I started my Darth Vader costume back in 1999. There was precious little information, except for VHS tapes and some other Vader fans that were also building their own costumes.
At the time there was a site called Galaxy Trading. This was the go to website if you were to become a member of the Empire! This is where you could kit yourself up as a Stormtrooper or as in my case, the Dark Lord himself.
I made myself some belt boxes, inner cape and body suit and I was away!
However, this was only ever meant as a display piece for my room.
Dale at Galaxy trading put me in contact with Graham Campbell from the little known organisation at the time, the UK Garrison.
Apparently they were looking for a Vader - and guess what? I fitted the bill!
Graham convinced me that it would be fun and to bring my costume along to their next event, which was an event called Jedicon, back in either 1999 or 2000. My armour and helmet were still in their black finish without any gunmetal paint applied - but at the time, this suit was the business!!
After that event, I was eager for more. So I got to enhancing my suit and collected as much reference material as I could in order to better my suit.
I had a close friend professionally spray the armour and helmet in the correct black and gunmetal finish, replaced the mesh and tusks in the helmet. And finally installed some custom curved lenses to the lid also.
I created a new belt with lighting, and also installed a looped breathing MP3 to my chest piece.
This ensemble was to become the staple Vader UK suit which I used for events. Pictures of which you will have seen on this site.