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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Updated Captain Phasma Build

 Years ago I made my first replica of the Captain Phasma helmet from Star Wars Episode VII: the Force Awakens.  It came out pretty good given the reference images that were available at the time and it managed to get around quite a bit.  Here's a winning shot of one of my Phasma helmets being worn at the world premiere of Episode VII:

Ingrid Moon as Phasma at Premiere


I was very proud of the build, but since then she's been in two movies and I've been able to get images of the helmet from all kinds of different angles.  It turns out I got a few details a little wrong.  Then one day I was perusing Do3D.com, the same outfit that modeled the helmet for me originally and noticed that they'd updated the model since then.  Since the 3D printers were idle at the time, I figured I might as well go ahead and update my Phasma build.

So here's the updated 3D model rendered next to the 3D model I used for the original build:Phasma Model Update

In short order I'd printed a new prototype.  Here's the new printed prototype (right) next to a cast from my original mold (left):
New Master Progress

The print was pretty good, but there were a few things I decided to tweak by hand.  Most notably, the noseplate didn't fit quite right and made the width of the "frown" a little too big.  The "teardrop" details in the cheek area also needed some adjustment.  Fortunately, I don't mind doing a bit of Bondo work:
20211229_141900


I used a noseplate casting from my original build and after a bit of trimming and re-shaping, I was much happier with it:
Phasma Schnozzplate Remaster Progress

With a bit of sanding and filling, it got a coat of grey primer:
Phasma Remaster Grey Primer Round One

And just like that, it was ready for a gloss coat in preparation for molding:
Phasma Remaster Gloss Coat 1

Phasma Remaster Gloss Coat 2

The mold was a pretty straightforward matrix mold with a tin-cure silicone jacket and a fiberglass mothermold.  I've covered the making of this kind of thing many times, so I feel silly going through the step by step once again.  Long story short: the mold worked and I made a few copies:
Phasma Brigade Coming Along

That's about the same time I'd stacked up a bunch of shiny things that needed to be shinier, so it was an easy thing to slip the helmet into the spray booth for chrome:
Chrome Progress

I'm really starting to feel pretty good about my shiny finishes lately.  In this case, I painted the helmet with a gloss black single stage urethane automotive paint.  Once that had cured, I gave the whole thing a coat of Alumaluster from Imperial Surface Technology.  This stuff is phenomenal:
Phasma Helmet Chroming Progress

Since I was on a roll, I went ahead and painted three:
Phasma Helmets Chroming Progress<
The recessed area of the face was painted with a couple of coats of satin black and the snoot plate was glued in place.  Then the eye lenses were installed, a bit of foam padding was wedged into place, and it was good to go.

Then it was time to dust off all of the other parts and pieces and get them re-rigged:
Phasma Leg Progress

This time around I decided to go with the Episode 8 version.  This meant more practical hand and finger armor as well as a more comfortable version of the ankles:
Phasma Lower Leg Assembly

I also decided to finally spring for a set of fabric gaskets for the knees, elbows, shoulders and neckseal:
Phasma Rigging Progress

These pieces were made by Geeky Pink's Phantastic Gaskets.  The quality and craftsmanship were great and I can't recommend them enough.  Everything was made to size and built with all the necessary velcro to make rigging up the armor a breeze.  Smiles all around:
Chest and arms rigged

With Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim coming up fast, I had to do some triage.  I managed to finish every part of the build that would need smelly chemical processes or power tools and pack everything in a bin.  The rest we could do in a hotel room.

Most of the remaining work was just a matter of sewing the velcro onto the cape and attaching matching pads inside the neck of the armor to keep everything in place.  This was all done with time to spare so we could wander around at the convention and show it off.  Here's the Lady Shawnon wearing the complete ensemble and holding a key reference:
SWCC 2022 Phasma and the Reference

Seriously, that's her under all that: 
SWCC 2022 Phasma Suited Up

I suppose I could've made the helmet a bit smaller (in light of her tiny, child-sized cranium), but I happen to have molded the chest and arm parts for this costume in a larger size to fit bigger folks too, so I think this scale was a good compromise.  And really it looks pretty good:
SWCC 2022 Phasma and Vonreg Arrive
That guy in the Major Vonreg costume is me.  Because I'll be damned if I'm going to keep making awesome costumes for my girlfriend and never get to dress up myself.

Plus, it was nice to be in theme when we ran into other First Order leadership cosplayers:
SWCC 2022 First Order Leaders

Still, the shiny chrome lady was much more interesting to look at:
SWCC 2022 Phasma and the Probe Droid

Here's a shot of her out in the afternoon sun in all her gleaming glory:
SWCC 2022 Phasma in Sunlight

I was pretty proud of the finish, right up until I spotted this chromed Fett helmet at the EFX booth.  Clearly I've got some more polishing to do:
SWCC 2022  Chrome Comparison

Still we had a lot of fun at the show.  Especially when we ran across other folks taking their costumes a lot less seriously:
SWCC 2022 Phasma Scolds a Trooper

SWCC 2022 148

SWCC 2022 Phasma and Pink Shorts Boom Mic Operators

So that was all kinds of fun.  Now I just need to coat the cape fabric to give it the proper patchy shiny sheen, assemble and paint her blaster, and set up a proper photoshoot to get some good showcase photos.

Stay tuned...

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