The first thought that came into my mind was Boba Fett- the notorious bounty hunter from Star Wars. In costuming circles, Fett is considered to be one of the most difficult, time consuming and expensive costumes there is for a Star Wars character and a lot of people will say that a decent looking Fett costume can't be made inexpensively. I'd like to thank each and every member of The Dented Helmet- the best Boba Fett costume resource for all their help, advice, templates and reference material! Without these guys this never would have happened.
Here's how I made my Fett costume on a limited budget and in a short period of time.
Step 1: Materials
two to three large sheets of cardboard- the sheets I used are called newspaper board (about 1/16" thick and measure 30" x 40") It's available at craft stores and picture framing shops.
hot glue gun with lots of glue
blue foam board (a section of 2x4 scrap lumber will also work)
sheet plastic- I used 1/8" thick Sintra for the armor (available from plastics suppliers and sign shops) and regular styrene ( for sale signs) for the jetpack missile
cotton/canvas dropcloth- available at Home Depot for $10
cotton clothsline- 40ft. or so, about 1/4" diameter
belt buckle (any kind will do but the plastic click lock kind work pretty well)
flight suit- grey is preferred but I had a tan one on hand
lightweight spackling paste
small can of Minwax Polycrylic sealer
aluminum soda cans (four of them)
dark green fabric dye
dark tinted plastic for the helemt visor
spray paint- one can of the following: white, red, olive green, burgundy, black, blue, silver, yellow
There are also several templates that you'll need. This have been graciously provided by Alan (Wizard of Flight) of The Dented Helmet board. All of these templates can be also be scaled down so that a children's costume can be constructed.
Armor templates are here- they are in zip format and they come in three different sizes: http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7825&highlight=armor+templates
Knee templates are here: http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9337&highlight=armor+templates
Jetpack templates are below.
Step 2: Helmet
This helmet is made entirely from cardboard (except for the visor), is very light when finished and is quite comfortable. It is also suprisingly large- I can barely get most helmets on my head and this one fits with room to spare.
After making my helmet I'll say this- take your time on the paint work as it makes a huge difference in how the costume looks. I printed out a ton of reference photos before painting my helmet. What you see below took about three hours of painting. I ended up drawing all the scratches on the helmet with a pencil first and then painting them in. It could still use a bit more work but for a Halloween costume I'm pretty happy with it.
Step 3: Armor/ flak vest
I ended up using snaps because it makes the armor easy to remove. Plus, I already had them! :)
To use snaps, cut out some canvas into squares and attach the male part of the snap. Then using hot glue, glue the canvas square to the backside of the armor. I used three snaps on the chest plates, two on the collar, two on the shoulder bells and four on the back plate. Then what you do is put the vest on and rub some charcoal onto the male snaps on the armor and press the armor to the vest. This leaves an impression where you need to attach the female eend of the snaps to the vest.
I made my armor from Sintra sheet. Sintra is nice because it can be heated (by immersion in hot water or by using a heat gun) and then molded to shape. The back plate is the hardest part to make and having another person to help mold it to your back is a real benefit. All the armor is painted olive green, except for the shoulder bells. I hand painted the logos on the left shoulder bell and right chest plate.
The codpiece is held together by velcro. The front of the codpiece is made of two pieces of Sintra with filler (spackling paste or Bondo) to get the shape.
If you can't get Sintra, plastic from large paint buckets or trash cans will also work but sometimes it can be more difficult to get glue to adhere to it. The armor can also be made from two layers of cardboard (the same kind of cardboard used to make the helmet and jetpack) but it can be tricky to get the all the necessary curves to get the armor to fit right.
Step 4: Jetpack
The fuel tanks are made from soda cans and the ends are filled with hot glue and spackling paste.
My jetpack is still missing the thrusters!
Step 5: Belts and cape
The girth belt is made by cutting a clothsline into equal lengths, gluing the ropes together with a glue gun and then gluing a buckle to the ends. The girth belt then gets a coat of burgundy paint.
The cape is made by cutting a section of the drop cloth to measure around 27" x 36" and dying it green. It is then secured to the top of the armor backplate with a small bolt.