Rio Ca’tal was my first original twi’lek character, and is very near & dear to my heart. She’s a Mandalorian with a unique sense of style, and a character who has gone through dozens of iterations over the many years I have cosplayed her. Fans have joked that I’ve never worn the exact same Rio twice – there’s always some new upgrade or addition every time I cosplay her!
(To read more about Rio’s backstory and who the character is, please click here to see my OCs page about her!)
Rio Ca’tal’s light armor features a few key themes:
- Shiny black vinyl pants & bolero with a ‘boob window’ cut into it.
- Bright gold armor, only lightly weathered.
- Highly modular, so pieces can be added or removed on-the-go.
Sometimes she can be worn with a piece covering my midriff so I don’t have to paint as much, or different armor pieces can be swapped out (do I want thigh holsters today, or no?). Achieving that level of customization meant having to find a way to attach everything that wouldn’t look awkward if it was missing. In order to do that, everything is using hidden attach points! The bolero has magnets hidden inside it at all the key spots, so armor can snap in place easily.
Making lekku for Rio Ca’tal was a many-year adventure, and a big part of why I became a prop-maker in the first place. They are sculpted by hand from clay, and then molded & casted from latex with a highly flexible foam core. They are extremely lifelike – they move and wiggle with my head! Rio’s lekku are one of my most popular props today, generally selling out quicker than I can make them.
Rio's light armor has gone through many versions over the years, and I'm so proud of how she's grown, and how I've grown through cosplaying her.