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Imperial Attaché[TK]
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About sharkbait

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  • Birthday 06/01/1986

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    Central California
  • Interests
    Photography, writing, Doctor Who, motorcycles, scuba diving, traveling, Tremors, music, movies


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    CCG South Valley Squad
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  1. 95. The Weekend Blender (Day 2), Clovis, CA - 2/22 Ladies of the Legions panel!
  2. 94. The Weekend Blender (Day 1), Clovis, CA - 2/22 A fine looking group of TKs!
  3. 93. Rise of Skywalker @ Lemoore NAS, Lemoore - 1/31 Boba's FIRST TROOP! And Nihilus' first troop in that costume. Bonus, the ESB Crowd (from the BEST movie):
  4. Aw yeah!!! Finally!!! It's really me under there. I'm about 6'4'' - 6'5'' in all. I can't actually bend my arms enough to put the bucket on myself, so I now I get to tell a handler, "Bucket me!" when getting ready. Still needs minor tweaks, but they're dwindling, at long last. I need to tighten the elastic connections on a couple of the boot spats, glue a spacer in the left ankle spat (left and right are the same size, yet left wants to rattle and is loose), take in/tighten glove fingers so the finger armor fits better and the fabric doesn't bunch up and generally be too tight because of the bunching, the bottom chest plate to bottom back plate doesn't close and therefore connect fully- it's just not big enough, so I need to adjust the velcro attachment and maybe shim it. Thankfully it will be hidden. I might need to take in the gaskets a little bit, as I've lost weight since I measured for them, but that's just taking in a seam. And then those damn blasters. I have to pick away at the liquid latex and get it off, then I basically start over on paint: fillable primer over the entire thing, black glossy coat, mask off parts to stay black, then champagne mix Alclad it. I'm going to be disassembling my air brush to see if there's a blockage somewhere that's preventing paint. That wouldn't make a lot of sense since it's never had paint run through it before and has actually never been used beyond hooking up the compressor and checking air flow, but it's all we could come up with. I would love to finish them before the debut troop so I can have a blaster (I feel so awkward without one in full armor- I'm missing something), but between the weather and the effort and time it's going to take to even get them cleaned up to where I can fillable primer and black coat them, I have no idea if I'll have time. It's a Con so I'll probably just cheat with the pike if I have nothing else. Anything goes at Cons. New photos sent for approval, now we just wait and cross our fingers! I'm feeling so much better about her now- everyone at the build party loved her, the neighbors driving by were slowing down and checking us out, and she went on a whole lot easier this round. The sunlight did wonders. We had a total of five app picks taken that day- our Squad's newest ESB Boba, myself, and three new Mandos!
  5. Pretty much! I keep thinking I'm at the very tail end... there's only so many things left to do, therefore so many things to go wrong... but every time I turn around there's something else to do!
  6. Well, that was hugely anticlimactic. I submitted Friday night, was all set to debut her at the game on Saturday... and then... nope. Somehow in my packing and trying to organize, my freaking gasket harness didn't make it into the bin- and I didn't get to troop. Thankfully I found it on the floor in the garage (narrowly missing where the car tire tread would have backed over it). Without it I have no shoulder gaskets, no bicep attachment (therefore no arm attachments), and no thigh attachments (no leg attachments). The event was still super fun and handling was a lot of fun. Everyone who trooped and handled had a great time, which is what matters. And then I need broad daylight for photos, even though we tried really hard with lights, a white background, camera strobes AND a shop light. So new approval photos to be taken on Saturday, outside, at a build party (hoping for good weather! It's dark, foggy and wintry today). I've found it's difficult to capture the true nature of the paint- it really likes direct light best. There is a distinct fuzzy reflection in direct light, which fits with the weathered nature of TFA Phasma, but in some photos it's just not coming across. I warmed both the blasters and the airbrush paint and still nothing- airflow but no paint. I give up. I have to start completely over on the paint on the blasters. I decided as a last ditch effort with a specialty rattle can I found- the picture of the product on an actual piece looked like the perfect pale champagne color. Nope, it's way too bright and way to dense, if that makes sense. Not at all what was pictured or advertised. Should have known. Also liquid latex is not meant to be left on for extended periods of time. I'm having a hell of a time picking it off. And it's taking some of the coloring with it. I need to strip it all off, hit the entire blaster with filler primer, then black, then mask, then airbrush, remove latex ASAP, and pray. I'm beginning to think this costume is cursed. I know there aren't a ton of Shiny Sisters (and Brothers) out there, but did anyone else have just such huge and consistent issues like I'm having? It just feels ridiculous at this point. It does give me more time to tweak even more things. I need to cut off the wonky tiny trim from the bottom of the ab plate, and mount a new, flat one there, for belt connections. It will never stay in place as is. I'll also add on on the kidney, which will keep the butt plate in place where it should be, not way high like it's wanting to sit. I had to tighten a bunch of elastic connections. I also need to add more to keep the parts in firm place. Somehow my left shin spat is loose and the right is perfect, though I used the actual shins in their actual size over my actual boots to size them. I'm pretty sure the chest connection needs work, but it will be okay for a few troops and photos. Longevity-wise it will need a better connection- that at least is the kit and the armor design itself, not me. So I'm afraid to even put a new proposed debut date, lest I jinx myself, but the next event worth taking the time to put her on is our Weekend Blender, a two-day con at the end of February. So I guess that's it.
  7. Well, the bad news is the magnet closure didn't work. The good news is they were easy to remove. I had a bad feeling about it and test fit it at the 24 hour cure mark (I leave E6000 for 48 hours), and it was a disaster. I think the concept works (well, I know it does, because a friend and fellow Squad member did it with his KB FOTK and it worked, I copied the design from him). It just doesn't work if you've got a snug or very fitted armor. Then I think the pieces shifted a bit when gluing, and so they didn't line up as perfectly as they did when I left them. Basically the magnets just didn't line up perfectly (and they have to be PERFECT), it's an awkward spot on a woman (contending with hips and bust, one would be enough), and it's a snug fit, so the magnets just didn't have the strength to hold. I ripped them out and have snap plates gluing now. Probably should have gone this way to begin with, because several of my concerns about using the magnet idea did turn out to be realized. My advice, and if I were doing this again- either shim it or make it fit so it's not a snug and fitted fit, but extra wiggle room and do the magnets, and line them up perfectly and use math and geometry to make them perfect, or just do snaps. You might want to do snaps anyway. I think women will benefit from snaps way more than men regardless- or at least women with prominent hips and/or busts. If it attached decently at the bottom, it wanted to overlap at the top, and if it fit right at the top, it wanted to splay open at the bottom. Are you ready for the weirdest selfies I've ever taken in my life? I had to stop working for a while because I dissolved into uncontrollable laughter after I took these. They're just too ridiculous. The cod fits in the right spot, the belt looks good. Except... Falcon wanted to get in on the action, too, and posed appropriately to match. The butt plate sits REALLY high. I need to fit it again with the armor, but even then, on previous test fits it's kinda riding high. I mean it's totally covered by her cape, but it just feels so weird. I don't exactly know how to fix this, as there's a very obvious connection at the top of the plate and that fits under the belt, and the belt goes where the belt goes, and the cod is sitting pretty good. I'm actually wondering if this is another male v. female body type issue- it's because of how it hits on the hips and then how the curves are different (on different people, as well). Not to keep blaming that, but hey, we're shaped differently, it's just life- and these suits were designed with men in mind- and very lean men at that. My TK butt plate does stick out similarly at the top, but it's larger and so it's less noticeable because it covers more and evens itself out. Way to give me a complex, armor. I can shimmy it down a bit, and that helps. I could raise the cod a bit, but it is pretty much sitting perfectly in terms of how much you see of it. I'll figure it out, it will just be an awkward and hilarious processes. I added the piece of Magic Eraser into the helmet in the front. It still touches my nose, but it's better. When I have time I need to take out the lens and trim it. For now, I think it's fine for a trial run- there's always issues you never find util your first troop anyway, it won't be the only thing I'll be tweaking. The shoes fit snug enough I can't shove a foam piece/Magic Eraser in there, so I'm back to trying to do an elastic stirrup around the boot ant my foot. Thankfully cutting elastic and sewing the ends together to make a loop is a less than five minute job. I finally just added a whole lot of corresponding Velcro to the belt for the butt plate attachment. It's longer than I need, I think, but then I'm covered in terms of attachment. Having the ab/kidney did help do the trick on placement. To Do: Elastic stirrups for shoes OH YEAH, AND THOSE DAMN BLASTERS. My dad's a genius- he said to put the paint bottle in warm water and hold the blasters directly in front of the space heater for a bit before trying to paint. Gonna try it and hope, it's all I've got left until Spring at this point. Test fit! Approval photos!
  8. Your greeblies and fingers look like pretty good casts, but I'd recommend hitting them with filler primer. Mine benefited greatly from it. Your Spaztix is looking good! I'm curious to see what you find for a protective clear coat. My guy used an automotive clear coat, but it was also over an automotive paint- not sure how that'd react with Spaztix.
  9. There is still progress! Slow and uninteresting progress, but progress. I'll take it. As we inch towards the finish line, here's what's been accomplished so far: Glued Velcro onto the inside edges of the chest plate, and corresponding to the outsides of the back plate. Because that top connection is tiny, and there's no way it's going to hold, even with lightweight ABS. (Totally forget about it with Jimmi's fiberlglass set, fyi) As well as the snap plate to the top of the yoke for the shoulder bell connections. I also made the connections. I just used Nylon webbing, rather than elastic for this one, because unlike the OT TK bells, these won't be taken on and off, therefore need the stretch to be connected. They'll basically be stationary and semi-permanently attached. I ended up not MacGuyvering my suspender attachments, which is probably for the better. I used D ring picture hangers. They were a bit narrow at the top for my large suspender grips, so I just mounted them sideways so they fit perfectly. They do make larger D-ring connections, but on a timeline I wasn't going to go on the hunt. But if you have the time and plan ahead, that would probably be advisable. For inquiring minds, my MacGuyver plan involved straight picture hangers, spacers from a TV wall mount kit (cut in half because otherwise they were too tall), and ABS scraps. The D-ring way has way less glued together pieces and is therefore more stable, but the MacGuyver way was pretty ingenuous for stuff found around the house. The bases are sandwiched between two pieces of ABS for extra strength and connection. This is what I was talking about with my extra piece of ABS to reinforce the elastic connections: So that's done on the knees and boot spat pieces. Helmet liner is in: Fans installed: Lens installed: I will probably trim the lens at a later date, when I have more time- cut out the nose area so there's not excess material there. Luckily the lens is easy to remove and replace for cleaning as well. I got started on the ab/kidney closure. I'm hoping these magnets are strong enough to keep it shut. I had a moment of crisis when I test-fitted it and it was a snug fit. This is a female thing- it's contending with both a bust and hips. It sits right at the top of my hips, so that will help, but it's just at the bust line. I thought about snaps, but I didn't want to go that route because I didn't want to put repeated stress on that area. My OT TK has some stress cracks there that I need to reinforce, granted after 4 years of heavy trooping (90+ troops), but still, due to the paint job Phasma will not be as easy of a patch up at the white ABS OT TK, so I want to avoid any known potential issues in the future if I possibly can. I'm going to trial run the magnets, see what happens. Maybe do a second magnet set if needed, and then if that still doesn't work, then I'll switch to snaps. Velcro seems like more trouble than it'd be worth, though it would hold if you could get it into place. Also didn't want to go that route as first choice because it would involve a handler getting up close and personal every time to get it attached and I try to not put handlers in awkward situations if I can help it. I mocked up a rough pattern for my design: Now, since my handwriting is akin to a doctor's handwriting, here's the key: 4x Magnets (mags) 2x cut out - 1x half and 1x full 2x solid - 1x half and 1x full (Original idea- now known two sets of these are needed, so the new numbers are: 8x magnets, 4x cut outs (2x half and 2x full), 4x solid (2x half and 2x full.) Glue the cut out pieces on top of the corresponding solid pieces so the magnets are set in. These are the magnets I'm using: https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07S6GJXCZ/ They are stupidly fragile and I shattered one by knocking it off the table onto the floor (granted it was the garage floor, so concrete, but still, only a height of maybe 4''). They seem to not shatter themselves when connecting in the plates because of the inset, but this is a concern. I'd recommend some nice N52 ones from KJMagnetics, like these: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BX882-N52. They still have the ability to shatter on direct contact (and slightly more so being a stronger pull force), so make sure you inset them. I'm using the Amazon ones because I got them cheaply and with free One Day Shipping on my timeline. Maybe they'll hold up, we'll see. Then time to make the ABS connectors: I used my dremel with a cutting wheel to cut them out and it made quick work of it. Sand them down and trim the edges so they're not sharp and pointy. Remember this is internal, so you don't want it catching on your under suit or poking through to skin. Next I glued the magnets into place: The circle magnets are just there for gluing purposes- they're not attached. I'm using my washing machine (since the magnets stick to it) as a way to keep pressure on the pieces to glue together. I decided to let these cure for 24 hours, then I'll stick them into the suit, and glue, and wait for those to get the full 48 hour cure. Too many moving parts trying to glue at once would just be a challenge to try and clamp in place. The more I look at it the more I think I need to do a second set of these for closure. I should be able to knock that out tonight and get it gluing. That half scrap sheet of ABS I got at a local plastics place has been amazing. It's not smooth/smooth ABS, because I guess that's special order, but it's been working great as scraps and unseen stuff. Well worth the $20 I paid for it. To Do: Glue in first magnet closure set Make and glue second magnet closure Add foam or padding in front of helmet in middle of forehead to keep it from falling back into my nose. (Probably a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, since I have those on hand). Cut Magic Erasers for padding on top of foot to keep boot from lifting when walking Figure out butt plate attachment to belt - why is this so hard? It's simple, yet alluding me because of placement. I think I should wear the ab/kidney and belt to get the placement right. Kind hard to do on yourself. Maybe I'll just wear it backwards for fitting, since it will be basically the same placement. Test fit!
  10. 92. Rise of Skywalker Premiere (Day 3), Fresno - 12/22 Death Star Plans secured! Take that, rebel scum!
  11. 91. Rise of Skywalker Premiere (Day 3), Fresno - 12/21 Next to the Mando.
  12. 90. Rise of Skywalker Premiere (Day 2), Fresno - 12/20 On the right.
  13. 89. Rise of Skywalker Premiere (Day 1), Fresno - 12/19 Tracking down a photo. Coming soon. Every day was a four costume day and only one of said costumes had pockets for a phone to take my own photos, lol.
  14. A little sneak peek before I get a chance to do the write up, further progress and more photos!
  15. Well, I got something done! Finger tips are glued onto elastic connections: This will never not look weird and hilarious to me. I used them because I had them, but now I actually recommend investing in some sewing clips (like these)- they're cheap, come in abundance, and are great for little spaces you need to clamp, like the fingers. I finally made my helmet fans- so here's a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make basic helmet fans (they're basic, but they work great, and I've had great luck with them lasting). Supplies: 9v Batteries (I use Amazon Basics - in my experience, each battery will last at least one long troop (3+ hours), or several shorter troops (roughly up to 6 hours) - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B00MH4QM1S/ Battery packs - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07BXBS93X/ (you speficailly want ones with on/off switches, and the better ones are pictured with the screws separate. I never use the screws, but they're a better product than the ones without that pictured) Fans - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0775ZM4DW/ Heat shrink tubing (two sizes- I can't say I know what size, but I recommend getting a box of assorted because then you'll be covered for all projects) - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B072PCQ2LW/ Solder Soldering iron Lighter or other such heat source (heat guns work, though overkill) Optional but can be helpful: Helping Hands - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07H4XCRTF/ Velcro (for attaching to the inside of the bucket) - sticky back works fine here Supplies Step 1: Strip off the ends of all wires Step 2: Slip smaller heat shrink tubing onto one of the wires- doens't matter which wire (red or black), doesn't matter if fan or battery pack Step 3: Slip two sizes up from first heat shrink tube onto both wires - doesn't matter if fan or battery pack (I used only one size up, and it was barely big enough). Ignore that they're already connected here, I missed this step and had to go back after I'd taken the picture. Step 4: Twist together like connections from fan and battery wires - red battery wire to red fan wire, black battery wire to black fan wire. Install battery and test to make sure working. Step 5: Solder connections. Test to make sure working. Step 6: Slide smaller single wire heat shrink into place over the solder connection and use lighter to shrink. Test to make sure working. (In above photos this is the red tube). Step 7: Slide larger heat shrink into place over exposed and previously covered connections and use lighter to shrink. Test to make sure working. (In above photos this is the yellow tube). Step 8: Attach Velcro to back of fan and back of battery box, and corresponding Velcro into desired placement in bucket. I once again ran into a roadblock that I decided it would be best if I had the armor back to do it- you can guess at placement, but it's better not to. And since it doesn't matter for this weekend anymore anyway, I'm going to wait. To do: Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor - This is actually more of a pain that you'd think, and you probably think it's a bit of a pain. Make helmet fans - I was all set to do this last night, found the fans, the battery packs, the soldering iron, the wire strippers... and no solder. No where to be found. Because of course. Prep suspender/strapping attachments for ab/kidney (to be installed once back) - MacGyver is seriously going to be proud of what I have planned for this. To be honest I just didn't feel like going into the cold outside to use the dremel and so I didn't get to these. Airbrush blasters - Maybe if I just glare at them long enough they'll spontaneously explode and/or paint themselves. Maybe. I'm about at that point. Re-do elastic bands for around the boot and/or find something thin and soft to shove in the top of the shoe as a spacer. My foot is a woman's foot and flatter/shorter than a man's, but I'm wearing men's shoes, so they're a bit big in the top. When I step they want to come up a bit before the rest of the shoe follows. Having big feet and wearing men's shoes before this is not an uncommon problem for me, I've fixed it before. I'm thinking a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Because I already have a stash of those for Jawa masks. When I get the rest of the parts: Glue magnets into lens in prep for corresponding magnets into helmet - I started to do this, then realized I really need the helmet for exact placement, so it has to wait. Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat Glue in helmet liner Install fans Glue in magnets and install lens Glue corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest) Install suspender/strapping attachments to ab/kidney I got this!! Right? I hope everyone has a great time at their respective theater troops for the premiere!
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