Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions I’ve received over the years.
If you don’t see your question here, please feel free to contact me through the Support Page. For personal inquires you can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or using this contact form. You can also reach me on Twitter @WickedArmor!
My current skills are the result of many years of failure and frustration. Most people would have given up, but fortunately I had a passion for it. Someday I might lose my urge to create costumes and replicas, and if that happens I will likely publish a book on the topic to pass on everything I have learned. That said, I might post a few tutorials on the basics in the future, but certainly not a full tutorial on how to make a Garrus costume, etc.
Making the initial costume is very expensive and extraordinarily time consuming. I can only afford to do this by making some copies available to others to at least break even on my investment of time and money.
My mom made my Halloween costumes right in front of me when I was young and entered me in costume contests, which I occasionally won. That got me interested in costuming very early. I made my first costume, Batman, on my own around age 14, but I only did prop/costume work very rarely until around 2004 when I received my first commission.
Yes! As Darth Revan, SL-7338. I have many friends in the 501st and love the organization, its members, and its charitable works. For those who do not know, the 501st is an international group of Star Wars fans that dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters, from Imperial Storm Troopers to Sith Lords, to promote Star Wars in the community and help raise contributions for charities.
Learn more about the 501st here.
I do not have a lot of time to comment on forums because I am always busy with life, work, and costumes, but I occasionally visit The RPF and Facebook costume groups.
If I did the costume you suggested, it was probably either because I was already thinking about doing it out of a personal interest or several people made the same request.
Yes, so long as you give me credit with the photo(s) and place it with a link to my website.
Yes. Always. No two are ever quite the same. If you are concerned about these changes you are welcome to ask, but I usually think the changes are improvements. That’s why I make them. You can also request certain changes specifically like color changes.
It is true that most people vacuum form over a male mold and there is a significant loss of detail. The most force you can get with a vacuum system is about 14 psi, atmospheric pressure, but I built a pressure forming system that uses about 70 psi of force to push the plastic into every nook of a female mold. The display side of the armor actually comes into contact with the mold surface for extreme detail unlike anything in typical vacuum forming. If a hair fell into the mold it would leave an impression on the final part. Any small detailed pieces or complicated pieces are made in resin or fiberglass.
Yes. High Impact Polystyrene is very strong at 1/8″ thickness and ABS is very strong at even lesser thicknesses. I paint them with UV protection to reduce degradation caused by UV radiation. I prefer vacuum formed plastic when the part has low detail and needs to be flexible and/or lightweight.
Very. I use polyurethane, which is a very tough plastic resin, and fiber reinforced plastics, like polyester fiberglass. You can usually throw/dash a part on the floor without any damage. It will take minor blows. Stepping or sitting on some parts will break them depending on the part shape and thickness.
If you have a new costume/replica design, you would like me to make (that is, one I have not made previously) then you can submit your suggestion through the contact form.
Note: I rarely take on new designs unless I am seriously considering it already.
If you want costumes/replicas that I have made previously, then submit a request on the contact form about your interests, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able with lots of info. If I am inspired and have the time, I am likely to take on your project.
After selecting your options, make a deposit of at least 15% (or payment in full) to get me started. The deposit helps with some of the material costs and is taken as an agreement that you will pay the remainder of the cost when the costume is complete.
Please provide the needed measurements accurately. I will then create your costume and contact you when I am finished for the remainder of the cost.
No. If I am inspired to make the costume, I might create it when I have time. I am much more likely to accept your project if it is something I have made previously.
Yes, I can make a costume part so long as it is finished (not a raw cast).
Usually three weeks or less, but it depends on my workload, materials availability, etc.
This could take anywhere from a month to a year depending on the costume complexity and workload during that period. But I am getting to the point where I can make very complex costumes in less than 6 months.
Can you destroy all the molds, patterns, and plans for a costume after I have received my commissioned costume?
No. The only reason that I can make these costumes at affordable prices is that I offer them to others after the original commission. I could not afford to do this at all if I only used the molds, patterns, and designs once. If you represent a major entertainment company that wants to protect its character copyrights, we can make such an arrangement, but if you just want to be the only person in the world with one of these costumes, realistically, it just does not work that way.
I do not have the capability to mass-produce costumes. I have a small art studio in my backyard, not a factory. I can only do a very limited run, say 12 at most. I would get very bored making more than that, but if you represent a major entertainment company interested in making licensed limited edition runs, I could hire a few artists and make it happen.
Yes, I ship worldwide. I love to see photos or YouTube videos of the costume in action in some other part of the world. If I like the photo a lot, I might even put it on the website.
No. I do not make costumes that have been made so prolifically. These costumes already exist in the world, and there are very fine and detailed versions of these costumes already available. For these reasons, I do not feel the need. For me, this includes costumes like Boba, Jango, Biker Scouts, Royal Guards, Snow Troopers, or Master Chief.
My armor is not designed for safety. It is designed to look good. You could modify most costume pieces for paintball or airsoft, but I take no responsibility for injuries given or received while wearing my costume pieces.
No. Unless you are looking to win a Darwin award, do not use my armor for safety purposes of any kind. These are pieces of art you can wear, not safety equipment.