I got started in Star Wars costuming in the Fall
of 2007. I began with a plain white stormtrooper costume, relatively inexpensive and easy to put together, and
joined the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming club. Groups of 501st members make public appearances
in exchange for donations to charities (unless the event we're appearing at IS the charity). My original Stormtrooper
ID was TK-5122.
Throughout 2008, I modified my armor a little at
a time until I became a "Sandtrooper" like those seen on the planet Tatooine in Star Wars Episode IV,
"A New Hope." When that conversion was complete in August of 2008, my 501st ID was changed from TK (Stormtrooper)
to TD (Sandtrooper) 5122. By February of 2010, I had made enough specific modifications to become a member of the
Eisley Police Department, a detachment of
the 501st that specializes in maintaining a level of movie-accuracy in their sandtrooper costumes that is higher
than what is required for 501st Legion membership.
My gun is a hyperfirm rubber MG34 from Sci-Fire. With some minor cosmetic modifications, an MG34 (a German
WWII era machine gun) becomes a "DLT-19"
like those carried by sandtroopers in the movie. The ammo pouches are tan canvas MP40 pouches from ima-usa.com - I dyed them black and modified them to match the pouches worn in
I built my backpack from scratch using everyday
items I found in stores and on eBay. It's based on a vintage boy scout backpack frame my friend Don S. gave me.
Overall, it is as screen accurate as I could get with store-bought parts - except the "filter" and "radio"
which I'd like to redo someday. Having the right frame and finding an actual English cistern siphon on eBay really
helped the project. The main boxes are aluminum cake pans which are lightweight but very sturdy - everything else
is attached to them with screws and zip-ties.