Star Wars Cosplay: My Female Tusken Raider Bib Build
In my last post, I put together the helmet portion of the female Tusken Raider costume. Now we’re going to move on to what I call the '“bib”.
The bibs look like they fall right above the waist, and start just at the chin. My bib length is about 20″, but they can vary according to your height.
Female Tusken Raider Bib Part 1: The Half-Moon Piece
The first piece of the bib that I made was the ‘half moon’ bit that hangs at the end of what I’m calling the ‘upper bib’.
Like the female Tusken Raider helmet, I planned on paper macheing my way to success on all of the armor plates. I decided that this weird shape was as good as any to start with, and it would be a fair experiment of the kind of texture that I could give my sculpture.
This piece ended up being the basis for the size of the entire bib. The bottom line on my ‘half moon’ piece is the same width as the rectangular plates, 2 7/8″
I knew that I didn’t want this to be flat… the female Tuskens wear metal plates that have seen better days, and are marred with pockmarks and dirt. To create the basis for texture, I balled up bits of newspaper dipped in my paper mache mixture and put them on the surface.
My paper mache recipe is 1 part Mod Podge, 1 part flour, 4 parts water
Instead of using strips of paper mache, I cut a piece of blank newspaper and laid it gently over the face of the cardboard. I cut slits where needed so that I could neatly fold the paper over the edges. This prevented any kind of crisscross texture.
I added another careful layer of flat newspaper, then used the end of a paintbrush to push the paper in between my previously laid newspaper balls. I even stabbed at it to get a few pockmarks.
Female Tusken Raider Bib Part 2: Starting the Bib
I started out the female Tusken Raider ‘lower’ bib with a lot of measurements. I have done a lot of quilting in my time, so I knew that if I didn’t measure each square just right, I’d end up with a mess. I couldn’t find any measurements online, so I scoped out the bib reference photos as well as I could. The 501st states that the bibs can vary in length, depending on your height.
The bottom of the armor bib has 18 rectangular pieces and one long rectangle at the bottom. I have seen some that have curved armor plates, but I went with simple square and rectangle shapes.
My rectangles measured as shown below:
To get the size of my squares, I measured from my chin to the bottom of my ribcage. I got 20″. From the reference photos, I estimated that the top, square plates looked to be about 3″ tall. I subtracted 3″ from 20″ to get 17″.
I then divided 17″ by 9 to get the height of the 8 remaining rectangle plates and the long rectangle at the bottom. It ended up being 1.888888″. I nodded like Mordecai and Rigby ‘Hmm. Hmm Hmm’ and soundly rounded up to 2″.
For my cardboard pieces that would be the base of the plates, I measured a little less for the height… I used 2 7/8″ instead of 3″ because I needed to allow for the extra thickness that the paper mache would add between plates.
I measured one cardboard piece, then used that as a pattern to quickly cut out the rest. I laid out a measuring tape and ruler to make sure I was on the right track.
Here are all of my cardboard pieces laid out. I used a thick coated paper flier from a mailed flier to make the ‘bones’ in the middle of the bib’s second layer.
I brushed both sides of the cardboard plates with paper mache paste, then wrapped each of the armor plates in paper and brushed again. The paper on the outside will help conceal the print on the cardboard and create a softer area that I can texturize.
For the buttons on each plate, I created a mold out of Crayola Model Magic, let it dry, then pressed in new blobs of Model Magic to make uniform buttons.
I glued the buttons on the dried rectangle pieces. Notice the texture on the rectangle plates in the above photo. This was done with a paint brush handle, just like the half moon piece.
I painted the bib to match the female Tusken Raider mask, using copper, gold and brassy colors, with a bit of dark brown to add ruddy contrast.
Once the armor plats were painted, I was ready to place them together, once and for all. I used mod podge to glue them to a muslin piece cut to size. I then added some smudges of brown paint to create a worn look on the muslin that would lay behind the next part, ribs and tubes!
Female Tusken Raider Bib Part 3: Ribs and Tubes
The bib also has another layer to it. The ribs and piping sit on top of the armor plate portion of the bib:
To make the ribs and tube parts, I used paper and plastic hose, both paper mached with a newspaper material.
On the ribs, I painted them a bone kind of color and added white accents to fake some texture. Then I painted some smaller oval pieces of stiff paper. these are going to connect the ribs to the pipes.
For the tubes, I needed to give them a bamboo kind of ribbing, so I cut strips of paper and dipped them in paper mache glue, then carefully wrapped sections, leaving defined gaps. I’d later go around those gaps with an x-acto knife to give them some nice clean edges.
I ran some spare shoestrings through the tubs and glue the ends to the half-moon piece I’d made previously. The buttons on the moon piece help hide where it rests against the tubes. These are made from Model Magic glued to a cut-out of faux leather.
In the above photo, you can see how the shoestring connects the half moon piece up through the tubes. When it’s attached to the bib, gravity will rest the tubes right up against that half moon piece.
I stitched the tops of the shoelaces to the large muslin bib piece that the armor plates were glued onto. Now the two bib pieces are one!
To make the bib look like it’s part of the mask, I attached stickey-back velcro strips to the top armor plates, with the matching sides stuck to the very bottom of the mask.
Now the bib piece is removeable, which makes storage and removing the mask much easier!
In the next and last installation of the female Tusken Raider cosplay build, we’ll tackle the gloves, boots, pouch, cowl and skirt!