The Vader Ranger: Under The Suit

The

Vader Ranger

Under the Suit

Height - Elevating Your Soles

If using full-scale prop parts, you need to be over six feet to avoid the bulbous bouffant dark helmet look. I was initially aiming at 6 foot 1. I got more ambitious as this project continued, but we'll come onto that.

I started by considering height extensions built into the footwear. To go from five foot eight to six foot, I'd need an additional four inches, more if I wanted to do Vader justice. I figured I can't be the first guy to ever do this, so I did an online search.

A number of shops assist people with their height to help improve stature and self-confidence, such as James Taylor and Son. After an enquiry, I quickly abandoned the idea of bespoke footwear when, having supplied my specifications, they quoted me 1750 (excluding VAT). As this included much after-care, perhaps this is a justified cost if I wanted to wear them everyday for the rest of my life, but not for this project!

Here's what worked for me:

  • I hunted down the best value riding boots I could find that matched Vader's style - full leather, rounded toe. Dressage or semi-dressage are better as they are less expensive and better angled for walking.
  • I sought out a local cobbler who would take on the modifications himself - no sending away, no chain stores. I wanted a man who knows, and loves, his craft. I made phone calls, I visited shops, I got recommendations.
  • I walked into his shop and discussed in good detail what I needed. If you do this, don't get embarrassed about explaining what this is for! The cobbler should understand the circumstances, so that he or she has the chance to really deliver.
  • When you're happy with the results, break in the boots. Work on creating a 'hinge' above where your ankle sits during wear.

I eventually wandered into this place: Cobblers of 2 Foord Street, in Rochester, telephone number (44) 01634 403775. Here they are, and I didn't regret trying their services. I could tell the man knew his work.

This site is in no way sponsored or endorsed by: George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., or any affiliates. Darth Vader is a trademark and copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd. Star Wars 2006 Lucasfilm Ltd. This is a chronicle of my own efforts and any action taken using my methods, ideas or advise is done so purely at your own risk. This site, layout, and contents are 2006 Matthew Ainge or their respective owners.

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