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Body Double on the PVC Frame

Originally uploaded by itsthatdude_com

Here is the body double mounted on the PVC frame.. I added some clothing and accessories to get an idea of what I am working with.... forgive my messy garage! I have added the leg extensions also to get a look at the height of the costume.

The crutches on the arms are what I used on the old Beast costume.

Creating a taped body double.

Originally uploaded by itsthatdude_com

To add a more accurate representation over the PVC framework I used a body double technique using water activated paper based packing tape. Many people have used duct tape, and while it works it is much harder to work with than the paper packaging tape plus more expensive.

I was able to pick up a roll at Staples for under $8! With the help from my brother and a trash bag to prevent the tape from sticking I was able to get my torso done, beer gut and all. Once the paper side was done, we covered it with some left over clear packing tape I had left over from a move. The form keeps its shape much better than my old attempt at a duct tape double years ago and I highly recommend this technique to anyone.

Thanks to! Here is their tutorial.

Wecome fans!

I am now forwarding here to the ItsThatDude blog. Once the suit is finished I will likely spin it off into it's own blog but for now I want to keep both in the same spot. Keep checking in on the progress of the new costume and hopefully big things come with it. Be prepared to run into the big guy at Star Wars Celebration 5 in orlando!

Making a PVC Mannequin - Part 1, Measuring and Re-Measuring

Before I start any part of this costume The most important thing is I need to see it upright. In order to do that I will need a sturdy platform to make my costume on. Sure a real mannequin would help but there are a few problems.

  1. They are rarely symmetrical
  2. They are not my height, I am 5'4"
  3. they also are not the height of the costume 7'6"

  4. They cost way too damn much!

Now that I got that off my chest, I had to find a solution. So I began searching the web for everything ranging from Duct Tape Dummies, to the 2x4 version that I made to display the Beast, I finally I came across Using a combination of PVC and metal hinges, I thought with some slight modifications this would work great for me. Oh, don't forget the cardinal rule of any project MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE! After measuring myself ad estimating what I thought would be right, I was 9 inches off... that would really of sucked in the real deal. I would have been fine because it was 9 inches too long but its worth making a mock-up like below. If you don't have graphic programs draw it on paper, and make sure you are accounting for any overlap from the PVC and the curves of the tubes (that was my mistake). The mock up, although shrunk for the sake of the web is to scale to my body. The outline of me is from a photograph, and for every 10 points it equals one inch. So it was easy for me to double check all the measurements. Behind #2 you can see the outline of the Wampa, this is the desired size of the costume. The dimensions were from a photo of an early costume that was full size made for Empire Strikes Back. (photo at bottom of post)

I know with a costume as large as mine, the feet would have to go. In exchange I will be using some steel mounts found at harbor freight, that are attached to a 3'x3' plywood & 2x4 base. With those steel mounts, I can slide the PVC tube on and off of them, which also gives me the ability to add 2' extensions to represent the stilts (light blue, diagram 2). These will give me the ability to work on the two halves of the costume. As mentioned before I plan on splitting the costume in two. With the leg extensions on I can work on the bottom overalls. Without, I can work on the top.

Below is the updated mock-up showing some more details. I will add some more mock-ups side by side photos of the progress. Now the mock up stage is done, it is time to start cutting and get this thing started! The photo above is an early version of the Empire Strikes Back Wampa (notice the head). This early version had the head way too high (see action pic in the inset) so I modified it, removing the actors head, and brought it down closer to the version seen on screen. Click on photo for details

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