Hello Skkawliens! At the beginning of 2020 I had decided to make my own Cosplay and hopefully showcase it at San Diego Comic-con (SDCC) this year. Unfortunately, the in-person SDCC was canceled due to the restrictions set out by COVID-19. SDCC did move to a virtual format this year. But of course, that wouldn’t be the same, especially for cosplay. I decided to stick through with it, still finish and share my cosplay build! Read on to see my adventure into Making, Crafting, and Cosplaying.
Why The Mandalorian?
I’ve always been a big Star Wars fan and really enjoyed The Mandalorian when it first came out on Disney+. There was something about the mixed genre, a western-inspired mashup with the Star Wars universe, that really appealed to me. I mean look at that armor! The shiny, silver glint and cowboy swagger just looked like all sorts of awesome. Also, I can personally be a bit shy, I think of myself as an Extroverted-Introvert, so the helmet definitely appealed to me as well.
But how was I to build this? Before this, I had never created my own cosplay. So where was I to begin? Well, the interwebs to the rescue! I definitely did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I built-on some of the awesome Mando builds I could find online. I also put a personal touch to it. See below for the breakdown. Also, scroll to the bottom of the post for summary of the links and materials I used for my build.
This part of the build was the most time consuming and also the most rewarding. I definitely felt a measure of accomplishment when my helmet came together after the hours I and poured into it. I had decided that I wanted go the 3D Printer route to build my Mando Helmet. One of the reasons why I bought (and later upgraded) my 3D printer was to dabble into building my own cosplay. I gotta say it was totally worth it! To be clear, my intention was not to design my helmet from scratch. I searched the internet for the closest screen accurate Mando Helmet I felt I’d be happy with wearing. I found The Mandalorian helmet created by @robpauza was what I was looking for.
Since I’m not a professional prop-maker I needed some help! Luckily I found the very detailed and skillful step-by-step Mando Helmet build by Studio of M.M on YouTube, video link below.
I heavily relied on Studio of M.M’s build and could not have built my Mando Helmet without it. For example, Studio of M.M’s tips and guidance on how to trace, cut and craft the visor for the helmet was amazing. Although my build did not require as much spray painting and sanding, by design, I gratefully built on the steps Studio of M.M discusses in the video above. I highly recommend you watch Studio of M.M’s video if you are considering making your own Mando helmet. Super impressive and skillful work!
Going back to The Mandalorian helmet created by @robpauza, one of the reasons I chose this particular design was because it is sliced into several pieces you can glue altogether. This is important because 3D printing large objects, can take hours, days even. For example, you could 3D print the entire helmet in on piece but that could take an entire day (maybe two) on my printer! I didn’t have that sort of time. Also, for safety, I didn’t want to leave my printer printing for more than 8-9 hours, if I could manage it.
The design provided by @robpauza worked for me. It enabled me to 3D print the pieces individually and spread the printing over a few days. I then glued them together after it was all printed. One thing to note though, was that I ended up slicing my own cuts from the helmet of @robpauza for aesthetic reasons. But I did use his cuts a a template, so my slices were pretty close to his. I also believe you can use the sliced portions from @robpauza just fine. Below are the individually cut and printed pieces from my Mando Helmet build. It took around 1-2 hours for the smaller pieces and 8++ hours to 3D print for the larger pieces. I used a stock Ender 3 Printer I bought from Amazon to print these and for the rest of the 3D printing below.
You may notice, from the photos above, that the 3D printed pieces are already silver and shiny! That’s because I chose a 3D printer filament that already had that built-in. I searched Amazon and found the SUNLU Silk Silver PLA Filament 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament produced a really good result. I chose this filament because I wanted to take the path of least resistance. I wanted to minimize as much post spray painting and sanding and still get an impressive “shiny and silver metallic” effect. I found out, through trial and error, that sanding can take A LOT of time. I also found out that spray painting is an art in itself – especially to the uninitiated.
After 3D printing all the parts, one of the trickier steps in the helmet build was gluing all the pieces together. Photos of that part of my helmet build shown above. Again, I am by no means a professional prop-maker so I was not necessarily familiar with the best practices on properly adhering the 3D printed pieces together. I took a page out of Studio M.M’s Mando build and used JB Weld to adhere the pieces together. I also used and Gorilla Glue for gluing some other portions as well. You can see the assembled helmet below.
One thing that worked really well for me was to align the front portions of the helmet first, to make sure the alignment looked good, then glue them together. I made the mistake, prior to building the mask above, to align and glue the left side and the right side individually. What happened was I ended up with a skewed helmet as viewed from the front. So alignment matters.
A few other things I didn’t go into detail on are cutting, placing and building the visor, although I show some images of my outline trace and cut visor above. I recommend you check out to Studio M.M’s Mando Helmet build video above for the details of that portion of the build. You can find the visor material listed below as well. Assembled Mando Helmet below:
I’m really happy how well the helmet turned out just post assembly alone. Looking at the photos above, which does not include any spray paint or sanding (yet), I think the result came out great! Also, it takes great photos because of the shine. My 3D Printer settings weren’t necessarily optimized either, if you look closely you can see some infill aberrations, but I was happy with the result overall.
For most, I think stopping here for the Mando Helmet build is already great, if you are not looking for a super screen accurate helmet. This is also the quickest build I can think of if you want a shiny silver Mando helmet without the fuss of sanding and spray painting.
For the finishing touches, which are by no means required but I thought to go the extra mile, I decided to smoothen out the center portion of helmet and remove the cut between the front and back portions of the helmet. To do this, I used a touch of a hot knife, some Smooth-on and sand paper. I followed-up with some very light spray painting. For the spray paint I used the Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Metallic Silver Spray Paint and Primer.
Hot tip: Try to spray paint at 1 1/2 feet away from the mask if you want to blend the Smooth-on to the shiny silver filament. I found you don’t need much paint to blend the two together and too much spray paint makes the Smooth-on stick out (e.g., too shiny and defeats the purpose of the blend effect). Below right is with Smooth-on and after sanding. Below Left is after very light spray painting.
After the sanding and the spray paint I arrived at the final product below. It probably took me around 3 weeks, spread out, to complete this build. I think if you continuously print you could do this within a week and a half if you pushed it. The longest part of the build being the 3D printing part. And provided the the filament is already silver and shiny, it only took a very very light coat of spray paint to blend the sanded and smoothened portions to the helmet. Final Mando Helmet below!
It’s by no means the most perfect Mando Helmet, nor the most “screen accurate”, but it certainly did the job for me! I was really happy with this build and I was especially grateful to all my friends for their compliments on the completed helmet.
Shoulders Guards, Bracers, Gloves and Cape
Next up, arms! There are several parts that make up the arm portion of this cosplay. We’ll start it off with the Shoulder Guards, followed by the Bracers and Gloves and Cape (together). I also decided to make the most of my 3D Printer and choose to 3D Print these parts as well. I did a search on Thingiverse.com and found The Mandalorian Full Arm design by MR_CORN was exactly what I was looking for. It included designs for the Shoulder Guards, Bracers and Glove covers all-in-one!
Shoulder Guards / Pauldrons
A quick note, they are more accurately called Pauldrons, although I’ll refer to them here as Shoulder Guards. I decided to slice the Shoulder Guard design into several pieces and glue them together after. I also had to increase the size of the Shoulder Guards to 110% of the original size to fit my shoulders. I recommend you do a test print and play around with it, to find the right size and fit for you.
After gluing the pieces together I used some Smooth-on, sand paper and the same metallic silver spray paint I mentioned in the Mando Helmet build to finish up the Shoulder Guards. Oh yeah, I also added some Velcro to the backside of of each of the Shoulder Guards. More on the Velcro later. The most challenging portion of this part of the build was smoothening out the sliced portions using Smooth-on and A LOT of sanding. If you haven’t used Smooth-on before I recommend you use protective gear like gloves, eyewear, etc. It can be a bit challenging to apply, but if used correctly it can be very effective in seamlessly blending cut portions or smoothening out your 3D printed objects. I do not recommend using Smooth-on if you are a minor or at the most ask your parent or guardian to handle the application for you, as it can be a skin irritant. Safety first!
Above are the finish Shoulder Guards! I have to say they came out pretty well, this is provided I did slice them into several parts and glue them together.
Now we can talk Bracers! For me, this is one of the more satisfying parts of the build. It was nice to see Bracers take shape on my 3D Printer. Kind of like realizing I was actually really doing this, building my own Mando Cosplay! This part of the print was definitely more straightforward than the above as it just required me to 3D Print the Bracers. One thing to note is that I did have to size them appropriately to my arms. I’m not saying I’m a big guy, but at a 100% of the print the Bracers didn’t fit my forearms. I had to increase the print by at least 125% to get an acceptable fit. See below for examples.
Also, I chose to yet again slice the Bracers so I could print each Bracer in two parts. Basically I found, during the sizing, that my hand wouldn’t fit through the smaller bracer whole so I decided cutting the design in half worked best for me. And since I cut it in half, I needed to put them back to together.
You may also notice my Bracers have holes at the undersides. I added those so I could light up portions of the Bracers (e.g., adding a blue LED for the Whistling Birds and 8 segment display for the right forearm). This didn’t make it to this build at this time but it may make it to version 2! Additionally, you’ll notice that the undersides include Velcro portions. What I did was adhere the receiving portion of the Velcro to plastic and spray paint those silver as well. See below how it came together:
The above Bracer configuration helped since the undershirt and gloves made my forearms even thicker! Having a little wiggle room, using the above configuration, allowed me to quickly put-on or take-off the Bracers. The spray paint on the plastic pieces (first photo above) helped blend the cosplay together.
Gloves and Cape
Like I said earlier, I definitely wasn’t out to reinvent the wheel. So I searched YouTube again and found this pretty spot-on and impressive Mando Gloves and Cape build by TheWeldingGeek. I pretty much just followed his build video. This part of the build wasn’t too difficult as well. I won’t’ detail much of my build here as you can just watch the below video and get all the info directly from TheWeldingGeek himself!
Below are some photos of my gloves after following TheWeldingGeek’s how -to. The only main difference is that I glued on some premium blue cardstock on the silver glove covers you can see below. I will also say if you end-up weathering your gloves, by putting shoe polish on it, I recommend you only use a little a bit of polish as it will go a long way. I think I used way too much polish on my gloves, but still, I am very happy with how they turned out.
Regarding the cape, unlike the TheWeldingGeek I didn’t even end up cutting the cape. I just tied it around my neck and use safety pins to keep them together. Although, I have a feeling that may not be the best solution for an actual con. But it worked great for Comic-con@Home! But if you want more details on the came portion, check out TheWeldingGeek’s video above.
Chest Armor and Undershirt
For this part of the build I searched Thingiverse.com for The Mandalorian Chest Armor. From among the myriad of chest armor search results I chose The Mandalorian Beskar Chest created by claystarr. If you choose this chest armor, there are a couple things you need to be aware of. Firstly, read the Summary carefully. You’ll note claystarr said he scaled his print down to fit his chest. For my build I scaled it down to 80%.
I highly recommend you do a test print and find the right fit for you. For my build I chose to 3D print it in 6 pieces. claystarr’s build already comes with it pre-cut into 6 pieces so I just printed those. See below for my photos during the build. The top 6 photos show examples of the build during the 3D Print, after the 3D Print, and post gluing. The bottom 2 photos are post Smooth-on. Also, the bottom middle photo shows that this design is prints pretty flat – unlike other chest armor builds which may contour to your chest.
To finish off the build, similar to the Shoulder Guards, I used Smooth-on, sand paper and the metallic silver spray paint to blend it all together. The longest part of this build was applying the Smooth-on and the subsequent sanding. I also added Velcro to the back of the armor. The result of which you can see in the photos below.
As you can see above, it’s not perfect but I was pretty happy with it in the end. You can see on the top left photo, I worked pretty hard to sand off the transition between the chest pieces. But the bottom part you is where I could have done a bit more sanding to further smoothen the transition.
After all the above, I needed a way to pull it all together! What I ended up doing is choosing a long sleeve shirt from amazon and adding Velcro to the chest and shoulders. To adhere the Velcro to the shirt, I just used the same technique TheWeldingNerd used to add Velcro to the Mando Gloves (video above). I was pretty surprised to find that this technique was quite effective! Also, I found the Velcro held the Chest Armor and Should Guards to the shirt well. Now, whether it would last in an actual Con I can’t say – since I only walked a few steps in it for my photo shoot. Still I found Velcro can be a pretty effective tool to hold the Chest Armor and Shoulder Guards in place.
Belt and Thigh Guards
This part of the build was more of a bonus from my perspective. I originally wasn’t going to include a Belt and Thigh Guard portion (I didn’t have enough time) but I decided to wing it. For the belt I just re-used an old “Jedi” cosplay belt I had. I added The Mandalorian belt buckle by christhepropguy to my belt using some double sided tape. I also spray painted the belt buckle using the same spray paint from above. The final touches to the belt were the round “belt accessories” I just cut from cardboard and spray painted.
I also kept it simple for the Thigh Guards, just cut them out of cardboard and spray painted them. Adhered them to my pants via double sided tape.
The Child and Cradle
This part was one of the more amusing portions of the build! For starters, I found The Child / Baby Yoda plush along the checkout isle of my local grocery store. Of course, I had to get it! I also added the Mythosaur skull by Inspyre 3D. I used wire for the necklace as it tended to keep the Mythosaur skull in place.
I basically recycled other parts from other projects to form the cradle! The base is made out of the top portion of a hardhat, the cover portion is made out of an extra Shoulder Guard or Pauldron. The additional item I added was a handle by Tarjak at Thingiverse.com so I could practically pick-up the cradle without having to hold it awkwardly from below. A challenge when wearing gloves!
Tada! And there you have it. The completed Skkawdalorian Cosplay! I hope you enjoyed reading this build as much as I enjoyed building it. It was certainly a lot of fun and quite fulfilling.
I summarized all the 3D Print Designs and Material links below. Hope it’s useful. Enjoy!
3D Print Designs
- Mando Helmet 3D Printer Design by @robpauza
- The Mandalorian Beskar Armor – FULL ARM by MR_CORN
- Chest Armor by claystarr
- The Mandalorian belt buckle by christhepropguy
- Mythosaur skull by Inspyre 3D
- Handle Bar by Tarjak
Material Affiliate Links*
- Shiny Silver 3D Printer Filament: SUNLU Silk Silver PLA Filament 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament
- Silver Metallic Spray Paint: Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Metallic Silver Spray Paint and Primer
- Smooth-on for 3D Prints: Smooth-On XTC-3D High Performance 3D Print Coating – 24oz. Unit
- J-B Wed Adhesive: J-B Weld 8271 KwikWeld Professional Size Steel Reinforced Epoxy Twin Pack – 10 oz.
- Mando Visor: Sellstrom Replacement Window for 390 Series Safety Face Shields, Uncoated Acetate, Shade 5 IR Tint, S35050
- Sand Paper: 3M Sanding Sponge, Medium Grit, 6-Pack – CP002-6P-CC
- Velcro: VELCRO Brand 5 Ft x 3/4 In | Black Tape Roll with Adhesive | Cut Strips to Length | Sticky Back Hook and Loop Fasteners | Perfect for Home, Office or Classroom
- Super Glue / Gorilla Glue: Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue Gel, 1-Pack
- For the gloves and cape, check out the TheWeldingGeek’s build
- 3D Printer: Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume Printing Function 220x220x250mm
- The Child / Baby Yoda Plush: Mattel Star Wars The Child Plush Toy, 8-in Small Yoda Baby Figure from The Mandalorian, Collectible Stuffed Character for Movie Fans of All Ages, 3 and Older, Green, Model Number: GWH23
*Note: We use affiliate links to support our website. These links may provide us with a reward in the event of a click through, subscription, or sale to support our website.
What do you think of our Mandalorian Cosplay build? Do you plan to make your own Mandalorian Cosplay? Let us know at the comments below! Also, be sure to check back soon for more on cosplay, news, reviews, and other geekery.
Special thanks to @justinac47 for taking the high resolution photos (in front of the red fence).
Epic! Love how you fused tech and crafts. Taking Cosplay to the next level!