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Registered: 05-2005
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts: 677
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Costuming Tips

Here are some things that I discovered in the breakneck week before the Boston event when I desperately tried to finish my outfit, as well as being Threepio for a few events. More photos soon.

Because the torso is sooooooo snug on me, I was not able to fit the ribbed mat for the ab section. So what's showing is a black spandex top. I painted wires on with fabric or "puff" paint so you get a raised appearance. For a wider "wire", I cut off the skinny part of the nozzle at the top of the paint bottle. I did the same on my inner elbows and on my black spandex pants at the back of the knees. I'll probably redo my gloves like this too.

For keeping the knees together, I used the screw from the knee piston and added a screw/nut on the opposite side of the knee (I know, not accurate). Then I took small bungee cords, looped the hooks around the screws, tightened the screws, and stretched the cords up to the top of the thigh where there are grooves on both sides of the leg (just like they were made for it!) Anthony Daniels commented that that was almost exactly how his are done.

I dremeled out the grooves in the backplate (also not accurate, but the real C-3PO didn't even have an on-set voice). Then we gutted a standard voice amp down to just the speaker, a 9-volt battery and the board and hot-glued that in the back pointing outward through the grooves. Works very well and is very audible even in a crowded room. It'll look better once it's chromed and I add some material behind the slots.

I hotglued a very thin foam material to the inside of the front of my thigh pieces so they don't rub the paint off the shorts/pelvis.

I glued my piston sliders in the furthest open position (not the pistons themselves, just the slot in the arms). This way, I have full range of motion and the sliders keep from possibly getting caught.

I recommend using at least 3 hinge connecting points up and down each side of the shin (12 connections total). Only having 2 creates too much stress and if one pops off, the other won't last long.

First sand the area where you'll mount the hinge to remove the gel coat, then use two-part liquid epoxy to attach them.

I hotglued a piece of vinyl mesh over the mouth hole (inside) and cut a cross in it so I could fit a straw though if I got thirsty, but it would close seamlessly when the straw is removed. This way, people don't see skin through the mouth hole - only black.

Use vacuformed feet unless you have rubber ones, (in which case shoot me a PM!) The vac feet will dig into your achillies heel so hotglue some pads to the inside of the heel (at the top). Also, drill 4 holes at the back and lace them together to keep them closed (this is actually screen accurate)

Threepio is very twitchy. When moving your head, do so in quick jerky moves rather than a single smooth panning movement. Also, the suit is a little awkward to walk in, and that adds to the actual look of Threepio. Try and bend your knees when you walk, the suit is able to do this. When you talk, (if you do) exaggerate the head and neck movements because no one can see your jaw moving so your "face" needs to do the talking. Threepio shakes and wiggles his face and body when talking rather than just standing still. Also, try and do your best british accent and treat everyone (except other droids) with utmost respect and be OVERLY polite, even if someone tells you to "Shut up," say, "Oh, shutting up sir." emoticon

When speaking to droids other than protocol droids, you can be as rude as you want - especially with R2! In his mind, Threepio is so ~above~ them that they're almost a bother - unless he needs something. I can't wait to troop with an R2 unit - there's so much great R2 dialog that you can't use with people because it just wouldn't be Threepio. I hope our R2 Builder friends don't take it personally emoticon Oh, and never actually hit or kick an R2! I think you'd find yourself without a "counterpart" very quickly. R2's are expensive!



- Chris Bartlett
6/2/2007, 3:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to Trooper TK409

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