Page Title

Building an Imperial Guard


PVC, Cardboard, Tablecloth
- and oh, a 3D Printer 

Step 1:

Step 1:

These helmets take some time on the 3D printer - but they're totally worth it! For about $25 in plastic, my printer cranked through all the parts (albeit took about 1 week to print all the pieces - nearly 30 of them. Again - totally worth it however!

Step 2:

Step 2:

Simple super glue gel (CA Glue) adheres the pieces together -

Step 3:

Step 3:

A little bit of bondo to seal any slight gaps and then running over the "grain" of the plastic with 220 sandpaper. This helps knock down the ridges that the printer leaves behind.

Step 4:

Step 4:

Using a some 2-part epoxy with filler added to thicken it up, a quick coating helps seal the helmet, make it rock hard and smooth it out. It sure looks like a mess at this point, but it's getting there.

Step 5:

Step 5:

While the epoxy dries - let's make the body! I recycle most of prop materials from the previous year's projects - in this case, I'm using a wooden disc from the base of our Kraken Sea Monsters from our Pirate Haunt. I lightly spray painted the edges red and secured my PVC parts with screws (same as my Darth Vader base).

Step 6:

Step 6:

The body begins in a PVC frame with a cardboard "body frame". Some simple hot glue adhesion works for this process.

Step 7:

Step 7:

DUCT TAPE, DUCT TAPE, and yes - a haunter's best friend - more Duct Tape! For this one, I didn't even finish the back of the body - just coated the front in Duct Tape.

Here he is starting to take shape...

Step 8:

Step 8:

I love this character - no arms or legs to build - YEAH!! For the robes, I picked up a set of 2 Tablecloths (60"x102" each) for $8.98 with prime shipping! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I simply draped one tablecloth over the back and one over the front - punched a hole in each so it slips over the neck pole.

Step 9:

Step 9:

Let's finish this helmet! More sanding down that epoxy - 220 grit, down to 400 grit

Step 10:

Step 10:

ust a bit more spot filler - this time I use a plastic-wood filler (Elmer's brand). I find bondo too noxious and dries to quick for small, quick voids like this.

Step 11:

Step 11:

Paint - woo hoo! My favorite! I love this Rustoleum 2X paint and primer ultracover. I find it adheres very well to PLA and ABS plastics and all of my fiberglass and epoxy bases. In this case, Gloss Apple Red for the helmet...

Step 12:

Step 12:

Every picture has these guys holding a long spear (aka Force Pike - thanks Wookiepedia)! So, before I make the Pike, this guy needs a hand. Okay - so I said earlier, no arms and legs, but I guess I'll have to fashion a quickie hand for this guy. I thought about buying a set of gloves from the Goodwill and painting them Red, but that's another $5 and a trip to the... err... Goodwill. Let's use our trusted prop hand method. Tape and plastic wrap!

Step 13:

Step 13:

Okay - I'm out of plastic wrap, so I used a Ziploc bag instead - and my daughter's hand as the mannequin. She was the hand model for our Haunted Mermaid from last year too so she knows the drill!

Step 14:

Step 14:

Lots of little clear packing tape pieces to separate the fingers, and then some red duct tape (GO DUCT TAPE!)

Step 15:

Step 15:

To make the arm - I use a tube from a paper towel roll and wrap it in plastic bags from the grocery store. I'll insert a piece of PVC (not shown) to stiffen it up as well. Finally, more red duct tape!

Step 16:

Step 16:

Let's take this to our new buddy and see how it fits. The PVC "forearm" gets screwed into the PVC waist piece to make sure it stays nice and stiff.

Step 17:

Step 17:

Let's finish the visor for the helmet - You can use clear plastic (spray painted black on the inside) or a replacement grinding shield.

Step 18:

Step 18:

Next, use blue painters tape to shape out the outline of the visor. In this case, it fits on the inside. The tape will create a nice pattern to trim from. Place the tape pattern on the visor material and trim it out.

Step 19:

Step 19:

You can use 5-minute epoxy or 2-sided velcro to adhere it inside the helmet.

To go along with our Star Wars Halloween, we decided to incorporate an Imperial Guard.

Step 20:

Step 20:

Let's make the parts for the pike - again the 3D printer comes in handy in creating these unique shapes.

Step 21:

Step 21:

I used a 4-ft section of PVC and wrapped it in aluminum tape. To minimize time, I didn't coat these plastic parts in epoxy for smoothing. Instead I jumped right into spray paint.

Here he is - in all his Star Wars Glory!

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