luke-in-stormtrooper-disguise

Over the past 20 years movie and TV props have become less and less expensive to build, and far easier to fabricate compared to props of science fiction movies from the 1950s through the 1970s, especially considering the realism modern audiences demand.  Just as Hollywood studios have used modern tech to make props easier and cheaper, even toy replicas look as good as their screen-used source material.  In the Star Trek Enterprise series, as an example, the studio found it cheaper in later seasons to use the licensed Art Asylum commercially available toy replicas on set.  That’s right, the toy replaced the need for an original for the studio.  Now, many cosplayers create their own props via home 3D printers, a new idea for making movie props when we first discussed 3D printers here at borg.com back in 2011.

The look of Star Wars props, the realism, the incorporation of real-world gadgetry in seemingly “real feeling” ways via adding on odds and ends from model kits and parts from electrician shops and auto garages (called “greeblies”) all goes back to Star Wars art designer Roger Christian, who created the look that would be replicated in every other science fiction movie created since.  (Check out his autobiographical account previously reviewed here at borg.com if you missed it).  Just as many other props from Star Wars were based on real-world weapons, the standard Stormtrooper blaster, the BlasTech E-11, was built from a British-made Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun.

toy-blaster

Disney released one particularly well-suited toy Stormtrooper blaster that has a size and look that will make cosplayers at any level proud, easily modifiable for the classic Star Wars trilogy and this month’s prequel movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which incorporates the classic troopers with only minor modifications as seen in the trailers.  The toy blaster fits–and more importantly is easily removable from–any replica Stormtrooper holster, and can also be used to supplement any Imperial uniform costume.  It also comes with lights and sound that can be preserved as part of a needed modication from its white toy design to the black version used onscreen.  The recommended toy E-11 Stormtrooper blaster is no longer being produced but it is still available in small quantities here at Amazon.com.  It is typically available from $25-30 and with a can of flat black spray paint and some silver paint for weathering, it’s an inexpensive and quick way to sport a professional looking prop for your Star Wars cosplay, especially when many builders on the Web will try to sell you custom versions for hundreds of dollars that would be indistinguishable from the modified toy to most anyone seeing you in Stormtrooper armor.  The following is a brief tutorial to get you there:

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