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 Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)

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Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« on: Feb 23, 2024, 04:03 PM »
I posted this in armor concepts first, whoops. It took me about two minutes to realize backpacks aren't armor, so I deleted that thread and I'm putting it here, in the right spot, instead. Oops!

Anyway, itís that time again! (Time to start a brand new facet of Mando-building while all most of the others are still unfinished! :laugh:) The weather isnít cooperating, so Iím doing everything but painting at the moment. My current point of thought is the backpack.

(Note: Iím planning to go for medic brigade at some point and figured I might as well work on the bag now since Iíll need one to carry some things anyway.)

Iíll jump right in! I saw someone (Wonderlorian) turn a hard-sided toolbox into a medic bag and I love that idea, I'm loosely planning to do something like that. Unfortunately, nothing about making a Mando is clear cut when you have to take a wheelchair into account. Definite problem: wheelchair hardware.



This is the back of my chair. Itís a 16in wide hard back and the distance between the inside of the mounting brackets is a little less than 11in. That limits my options when looking at most bags. (Or toolboxes. This is the one Wonderlorian used, but it's ~12in wide. Close, but no dice.) If I want the bag to sit nicely, itíll have to fit between the brackets. Does it need to sit nicely? Given how much the hardware sticks out, either the bag fits in between or it looks like an abomination.



Nonnegotiable: absolutely must be 16in or narrower so it wonít rub against my tires.
Slightly negotiable: spacing or height of the pack and any width < 16in.

Iím thinking I could mount the pack lower than the brackets, which would give me an extra few inches width-wise. Problem: push handle mounts and the extra bulk they add.



Hypothetically, I can take those off. I have a bunch of allen wrenches, itíd take me thirty minutes max. Realistically, as soon as I unscrew the brackets, Iíll need to stick the handles on again. The brackets are mounts for bolt-on push handles, which I take on and off as needed. If I leave the mounts on, the pack would be pushed further away and over the back bar, which already sticks out some. Cue chaotic angles.



That picture is there to demonstrate how a hard bag would be steeply angled away, which both looks odd and would probably result in me whacking into someone with it. I'm assuming that the bag would be tall enough that it would have to cross over the backrest bar. I'll have a fair bit to carry plus medic brigade supplies, so the more space, the better.

Potential solution: soft-sided bag (ie. backpack).
Drawback: hard sided bags look freaking awesome.

Iíll keep thinking on this, but figured Iíd throw up a planning thread for the heck of it. If you have ideas or opinions, I'm happy to hear them! Even the simple things arenít simple when wheelchairs are involved :laugh:. Until next time. Kíoyacyi!

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 2024, 03:20 AM »
So, Iíve given this some more thought and I see two options.

#1, find a hard-sided bag or toolbox thatís narrow enough to fit between the brackets. (This would be narrow enough and has nice compartments.)

This route would get me what I was originally looking for, but Iíd still have to deal with the bag sticking way out over the backrest bar. Iím not thrilled with that idea.

#2, use a regular backpack and modify the heck out of it.

Despite how great the hard-sided bags Iíve seen look, Iím leaning more towards using a regular backpack. This is my everyday backpack and what I would ideally use for my kit. This specific type of bag fits nicely on my chair and hangs under the brackets.



Because itís soft-sided, the bag absorbs most of the extra bulk from the back bar and the mounts.



This kind of backpack is especially great because I can clip it around the brackets instead of slinging straps over the back and hoping they stay on. Since I donít have typical push handles, straps will justÖslide off. Which isnít optimal :laugh:


^ This backpack doesn't have typical shoulder straps and instead has thinner straps that can be clipped around things. I run the straps around the locking hardware on my backrest and leave the actual clip facing out toward the top. That way, I can yank the bag off whenever needed off without too much difficulty or fumbling.

Could I modify a backpack like that to be swarzy enough? Thatís the issue. I could weather it, add greeblies, rip off the water bottle holders, and cover the brand logo, but itíd still look pretty earthy. It's also not ideal because the color options are limited (black, purple, blue, green) and none of them are what I was originally planning on.

Is this planning? Thoughts? Intent to actually make it happen? I have no idea. I reached out to a Ruus'alor from my clan and asked if the backpack would be approvable on a kit, so I'll have a definite answer sooner or later. My instincts say no, my heart says yes. We'll see :laugh:

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 2024, 11:36 AM »
Hello! Medic here!

Soft backpack idea:
Check out a canvas backpack and look for similar ideas. Relatively inexpensive ideas on there that are easily Swarsified with a greeblie or two. I think a soft pack could better fit any necessities.

Hard backpack idea:
My backpack is a Walmart toolbox (pic 1)Itís narrow but carries needed items. I originally had clipped on backpack straps to it. Now it can slide onto my backplate OR have straps clipped on









Soft pack ideas (second is Vercopaniirís medical bag in brigades)



« Last Edit: Feb 25, 2024, 11:40 AM by Wonderlorian » Logged
Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26, 2024, 12:22 AM »
Thank you for the ideas!!! I love your kit and setup, I've been referencing your build since I first started. It's great to see how other people do things as you're just getting into it yourself. All of the details on your kit are insane, I'm so impressed with your armor. Medic mandos rock ;).

My issue isn't so much how to kit out the backpack as much as it is finding a backpack that will actually work. The hardware on my chair is the biggest problem at the moment, I think I can confidently say I've given up on a hard backpack. A soft backpack sounds like the way to go, but then I have the omnipresent issue of straps falling off. (And I don't fancy my chances at taking the straps off a backpack and successfully successfully sewing on new straps :laugh:.)




^ Picture of the hardware from a side-ish and top view, for reference. There's just nowhere for the straps to go unless they're suuuuuper thin and can fit in that gap. Even the tiny straps on Loungefly bags don't fit great in that sliver of space. A padded backpack strap? Game over.)

I did just find this backpack, which is the same style and brand as the one I prefer. It's a bit boxier and seems like a better base to be made swarzy, especially if I take off the front handle. I could tuck the second one behind, giving me a grip when needed while keeping it out of sight. And it does come in a sort of white-ish grey, which is a plus. My next wheelchair will be black on black, so I'm trying to stray away from too many black things in my kit lol.


^ Stock photo of the backpack.

I'll keep it in mind, at least. My Ruus said he'd ask the regional people if the first backpack I came up with would be approvable, so I'll go from there once I find out. Oh, the joys and oddly specific problems that come with backpacks and wheelchair hardware :laugh:

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #4 on: Feb 28, 2024, 02:54 PM »
I've been told I should be fine with the first backpack, so that's a relief! Now to buy another one and figure out how to swarzify it. It'll need a medical symbol (I'm going with the republic version), and I'm thinking I'll take off at least one water bottle holder and potentially have a swarzy-looking canteen in the second. Hydration is important! From there, TBD. I'll definitely need to weather it and add some more bits and bobs. For now, I have a place to start! ;D

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #5 on: Feb 28, 2024, 07:33 PM »
I don't think it needs much, if anything to "Star Wars"ify it up. Just adding the medic symbol seems like it would be enough.

These two articles give a really good insight on the subject from the movies:

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/08/26/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-i/

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/09/30/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-2/

They typically didn't use a lot (if any) greeblies and the like.

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 2024, 08:05 PM »
These two articles give a really good insight on the subject from the movies:

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/08/26/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-i/

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/09/30/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-2/

Tramp ^ ^ these ^ ^ are great examples of backpacks found in Star Wars, thank you for sharing.  I love that it has so many reference images.

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #7 on: Feb 28, 2024, 09:58 PM »
Tramp ^ ^ these ^ ^ are great examples of backpacks found in Star Wars, thank you for sharing.  I love that it has so many reference images.

The author of that blog has capital-O Opinions about Star Wars costuming that I don't always agree with, but his research is impeccable.

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #8 on: Feb 28, 2024, 10:08 PM »
The author of that blog has capital-O Opinions about Star Wars costuming that I don't always agree with, but his research is impeccable.

Not to stray away from Kala's WIP here, I didn't even read what was written I just looked at the reference images.

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2024, 10:14 PM »
I don't think it needs much, if anything to "Star Wars"ify it up. Just adding the medic symbol seems like it would be enough.

These two articles give a really good insight on the subject from the movies:

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/08/26/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-i/

https://starwarslivinghistory.com/2023/09/30/galactic-style-guide-backpacks-2/

They typically didn't use a lot (if any) greeblies and the like.

Wow, those are great resources! I can't say I remember the backpacks I've seen in Star Wars off the top of my head, so having pictures to stare at is very useful. Thanks for the links! With that idea of the general in-universe style, I think I'll stick a medical symbol on the backpack and weather it, then call it a day. Fewer greeblies is easier for me :laugh:. A suitably painted and beat up water bottle would be a fun addition, but that can always come later. A side quest, if you will.

Not to stray away from Kala's WIP here, I didn't even read what was written I just looked at the reference images.

Lol, no worries. I'm a chatty person, I get sidetracked in my own WIPs all the time. A bit of discussion doesn't bother me!

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #10 on: Mar 03, 2024, 06:40 AM »
Lots of options here for the backpack.  :)

Glad you found a style that will work for you and I look forward to seeing it ready to go!

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Re: Medic bag! (Confusion + planning)
« Reply #11 on: Mar 07, 2024, 09:55 PM »
I'm back! Iím puzzling out the medical symbol right now. I found one I liked and printed it out at various scales until I figured out the sizing. Iím debating between one thatís 3.75in across and one thatís 4.25in across.


^ 3.75in across.


^ 4.25in across. The spacing is a little wonky, but I was using the pins to prop the sigil up :laugh:

I canít decide which version I like best of the two, but Iíll keep thinking on it. Iíll either cover or scrape off the Embark logo. Iím thinking the angulated spot at the edge will be perfect for an accent. Iím loosely planning to write ďmedicĒ in Aurbesh. Iíd paint it on in white to contrast with the black fabric. It would add to the swarziness!

The bottle idea really stuck in my head, so I'll go down this rabbit hole while I wait for the backpack to arrive. I like the idea of something like this:



I figure I could scuff up the bottle, paint it with some masked damage, then scratch up the paint on concrete or with sandpaper. I could probably throw the painted bottle a few times to get the same sort of damage, but masking seems more predictable :laugh:.

In terms of random decorations for the bag, I've seen people make "bacta bombs" out of camping lanterns. It'd be fun to hang one of those off the bag AND it would count toward medic brigade reqs, so that's an idea to keep an eye on!

This sort of thing:



I'm pretty sure Iíve used that exact kind while camping. They're really bright and the batteries last near forever. I could paint one up and hang it off the bag or stick it in a water bottle holder. I really like the idea of that, I might make a few and see how they turn out. Sand a bit, paint, decorate, weather, and Iíd be set. Doesnít sound like too complicated of a side quest!

The backpack is set to arrive in the new few days, so Iíll start ripping it apart then. Iíll leave the water bottle holders on for now until I figure out what Iím putting in them, but I can get the logos off at least. Now to figure out how to make a stencil and buy fabric paint!

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