Where did you buy your costumes?“
This is one of the most common questions people ask me. The answer is that I’ve built them myself. They are the result of lots (and lots) of research, fabrication and hard work.
I would recommend potential recruits to register on the various detachment forums to research and seek advice from experienced builders.
I’ve gathered some online resources on this page. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope it could give new recruits a starting point.
First things first: Watch the films! They are, obviously, the first and foremost guide to how a costume should look.
Next I would suggest you get to know the Legion. The website 501st.com is a great place to start.
While you are surfing around there, take a closer look at the Costume Reference Library (CRL). This is your most important reference, apart from the films. When you apply for approval with the Legion, your costume will be compared to these specs.
There are many communities out there, both locally and online. Get to know them. Maybe you have builders nearby who can help you? Or perhaps you could find other recruits and get together for an armor party? And maybe you have a makerspace nearby?
When you are ready to start researching a spesific costume, the Detachments are the place to go. If you are building a Stormtrooper costume, you should visit the First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment (FISD), and if you want a Bounty Hunter costume, you should visit The Bounty Hunter Guild (The BHG).
There are many other detachments in the Legion, so I’m sure you’ll find the help you need for any costume you’d like.
- Rebel Legion if you want a costume of a rebel, Jedi or other Star Wars costumes not in the 501st Legion.
- The Mandalorian Mercs if you want a custom Mandalorian costume.
- The Dented Helmet specializes in all things Boba Fett costume.
- Saber Guild if you’d like to learn about lightsaber fencing.
- R2 Builders Club if you want your own droid and like to tinker with electronics and robotics.
There are many other Star Wars clubs and communities. These are just the most common I have listed here.
Products and supplies
Chances are you do not have all the equipment or resources to make a costume from scratch. Luckily there are many talented builders and makers within the communities listed above. Ask around, and you’ll find sculptors, metal workers, tailors, painters, electricians and more.
Most of the tools you’ll need, you’ll find locally. Keep an eye out when you visit hardware stores, arts and craft stores or even the local supermarked. Glue, tape, scissors, sandpaper, paints and paintbrushes, needle and thread, buttons and elastic bands are much cheaper to buy locally than to order online. I found most of my tools and supplies at the local hardware stores Biltema, Jula and Clas Ohlson, and I even picked up a few things at the local grocery stores Rema 1000 and Coop Extra.
If you have a makerspace nearby, you have access to both tools and talents — use them!
You will find that fully licensed costumes are commercially available, but most of these will not meet the high standards we encourage. If you buy one of these costumes, chances are that it will not pass basic approval for membership with the Legion.
You will also probably run into people selling “501st approved” costumes. This is false advertisment. I would like to stress that there’s no such thing as “501st approved” costumes. Membership approval is done case-by-case, and is based on how accurate the costume is (see the CRL) and on how well it fits you.
Keep these things in mind when you shop around.
Various websites for your costume shopping needs (links does not mean endorsement):
- Trooperbay – Webshop with various costuming building supplies.
- TK Boots – Stormtrooper boots.
- Imperial Boots – Boots and costume parts.
- MrNoStripes Bracket System – Screen-accurate fastening system for the Stormtrooper armor torso.
- TK Procucts LCC – Webshop for the iComm Sound System (Stormtrooper voice changer)
- Eastbay – Compression undersuits.
- eBay – Much of your supplies can be found on eBay — from magnets and rivets to undersuits and plastic polish.
- Shapeways – Order 3D printed parts from the marked place.
- ManofWarStudios – Boba Fett costume parts and props.
- Delta Leatherworks – Costume parts and props in leather.
- Bobamaker – Costume maker.
My Stormtrooper build
I didn’t have this website while building the stormtrooper, but I did document the process a few other places. Maybe I’ll do a write-up someday, but until then you’ll find it here:
- Read my armor build thread on the FISD forum.
- Watch my armor build vlog (in Norwegian).
- Read my armor build posts at my archived blog (in Norwegian).