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501st Stormtrooper[TK]
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Everything posted by SkulShurtugalTCG

  1. I like porgs, okay? Feel free to edit however you want, just be sure to send me a picture (or reply as a comment here). Have fun! I know I did! Full album: https://imgur.com/a/dZ6RR
  2. As of today, I have been in the 501st Legion for exactly one year. And two days ago, I had one of the best experiences of my life. First of all, this was a personal visit for Brodie Pursch. He is 6 now, but in 2015, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He went through eight rounds of chemotherapy to get rid of it, and immediately before our arrival, he had undergone an MRI to determine if his chemo treatment was ready to end. We were invited to come and cheer him on/help him celebrate. I (TK-69004) was joined by Karl Gehring (ST-1292) and Andrew Melton (TI-23274) on this little adventure. I was personally pretty exhausted because I had just trooped nonstop at Fan Expo Dallas the three days before, but I was excited to do another hospital troop after so long. Karl is a longtime 501st member, and in fact was recognized for his intense extra charity work last year on a Legion level. This was Andrew's very first hospital visit; he has only been in the Legion since about Thanksgiving. (That's the last weekend in November for you non-Americans.) We arrived at MD Anderson in Downtown Houston, Texas, early morning on April 3. We were given a private office to change into, made quick work of getting ready, and proceeded down the hall to meet with Brodie. He was still in his big chair after going through something medical-related; I, of course, cannot see a THING in my helmet, so I'm not sure exactly what. I was the designated speaker, so after a round of high-fives, I talked with Brodie for a few minutes about Star Wars. He said his favorite film is the original one, and his favorite character is Luke Skywalker. He showed us a toy of Rey on her speeder from The Force Awakens, and had to convince us that the REAL Rey isn't that tiny. During the chat, he asked where we were from. I told him we live on the Death Star, and to not listen to that Rebel propaganda that it's been blown up. He genuinely believed that we were REALLY from Star Wars, and not just people in a costume. That, alone, made my joining of the Legion 100% worth it. Our hospital contact, Lauren, helped Brodie lead us out of the hospital room and into the waiting room a little further down the hall. For the next 10 minutes or so, we interacted with everyone there, taking lots of pictures, asking if they had seen any droids, and bringing smiles to everyone's faces. After all was said and done, we said goodbye and good luck to Brodie and made our way back to the changing room. We had a quick interview with the local news, quickly changed out, and exited the hospital without anyone seeing us. All in all, it was a very good day to be a 501st member. Local News video: ABC also posted a news video, Facebook-feed style. https://www.facebook.com/GoodMorningAmerica/videos/10154501159502061/ Yahoo! News article on the subject: https://gma.yahoo.com/boy-brain-tumor-gets-star-wars-surprise-185016060--abc-news-wellness.html?cid=social_fb_gma The hospital's Facebook post, containing a summery and some pictures. https://www.facebook.com/kidsandcancer/posts/1411718428851393
  3. This is looking very impressive so far. I look forward to seeing your progress! About how long of a wait is it until your armor arrives?
  4. Jack Sauder 69004 A4 Tony Thanks! Are you sure you want the A4 size, Jack? The letter size is normally the one of choice for those of us in the U.S. as they fit in a standard 8 1/2 x 11 frame. Either way is fine, but thought I'd ask. http://www.whitearmor.net/eib/certificates/69004-eib.png
  5. To help promote the release of Rogue One, the 501st was invited to the Memorial City Mall in Texas. Well, technically, it was the theater we were invited to - but we were allowed to roam the rest of the mall as well. Now, who could pass up an opportunity like that? Here are the pictures. Trooping: Me (first troop in my Hero helmet; it's surprisingly comfy); Brandon C, SL-32917; Brian M, TR-12630; Stephen B, TK-60612; Rick C, TK-50879; Sergio Barraza, TK-81018; Andrew M, TI-23274; and also Melissa K of the Mandalorian Mercs.
  6. That helmet looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it finished! JAFO's belts are second to none. I personally don't know of any FOTKs that use anything else. And you're right about Imperial Gaskets. I got on their wait list back in June, number 112. I contacted them for an update in early October, and I had moved up to 103. So yeah, it's a VERY long wait. I'm glad you managed to snag some, even with defects! Out of curiosity, how are you planning on chroming the armor? Yourself or by a professional? (And if you are a professional.... well, that works. I'm just curious)
  7. It was a day like any other day.... no, not really. It started with my alarm going off at the dark hour of 5 am, Turkey Day 2016. Me and my wife, Theresa, begrudgingly got out of bed and packed the car. We made our way to downtown Houston, met up with several other members of the South Texas Squad of the 501st Legion (as well as the Kessel Base of the Rebel Legion and the Arqet Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs), and got ready for the HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade. Lots of pictures here. We had 4 original TKs (including one from the Galactic Academy), and I was the only one wearing the First Order TK. We also had Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, several Biker Scouts, a Snowtrooper, a TIE Pilot, a Shadow Stormtrooper and Darth Nihilus from the 501st; Rey, two Rebel Pilots, an X-Wing pilot, Old Ben, a Jedi and Jyn Erso from the Rebels; and a Mando. Two Galactic Academy members were present; a TK, as stated before, and Ezra Bridger. We had 5 handlers today. Two were given the Rebel Legion and 501st Legion flags and walked alongside myself, Kylo Ren and Rey at the beginning of the group. One had to lead our Darth Nihilus as he is legally blind. The other two, including Theresa, were in charge of picking up fallen objects, and both did a tremendous job. We ended up with only two fallen objects, and thankfully no human casualties. Pre-parade, I was pacing around killing time, holding my helmet in my hand - and low and behold, it knocked my holster off my leg. (I shall screw it permanently in place to remedy this). DURING the parade, one of my belt boxes fell off (nobody saw, I'm sure; it was picked up by a handler almost immediately), and Boba Fett lost a piece of his jetpack. By the end of the parade, his holster was beginning to tear off as well, but it held. Otherwise, our group marched 1.5 miles to cheering crowds and television cameras. Many, many people called Kylo Ren "Darth Vader", so you know it was a success. Below are pictures and a video of the event. Happy Turkey Day, everyone! And for those of you who don't care about Thanksgiving, fine. More turkey for me.
  8. I found out very quickly that it's impossible to put this armor on by yourself. By impossible, I mean LITERALLY impossible. I can only ever troop in mine when I have my wife around to help put it on. That being said, you have done an excellent job with yours! You definitely put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this build. It's one of the most documented ones here on the forums and I think you'll help a LOT of upcoming FOTKs with their builds with your pictures and comments of the process! All in all, you've made a suit you should be VERY proud of, and from what I can see nothing sticks out as needing fixed. Should be an easy approval (once you get that butt straightened out). Thanks for sharing your journey with us; it's been a wild ride!
  9. This will be my last update for this thread. I took my pictures today for my 501st profile, and decided to turn it into a mini-photo shoot. First the two pictures for the profile: With and without helmet. ^You know Finn? He is a TRAITOR!^ ^Figured I would do something unique for my profile picture, rather than just looking straight at the camera^ Now on to the fun pictures! ^You think just because I don't have a blaster I can't look cool? Think again, traitor.^ ^Ready to whack some traitors^ ^Look at all the traitors I can whack. Look at them, Anakin.^ ^Insert blaster bolt, shot by a traitor^ That does it for this thread! Thanks everyone for watching!
  10. Just received word from my GML that my costume has been APPROVED! Tomorrow I'm going to dress up and do a private photo shoot to get some nicer pictures of me in my suit. Between submitting the pictures and getting approved, I've redone some of the strapping, and from what I've seen it's MUCH easier to move around in now. Looking forward to standing out among the crowd of shinies! Special thanks to everyone who helped me get here! Jimm's armor is AMAZING; if you're on the fence about it, just get it. JAFO's belt is perfect, with absolutely no complaints. The FN Armor gaskets are flexible and cool, and the Anovos helmet is light. If you go the FN route, you're going to have a lot of fun! Now, where's my whappity stick?
  11. On October 7th, the 501st was invited to the Candlelighter's Camp CLIFF meeting in Burton, TX. Five of us showed up. Myself (TK-69004), two TIE Pilots (Wendy C, TI-10616, and Richard S, TI-82877), a Darth Nihilus (Jeff H, SL-11907) and Kylo Ren (DS-13378). What follows is the result of the troop. I believe we served the Empire well. ^The perfect photobomb^
  12. You have chosen your kit wisely! The first thing you'll want to do is sand it down on the inside using a tough grit sandpaper to get rid of the excess fiberglass, then wash it all down afterwards. This would also help if you decide going with Jimm's helmet. If it still makes you uncomfortable, you can plasti-dip the armor on the inside. That guarantees that fiberglass will not be a problem in your future. I personally am looking forward to watching this thread! It's always fun seeing people build their armor, and especially with Captain Phasma, since it hasn't been done too often. Feel free to leave any questions you may have; that's the whole purpose of this website!
  13. Don't worry, the belt isn't that hard. JAFO does a great job at giving simple instructions he includes with the kit, and if that's not enough, there are a few detailed builds here on the forums. Joshua, you're doing a great job on your kit so far! It's obvious you're putting a lot of care and attention into building it. The reason you haven't had any replies yet, is because nobody has any suggestions on how to improve what you're doing. From my experience, the strapping system is the most complex part of the build, and it looks like you already know what to do with that. So all that being said, I feel you're going to get this done in no time at all! Hope to see it completed soon!
  14. Good to know. I should have looked at the CRL but I was too excited. Yeah, this WAS a fast build - a new record for me and possibly a record for any Force Awakens trooper. 15 days from BBB day to completion. My previous record was a Shadowtrooper, which took 20. In the future I will NOT be going this fast for my builds (since all my costumes I have planned will require multiple BBBs instead of just one like these have).
  15. So, final update: The velcro and belt pouches arrived today. I got everything done within an hour, then put it on (with a LOT of help from my amazing wife) and took my submission pictures. Afterwards I had to make a few changes (the biggest one is adding a few straps between the belt and the ab so the belt doesn't sag like in the pictures; we'll see if the GML thinks it's worth a retake, but if so then it will be ready). The gaskets are nice and secure thanks to the velcro, and I'm MOST surprised by the fact that I have a great range of mobility. I'll probably be able to troop in this even longer than my original TK! To those who helped me make it this far, thank you! To those who came to this thread looking for guidance, I hope I provided at least a tiny bit of help. And if Finn reads this - TRAITOR!
  16. The belt kit did indeed arrive on Monday. I spent all that day working on it. I decided to use the "screw plate" idea I saw on a few other threads; where I put one end of the Chicago screws through a piece of nylon webbing, and glued that to the underside of each of the belt boxes. I let that dry overnight, then yesterday secured them onto the appropriate places on the belt. I'm still waiting on my belt pouches from Trooperbay (which should be here tomorrow). I also decided to permanently glue my cod piece to the belt, since I'll never need to put it anywhere else, and this gives me a good reference point on where to put the belt on my body whenever I put my armor on. The final product currently looks like this. I'm currently waiting more velcro from Amazon, which should also arrive tomorrow. I'll use that to secure my butt plate to the belt. I've decided to use velcro for that instead of permanent nylon straps like my cod. I figure it will make it easier to put the belt on and off, and easier to store the belt overall. In the past few days, what I've mostly done is rig the bungee system for my ab piece. It's just two very long nylon straps that cross in the back. They're permanently glued on, instead of using snaps, because if a snap comes off during a troop then the entire costume will fall apart. This way, that won't happen. Didn't feel the need to take a picture because it's pretty self-explanatory. I DID decide to use snaps for my shoulder bells. I tried using velcro but I couldn't find a good secure point for some reason (you can see the remains of that idea on the left shoulder bell; your right). In that picture you can also see velcro strips on the bottom of the yolk. Those are to secure the chest piece. The way this works, as I'm sure many of you know, is that the yolk has to clamp inside (against its will/design), and the chest secures onto that. I decided that velcro would be a cheap, simple solution, which allows for flexibility and also lets the yolk relax when I'm not wearing it. The main problem with this idea is that there's no place on the inside of the chest piece to put velcro; the chest is simply recessed too far in for the yolk to catch hold. My solution to this was to build a bridge on the inside of the chest piece, and secure the velcro to that. (I used a leftover chin-cup from my Snow Scout helmet to make these bridges.) I basically had to get the bridges close enough to flush, then bathe both of them in glue overnight. The end result works perfectly; it's easy now to get the chest on and off, even by myself and the limited range my arms have with their gaskets. Finally, the last thing I can do for now is start working on the magnets for my thermal detonator. I looked into buying rectangular magnets like was suggested, but they're either unavailable on Amazon (like most items I need, surprisingly) or are way too expensive. These magnets I went with are 20mm in diameter and are rated N32, which is insanely strong. I decided to go with a four-point secure system. They're gluing to my thermal detonator now, and when the glue dries enough, I'll use this as a reference on where to put the magnets on the inside of my ab piece. Tomorrow, the rest of my velcro arrives. I'll use that to secure my butt to my belt, secure my gaskets to the inside of my armor pieces (mostly thighs; the shins just clamp down on them), and add my belt pouches. At that point, I'm done with my build and I'll be submitting my pictures to the GML for approval. I'll be sure to share my pictures with you guys here! I haven't put everything on yet, but from the pieces I HAVE put on, it looks amazing, feels amazing, and makes me proud of doing all this on my own!
  17. Just goes to show Jimm's dedication with this. I'm sure plenty of other kit makers would make one version and stick with it. This is his FOURTH version and he's made comments about things he still wants to change in the future. Makes me all the more happy to use his armor.
  18. I hear you on the small holes. It's quite frustrating to look at the raw fiberglass when you take it out of the big brown box, barely able to find anything wrong with it - then go through your entire priming and painting process and find more holes than Swiss cheese. If it helps, I personally only covered up the biggest, most obvious holes. The smaller ones I left. I find that it adds a bit of personality to the armor--and it's really only visible REALLY up close. Flawlessness is definitely achievable, and if you aim for that, all the better! Just for me, personally, I'm okay with tiny flaws here and there. It just makes me feel all the more that my armor is mine.
  19. As far as I can tell, painting is done. I even had enough paint and primer leftover to work on my bucket - which I decided to document. First pictures: The standard Anovos plastic helmet, all taped up. Primer layer done. Sorry for the darkness and the spotty lighting. I worked in the shade of the trees in my front yard. Because it's Texas and I don't want to die. Two layers of paint later, it's done. Comparing it with a shoulder piece that I finished a few days ago. It's a 100% perfect match. (I know it LOOKS gray, but again, that's just the lighting. It's really, really white) And finally, after taking the tape off. It's a brilliant piece of work! It's not absolutely flawless, as you can tell in this bottom picture, but I'm happy with the result and I think it was a good decision to paint this. Now to just let it dry for a few days. I believe tomorrow I will begin strapping my armor together. I'm still waiting on my belt kit and pouches to arrive, so I can only do so much. I also have to glue some pieces together (my shin halves, holster to thigh, etc) and that should keep me occupied until they arrive. Otherwise, I'm done with the part I was most worried about. Time to move on to the final stages! (And I would still welcome recommendations on specific magnets to order off Amazon for my thermal detonator)
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