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Imperial Attaché[TK]
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  • Birthday March 2

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    Peachtree City, GA
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    First Female Centurion in Garrison
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    Georgia Garrison

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  1. Hey Troopers, So I participated in a photo shoot for fun that used smoke bombs. As a warning to all TKs and other white armor wearers, smoke bombs are not friendly with ABS at all. The pigment in the smoke bombs deposited into my plastic in such a way that required 220 grit sandpaper to remove it! And the pigment ended up on every piece of my armor. Gah!!! This kit in particular is going to be converted to a Sandy in a few short weeks, but I need it clean and white for an upcoming high-profile troop. I would have welcomed the yellow damage that occurred with the smoke bombs, but I need this kit clean. Ah well. The pics turned out pretty cool, so at least I have that. These are just a few pics from the shoot. There is some nice slow-mo high def video of things as well (upcoming in a few weeks).
  2. So I took the face/cap back apart. I filled in the holes with some ABS paste and added some small pieces of ABS sheeting behind the repairs to make things a little more structurally sound in there. Reattached things so the tubes were more in line with each other. Then got to work on trimming the fronts of the ears down. Much better now, methinks! Befores and afters: I also removed some extra material from around the eyes. I have the most difficult time seeing exactly how much to remove off of them. I stare at the screen refs, and I still don't see it as well as I'd like to. Seems okay to me? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Thanks again to Paul for the suggestions for the ear fix!
  3. 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. *********** Other-Armor Fit/Assembly: 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)! Screen reference: 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. Screen reference: 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. Screen reference: 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. Screen references: 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). Screen reference: 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. Screen reference: 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. Screen reference: 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! Screen reference: That´s it for EIB! Congratulations and welcome to the ranks, trooper! ******************************** Centurion Requirements: 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! ************************ Shoulder bells- 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.) Screen reference: 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! Screen reference: Belt- 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! Screen reference: 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. Screen reference: 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!
  4. Making great progress, Jennifer! I know you've put a lot of work into that sniper knee. It is a major PITA for most of us! It looks like you could still stand to move it up a bit. Typically, the bottom ridge of the sniper knee lines up with the ridge of the shin. They overlap and kind of lock on to one another. You know you've got it correct when there is not really much distinction between the line of the bottom of the sniper plate ridge and the bottom of the ridge on the shin. Here are some screen grabs to show correct alignment. The green dotted lines help to show where the sniper ridge should overlap on top of the shin ridge. And another to illustrate how 'seamless' the sniper knee and shin look together: Those shoulder bells! haha! Huge, aren't they? I strongly suggest waiting to trim your bells until you've fully adjusted sizing of your back and chest plates. This tends to mean that for best fitting your kit, make sure your torso is fully adjusted to fit first, then work on getting those bells cut down. The inner curves of the bells follow the curves of the chest and back plates (don't cut the bells straight!), and it looks like your chest plate could still use some trims on the sides still for better sizing. It's ridiculously easy to overtrim the bells if you cut them first before finalizing the chest/back plate fitting. Use these troopers' bells as your reference. I would simply cut it off instead of trying to pull it off or use acetone. You don't want to damage any of the armor, and acetone can make quick damage happen. Reglue your elastic with e-6000. E-6000 is your friend! It's strong, flexible, and stays put. And if you need to remove it, it can be done fairly easily without any damage to the ABS. Save the ABS paste for filling in holes. I'd avoid it for elastic adhesion in the future.
  5. It depends on what kind of gloves and handguards you're using. You're building for ANH, so you don't have the option to sew them on. If you're using rubber gloves and flexible handguards, then you'll want to glue those on. I prefer trooping with my rubber gloves and wear silk liners underneath them. For me, this is a super comfy way to troop! Others don't like it as much and choose the cloth/Nomex option. If you're using cloth or Nomex gloves with the hard plastic handguards, then you can simply glue a few elastic loops to the handguard (using E-6000). You slide your gloved hand into it so the handguard stays fixed to the back of your hand.
  6. Good job getting the images in your post! Much easier for all of us to evaluate things to help you. You've got a lot of adjustments that need to be made on your kit, but you mentioned that it's a rough draft, soooo... There are two things that jump out at me right off the bat: thighs and shins. Thighs: they can still be sized down quite a bit to fit the circumference of your leg. Typically, you can fit about two fingers width in the top of the thigh. More than that, and they're too large. More than that, though, is that they will feel too big, like a pair of loose cargo shorts, and they will rattle around quite loudly. I like to think of thighs fitting more like a pair of well-fitting jeans. Not too loose, but not too snug, either. Screen reference, and look at how close the tops of the thighs fit on these troopers. Second thing are the shins: In the photos, the shins look like they were cut at a really severe angle. Could we see some more detail on those? Also, the shins are riding up too high. They should fit snug well on top of the boot and stay there. Screen reference for the shin placement on the boots: Have you had a good read through one of Ukswrath's amazing armor build threads? Man, it was my go-to when I was building my first kit, even though the armor makers were different. I've even referred back to it for my 4th TK build (currently in progress, but almost done!). https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/31920-ukswraths-am-10-build/
  7. Hey Michael, Just a suggestion, but you'd probably get more feedback on your pics if you posted them directly in your posts instead of posting a link. @justjoseph63 gave you some good tips! Also, who is your armor maker? I don't recall it being mentioned, and it can often help us provide the best feedback about what kind of adjustments you'll be needing along the way.
  8. This!!! ^^^ I hadn't really noticed that detail on the assembly before. Looking closely, you're spot on about this, and I pulled the lid apart to realign. Temporarily clamping the cap/back to the face plate, I set the "thick" ears on the helmet, and BOOM. I totally see where I went wrong and why they fit the way they do. I may only need to trim just the thick fronts of these ear curves now (the backs are fine). I'll try this before starting on the untrimmed set. Thanks, Paul!
  9. Agh, yeah, I know, I know... I really should fix this. I don't like how they look, either, to be honest. The ears are 'passable' but not good. Sooo... I went digging through my bin of scraps from prior builds, and whaddya know... an extra pair of untrimmed RS ears appeared! Which means the lid isn't finished yet. It'll look better when I've had another crack at it, for sure. Thanks to Paul for your honesty! And thank you, Tony for the feedback on the eyes. I'll take a closer look and trim some more on them.
  10. This lid for my hubby is finished! As always, constructive criticism is always appreciated. The front sides of the curved part of the ears is larger than the back, I know. There is a large gap between the face and the cap/back pieces that I could not get to fit closely. It's almost like a step-off of sorts. The cap/back has some serious flare at the bottom edges of it that could not be riveted into submission... as a result, the front side of the ear curve is thicker than the back. Ah well, glad these don't have to be perfection! Still have to add the 'fine tuning' padding (the foam star is in there, but I know we can do better with some tactical padding!), and wire up a pair of fans with switches to run off of a portable USB power source. I've gifted my hubby with a wall-mount to display the lid, because as we all know, TK lids are art! Currently, you can find heavy-duty metal ones on Amazon for about $14 shipped Prime. I've got five of them to display my different helmets (Hero lid and X-Wing still WIP), and they really make a great statement in my nerd room! Easy to install, too. They come with 5 screws/wall anchors each (you only need 4), and it takes just minutes to get them up. Lids are better on the wall than in a bag!
  11. I suggest removing the excess along the green lines. If the bottom of the bicep is the same way, then remove that as well.
  12. Hi Michael! You could also stand to remove some returns from the top of the forearm, top and bottom of the bicep, and bottom of the shoulder bells. (Screen used shoulder bell is on the left...) :D
  13. I use an old butter knife to remove cover strips. Gently slide it under and work it along the length as you go. Good luck!
  14. Sorry to inform you, but that's the problem right there. The front halves need to be glued first. The fronts of all stormtrooper armor pretty much are the same sizes, and all of the sizing to fit your frame is done in the back of the pieces. My advice is to take a step back, unglue your parts, and start from the front. For your front seam on the thighs, you will be using a 20mm cover strip to cover the seam. But you will also want some of that raised ridge showing as well. Take a look at this screen-used thigh. You'll want to make sure that some of that ridge still is visible, so when you trim the front halves, you should leave roughly 12-14mm of raised area still intact on each half. When glued together, you end up with a flat surface of 24-28mm. This will allow you to secure your 20mm cover strip on top of the front of the seam, and still leave a few mm of ridge on either side. Does this make sense?
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