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Allegiance Mara Build Thread


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Hello everyone,


My name is Katherine, and I'm a member of Imperial Sands Garrison (as well as Sunrider Base/Rebel Legion, Jedha Temple/Saber Guild, and Crimson Empire Spire/Dark Empire). Mara Jade is my favorite Star Wars character, and while I love the standard jumpsuit that I have for her, I'd like to do the more badass looking variant from the book Allegiance and it's surrounding material. I've been thinking about this and slowly working on it for the past few years, and am hoping to get it done for Celebration. I'd like to call this variant "Emperor's Hand," as it is exclusively worn in the two novels that focus on her time with the Empire.


Previously someone has tried to make a costume off of the reference images from Choices of One, the second book in this duology, and I thank her for the work she did, as some of it is helpful to me in this similar costume. I will say that I believe they are intended to be the same costume, but the artists moved in different directions.


I've been talking to Nina, and things are good so far, so she suggested that I start a thread here. I'll be breaking things up into a few posts to make things easier to read and comment on than a giant wall of text.

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Primary References 





Source: The Essential Reader's Companion

Artist: Darren Tan  

Reference Nickname: “V”

Note: In some of the references below I lightened this image so that the seams and other details were more apparent.



Source: Cover art for Japanese edition of Allegiance

Artist: Tsuyoshi Nagano 

Reference Nickname: “J”         

Note: There’s some perspective weirdness on her right arm in this image.


Secondary References




Source: The New Essential Chronology

Artist: John Van Fleet. 

Reference Nickname: “NEC”

Note: This reference has stylistic high contrast, which makes it appear somewhat different, but the construction is actually the same.




Source: Allegiance (hardcover) back cover art

Artist: John Van Fleet

Reference Nickname: “HC”



Both of these references provide details on the shin guards, and what is not in shadow aligns with the references J and V for the most part*


*The HC shoulder bell looks nothing like the others


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Tertiary References





Promo art for Allegiance from Random House of the Battle for Happer’s Way. 

Artist: Chris Scalf                       

Reference Nickname: “RH”

Note: This is questionably the same costume as the other references. The major pieces seem to be present except for the belt. We do see shoulder bells on both sides here, proof of symmetry, as well as the arm gauntlets we see in reference V.






Choices of One Paperback Cover

Artist: Daryl Mandryk                        

Reference Nickname: “PB”


Here be dragons - We’ve moved from art associated with Allegiance to that of Choices of One. Changes happen, although the overall look is the same, but with different details.


It is reasonable to say that a paperback book cover received the most funding out of any of these references, and therefore it became more detailed than the rest. I would like this to only be used as confirmation of symmetry. i.e. she has shoulder bells on both sides and the elbow plates and forearm guards exist as an optional accessory.




Approved concept art pieces for the Choices of One paperback 

Artist: Daryl Mandryk        

Reference Nickname: “CON”



Basically this just shows a view of the back, and that there’s nothing unexpected in the way of armor or otherwise going on back there.



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Now let's go piece by piece for each component of the costume.


For now I'm  going with three separate pieces. I could however be convinced that the pants are attached to the flexible armor chest piece like a jumpsuit, but I’m not entirely sure how to put that method of construction on a human body. In any case, the materials appear to be leather-like with a low to medium sheen.



I plan to use internal suspenders between the chest piece and pants, as well as some thin magnets to keep everything in place. It will probably take some experimentation.





1. Shirt


Shirt covers the upper chest, with full length sleeves and a high collar. 


The shirt is looser than the flexible armor layer (described below.) Pretty consistent throughout these three references. It is likely some kind of light pleather.


Note that the bottom right image is reference NEC, which has the stylized high contrast and shadow. I included it to show confirmation of where the shirt and flexible armor layer meet.





2. Pants: Well fitted, seams are on the sides (references J &V) and crotch (reference V).


The bottom of the flexible armor meets the pants at roughly a 110 degree angle (reference V). Leather or leather-like material. I’m planning to attach pants to the flexible armor piece with internal button suspenders in the front and back. Probably some magnets or velcro on the sides under the gray pieces will be helping me out too. There might be a strap on the left thigh (reference V), but I'm inclined to ignore it.

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3. Flexible armor: leather or leather-like and sturdy. More fitted than the top. Wraps around to the back.


Center piece is black, probably the same material as the pants. It has a bit of a sweetheart neckline in the center. Additional seams may have to be added for real person boobs.


Dark gray in color on sides, four panels of roughly the same height and width, but curve upward and decrease slightly at the top. There is a fifth segment that comes down the hips about halfway to the buttocks. There is a circle near the very bottom.


Top belt attaches near the gray part of this piece. Snaps rather than Chicago screws on that side may be a practical option so that the belt can be removed if/when the chest piece needs cleaning.




Overall seam placement is supported by references V, J, and NEC* 


*Note that NEC has especially high contrast, and details are lost in shadows. It can be assumed that the gray panels extend further.

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4. Gloves: Black leather or leather-like material. 


Shown coming to the wrist in references V, HC, and NEC. They appear somewhat longer in reference J, but perspective is weird on that arm in general.





5. Shoulder bells: Overall unadorned, with a raised lip around the edge. Reference NEC is high contrast so the lip is much more visible there.


Edges are rounded. The piece is thickest at the top of the shoulder where it is roughly rectangular and tapers downwards to curve.


We only see the shoulder bell on her right side well, but our tertiary references confirm symmetry on the left.

Edited by kwinchell
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6. Top Belt: Connects to the chest piece at the edge of the gray material. Having it snap on is likely the most practical option. Sits around the vicinity of the belly button

Looking closely at ref V (right), you can see that it connects the same way on her left as her right.



The attached leather or leather-like material is not much longer than the buckle on each side.


Assuming the belt buckle has the standard type of fastener, the length of one piece of leather should be roughly:

((width of front panel of chest piece/2)-buckle length) = X


And the length of the other piece will roughly be:

(X+buckle length)



Belt buckle is the same height or slightly taller than the belt.


Chicago screws or similar are stacked vertically in pairs on each edge of the belt. Eight total.




7. Lower belt


Optional? Does not appear in reference J, and *probably* not in NEC and HC, it is hard to tell if it is there due to lighting and positioning.


Slightly thinner than the top belt. Sits low on the hips and wraps fully around. I plan to put snaps under the pouch furthest to the front to keep it positioned on my hip.



Two on her right hip, the one further back is a rectangle and the one closer to the front is a square.


Do we want to include the two pouches on her left (ref PB, below) as optional? 



Rectangular interlocking buckle at center.


Posts and two sets of vertical Chicago screws connect segments of belt together.




Edited by kwinchell
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8. Lightsaber: Pinkish red. Silver/Gunmetal hilt. I would say anything that looks vaguely like these references that isn't distinctly another character's saber is acceptable.




9. Shin guards: Wrap a little more than three quarters of the way around the shins. Sit just on the knee, and above the ankle. Appears to be attached directly to the boot with no visible straps.


Same type of material and color as the other armor pieces. Has a lip like the shoulder pieces. 


Red circle at top. Black triangle at the bottom. Diagonal embellishments on the side. Long thin design with a circle at the top goes up the center about to about midway.


10. Boots: plain black boots with a low heel made of leather or leather like material. 


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Optional Items 


Since these are only in one of the four primary/secondary references, I would say they could be optional. I plan to make them though.




11. Elbow pads: Five or six sided shape, taller than it is wide. Same material as other armor pieces. No lip.





12. Forearm Gauntlets: Oval shape on outer side, parallel lines on inner side


Shown best in reference V. Not shown in references J, NEC, and HC. Possibly shown in reference RH. Appears in different design in supplemental reference PB

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Current state of the armor:




5. Shoulder bells: A Mando friend helped me shape these. I'm currently at the stage of putting the lip on the edge, so I globbed a bunch of putty on. I need to borrow an electric hand sander from a friend to smooth it out. I'm open to suggestions if there's a better way to put the lip on.


11. Elbow pads: These are almost done. Currently there's a primer coat on them that I need to sand a bit before painting for realsies.





9. Shin guards: I cut them. Need to shape them with a head gun next. I think I'm going to bend it before putting the embellishments on so that I get them centered correctly. Is that a mistake? I'm still an armor noob.


12. Forearm guards: I have the bone structure of a bird, so I was able to just chop the bottom off a cup and use that as a base. I need to dremel in the embellishments and then sand and paint.

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Early WIP on #3, the chest piece


20200126_205641.thumb.jpg.f5580bb83d3c47abc40eff26054116a8.jpg 20200209_210121.thumb.jpg.48064768e266c724fc040336ef27e7b9.jpg



And it's current state, which is messy:




This has been giving me the most trouble, particularly the little wedge details on the sides. I've been experimenting with different materials as an insert and all have been a bust so far. It's hard to get something that adds sturdiness but it still form fitting. Up next to try is neoprene. We'll see. It zips in the side of the back so the zipper is as invisible as possible.



Edited by kwinchell
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1. Shirt: This is still a WIP, I haven't fixed the collar yet, but I needed it to exist in some form to be able to work on the chest piece. It is a very light pleather.




It looks less wrinkly when it is on me.


This is the texture of it:





2. Pants: I actually got these off of Shannon McRandle's Poshmark when she posted in a Mara FB group that she was putting some things up for sale to help her cover medical bills.




These also look less like a wrinkly trash bag when on me.



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4. Gloves: found these at my parent's house, my mom hadn't used them in years so I was able to take them. (Thank goodness, sewing gloves is the WORST)




10. Boots: I got these on clearance since I'm going to sacrifice them to this costume since the shins will be glued on. I'll be cutting off the strap.


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6. Top Belt: I have the leather, but I'm waiting to finish the chest piece first to cut it so that it is correctly proportional. My dad has the equipment to cut metal and I don't, so I sent him a Tandy belt blank and he's going to cut the edges into it.


7. Lower Belt: I'm currently searching for that funky little buckle, I believe it might be entirely fictional and need to be 3D printed, so I've asked a friend to help me with it.





8. Lightsaber: the wonderful Shayé Whitmer built me a beater saber for Saber Guild that has Tri-CREE LEDs in it, and makes a lovely pinkish red when I put the red LED through my purple day blade.

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On 3/24/2022 at 6:52 PM, kwinchell said:

7. Lower Belt: I'm currently searching for that funky little buckle, I believe it might be entirely fictional and need to be 3D printed, so I've asked a friend to help me with it.

If it comes down to it, you could always take one of these types of buckles and modify it with an etched line down the center. 


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Some armor updates!


I ended up removing all the putty and replacing it with thin strips of sintra




Which then needed to be filled and sanded over and over. I'm happy with the shape of them now, I just need to paint them.





I drew on the shin guards and started to shape them




This was my first time using a dremel, and while they turned out okay I'm not entirely happy with them. Some of the circles ended up off center, but I'm not really sure how to fix that 



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Have you tried heating up a metal cilinder of the same diameter as the one you want to carve and then press into the sintra?
A heating gun can do the work, try it on a little piece before doing it on the real shin.

Good Luck!!

Enviado desde mi SM-G780G mediante Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, Joak said:

Have you tried heating up a metal cilinder of the same diameter as the one you want to carve and then press into the sintra?
A heating gun can do the work, try it on a little piece before doing it on the real shin.

Good Luck!!

Enviado desde mi SM-G780G mediante Tapatalk

That's a great idea, thank you! That should make a much neater circle.

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