Introduction: Making a Bossk Costume! (from Star Wars)
This costume took me a couple of months to make (while working on other masks and things as well.) It is supposed to be the bounty hunter "Bossk" from Star Wars. In the movies, he is only seen for a few seconds in the scene where Darth Vader talks to a group of bounty hunters in The Empire Striker Back. Despite how seemingly unimportant and random of a character Bossk is, he has been one of my favorite characters ever since I got an old action figure of him when I was 4 and thought he was really cool looking.
Because the main body of the actual costume used in the movie was made from something called a "High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suit" (basically just a real spacesuit) from the 1960's, there are a lot of very specific details and pieces of the costume. The vast majority of the time I put into this project went to the Mask, hands, and feet though; so I ended up skipping a lot of the small details and focusing on just getting all the more noticeable details, although I'd like to revisit Bossk one day and really take to time to do everything right.
This costume was a lot more complicated and time consuming to make than I had expected, and it wasn't cheap to make either, so I doubt a lot of people are going to try to recreate it. But I hope that at the very least, this intructable can give you some useful knowledge that can be applied to other costumes/projects.
Step 1: Parts to Make:
-Small metallic things
Step 2: Tools and Materials
For the mask, gloves, and feet:
-50mm clear plastic Christmas ornaments
-Paint mixing sticks
-Flat head screwdrivers
-Monster makers RD-407 mask latex
-Transparent black airbrush paint
-External mix airbrush
For the outfit:
-Yellow and Tan RIT dyes
-X-wing pilot vest
-Grey and tan colored 2" webbing
-Hot glue gun
-Corrugated washing machine discharge hose
For the random details:
-Various grits of sandpaper
-Silver and black spray paint
-2 4" flexible plumbing cap things
For the Blaster:
-1" thick wood board
- 1.5" pvc pipe
-Black spray paint
Step 3: Sculpting the Mask
-Lots of sculpting tools
-50mm Clear plastic Christmas ornaments
-Spray bottle full of water
I sculpted this mask using WED clay over an Ed head. I started without using any sculpting tools, just using my hands to pack on clay and create the general shape of the mask. For the eyes, I used the halves of a clear 50mm plastic Christmas ornament. I embedded the "eyes" into the face and sculpted around them. Then I started using a pointed tool to carve some of the scale shapes into the face. Next I put lumps of clay onto each scale, and blended them into the rest of the clay with a round'ish tool. Then I used a very small loop tool to round out and define each scale. I repeated this until the whole mask was scaly. The last thing that I did before molding was dabbing it with a wet sponge to give the whole mask an even, uniform texture.
Step 4: Making a Two Part Mold of the Mask
-1/4" Drill bit
-Two 1/4" bolts
-Two 1/4" nuts
-Clear spray paint
-Ultra-cal 30/fancy plaster
-1" chip brushes
I started preparing the mask for molding by drilling holes in the center of each eye, and inserting 2.5 inch long 1/4 inch bolts into them (this ends up being how I attach eye forms to the finished mold). Then, I sealed the clay by coating the mask with black spray paint (I usually use Crystal clear, but I ran out and didn't have time to get more) and letting it dry for 25 minutes. Once that was dry, I built a WED clay wall going down the middle of the mask, making sure that the edge of it was completely flat against the sculpture and using sculpting tools to clean up the edge where I needed to. I used loop sculpting tools to carve out some rounded channels on one side of the clay wall that would become keys to help align the mold together when it was done. Then I started with the plaster.
I began by mixing about half of a quart of Ultra-cal 30 and gently brushing into all of the details on the first half of the mask and letting it dry. Next, I added on another layer of plaster over the whole half of the mask. While this was drying, I cut lots of strips of burlap that were 4 or 5 inches wide. Then, I mixed a little under a quart of the plaster and soaked the burlap strips in it before applying them to the mask. I covered the entire half with these plaster soaked strips of burlap. A few minutes later, I mixed another half quart of plaster and brushed it over the half of the mask that I was molding. I kept brushing and smoothing this final layer until it was dry, making it as smooth as I could. Then I was ready to mold the second half.
First, I took down the clay wall. Then I made 5 small clay wedges that I attached the the plaster wall. After that, I sealed the plaster wall with a generous amount of vaseline to make sure that the two halves of the mold would come apart later. Then I did exactly what I did on the front half of the mask, (adding layers of plaster and burlap). Once all of the plaster work was done, I left the mold to sit for around an hour to make sure that it was completely dry. I then took the halves apart by inserting flathead screwdrivers into the clay wedges, and prying with them until the halves came apart.
I got most of the clay out by pulling it out with my hands and using a popsicle stick to get out the smaller parts, before using some water and a chip brush to get out the rest of the clay.
Step 5: Casting the Mask
-RD-407 mask latex
Casting the mask was actually pretty simple. First, I drilled holes in the middles of two new 50mm Christmas ornament halves. Which I then I attached them to the inside of the mold using the embedded bolts and corresponding nuts (this makes it so that the finished casting has perfectly sized cavities for the eyes to pop into). Then I simply poured a few cups of mask latex into each half of the mold, brushed it into the details, closed the mold, added some more latex, sloshed It around for a bit, and poured it out once the entire inside was thoroughly coated. After letting the latex dry for a day or two, I powdered the inside with baby powder and peeled the mask out while powdering the outside of it to make sure the fresh latex didn't stick to itself (being especially careful around the eyes of the mask).
There was a thin kind of ribbon of latex on the mask from where some of it had seeped in-between the two halves of the mold, so I used a small pair of scissors to trim it off. Then I went along the seam dabbing small amounts of latex onto it with my finger to smooth it out.
I also washed the mask in a sink with soap and water, just to make sure that there wasn't any clay residue from the mold.
Step 6: Painting the Mask
-RD-407 mask latex
-Single action airbrush
I painted this mask with a mixture of liquid latex, acrylic paint, and water. However, I would recommend using monster makers latex mask paint. It is a LOT easier to use and is much more flexible/durable once it's on the mask.
I started painting with a layer of a light greenish brown color as a base coat, covering the whole mask. Then I went in with a darker brown paint to color in all of the lines and deeper areas, giving a lot more depth to everything. Next I went over all of the highlights with a muddy looking light greenish yellow color. By this point it was looking pretty good, but I did a few more layers anyway. it was mostly just more accentuation of the highlights and shadows. Last, I painted the teeth white with the same type of paint, except using a makeup sponge instead of the airbrush.
Painting the eyes were the last step in finishing the mask. I painted them on the inside, so that they would remain shiny and smooth looking from the outside. The first thing I did was cut out two pieces of masking tape that were the shape of the pupils I wanted, and stuck them where I wanted them on the inside of the eyes. Next I painted multiple layers of acrylic paint onto them, but in reverse of how I would if I were painting them on the outside. starting with the details, and ending with what would usually be the base coat.
Step 7: Making the Hand/Arms
I made the hands pretty much the same way that I made the mask. I sculpted them in WED clay, molded them with burlap reinforced Ultra-cal 30, and casted it in latex. The only things that I did differently were sculpting over a wire hand armature and using better paint, I used Monster Makers latex mask paint for the hands and feet.
The black seal pieces on the arms were made from 4" flexible plumbing cap with the centers cut out. Because they happened to be the perfect size, they didn't need to be glued on or attached in any special way. They were just held on by friction.
One other thing: unlike on the mask where each scale was sculpted individually, I used two sculpting tools I made from popsicle sticks to stamp in the shape of the scales a lot faster (seen in the second image)
Step 8: Making the Feet
Just like the hands, it was pretty much the same process as the head. The only real differences are that instead of sculpting over an ED Head I sculpted over a shoe with some cardboard to mimic a leg and I used better paint (monster makers latex mask paint).
Also, I left the bottom of the feet open, so I could easily put my feet in and then put shoes on under them.
Step 9: The Neck Seal
I started with a "Corrugated washing machine discharge hose". I cut it into a length that was just able to fit over my head when the ends were connected, (I connected the ends by slightly thickening a small pic fitting with duct tape and jamming both ends of the discharge hose onto it,). I painted it with red krypton fusion spray paint. From there, I slowly built an EVA foam thing to house it. I didn't do much planing for this part, but instead just added bits and pieces of EVA foam together with contact cement until It was roughly what I wanted. once everything was the right shape, I sealed the foam with black plastidip spray.
Step 10: The Vest
For the vest, I just used a X-wing pilot vest that I found on amazon that was pretty cheap. I had to cut some holes in it to attach the metal thing and the connection piece for the tube coming out of the back, but besides that I didn't do anything to it.
Step 11: The Coveralls
Ideally, you would just use a pair of plain yellow coveralls. Unfortunately, when I was working one this project, I couldn't find any that were the right color and fit me. because of that, I dyed a white pair myself.
I started with a pair of plain white coveralls. I used yellow and tan colored RIT dyes to make the coveralls the right color. To do this, I followed the instructions of dying using a sink: First I filled a plugged sink with around 6 gallons of very hot water with 2 cups of salt dissolved into it. Then I mixed the dyes with a few cups of boiling water and poured them into the sink. Next, I submerged the coveralls in the sink and mixed it around to make sure they were completely soaked, I continued to keep moving the coveralls around in the solution for around 45 minutes. After that I drained the dye bath and thoroughly rinsed the coveralls with cold water, until no more color was coming out. Last but not least, I washed the coveralls in a washing machine.
After letting it dry, I weathered the coveralls a little bit by scraping at them with rough sandpaper and lightly misting them with black spray paint.
Step 12: Small Metallic Details
There were a couple of little metallic thingies that were part of the costume. so I modeled them in Autodesk 123D design, (although I don't think you can get it anymore,) and 3D printed them on my Ultimaker 3. Then it was just a matter of sanding and painting them before attaching them to the costume.
Step 13: The Belts
I used a few colors of 2 inch webbing. I didn't measure anything, I just kinda eyeballed what lengths I'd need, then cut them and glued the pieces together with contact cement. To attach them to each other and other parts of the costume, I used velcro which I also attached with contact cement. One of the belts (the one around the waist) was supposed to have a buckle, so I got a really cheap plastic one and attached it to the belt using... wait for it... more contact cement!
Step 14: The Blaster
I made the gun out of some 1 inch thick wood, and 2 inch PVC pipe. First I printed a picture of the actual blaster scaled up to roughly the right size. After cutting out the template, I lightly taped it to the piece of wood I was using and traced it with a pen. Then I slowly used a scroll saw to cut out the shape of the blaster (a jig saw also would've worked). I also cut two slots into the front of it that the barrel would fit into, and used 5 minute epoxy to attach the barrel. There were a couple of small details that I made using sheets of thin EVA foam. Finally I painted everything black with Krylon Fusion black spray paint.
Step 15: HAVE FUN!!!
I made this costume (and a bunch of other ones based on star wars characters) for me and a few of my relatives to wear to New York Comic-Con... so that's exactly what we did!
Second Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2019