originally I was going to do a set of Dickie's coveralls but I am just not built for one-piece things. I have a long torso, a large chest, and broad shoulders and it just makes wearing one-piece things a pain. Kruser pointed me to scrubs and I'm super grateful. They're way more comfortable and the color is perfect!

The brand is Koi, and they're semi-stretchy. Here's a link to the shirt: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QYX9C5S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1





They also have pants from the same brand in matching colors. They run a bit large (the shirt at least, I don't have the pants yet). I ordered for my bust and waist and it had me get a 2XL (I usually wear a large), but I was able to tailor it down pretty easily. I need to close up the front pockets and cover up a branded lining on the inside of the sleeves, but other than that it's all good to go!

My plan is to attach some long sleeves using some light brown fabric I already have.



The first soft parts I've completed are my gaiters. I made them using a leather jacket acquired from Goodwill that I completely took apart. The sleeves became the main panel that sits on my shins, then I pinned other panels from the jacket in place around my leg until I had a fit I was happy with. I cut the pieces into the right shape, then mirrored those pieces for the other leg, using the other sleeve as well. The base shape I ended up with looked like this:





I used the editing app on my phone to get an idea of what i wanted the detailed top stitching to look like. I see a TON of top stitching in Star Wars, especially in the new Mandalorian show, so it's something I really want to include in this kit.





I chose a light colored thread and got to work!














For this kit I'm really trying to push myself to go the extra mile and actually finish my garments to the best of my ability. Having a background in casual cosplay means frequently my garments are unlined and/or unfinished in areas where they won't be seen. So I chose a gorgeous thick orange fabric to line these gaiters with. Not only would it look nice and give them a nice, finished look, but it will also help to thicken them up a bit and make them more effective at hiding where my pants end and my boots start. Once I had the main pieces sewn, I mirrored them with the lining fabric and added it in place, after sewing velcro on to the necessary sides.























I made sure to fit and pattern them with long pajama pants on so I could be sure they'd fit with my scrubs on as well.



Next I started work on my loin cloth/cummerbund piece. I am not currently in the best shape of my life and wanted to give myself a bit of a waist by making a high-waisted loin cloth piece. It's not allowed, however, in the CRLs to have a waist item extend above the waist or have a torso item extend below the waist (believe me, I talked about it. A lot.) To combat this problem, Kruser suggested I make the items two pieces so I can, for all intents and purposes keep the same look, but maintain the rules about waist items. So the loin pieces attach to the cummerbund with industrial snaps and are completely separate pieces.


To start, I had some GORGEOUS heavy linen in a natural color:





I created a custom dye blend with the help of Rit dye's website (the particular color I mixed is called "Chili Oil" in their swatch library. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. It's EXACTLY the color I wanted in my head.




Dyed vs undyed


I made my pattern using a duct tape dummy some fellow clan members helped me make - wrap the dummy in plastic wrap then duct tape, draw your shapes, cut out, lay flat, and transfer to fabric. I did some mock-ups with muslin first until I got the shapes the way I liked, then it was time to sew the linen!











To further separate the loin pieces from the cummerbund, I wanted to add a little texture. Star Wars loves parallel top stitching so I went with that. It will also add some nice structure to the loin pieces, which will be good for mounting armor plates.

Ivven Oyre gave me a great tip for super clean top stitching without a bulky backstitch on either end. You just stitch the line with no backstitch, then flip the piece over and pull the thread through so both ends are on one side. You then tie the ends off manually and trim, leaving a super clean front with no ugly backstitch spots.











Then I added snaps to both the loin pieces and the cummerbund!





And here's the finished piece!








It'll get some weathering and distressing and a couple armor plates added on, but the base construction is done!

I've also got the pieces cut for what I'm calling my "demi-chaps," the brown pieces on my thighs in my concept art that my thigh plates mount to.



While that's been in the works at home, in the shop I've started work on my helmet. I'm using my old foam helmet from this kit I made a couple years ago:





I sanded off all the paint and laid down a layer of Epsilon Pro to give me a solid base for the first round of filling and sanding.








I received a lot of... "concerned" feedback from folks when they found out I'm "attempting" to mold a foam helmet. But it's going to be just fine. You can mold pretty much anything as long as it's prepped right and doesn't react badly with silicone! Once I'm done with it this helmet will be as smooth as any other helmet buck going under silicone. Any wonky lines can be fixed with bondo, and the thick edges around the visor will be adjusted the same way. For those who have fears about structural integrity, I took a little video to help show how sturdy it is:

https://i.imgur.com/qAITxnp.mp4

Foam is typically very soft and malleable and not ideal for molding due to that and its porous surface texture. To combat that, one option is to coat the foam helmet inside and out with an epoxy resin called Epsilon Pro. This product is designed for adding a rigid coating to a soft material, as it has a little bit of flex and self levels to some degree. The coating can be sanded and layered for a sturdier coat.

"This helmet already has several layers of filler and Epsilon on it, which is why I'm able to sand it this way. 100 grit on raw foam goes BADLY. In order to prep this helmet for molding I'll sand the paint down a good bit and then start the process of layering, filling, and sanding again until I have a super smooth, sturdy finish.

Buckling under silicone weight isn't a concern here - this helmet is already quite sturdy and has a bike helmet as a base for the dome. The helmet walls are plenty strong to support it under silicone! I'll also likely use Free Form Air or something similar for my mold jacket, so I'll have a nice light weight but rigid jacket as well.

A few folks raised concerns about the thickness of the foam, especially around the visor. Fortunately that can be remedied with some bondo work and through the slush casting process.

If anyone has questions I'm happy to answer! I know it's an unusual process, but it's totally possible to mold foam and not as outrageous as people think. It just requires some prep and planning, as with any other molding project."


The lines currently carved in the top of the helmet will be filled to get a nice smooth dome.


While that's in progress, I've been working on one of my pew pews!

My buddy Jake (Reciprocation Props) custom modeled this gorgeous Westar 55 for me and also did me the courtesy of printing and prepping it for paint. His prep work is pretty phenomenal:

 











I gave it a few coats of Alclad Gloss Black Base and Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear:





Then I FINALLY got to hit it with some graphite powder, a technique I've been dying to try for myself:














It's.... so pretty. I'm going to add matte black or brown to the inset parts of the handle and then seal the whole thing before weathering a bit with oil paints. You don't need to seal the graphite to stop it from rubbing off - once you buff it with a cloth it's on there, but I want to protect it from the oil paints as best I can.


I've also got a treat on its way to me from friends at Demon Dog Studios that I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on:











This will be my lower back blaster. I'm also getting a DE-10 from ConDar Ward's old mold. When all of this is done I'm going to print myself a pulse rifle, because it's beautiful and I'm madly in love with it.


Beyond that, weapons-wise I'll be printing this shock grenade modeled for me by my good friend Nic:


     


And I'll have a combat knife mounted on my belt below my DT-12.



Demon Dog Studios is also helping me out with my bracers, which I custom designed and they did me the honor of modeling. I wanted something a little less blocky than traditional bracers and I wanted a custom housing for a Dremel motor I found in a scrap yard that will serve as my flamethrower. Josh modeled them for me gorgeously and I am SO stoked. I opted for 3D modeling with these because making Sintra round is dumb and I dislike it.








I'm really excited for this kit. The color palette and textures I've developed so far feel really right to me, and I'm excited to troop alongside clan members while representing my tribe with pride.





I'm aldo going to make a baller poncho that I'm super hype about


     



Next on the to-do list is my flak vest, which will be designed so I can take it on and off without removing my plates, and continuing the work on my helmet. My goal is to be as mobile and self-sufficient in this costume as possible. I want to get it on and off myself as easily as possible.

More updates to come! Thanks for reading this extra long one!

« Last Edit: Feb 26, 2020, 02:27 PM by RedBirdXlll » Logged

Aden Banto


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2019, 01:33 PM »
I haven't been this excited to watch a WIP come to life! Bookmarked!

Aden  :vizsla:

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Novoc Mereel


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #2 on: Dec 08, 2019, 01:42 PM »
I love the concept, and that Westar-55 is HOT. I cannot WAIT to see this come together!

Anansi


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 2019, 02:02 PM »
This is absolutely fantastic! I'm eagerly following along for updates!

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3ddyb


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #4 on: Dec 08, 2019, 02:06 PM »
Loving the concept, can't wait to see what you come up with :like:

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"An artist by nature,  a monster by necessity..."

Ashla

Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #5 on: Dec 08, 2019, 05:51 PM »
Stunning concept and work. Following

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Kol Varek


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #6 on: Dec 08, 2019, 06:41 PM »
All the stoke!

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Jennari


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #7 on: Dec 08, 2019, 10:23 PM »
Awesome work. Bookmarked, and eagerly awaiting more progress.

Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 2019, 01:37 PM »
Really excited for this project it screams awesome.

I love the social aspects of the art and I hope there is a lot of buzz for this project. But even without that the designs are great. 

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RedBirdXlll


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 2019, 02:16 PM »
Ahhh thanks so much everyone!!

I hope to have some more updates to post this weekend.

Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #10 on: Dec 11, 2019, 08:29 AM »
I知 doing a similar build I知 from Sappony tribe  of North Carolina, I知 covering my armor in traditional floral designs and I知 doing a red hand over the face for MMIW as well, I love the tattoo idea, one of my first stretches had the armor cover in them. My second set of armor may still have them. But I wanted to post on you thread because it痴 always great to see and meet other Natives. 

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Bel Tay'haai


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #11 on: Dec 11, 2019, 10:14 AM »
Wow, this is incredibly gorgeous. I might borrow your backstitching method. Can't wait to see more!

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RedBirdXlll


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #12 on: Dec 11, 2019, 01:25 PM »
I知 doing a similar build I知 from Sappony tribe  of North Carolina, I知 covering my armor in traditional floral designs and I知 doing a red hand over the face for MMIW as well, I love the tattoo idea, one of my first stretches had the armor cover in them. My second set of armor may still have them. But I wanted to post on you thread because it痴 always great to see and meet other Natives.

Osiyo! Excited to have other folks kitting up for MMIW too


Okay a quick little update 'cause I'm excited.

Last night I printed the first bracer from Demon Dog (my design, their modeling genius).



















The bracer was printed in 4 parts in ABS. I used an Acetone/ABS slurry to "weld" the halves together, so now after a little sanding on the seam the bracer is 2 parts, the top and bottom halves. This is the left one which will have my flamethrower mounted on it.





I love love love this dremel motor. I've been holding onto it for years for the purpose of making it a flamethrower on a kit.





I also made some progress sanding/filling my bucket and patterning my flak vest, but I don't have pics of that today - hoping to do another big update this weekend!


Oh yeah I also doodled some concepts for what I want to wear under my bucket and my combat knife






« Last Edit: Dec 11, 2019, 03:23 PM by RedBirdXlll » Logged

Novoc Mereel


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11, 2019, 06:16 PM »
That Dremel motor is such a sick found part!

MadCelt


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Re: Ru'nan Vel - Kiffu Mandalorian
« Reply #14 on: Dec 12, 2019, 09:44 AM »
This Concept and Build are ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

This is going to be a beautiful kit to behold.

 


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