Greetings Dave and welcome back to your Expert Infantry review. Thank you for your EIB application. We really appreciate the extra effort you've made to submit additional photos for the review and make changes as requested. It's been long enough... Are you ready??? Let’s get to it!
CRL and EIB Application Requirements:
All required photos have been submitted. Thank you for taking the time to submit such great photos! Your armor contains all necessary elements to qualify you for EIB. The entire DO Team would like to congratulate and welcome you to Expert Infantry.
You've done a fantastic job putting together your armor, and you should be proud of it! We would like to offer a few suggestions as to how you could do some additional fine-tuning to make this kit look a little more screen accurate. Again, these are suggestions only, and are not required for higher-level approval.
Starting at the top, we're looking closely at your helmet, beginning with the ears. You totally nailed the angle of the right ear! You aligned the right side perfectly with the angle of the trap. Great job! The left ear has the correct angle, but it could stand to be moved back a little bit if you feel up to the challenge. Your ear is still great, but we thought we would point this out to you in case you felt like trying for a little more screen accuracy. Ears are always a challenge for most troopers (myself included)!
Moving down on the helmet, we noticed that your vocoder could benefit from some clean up around the edges to make those lines crisp like Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen after we paid the moisture farm a visit. A small brush with a little enamel thinner or a toothpick would make this vocoder most impressive.
Now let's look at your ab buttons. Typically the paint on the ab buttons stays within the raised area of the button and does not extend beyond it. This isn't anything that would prevent you from achieving Centurion, but if you'd prefer to get them looking a little bit more screen accurate, you may consider reducing them down just a tiny bit. This can be done with either some enamel thinner and a small brush or with a toothpick (gently scraping the excess away). Either way, it's a quick and easy fix to make your kit look a bit more ANH-y!
Screen reference buttons:
Did rebels blast a part of your ab return? This is a highly visible area... while not required, you may consider filling in those extra holes at your ab return with a dab of ABS paste.
We noticed that the snap on the upper right side of your ab seems to be placed a little too far inside the ab plate. Typically the center of the snap hole should be 12mm in from the edge, and 12mm from the top. While you don't need to switch this out for approval, we would like to mention it for improved accuracy should you decide to improve this area.
Measurement reference (disregard the "seam line"):
While we're cleaning things up, you might want to give a quick buff of the e6000 off of that sniper plate.
Further down, we noticed that your butt plate is hanging a bit too low back there. It really should be tucked so the snaps don't show as much. This is an easy fix by placing the tab part of the butt plate into boiling water for several seconds and adding more of a curve to it. You can also improve this by shortening the strapping between your cod and butt plates as well.
While we're on the butt plate, we noticed that you've got screen-accurate screws on those brackets. Nice touch! You may want to consider countersinking these further into the returns so the tops sit flush with the plastic. Depending on your armor, you may need to add an additional layer of ABS to the underside of the return to reinforce the holes.
I've reinforced returns where brackets go on all of my kits, and it doesn't take much time at all to do. Once this is done, you can gently open up the top layer of the holes so the screw heads sit flush on the plastic without worry that the returns will crack. I used a step bit and opened up the holes by hand (not with a drill) because you really don't need to remove all that much to get the screws flush. Another thing to consider is that when the screw heads are raised like this, they tend to lock on the screw heads above them (this happened to me when I was test-driving my first kit before approval).
Working further down, we have noticed that there is a bit of a gap at the bottoms of the backs of your thighs. You may want to consider filling in the gaps with some scraps of ABS and/or ABS paste.
While we're looking at the backs of your legs, make sure that you get that left shin closed completely before trooping for the Empire.
And we've made it down to the bottom of the kit! We noticed that your shins are riding kind of high and could stand to be seated further down on your boots, roughly where the green lines are. This is a common occurrence for many troopers. There are several methods that troopers use to keep those shins down. The one I use is very simple (you can read about it in detail here), but it essentially involves making an elastic stirrup loop that has velcro sewn into a tabbed end. You step into the loop before putting your boot on, and you keep the tabbed velcro piece pulled out of the front of the boot as you put the boot on. A piece of industrial velcro is stuck inside the front of the shin. When you put the shin on, you simply stick the velcro tab of the stirrup onto the velcro inside the shin. And presto! The shin stays snug on the boot and doesn't rotate! It also has the ability to flex a bit as you move due to the elastic. Others use different methods, so use the method that works best for you to keep those shins in line!
That´s it for EIB! Congratulations and welcome to the ranks, trooper!
In this section we prepare you for Centurion. More photos may be requested in the future that allow us to make better decisions on possible adjustment etc. If there are any areas of concern they will be discussed here.
Because Centurion photos show much more detail than EIB, items pertaining to Centurion might be seen there and not here. We try to point out all we can from what is seen, but the final accuracy is the responsibility of the trooper. Below you will find areas that will need to be addressed for a future successful Centurion Application.
Please note that text descriptions in the CRL are only one part of the approval guideline. We consider both text and pictures (CRL and Reference) when reviewing the costume.
That said, let's get on with prepping you for Centurion, trooper!
There should be a minimal gap between the shoulder armor and the chest/back plates.
You did a great job lining up the tops of the shoulder bells to meet the shoulder straps! However, we're still seeing a bit too much of a gap between your shoulder bells and your chest/back plates. Typically, the curves of the shoulder bells follow the side curves of the chest plate in the front, and the side curves of the back plate in the back. If your body type allows it, adjusting the strapping to bring the tops of the shoulder bells further in at the shoulder straps, doing some additional trimming of the tops of the shoulder bells, and/or removing all of the return at the bottom of the shoulder bells can help reduce the gaps. (Note that the screen-used shoulder bells follow the curves of the chest and back plates and are not necessarily trimmed in a straight line.)
Back plate shall have no, or minimal overlap of the kidney plate.
We have noticed that your back plate is overlapping your kidney, as shown by the blue arrows below. It looks like you have room to move your entire back plate up. This would effectively solve this overlap quite easily! You may find that you will need to make trims at your shoulders (as shown where the red lines and arrows are) to make the back plate fit correctly in the shoulder area (where the back plate and chest plate meet). This small adjustment will make a huge improvement on how your kit looks!
Drop boxes are vertically aligned with the end of the ammo belt with minimal gap between belt and box.
I know when you've got your belt laying flat that your drop boxes line up nicely with the ammo belt. Nice work on those! However, in some of your photos, the boxes look like they shift around a lot. This issue can easily be solved for Centurion by simply adding a few drops of e6000 to the white elastics in the back. A little bit of glue will absolutely keep those drop boxes in line!
The top of the ammo belt should sit at or just below the bottom of the central and vertical abdomen button panels.
You're super close on this one! Your belt could stand to be moved up just a bit to meet up with those lower ab buttons. An easy way to move up the center of the belt (and keep it there!) is to stick on a small piece of industrial Velcro on the ab plate and belt in the middle to secure things in place.
Forearms- No return edge on the inside of the front of the forearm is allowed.
You did good work on the forearms, but it looks like there is still a bit more on the inside of the ends of your forearms that still need to be removed. I've highlighted the areas that need to be removed in the image below. A little bit of time with a Dremel will knock this out easily!
Aaand that’s it! Once again, we are proud to offer you a well-deserved congratulations on achieving your Expert Infantry award. You can be certain that Lord Vader will be most pleased with your efforts. Be proud of your achievement and we hope to see you soon at Centurion!