Chinese Mandalorian Costume

Chinese Mandalorian Costume

Posted by Sanit Klamchanuan on Jun 13th 2024

Hi everyone, my name is Sanit KlamchanuanAKA Spicythaidesign. I have been crafting/marking since 2012. I am known for putting a twist into my costumes. 

Let me walk you through the making of my Chinese Mandalorian. Most people don't know that I am part Chinese. So it was important for me to showcase this side of my heritage to make my grandfather proud.

The first thing that I do is design. I look at the original source for inspiration and look at Chinese armor designs. 

After settling on the design that I want to make, I start prototyping the armor with cardboard. For the last couple of years I have started to use cardboard for all my prototyping because it is a great material. You can do so much with it: it's free and you will be recycling and saving the environment. Most importantly it is so much fun! You can whip up a whole armor very quickly! 

Making it out of cardboard, you get to see what the whole armor will look like and (most importantly) you can check for movements. 

Now that I have the basic shapes all worked out, I start to think about what materials I'll use. When it came to the plates, I will laser cut plastic, but I was worried about the weight because I was taking this costume to Fantasy Basel in Switzerland. So, I went with foam instant. Now I had to start cutting and punching holes; I think there were over 400 plates and 3,200 holes! The best way for me to paint all of them is to tape both sides onto a board, seal with Mod Podge, and paint with black/sliver to get gun metal and dry brush silver for highlights.


Now it's lacing time. I lost count of how many meters I used lacing (there were a lot), but this was the only way to get the effect I wanted.

For the rest of the armor pieces: the pauldrons were hand sculpted out of plasticine and moulded and cast out of resin. The helmet was made of Worbla wrapped over my cardboard prototype. 

And there it is! All done!!! I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Thank you :)

If you would like to explore these techniques and more, be sure to sign up for Cosplay Academy: Costume Techniques for Epic Makes, a live, virtual event on July 13th at 11am PT! Come join myself and a host of other cosplay crafters and try some of these techniques for yourself!


Shop Cosplay For You at C&T Publishing.

Sanit Klamchanuan is an award-winning cosplayer, prop maker, and designer. As an industry expert, Sanit travels the world to attend cosplay conventions, competing in and judging contests. He works at the world-renowned Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand. 

Instagram: @spicythaidesign