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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. The WTF kits are really, really small. I didn't have to trim anything but flashing on the ab/kidney on the WTF kit I owned, and it fit with little space. I'm just 5'4" and 110lbs, so not a big person at all. Contrast it with an RS kit- I can almost fit one of my kids inside while wearing it!
  2. I'm agreeing with CableGuy here on the ear. That right ear looks like it could stand to be trimmed down a bit more, especially on the round area (it looks a little on the thick side). It looks like the round parts of your ear are all trimmed flat. Remember that for the round parts (the tops of the ears with the rank bars), they typically aren't trimmed flat across the back of the piece. Often you'll see a 'step' carved out to make the ear fit flush on the face and cap/back. This is due to the gap between the front and back halves of the helmet. The front of the round part of the ear usually ends up thicker than the back of the round part of the ear. Jeez, I hope I'm making sense here. :p I also had an ear issue with my last build. Turns out that I attached the face plate lower than I needed to, which threw the side tubes out of alignment. It was making getting the ears lined up extremely difficult due to the gap. As a result, I had made my ears very thick in the front to cover the gap. Once I realigned the face and cap/back by moving the face plate up, everything fell into place (no pun intended), and I was able to trim the ear and fit it properly. Before and after pics:
  3. I ditched the velcro entirely. Even though it was low-profile velcro, it still pushed out the ammo belt too much for my liking. I prefer the ammo belt to sit as flush as possible next to the belt. After removing the velcro, I took the leap and re-installed it with permanent rivets. It was pretty easy to do, and I've never had any issues with it since then.
  4. No time to work on armor this week- maybe tomorrow though? I'm taking a break from sewing cloth masks right now to share this super cool thing that arrived today!!! Behold! Fabric for gaskets!!! I was hesitant to plan on making somewhat accurate undergarments for my son's FOTK because of all the ribbing that I would have to sew. Last week somehow I ended up down a rabbit hole of fabric research online, and I found exactly what I was looking for! I don't know if it would pass for 501st approval, but heck, it'll work for Galactic Academy for sure! (I know this because Cameron was approved in his battle buddy FOTK with plain black compression garments.) It was on sale when I bought it, but it's kind of pricey now at $30/yard. https://www.joann.com/cosplay-ribbed-pleather-fabric-black/16228017.html Look for a coupon for it; Joann usually has coupons available to knock down the price. That said, I probably still would have bought it if only so that I could avoid sewing ribs!
  5. Hey @LTM, I think you were looking for Caleb's thread?
  6. Don't feel too bad about this- I installed my rivets just like in your pics (and on four different TKs, too! ha!). I liked the flat part of the rivet being on the inside of the belt to avoid scratching things up. I used a Dremel and coarse grit band to grind the "bulb" part flat enough down so the covers would fit.
  7. The WTF ab button plate is very deep, and as a result, does not have the extra bit of material on it. When I was building a WTF kit, I ended up grinding down the WTF ab plate as thin as I could, and adhered a piece of white ABS to the back of it. I filled in the gappy areas with white caulking to make it look seamless. Here's what I did on mine. That said, there is no requirement for that little bit of extra plastic to be present for L2 or L3 on the ab button plate. It's totally up to personal preference.
  8. I keep telling myself... marathon, not a sprint. But I'm still trying to make decent time on things, though! Remember how I mentioned earlier that my Bondo-application skills are novice-level? Well, I really found out how bad I am at it when it came time for spot putty. I closely examined everything with a strong light and magnifying glasses. I put spot putty (red areas) where I saw small pinholes or scratches from sanding. The armor looks diseased! I don't mind wet-sanding spot putty, though. It's pretty easy to work with. Wet sanding with a 400 then 800 grit really made the armor silky smooth and eliminated most of the pin holes and scratches. Before and after wet sanding of the chest plate, back plate, and a thigh... Here you can see everything I wet sanded today to silky smoothness. I still need to apply spot putty and wet sand the ab, which is why that part isn't in the pic. But don't you think that the armor looks like it has chicken pox? Overall, I am very happy with my progress (even though my hands are completely shriveled up from hours in the water). I can't find seams or print lines on any of the parts at all! I will apply another coat of filler primer and check for any pinholes I missed from the first round for the next step. I noticed a few tiny areas I want to fill in on the back plate, and I'm sure I'll see others as I proceed. The filler primer really helps to highlight what needs work.
  9. Before getting to spot putty-ing everything, I decided to Bondo fill the ab to blend in the middle seam line and fill in the vertical gap. I'm learning how to work with Bondo a little better with practice. I added a little less hardener to the mix because it was really warm outside where I was working. As a result, I had a bit more time to apply the material as I wanted to. My application skills are still being honed, but I'll get there eventually! After a few minutes of application, a few minutes of waiting, and about 30 minutes of sanding, I blended in the areas that needed work. I tried to angle the ab part in the sunlight so that it would best show any ridges or dips in the surface, but I couldn't see any irregularities in the surface like before. It all looks smooth now. Before and after below! I wet sanded it down with 800 grit and am waiting for it to fully dry for now. Once dry, I will be gluing the ab boxes on, then hitting it with another coat of filler primer. I feel like I've gotten a lot done at this point, but I know there is still a LOT left to do. One little step at a time!!!
  10. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless... I discovered that I actually enjoyed working with the Bondo so much that I slapped it all over the other parts to smooth them out as nicely as I did the chest plate. This took me a few days, and I totally forgot to take pics of the process. Not much really to see on that, though. It's dusty, noisy work sanding it all down. But I am sooooo glad I did! The parts all look seamless now, and the extra weight of the Bondo on the parts gives them strength and a more substantial feel to them. My son is thrilled because it really feels like solid armor. The ab hasn't had any Bondo added to it yet. I wanted to get a coat of filler primer on it so I could better see where I needed to fill in low areas and smooth things out. In normal light, it looks fine, but when the light hits it just right, you can see the horizontal seam in the middle. I couldn't see this at all before I applied the filler primer. Here you can see how the light shows the areas where I need to work. There is no WAY that I'm letting my son go out in armor looking like that! I have to fill in the vertical seam in the middle as well. I glued on the buckle greeblies on the limb parts using E-6000 instead of using CA glue. E-6000 has more flex and I feel it's more resistant to popping apart than CA glue- and these little buckles might get knocked a bit while out walking around. For me, CA glue is just too brittle to hold the buckles, and I don't want to take my chances with it. I Dremeled out the areas where I had extra Bondo in the creases and sprayed everything down with filler primer. I'll be adding spot putty next, followed by a 400 grit wet sand, then another coat of filler primer. It's starting to look like armor now!
  11. The pics of your 6200 mask look legit to me. I have a 6200, and it looks identical to what I have, including the model #s on the mask. The filter package also looks fine. I'm using different filters (the huge pink disc ones), but the ones you have pics of look similar to ones I've purchased and used in the past. I filled my kitchen sink with hot water and placed the holster in it vertically, keeping any areas that didn't need stretching (i.e. holster strap) above and out of the water. Soak it for about 10 minutes or so to make sure that the water fully penetrates the leather. I wrapped my E-11 in several plastic bags from the market and two large Ziploc storage bags. Once your holster is fully soaked, you'll want to stuff the wrapped blaster into the holster. It will be a very snug fit. To dry, I placed my blaster vertically on a towel next to a floor vent. It should dry out fully within a few days. Once dry, remove the blaster and plastic bags. Fit the blaster into the holster. If it's still tight (and it probably will be), repeat the soaking process again and add a few more bags. Your goal is to have the holster fit be snug enough that it holds the blaster well but can also be removed with minimal effort. This process can take a few soak/dry attempts. Once I got the holster fit just right for my blaster, I sprayed the inside of the holster with holster lubricant (check Amazon). It really makes a difference on how the holster reacts to the blaster!
  12. Hey Dixon! Thanks for your kind words about my build thread. I am glad it's been of help to you. With my first TK (stunt), I sized every part down to fit, torso and all. Pretty much all of the armor pieces were cut down to shrink everything proportionally. That included lots of hot water baths to reshape the armor. For my second TK (Hero), my goal was to do as little as possible to the suit (emulating a Luke Hero) and still end up with a good fit. I trimmed only the chest and back to accommodate my height, and pretty much left the width and height of the torso alone- maybe trimming about 5mm from the sides of the ab and kidney (can't recall exactly). I sized all the limb pieces somewhat larger (width) so that they would look proportionally correct to the larger torso. I am floating in the torso for sure (no padding at all), but it doesn't look too big on me. Here's a pic of me (Hero suit) and the boss at my most recent troop in mid-February (I miss trooping... ): Something I discovered during my various builds where I need to size down armor for height and/or width: focusing on sizing the torso first will be a huge help for you to figure out how to size your arms. And by torso, I mean getting the fit of the chest/ab/back/kidney/butt locked in. Once your torso fits well, then it's super easy to dial in the limbs of the armor. When you do limbs first, figuring out how to size things turns into more of a guessing game. Just my 2 credits on this, though! Congrats on your TM kit, and good luck on your build!
  13. If you've followed any of my prior build threads, you know how I can get hung up on things looking just right. Even if it's something that no one else will notice. Itty bitty details. This build is no different. <sigh> After priming the chest plate, I noticed that while it looked smooth overall, it still looked veeery slightly lumpy at the seams- especially when the light would hit it just right. The chest plate is such an important piece of this armor that any lumps will really make it look bad (at least to me). So I sanded things down as much as I could without destroying the integrity of the part, but there were still lumps at the seams. Time to bust out the Bondo (and make sure you're wearing a decent respirator when working with it- even outside. The stuff is noxious.)! I'm using Bondo High Bond filler to fill in the low spots and make things smooth all over. The stuff cures and is ready for sanding in a crazy fast 15 minutes! Here is the chest plate after one layer of Bondo and some sanding: There are two colors of blue on there because I had to mix up two batches, and I ended up adding a little more hardener to the second batch. Let's just say that I don't recommend working with this on a warm day. It was 85 degrees outside in the shade where I was working on it, and I ended up having less than 5 minutes work time with the Bondo. I was leisurely smoothing it all on when BAM!- it all hardened up on me in an instant. I thought I would have more work time, but nooooo... gah! As a result, I my application didn't go on as smooth as I'd hoped. Thankfully, it was ready to sand just as quickly, and sanded incredibly easily as well. Once done, I realized that I needed to even things out just a bit more with some more filler. This morning was a much cooler 65 degrees, so I knew I'd have a little more time to smooth the Bondo on just as I wanted it. I was right! With just one small batch, I was able to apply another thin layer of Bondo with plenty of time to spare. I had to wait a little longer for it to be ready for sanding, but that wasn't a big deal. I used 150 grit to knock down the high spots, and 400 to feather the edges in and smooth things all over. It is soooooo smooth now! And yeah, I know I have to do some extra cleanup in the holes and ridges. This is an easy task with a small Dremel bit, and it'll get taken care of next. There are also small pin holes that will get filled with spot putty before the next application of filler primer. And I think it's kind of cool to see the "behind the scenes" of 3D printed parts. You can't tell from the front that this chest plate is comprised of 5 separate prints!
  14. Ooh! Those look great! See, I told you... that designer is amazing with customer service! Can't wait to see how it prints for you.
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