Posted in Built, Reggie

Mini Tie-fighter pilot helmet

This project took a very long time… that’s what happens when you want to do too many things at one go… thanks to Desmond for his patience and his guidance! The helmet was finished (and worn for the first time) for STGCC 2016, but I think we started it more than a year and a half before that…

So… a little background here: Reggie has always been more “Dark Side” than “Rebel”, and he wanted a Tie Fighter pilot uniform. Although he is of a robust size for 11yo, he would have looked like a Funko POP bobblehead with a full size helmet… the idea was therefore to do a smaller size… but how?


The answer came completely unexpectedly: my neighbour was throwing an old motorcycle helmet, and, at the same time, Hasbro came up with some stormtrooper masks for the launch of the Episode 7… the 2 put together would have the right size! Yippee!


We started by emptying the helmet completely of its foam, styrofoam padding and  all the fixtures (aerodynamic “fins”, visor, etc…)…

 … and glue the mask inside. (Not only glue actually, because we reinforced it with some rivets.

 Size fitting was perfect (with a new sponge padding inside), so we move to phase 2 (after a one-year-iatus because “other things on he plate”/”more than I could chew”…).

Reggie did a lot of sanding, to get the surface as smooth as possible. We needed to fill some holes left on the helmet, and the gap filler was not exactly levelled (Thanks to my big “sausage-fingers”)…


A EVA foam Mawhauk was glued with epoxy glue, covered in gap filler and sanded too, while I was looking for parts and smaller details (there also, EVA foam, and my usual recycling…)

Then, it was on with the paint! Primer, a double coat of shiny black, and the details in silver (all hand-painted, mostly because I was lazy to make special decals…)

You add the flightsuit ($20 at a army surplus market), an old washing machine pipe, and voila! Reggie was ready for STGCC!!!!

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

Simon Pegg

Posted in Papa, Star Wars

Jedi outer tunic

Doing a Jedi outer tunic, I have always struggled with the “flare bottom” (or “skirt”). I have tried to follow a few tutorials, but the result never really matched my expectations (maybe I never managed to cut the pieces with the right measurements, and my sewing skills are not good enough to handle big projects…).

If you remember, a few years ago, my son wanted a pirate coat, and I accepted the challenge of doing one from scratch. After some research, I found a pattern copied from an original “Justaucorps” from 1750.


I was quite surprised at the simplicity of the pattern, and how beautifully the back of the coat would float, flare and wave. And I started to wonder if I could use this as a base for a OT. I needed to modify the pattern : first to overlap in the front, second to have a jedi collar, and finally, to have straight flaring sleeves.

once I was happy with the new pattern (I tried a mini version of it in a fabric scrap), I transferred the pattern, using a grid, to newspapers.

cut all the pieces. the fabric is a curtains/upholstery fabric, in 3yards width. the whole project took about 5 1/2 yard length.

and I did a zigzag on all borders to keep the fabric from unraveling.

started the assembly line:

the 2 parts of the back together…

then, the 2 front parts. I made sure everything was fitting.

The tunic is still long at this point, as I was not sure how to measure the length.
attached the sleeves:

Then, in the remaining fabric, I cut 4 strips for the tabards (width = shoulder + allowance for sewing, length was way too long, but I cut it later), one strip for the Obi (width = belt width + 2 inches + allowance for the seems), and one for the collar (width = about 3 inches + allowance for sewing).

I attached the collar around the neck and the front pieces.

At this stage, I cut the bottom straight (when the OT was worn), and did all the bottom seems, and the side of the front panels.


Obi and Tabards:

I always had problem with my previous costume, as the obi and tabards would not stay in place in a long troop. I therefore decided to fix these items as much as possible on this new one.

the Obi was very simple, I did it only one layered as I didnt want to add too much padding (and the heat in Singapore is terrible…).

For the tabards, I took the 4 strips I reserved, and started sewing them 2 by 2 around the edge (except one of the “small” sides).

I turned them inside out…

…iron them to make them flat…

…and I sew around the edge to give them a nice finish.

I attached the 2 tabards in the center of the back, until the shoulders. I sew the inside part or it, leaving the 2 outside parts floating. (please note that this is the same way Obi Wan wears his tabards. Feel free to add 2 portions below the Obi at the back if you want to!)

On the front, I folded and sewn the tabards to give the “Y” shape, and placed a button where they join to prevent them from moving when walking. all this will be hidden behind the Obi.

Finally, the Obi is sewn on top of the tabards, fixed in the middle of the back. it would go around the waist and be attached by a velcro to close when the OT is worn.

and Tadaaaaa!

Posted in Built, Papa, Star Wars

Star Wars terrarium

Have you tried to make a terrarium? It is fun, simple, and can be done with the whole family! 

You now can find dozens of miniature characters, ships and décors in the toy section.   You just have to recreate the ambiance of a jungle and you have yourself a mini Endor or Dagobah in a jar!

I prefer glass containers, first of all because you can see everything (even the roots growing), but also because glass will not absorb any water and you can virtually keep it forever. Any container will do: from a very open glass dish to a pickle jar.

Wether you are making an open or a close terrarium, the idea is always the same: you need to layer pebbles and soil to get a good drainage (you don’t want your soil to be damp all the time, or your plants will rot).

If you have a few potted plants on your balcony or garden, you know that they contain much more than the plants you care for: moss is growing, some small ferns or other bad weeds… collect them and arrange them. Of course, any root should be in contact with the soil. I tend to prefer ferns because they don’t need pollination to reproduce, and your mini-landscape will evolve in time, without too much care.

You can use stones and pieces of drift wood too, make slopes and hills.

Once your landscape is done, simply put your miniature toys in the landscape, and voila! You got yourself a piece of a distant planet in a jar!!!

Have fun!

Posted in Built, Papa, Star Wars

Jakku in a box…

It is amazing what you can do with recycled stuff… you know? We did a few Star Wars Bandai models, and, as they always give you a few options to customize your creations, you always end up with pieces you won’t use…

One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure…

I also had a very nice wooden box, that used to host a trophy or other memorabilia given to me by a business contact.

I decided to combine both to make a mini-diorama of Jakku’s market, when Rey meets Finn.

The first step was to cut and paint all the pieces I could salvage from the models.

I was especially interested in the small characters, Rey and Finn, found in The Millenium Falcon box.

I gave a particular attention to painting these 2 figures (they are less than a centimetre high), but for the others, I just have them a dark Color, as I wanted them to be in the shadows.

I also weathered all the spare parts From the diverse spaceships.

It looks like a wreckage site, or the spare parts market I wanted to do…

I needed a base for my diorama and decided to go with foam. I cut the foam to dimensions, and it fitted the cover of the box perfectly.

To give some kind of dune relief, I filled the whole thing with wood putty.

I then started to plan where my characters and tents would go. For the big poles holding the tents, I simply cut parts of the frame holding the models pieces. 

A bit of paint, and these poles took the aspect of strange structures that spent years in the desert.

The next step was to arrange all the junk, and glue the pieces together, as if they had been abandoned there for ages, one by one, forming a bazaar of “spare parts galore”.

I still had some sand, remaining from the Warhammer board I did a few weeks ago. Applying it is so simple. You can use PVA glue, dilute it with a bit of water and basically apply it everywhere you will want the sand to be.

Cover this area with the sand and shake the excess. Repeat until everything is covered.

To add a final touch, I took small pieces of fabric (when you sew, you always have full bags of those) and attached them in the poles.

As I wanted to give weight to these I dipped them in my glue-water mixture.

Now for the second canopy…

You let everything dry and… voila! Rey and Finn are meeting on the market of Jakku!

Unfortunately, B-B8 went missing because I Guess somebody knocked the small pieces down before I could glue him on the board. (Nobody took responsibility for the incident though… it is always the same story!)

The wooden box itself can be used as a cover for this mini-world, or used as a pedestal when you display it!