Chewbacca Costuming Resources

These resources were compiled and are maintained by Matt Pfingsten. The purpose of this page is to compile resources, information, and techniques for making a great Chewbacca costume or statue. This page and project are in no way endorsed or otherwise supported by LucasFilm or any of it's licensees.

Last Updated on Friday, July 4th, 2008 6:44 PM CDT

Chewie Costume Primer

Top

As far as costumes go, Chewbacca is extremely rare. There are only a dozen or so fan-made Chewbacca's in the entire world. This isn't due to cost; an excellent Chewie can be done for less than $1000 and even the big budget version is comparable to Darth Vader or Boba Fett. The main reason Chewie is so rare is that it is a substantially more difficult and labor intensive project than most other costumes.

Other impressive Star Wars costumes, like Darth Vader or a Stormtrooper can be built from kit parts. Granted there is a lot of detail work involved in turning those kits into a great costume (especially weathering a Boba Fett suit) but you can still buy the parts you don't want to make and focus your attention on the details and the things you enjoy working on. If you had to scratch build every part of those suits by hand, you would see very few fan-made Vader's walking around.

Armor kits are easy to mass produce because, once you have the molds made, you can just make copy after copy with minimal effort compared to the time and energy invested in sculpting the armor in the first place. Chewbacca is a labor-intensive hand made project from start to finish. There is no possible way of easily producing copies of a Wookiee suit or mask. Often, members of the 501st Legion or Rebel Legion who are used to being able to put together impressive costumes because of the availability of kit parts are discouraged when they learn that this is simply not possible with Chewbacca.

That's not to say that there aren't some Chewbacca props available. Various leather prop makers sell some very nice bandolier replicas. Plastic and aluminum bandolier blocks are also easy to find. There are a few fan-made resin bowcasters and other blasters out there as well. But the mask and the suit will never be available this way, and for this reason very few people will ever attempt to make a Chewbacca costume. Even fewer will complete it.

If you are not willing to learn how to make this suit yourself, then you should seriously reconsider attempting this project at all. You can have a professional make it for you, but expect to spend $6000 or more. Labor isn't cheap. A number of people have tried to use the Rubies Supreme Edition Chewbacca Costume as a basis for a good suit. Going this route will be at least twice as expensive as doing it yourself, and the resulting costume will never be anything but mediocre, no matter what you do to it. You can't polish a turd. That may not be what you wanted to hear but its the truth.

This is also not a good project for a first time costumer. This is an advanced project that will probably take you a year or more to complete, depending on how much money and free time you have. Then you will spend even more time and money upgrading, repairing and modifying the costume. People who have never made a costume before and attempt an ambitious first project rarely, if ever, complete anything. Start off with a simple project before proceeding to something as ambitious as a Wookiee.

With that said, Chewbacca is a fun and exciting project that is incredibly rewarding to those who complete it. Whenever I troop with my local 501st and Rebel Legion garrison/base, I am the most popular character in the group. Chewie is a rock star. When I step out of the elevator at DragonCon everyone starts cheering just because Chewie is there. Not even Darth Vader or Boba Fett can compete. The only character that comes close is Artoo-Detoo. You'll have a crowd asking for pictures until you decide to get out of the costume. Everyone loves Chewie.

First, make sure you thoroughly read through this page. All of the information that I have learned since starting my own Wookiee suit years ago is on this site. It's usually updated once every couple of months so check back often. You should also join the Wookiee Costuming Yahoo Group that I run. It's not a very active discussion forum but it is a great place to get feedback on your costume in progress and ask questions that might not be answered here. Also, the Yahoo group is usually the first place that new information, techniques and reference pictures are posted. Usually it will be several months before this information is organized and posted on this page.

Good luck and have fun!
-Matt "GotWookiee" Pfingsten


Community

Top

Forums & Mailing Lists

  1. The Wookiee Costuming Mailing List at Yahoo! Groups
  2. Wookiee Costuming Forums at MakingWookiee
  3. Chewbacca Variants Forum at Docking Bay 94 Smuggler's Alliance
  4. Rebel Legion Fringe Forum at Rebel Legion
  5. Rebel Sympathizer Forum at Rebel Legion
  6. Other Star Wars Costumes Forum at A.S.A.P.

Forum Topics

  1. RL: scratch-built Bowcaster: done Thread at Rebel Legion Fringe Forum. Last updated on 7/03/2008 at 9:18 PM
  2. RPF: Bowcaster Parts Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 6/01/2008 at 9:49 PM
  3. TFN: Wookie Costume question Thread at TFN Costumes & Props Forum. Last updated on 2/27/2008 at 1:14 AM
  4. TFN: Female Wookiee Costume Thread at TFN Costumes & Props Forum. Last updated 11/07/2007 at 3:47 PM
  5. RPF: Wookie Suit Estimated Costs? Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 6/21/2007 at 2:26 PM
  6. RL: In Need of a Wookie Roar!!!! Thread at Rebel Legion Rebel Sympathizer Forum. Last updated on 3/29/2007 at 7:53 PM
  7. RPF: My new and improve Chewie bust Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 3/12/2007 at 10:28 AM
  8. RPF: my wookie costume Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 3/8/2007 at 10:53 AM
  9. TFN: Sound system for Wookies Thread at TFN Costumes and Props Forum. Last updated on 1/22/2007 6:51 PM
  10. RPF: CHEWBACCA POUCH & BANDOLIER Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 12/21/2006 at 1:25 PM
  11. RPF: Chewie and a baby at a christmas parade UPDATE 12/6 Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 12/8/2006 at 10:03 AM
  12. RPF: My sorta finished Chewbacca costume Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 11/28/2006 at 4:05 PM
  13. RPF: Sculpting a new mask, Chewie! Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 9/25/2006 at 11:48 AM
  14. TFN: Modding the Supreme Chewbacca Mask Thread at TFN Costumes and Props Forum. Last updated on 9/16/2006 12:50 AM
  15. RPF: my first con in my wookie Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 8/21/2006 at 10:45 PM
  16. RPF: Chewbacca's Eyes Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 8/17/2006 at 12:00 AM
  17. RPF: My latest addition - Chewie Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 8/15/2006 at 11:08 AM
  18. TFN: Chewbacca Mouth Mechanism Thread at TFN Costumes and Props Forum. Last updated on 6/12/2006 11:15 PM
  19. TFN: Chewbacca/Wookiee costumes? Thread at TFN Costumes and Props Forum. Last updated on 4/20/2006 12:10 AM
  20. RPF: my wookie Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 2/23/2006 12:02 AM
  21. RPF: chewie bandolier help Thread at The RPF Forum. Last updated on 2/04/2006 2:50 AM
  22. TFN: Chewbacca's Bandolier Thread at TFN Costumes and Props Forum. Last updated on 1/17/2006 12:30 AM
  23. TFN: A real Wookiee costumes? Thread at TFN Costuming and Props Forum. Last updated on 5/20/2005 12:22 PM
  24. TFN: My chewbacca costume Thread at TFN Costuming and Props Forum. Last updated on 6/30/2004 8:13 AM
  25. TFN: How to make a Wookiee costume Thread at TFN Costuming and Props Forum. Last updated on 11/2/2002 8:36 PM
  26. ASAP: Bowcaster, Barnett vs Horton Thread at A.S.A.P. Forum. Last updated on 7/21/2002 7:24 AM
  27. ASAP: Chewbacca costume? Thread at A.S.A.P. Forum. Last updated on 2/23/2001 9:02 PM

Tutorials

  1. Werewolf Costume Construction
  2. MonsterMakers: How To Make a Monster Mask Tutorial
  3. Special Effects Supply: Mask Making Basics Tutorial
  4. StudioCreations: Sculpting The Mask Tutorial
  5. StudioCreations: Plaster Mold Making Tutorial
  6. StudioCreations: Pouring the Latex Mask Tutorial
  7. MakingWookiee: Chewbacca Undersuit Tutorial
  8. MakingWookiee: Chewbacca Mask Tutorial
  9. Lifecasting Tutorial
  10. Lifecasting Video
  11. Facial Life-Casting
  12. YouTube: Mask-Making Part 1
  13. YouTube: Mask-Making Part 2

Reference Sites

  1. Bowcaster Info Page at the Parts of Star Wars
  2. Chewbacca at StarWars.Com Databank
  3. Han and Chewie Magic of Myth Measurements at StudioCreations
  4. MAKIN' WOOKIE at The Eagle Tribute Online
  5. MakingWookiee: Reference Gallery

Fan-Made Chewie's

  1. Home-made Chewbacca

Suit

Top

Info

  1. Most of Chewie's hair is a medium to light brown color with dark gray sections at the knees, thighs, shoulders and upper chest, and on the back of his head. The dark gray hair goes all the way across his back, but is divided in the middle of his chest by a strip of brown that goes all the way up to the neck line. The hair on his knees only covers the outside half of his legs, not the insides.
  2. According to his own website, actor Peter Mayhew is 7 foot, 3 inches (2.21 meters) tall.
  3. According to an interview with Stuart Freeborn in Star Wars Insider Issue #70 (pages 40 through 44), the Chewie costume included 4 inch (10.16 centimeters) lifts and the mask's forehead added another 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) in height, making Chewbacca roughly 8 feet (2.44 meters) tall.
  4. According to the Chewbacca Behind the Scenes entry on the Official Site's DataBank, the suit was "made of knitted mohair and yak hair."
  5. According to an interview with Fred Fehrmann of National Fiber Technology, the original suit "was hand tied, meaning someone took tiny lace fibers and hand-threaded them into thousands of holes."
  6. National Fiber Technology is said to have supplied Chewbacca's hair for Star Wars. In October of 2001 I e-mailed John Moot of National Fiber Technology. Mr. Moot has since retired, but he claimed that his company supplied 30 square feet of brown fur for and 20 square feet of Grey for 'Star Wars.' He did not say when this hair was ordered or what kind of product it was. According to an interview with Fred Fehrmann of National Fiber Technology, "the original Chewbacca from Lucas' first "Star Wars" film was not made by National Fiber."
  7. In May of 2005 I contacted National Fiber Technology again and got some information from Fred Fehrmann. Fred told me that the date, or even the year, that Lucasfilm ordered their hair was confidential. The type and color of hair that they ordered is also confidential.
  8. Fred Fehrmann at National Fiber Technology did say that they had supplied hair for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the Chewbacca costume made for Disney Star Wars Weekends. According to Mr. Fehrmann, the correct color for Chewie is Medium Brown and the hair is 10" 12" in length.
  9. According to National Fiber Technology's website, they supply both natural and synthetic hair including Yak hair and mohair.
  10. According to Fred Ferhmann of National Fiber Technology, National Fiber Technology, LLC was incorporated in 2001. It's predecessors, National Fiber Technology, LTD. and National Hair Technology started in 1979. The predecessor to those companies was the Reid Meredith Wig Company, which started in the 1950's.
  11. In June of 2006, I was present at the Science of Star Wars exhibit in Colombus, Ohio and again when it was in Portland in January, 2007. At both events I had a close look at the Chewie suit (original trilogy) and could see some visible knots on the arms where the hair had thinned slightly.
  12. According to the Chewbacca Behind the Scenes entry on the Official Site's DataBank, "Numerous versions of the suit were made to handle the wear and tear of film making."
  13. According to the Behind the Scenes page at Wookiee Net, two suits were made for the Trilogy. One was made for A New Hope and was maintained and repaired for that film and The Empire Strikes Back. An entirely new suit was made for Return of the Jedi. According to a TheForce.Net Interview with Peter Mayhew, Mayhew used his stunt double for the first and only time in Return of the Jedi when the skiff he is on gets hit and tilts violently. It is likely that a stunt suit was created for this purpose.
  14. According to the Behind the Scenes page at Wookiee Net, there was an under suit that had foam padding on the shoulders.
  15. At DragonCon 2003, Peter Mayhew, having just returned from filming Episode 3, explained that they had made 4 suits for him in Revenge of the Sith.
  16. According to an interview with Fred Fehrmann of National Fiber Technology, for Revenge of the Sith his company provided Lucasfilm with 6 different types of Wookiee hair at an average of 70 to 80 square feet of hair fabric to make each suit. They supplied a total of 1,000 square feet of Wookiee hair. It took them 5 months to make all of that hair.
  17. At DragonCon 2007, Peter Mayhew told me that the original suit opened up along the back and that baby powder was sprinkled inside the suit to clean it by absorbing sweat.

Reference Photos

A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back Suit

suit A 001 thumbnail| suit A 002 thumbnail| suit A 003 thumbnail| suit A 004 thumbnail| suit A 005 thumbnail| suit A 006 thumbnail| suit A 007 thumbnail| suit A 008 thumbnail|

Return of the Jedi Suit

suit B 001 thumbnail| suit B 002 thumbnail| suit B 003 thumbnail| suit B 004 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Suit

suit C 001 thumbnail| suit C 002 thumbnail| suit C 003 thumbnail| suit C 004 thumbnail| suit C 005 thumbnail| suit C 006 thumbnail| suit C 007 thumbnail| suit C 008 thumbnail| suit C 009 thumbnail| suit C 010 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

Hair Suit

Custom Synthetic Fibers

National Fiber Technology can make great synthetic hair. As far as how much hair you need I have heard conflicting answers. John Moot of National Fiber Technology, who has since retired, said 30 yards of brown and 20 of grey and I've heard as high as 100 yards are necessary. Have a seamstress pattern this out and get accurate measurements based on a 36 inch (94.44 centimeters) wide fabric. If you have to reorder you must pay $225.00 for a machine setup fee. In the end it will cost around $3000 for the hair from this source.

Several fan-made Chewie's have used hair from National Fiber Technology, and both have noted that the "brown" hair appears to be too orange/red to match Chewie's hair color in either the Original Trilogy or Episode III. Also the "grey" hair color is too light. However, the hair that National Fiber Technology supplied for Episode III is an excellent match to the original trilogy suit. Perhaps if someone can get in touch with the Elsey's who built the Wookiees for Episode III, we might know more. You should look over their products to get the correct color rather than just ordering "brown." Fred Fehrmann says the correct color is their Medium Brown product and is 10 to 12 inches in length. They say that they can match a Pantone Color or a swatch of hair.

The advantages to this method are that the hair is of extremely high quality, and requires far less work to make a suit from this material than the other methods. The downside is that it is very expensive.

Synthetic Hair Extensions

You can get bags of synthetic "Kanekalon" hair extensions at beauty supply shops. Do not try wig shops since they usually don't carry this kind of stuff and will think you are from another planet when you ask for "bags of hair." The material usually goes for $2.99 a bag. The store may also carry a cheaper type of hair, but it should be avoided due to its inferior quality and lower melting temperature, which could be a problem if you use hot glue/caulk to attach the hair to the suit.

The color you want to get is #27 for the brown sections. For the dark gray spots on the knees and around the shoulders, you want to get colors #4 and #44 and mix them by brushing them together. Don't worry about mixing different brands. As long as you get the same color numbers and it says "100% Kanekalon" on the package, you're getting the same hair. This is one of the other reasons you want to get the Kanekalon hair instead of the cheaper hair. If you get the cheaper hair you may have problems when you attempt to combine brands.

There are two methods for attaching the hair to a suit. The best way is to sew a pair of pants and a shirt out of army camouflage netting that you can buy at military surplus stores. The shirt sleeves should extend to your knuckles and have some elastic finger loops so that the hair will extend over the top of your hand. The pants should be netting legs sewn to a regular pair of shorts with a zipper, buttons, and belt loops. Once you have made this suit, you then latch hook all of the hair into the netting.

To actually hook the hair into the netting, you can use a latch-hook, but bobby pins also work well. The best method that I have found is to get a pair of hemostats: a set of locking, surgical tweezers. They have a curved nose and this works the best for attaching the hair. It's best to have two people working on this, with one person getting strands of hair and placing them into the open hemostats for the other person to attach. You can get hemostats at medical supply shops.

After attaching the hair you will want to brush it out. Then you will want to try it on and brush it some more to get loose hair out. If you find that the hair is too thick, the best method for trimming is to clip hair out of each tuft of hair rather than reducing the length. Use very little hair when latch-hooking it in. A little goes a long way and it will take some time before you are able to see how thick your suit will be.

Another method is to use a high-temp hot glue gun to glue the hair onto some clothe pants and a shirt. This method was used by this Chewbacca as well as a German Chewbacca. I attempted this method until I learned of the latch-hooking technique. The tough part is getting good coverage of the hair without making it too thick and making you look fat in the suit. Also that much hot glue adds a lot of weight to the suit. The hair will shed a bit at first. When you glue the hair down, put a small bead of glue on the clothing first, then press the hair into it, then put some glue on top. This will embed the hair in the glue and make it pretty secure.

Sally Beauty Supply is a large chain of beauty supply shops that carries the right kind of hair. Texas Beauty Supply also carries the Kanekalon hair, and they sell their products on-line.

Avoid using Velcro or zippers on the suit, as the hair will get caught in them quite easily. Use suspenders, elastic, snaps, rivets, and lace-up ties for closing and securing stuff.

Making your suit this way will cost about $150 - $250. The advantage is that this hair looks very good, is inexpensive, allows you to buy a little a time, and more comfortable than other options. The major disadvantage is that it is labor intensive.

Human Hair Extensions

Steve Bornhoeft of Rebel Legion used human hair extensions, which can be purchased from beauty supply shops like Sally Beauty Supply and Texas Beauty Supplies. The colors are identified by the same color numbers that synthetic Kanekalon hair extensions are. They are about $5 - $6 per bag. The quantity of hair in each bag is quite small compared to the synthetic extensions, so you will need to buy many more bags of hair.

The advantage to a human hair suit is that it looks more realistic than the synthetic hair, and the hair extensions can be sewn. The downside is that it is more expensive. I also think that the human hair is too smooth and shiny. It is not "yaky" enough.

Yak Hair

The original suits used yak hair and mohair that was hand-knitted into some kind of suit. National Fiber Technology does sell yak hair at $130 a pound for 9 inch long processed hair and $95 per pound for unprocessed hair. They sell it in Crème White and Black. Since it is a natural fiber, it can probably be dyed.

Faux Fur

Some folks have asked about using faux fur, and a number of Wookiees have made their suits this way. One of those Wookiees is Grant, aka "TheWook," who had Yak hair extensions added to his faux fur suit, greatly improving the quality and accuracy. He appeared on CNN at one of the official Episode III charity premieres. Faux fur is not cheap, usually $20 - $30 per yard. The only real advantage of going with this method is that it's fast. The downside is that it looks the worst and can be pretty expensive.

Rubies Supreme Edition Chewie Suit

Rubies Costumes has put out a a $400-$500 Supreme Edition Chewie Costume. Many have considered using it as a base for their suits. However, the quality of the hair and suit is quite poor when compared to the Kanekalon hair extension method, which is anywhere between $150-$350 cheaper. The color of the hair is wrong (it appears desaturated, that is the color is not intense enough) and there are huge, visible gaps in between each row of hair. The only advantage to using this suit is that its faster and easier. If you're going to spend hundreds more on an inferior suit just to save yourself some work, you should find another costume.

Foam Under Suit

The original suit and the Episode III costumes had padding in the shoulders and back. You may want to do this as well. You may also want to add padding on your calves if you are wearing stilts or exceptionally large lifts. You can get some spray adhesive at Wal-Mart and large sheets of upholstery foam at most fabric stores. Get some stretch pants and or a stretch shirt from Goodwill. For carving the foam you'll want a good pair of scissors and an electric carving knife (about $10 at Wal-Mart).


Hands

Top

Info

  1. The hands made in the Original Trilogy appear to be faux fur or felt gloves with the fingers made from leather or vinyl. You can see the seams and stitching on some of the fingers.
  2. Unless viewed with the palms up, Chewie's hands are completely hidden by hair.
  3. In Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the Wookiees have grey-brown rubber hands.
  4. The fingernails on the Revenge of the Sith hands appear to be shiny.

Reference Photos

Original Trilogy Hands

hands A 001 thumbnail| hands A 002 thumbnail| hands A 003 thumbnail| hands A 004 thumbnail| hands A 005 thumbnail| hands A 006 thumbnail| hands A 007 thumbnail| hands A 008 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Hands

hands B 001 thumbnail| hands B 002 thumbnail| hands B 003 thumbnail| hands B 004 thumbnail| hands B 005 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

Gorilla Gloves

These Gorilla Hands with Black Fur, $12.99 from BuyCostumes could possibly work if re-furred.

Clothe Gloves

Wal-Mart carries some nice cotton black gloves for less than a dollar. I got a pair of those. If you are gluing hair onto your suit then you will want to glue the hair onto the top of the hand, but not on the bottom or on the fingers. If you are using any other method, then make your sleeves go to your knuckles, then trim them so that the part of the sleeves that extend past your wrists only covers the top of your hand. Attach elastic loops for each finger.

Rubber Gloves

Rubies Costumes, the official costume and mask licensee for Star Wars, makes a set of latex Chewbacca hands. BuyCostumes.Com has them for $26.99. However, Steve Bornhoeft saw these in person and said the gloves are too small and the fingers are too shallow, making them unusable.

Mechanical Arm Extensions

In order to make my arms longer, I am planning on building a pair of mechanical arm extensions that allow me to move the fingers, similar to plastic terminator-like toy arms.


Feet

Top

Info

  1. The feet appear to be little more than hair covered shoes with some claws sticking out. Each toe has a claw. In some images, the claws are black, in others they are white.
  2. According to an interview with Stuart Freeborn in Star Wars Insider Issue #70 (pages 40 through 44), the Chewie costume included 4 inch (10.16 centimeters) lifts on the feet.
  3. The Wookiee feet made for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, have gray-brown toes sticking out from the fur with some claw-like toenails. The front part of the foot is the only thing they made. The rest of the shoe is covered with fur. The feet are ambidextrous so that same foot mold can be used for either a right or left foot.

Reference Photos

Original Trilogy Feet

feet C 001 thumbnail| feet C 002 thumbnail| feet C 003 thumbnail| feet C 004 thumbnail| feet C 005 thumbnail| feet C 006 thumbnail| feet C 007 thumbnail| feet C 008 thumbnail| feet C 009 thumbnail| feet C 010 thumbnail| feet C 011 thumbnail| feet C 012 thumbnail| feet C 013 thumbnail| feet C 014 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Feet

feet B 001 thumbnail| feet B 002 thumbnail| feet B 003 thumbnail| feet B 004 thumbnail| feet B 005 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

Increasing your height

Chewie is a towering 8 feet (2.44 meters) tall. Most people aren't anywhere close to being that tall. Here are some ideas on how to make yourself taller:

Stilts

Most who use stilts just get a pair of drywall stilts. You can get some 14 inch (35.56 centimeters) Fixed Drywall Stilts for $165.00. Drywall stilts do not come in anything smaller than 14 inches (35.56 centimeters). You'll want to make a few modifications to the stilts before you use them. The first thing you should do is bolt on a pair of shoes and remove the foot straps. This will prevent your feet from coming away from the stilts even a little bit and give you much greater stability. I also recommend replacing the belt-style leg straps with 2 inch (5.08 centimeters) or 3 inch (7.62 centimeters) wide double-sided Velcro. This will allow you to make the straps fit perfectly without being too loose or too tight. Plus the physical stress applied to the straps won't be reduced to a single point, but distributed across the entire strap. I also recommend putting some padding around the leg guards. Drywall stilts also have a spring system that allow the "ankle" to change angle, making it easier to walk on hard and uneven surfaces.

Lifts

The original Chewie suit had 4 inch (10.16 centimeters) lifts attached to some boots and a number of Wookiee costumers have done this as well. Grant, aka "TheWook," in California took his shoes to a cobbler who added 5 inch (12.7 centimeters) lifts to them. A German Chewbacca carved his own lifts from wood and attached rubber from tires to the bottom. My dad and I also built a set like this to use in parades until I bought my drywall stilts.

Feet

Halloween Feet

Thus far I haven't seen any existing Halloween feet that would make decent Chewie feet. There may be some commercially available Halloween feet that may work, the only problem is that they have to be exceptionally large. Most Halloween feet are not much larger than a normal shoe size, and having normal sized feet, or even slightly large feet would look goofy at the bottom of a 7 foot (2.13 meters) to 8 foot ((2.44 meters)) tall Wookiee.

Latex Feet

Your best bet is to sculpt a pair of feet (or one foot for Revenge of the Sith style) and slip cast them in latex rubber. You can fill them with foam and mount them to your shoes or stilts. If you pigment the latex you will just have to paint in the details like the claws and attach some hair to the top.

Upholstery Foam Feet

You can pick up huge sheets of this stuff at fabric and craft stores, usually for no more than $20 or $30. To make the feet you will want to glue a lot of the foam blocks onto your shoes, boots, or stilts and then carve some feet out of them. For carving tools I recommend using an electric carving knife (about $10 at Wal-Mart) and a good pair of scissors. I have also heard that a belt sander may be used to help get things smooth. For glue I recommend getting some spray on adhesive, which you can find in Wal-Mart's hardware department or at any hobby or craft store.

Once you have carved the desired shapes, you'll want to get some liquid latex. I recommend getting Mold Builder Liquid Latex Rubber, which you can find at most craft stores (I got mine at Michael's). You'll want to paint the latex all over your foam surfaces, wait for it to dry, and then paint another coat. You should keep doing this until the foam is fairly solid and has a good latex skin. It took two coats of liquid latex on my feet get it a good skin. Once you have done this, you can paint them whatever color you like with latex-based mask paint. I recommend gray-brown like the Episode III feet. I only needed two coats of paint.

Claws

You can find replica bear claws at Skulls Unlimited. You can also make them using Sculpy. The best is to make them out of latex and foam just like your feet, that way they won't break or fall off.


Mask

Top

Info

  1. According to an interview with Stuart Freeborn in Star Wars Insider Issue #70 (pages 40 through 44), the original mask had a polyurethane mechanical under skull. When Peter Mayhew opened his mouth, his jaw would force the mechanical jaws open.
  2. The movement of the mechanical mouth pulled the lips back to reveal the teeth whenever the mouth was opened. In one of the photos of the under skull, you can see a channel cut into the skull that goes from the lip down to the lower jaw. You would need something flexible like DragonSkin, animatronic-grade silicone, or foam latex (hot foam) for it work. Standard mask latex is too rigid and not elastic enough.
  3. According to Peter Mayhew, the lip curl was caused by magnets that repelled each other.
  4. Chewie's facial structure has more in common with an ape than a dog or bear.
  5. Chewie's teeth are human except for his upper and lower canines, which are sharp, animal-like fangs.
  6. There is a large gap between his upper front teeth and his upper canines, probably to create room for the lower canines when the mouth closes.
  7. The pattern of Chewie's hair radiates from his eyes. He has a mustache-like feature as well.
  8. There are two holes in the back of his mouth, probably for ventilation and/or drinking. A mask with such a feature could allow the wearer to drink through a straw.
  9. There is a vertical line in his nose and it runs down to his upper lip.
  10. Based on behind the scenes photos, Tom Twohy of the Wookiee Costumers Yahoo! Group has determined that the original mask was cast in foam latex, also called hot foam. This should not be confused with ordinary latex rubber.
  11. Chewie's eyes are blue.
  12. Darren Blum spoke with Lou Elsey at Celebration III, and she explained that most of the hair on the Episode 3 masks had been glued on using a product called Prosaide. The inner areas of the face had the hair punched in.
  13. The Elsey's also explained that they punched in several hairs going cross-wise to help tame the hair and keep it down against the mask. Darren guessed that they would have punched in a single long hair running ear to ear over the top of the head with it being punched in every inch and a half or so. This hair would be concealed by hair from the face and would give something for the top most layer of hair to bond to using hairspray.
  14. I spoke to Peter Mayhew at DragonCon 2007, and he claimed that the tongue had a small metal rod cast into it that allowed him to make the tongue wiggle. You can see the tongue move slightly at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when he is in the cockpit of the Falcon with Lando.
  15. Peter Mayhew has stated that he had perfect visibility in the mask.
  16. At DragonCon 2007, Peter Mayhew told me that the Revenge of the Sith mask was very heavy due to the animatronics. However, the pupeteer did not use the animatronics much and instead relied on Peter's own movements.

Reference Photos

A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back Mask

mask A 001 thumbnail| mask A 002 thumbnail| mask A 003 thumbnail| mask A 004 thumbnail| mask A 005 thumbnail| mask A 006 thumbnail| mask A 007 thumbnail| mask A 008 thumbnail| mask A 009 thumbnail| mask A 010 thumbnail| mask A 011 thumbnail| mask A 012 thumbnail| mask A 013 thumbnail| mask A 014 thumbnail| mask A 015 thumbnail| mask A 016 thumbnail| mask A 017 thumbnail| mask A 018 thumbnail| mask A 019 thumbnail| mask A 020 thumbnail| mask A 021 thumbnail| mask A 022 thumbnail| mask A 023 thumbnail| mask A 024 thumbnail| mask A 025 thumbnail| mask A 026 thumbnail| mask A 027 thumbnail| mask A 028 thumbnail| mask A 029 thumbnail| mask A 030 thumbnail| mask A 031 thumbnail| mask A 032 thumbnail| mask A 033 thumbnail| mask A 034 thumbnail| mask A 035 thumbnail| mask A 036 thumbnail|

Return of the Jedi Mask

mask B 001 thumbnail| mask B 002 thumbnail| mask B 003 thumbnail| mask B 004 thumbnail| mask B 005 thumbnail| mask B 006 thumbnail| mask B 007 thumbnail| mask B 008 thumbnail| mask B 009 thumbnail| mask B 010 thumbnail| mask B 011 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Mask

mask C 001 thumbnail| mask C 002 thumbnail| mask C 003 thumbnail| mask C 004 thumbnail| mask C 005 thumbnail| mask C 006 thumbnail| mask C 007 thumbnail| mask C 008 thumbnail| mask C 009 thumbnail| mask C 010 thumbnail| mask C 011 thumbnail| mask C 012 thumbnail| mask C 013 thumbnail| mask C 014 thumbnail| mask C 015 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

Buying a Mask

Over the years Don Post Studios and Rubies Costumes have offered a variety of officially licensed Chewbacca masks. Illusive Concepts briefly offered a solid Chewbacca bust. None of these products have ever had a very good likeness of Chewie.

A number of years ago there was a fan-made mask offered for $1200. However, it was considered a bust and not intended to be worn. The maker claimed it was too fragile. As far as I know this mask is no longer offered.

Tom Twohy produced a mask for a Wookiee in California that features a moving mouth. He made molds of both the skull and skin and is offering the mask for sale. Here is a video of the completed mask in action.

Make a Life-Cast of Yourself

Monster Makers and Special Effects Supply have materials and training videos on how to do this. I got all of my life-casting supplies, as well as some really helpful advice on correctly mixing the alginate, from Special Effects Supply. They have an excellent Life-casting page. Do not try to cut the video to save money, because doing your life-cast right is hard enough and you will just have to buy all the same materials again if you screw it up. Its cheaper to get the video and do it right the first time. Here are some general notes about life-casting:

Making a Static Mask

Making a mask with a moving jaw is a complex and expensive project that requires advanced materials in its construction. However, if you are not concerned with making a moving mouth, you can still make a great looking static mask using conventional latex rubber mask making techniques.

Sculpting

You'll need about 10-20 pounds of oil-based clay to sculpt your mask. Unlike water-based clay, oil-based clay won't dry out, which is good because it will take you a few weeks or months to sculpt the mask. During the sculpting process print out lots of references photos of Chewie's face and keep them with you at all times. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the hair will cover everything, because it won't! Chewie's facial structure is very specific.

Work on it a little bit each day, taking photos along the way and sharing them with others on-line. If possible, have a friend or family member take a second look, even if they don't know anything about Star Wars. If you have the pics and they can compare them to your sculpt they can still provide meaningful advice. Most fan-made Chewie sculpts end up making his chin too round. You can tell, especially in Return of the Jedi when he is wearing the collar in Jabba's palace, that Chewie has a very sharp and prominent chin. Also make sure you compare side angles to make sure you have enough muzzle on Chewie. Most first-timers (myself included) make his muzzle too shallow.

You only need to sculpt the front of Chewie's face. The back is just fur and can be completed using the same material and techniques you used to make your suit. I won't cover the process of molding and casting the latex mask, as that is covered elsewhere on the web.

Support Underskull

In order for the rubber mask to maintain the proper shape, you will need to make an underskull to support it. Once you have cast your mask, you want to make a Hydrostone (or similarly hard plaster or gypsum compound) cast of the INSIDE of the mask. Once you have done this, you can vacuum-form (or even hand form) ABS or polystyrene to form the outer surface of the skull. You'll also want to take your life-cast and vacuum-form some plastic over the face, and that will form the inner surface of the skull that fits against your face. You want to make as many copies of each piece as possible.

You can attach the two pieces together using rivets in a few places and then use putty to fill in the spaces and reinforce the bond. You'll want to cut huge, wide eye and nose holes. They should be wide enough that with the skull on you can see just fine. The latex mask will limit your vision a little. Steve Bornhoeft made an under-skull out of Plaster of Paris.

You can also cast a solid under skull in plastic or fiberglass. For those of you wishing to go this route, I recommend checking out this Werewolf Costume Construction tutorial.

To attach the skull to the mask, I recommend getting a leather hole punching tool and putting two small holes close together along various parts of the mask. You can then drill holes in the same spot on the skull and run craft wire to tie the mask and skull together. This way you will have a strong bond that you can remove should you want to replace, repair, or modify the mask or the skull. I also recommend getting the headband from a welders helmet to use for holding the mask on your head. Welders helmets have a knob in the back that you can turn to tighten the mask once you have put it on.

The Mouth and Teeth

After you've finished the skull you'll want make some teeth and gums. For the teeth, I recommend getting a set of acrylic human teeth from Monster Makers. For the canines (his only animal-like teeth) you can either make some from Sculpy or buy some replica animal teeth from Skulls Unlimited. If you go the Sculpy route, you can match the yellowing of the acrylic human teeth by using some brown and yellow acrylic paint and then painting it heavily on the Sculpy teeth (after you have baked them, of course) and then wiping the paint off with a paper towel. The result will match almost perfectly.

Putting Hair in the Mask

While punching hair in with a hair punching tool is often recommended, its not a good idea for regular mask latex because the hair punching tool will tear the latex a bit and can become a problem later on. The best way to do it is to glue on most of the hair using contact cement. Dip small finger-fulls of hair in an open can of contact cement and then brush the hair onto the mask. The tufts of hair should be long so you can trim them later on.

Once the mask is covered with hair, you'll need to trim it down. The first thing you should do is use a hair brush to comb out all of the knots and get the hair nice and smooth. This will also pull out some loose hairs. Next go to work with a pair of thinning shears, which are like scissors with teeth. For cutting off large amounts of hair, use regular scissors and then use the thinning shears to blend the cuts in and layer them. For fine detail stuff, like clearing the eye holes, I recommend getting a pair of small nose-hair or cuticle scissors/trimmers.

Static Mask-Making Tutorials

Making a Mask with a Mechanical Jaw

Tom Twohy of the Wookiee Costumers Yahoo! Group eventually figured it out after studying photos of Stuart Freeborn working on the mask in his shop and making several attempts himself. He later shared what he had learned on the Wookiee mailing list.

Making the Skull

According to Tom, you will need to make the skull BEFORE you make the skin. However, an instruction video and a book that I consulted on the subject shows the sculptor making the skin first and the skull second.

The mask's jaw hinge needs to be placed exactly over the wearer's own natural jaw hinge. The further away it is, the harder it will be for the wearer to open the mouth. The original skull (and Tom's) feature two cavities in the skull directly above the upper teeth on either side (in the cheeks). This creates a space for the skin to pull into when the cable controlled lips are pulled, otherwise the skin would bunch up on the surface of the mask. This cavity is even more important if you make your mask out of foam latex (hot foam) instead of silicone. Tom used epoxy clay to sculpt his skull and did the final cast in epoxy glass.

Making the Face

As noted earlier, you will to make this part AFTER making the skull. Tom described it as working it up in a forensic manner. You cannot use regular RTV mask latex rubber for this. It does not have the necessary elasticity (it doesn't stretch or compress much) which is necessary for the mouth movement. The original trilogy masks used foam latex, which sometimes called hot foam. Hot foam is often used for prosthetic appliances (noses, ears, etc.) but it is not very durable and has to be baked in an oven. Both Tom and the crew of Episode III used semi-clear, animatronic-grade silicone to on their masks, which is much more durable. Tom also noted that Urethane Foam Rubber, which compresses well, also lacks the necessary elasticity.

Tom explained that the skin is not a uniform thickness like a slip cast mask. Instead, it has a consistent thickness of about 1/4" to 1/2" with the lips being thicker and the areas around the cheeks and eyes being thinner. However, he said that one must have a consistent, dependable thickness. Tom also sculpted the mouth area of his mask with just enough of an opening necessary to trim it out later. He, and several others, have used a high-quality silicone called DragonSkin because it has a very high elasticity.

Attaching Hair to the Mask

Darren Blum spoke with Lou Elsey at Celebration III, and she explained that most of the hair on the Episode 3 masks had been glued on using a product called Prosaide. The inner areas of the face had the hair punched in. You can make a hair punching tool by getting several sewing needles and cutting the eye open to create a fork. Use a file to sharpen the edges and get several different sizes. Remove the blade from a hobby knife and insert the sharp end of the needle inside and tighten it. Place the hair in between the two forks and punch it into the skin. Tom used small amounts of hair and punched it in at an angle, so the hair comes out laying flat against the skin rather than having a "doll hair" look.

Wiring the Lips for Movement

When Chewie opens his mouth, his upper lip is pulled back to give him a snarling expression as well as show his teeth. This is essential. If the lips did not move you would never see his teeth. Tom mounted a brass curved tube in the cheeks of his underskull. These tubes ran from the upper lips down to the lower jaw. Then he ran a thick, unwound steel guitar string from the lower jaw one side, up through the brass tube, into the lip on the mask itself, then down and out through the other tube to the other side of the lower jaw. He anchored them with brass screws. Tom used WD40 to help reduce friction in the brass tubing (which made it much more difficult to open the mouth). Tom also noted that bicycle hand brake cables would be too massive and cause too much friction.

Tongue Movement

I spoke to Peter Mayhew at DragonCon 2007, and he claimed that the tongue had a small metal rod cast into it that allowed him to make the tongue wiggle. You can see the tongue move slightly at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when he is in the cockpit of the Falcon with Lando.


Bandolier and Pouch

Top

Info

  1. There are 10 large blocks and 9 small blocks.
  2. According to Dan Hyatt, the dimensions of the blocks are:
  3. According to measurements made by Jeff Allen using a laser pointer caliper to measure the Magic of Myth exhibit, these are the dimensions of various items on the bandolier:
  4. The blocks are allegedly old aluminum project/science experiment cases from Radio Shack. These items are discontinued.
  5. The rings used to attach the bandolier to the pouch are approx. 1 inch in diameter. (source unknown)
  6. Chewie wears the bandolier on his left shoulder with the pouch resting on his right hip.
  7. There is a hidden strap that attaches to the bandolier at the shoulder and goes around Peter Mayhew's neck, to keep the bandolier in place.
  8. The Revenge of the Sith pouch appears to be made of cloth and not leather.
  9. The Revenge of the Sith bandolier doesn't have the leather concho/checker piece/coin like the Classic Trilogy bandolier.
  10. The Revenge of the Sith bandolier has some border lines in the both the main strap and the center strap. There are also some small leather loops on each side of the block that are probably for holding the center strap to the main strap.
  11. The Episode 3 bandolier has blocks without any lip, and they look like they were assembled kind of like a 3D puzzle.
  12. The bandolier used in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back has simple tapered ends at each end of the strap. The Return of the Jedi bandolier has a curved, more ornate taper.

Reference Photos

A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back Bandolier

bandolier A 001 thumbnail| bandolier A 002 thumbnail| bandolier A 003 thumbnail| bandolier A 004 thumbnail|

Return of the Jedi Bandolier

bandolier B 001 thumbnail| bandolier B 002 thumbnail| bandolier B 003 thumbnail| bandolier B 004 thumbnail| bandolier B 005 thumbnail| bandolier B 006 thumbnail| bandolier B 007 thumbnail| bandolier B 008 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Bandolier

bandolier C 001 thumbnail| bandolier C 002 thumbnail| bandolier C 003 thumbnail| bandolier C 004 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

  1. 1" Silver Rope Edge Concho #134405, $2.69, Shiny silver finish over solid brass. Screwback.
  2. This Chewbacca used a leather suitcase/briefcase and stripped the extra leather parts off of it.
  3. Most costumes make 9 large blocks and 8 small ones, simply because using the full number of blocks at their actual size would make the bandolier come down to most people's knees. Unless you are actually 7'4" you'll want to shave off one of each block or scale the whole thing down for your size, or do both.

Bowcaster

Top

Info

Base Crossbow

  1. kurtyboy of the RPF contacted Horton USA who said that the base crossbow was definitely a very old Horton that was a predecessor to the Safari Magnum. It had an aluminum frame and Horton USA was only in possession of one at the time kurtyboy contacted them and it was not for sale. I followed up on this by asking Horton what model crossbow he was referring to, and my message was forwarded to Mr. Bernard Horton himself who said it was called the Horton Monarch Supreme and was made in the early 60's and late 70's in Wales. Only about 3,000 were ever produced. However, in May of 2007 I contacted Mr. Horton again and referred him to the bowcaster reference images on this page. He is now convinced that the correct crossbow is not the Monarch Supreme but a skeleton-stocked, military-style crossbow that he made for the SinglePoint Company that was looking for a product to demonstrate their new scope. It was die cast aluminum and nylon coated, and approximately 12,000 to 15,000 were produced in the early to mid 70's. Eventually, an offshoot of the SinglePoint Company called Gunmark and founded by Bjorn Waktare (a director of SinglePoint) sold these crossbows to civilians, mostly in Europe. The crossbows were simply called "Gunmark Crossbows" according to Mr. Horton, and the company was based in Winchester, UK. I have replied to Mr. Horton asking what the name of the crossbow is.
  2. According to Peter Mayhew, there was one bowcaster that was modified throughout the production of the original trilogy. Eventually it got out of the archives and now allegedly resides in someones private collection somewhere in Germany.
  3. According to lonepigeon of the RPF, a man by the name of Jason Joiner owns a sceen-used bowcaster. He says there are no markings of any kind that would indicate the make or model of the base crossbow.
  4. It was commonly reported on the RPF that Chewie's bowcaster was based on something called a Champagne Champion Crossbow. For years I inquired as to the source of this information, but all I ever heard was that it was something that everyone had heard from someone else. In 2005, Macklin of the RPF claimed that the source of the information was Jeff Ritzmann, a prop/costume guy and 501st member, whom he spoke with in 1999. According to Macklin, Mr. Ritzmann claimed to have done some research and not only discovered the basis of the crossbow, but also found one. However, over the years no one has found any evidence to support the existence of the Champagne Champion Crossbow or the company that made it. Macklin says that Ritzmann said it was "ultra rare." I have e-mailed Mr. Ritzmann as well as his 501st Garrison CO and XO for more information and possibly photos of the Crossbow, but I have not received any response.
  5. Randy5000 of the RPF allegedly has a connection with someone who was or is now at Lucasfilm and/or ILM and knows much about the source materials for many props. This source claims that a Barnett Commando Crossbow was used. It is a very close match to the bowcaster, but is apparently too large, according to kurtyboy of the RPF.
  6. To date, the closest matching crossbow that has been found is the Horton Safari Magnum crossbow. It is plastic and needs to have the stock hollowed out, but the shape and size are apparently as close a match as anyone has found. kurtyboy of the RPF suspects that the real bowcaster was made from a Horton bow, just not this one.
  7. Macklin of the RPF believes that the actual crossbow was probably a European tournament crossbow, and that it was either an old design of Horton's or one that they had acquired from another company.
  8. Michelle at Horton Crossbows is 95% sure that the bowcaster was a Horton based on certain signature details that are common to Horton crossbows.

Scopes

  1. A variant of the Cone Tipped Single Point scope is mounted in the center of the gun. According to diagrams drawn by Alan Sinclair, this scope is 7.250 inches long. According to Chris R/Mr Sparkle of the RPF, this scope has the cheap plastic covers normally only found on the Round Tip Single Point Scope. Most Cone Tipped Single Point scopes have knurled adjustment covers.
  2. The Single Point scope is flanked by two other scopes that are identical to each other. According to kurtyboy of the RPF, these scopes have not been identified, but they are not the Boba Fett scopes and they are not the ASI 4x20's. He says that Nikko Stirlings are pretty close.
  3. According to lonepigeon of the RPF, the two flanking scopes attach to the single-point scope via the scope rings. The screw in the Single Point scope rings thread through the side scope rings.
  4. According to lonepigeon of the RPF, the correct flanking scope is the same make and model as the scope used on Dr. Evazan blaster. They have flat topped caps and the text on the scope is: Model 7
    ORIGINAL
    4x20
    Fixed Reticle
    Coated
    [small "S" within circle logo]. The make and model of the scope have yet to be identified.
  5. My brother is a gun enthusiast who did some research for me on the flanking scopes. He believes the correct scope may be to the original scope to a Remington Arms Model 7 hunting rifle. The "Original" marking is used to note that this was the "original" scope included with the rifle. It was not available by itself. The scope was supposedly crap but was included to justify a price increase. Because of its poor quality, the scope was typically replaced with a superior scope.
  6. According to lonepigeon of the RPF, the correct flanking scopes are NOT from a Remington rifle. Board member Crieff purchased a new one and it came in a box with a sticker matching the markings on the scope.

Cords, Balls, Bows, Barrels, and Straps

  1. There are two coiled cords on the bowcaster. One runs around the back of the bowcastere just underneath the scopes and attaches tot he same place on either side of the bowcaster. It is near the rear of the gun. The second coiled cord is on the right side and plugs into a small electronics plug and the goes back into a small hole a few inches behind it. The Parts of SW Bowcaster Page claims that it is a Graflex flash cord, however Boba Debt of the RPF believes that people say Graflex simply because it is common knowledge that the prop builders on the films used Graflex flash tubes for Luke's lightsabres. It could be any type of black coiled cord. wuher da brewer of the RPF thinks the coiled plastic from a "stay-put" pen will work for the coiled wire.
  2. According to TK818, the ANH Bowcaster used a 2 inch wide nylon medical bag strap, the same as the Aliens Pulse Rifle. For the ESB/ROTJ Bowcaster, a 1¼ inches wide M-1 style sling was used.
  3. The ANH Bowcaster did not have the crossbow string on the bow. This was added for the Empire Strikes Back, and remained on the bowcaster during Return of the Jedi.
  4. There are two large spheres at the front end of the crossbow. According to jedivigneri of the RPF, Peter Mayhew claims that the balls are racquetballs painted black. According to Macklin of the RPF, who did some scaling of the bowcaster based on hi-rez reference images, the balls are 2.375 inches in diameter, making racquetballs the correct size.
  5. The balls have visible seems that run parallel to the body of the crossbow.
  6. According to Macklin of the RPF, the barrel is .625 inches in diameter, and the bowcaster itself is 27½ inches long.
  7. According to creiff of the RPF, the end balls are a solid dense foam ball which can be found at toy stores. There is a seam-line and they are 2.5" in diameter.
  8. According to Ripcode of The Dented Helmet, the front sight on the bowcaster is an Enfield No. 4's sight protector. However, lonepigeon of the RPF has found these items for sale, and while they look close, they are not an exact match.

Knobs, Dials, and Discs

  1. On the right side of the bowcaster, there are three dials. These dials appear to be made of aluminum with a plastic, ridged outer casing and aluminum skirt. Some of these dials contain numbers from 1 to 10. On the left side there is only one of these knobs. According to Macklin of the RPF, the black knobs with the metal skirts are common items available on most on-line electronics supply and surplus dealers.
  2. On the left side of the bowcaster there are two knurled knobs. One of them has a metal skirt/dial similar to the block dials on the other side.
  3. There are two large discs with a small bump in the center on each side of the bowcaster. They are directly above the trigger and are in exactly the same spot on both sides.
  4. There are several small discs on the sides of the bowcaster. According to lonepigeon of the RPF, these are the same discs used on Imperial Officer hats. He claims that there are 3 on the left side and possibly 1 other under the small coiled cord plug on the right side. kurtyboy of the RPF claims the discs are held in place by flat pan head screw with a head diameter of about 7mm.
  5. Most of the knobs, discs, and dials are attached to two plates that are mounted on the opening in the front of the crossbow.
  6. lonepigeon of the RPF has done some scaling work and has determined that the disc above the trigger on each side is about 1.125" in diameter. The two by the big knob on the right side should be 1" (assuming the big knob is the same as the one found at 1.46").

Revenge of the Sith Bowcaster

  1. The body of the Revenge of the Sith looks as though it is made out of wood, and has several scratches which were probably added to weather the prop.
  2. The Episode 3 bowcaster has two arms that come off at the sides and point towards the front, with small spheres at the ends. Those arms appear to be made of a polished metal. The metal arms have a bevel on the top side.

Reference Photos

A New Hope Bowcaster

bowcaster A 001 thumbnail| bowcaster A 002 thumbnail| bowcaster A 003 thumbnail| bowcaster A 004 thumbnail| bowcaster A 005 thumbnail| bowcaster A 006 thumbnail| bowcaster A 007 thumbnail| bowcaster A 008 thumbnail| bowcaster A 009 thumbnail| bowcaster A 010 thumbnail| bowcaster A 011 thumbnail|

Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi Bowcaster

bowcaster B 001 thumbnail| bowcaster B 002 thumbnail| bowcaster B 003 thumbnail| bowcaster B 004 thumbnail| bowcaster B 005 thumbnail| bowcaster B 006 thumbnail| bowcaster B 007 thumbnail| bowcaster B 008 thumbnail| bowcaster B 009 thumbnail| bowcaster B 010 thumbnail| bowcaster B 011 thumbnail| bowcaster B 012 thumbnail| bowcaster B 013 thumbnail| bowcaster B 014 thumbnail| bowcaster B 015 thumbnail| bowcaster B 016 thumbnail| bowcaster B 017 thumbnail|

Revenge of the Sith Bowcaster

bowcaster C 001 thumbnail| bowcaster C 002 thumbnail| bowcaster C 003 thumbnail| bowcaster C 004 thumbnail| bowcaster C 005 thumbnail| bowcaster C 006 thumbnail|

Parts & Materials

  1. The Barnett Commando and Horton Safari Magnum crossbows can occasionally be found on eBay and AuctionArms.Com. Other places to look include gun shows, gun shops, and pawn shops. I usually see the Barnett going for $100-$150 on eBay. Some people have picked up a Horton bow for as little as $50.
  2. According to Boba Debt of the RPF a Barnett Commando Crossbow can be converted by sanding off the grips and lowering the front tip down a bit.
  3. The Horton bow will need to be modified by hollowing out the stock.
  4. An M-1 Carbine Rifle Sling (supposedly the TESB/ROTJ strap) goes for about $5 on eBay.
  5. A number of accurate-looking dials/knobs can be found at Minute Man Electronics. Philmore #3045 looks just like the large knob on the bowcaster.
  6. According to a December 2006 press release, Master Replicas planned to offer a replica of Chewbacca's bowcaster as part of their 2007 product line up. Master Replicas license with Lucasfilm will terminate at the end of 2007 and they have announced through Rebel Scum that some of the planned items will still be released, but the bowcaster was not listed among them. As of March 2007 they were still researching the bowcaster.
  7. Costume Junkie sells a resin bowcaster kit for $374.99.

Stuff that is still needed

  1. A pattern for the pouch.
  2. The exact model of two flanking scopes of the Classic Trilogy bowcaster.
  3. The exact make and model of the crossbow used as the basis of the Classic Trilogy bowcaster.
  4. Dimensions of the remaining unidentified bowcaster knobs, discs and dials.
  5. Photos of the Gunmark Crossbow.
  6. Sizing and scaling work needs to be done on the Revenge of the Sith Bowcaster.
  7. The correct colors for hair purchased from National Fiber Technology.

These resources were compiled and are maintained by Matt Pfingsten. The purpose of this page is to compile resources, information, and techniques for making a great Chewbacca costume or statue. This page and project are in no way endorsed or otherwise supported by LucasFilm or any of it's licensees.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0