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Making a Han Solo Costume – Getting Started

han solo costume

Here is the first post of many on how I’m making my husband his “A New Hope” Han Solo Star Wars costume!

More on Making Han Solo’s Costume:

Making Han Solo’s Shirt

Making Han Solo’s Pants

Making Han Solo’s Vest

 

One of my first fictional crushes was Han Solo and I really related to Princess Leia. I love Star Wars and I’ve never really made a proper costume from it. I decided this was to be the year I rectified that! Besides, these are truly classic costumes that will never truly go out of style.

CHOOSING THE COSTUME

han solo costume

The first thing to do was to choose which version of Han Solo and Princess Leia we would make.  There are the three movies of course with more than one outfit per movie and then there are also canon outfits from various official Star Wars comics and books.

“Empire Strikes Back” is actually my favorite of the three original movies and my favorite Leia outfit from that is her white Hoth snowsuit, but tight white pants and me are not friends. I also asked my husband which version of Han Solo he preferred and he immediately chose the “A New Hope” Han Solo, saying he felt it was by far the most recognizable of Han’s outfits. I figured that Leia’s rather loose “A New Hope robes” were super classic and would be flattering on me compared to tight white pants, so we had a decision.

STUDYING THE COSTUME, ACCURACY LEVELS AND BUDGETING

guns

I spent a long time pouring over the photos and guides on Padawan’s Guide and The Rebel Legion. There’s also a great archive of Han Solo images here.

At first glance, Han Solo’s costume looks pretty simple, but it actually has a lot of specific parts. I didn’t have $1,000 to spend on this costume so it quickly became a game of trying to figure out how to get a reasonably accurate Han Solo outfit without spending a billion dollars. Please note, I’m walking you through how I made it and the choices that I made. What is “best” for a Han Solo costume for you may depend!

I had to decide how much I was willing to spend on this costume and how much I cared about the costume being super accurate or not. Not every costume has to be absolutely perfectly accurate. Most of the time I want it as accurate as possible, but sometimes, if you’re just going to wear something once for Halloween, it doesn’t matter quite so much, right? I gave it some thought and figured that my husband would be able to wear this costume repeated times as it’s something that is welcome at most geek conventions, even those not specifically Star Wars based, and it’s a costume that would be comfortable and fun for him to wear and wouldn’t go out of favor in a few years, so I was willing to spend a decent amount but not $1,000.

Stormtrooper

Taking all this into consideration, I decided I would like to try to make my husband’s Han Solo costume accurate enough that it might pass The Rebel Legion‘s specifications.  The Rebel Legion is an international Star Wars costuming group that does charity events and has specific costuming standards for admittance.  While I doubt I’d have time to troupe with The Rebel Legion much, my good friend AJ (the short Stormtrooper above) is part of their sister group, the 501st, and I wanted the option to at some point do an event with her if I wanted to down the road. If you don’t want to pass Rebel Legion’s criteria, you could go with some cheaper costumebase on ebay items. They’re good enough for people not looking at the costume too closely.

To make a reasonably accurate Han Solo costume, the most potentially expensive parts of the costume are the boots, the blaster and the gun holster assuming you plan to sew all cloth parts of the costume (which I did.)

BOOTS

Han Solo wears black tall leather flat riding boots with no zipper. The trick is that many boots are a bit too short or have a zipper.  Han’s boots are pretty much knee-high, around 18″ shaft height.  You could just get some pleather zippered flat riding boots off a variety of costume stores or ebay if you want to do it on the less accurate cheap side. On the more expensive and accurate side, these from MotorCowboy, CABoots and  Todd’s Costumes are highly recommended at $200-$500. Not in the budget for us! The budget recommendation on the forums was to look for Russian or Soviet officer boots on ebay. I ended up getting some Soviet officer leather boots with a 19″ shaft height for about $80 shipped, awesome! Hopefully they will work out when they come.

HOLSTER

One of the best holster makers is MP Productions, and his look great, but I couldn’t afford the $400 price tag. On the other side of the spectrum was costumebase on ebay, priced at around $90. Folks on the Rebel Legion forums said that the costumebase holster was really not accurate enough and wouldn’t “pass” for Rebel Legion at least. There might be some folks around on therpf or rebellegion forums willing to take holster commissions for cheaper, but I didn’t have much luck long those lines. The only other option seemed to be to learn leather working myself and make the holster myself. There are some step by step holster builds on the Rebel Legion, here’s one.

BLASTER

For the blaster, at first glance, it seemed like the only option was a $400 range Master Replica’s metal blaster. Negatives on this are of course cost, and the weight of a full metal blaster! After some searching around I learned that you could make a blaster yourself from an airsoft Mauser, but after going through many forum threads of people talking about frustration in doing this, it didn’t seem like an easy option for me. Some folks get a Type I Mauser Replica from Blast-tech with conversion parts added to it. It’s recommended to pay extra to just have them put the parts on it for you.  For me, though… finally someone on the RL forums suggested getting a resin cast version! BINGO! Under $100 and I don’t mind assembling a resin parts kit and painting it myself. Resin would be light, too. I got my ANH DL44 Blaster Resin Kit from DoopyDoos, but you can also find them on ebay.

GATHERING THE SUPPLIES AND PARTS

parts

Now to gather some of the less expensive and easier to get supplies and parts!

I got the Falcon Jacket pattern from Dawn Anderson Designs for Han Solo’s vest. It would require some modification but was a good starting point.

I got the belt at The Belt Outlet. Han’s Belt is a 3-hole belt (all the way around) with 2 prongs. So I just removed one of the prongs.

Han Solo has various little tools and parts in his belt. You can get a resin cast droid caller kit and the “belt tools” and cylinder kit from Corellian Exports.  Some of these parts are also available on ebay. I ended up getting my droid caller (cast in black resin to make it easier to paint) from propsplus on ebay and my belt tools from Corellian Exports.

I’ll detail my shopping and construction for the pants, vest and shirt in later posts. Hope you’ll enjoy the ride! As usual, follow my Facebook for earlier work in progress images!

More on Making Han Solo’s Costume:

Making Han Solo’s Shirt

Making Han Solo’s Pants

Making Han Solo’s Vest

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4 Comments

  • Dixie

    14.02.2013 at 14:31 Reply

    I think I want to see a tutorial on how you organize your “To Do” lists because I have no idea how you manage to balance your life/work/TV/creativity flow so easily. :)
    The progress you posted on FB looks great already! I can’t wait to see how everything turns out. BTW – anything special for the girls? Little ewok outfits?

    • aimeemajor

      15.02.2013 at 08:32 Reply

      Hey Dixie! Maybe I’ll have to do a post about keeping motivated and getting stuff done? haha. Mostly I just have a to do list on my phone and a more detailed one on my phone and computer’s Evernote program. I look at the short-simple one several times throughout the day to see if there’s something I want to do or can do in the amount of time I have.

      and yes, definitely BABY EWOKS. that was the plan, stan.

  • Tom

    16.10.2014 at 12:07 Reply

    Where did you get the pants? I didn’t see those mentioned in the article.

Post a Reply to Tom Cancel Reply