ESB WIP: Ord Mantell's ESB Build

Ord Mantell

BFB Hero

Ammo belt repaint​

I found a really great spray paint for the white vinyl ammo belts, so I decided to redo the ESB belt. I was never happy with the color I ended up on my previous mix of different brands. Also the SEM vinyl paint didn't come out of the threads all that great, and the final straw was the Duplicolor vinyl/fabric clear coat spray I used began cracking in a serious way. So beware. Never use the Duplicolor clear vinyl spray for an ammo belt. It does not perform well.

I stripped the belt and used this paint:

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I used Chocolate as a base layer and misted with Russet for several very thin layers, going back and forth, building up the tones. The chocolate color is very light, like a milk chocolate, so will look terrible at first. But once you mist the darker layers on, it looks pretty good.
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The Brillo is great for several reasons:

1) Correct sheen
2) very tough adhesion to the vinyl
3) easily removed from the threads after drying
4) good spray flow and easy to mist in very thin layers
5) wide array of brown shades to choose from

I've not seen another vinyl colorant do all of that in one package.

After it dries, remove the paint from the threads by scraping them with any object that has a stiff edge and gives you some control to attack the threads without hitting the vinyl too hard. I like to use sculpting tools like this:

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You'll never get the thread completely back to white, but that's not the goal. The originals weren't ever white again either, even as they are now in the archives after all the handling and wear and tear. There will always be some brown tones in there (and since this particular belt has already been painted once and stripped, there is more paint in the threads than a brand new one, making the results a little muddier). The goal is just to get it to stand out again. Inevitably there are always threads that are a bit buried in the vinyl and harder to scrape. Sometimes you will nick the vinyl and remove a bit of paint. Just spot fix those when you're done.


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boba87fett

Admin
Staff member
Anyone that’s going to troop better have a set of trooping stuff and a set of display stuff. The wear and tear is brutal from what I’ve seen on high mileage Bobas. Look how fast it fell apart on set throughout filming. 14killstripes trooped his once a week and it still looks great but you can tell it’s got mileage on it lol. I will personally probably how some stuff I swap on and off the costume when I wear it vs display it. And I only plan on wearing it like twice a year.
 

TheBobaFett

Concept
To add to this phenomenal build, here’s an interesting insight I discovered with Eric that he told me to share with everybody:
A few days ago I noticed that the ESB flightsuit pockets are actually not all completely stuffed like most believe them to be.
There is actually some sag to the top middle, roughly about ½ to 1” of space (most notably seen on the right thigh pocket) Making them appear both slightly smaller than they are.

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We agreed the foam padding was perhaps cut to an irregular shape and doesn’t fill up properly, thus creating this sagging detail at the top.
Eric achieved the same thing with his Clothears flightsuit and it came out perfectly. I'll let Eric share his cool pics he shown me.
A small detail easily overlooked but us Fett nerds appreciate the smallest bit of accuracy. That's what it's all about.
 

miggs fett

Supertrooper
To add to this phenomenal build, here’s an interesting insight I discovered with Eric that he told me to share with everybody:
A few days ago I noticed that the ESB flightsuit pockets are actually not all completely stuffed like most believe them to be.
There is actually some sag to the top middle, roughly about ½ to 1” of space (most notably seen on the right thigh pocket) Making them appear both slightly smaller than they are.

View attachment 9845
We agreed the foam padding was perhaps cut to an irregular shape and doesn’t fill up properly, thus creating this sagging detail at the top.
Eric achieved the same thing with his Clothears flightsuit and it came out perfectly. I'll let Eric share his cool pics he shown me.
A small detail easily overlooked but us Fett nerds appreciate the smallest bit of accuracy. That's what it's all about.
Also, one of the hip pouches is weathered a little more than the other, his left pouch... It is very noticeable in the black and white photo

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Ord Mantell

BFB Hero
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Not easy to replicate the exact results of the promotional photos, but in doing this I realized the right thigh pocket is filled extra wide... by about 3 or more inches than the pocket has room for, so bulges on the sides and cause the flap to look misaligned and the top sag more pronounced. Actually both sides seem to be like this in other scenes. I tried stuffing more foam in but I think it'll need to be one solid block for it to work right. I will have to cut new foam. Either way, thanks Marcus for pointing that out and sharing with us. Good eye.
 

Ord Mantell

BFB Hero
Been working on the new helmet. First, a comparison with the old G2 I fixed way back.

Blue is the new MF, gray is the old G2
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I drew their base outlines on a piece of paper. Blue is the G2, red is the MF:
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Um. That's a lot more similar than I expected. These helmets are pretty much interchangeable. Except the MF is super thin and is yielding a better looking interior build so far:

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The gunk along the inside of the ear platforms on the original looks like some kind of autobody filler to me. Last time I used a firm clay-like epoxy putty, but the real stuff looked more like a paste the way it went down, but not self-leveling. Needs to keep its peaks and troughs but remain smooth. I ended up using a Bondo all-purpose type putty, but instead of using the blue cream hardener, I used clear liquid hardener and a little JB Kwik from the 'steel' tube to deepen the gray color a bit.

All I need is an accurate set of clips for the visor installation and I can finish this interior. The rest is standing by. I know someone working on some accurate clips. Looking forward to getting those.

Rebuilt my interior electronics board on fresh new old stock/vintage RS board thanks to @boba87fett. I had some old and very used RS board, but this is so much better. Not the exact board model as the original, but bascially the same stuff.

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And then I found some vintage roller buckles that were in such terrific condition, I decided to do a new ESB girth belt using them. I've done a few now so my technique is much improved, and it goes much faster. I actually feel like I know what I'm doing now.

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Ord Mantell

BFB Hero
I want to sing the praises of @ConvergenceProps who did these absolutely stunning and insanely accurate ESB toe spikes. They have no equal. I am so thrilled to get a set of these rare birds from a prototype run. The only problem with these is that they are so accurate they won't fit on any replica boots. So I guess a more accurate boot project is in my future. Unless someone beats me to it. Which I would be thrilled if so.

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