Monday, June 8, 2015

Clone Wars Mandalorian Costumes Part 6: the Nite Owl Armor

This is the next article in the series detailing the building of a whole bunch of Death Watch and Night Owl Mandalorians from the Clone Wars animated series in preparation for Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim.  You can read the previous eight articles here:
Part1: the Death Watch Helmets
Part 2: the Night Owl Helmets
Part 3: the Armor
Part 4: the Soft Parts
Part 5: the Blaster Pistols

While I realize that I've already detailed the process involved in making the fiberglass armor parts, I might as well review some of it and explain how we made the specifically girly armor.  It's basically the same way we made the male version of the armor, but with boobs.

If you'd like to know more (and enjoy reading about armored boobs) read on...

The part I liked most about this design is that it kinda makes sense in the context of the rest of the show.  Unlike so much of science fiction and fantasy armor, it's not just a chainmail bikini or a metal bra and skirt.  Here's what I'm talking about:

While a lot of folks who've built fan-made female Mandalorian armor might have been satisfied to add breast cups to the same shape armor as the guys wear, the folks who designed the characters in the Clone Wars actually made a sports bra shape.  That means there's no deep cleavage recess that would place a hard armor plate right up against the sternum and concentrate the force from any impact into a single chest-cracking bullet funnel.

Well played.

To make the iron sports bra I started with another digital model from Fierfek and had the Lopez twins whittle out the parts for me.  Then I tried them on:
Nite Owl Boobs Fit Test

In order to tie into the design of the male armor, there's even the same little diamond-shaped widget in the middle of the chest: Nite Owl Boobs Assembled

Somewhere along the way I primed them: Nite Owl Boobs Primed

The collar works out to be a different shape for the female version as well.  After the carving machines had cut out the collar, I had my assistant Kate try it on: Nite Owl Chest and Collar Armor
She loves it when I put her through this kind of grief.
Here's the collar and the boob armor prototypes in primer:
Nite Owl Chest Armor Primed Again

Here's Kate trying on the chest armor and the gauntlet prototypes (I'll get around to writing about those soon):
Nite Owl Front

Since we needed to streamline the production of these pieces as much as possible, we were trying to limit the number of new parts we were making for the female version.  So the backplate ended up being the same part for the male and female versions.  Here's another snapshot showing the early prototype of the jetpack being held in place: Nite Owl Test Fit with Jetpack
I'll get around to writing about the jetpack build too.

This works out to be about the same time as the newly-smoothed shoulder prototypes were in primer:
Death Watch/Nite Owl Shoulder Prototypes

As luck would have it, they looked reasonably proportionate with the female chest armor: Nite Owl Test Fit

Satisfied that the whole thing would work out just fine, I went ahead and added a gloss coat to the whole thing: Nite Owl Chest Armor Shiny

Once the gloss had dried, I put Trevor to work on the polishing.  Poor guy had to spend all afternoon polishing boobs: Trev Waxing Boob

He did a great job though: Shiny Nite Owl Armor Prototypes

Once that was all done, it was time to block up all of the pieces for molding.  In order to simplify things and make it easier to keep track of which pieces I needed to make, I decided to make all of the female chest parts in one mold.  Here they are being bonded to a cardboard foundation: Nite Owl Chest Blocked Up For Molding

Here's Matt filling in the gaps between the parts with clay: Building Up Clay Around Chest Armor Parts

Not bad: Nite Owl Chest Nearly Ready to Mold

With that done, I went ahead and laid on a coat of PVA mold release: PVA Release on Nite Owl Boobs

When the PVA had dried, I laid on some gelcoat with a liberal dose of red pigment mixed in: Boob Mold Gelcoated

With the gelcoat firmed up, I added a coat of fiberglass resin: Mold Glassing 1

Then I started layering on the fiberglass: Mold Glassing 2

And more fiberglass resin: Mold Glassing 3

And more fiberglass: Mold Glassing 4

This is the same time as I was molding the shoulders (in case you were wondering): Mold Glassing 5

Here's what the iron sports bra mold looked like once it was all glassed up: Nite Owl Boob Mold Completed

After the fiberglass had cured, we broke out the prototype parts, picked the mold clean, and polished it up: Nite Owl Chest Mold Prepped

Starting with a layer of black gelcoat, I laid up the first set of parts: Nite Owl Chest and Shoulders Laid UP

Here they are once I'd popped them out of the mold: Shiny Nite Owl Chest

Hooray: Nite Owl Mockup

The other piece that was unique to the female Mandalorians in the Clone Wars was the groin armor, also known as the "codpiece."  

Funny story: some time ago I was working with a former assistant of mine on a completely unrelated project and I heard her refer to a piece of armor as the "cockpiece."

"The what?" asks I.

"The cockpiece," says she, "the part of the armor that covers a guy's junk."

"No," says I, "that's called the 'codpiece.'"

"That's stupid," she replies, "on a girl's armor do they call it the 'vadpiece?'"

They don't.  But from now on I will.

In the series, the vadpiece amounted to three skinny plates that looked like they were essentially just glued onto the undersuit.  Nothing about them seemed any kind of functional or comfortable.

So we opted for another departure from the reference material and made the vadpiece essentially a narrower version of the male's codpiece.  We also added three raised sections that were analogous to the three plates seen in the series.

Behold, the prototype vadpiece in primer: Nite Owl Cod Prototype Reshaped

Then shiny light blue: Night Owl Cod Reshaped

Once it was polished up and mounted like the other parts, it too was given a coat of PVA mold release:
Vadpiece Prepped and Ready for e
I didn't get any pics of the vadpiece mold being made, but here you can see the working mold in the foreground in this shot of all sorts of molds being used: Trev Rotocasting and a Bunch of Glass Parts

There was a lot of concern over whether or not we'd be able to make these pieces fit together well enough to look right on some of the smaller girls in the group.  So just to be sure, we strapped a bunch of the parts onto Daniella, the smallest of them: 
Shortest NIte Owl Test Fitting
Looks okay to me.

So that's a quick brushing up on the unique parts that were made to fit the girls.  

There's still a lot more parts to cover.  Soon I'll get around to writing about making the gauntlets, the knee armor, the jetpacks, and eventually the paintjobs.

So stay tuned...



  1. Your write-ups are so detailed and entertaining! Thanks for posting them!

  2. Great write up's!! And excellent quality craftsmanship!