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 Laurenanya WIP

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Laurenanya WIP
« on: Sep 22, 2023, 05:07 PM »
So I kept telling myself to wait until I had more physical progress to post to share, but everyone starts somewhere so I figured it was about time. My local group told me to go ahead and post the WIP here in the female forum to get a little more tailored help as well.

I've been at it for about a month reading all I can on the forum and watching dozens of videos.

I wanted to start my kit managable and as my skills grow and I learn more I may want to get more adventurous but for now I'm aiming towards a Post imperial Female nite owl from Bo Katan's live action crew. I'm going off a lot of Koska's coloring and shaping but If I find I need to modify something I'm not going for canon Koska. Here's my quick messy sketch I was finishing as I had pieces/colors sorted. And I'm not certain on helmet coloring yet, but and going to make my plates blue.

Where im at now:
-tools gathered or purchased, had a lot to start

-Ordered my helmet on the forum via Kick the bucket and it's in production

-Ordered my flightsuit and flak vest via Whimsy Cosplay studio on Etsy. They were very highly rated, had numerous positive reviews here and within the community and bonus- they are local to me. I feel like Nite owls have a lot of their suit exposed and im terrible with a sewing machine so I wanted to splurge there. I spent about an hour back and forth messaging the shop owner exact measurements and questions.

- Ordered and weathered some nomex flight gloves by, digging in the dirt in my backyard, throwing some rocks in my backyard (very scientific stuff I know) then lifting some hand weights with the gloves on to get an idea of natural creased and usage. Then I took some acrylic leather paint i had on hand for repairing bags and leather jackets (I love this stuff and already know it holds up on bags- Angelus brand. amazon/local craft stores carry it) then I rubbed brown acrylics into the cloth portions of the glove where my hands bent and moved, painted myself in the process. oh well!

These were pure black when I started, hopefully these are good results

Here's my small progress haul. I read so many pro's and cons on rustoleum but the price was right, and I'm decently patient (maybe..) so I had purchased a test sheet of sintra to try various techniques/wait times on. Also, if you're like me and physical forms help, My little black series Koska here has been pretty helpful so far. Bonus, the action figures occupy my kid!

I'm in Houston and the humidity is brutal year round so if anyone has some paint advice that would be wonderful. I've read a lot of advice in searching but still not sure of what works best besides allowing a couple days between coats?

Here is my test sintra and the paints, primer, and weathering medium I used- Liquitex masking fluid. I paint so had this on hand but do want to try other options.

I tried to wait a full 24 hours between each coat. on the largest piece of sintra I purposely oversprayed one half so it could dry and I could sand it down and test how to blend, if you can see the sanding and general mess that was intentional... I really want to know what thing look and feel like before taking the plunge on my armor. For some reason I test sanded the aluminum color under the weathering too.. it was interesting? don't love it.

And for armor- I've only purchased and sanded handplates.

Wasnt sure if I oversanded, need more work, or if this is just right. I'm using a little mouse hand sander and husky needle files for details.

They are PLA 3D prints via Clever3Dstudio I know the files they use are from a very popular designer, Im terrible and his handle escapes me right now.  July- August I was making my son an EVA storm trooper costume and learned patterns are not my forte, I remade each piece about 3 times over before I was pleased.... So when It came to this build I wanted to go the 3D print route and be a little more sure.

Here's a bonus pic of what im talking about. Completely unrelated but a good start to my costuming journey

So right now I'm just
-waiting on my bucket and flight suit
-debating if using Bondo glazing putty or wood filler is the best option for smoothing (post sanding) 3D prints- I have both options available and a 4 year old running around so non toxic is good...but does wood filler hold up as well?
-and trying to understand more about spray painting in swampy conditions. Maybe I'm overthinking that one. But I'm all about research!
- Also I know to stay in the same family/brand of paints to avoid reactions- what top coat do yall recommend?

Thanks for making it this far!

« Last Edit: Sep 22, 2023, 05:19 PM by Laurenanya » Logged

Aster Veris

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Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #1 on: Oct 03, 2023, 12:27 PM »
Welcome to the madness Laurenanya!
Your weathering on your gloves looks good, just make sure you keep it in mind that your whole kit should have the same level of weathering on it. Make sure you stay consistent.
For sanding/smoothing 3d prints, personally I use that same rustoleum filler/primer, and I use bondo spot putty for spots and tricky areas. After using bondo and sanding I always do a layer of filler/primer to test if it's smooth. Some people prefer to use wood filler, and imo it seems the main difference is that wood filler is non toxic so you can smooth it on with your fingers. Really up to you and which one you think fills out print lines better, maybe test it on some scraps and see which you like better?
Would love to see some photos of the helmet and flightsuit you ordered. Do you have a plan for your belt/pouches/holster? I can send some vendor suggestions if you'd like.
Also just a reminder to please keep an eye on the post imperial CRLs and speak to your local Ruus'alor about any questions you have! Advice from people on the forums is great, but if someone is not part of the app team or a ruus'alor, take their advice with a grain of salt. Even mine!


OM #2630 | BM #394 | they/them | mav oya'la clan |IG: @ plant.alorian | Aster WIP
Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #2 on: Oct 03, 2023, 06:36 PM »
Wow, I also got a WhimsyCosplay suit and plates from Clever3DStudio! I'm happy with both, so I'm hopeful you'll also be happy with yours :)
Also Clever3DStudio prints from files made by chamanleon_fx.

As for advice, the advice I can offer from personal experience living in a humid climate as well is that filler primer especially takes a while to cure fully. I like to give it at least 24 hours before dry sanding. Something else I learned (that you probably won't need to keep in mind until much later) is that clear coats can dry 'tacky' if the environment the part was left to dry in was too humid... which doesn't feel pleasant at all to touch. So I started bringing clear coated parts inside once they dried enough to move them, and allowing them to cure fully in air conditioned, drier air. That fixed the tackiness issue for me.

Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #3 on: Oct 12, 2023, 10:47 AM »
Definitely a lot of helpful information and Iím taking it all in, thank you everyone! And I have asked the same question of my Ruus too so on the right track hopefully.

Iím outta town at the moment and my notifications didnít seem to want to update me (still figuring out the forum!) but I actually did get my flight suit in and had planned to update pics when I could.

The clear coat and humidity is a really good point too! I use clear coats often for acrylic painting and run into issues with it getting tacky or gritty if itís not moved to the garage or a back room to finish curing.

The more I ask the more Iím hearing bondo is the way to go just for durability if you plan to troop a lot. And I have all the safety gear and space so might as well.

Still trying to make a plan for belt and weapons but the general idea is to stick to standard nite owl styles and I probably will source vs. make the leather goods myself.



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Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2023, 04:00 PM »

Welcome to the wonderful world of building plastic space mandos!

Looks like you have a solid start and are getting some good advice!

For fillers I use bondo spot putty for larger area filling.  The wood filler works great for very shallow and small stuff.  Strength wise I haven't noticed a difference.

Spraying in humidity is always a tricky endeavor.  Generally the paint cans have ideal humidity for use.  Stick to it or you will get the dreaded orange peel.

Looking forward to seeing this one come together!

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss

Ursa Wren WIP
WIP Armor
WIP Helmet
WIP Weapons Post Imperial Build
Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #5 on: Nov 06, 2023, 08:18 PM »

flight suit arrived and its fantastic...minus the hilariously off measurements. Thats on me and who I trusted to help/pay attention when reading a measuring tape though. So, next time ill double check myself and yup. Thankfully whimsy cosplay does free alterations and is literally across town from me. So researching weathering ideas while I wait. They assured me its all easy fixes too, and yeah obviously a size too big, legs too short. Thats all being sorted and I'll get in person tailoring if needed after that

flak vest to be sized down too. 

Helmet arrived from kick the bucket

Started prep with the bondo/acetone method

small parts coming along, prepped with rustoleum sandable primer

Helmet progress

At this point I know I need another layer of bondo at my seams and under ear caps but went for a primer layer while the weather was cooperative

And my primer decided to grit up towards the end of the can/some pollen fell on top of my helmet. Round 2 of sanding soon to take care of/fill remaining gaps

Also got my boots in with prime day or some kind of sale- when you have lady feet like me it helps lol. So I grabbed the famous sketchers, and jeez. Unfair how well padded they are compared to most women's options I've tried so far. I know these run around $100... I think I got them for 40? In the smallest mens size they had. I got bold and seam ripped out the sketchers branding tag. trying to decide if ill weather any further

So where I'm at now is waiting for my kiddo to be outta the way to finish sanding, filling in gaps, and priming.

whoever recommended dunking pieces in a tote full of water and wet sanding, that has also been pretty helpful. I've just been hosing the bondo/pla dust off my porch after prepping


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Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #6 on: Nov 16, 2023, 11:41 AM »
Ugh, the flightsuit errors suck but I'm glad you're getting it fixed.
Bucket looks cool, hope the shoes are comfy, and keep up the good work vod!


OM #2630 | BM #394 | they/them | mav oya'la clan |IG: @ plant.alorian | Aster WIP
Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #7 on: Nov 27, 2023, 05:27 PM »
Ugh, the flightsuit errors suck but I'm glad you're getting it fixed.
Bucket looks cool, hope the shoes are comfy, and keep up the good work vod!

Thank you! it's all a learning curve for me so taking it in stride.

more updates on getting down my painting process and working on my helmet:

to get fully smooth and level on my seam I think it took 3.5 rounds of bondo.. not sure what level this was

and adding and letting paint layers cure through a rainy couple weeks

more bondo, didn't take pics but hated my color choices on ear caps so stripped and repainted

figuring out my acrylic wash styles, hopefully keeping things consistently weathered

mmm more bondo, more sanding. I'm starting to almost get a rythm down and enjoy it. Podcast/audiobook and afternoon sanding!

Rustoleum being rustoleum, my clear coat ate my 4 day cured paint off- turns out there was acetone in the formula. Who does that?! rustoleum, I know why so many of yall hate it, I get it. but hey, learning through set backs, right?

it really just melted off. no more rustoleum top coats for me

this is why I did my first go on handplates. prepped and back in buisness. And YES! now I have spoons painted up to test for next round. lessons learned.

after a few days, back in order.

not a great picture of all the head gear and hand plate prep but here we are

Dad and brother helped me figure out a Dremel and clear out the bulk of my visor over thanksgiving. meeting up with another Dremel owning friend soon to finish cleaning this up.

Ordered more armor to work on over black Friday, still waiting on flight suit updates and moving along! oh, speaking of set backs my goofy dog ate my gloves so gotta re order those as well. But again, all part of the adventure.

better photo of paint colors and weathering so far

Hope everyone's been having calm enough winter holiday breaks and I'm sure a lot of yall have been spending it on projects like me.

« Last Edit: Nov 28, 2023, 02:52 PM by Laurenanya » Logged
Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2024, 01:37 PM »
December updates:

Just working through upper body armor, sanding and painting, the usual-

Shoulder pauldrons

Working with clever3dprint studio on Etsy to get sizing locked down and they've been great on my various plates. I have a ton of respect for everyone 3D printing their own pieces it's alot, I'm glad the prep process on these has been smooth each time.

My family fed my hobbies this Christmas, right after I got help cleaning up my helmet with my friend and borrowing her Dremel so of course I now have my own after we finished. still, Thanks Santa!

Another Christmas gift- My storage tote/rolling toolbox. The perks of being a small Mando, everything fits with plenty of room in a 24 Gallon tote (fitting it in my car was a worry, but were good!) Painted it up for a fun project between sanding.

vaguely made it match my armor without sparing too much extra paint. I know vinyl is a nope on costumes so I got out my urges to use it to put my name (Anya Wren- It's LauREN Anya backwards- very thought out I know!) and some mythosaur skulls on the tote.

More Sanding

Found some replacement gloves for my former nomex flight gloves (my dog ate my homework, really. they love to shred) After weathering and some small, embossed logo coverage we should be good. They're Dakine bike gloves. Surprisingly difficult to find unlined gloves. This brand even ran small, which was great after most unlined options I found were only unisex or men's and huge on me. I got these in a men's small if any other Mando's with tiny hands are interested!

Next up, finishing up my chest plates then focusing back on my helmet and getting everything assembled.

I need to research attachment methods/glue since my ear caps are totally separate. I was told a 2 part epoxy is best? I have a range finder on my helmet as well so at my hardware will help anchor the heavy stuff onto one sidel.

Happy 2024 everyone!

Updates as of Feb 2024:

I'll try to squeeze all my steps in, I was trying to get as much done as I could between Jan rain/freezes in Houston

Helmet after cleaning up visor cutout

various pieces in progress

weathering gaiters.. or chaps? Whatever you wanna call shin leathers

fit pre weathering, And yes I know on the body fit would be more helpful- flight suit still needs to be taken in quite a bit so this was the best idea of fit I could get:

I actually caught up with my flight suit designer- Whimsy Cosplay here in Houston (Pearland) and met with her in person at their new studio  to get custom fitting and got to see their new shop space. So if you're local that was a really great option. Laluu and her assistant Alex were really helpful and answered so many questions for me. They're aslo hosting an armor party at the endish of the month so i'll be back.

If you're outa area/state they are a cost but definitely worth it. I think I'd have an in person tailor measure me next time I ordered any cosplay or costume clothing piece online in hindsight.

ab plate progress, trying to keep my colors and weathering consistent and " simple" on my first kit so I can really get down each step and how to recover in most variables ( hello heat, rain and humidity)

Beskar metallic layer and making fluid

probably out of order now but more accountability photos of the process I take for my own understanding and here

painted vs weathered pieces

just a flat lay of everything going on


helmet with layers ( that i got to sand down and re do after some humidity born crackling, ahhh the journey ha)


more of where were at:

picking up my flight suit sometime this week,
about to weather helmet and shoulder straps
attach helmet pieces/ ear caps
sort out velcro on my plate
and up next gauntlets were ordered

2/10- Some updated close up photos I had shared on my local clan WIP feed:

brainstorming how to make the various materials of my gloves show even weathering, because the mesh likes to soak up the paint


with plates

helmet and shoulders after wash. Need to add another layer to my shoulders

dome! really happy with how well I was able to blend in the seam. I was worried after so many rounds of sanding and bondo paint might show some flaws but seems to be level

stilll tweaking my cheek wash

close up chest details

« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2024, 04:59 PM by Laurenanya » Logged


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Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #9 on: Feb 11, 2024, 02:16 AM »
I LOVE how this is turning out! Absolutely gorgeous!! Also love your kit box. And did you make the gaiters yourself, or...?  :<3: :like:

Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #10 on: Feb 16, 2024, 05:31 PM »
I LOVE how this is turning out! Absolutely gorgeous!! Also love your kit box. And did you make the gaiters yourself, or...?  :<3: :like:

Thank you!
short answer, I bought the gaiters after researching what approved members were using and had been accepted. They're horse riding half chaps?? from amazon! I know CRLs  say hide the zippers on inner side of leg so I wear them on the wrong legs and don't notice any discomfort.

long answer, I Initially priced leather and tools, searched patterns for belts and gaiters and wasn't finding anything too cost efficient that I was loving. So all my leather goods are premade. My belt will be in soon from a maker I found on Etsy who also came highly recommended Laura- British Pixie Creation on etsy- for the amount I'd have spent on the leather and tools I looked at locally it came out to be more than what I paid for my belt in the end.

Next weekend at my local clan's armor party hoping to get my helmet all put together and have my flightsuit completely ready to start weathering. Perks of having a local cosplay studio, we double checked the alterations today and it needed just a little more tweaking.

and so im not double posting, my only photo update, helmet weathering:

« Last Edit: Feb 16, 2024, 05:54 PM by Laurenanya » Logged
Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #11 on: Feb 18, 2024, 09:27 AM »
This is looking amazing so far! You're getting so close!

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Re: Laurenanya WIP
« Reply #12 on: Feb 20, 2024, 04:02 PM »
thanks for the encouragement everyone! I still feel like i have no idea what im doing some days. We're getting there though!

Heres my full current armor set weathered, my house is a bit of a dungeon so hard to see details:

so some helmet close ups directly next to a window

I attached one ear cap with jb weld super glue and clamps overnight, holding off on my range finder side to get assistance from my clan drilling out the holes for hardware.

I have my visor- a weld screen from my husband's work hes cutting down for me.
so hopefully can attach it soon.

Still sorting out my inner padding to keep things secure on my head so no photos of that set up yet.

weathered my gloves a little further:
I'm using a water resistant leather acrylic paint because the idea of water based paint running on my hands or kiddos/guests seemed like a bad idea sweating in the Texas heat! though my seamstress did recommend some charcoal with a fixative spray on my webbed areas that tend to absorb paint. She's made a dozen approved Merc and 501st costumes so I trust her to give it a try.

Added a black denim patch to fully hide some embossed logos on thin fabric- there was no cutting it out or rubbing it off with the brand embossed into a very thin area of the fabric so I'm happy with this solution

ironing it on (with a hair straigtner set to 400 degrees to not melt the plastic material directly next to the fabric even gave me extr scorch marks on my palm- it works

Hopefully still picking up my flightsuit during our clan armor party so I can also start weathering that and working on proper attachments.

our local usps is struggling still so my next order of 3D prints is out there somewhere, hopefully ill get them soon. getting close to being finished painting

Laura (Britishpixiecreation) is also finishing up my belt, realized I never shared- this is her stock photo of the style I ordered so hopefully arriving march as well.


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