Forum > Armor Planning

Cheap and Easy Build Tutorial

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Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to build a great-looking kit that meets our costuming standards without spending a lot of money. In fact, I'm willing to go as far as saying it can be done for under $150, possibly for as little as $100.

Yes, I'm serious. And I'm going to prove it.

I will be collaborating with Pinocchio on this project, and between us we will demonstrate how you can put together a whole, quality kit including armor, soft parts and helmet for super cheap. And I might add...there will be no cardboard, sports armor, or other questionable materials used.

So let's get started, shall we?

If you have never gone thrifting, now is the time to start. Thrift stores and garage sales are your friend! This is where you can find what you need for your soft parts and weapons/greeblies/other cool things. You have to be patient and consistent; go every week or more! You will find treasures.

On my first thrift store trip for this project, I hit gold. A gently used USAF flightsuit for $12.99! OK, so I got lucky. But if you are consistent in your search, you will find something just as nice. Looky:

Now on to the most important part of the build: your armor.

Walmart has silver-grey, 18 gallon plastic totes for cheap. I bought two of them for $4.00 each, and this will be enough to make a light(Boba-style) set of armor. We will even get knees, gaunts and a backplate from the totes and the lids that came with them.

You can find the WoF templates for armor on the templates/tutorials page of this site. I printed them up and cut them out, then traced them onto the tote with a Sharpie. Easy stuff. Now I confess, I like to use a Dremel to cut out plates. But I will assume you may not have access to power tools, and for the sake of not adding potential expenses, I'm cutting them out the old fashioned way: with a pair of cheap snips.

Because of the shape of the tote, I could not fit the chest and ab plates on one side. But that's OK! I am already thinking about how to make knees from those funky rounded corners. :)

The next step after cutting out the armor will be sanding the edges and shaping the plates. No heat gun you say? We'll be baking them in the oven.

So far my total for expenses is: $21.00

$12.99 for a flightsuit
$8.00 for plastic armor

Hondo Karr:
This is going to be an awesome reference! I can't wait to see it come to fruition! I'll make sure I link this to new forum members with questions.

Ok, time to chime in, I have already provided a Helmet for this build, a 27 dollar Jango 2 piece that is already in bondo, there are additional mods done to these helmets that add no significant cost other than a bit of 5 minute epoxy, which you should have, and bondo, you should have that too, and a piece of scrap metal to cut out an ear stalk with either a saw or if you are patient a dremel and file.  I cut mine out of scrap metal on a a band saw and hand sanded into shape but a dremel will do the job, or if really broke a hack saw, I aso intend to supply the gauntlets made out of the same tote material Mar'eyce is using, paint will be wal mart brand spray paint, the 2.00 a can stuff. 

so with the helmet 48.00 whole dollars.

Synnr Falco:

Looking forward to seeing this develop. Are you set with gun props?  I am starting my $12 blaster rifle this weekend

we'll come up with something weapon wise, while nothing is a sure thing we're quite confident in our abilities to pull this off, my current bucket is of the 27.00 variety so it is all in how you do it, and a paint job like this only takes a few days to pull off with drying times, and considering it takes about 3 bucks worth of k mart craft paint to weather everything, not too many worries, I want the gauntlets to be dirt cheap and hella' cool.

and I will go over how to gut the cheesy rubies ear pieces and reinforce em' to move things into the non sucky category.


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