My son decided he wanted to be Darth Vader for Halloween last year. After taking a look at what was commercially available, we decided we could make something way cooler.
The costume was a hit, everyone loved the lights, and as a bonus you could always tell exactly where he was while trick-or-treating.
We realize the light sabre isn't the correct colour, but we already had it, and I didn't have the time or desire to try and change it.
Thanks for looking!
If you feel inclined to vote, we've entered it in a couple of contests.
Step 1: Belt
The belt was made using these Digikey parts:
HM100-ND Project boxes
67-1543-ND Square green LEDs
I used an old black leather belt we had laying around and cut it down to length. The "lids" of the project boxes were attached to the belt using some bolts found in a hockey helmet repair kit- you could use lots of other things, I used them because they are fairly flat and I had a bunch.
The 6 silver knobs on the side of each box are protective caps from off lantern batteries that I spray painted silver. They are threaded, so I drilled holes through the box and stuck some bolts through to screw the caps on to.
The red LED is just a plain round LED in a chrome LED holder. The square green ones are the same as on the chest control panel. Take your time filing the holes to the proper shape so they fit snugly.
For the grill on the front, I just cut off part of a hose clamp and epoxied it on. I've also seen people use reinforced tubing to make it 3D.
The buckle is just some plastic bits spray painted and glued together then glued to the belt itself.
Each box was wired with a small slide switch to turn it on and off, and ran off a 9v battery.
Step 2: Upper Body
The upper body is built on a set of hockey shoulder pads.
I cut off the arm protection under the shoulder cap because I felt it wasn't needed. The shoulder caps were originally white and red plastic, so I plasti-dipped them in black- other paint will probably work just as well, I just happened to have some plasti-dip handy.
The front to the shoulder pads are covered in black and gray fun foam sheets with the gray cut to mimic the pattern on Darth Vaders chest plate. Depending on how much room you have here, you may have to pick and choose how much detail you are able to show. The fun foam was glued directly to the shoulder pads using gel crazy glue.
The chest control panel was created from a square plastic container cut down and plasti-dipped. Holes were cut for the LED's and rockers switches and they were pushed into place. The parts I used can be found at Digikey:
360-1734-ND Illuminated rocker switch
CWI474-ND Rocker switch
67-1544-ND Square red LED
67-1543-ND Square green LED
The plain rocker switches came black, so I just used some model car paint to paint them gray. The illuminated slots on the left side of the control panel were created using some IC Sockets spray painted silver and glued on. A little slot was cut behind them, and I glued in a rectangular LED salvaged from some old electronics.
The lighting all runs off a 9v battery which was velcroed to the backside of the control panel, and the illuminated rocker switch turns the lights on and off. The control panel was riveted to a pair of small L-brackets at the top which had a piece of velcro which attached it on to the chest pads.
I'm not an electrical engineer and am fairly new to electronics, so I'm not going to post my wiring diagram. I did use this website to help determine the resistors needed.
The cape had a couple of stitches in it to help keep it attached to the shoulder caps.
Step 3: The Other Bits...
As previously mentioned, we already had the light sabre. We also already had the mask.
The rest of the costume was just black pants, a black turtle neck, black stretch gloves, and a black balaclava- it gets cold trick-or-treating in Canada!
For the boots, we didn't have a pair of black ones, so I wrapped his rain boots with some scrap leather I had around. It was attached with the creative use of glue dots and electrical tape. Everything stayed on surprisingly well for the entire night.