So people… it’s been a long time since I last posted…
What has happened?
Well, I graduated college with a degree in Audio Production (Associate). I also completed the arms, and the gloves.
As a quick rundown, the gloves were just some basic white canvas gloves. I also bought some cloth knit gloves, but I like them less. They might be nice if it’s ever a cold troop. How did I do them?
I looked ALL over the world for these gloves. I checked hardware store, department store, automotive stores… EVERYWHERE! Did I find them there? NO! I found them at a hole in the wall convinence store… and they were CHEAP. They cost me less than 2 dollars for a pair. I bought both canvas, and cotton. Both are screen accurate, as in leather.
How did I dye them?
Tempura paint! It’s cheap, and can be bought in very generous portions for those on a budget. Also, I bought a sponge brush… also VERY cheap. I think it was a whopping 49 cents. I mixed a few colors in a bowl until I got some dirty looking colors, then I dabbed them onto the gloves in a HEAVILY diluted (with water) solution. It soaked in great, and looks awesome.
Application with arms:
Simple. Look at my tutorial with the boots, and apply to the arms. If you’re going for a ANH look, don’t cross the wraps across the palm, only the wrist and up. If you’re the prequel kinda lover, then feel free to do it either way. Slap on those gloves, strap on the pad, and then wrap the wraps from the wrist to the arm. Depending on how long your wraps go up the arm, you may need to wear a light brown shirt to cover your skin… and you want to cover your skin. I’m sure it’s beautiful, but to avoid any run ins with Buffalo Bill and his infamous lotion you better cover it up…… OH WAIT. It’s for screen accuracy. Did you see the Tuskens showing any skin?
Here’s what the finished product MAY OR MAY NOT look like. (You might show me up)
I can wrap these better than that… in fact I’ve nailed it down to where I end the wraps so they tuck into the padding underneath. It works WELL. (Excuse the bathroom pic, lol)
Also, I’m gonna mega pack this… I’ve also done the:
INFAMOUS TUSKEN GAFFI STICK!!!!
So you wanna be a Tusken? You have what it takes? You’re a champion of the desert, looking to ambush some jedi land speeders? You better be prepared. The Tuskens had some unnamed guns, but they are more known for their Gaffi’s of DOOM… well, maybe that’s a little too over the top?
They had these “sticks” that could be used for clubbing, and not with any oontz oontz oontz, but instead the kind that pops your skull open like a ripe watermelon on a Japanese summer day. If that wasn’t nasty enough, the other end could spear you in a nasty, nasty way. So let’s make it… and we too, can be awesome…AND DEADLY!
To begin you’ll need:
- PVC pipe (1 1/4″)
- Smaller PVC Pipe (1/2″)
- A Coupler (for the two pieces of PVC)
- Some Bondo
- Some sheet metal/plastic signing
- Spray paint (Brown, black, and hammered metal)
- PVC Coupler thingie (Optional, it’s for decoration)
- A Heat Gun
- A Saw
- Gardening Spike
- A nice airy space to work in
- Duct (or Duck) Tape
- Tin Snips
- Totokia Head
- A Vice
- And time and love (yea, I SAID IT)
What do we do?
Well my friend, this has been fun… it’s gonna get a lot funner. Well it might get frustrating, but it’s fun too. If it’s not go do something else. No point in costuming if it’s not fun, right?
So you arrive in your shop with the supplies on the supply list. You turn on some nice refreshing cantina music and remember that HAN SHOT FIRST. You’re ready for business.
Let’s start off with the “wood staff” part of the Gaffi. It’s our meat and potatoes so to speak. You’ll start off with this larger PVC tube (1 1/4″), and you’ll need to cut it what some might say 29″ long, but I went ahead cut mine like 31″ long or so. The reason is because we are gonna modify this little baby to look prettier.
Get your heat gun (pew pew) and heat the holy hey outta one end. Some tips for using a heat gun with PVC:
1) Hot PVC looks REALLY close to cold PVC. Use gloves, and don’t burn yourself.
2) Get too close to the white PVC and you’ll discolor it. It takes longer to get the PVC to a shapeable state this way, but it also makes sure that you don’t huck it up.
3) TAKE YOUR TIME TAKE YOUR TIME TAKE YOUR TIME
Enough tips… you’ve heated the end up until it’s nice and mallable on the last 1/8″ or so. You are going to make a nice pretty lip of this end of the tubing. You’re going to do this by holding the PVC tube as vertical as possible (as in straight up, folks). Then VERY carefully, slowly apply downward pressure on the tube, pushing it into the ground. Pay attention to what the tubes doing. The hotter the end is, the easier this is going to be, but it’s also easier to muck up. This is a process best done in one step from my experience though. If you have to reheat the end you can often get an extremely off center lip… this can be bad because you need to fit the other PVC pipe inside this. If it’s misshaped then the pipe with the coupler end will not fit.
This is kinda scary, but this is something you MAY OR MAY NOT want to do. I don’t think it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary, but it REALLY makes the piece look good. Do this part first because if you screw it up terribly, you can just toss the stick and cut another. PVC is really cheap and so you really CAN afford to have some scraps. it’s just part of the learning process.
Once this is done, it might look kinda like this:
Sorry no closeup, but the focal point of this for you right now is the far right part of the thick end of the PVC. See how before it goes into the smaller PVC it has a nice lip? To be honest with everyone, I did this MY FIRST TRY… and since then the other Gaffi’s I’ve done have not looked this good at all. You might luck out like me though. If so, YOU WIN TEH GAME!
Now the lip is done. Let’s add the curve, shall we? This is the main reason the Gaffi is a little bit longer than other people say. We want to make a curve in the stick like is in the above picture. I don’t think it needs to be a 90 degree angle like some sites say. If you try and make the bend that much it will really fold up your PVC tube and look not so wonderful. I’ve seen people cut the PVC and reglue it, but honestly we are most likely gonna be trooping in this, right? If that’s so you want this part to be as strong as possible. The Gaffi club end is gonna stick to this as well. It’s heavier than we all might want it to be. Support is crucial IMHO. You can make your own choice though. There’s a lot of ways to do this entire costume. I’m just saying how I did it.
Making the Curve
I kinda just eyed this TBH. I’m not sure how far down I started to heat at. If I had to take a guess I’d say… 4-5″ (most call for 3, but we are gonna do something, so you’ll see). So there’s 2 keys to this… one is EVEN HEAT. The other is: GOOD WEIGHT.
What I did was put the PVC pipe in a vice and cranked it down so it had a firm hold on it. Then I turned the heat gun up and began to heat evenly around the pipe, in a sort of circular fashion. Once I felt it it was getting to be semi malleable, I put a weight into the end of the PVC and duct tape it on. You can also use your hand and pull, but I liked using the giant socket I had because I had a big stick to grap onto and gradually tork it to the shape I wanted. In order to minimize the wrinkles in the plastic I did this as slow and in as small of increments of angle as possible. You can do it much faster than the 2 hours or so I spent doing it, but it might not look as good. Unless you cut this though, making a sharp angle is going to wrinkle the PVC.
Here’s a good picture of that progress:
And that’s how you make the bend.
Finishing this end (Or how I added the club):
First off… I BOUGHT the club. It was made by a member of Krayt Clan known as KING JAWA. He was AWESOME to deal with, charged a very small fee for this item to be shipped, and had instructions inside for how to care for the Gaffi club end. I also got a 501st card… which is fun to own. As the time of this post being written… he still sells them. So sign up for the forums there and get a hold of him. Also check out the Trading Post.
I cleaned this item up with soap and water. I then let it dry. I took a circle drill bit (looks like a can with teeth) and and I drilled a circle hole into the bottom of the club. I pushed epoxy into it and then shoved the head onto the end of the PVC pipe after the bend. I adjusted this out so it was at the angle (or lack of) that I wanted. I then taped the crap outta this to it held exactly where I wanted it while it dried.
Tips on this process: After cutting the hole but before the Epoxy, try and place the Gaffi head on and make sure it’s not too long. If the PVC after the bend is too long, then cut it down to size. Remember you can always cut more, but you can’t do a lot if you cut too much. Like with everything… TAKE YOUR TIME.
I’m gonna be less detailed and leave a lot of this up to you…. but here’s
How to make the smaller piece of the Gaffi with the spike and fins:
I cut the smaller PVC pipe about 15″ or so long. It was a little too long, but I wanted that. You’ll want to cut the fins using the aluminum metal or sheet metal of your choice. These fin shapes need to resemble the ones that you seen on screen accurately. I did it by eye and made a lot of copies on thick paper before I cut the metal with tin snips. Instead of using dangerous sharp metal like I did, you can also substitute it out and use the thicker advertisement signs you buy everywhere… you know the ones that say stuff like: KEEP OUT, or FOR SALE BY OWNER, or GARAGE SALE. You’ve seen them. They are safer and just as paintable. Look great too. I chose to use metal because it was laying around the shop.
Here’s a picture of my fin template:
Once the fins are cut you can then make the proper markings on the smaller PVC for where they go. Once you got those figured out, go ahead and dremel out knotches for them to go into. This is tricky, but after that drop some glue in these holes and on the fins and stick them in. Tape them down. I was able to get two fins at a time. If you do just one at a time you’re ok too. It’ll just take a bit longer. Let them dry and this is done.
You’ll notice you need a spike right? well the easiest thing to use is an old garden spike. You cna find these attached to a slew of things. Look in your backyard, your dad’s backyard, your grandma’s backyard, or a hardware/home and garden store. I found one in a grandma’s garden attached to an old broken spool for garden hoses. Smash it, cut it, so whatever and extract just the spike. Trim it, cut it, or sand it down to fit into the end of the PVC spike closest to the fins. You shouldn’t need glue or anything… just force to smash it down. I know we are Tuskens, but USE THE FORCE!
If you want to make things fancy like I did you can find a PVC ring that fits around the smaller PVC pipe and cut it in half. Put one of the halves untouched on the top where the spike is. The other one will need to be sanded down until it looks round like a real ring, and slid on the bottom, about 1/2 – 3/4 the way between the fins and the fatter part of the Gaffi. This effect will make it look like the Gaffi used in the “Hero Tusken” picture you see on the internet. I prefer this look myself.
Here’s a picture:
This picture skips ahead a little bit…but it shows the fins and the two rings. Also the spike. It’s a good picture for what I just taught you.
So you’re about done… You gotta make it pretty and polished now though, right? YES is the answer. You’ve done so much though? YOU KNOW WHAT!? No pain no gain.
A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Bondo
A powerful tool for ricers and crappy car body kits… now for Tusken use! We are gonna use this to make some items look better than they are… lemme tell you how…
The first step is to use bondo on the spike. You are going to mix that stinky stuff up and use something flat to push into the gaps between the spike fins… now the SPIKE FINS, not the GAFFI FINS. I’ll show you a pic of it all finished… you also need to stuff and even out the hole that connects the two. Once painted, this will make it look like one piece… or it should. You decided:
Where else might you Bondo?
Well as you can see in that picture, you’ll always want to bondo up where we put that lip. this will both hide mistakes, and give the impression the hole is much smaller than it is. I think it’s a good trick. Remember to sand after this dries.
A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Mr.Dremel
This is quick… you should Dremel a pretty design into the hand grip section of the fat part of the Gaffi. Now by now you should have seen some Gaffi sticks used in reference pictures. If you don’t compare what you’re making to a reference from the movie… well I’m sorry sir. You’re doing it wrong.
Check out TK-409′s site for a good close up, or check this picture. It doesn’t have to be a perfect design, just look good and “homemade” to push that realistic effect… but remember… what else did Tuskens do but pillage and craft weapons? So it can’t look like total garbage and SUPER sloppy. There’s no excuses for laziness. So don’t too deep, that’s all I gotta say.
A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Mrs.Paint
This is where the entire piece will tie together. You want to make sure this thing is sexy and dressed for success. My first tip is to clean the PVC. You probably have made it really greasy/dirty from all this work on it with your hands. Get that grease off. Next scratch the crap out of it with a nice grain sandpaper. This will help the paint stick. You can use a primer if you wish, or you can use the paint made for plastic. It’s around at all stores including the evil Wally World (I’m not a hippy, that’s where I got it). Paint the stick part brown, the spike part silver… easy. To weather the wood part what I did was lay down a bunch of layers of paint in black and brown and dark brown and a clear coat… then I made scratched on it in places with various tools/sandpaper. I finished it by spray painting light coats on in a light rain outside… I then rubbed the wet paint with a rag and got some neat effects. If there’s no rain you can mist with a water bottle I’ve heard. I live in Washington though, so there’s almost always rain. Here’s the end effect:
A lot of people say it’s dumb to use black spray paint for weathering…and honestly, there’s a lot of ways to do this… but I liked the effect. it took me a lot of time layers to achieve the effect I wanted though.
When I was done I touched up areas with blakc spray paint sprayed from WAY far away. I wasted most of the paint, but it left a light light mist of black over it that looks mostly natural. Good thing cheap black spray paint is less than 1.00 a can.
And that’s a finished Gaffi… or rather these are:
That’s it for the Gaffi!
So What Else? Bandoliers?
There’s a lot of people saying what’s what to wear in Tusken fashion as far as screen accuracy goes. It’s really tough to get anything authentic anymore, because it’s OLD and they don’t make them anymore. I’ll post a pic of what I ended up getting, and just tell you that you should have patience and look around. Authentic is the way to go I really think, but if you can’t find anything online that’s a reasonable price, then buy the remade stuff and weather the junk outta it. If worse comes to worse then buy leather and some good buttons. Don’t cop out and build vinyl… PLEASE. Vinyl was not used on Tuskens… it was all leather. Trust me.
My advice is hound down people on Krayt Clan… by that I mean make a post in the trading post and be polite. The trading post is your friend and a free resource open to all. This is what I got:
It smells, but it’s AWESOME! Also, I like owning something so old. Makes me feel like a collector, lol.
What’s in the next episode of this installment?
I think I finally got caught up… so it looks like you’re/I’m almost done. All that’s left is the famous head/mask and the two robes. I’m gonna tell you up front that this is the most expensive part of my costume. I paid around $200 for a well made, quality mask kit with metal pieces and I’m looking at paying around $200 more for the two robes. Each of those is more then the rest of the costume put together. There’s ways around this, but we’ll talk about that later… for now…
<3′s and kisses and lolz