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You thought it was hard to see in a Stormtrooper helmet?  Try walking down a flight of stairs in a Death Star Gunner helmet!  Read on to learn more about this unusual uniform...

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The Helmet

Like so many of the helmets in Star Wars, the Death Star Gunner helmet uses the WWII Navy Mk II as its base.  This appears to have been vacuformed in black styrene.  This helmet uses the same rear "scoop" as the Rebel Fleet Trooper, but it is placed a little further back on the helmet, for a slightly different appearance.   The communications module on the left side of the helmet also seems to be the same one used on the RFT, with a few colored buttons added to the front.  This comm module also has 3 to 4 raised vertical lines toward the rear of the box.  

The first pic below is from the Magic of Myth exhibit at Celebration II.  This picture clearly shows the box details, but note that the comm module has been rotated to the right (see the scratch marks).  The helmet is usually seen with an antenna.  

The bill portion of the helmet is anybody's guess.  Maybe it was custom sculpted?  It may also just be the rear portion of the scoop attached backwards and upside down.  

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Celebration II Display
(rotated antenna position)


Picture shows upright
antenna position


Nice clear helmet shot
with button details


Picture shows variation
antenna position


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The Uniform

Death Star Gunners can be seen wearing a black jumpsuit or coveralls with insignia patches on the sleeves.  I've been unable to find good reference pics, but the DSG jumpsuit/coveralls appear to be identical to the jumpsuit worn by the Tie Pilots, AT-AT Drivers, Rebel Technicians, etc.  The first pic below shows my take on these coveralls using reference pics and the Marmit TIE Pilot figure.  

Based on this link, I think a racing coverall was used during filming, but this is unconfirmed.  Note that the suit shown at this link is a custom suit that does not have all the pockets, but it has several key elements, especially the collar fastening.  

I'm not aware of the correct suit being found currently, but most troopers use a flight suit.  Personally, I think unlined coveralls look more accurate, but you'll still need to add pockets.  There are plenty of online sources for around $30 to $40, but they will require some minor modification for accuracy (like adding pocket flaps).  Try All Seasons for coveralls, or Ted's Surplus and Ranger Joes for flightsuits.

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Here's my take
on the coveralls


DSG with snowflakes
on sleeves from ANH


Good shot of ROTJ uniform
without chest armor


Back of ANH
Gunner's uniform

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The Chest Armor

Death Star Gunners can be seen with black armor on their chest in ANH and ROTJ.  In ANH, this armor appears to be a leather jacket with a close fitting cut as shown in the first and second pic.  The second pic shows that the jacket came with and without a shoulder snowflake.  

In ROTJ, this armor is the same prop used for the shoulder pauldrons on the Sandtroopers.  It appears that this piece is actually chest armor worn by BMX bike racers in the 70's.  See the pic below for the armor from the Vintage Iron website.  The color is wrong, but the cut is accurate.  

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ANH leather jacket


ANH leather jacket with
and without snowflake


Vintage Iron BMX armor


Armor on shoulder
of Sandtrooper


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The Gloves

Some of the Death Star Gunners wear black leather gauntlet gloves, while others wear none.  If you choose gloves, the gloves seem to be the same used by the Death Star Troopers and Tie Pilots, and have a smooth finish on the gauntlet, with vertical stitching, and no buckles.  The best match I've found are the gloves from Excalibur Leather.  These are a bit pricey at $58 with shipping, but look reasonably accurate.  These gloves are also close, but they are also kind of expensive.  If accuracy's not a big deal for you, most motorcycle shops have similar gloves.  You can also find cheaper gauntlet gloves at Stompers Boots or ToughGloves.

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DSG without
gloves from ANH


Good shot of the gloves
from a ROTJ Gunner

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The Boots

The general consensus on the boots is that they're WWII German Jackboots, with a straight cut across the top and a rounded toe.  Sportsman's Guide often has East German surplus jackboots that are a close match (see my boots below).  The only problem is that they are often out of stock.  These boots have a pebble finish, which is likely not 100% accurate, but this is a pretty minor and insignificant detail in my opinion.  

An alternative is a motorcycle style boot.  You have two options.  One is a harness boot, while the other is the conductor boot.  The harness boot has a harness assembly (which will need to be removed), and a square toe.  The conductor boot is much closer, but usually has a buckle at the top of the boot on the outside (which you could remove).  

There are also some black work boots that are close, but these are hit and miss, and are usually not completely flat across the top.  Try Wal-Mart or a western store.  

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My Boots from
Sportsmans Guide


My Boots from
Sportsmans Guide

DS Gunner boots

DS Trooper screen
capture of boots

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The Belt

The belt is a 2 inch wide leather belt with a rectangular belt buckle.  Tandy Leather has everything you need to make this yourself, including a 2 inch belt blank, a square buckle blank, and one bottle of black dye.  To make the belt, you'll need a punch for the buckle holes.  Also, if you buy the belt blank without the snaps, you'll need snaps and a snap setter.  

Based on the pictures in the Visual Dictionary, the buckle was slightly curved (along the shape of the stomach), and may have been made of stainless steel.  


My belt from
Tandy materials


Belt on a
ROTJ Gunner

Reproduction 
greeblie for belt


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