For those of you who have been here before and have seen my previous version of the Vader, here you can now see a comparison of the two:

The main differences are as follows:

  • HELMET - Previously, I had the Don Post Deluxe, #652. The one here is much better than that. Firstly, it was cast from a very low number Don Post, so the neck flare is much less. Secondly, the DP had the two-toned paint scheme on the face plate reversed, whereas this one is now made correct, not to mention the paint job is much better. Thirdly, there is not only a larger grill in the mouth vent, but also an inner grill mesh, like the real deal. Fourthly, the 'tusks' are now properly shaped alluminum 'sensor billets' instead of just painted clumps, which was what the DP had.

  • CHEST ARMOR - Previously, I was using a Galaxy Trading armor, painted by Vaderpainter. The paint job was the best thing about it, but the armor is critically flawed in that it was too narrow, and the shoulder bells were too short and did not line up with the chest armor. (It is believed that the GT was cast from a Rubies or Don Post statue, which was also believed to have been cast from a stunt version that was cut down smaller (perhaps to fit Bob Anderson?). With this new one, the width has been corrected to be as wide as the original armor, and the bells and larger and line up properly. The paint job is very nice too.
  • I have finally got the leather shirt! It was originally sent back to the maker to make bigger in order to fit my huge mannequin. This time, I polished the leather to give it more of a shine, and also made sure it had enough wrinkles on it, just like in the movie.

  • Oh, and it's now in my new place. :)

Here are more pics of my Vader:

Note that since the pics were taken, I've improved the look of the gloves by adding a "fold / crease" at the wrist area, like what you see in the original:

And here are close-ups of the incredibly excellent "Cking Dark DLX". Check out the correct two-toned paint scheme, and the awesome finish.

(Notice the "tusks"/sensor billets - not just silver clumps like the DP Deluxe)

(Notice the outer and inner grills.)


Here's a pic showing the chestbox and the belt. The belt can be lit up like in the movie. As for the chestbox, I haven't installed the necessary electronics yet, so no lights there. I also modified the chestbox in various places to make it more accurate, including putting black outlines on the rocker switches and buttons, and most importantly, changing the writing under the 3 "coin-slots". The writing is based on what is seen on the Vader in MOM (Magic of the Myth), and is actually Hebrew. It supposedly means, "His deeds will not be forgiven, until he merits".





OK, this section deals with some of the questions I commonly get asked about how I made my Vader. I'm only commenting on the mannequin, cape and robe. For the rest of the parts it's best to buy the required parts than to make. I didn't want to buy the cape and robe cos I wanted them to fit my Vader perfectly.


Firstly, the mannequin. It was custom-made. I told them I wanted a mannequin that was 6'6" tall (actually, it should have been 6'7" but I was nervous about making something that tall... :)), and I wanted it bulky and with one foot in front of the ther other. And this is what I got. ---->

OK, OK, you can stop laughing now. :)
Well, at least they got the height right, and they gave me the flexible arms I requested. But the legs pose was wrong and it was waaay too skinny. I got them to fix the legs, and as for the bulk, I decided to bulk it up myself using tons of foam and bubble-wrap, as shown below.

All the bulk is necessary especially if you are using movie accurate chest armor. The GT was already big, but the new armor is even bigger.

The arms were also changed to ones which were bulkier, and I extended them by 3" each at the forearm.

More pics of the bulked up mannequin:

PIC 1 : PIC 2 : PIC 3



Firstly, I am using diagrams which collected from the Net a long time ago. I'm sorry I don't know who they belong too, but if you let me know who you are I'd gladly credit you here (or take off the pic if you want).

OK, conventional wisdom says you must come up with a "Pacman" shape thing with a total of 270 degrees, like shown below. Some sites say that you can do this with just 2 pieces of cloth (each with 135 degrees), whereas some say 6 (each with 45 degrees), like this:


This is what I say. :)
Firstly, if you are going to make your Vader costume tall, as tall as the real thing, then I don't believe you will be able to find cloth that is wide enough to allow you to get the above shape with just 2 pieces of cloth of 135 degrees each. With cloth width typically 60" at most, there's no way you can do it unless you want your cape to only hang down to your knees. :)

So, many people acknowledge that you would need to cut down the angle from 135, to something like 45 degrees, which means you would need 6 pieces. This is fine, except you would need your cloth to have a width of at least 60". Here's a diagram showing how you would cut the cloth. You can also see now why the width of the cloth will determine the maximum angle and height you can get up to.

Now, what I have found is that with a total of 6 pieces @ 45 degrees each (270 total), it's just way too much. What I did was to take off one of the triangle pieces, leaving me with 5 pieces for a total of 225 degrees. I feel this is probably about right. Even if I close my cape more to cover the shoulder bells, there is still excess cloth behind. After discussion with someone from ILM, it seems that the capes were around that angle too.

Anyway, you will need to construct the cape in two parts: the outer, which should be made of wool; and the inner lining, which should be made of satin.

Other bits:

  • You'll need to cut out a semi-circular hole for the neck, and attach a piece of leather/PVC vinyl collar. NOTE: the collar should itself be semi-circular in shape to match the hole you cut out. It should NOT be a straight piece. If it's straight, the leather collar will stand up like Dracula when you put the cape on.
  • You'll need to attach two hooks under the collar which will hook onto the cape chain. The cape chain is cheap synthetic gardening chain you can find in gardening shops, apparently. Some people use metal/silver link-chains, but this is not movie accurate. This is only used in promotional Vaders. You won't see them in the movie.
  • If you're a perfectionist, you can even have a 2" leather trim at the bottom edge of the cape. You can see this in ESB when Vader walks away from the camera on the bridge.

Once you get all the pieces cut into shape and all the parts ready, then sew it up or, like me, pay a seamstress to sew it up for you. It's best to do it in stages. Make sure she leaves the length unhemmed first. Then after the first sewing, put it on the Vader and mark out the line where it touches the ground, and trim to fit. Then take it back for the final sewing/hemming.



Firstly, please excuse the crudity of the diagram. I did it some time ago for someone else and did it in a rush. The diagram should be self-explanatory.

The key to a good-looking inner robe, I believe, is that it must have the right amount of cloth in order to get the thickness and folds that will make the Vader look authentic. Most often you will see just a piece of flat cloth beside the chestbox covering the sides, which will make it look unauthentic. So below, you can see that I have used the full length of 60" cloth (same "cotton-like" wool material I used for the cape), which enables me to give the cape a double-layer thickness. Even after folding it over to give two layers, you will see that it still sits very wide on the shoulders. This will enable you to really scrunch up the robe and give it maximum amount of folds.

Make sure you push the robe outwards as much as poss. This will give it maximum folds, and also reveal more of the leather suit which you spent a bomb on. :) Similarly, make sure you get enough folds under the belt.




Below you can see how my Vader evolved.


The first incarnation. DP Deluxe helmet, GT armor, temporary shirt/trousers, short arms, no cape.

Added a cape (but only inner satin layer), lengthened arms by 3" and fixed the fingers.

Robe is 90% complete, with outer wool layer. Leather pants arrived, leather shirt sent back cos it was too small to fit my huge mannequin. Gloves shortened by 2".


The last stage. Leather shirt has finally arrived, and helmet and chest armor have been 'upgraded'. Only the cape remains to be done. Only need to permanently attach the collar and hooks, and trim the bottom of the cape and hem it up.


For old times' sake, here are some closeups showing my old Vader, with the DP Deluxe helmet and old Galaxy Trading armor: