Where did you buy a complete stormtrooper costume?“
This is one of the most common questions people ask me. The answer is that I’ve built it myself. It is 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.
The Legion has local branches all over the world. These branches are called garrisons, squads or outposts, depending on the size of the area and how many troopers are living there.
The local branch in Norway, Sweden and Finland is called Nordic Garrison.
Non-Legion communities could also be helpful. If you want a costume of a rebel scum, Jedi poodoo or other Star Wars costumes not in the Legion, you could always go to the wrong side of the Force and visit the Rebel Legion.
Now that The Mandalorian series has premiered on the Disney streaming platform, I’d guess that The Mandalorian Mercs costume club will see an increase in membership applicants. The online forum The Dented Helmet, that specializes in all things Boba Fett costume, will probably also get more traffic in the months to come.
If you’d like to learn about lightsaber fencing, maybe the Saber Guild is the club for you?
And if you like to tinker with electronics and play with robotics, the R2 Builders Club should suit you fine.
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:
- 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: