Star Wars Clone Trooper Costume

Probably one of the more challenging craft projects I've undertaken with the kids, to fabricate a childs full Clone Trooper costume (including helmet) from rigid boxboard sheets. Below is the end result and a bit about how it was done.

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As you might imagine, my son felt quite the hero while posing for these shots
As you might imagine, my son felt quite the hero while posing for these shots
As you might imagine, my son felt quite the hero while posing for these shots

Dear Stars Wars fan

To all died-in-the-wool Star Wars enthusiasts, arriving here thinking to find an authentic how-to-build Clone Trooper armour guide with accompanying proportions perfect templates, my apologies.

“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

Princess Leia

This was built to fit a ten year old, so unless you're vertically challenged, I wouldn't recommend duplicating it.

It's also far from proportions perfect; I was working from photos. Therefore, what you see here is a fair-to-middly replication of a very short Clone Troopers set of armour... made of cardboard... and a few other bits and pieces that I could find in the garage.

That said, it ain't half bad (even if I do say so myself), and I hope you'll appreciate the effort, and at the very least give the 'Awesome' button on the bottom of the page a big thump; before leaving to find the genuine article you failed to find here.

And may the force be with you in your search.

Before you leave, let's listen as the troops play the opening of the imperial march; hum along with me: dum, dum, dum, dum-dum dum, dum-dum. Dum dum dum, dum, dum da-da... etc.

So, how did I do it?

This sort of project takes planning. I started by viewing a lot of Clone Trooper outfits online, downloading detailed images for reference and working out measurements.

These measurements I then scaled down to my sons size.

Using those measurements, I fabricated basic frameworks around which to build the armour. Some pieces didn't require this, however, pieces that encircled a part of the body were best assembled around a frame; this helps maintain symmetry. All framework was fabricated from the same cardboard as the costume.

A bit about the process

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This is the goal, except for the helmet, which was to be a Phase 1 type.Wire can be used to take reasonably accurate contour measurement of wearer (in this case my ten year old son)Entire suit will be made primarily from pasted box-board card cut to fit.Contour measurements are then replicated into a simple frameworkOnto which the armour plates can be attached It is important to ensure parts glue-tacked to framework will pull away easily on completionSpecial attention must be made to maintaining symmetry; each fold must be identical both sides it pays to use fast setting craft glue to minimise dry timesI've come to truly value the humble bulldog clipLooking symetricalGuantletsAll parts not requiring a framework were first drawn onto paper and test fitted, before templates were finalised. This is a final template for the Upper arm bandsTo get the contours without kinking, wet cardboard using spray bottle until it gives just enough to roll to desired shape.Shoulder pads. These will be thickened up using paper mache.First test fitting. Still a long way to go.Still to start are the elbow, hand, leg, knee, calve and groin and abdomen armourOver all there are 22 individual pieces to fabricate
This is the goal, except for the helmet, which was to be a Phase 1 type.
This is the goal, except for the helmet, which was to be a Phase 1 type.
Wire can be used to take reasonably accurate contour measurement of wearer (in this case my ten year old son)
Wire can be used to take reasonably accurate contour measurement of wearer (in this case my ten year old son)
Entire suit will be made primarily from pasted box-board card cut to fit.
Entire suit will be made primarily from pasted box-board card cut to fit.
Contour measurements are then replicated into a simple framework
Contour measurements are then replicated into a simple framework
Onto which the armour plates can be attached
Onto which the armour plates can be attached
It is important to ensure parts glue-tacked to framework will pull away easily on completion
It is important to ensure parts glue-tacked to framework will pull away easily on completion
Special attention must be made to maintaining symmetry; each fold must be identical both sides
Special attention must be made to maintaining symmetry; each fold must be identical both sides
it pays to use fast setting craft glue to minimise dry times
it pays to use fast setting craft glue to minimise dry times
I've come to truly value the humble bulldog clip
I've come to truly value the humble bulldog clip
Looking symetrical
Looking symetrical
Guantlets
Guantlets
All parts not requiring a framework were first drawn onto paper and test fitted, before templates were finalised. This is a final template for the Upper arm bands
All parts not requiring a framework were first drawn onto paper and test fitted, before templates were finalised. This is a final template for the Upper arm bands
To get the contours without kinking, wet cardboard using spray bottle until it gives just enough to roll to desired shape.
To get the contours without kinking, wet cardboard using spray bottle until it gives just enough to roll to desired shape.
Shoulder pads. These will be thickened up using paper mache.
Shoulder pads. These will be thickened up using paper mache.
First test fitting. Still a long way to go.
First test fitting. Still a long way to go.
Still to start are the elbow, hand, leg, knee, calve and groin and abdomen armour
Still to start are the elbow, hand, leg, knee, calve and groin and abdomen armour
Over all there are 22 individual pieces to fabricate
Over all there are 22 individual pieces to fabricate

Materials

The finished outfit took a pile of pasted boxboard (cardboard) that reached my waist. I think that's over 200 sheets; each sheet 200x280mm. The boxboard came in two grades, 1800 and 1400 gsm.

Other materials included:

  • Glue (heaps of it); including craft and PVA glue, hot glue and super glue
  • Super fine filler (I used Nordsjo Super Filler)
  • Foam padding
  • White and black fabric (stolen from my wife's sewing basket); used mainly as a backing to give strength to cardboard
  • Velcro; for connecting and holding all the parts in place
  • Misc: rivets, clear plastic for helmet, LED lights for helmet, various plastics bits, vinyl.
  • Lots of white spray paint!

Tools

Any job is made easier when using the right tools, and I would go as far as to say that with projects such as this, they are a necessity.

For this project I used the following tools:

  • Razor knife (absolutely essential), with lots of spare blades; you'll need them.
  • High revolution rotary multi-tool (these things are a godsend)
  • Quality craft shears and a range of scissors
  • Range of paint brushes from fine to 25mm
  • Sharp pencils and a few dark felt tip pens

  • Range of sandpaper grits
  • Self healing cutting board
  • Putty knife or equivalent
  • Craft clips and/or pegs
  • Stainless steel rule
  • Safety glasses
  • Spray bottles
  • Duster brush
  • Dust mask
  • Rolling pin
  • Rivet gun
  • Glue gun
  • Square

Serious Craft

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My son was given the job of fabricating the belt assembly. He was nervous to start with but did a fine job of it.Blaster rifle - made from a broken telescope, battery drill and, you guessed it, cardboard.Shin guard frames
My son was given the job of fabricating the belt assembly. He was nervous to start with but did a fine job of it.
My son was given the job of fabricating the belt assembly. He was nervous to start with but did a fine job of it.
Blaster rifle - made from a broken telescope, battery drill and, you guessed it, cardboard.
Blaster rifle - made from a broken telescope, battery drill and, you guessed it, cardboard.
Shin guard frames
Shin guard frames

Working Area

As this project proceeded, my work area expanded; until what started at the kitchen table required reorganising the garage; half of which became a Clone Trooper manufacturing facility.

There are over twenty individual pieces, and at times I was working on half a dozen simultaneously. While the glue dried on one, I cut, folded, rolled, assembled, sanded, painted the others. It's a project that just got busier.

That said, it was also a great time spent with the kids. Both of my youngest children (8 and 10) moved their craft tables into the garage, and we spent many hours together; even moving in one of the lounge sofas so we could hangout in comfort. By the end, the rest of the house became neglected, my wife taking up residence on the sofa, and even meals eaten there... it was great!

So, although it took a lot of planning, patience and time, the upshot was quality/quantity time spent with the kids (and wife), a great gift for my son, and a sense of something worthwhile accomplished.

Downside... now my daughter wants one... so its back to the garage... has anyone got any more cardboard :)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clone Trooper with older sisterAnd other big sisterAnd little sisterAnd cousins
Clone Trooper with older sister
Clone Trooper with older sister | Source
And other big sister
And other big sister
And little sister
And little sister
And cousins
And cousins

I'll most likely expand on this hub as time goes by, more detail on the process; I just really wanted to post the hub and share the awesome photos.

Star Wars Poll

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  • Anakin Skywalker
  • Luke Skywalker
  • Queen (senator) Amadala
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Comments 7 comments

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

Wow what a project, perhaps a dalek next time? Well done to you all


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 5 years ago from Canada

You absolutely amaze me...good job and what a dad!


stessily 5 years ago

parrster: I wish that "awesome" hadn't been so over-used in my lifetime so that the power of that word sometimes seems to have been relegated to the trite category! So, I am awestruck by the dedication, creativity, and love that went into this project! And I love the Clone Trooper Orchestra video! My artistic eyes espied a series of drawings in the background in the photo of "first testing fitting: still a long way to go." May I ask who is the artist? They look interesting and well composed. Thank you for sharing this tribute to love in your family. All the votes, parrster!

Appreciatively, Stessily


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz Author

@C1W ~ A Dalek, now there's an idea. Thx for commenting.

@Grace~ Aww, shucks, thx Grace. Of all the roles I fill, being a dad is the most fun.

@stessily ~ Thank you for the praise. The artwork you spied is the work of my second daughter (Tamzie); probably the most artistic in the family. She calls them Inky's, and for a while they were her gift of choice to family and friends. She hasn't produced any more for a while, but I passed on your comments.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

That is quite a feat. How about a working HUD display for the helmet? And when's mine going to be finished?


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

That is some project. You explained it really clearly and the photographs provided an easy step by step guide. The end result really did look good.


parrster profile image

parrster 2 years ago from Oz Author

@Anna Haven ~ thanks. Yes, we were happy with the results. My sons since outgrown the suit, but we are now working on a knights outfit so he can enter the Abbey Tournament; a yearly medieval festival they have here. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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