Feet

Reference Images 

General Information 

Original Trilogy
  1. According to an interview with Stuart Freeborn in Star Wars Insider Issue #70 (pages 40 through 44), the Chewie costume included 4” lifts on the feet.
MoM Feet
  1. These appear to have no distinct toes; just a pair of brown slippers with some black or dark brown toe nails on the front.
  2. There are five black/dark grey toe nails/claws. They are curved against the shape of the foot, and do not stick out like most monster feet.
  3. The shoes appear to be pull on shoes that have a set of shoe laces on both sides of the ankles.
  4. The hair starts at the base of the ankles.
  5. There are several tufts of dark grey hair that are not mixed in.
  6. The toe area of the shoes appear to curve up and do not make contact with the ground.
WSMI Feet
  1. The flesh color appears to be dark gray. The toe nails are a light cream color.
  2. There are five toes on each foot that are all roughly human shaped. The big toe is the largest, with each toe progressively smaller and shorter.
  3. There are five black/dark grey claws. They are curved against the shape of the foot, and do not stick out like most monster feet.
SWIC Feet
  1. The flesh color is a medium brown. The toe nails are dark gray or brown.
  2. These appear to be five long distinctive toes on each foot, but each toe is roughly the same shape as size as the others. There is only a slight curve towards the outside of the feet.
  3. These clearly use hair from National Fiber Technology, leading some to believe they were built for Revenge of the Sith. However, Chewie wears the same Wookiee feet as all of the other Wookiees in all photos of the ROTS suit.
  4. They appear to be in great shape, and have only appeared in photos of the suit used in the Star Wars In Concert tour, leading many to believe they are newly constructed for the various archive tours and are not a screen used piece.
  5. If they are from the original trilogy, then they would have to be from Return of the Jedi, since NFT did not exist until 1979.
  6. The shoes are laced up the front like tennis shoes. The hair snaps around them and continues all the way up to the tops of the ankles.
  7. There are five black/dark grey claws. They are curved against the shape of the foot, and do not stick out like most monster feet.
Revenge of the Sith
  1. The flesh color is medium gray with dark gray/black claws.
  2. The shoes appear to be pull on shoes with no laces and no hair on them.
  3. There are rows of buttons or snaps on the top and sides of the feet. These are probably used to attach the bottom of the costume to the shoes. Most likely the suit has enough hair fabric to cover the entire foot.
  4. The front of the foot is covered with a sculpted and cast rubber set of toes. The flesh is grey and the five toes are ambidextrous (the left and right feet are identical, not mirror images of each other). This means they only had to sculpt one foot and cast two for each pair of shoes, rather than sculpt a separate set of toes for each foot.
  5. The toes are very distinct and have claws that protrude pretty far out from the toes.

Materials & Construction 

Do-It-Yourself Platform Shoes

For shoes use a pair of sandals. Get sandals with three straps; one over the toes, one over the top of the ankle, and one behind the back of the ankle. When packed away, these take up less space than shoes. They are also more comfortable during warm weather. Thick socks can be worn during cold weather.

Get high-density EPS (extruded polystyrene) foam insulation. This can be found at Home Depot, Lowe's, and other home improvement stores. It comes in 2” wide boards that are either pink or blue. Contractor supply houses may have it even wider.

SAFETY NOTE: Be sure to wear a respirator mask and work in a well-ventilated area when working with EPS foam. The fumes are not good for you and the powder you will create when carving and sanding foam should not be inhaled.

Carving and Building Your Feet

Use the above pattern to carve your feet, but modify the top surface so that it conforms to the contours of your shoes or sandals. If using 2” foam you will want to use three pieces for each foot. Most platform shoes have a “Frankenstein Foot” problem when used for costumes. To avoid this, make sure your shoes or sandals are mounted at an angle that follows the natural slop of the foot, i.e. the heel should be higher up than the toes are, similar to women’s high heel shoes.

For my platforms I used Foam Fusion to glue the three layers of foam together. This can be purchased from Hot Wire Foam Factory. Duck and a number of others have used hot glue. Bear in mind that hot glue will melt the foam to some extent. Whatever adhesive you decide to use be wary of any solvents they may be present and do a test. Many glues often contain slow acting solvents that will dissolve EPS foam over the course of several hours, days, or even months. Avoid glues that require exposure to air in order to dry, as they will not cure.

I used high-temp hot glue to attach my sandals to the platforms. Be sure to fill in any and all gaps between your shoes/sandals and the foam feet.

Once all of the glue has cured, you will need to carve them into proper feet. I carved the basic shapes with my hotwire foam cutter and 4” Drywall Saw, but most of the rounding and fine shaping was done with a Rasp/File combo. For final detail work  and smoothing, use sand paper and an electric mouse sander. To remove excess powder, I used duct tape.

If you are going to sculpt and cast your own rubber toes, I recommend you do that now before you coat your foam feet.

Coating

Once you are finished carving your feet and you have cleaned up your mess, you will need to coat the foam in something durable. Duck and many others have simply used black duct tape. Others have used a variety of paints. I used a substance called “Foam Coat” which creates a durable shell when used on EPS foam. Foam Coat has several additives available that make it stronger and give it different surface properties. I used Bounce to give it a rubbery texture. Bounce is a rubberizer that is best for things like feet and props that will see a lot of wear and tear.

Normally Foam Coat is mixed with water, but for a flexible surface we are mixing it with Bounce instead. Although you can add water to thin the mixture this will dilute the bounce and result in a less flexible surface. You should get at least 16 onces of Bounce. I initially ordered their sample kit which included an 8 ounce bottle of bounce and a 3 pounds.

I worked in batches of 1 cup at a time, mixing ½ cup of Bounce with ½ cup of Foam Coat, and mixing with a paint trowel. Pour the Bounce in first, then mix the Foam Coat powder in after it. Then brush it on with a medium sized paint brush, making sure to keep a thick coating. To dry them I slid some long broom handles through the straps of the sandals and then suspended them between a pair of sawhorses. Full cure time is about 12 hours. You will probably have a few thin spots in the first coat, so go back and touch them up with a second coat. Once the foam coat has cured, sand away any bumps or rough spots so that the foot is as smooth as possible.

Painting
Adding the Hair
Commercial Platforms & Lifts
  1. 4 Inch Shoe Lifts
  2. Adult Monster Boots
Removing the Platforms

Commercial Stilts
Building the Toes
Upholstery Foam Carving
Cast Rubber/Foam
Commercial Costume Feet