Building Boba: Shin Tools

Originally the shin tools were made from found parts. I want to make mine from the original parts, but I haven’t found any (affordable) source yet.

Since time is running out, I used the 3D printed versions I ordered from CSB Props on Shapeways.

I was very impressed with the quality of the print. Aside from a few print lines on the Anti Security Blade, I couldn’t really tell that these were 3D printed. That’s nice, since it meant I didn’t have to do much sanding before painting.

Here’s a video of the process (English subtitles available):

Tools used:

  • Sandpaper: 120, 240 and 400 grit
  • Airbrush
  • Paintbrush, flat shader size 10
  • Compressed air (to blow away dust after sanding)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (to clean and prepare surface before painting)
  • Paint:
    • Light Grey
    • Iridescent Rich Silver
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Burnt Umber
    • Titanium White
    • Ivory Black
    • Grey Deep
    • Vandyke Brown
    • Orange
  • Masking tape
  • Black rubber tape
  • A small file
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Hobby knife
Shin Tools painted with primer

This was a fairly simple task. I first went over each part with sandpaper with increasingly higher grit. I then hit them with primer and another round of sandpaper.

I masked off the shaft on the Anti Security Blade and painted the metal rods with silver paint. I also painted the Jetpack Adjustment Tool with the same silver paint.

I then drew the markings on the Sonic Beam Weapon with a pencil, and masking the surrounding area with tape. I first tried to paint the orange stripe with an airbrush, but was unhappy with the result. So I switched to a paint brush. I painted two coats of orange and two coats of black. I also painted the flat part and the tape part of the Anti Security Blade black.

Finally I mixed yellow, grey, white and brown until I had a tan color similar to PMS 458 U. This was my color for the Survival Knife, which I airbrushed on, three coats.

And then I could have fun weathering.

I mixed two colors, Burnt Umber and Deep Grey, heavily watered down. I used mostly Burnt Umber on the knurled part of the Anti Security Blade to give it a rusty appearance.

For the rest, I mixed half and half. I applied the dirt water all over and dabbed it off. I did this a few times until I was happy with the level of dirt.

I’ve enjoyed the process, having much fun while painting and weathering. But I also enjoyed learning about the found parts.

So the real movie props were made mostly from photography equipment. The Survival Knife, for instance, is a Paterson Chemical Stirrer. You don’t have to do much with it other than giving it a coat of paint and some weathering.

The Sonic Beam Weapon is made from a Paterson film squeegee. It has four teeth, so you have to file down the bottom tooth. The squeegee is about 33 cm long, so you’ll have to cut off 11,5 cm from the bottom of the feet. An orange stripe and some black markings are painted on, and then you just have to weather it.

But do not throw the wide foot from the squeegee away! The Anti Security Blade is made from this. Also part of this tool are two metal stylus brush rods from a Michell Engineering turntable. You fasten these to the squeegee with black rubber tape, and then you glue a flat piece of black plastic with rounded corners inside.

The fourth tool, the Jetpack Adjustment Tool, has turned out to be a bit elusive. We don’t know for sure what it actually was, but the current concensus is that it was a metal pipe of some sort.

In the Star Wars Visual Dictionary the shin tools were recreated to look more elaborate and more “starwars-y”. For 501st approval you can choose between these two styles, but for level 2 approval you must use found parts. See the CRL for more details: