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About Toothdoc

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  • Birthday 07/17/1968

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    Lubbock, TX USA

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  1. Hahahaha! Totally get it. “Girdle of Pizza Damnation”! I’m trying so hard... Gonna get there!
  2. Yep, even though you’re a newbie like me, I’ve found it helpful to take lots of pics along your journey and DOCUMENT everything. I did with my helmet build and was able to post a pic or two and ask questions, verifying my thinking and actions along the way. There are a LOT of experienced troopers able and willing to “look over your shoulder” along your build process, but we can’t see and comment if you don’t interact. One thing you might try if you’re just not sure about trim lines is pencil in a proposed cut line and take a few pics of it. Someone more experienced can double check your approximation and suggest changes if needed. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, they say. You might even come up with a better way to do something. But DO YOUR RESEARCH HOMEWORK! So many helpful teachers here! Good luck, my friend! You’ll do fine! Sitting here about to install a UKswrath sound system in my bucket. Heading over to the electronics section to research how to put all of these goodies in here... Wish me luck!
  3. Hello, Lucas! I'm a prior USAF dental officer. Welcome, brother, and thank you for your service and sacrifices. I'm a newbie trooper wanna be. Will soon be working on an ESB set of armor that just got ordered. Got my helmet finished first! LOTS to learn here, but plenty of great mentors! Everyone is so helpful and encouraging. Best of luck to you on your journey!
  4. I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but do any of you guys with a little bit of a belly have any luck with a compression-type "tummy control body shaper" undergarment? Recommendations? Asking for a friend...
  5. Welcome aboard, Dan. I'm a new guy, too. Really helpful and friendly bunch of guys here. Best of luck to you, Sir!
  6. Welcome aboard, Paul! I’m a newbie as well and have been doing the research thing as well. Can’t read fast enough! I’ e just completed a bucket build and am working on my waistline for the rest of the build. We all don’t have perfect bodies to become the shiny white space soldier we all know and love, but one thing’s for sure. Everyone here is SO SUPPORTIVE and helpful to help you reach your goals. Keep posting! They won’t let you fail. Hang in there, take care of yourself and family and work a little bit here and there on your armor. You’ll get there!! I’m looking forward to joining the 501st with you someday soon!
  7. Mark, you have an AMAZING build thread going here! Very nice photography, great questions and SUPER feedback from the rest of the team. I really enjoy seeing these threads and pouring over them! So valuable to the new trooper. I'm learning so much and each one of them is just a little different. I've thought about why someone hasn't just made an instruction book or guide in how to do this, but fitting them to each human body is such a different challenge each time its done. It's truly a custom work of art each time! Keep up your fine work, sir, and best of luck in your completion. Now get back to work!
  8. These are the final helmet photos I decided to upload that have minimal distortion. The proportions look better! I decided on adapting a "Captain" rank scheme because I earned the real rank in my former dental officer days with the USAF. I plan on replacing these tips with an UKswrath Electronics package. Shhh... Don't tell him. This photo below shows all that is visible from my construction boo boo from the LocTite fiasco. It is relatively small and isn't really noticeable unless its pointed out or you know what you're looking for. That's all for now, fellow Troopers! Thanks to all of my new friends who have supported me here at FISD. You've all been helpful! Bryan
  9. I ordered some ESB specific decals and Hovi Mic tips from TrooperBay. They came very quickly and neatly packed. Last step in the basic helmet build. I painted the Hovi Mic tips white under the screens and brought the white out to the edges and allow them to dry over night before replacing the screens. I had to bevel the edges of the resin mic tips with my Dremel and sanding drum so they would sit at the proper orientation within the mic tip recess area. Then screwed them down with the suppled washers and nuts. The decals were of a vinyl or plastic type. I had to apply, lift, apply, lift several times to get them right were I wanted them. I appreciate them being made from a durable substance that allows re-fitting a few times if necessary. Care still needs to be used as the decal material WILL stretch and deform slightly. I'll try to get several final photos that are better and less distorted. Let me know if I can provide any further photos or close-ups of any areas.
  10. Ear and bars painting. Here I used Testors enamels in gloss gray and the same semi-gloss Testors black that I used on the vocoder and frown. The screws I painted with about two coats of white primer, let dry overnight and then final coated with Testors gloss white enamel paint.
  11. After I got my helmet back together I started in on the ears. The ears are challenging and I was determined to get basically NO GAP around them. I am aware that screen used helmets are far from perfect in this department as well and have Gaps-O-Plenty throughout trooper helmets on screen. For me its a builder's challenge and pride thing. Yes, Perfectionism is a disease! I fiddled and fiddled and fiddled with the ears until they were about as good as they were going to get. I wish it could be easier process, but it seems to be just a trial and error and fit, mark and grind type of thing. It just takes time! Here is how my ears came out. One word of notation, I decided to actually GLUE MY EARS ON with the Plastruct Styrene and ABS bonder/welder solvent. I decided to drill and countersink my screw holes first. Then, the top bolt was cut short and bolted into position as merely a faux screw. The one below the bumps was left as is and was actually left functional to hold the ears on while gluing. The lower screw at the base of the ears was actually done very late in the build and completed just before I added my neck (S-trim) strip of rubber trim. These lower bolts were also left true and are functional on my helmet. The Plastruct solvent welder is strong stuff and any "little gap" can sometimes be reduced and then the solvent glue applied and held together/clamped until dry. I brushed on several coats to ensure a good thorough bond
  12. The next series of photos show a problem I had battling that HUGE ear area gap on the right side of the helmet. I thought I should have a much better fit similar to what I got with the left side. So, being the perfectionist, I answered the call to fix it somehow. I just wanted a better fit before I started on the ears. I first tried using a hair drier to soften the plastic and work the area down somewhat. After darn near burning my fingers, I just wasn't getting any resolution to my efforts. So my next approach to this was to drill another hole just below the top edge of the tube area and try to add another screw to this area pulling the gap a little tighter. For some reason I grabbed a 4-40 socket head bolt, a couple of washers and a T-nut to do the work. I got my hole drilled and added the fasteners. I then thought I'd be smart and put a little dab of blue (removable) LocTite thread locker on the tee nut. The gap was somewhat smaller and I was pretty smart, or so I thought. I left my work area for a short break and came back and GASPED! WTF?!? (except I didn't say Walt's Trooper Factory) The tiny amount of LocTite I had applied had gotten onto the ABS, softened it somewhat and now the area was CRACKING under the stress of the bolt I had just installed to help close the gap. YIKES! I quickly disassembled the helmet and thoroughly cleaned off the LocTite residue with a paper towel and some handy isopropyl alcohol. DANG! What had I just done? The left hole in the photo below was the site I drilled and applied the LocTite on the tee nut. One cn clearly see the fractured areas. First, I cleaned (scraped) the area on the interior aspect of the helmet free from paint and down to bare plastic. I carefully ensured that the cracks were positioned back together and were flat, especially on the outside of the helmet. I then got a piece of 0.7 oz fiberglass cloth and cut out a patch about 1" x 2" and tried it over the area for effective coverage. I mixed up a small amount of my trusty JB Weld Plastic Bonder epoxy. I then smeared a fair amount on the bare plastic with a popsicle stick and spread it out in a thin manner. The fiberglass patch went over this and I used my finger, first dipped in the isopropyl alcohol to work the fiberglass cloth into the epoxy and smoothed out the final surface. I used care not to over use the alcohol, just enough to keep my finger wet and have less sticking to the epoxy. I let the entire thing dry for about 24 hours before returning to evaluate it. Upon later inspection, the repair seemed very strong and quite well mended. My goal was to eliminate any further propagation of the cracks and keep it together. My efforts seemed to have done a good job. I used a sharp #11 blade and trimmed the remaining glass cloth from the edge of the plastic. I touched up the black paint with some Testors flat black and a model brush. I reassembled the helmet and just didn't worry about placing a bolt back in the same area as before. I was decided to leave the area alone and just use the right ear to do my best and cover the area. Something I should have just done all along! Moral of the story is that these things DON'T FIT TOGETHER VERY WELL and the ears will most likely cover a lot of the crazy gaps well enough. I don't believe its an AMv4.5 helmet thing, but a TK bucket design thing. Lesson learned!
  13. Here is my painted ESB variant frown. Painted with Testors semi-gloss black. and the Vocoder also in the Testors semi-gloss black
  14. So on to the helmet (proper) build. I modified the aspect of where the rubber U-trim piece interacts with the rear part of the helmet. I had to drill a small hole just down the line angle from where the trap ends towards the back. Then, I took my small perma-grit files and reshaped the "V" to come back to and include the hole. The hole is recommended as a stop in this area so as not to create a stress area and induce a crack in the ABS material here. This allowed me to fully slip my U-trim rubber piece fully back to the rear edge of the trap. I then trimmed the rubber piece at a slight angle to match the rear line angle of the molded trap. I know the screen used helmets were all over the place in this detail, but this is most pleasing to my eye and probably how it was most intended. Of course that point is arguable. Right side Left side These next images show my helmet face and back bolted together. I used the supplied bolts that Dave Conklin provided in his AM kit. I knw some of you like "pop" rivets, but I didn't have any and thought I'd just stick to the recipe. I liked using them. I've ready were some have commented (A.J.) on how this helmet fits together kind of "wonky". Man, you ain't kidding! It takes some real patience in getting this just like you want before you drill your holes. I just tried to keep the tears and traps lined up properly and used those as a guide for where everything should go. This photo is the best one I have on hand to evaluate my interproximal tooth trimming. You would think I would have this part nailed down being a dental professional. Post your comments, none the less.
  15. That pretty much covers my eye lenses. I'd do it this way again when I build another bucket. Next, which I kinda skipped over is my interior painting. Decided to just mask it up and go. I used some vinyl masking tape that I believe they use on auto painting jobs. I have it for my model aircraft. I prefer the vinyl tape on tight corners and around the periphery where leakage is most likely to occur. Then used a bunch of regular masking tape for the rest of the space. Don't skimp on tape! Be thorough and don't miss any spots. Check and re-check everywhere! Used a gray Krylon primer and then a couple of coats of flat black. No leaks and no overspray! Came out perfect! Kinda looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle to me! Ha!
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