Complete Guide: Breather

The Tusken Raider breather is the device worn around the neck. It is supposed to be a type of respirator so Tuskens can either breathe through sandstorms or so they can breath oxygen (depending on which Legends story you want to go by).

The original prop was likely made with two WD40 cans cut in half and stuck together with the cap still on. The can would be similar to this style:

 WD40 CanBreather construction example

Adding a leather wrap, two flare nuts, and a necklace creates the breather or respirator.

These particular size cans are no longer in production, though similar sizes exist. Another possible found part is an inline fuel filter for a car or airplane. Something similar to a "FRAM G3641" filter.

Props are usually a combination of random items the prop maker had on hand or saw in random locations. This also causes some props to differ from others of the same purpose. This is very true with breathers as each one is different than the rest. An example are the two breathers at the bottom of this post. Both are movie accurate and screen used but both differ greatly on a detail point of view. However the idea overall they are the same.

Note: This guide is for the "A New Hope" style Tusken, the "Attack of the Clones" Tusken does not have a breather.

Items Needed

Method 1: Non-3D Printed Parts

Method 2: 3D Printed Parts

Breather Construction

Method 1: Non-3D printed parts

  1. Take your two aerosol cans and FULLY EMPTY THEM. Discharge the cans until absolutely nothing comes out (not even air). Failure to do so could result in injury.
  2. When you are absolutely sure the aerosol cans are empty take a saw or dremel tool and cut them both to be 1.5-2 inches tall (excluding the top). The height of each can depends on how long you want your breather to be and how wide your leather strip is.


Breather can cutting guide

  1. Tape both cut cans together using duct tape. Dispose of the longer, unneeded halves.
  2. Drill a 1/4th inch hole into the center of your two bottle caps.
  3. Glue your two flare nuts into the holes on the bottle caps.
  4. Glue the flare nut-bottle cap combination to the ends of the cut aerosol cans.


Method 2: 3D printed parts

You can avoid the aerosol can issue if you have access to a 3D printer. I got my files from Thingiverse and am happy with how they look.

  1. Take your printed cylinder and attach the printed end caps to either side.
  2. Glue the flare nuts into the holes on the end caps.


Necklace Length

The breather device should be fairly close to your neck. It should be large enough to slip over your head without the mask on and barley touch the mask when you look down.

  1. Wrap the copper tube around your neck.
  2. Put one end of the copper pipe at the flare nut on one side.
  3. Position the breather device at the correct distance around your neck. Wrap the copper tube to the other side of the breather device.
  4. Cut the copper tube at the length you have chosen to keep the breather in place.
  5. Make sure you can still get the entire breather device, with copper pipe, over your head before securing.
  6. Each end of the copper pipe will be inserted into the flare nuts on either side of the breather.
  7. If you have the copper tubing bending tool go ahead and use this to bend the tubing into the flare nuts at 90 degree angles. Otherwise just bend it by hand, though this will crimp the tube and make it less accurate.

Breather Painting

  1. Spray the assembled breather and copper pipe in black primer. Let dry for 24 hours.
  2. Spray the primed breather in silver spray paint. Let dry for 5-9 hours.

Leather Strip

  1. Cut your chosen leather strip slightly smaller than the length of your breather. You want the very edges of the can tops/end caps to show.
  2. Wrap the leather around the breather. With the leather slightly overlapping itself make a mark to cut.
  3. Cut the leather at the determined length. Spray adhesive on the rough side of the leather and on the cylinder part of the breather.
  4. Wrap the leather around the breather with the overlap on the front of the breather, pointing down.

Leather overlap

leather overlap on the breather

View from the bottom

Bottom of breather

Breather around the neck

Breather around neck

Necklace Shaping

You may find it beneficial to shape the copper tube to better lay around your neck and on your shoulders. Not much shaping is required.

Completed breather

Breather length and placement
Picture taken during filming of A New Hopebreather image taken during filming

Breather length and placement
Picture taken at "Magic of Myth" exhibit in 2001breather as shown in an exhibit


My name is Brandon Owens, 501st Member BH/DZ-51512 and MMCC OM#1793. I have an approved Tusken Raider (ANH) and a Boba Fett (ROTJ) that I spend years researching and building. I'm here to share my progress, methods, and findings.