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 A Sando's beginning!

  • 6 Replies
A Sando's beginning!
« on: Jul 11, 2021, 09:17 PM »
Hello Mandos!

My name is Viam, and I come to you from a wonderful desert planet on the outer rim called Az. My brother and I have for years now been into the cosplay scene... but realized... we do not have anything remotely Star Wars. We desperately needed to change that.

SO, after watching the Mandalorian series and playing with the Mandalorian LEGO set around the house with the brothers kids... we decided... we're going Mando.

So far so good, I started back in Mayish, where my brother printed out a Boba Modern bucket:

The top of the bucket was printed separately to allow shorter printing time and use less filament. After attaching the two pieces together with a two part epoxy, it was time for sanding. DO NOT FORGET: Wear a respirator and gloves for the next few parts... no Mando wants crud in their lungs, this will keep you safe, and healthy, trust me.

I started with a tough 80 grit to get rid of the printing lines, and then hit with higher grit of 120. The filler I used is the awesome stuff called, SMOOTH-ON Free form air series. Lightweight and tough as Tusken Raiders. Here is the sanded helmet:

Once that was done... many, many hours later, it was time for primer. I went with RUST-OLEUM's filler primer, found in the states:

Slow and easy, like a Bantha. Make sure to do quick passes with the primer or any aerosol paint/primer. Build up can lead to crackling... which leads to more sanding. Once I laid down a layer of primer, I let it dry anywhere between 2-4 hours. Patience. Once the primer was dry, I sanded it down using a 150 grit wet-dry sandpaper. If you have never used this stuff before, it is GREAT! Once you have sanded off the primer, the water kinda turns it into a putty, filling cracks. Let this dry for about 30 mins, then... spray again. See the difference from start to finish with wet-dry sanding done at least 6 times... with 3 cans of primer. WORTH IT!

2nd layer of primer.

3rd layer of primer.


Now, after several layers of primer to hide those pesky print lines, it was time for the Beskar! I went with RUST-OLEUM's Universal Paint & Primer in one, METALLIC... Dark Steel, from the states. This was the closest I thought to the Beskar look.

3 layers of that... hours in between for drying... I have myself a shiny bucket.

NEXT! Masking... super duper important for clean lines and laying down several colors. As I read in a forum, and have now proven to myself when it comes to laying down the colors. Start with the lighter colors, then lay down the darker. It is easier to cover lighter colors than darker ones.

Here is my color reference from Mando Maker, which I highly recommend. The color changing side of things on the website does not label what you are changing the colors of, e.g. the T on the face vs. the cheeks, play with it and you will find your colors like I did.

With masking I recommend a good vinyl tape such as electrical tape with the crisp edges. Anything else involving large areas, newspaper and painters tape.

First the white, another RUST-OLEUM color, this time... satin heirloom white. (looks like an eggshell, satin has a little shine to it, but nothing like gloss paint):

This part is where the newspaper comes in, I am looking to do the T on the face with yet another RUST-OLEUM color, this time with SATIN SPICED AMBER:

Spray spray spray... BOOM!

I did the cheeks before the T, using RUST-OLEUM's SATIN ESPESSO. There were some small areas where the paint had gotten through, but nothing like nail polish remover to do the trick.

With most of the big part of the bucket done, it was time for the ears. I am sucker for lights, as everyone loves flashy things as well. (I must be part Porg inside :porg2:) I purchased 3MM LED's on AMAZON... sorry small businesses, and started soldering. Of course... I forget to drill before I painted. Prep all your work such as drilling first before painting. Painting is your final step... think of this process as the pages of a book, from start to finish. Going back, I added LED holders... GREEBLIES.  Help to finish up the edges, you can see the crunchy paint where I made the mistake to drill after painting...  :(. All good.

With some coding and ARDUINO action, I whipped up a series of flashing lights to make it more like a transmitter and receiver.

Two stripes along the ears... I am now working on the visor.




Templates coming out of my helmet... I will follow up with how it turned out. Does anyone have any feedback on storing battery packs?

Thank you everyone for reading so far... I cannot stop thinking about this BUILD!!!!!



Arco'thyel Wyshla

  • 184
  • Your resident crazy cat mando
Re: A Sando's beginning!
« Reply #1 on: Jul 11, 2021, 11:35 PM »
Wow, excellent work and documentation! I greatly appreciate your detailed step-by-step process -- it's a wonderful reference for when I start my bucket!

You are absolutely correct about everyone loving flashy things! :porg2: And the custom blinking pattern of the lights really adds a professional air to the build. I'm curious, which microcontroller / battery setup did you use?

The colors are lovely -- do you plan on dirtying it up, or going for a clean aesthetic?

Great stuff going on here. Keep up the good work! :like:

Arco's armor concept thread: Come help me plan things out!

WIPs: Soft parts

"Visit Mandalore before Mandalore visits you. Take home some souvenirs—a slab of uj cake and a smack in the mouth." ―Baltan Carid

"Don’t take this the wrong way you guys, but uh, Mandalorians are crazy." ―Ezra Bridger
Re: A Sando's beginning!
« Reply #2 on: Jul 14, 2021, 10:05 AM »
Arco'thyel Wyshla,

Thank you for the awesome feedback! Especially about the “professional air.” :D

To answer your questions, the microcontroller I am using for this build is the ARDUINO NANO. There is an awesome starter kit you can purchase online that sets you up with the basics. Program LED’s to flash, make a servo flip back and forth, turn on and off a fan. Here is the link:

And to answer your question about the colors, I plan on giving it a little dirt bath. Living in the desert myself, I have a pretty good idea of the treatment this helmet deserves. I have been taking pictures of cars (no license plates) that have minimal to severe star damage. A couple of my lines on the paint job did not turn out the way I wanted them to, so this dirt will certainly help out. Any suggestions on desert sand/dust damage if you have any?

Thank you again!



  • 14
  • haha grappling line go brrrr
Re: A Sando's beginning!
« Reply #3 on: Jul 14, 2021, 01:44 PM »
A fellow sando! Well, I won't be going the native environment route but all the same. Can't wait to see your completed kit :)

Visor template!
« Reply #4 on: Jul 20, 2021, 02:39 PM »

The visor… the visor… the visor. What a long and detailed process. After reading through Raestin Ke'Varek‘s how to cut and install a visor, I decided to take it to the next level!

I have over 20 years experience in photoshop and decided to use my skills at that to design a template for my visor.

Initially I used the card stock technique from the forum, then scanned it into the computer. Once my measurements were accurate, I duplicated the layer on photoshop, flipped it vertically and began printing.

(Looks like Star Wars underwear lol)

After countless visor adjustments, I found one that fit.

The file was sent over to my brother where with a “laser”, in an extremely well ventilated area, it was cut.

Attaching the visor is up next! I am on a quick lunch break, gotta get back to the bounties!

By the way, does anyone know of any top quality droid parts. I would like to start a collection of the best droids in the galaxy.

Cheers,  :like:

« Last Edit: Jul 21, 2021, 01:04 AM by Viam_Oollad » Logged

Cattriss Wren

  • 321
  • "Vurel narir'shekemir, draar solus"
Re: A Sando's beginning!
« Reply #5 on: Jul 28, 2021, 12:12 PM »
Su'cuy viam, helmet is looking amazing!!!! :like: excellent job so far!! ;) visor cut out looks great too!! Good luck on installing it :porg1: ;D

my armor.

 "Mandalorians don't make threats. We make promises"
"Everyone has a struggle in life. The key is turning that struggle into your weapon."
Re: A Sando's beginning!
« Reply #6 on: Jul 29, 2021, 12:41 AM »
Vor entye Cattriss!  :<3:

So far so good on the visor mounting. I have run into a small issue where the brow sides of the visor are a little too close to edges of the T of the visor cut out from the front. Nothing some engineering and inventing can't handle.

Have a look here at the mounts themselves. Some T-nuts, rubber fittings and screw covers have done the trick to conceal the screws and give the helmet a more Star Wars feel if anyone were to ask to see it.

If anyone is curious, the helmet liner is from WS Custom Helmet Liners, here is the link:

Getting closer to a completed bucket!



With the foam pad inserts, the bucket sits and fits perfectly! Still trying to figure out how to hold down the ends of the visor in the helmet. Have a look at the inside from the past photos.

I have plans to paint around the pads to give the inside of the helmet for more of a finished look.

More photos to come!

« Last Edit: Sep 03, 2021, 12:30 AM by Viam_Oollad » Logged

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