Snowtrooper standing watch.

The Trench Coat


The Trench Coat portion of the Snowtrooper costume was custom sewn by ILM artisans. ILM made two different trench coats for the movie. One was what we believe to be a prototype, this is the ultra clean Snowtrooper Commander costume, the rest of the trench coats were the standard snowtroopers we saw running around in Hoth.

The major differences between the Commander trench coat and the standard snowtrooper trench coat are:

  • the Commander trench Coat is a stark white costume (unfettered with distressing techniques).
  • a blaster holster was placed on the Commanders waist belt instead of the two equipment pouches (as seen on the standard snowtrooper).

We here at Studio Creations/DH2 patterned our trench coat off of an old green Swiss Army trench coat that we had sitting in the closet. We 'seam ripped' the entire coat and used the resulting pieces of cloth as patterns for our own white trench coat. Some people call this "reverse engineering".

The cloth of both ILM trench coats look to be a winter weight Fleece that's been washed a couple of times, therefore wearing down the fabric and giving it that "pilly" look (small balls of cloth lint that adhere to the fibers on the cloth surface). This pilly look makes the costume look used and worn, a trait almost all Star wars costumes have. The Snowtrooper Commander Trench Coat does not have this worn look as much though, so you do not need to prewash it's cloth so much.

A heavy weight wool would work too (the kind of wool used in military blankets comes to mind) but getting any large amounts of Wool is very expensive.

For the hotter areas of the world, it has been recommended to use Cotton Duck Cloth, Cotton Canvas, or even Cotton Twill cloth rather than heavy wool or fleece. The wool and fleece are made to keep heat in and the summer heat can be torturous on a snowtrooper walking around.

Closeup shot of the snowtrooper commanders trenchcoat

The trench coat does not need a collar, but it does need a custom made button or velcro system for the front of the coat. Notice how the coat overlaps itself in the abdomen plate area custom cut to show the groin plate which is below the abdomen. Take particular notice how much the flaps overlap each other and are off center to the coat.

A cloth belt goes around the midrift of the coat, attaching to the abdomen armor and going through some belt loops in the coat. The belt needs to be placed far enough down on the coat so it is not completely hidden by the chest armor. You'll probably have to custom mark the trench coat belt loops location as the chest armor and the trench coat are being worn on the wearer.

Image showing the side seamline in the bottom portion of the coat. For the time being, we believe the Snowtrooper Trench Coat has three panels that make up the lower 'skirt' portion. Two panels that go from the front to the side, and the third panel goes from each side across the entire back. We are attempting to gain photos of a seam that MIGHT be present in the back of the coat, but so far we have not recieved any images that prove our theories. If you have an image of such a seam exisiting in an ILM Snowtrooper costume, please let us know. Also, if you have evidence that thre is NO seam in the back, that would be nice to know also. Thanks.

Measurements of the curve at the bottom of the trenchcoat The front corners of the trench coat are not squared off like a normal trench coat, they are actually rounded corners. The curve starts about 10 up inches from the corner and goes about 8 inches back.

The trench coat needs to be lined on the inside with a second layer of cloth so it has enough weight holding the cloth down so it drapes correctly like we saw in "The Empire Strikes Back" movie. You really only need to line the lower half of the trench coat though, this way the upper part is comfortable to wear

The Pouches

There are two equipment pouches that hang off the Trench Coat waist belt.

Mecahnical drawing of the pouches, with measurements. The two pouches measure 15.25 cm wide, 17.75 cm Tall and 5.4 cm deep. This is for normal sized 178 cm (5 foot 10 inch) tall people. if you are 10 cm (4 inches) shorter or taller, take off/add 15% to those measurements for scaling purposes.

The flaps on the front of the pouches are beveled opposite one another. The bevel goes from the middle of the pouch and towards the outside.

We doubled layered our duckcloth canvas to help in the "bulkiness" look of the pouches. We felt that one layer did not look right.

Pouch pattern for printingHere is a pattern for making your own pouches. Make sure the image prints out at the correct size. (Flip the pattern over to make the "opposite side" pouch).

You'll need to sew two 2-inch wide 'belt loops' to the back of the pouches so that you can attach the pouches to the trench coat belt.

Refer to the images in the Reference Pictures section of this website when sewing your Trench Coat. Keeping attention to placement of the belt loops, overlapping flaps and the curved corners are essential in making the costume look authentic to the movie costume.