My Captain Phasma costume: Progress & Fixes to Come
This costume has been such an undertaking, & I still have so far to go. But I’m really glad I took it on, & am looking forward to doing all the work I have left on it! This pic was taken at DragonCon by Robby Idol Photography , if anyone knows the Finn, please let me know so I can tag him!
Let’s start with the fabric parts? I used a thick, heavy lycra, & made the gaskets from piped PVC. I put industrial velcro on certain places on the bodysuit to hold on & secure a few of the armor pieces from moving/sliding, but they were not weight bearing (the armor was much too heavy for velcro). The gloves are separate pieces. The cape is really heavy, has the appropriate pockets and straps on it, and goes on with hidden industrial velcro. I did rubberize the cape fabric, but I don’t want to go into how because it wasn’t something I would recommend anyone actually do, I made myself sick & will not be responsible for someone repeating my mistakes.
The armor. First off, it’s flexible fiberglass. It was part of an original kit, an experiment. I realize now why Stormtroopers always use vacu-formed plastic, it’s incredibly light & shapeable…this set of armor alone weighs 60 pounds!! It was made for an enormous male, someone over 6’ and over 200 pounds. I had to first start out with trying as many alterations as I could. I removed inches from the circumference of the upper arms, upper torso, & upper thighs. I had to spray Plastidip first inside of all of the armor, as the fiberglass was shedding a bit (as rough fiberglass will), & was itching/making me crazy. Sealing the inside made it easier to handle. Then I primed all of the armor using auto paint primer, since it’s made to adhere to fiberglass without reacting & seals it. A few coats + sanding & filling, priming. I then attached inside a harness system I made for myself, most of the armor weight hangs from my shoulders all the way down to my knees. I also glued pieces of EVA Foam inside of a lot of the armor since it was so big, kept it from rattling around me like a bell! Then I spray painted it with a chrome paint, & waxed it.
The helmet I screwed up on a few times, of all pieces, & had to sand/repaint the thing 4 times. And it’s not done. Inside the helmet I added the plastic visor to hide my eyes, a fan for cooling/air, & a voice box so my voice carries outside the helmet, otherwise no one could hear me at all!
The part I hated the most: all the little finger pieces. Between sanding and shaping, priming and painting, & gluing them to the gloves…I hate finger armor, now. Hate it.
Stuff left to fix/redo (this is gonna be long & costly)
If I am able to do it, I need to take a LOT of the armor in even more. It’s just too big. Way too big.
I need to distribute the weight onto wide cushions for my shoulders instead of all on 2 thin straps, it wrecked my shoulders at the con!
NEW PAINT. I was initially happy with the chrome paint I used, but as with most store-purchased chrome paints, you really HAVE to seal them. So I did but the wax causes the chrome to die down to a silver. NOT what I wanted. I am eyeing up/experimenting with ordering new chromes, though some are really pricey and will just have to wait. I have time.
The belt: The boxes on the belt are far too heavy. There’s no need for them to also be fiberglass, I’ll be making foam ones.
I may remake some of the shin pieces from foam. The fiberglass was very heavy & weighed onto my ankles, which hurt.
The shoes. The shoes were a last minute emergency stand in, I hated them. Will be replaced.
I need to alter the thighs after resizing, they cut up too high IMO (& I’m really leggy, who is this made for???) & make smaller shoulders.
I’m sure there’s more.
Special thanks to the awesome dude who brought me my little piece of heel armor after it came off in the crowd, you’re a hero!!
I wasn’t able to wear her long for the first time, but I did find a really fantastic & fun group of Force Awakens cosplayers at the con, & we had a really nice time getting pics & talking. I was really happy I met them, honestly I wish I had gotten their names. But I am honestly glad I took this on and saw it through, & look forward to working on it between other costumes over the next few months to make it really what I want!
More pics once I do all of the changes/repairs that I plan on doing over the winter!