So You Want To Be A Stormtrooper?

To go along with TGR’s latest episode about Stormtroopers, I looked into the cosplay world of becoming a stormtrooper. Joining the 501st as a Stormtrooper is a daunting yet rewarding task.  I have not taken on the project, but I know people who have.  Now, if joining the 501st is not important to you then there are lots of options and price ranges for an adult stormtrooper costume.Chrome Legacy Window 452016 105040 AM

Yes, it’s cheesy looking, and for the price not too bad, and it won’t chafe or pinch.  But, definitely not screen accurate and will get the thumbs down by the 501st.  This one is definitely just for fun and maybe footie pajamas?

Realistic Stormtrooper Costume - Google Chrome 452016 110215 AMThis next option touts “realistic” in the description as well as “licensed”.  It looks ok for the price, it also says in the description “not screen accurate”  which to a cosplay enthusiast is not acceptable and a thumbs down by the 501st.  You don’t get everything you need so the price goes up when you start adding accessories like a blaster, gloves, and boots.  You will need to add another $100.00 to the price (rounded up) to complete the look.  Warning! Pinching, chafing, and sweating will occur.  You’re basically wrapped in a PVC pipe for Vader’s sake!  Great for Halloween!


Take it from me, there is nothing like marching as a Star Wars character in a parade.  I am a member of The Rebel Legion  it as a formal Jocasta Nu, the Jedi Librarian. Last year I marched right along with the 501st in the annual Richmond Christmas Parade.  It’s all one big happy family.  You can’t have the good guys without the bad guys.  Get started on your build and you could be marching with Vader and your local garrison too.

If you are just dying to make a screen accurate stormtrooper costume from any of the seven movies then you need to go to the guys that did it first, Vader’s First, The 501st.  They will answer all your questions and help with every step of your Stormtrooper armor build.  You will need to set aside 4 to 6 months of your spare time as well.  Check your local garrison for Armor Build parties!  Yes! They will help you with your build, and it’s a party! You do have to BROA,(Bring your own armor), maybe BROB for the host.

The folks at First Imperial Detachment can be a big help in getting started on a Stormtrooper build.  The following is taken from their forum.

How much can I realistically expect to pay to finish my Stormtrooper costume? Started by Dday , Aug 15 2014 01:14 AM at

Armor: $550 – $1500

Boots: $60 – $100

Neck Seal: $25 – $80

Gloves/handguards: $25 – $50

Undersuit: $30 – $120

Holster: $30 – $70

Cloth Belt: $30 – $70

Blaster: $80 – $800

Tools: $20 – $100

Strapping: $20 – $100

In total: $870 – $2990

Boy, it’s not cheap to be an Imperial.  The good news is there is always someone selling their old armor and parts.  Ebay and the 501st forums always have someone who is selling their armor.  The only drawback that I can see is the armor was made to fit someone else.  Perhaps adjustments can be made but I did not research that.  I leave that to you.

My last tip is to start a Pinterest page if you don’t already have one.  Make a board named “Stormtrooper Build”. Save everything you find on the web there.  In that board, you have easy access to all the resources and information you find on the web.

Resource Links

501st Legion: Vader’s Fist FAQ page

First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment

Youtube is an excellent resource for how to videos on techniques, source materials, build tools, build tips & tricks and much more.  You can even take a break and watch stormtroopers twerking.  Check out this great video by Hello Greedo


This is Red5Mom – standing by

May the Force be with you…always


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