Painting & Modeling

Fashion Police: Boba Fett & the History of Mandalorian Armor

Looking for paint-spiration for your favorite Mdanalorian armor-wearing bounty hunter? Let's dive into the history of the Mandalorians and Boba Fett.

The Mandalorians have always been a tough people.

War is in their veins, dating back millennia.

On Mandalorian Armor

It wasn’t until about a thousand year before the events of the Galactic Civil War, though, that they developed their iconic set of armor. Faced by an enemy they couldn’t understand or overcome – the Jedi – the Mandalorians created a material that would be resistant to lightsabers and even some force powers and molded it into a protective, wearable form. The Mandalorians lost the Mandalorian-Jedi War (the same war in which Tarre Vizsla created and lost the darksaber), and saw their home world ravaged by its affects.

But they did learn from this defeat, and took new knowledge forward as they continued to perfect and develop their armor, turning it into not just an instrument of war but a cultural touchstone. So the Mandalorian armor was born.

Over time, it developed three primary characteristics:

First, a T-shaped helmet which would later go on to inspire the armor of Clone Troopers.

Second, a powerful and resourceful vambrace which could be outfitted with repulsors, shields, flamethrowers – almost anything a Mandalorian could dream.

And third, colorful markings that symbolized the wearer’s past, present, and future. Grey, perhaps, to represent death. Green for duty. Or orange for passion. The colors might also not mean anything. The most important thing was that a Mandalorian’s armor was distinctly theirs.

The tradition of distinctive Mandalorian armor continues on, with new standard-bearers like Sabine Wren, Bo-Katan, and Pre Vizsla. But their armor still ties them to their planet’s past.

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On Boba and Jango Fett

Jango Fett wasn’t a Mandalorian.

In fact, he was considered by the Mandalorians to be a “renegade and pretender,” this despite his own claim of being born on Concord Dawn, a nearby planet. He did, of course, wear a (presumably stolen) suit of authentic Mandalorian armor during his time as a feared bounty hunter.

BobaJango_CVD.jpgSome years later, before the Clone Wars, Jango was recruited by Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus to be the template for a clone army. Jango agreed, and added in a request (on top of several million credits, of course) that one clone be kept for himself, unaltered, to be his son.

The child was named Boba, and the little clone wouldn’t know his father too long before Jango was killed at the hands of Mace Windu. Enraged at the Jedi, Boba trained as a bounty hunter and swore vengeance on Windu. Despite never being able to achieve that particular goal, Boba earned a reputation for himself – at some point either stealing or earning enough money for his own set of Mandalorian armor – and came into the employ of Jabba the Hutt. It was here that he would meet Luke Skywalker and fall into the Pit of Carkoon, presumably ending his life.

Why I’m Writing All of This on a Tabletop Blog

To be frank: I don’t have anything to add to an already excellent archive of instructions on how to paint Boba Fett. In fact, I’ll link you right now to Mark Sorastro’s tutorial for the Imperial Assault mini, which is far better than anything I could come up with.

(Although, admittedly, I would make the green a bit more on the side of olive.)

But more than any other character that has been released in Star Wars: Legion yet, Boba Fett has me the most excited as a hobbyist and miniature painter.

Canonically speaking, Mandalorian armor is a blank canvas on which brave warriors would display their heritage and creativity through intricate markings and bold colors. Since Jango and Boba weren’t true Mandalorians it’s difficult to say what their armor meant to them. Regardless, they lived up to the ideal of uniqueness and identity that made the early Mandalorian armor so potent.

What I want to do with this post is encourage you, dear reader, to live up to that same Mandalorian ideal. If you want to paint a traditional Boba Fett – do so! Jango? Sure! Sabine? She did technically go to the Imperial Academy, I suppose, so go for it!

But if you’re up for a challenge, make your own, personal Mandalorian armor. Use colors that are important to you, and incorporate designs that mean something. Or don’t! Make it look as badass as you want, all black with flames on the side. Make it a Hello Kitty spin-off. Whatever you do, make it your own. There will be plenty of movie accurate Boba Fetts to go around – push your own skill by trying something completely different.

I did just that, making a Shadow Collective Super Commando (from the Clone Wars, season 5) to match my red and black themed army.

I’d love to see yours as well.

Happy painting, Commanders!

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