DIY Kitbashing Phone case Star Wars Datapad

My finished kitbashed Star Wars inspired phone case Datapad

In anticipation for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars fans have been coming up with a fun new way to interact with the land. They’ve been kitbashing (taking bits and pieces out of model kits and layer them onto an item to turn it into something else) and turning phone cases into Star Wars Datapads and I knew from the second I saw one, I wanted to make one myself.

I started by ordering a heavy duty cell phone case that had a bigger surface area surrounding the phone so I had more places to glue stuff. A lot of people use pieces (also called greebles/greeblies/nurnies) from WWII tank models and the like, but since I was making this specifically to fit in the Star Wars universe, I decided to get the Bandai X-Wing Starfighter kit. Once everything finally arrived (thank you Amazon Prime!) I fortunately had all the tools I needed to get started, but if you want to make one of your own, here’s what I’d recommend to make your own personal Datapad.

To build the case
• Phone case
• Model kit (kits), though not necessary. Legos, bits from your junk drawer, etc. totally work, too!
• Glue (I used Krazy glue, but I know a lot of people recommend contact cement for models)
• Tweezers*
• Mini needle nose pliers*
• Mini flat nose pliers*
• Mini side-Cutting Pliers*
• *Note, I got all of these in a jewelry making kit ages ago. You can get them pretty cheap at your local craft store and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used them! Worth the money.
• Small shallow solid box/container
• Eye protection (little plastic pieces will fly everywhere! Trust me on this, protect your eyes)
• Emery board/sand paper

To paint the case
• Gloves
• Paint
• Paper towels
• Q-tips
• Sponges
• Brushes
• Toothpicks
• Masking tape

Went with a classic X-Wing for my kit to bash
Phone case ready to be transformed

Once I had all that assembled, I opened up the kit and just started pulling out pieces/bits and bobs/greeblies/nurnies(pick your word) that I liked or seemed interesting. This is where that small box/container will be your friend as those pieces are small and like to migrate. Also, while a lot of the greeblies were fairly easy to pull off the frame by hand, there were times those pliers were my friends.

These bits are worse than Legos when it comes to migration! So much easier to keep them all together in a shallow container.

Let the fun/frustration begin! This is where you can really get creative arranging and rearranging all the pieces around your phone case/soon to be datapad. There are no rules for this so have at it! Some people just pick stuff they like, glue it wherever seems interesting, and go from there, and they look great. I wanted mine to look more functional (you could see where things plugged in/connected to each other) so my challenge was to use pieces from the kit to make that happen, which is both fun, and frustrating. As many pieces as there are in the kit, I found myself wishing I’d bought another kit for something else just to have more bits and bobs to choose from. Keep in mind, the frame work the greeblies come in can be used, too, so don’t be in a hurry to throw any of those plastic pieces out. You never know what might work!

Arranging pieces to see what I like

After finally finding an arrangement that worked, I glued all the pieces down to the phone case and let it dry.

All glued down
Added a little R2-D2 head to the top!

Once all the glue was set, it was time to paint. This is where the gloves come in because if you’re anything like me, you will end up with several layers of paint all over your fingers and hands, so I highly recommend gloves, especially if spray painting.

Basic black

I was indecisive as to what color I wanted it to be at first. I started by painting it all black, thinking I would add silver highlights and stuff. I ultimately decided I wanted it to look more like metal, and repainted it in a metallic silver. I liked how the details popped more, but I also felt it needed a few more greeblies to balance it out. After the silver paint dried, I glued a few more pieces down, let the glue dry, and then went over those new pieces with more silver paint.

Extra pieces added before paint
All silver and pretty…for now
I used masking tape to cover the inside of the case to protect it from paint

I wanted mine to look aged and worn, kind of like something you’d find on the Millennium Falcon, that has a lot of wear, tear, and grime, so the next steps were to age it. There’s a lot of great videos and blogs out there on how to weather/age things, but the basics of it are this: paint it on, wipe it off. Repeat. I used a water base paint so that I could water it down and create a wash effect, but I found it looked best when I used a brush to just paint on a color, and then use a sponge, paper towel, cloth, q-tip, etc. to wipe it off (sometimes all of the above depending on how much paint you put on/want to take off)

First pass at ageing was with black paint and a black wash (black paint diluted with water).

I love how the black pops all the little details!

Second pass with rust colored paint and wash.

Sooo dirty

Last step was to add little details. I used some red, white, and blue paints and toothpicks to add just a tiny little bit of color to certain pieces to make it look like buttons, lenses or wiring. I have a feeling I might add more detailing in the future when I come back from seeing Galaxy’s Edge, but for now I’m happy with this.

Little dots of color

Let it all dry (and letting everything dry is the HARDEST part for me), insert phone, and…you have yourself your very own datapad!

Finished front
Finished back

I’m super happy with how this came out and had a ton of fun making it. It’s a lot easier than it looks, just messy 😉 Have you kitbashed a phone case into a datapad? Got any tips or questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments. Good luck on your kitbashing, and may the Force be with you!

Black Widow Ops Training Jacket

It’s been 4 days since the start of the new year and I’ve been getting my Y/E/S in every day.  It’s been great, but today I woke up sore and tired, and it was a struggle getting out the door.   To motivate myself, I decided to make a fun workout jacket, inspired by one of my favorite characters, Marvel’s Black Widow.

Posing with my favorite Avengers at the 2015 Disneyland Avengers 5k

Black Widow is my favorite Avenger, and the character I think of when I want to channel my inner badass. With my theme for 2019 being “Training Montage,” I thought what better motivation than one of those “property of” themed athletic jackets, only inspired by the place where Black Widow got her start: The Red Room.  The Red Room is a fictional Soviet training facility in Marvel Comics that was created to train highly specialized spies, and it’s where Natasha Romanoff honed her skills and became the Black Widow.

I first looked online to see if anyone was selling a jacket like that, but I couldn’t find anything to purchase.  Enter my Silhouette Cameo.  I was so hesitant to buy this machine, but it turned out to be one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It has paid for itself countless times over with all the fun costumes, clothing, and other things I’ve been able to create because of it!

The best tool I ever bought!

Inspired by various designs I found online, I created my own “Property of Red Room Training Black Widow Ops” design in the Silhouette Cameo program.  Once the design was finalized, I sent the vinyl through the Cameo to be cut, and then weeded away the excess. Armed with a newly purchased red and black fleece jacket from Amazon, and freshly prepped designs for the front, back and sleeves, it was time to iron it all on!

Cut and weeded heat transfer vinyl ready to be ironed onto my jacket.
Before ironing (I made a mistake weeding one of the “I’s” in “training” so I cut another one and added it later.)
Missing “I” replaced and back of the jacket finished!

I wanted something a little different for the front, and when I found a Russian translation for The Black Widow Ops Program I thought it’d be a fun nod to her origins, and make for an interesting design.

Getting ready to iron on the front design.
Finished front and sleeve.
Front and sleeves of my finished Red Room Training jacket.
Back of my Red Room Training jacket.

A few minutes later and all finished! Brand new training jacket!  I’m so pleased with the way it turned out, I may make a tank to match. I can’t wait to wear this on my next training run and channel my inner Avenger!