This is where it all starts. I believe anyone can build their own Mandalorian costume. And it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.
But before you start building, you need to start imagining. This is where your Mandalorian Costume DIY project starts.
To get started with your Mandalorian armor concept, get inspiration from other Mandalorians. Look at lots of other Mando kits to decide what colors or features you like most. Do image searches of Mandalorian characters, Mandalorian concept art or fan art, Mandalorian custom figures, the Mandalorian comics or SW animated series, Mandalorian Mercs official members, Mandalorian cosplay, Mandalorian video game characters, etc, etc. You get the idea.
Make an inspiration file folder of Mandalorian armor designs or costume pieces that you like. Take bits and pieces from different armor designs to create something original and special to you. Or copy a kit design exactly, like a favorite canon character. I found a great design by artist Christopher Desse and brought it to life. I took a 2D design and made it into a 3D real-life Mandalorian armor kit.
Most people change their kit design from what they originally envisioned. Expect that you’ll do the same as your build progresses. You might find an undersuit that fits you perfectly but it’s not the color you wanted. Or you may decide to create your own custom armor template designs instead of using standard templates. Let your kit evolve and remember that there’s no need to rush your project. Try to enjoy the process of creating your own kit, even if you find that your original plan needs adjusting. Enjoy seeing how it evolves.
Order of your build
While you can start your costume creation any way that you like, I do recommend that people start with the soft parts. The soft parts are your flight suit, vest, boots, gloves, and belt. Work from the inside out. The armor parts are ideally shaped or formed over top of the clothing items for the best fit on your body. Also, depending on what clothing items you choose, you’re armor color scheme might change. I think it helps if you complete your kit section by section in an organized system, increasing your skills as you go. But if you want to jump into your helmet build first, go for it.
I recommend starting with soft parts, then moving on to the hard armor parts, leaving gauntlets and helmets last.
Mandalorian Armor Types
Pick your armor parts
Mandalorian kits have 3 different armor classes. I recommend starting with light armor, you can always add to your kit after. This website will focus on light and medium Modern-Era Mandalorian Armor. Here’s a list to help you keep track of all the different costume parts, Mandalorian Kit Checklist.
Light Armor = Helmet, chest armor, shoulder armor, groin/codpiece, vest, flight suit, boots/gloves, belts/holsters, knee armor, gauntlets, back armor/cape
Medium Armor = add on thigh, shin, and boot plates
Heavy Armor = add on neck armor, full shoulder armor, bicep armor (not shown on this website)
Pick a color scheme
You’ll want to pick a color scheme that is maybe 3 or 4 colors. I suggest you look at color scheme palettes, not only from costumes but also from fashion, home, or website design. Keep in mind when choosing colors that you may be limited to what spray paint colors are available in your country. You don’t need to learn any fancy color theory, just pick what’s visually appealing to you. Or just keep it simple and go with no color, like the white prototype Boba or “Snow Mandos”.
Here’s a color picker tool to play around with. It takes the color palette from an image so you can easily see the color combination. I tried it out with an image I found interesting and this is the color scheme I came up with. https://icolorpalette.com/color-palette-from-images
Do you want signet/symbol/clan crest/decals?
Signets identify Clan affiliation, a special conquest, personal accomplishment, or some other personal meaning. Boba Fett has the popular and traditional Mythosaur skull signet. The Mythosaur was a dangerous creature that existed on the planet Mandalore. The ancient Mandalorians were able to tame it and ride it, and it’s considered a status symbol of their culture. Boba also wears the clan sigil of Jaster Mereel, his grandfather. The wheat symbol signifies a warrior’s ability to live off the land. The red drop signifies the willingness of a warrior to spill blood. And the F-like symbol is the Mandalorian letter Roh meaning loyalty to a cause or person.
The new Mandalorian (Din Djarin) wears the Mudhorn signet. And we also see in the new Mandalorian series, the Death Watch symbol on the Mandalorians who help Djarin. Another popular symbol is the Jaig eyes. This symbol was usually placed on the helmet as a mark of honor. You can use either the traditional symbols or create your own symbol that has special significance to you.
Along with placing a symbol on your armor, you could also write something using the Mandalorian alphabet, as I did with my kit above.
Make it look Star-Warzy
Whatever design you come up with, it’s important that it looks like it would fit in to the Star Wars universe. It’s hard to describe exactly what is Star-Warzy. You want to avoid anything that looks “too earthy” or anything that obviously looks like it’s from our current culture here on planet Earth. If people can’t quite tell where the item is from, it’s probably good to go. Here’s a video about the Star Wars aesthetic.
NOW LET’S DO THIS!
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