ESB WIP: Ord Mantell's ESB Build

This template is courtesy of our resident Fett mentor and guru, @RafalFett, and appeared originally here.

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Time for one last research entry and then moving on to finishing this build which is now three more years behind schedule....


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Last year, Mario Maala found some old photos he had forgotten about. They were a few pics of his time at Daydream Studios. They can’t be published right now but they will in the future when the time is right for him. Anyway, I believe two of the photos have the only pictures in existence of the 4th or mystery shin tool sitting in plain sight on a table. Of course, the lighting is AWFUL, so there is nothing obvious about the information the photo provides, but thank goodness there is *just* enough detail present to make it of some value to us. I asked Mario about the objects in the photo last time we got together and he doesn't remember any details about them AT ALL, although he does remember being told by Vance there were some “pocket” tools among what they were painting.

Here is a short video summary of the find:

Here is the recreation of the original photo.


And here is a blow-up of just the objects I think are the 4th shin tool from the real photo:

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There are two of them standing upside down next to Paterson chemical stirrers laying on the table on the other side of the collar armor. An important detail here is the red paint mist. If you’ve spent any time at all looking at the shin tools done for the Daydream costumes, you know they all have some degree of red paint mist on them. For instance, here is a squeegee that was almost certainly misted with red paint at Daydream…


Of course, misting red on a light colored object means pink, pink, and more pink...

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At first I dismissed the objects in the photo from my mind initially thinking they were the hand telescope from the blaster. But that doesn't add up after thinking about it for 5 seconds. They would not have dismantled those blasters. And even if they did, the telescope does not have holes in the sides. Then it dawned on me all at once. 100% they’re gutted microphones. Common dynamic microphones. I thought I'd have the brand and model figured out after a few days of searching but it's been many months of looking at literally thousands of mics and dozens of 1970's catalogs online. Trouble is, it is indeed a very common type of microphone. Specifically, it looks like a karaoke mic. Or at least exhibits the same style of dynamic microphone used ubiquitously with karaoke. Karaoke was invented in the early 70’s and exploded in popularity in the 1980’s. The picture below is of the very first karaoke machine (check out the 8-track tapes!) and has a microphone that looks pretty similar:


Here are a couple nice 80's mics I bought that are close but not correct...


Audio Technica came out with their first mics in 1978 and none looked anything like this. These are from the mid 1980’s I think, but off-brand microphones just like these are still made today. You can find them everywhere. After having looked at so many mics, I'm guessing they would've had to cut the top area since it has threads for the cap piece. I cut the threads on one of mine and the result is actually really nice. I cut it as high up as possible in case something went wrong on the cut, but it’s just a matter of cutting it in the right position to have the correct diameter. The thickness of the tube wall is pretty much perfect.


So it’s this recessed area that made me think 'karaoke' mic:

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It looks just like the recessed on/off switch that are so common on karaoke mics. It’s almost as if, starting at some point in the 1980’s, it became the standard switch style for the entire karaoke industry. That said, they do sometimes show up on non-karaoke mics

This switch type has a thin metal sticker hiding two screw holes above and below the rectangular hole for the switch button.


Here are some random examples of this switch type on both karaoke mics and others:

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The central problem so far has been that mics with this type of on/off switch didn’t seem to become popular until the 1980’s. I’ve not been able to find solid evidence of one from the 1970’s yet, although their sudden explosion to every corner of the market by the 80’s strongly suggests to me an earlier, smaller start, with just one or two makers in the mid to late 70’s using it. The added problem is, dating microphones is not easy. Almost nobody who sells or talks about microphones online seems interested in dating them much. You have to hunt down catalogs and brochures to get a definitive answer most of the time.

Here is a drawing with dims by @RafalFett :

Here is a link to his model:

I wish I could afford the aluminum print!

The specific proportions of the holes and the length of the tube are unique and I’ve not come across it yet. I’ve been searching for a while with the help of RafalFett and others, but I personally can’t spend much more time at it. I wanted to share this info with everyone so it can be found sooner rather than later. If you do start looking, one brand to completely ignore is Shure brand mics. They never have the correct on/off switch style.

Whoever finds it, just give me a tip before you blow the lid off! 😉

To be honest, any metal mic of the correct size and shape will be good enough for your costume. The one sitting on the table in Mario’s pic might actually be a very rare early version of the now common karaoke mic for all we know. Which would be par for the course with the found parts on this costume.

It’s good to keep in mind they could have used different mics for the costumes that stayed at ILM. Mario’s photo only tells us for sure about what was on the touring costumes, although it does look consistent with the Supertrooper’s shin tool.

It’s also entirely possible it’s not even a mic. I don’t know what, but perhaps with the photographic evidence another more viable candidate can be discovered by others. I do think we can dismiss the “scalpal holder” from the Boba Fett parts sheet as either a mistake, something that was later changed, or there weren't enough of them for all the costumes and they substituted with mics for the rest.

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Regardless of what the object actually is, I'm pretty certain it's the mystery shin tool we are looking at in Mario’s photo.

I would just like to remind everyone that Art Andrews floated the idea of it being a microphone as far back as 2010 that I can recall, though we had nothing to go on back then so no way to judge all the mics being suggested. Maybe we have enough to go on now that this can be finally be found! Go out there and find it. If you do find it, please share. If we can't find it soon, a replica made from RafalFett’s model seems like it would be plenty good, especially if we can get it chrome or nickel plated!

I can’t thank RafalFett enough for making the model and sending me the STL file. It’s been a great tool to help with the search and also was critical in making the video a more effective presentation. And of course, many thanks to Mario for finding the old photo, sharing it, letting us scan it, and giving his permission for the recreation photos and the blow-up from the actual photo.

Okay. Enough research. I have to finish this build and the PP2 this summer or I'll end up in the looney bin.

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Gosh, it's been two years already since I posted that I was going to overhaul my gauntlets (ESB - WIP: Ord Mantell's ESB Build). I started rolling on that when suddenly I realized the photogrammetry stuff by @Minute was on the horizon and going to completely replace the fettpride shells I started overhauling. So that was halted until the day came where I had everything I needed to begin again. That time is finally here.

I already did build a set of gauntlets from the new shells by MinuteFett for my PP2 build, but I didn't detail that build like I will here.

So I re-started the overhaul by stripping and throwing away the old fettpride gauntlet shells. :LOL:


Blech! :sick:

I'm starting with the right gauntlet. Below are the new shells with the found parts stripped out of the old ones and some other new parts. MinuteFett let me pull these shells myself. First time for me. Thank you, Luis, for these beauties! The best gauntlets we've ever had.


I slightly updated my original michell darts. I used to have a short one, now they are all the same length but two are short tipped and two are long tipped.


The Alco switches are replaced with the correct RS-branded Honeywell version of the same type of switch. I did a comparison between the Alco and Honeywell a while back. They look pretty much identical on the part that shows. The ones I got are NOS but slightly newer than late 70's judging by the packaging fonts.


I want to thank @Cantina_Dude and @meager_keeg for the authentic replica whipcord housing greeblie (thread post: Gauntlet Whipcord Housing - Free Download!). They didn't make a big deal about this when they announced it, but this model is based directly on the original found part and is highly accurate. You definitely want this for your build. The model is FREE, so they couldn't have made it much easier for the community. A huge gift to us all. Big thanks to you guys! 🙌


Also something else I had been wanting to get made for a couple years are accurate metal replicas of the Michell stylus brush rod without the extra hole drilled through. These superb replicas by @MachineCraft are pretty much indistinguishable from the two originals I own. Thanks, Dakota.


It takes a community of talented people to be able to have parts like this, and I am so grateful for all of you. We are really blessed to have so many.

After doing a rough trim of the shells, I start mapping out where greeblies get installed by printing 1:1 scale images like below from ESB references. Same idea as placing stencil printouts on armor.





At the front where the lightbulb for the flashlight sits, be sure to just drill out the hole for the bulb instead of cutting out the whole window.

For the greeblie on the very top of the gauntlet, I wanted it to be made of white plastic, so I molded and recast the part provided by MinuteFett with smooth-on.


I'm also 100% sure this is a found part and it'll probably be discovered someday, so I glued it on with E-6000. My favorite non-destructive adhesive that will allow me to remove it without much fuss when the day comes.


For shaving down the Michell brush rod, I found that placing it in the real gas lighter shell found by @RafalFett made it super easy to sand down to the correct depth and angle.


The solid aluminum gets pretty hot while sanding, so this is only possible because the plastic of the gas lighter is pretty strong and resistant to the heat. You wouldn't want to have it in a resin print like this and sand it. It'll probably melt the resin pretty quick. I had to dip the rod in cold water a couple of times to cool it down, but I was able to sand it down in about 20 minutes with a power sander.


To paint the whipcord housing, the references on ESB are not exactly ideal. Although it does look fairly similar to the PP1, it definitely has it's own unique masking quirks.

I basically took the best references we have and put them in photoshop, along with orthographic views of Cantina_Dude's model and aligned them best I could and printed out at 1:1, again like a stencil.

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Not easy and not perfect.



And then to finish this greeblie... just install the stylus brush, stripboard, and dental drills.


Thanks again to meager_keeg for the guidance on the interior build of this piece. The screw and two shims on the rod really make a big difference. Thanks to MachineCraft for the NOS brass screw.





I'm using a skinny silver since I want a mid-production version of the gauntlet.
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