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TK-Jay

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    38
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About TK-Jay

  • Rank
    Corporal
  • Birthday 12/14/1983

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Columbia, SC

Standard Info

  • Name
    Jayson
  • 501st Unit
    Carolina Garrison
  1. Hello, As promised, I have started work on the helmet. I saved this part for the end because it seemed really tricky and I wanted to get a feel for the ABS before I had to make delicate cuts. It's still terrifying, but at least I feel better prepared for the challenge. It begins (don't mind the end of the t-det poking out in the background): Since this part is a stress point, I rounded the corner to prevent cracking. Traced a line around the eye holes with a pencil. And boom, easy peasy. I used a hobby knife to score and then break the plastic out of the socket. from inside: Now on to the ears… deep breaths. I cut a notch to compensate for the different layers of the outer shell of the helmet and countersunk the holes with a bigger drill bit so the screws would lay flat. I'm impatient so I wanted to get the decals and paint on as soon as possible. Checking the fit of the ears… It's shaping up! I did a lot of test fitting, and then removed the ears for paint. Mr No Stripes! I decided to make a removable mesh backing strip for the inside of the bucket to clean up the look. I made a template by tracing the inside curve of the frown from the inside. Then, using some hobby foam (red in this case because I couldn't find black) I used the template as a guide for the inner cut and eyeballed the outer cut. I then cut a mesh screen in a shape that would fit and painted it black. Like so… this was a failed version; that's why the mesh is cut differently in the two photographs. I then added a second layer of mesh to give it a cross-pattern and painted the frame black with some quick-drying acrylic paint. And here's the whole bucket, paint and all: Kinda screwed up the back of the ear on this one but hopefully it's not too bad. I coated the inside with plasti-dip and added the mesh cover with some velcro dots. Added some helmet padding to cover the screws and make it fit better and as a little touch, cut a vacuum tube in half (more like 1/3) and inserted it into the back. It is held in place by friction between the seams of the helmet and may be used to hide wires or battery packs or something in the future. And finally, a side-by-side comparison with the black series helmet. Thanks for watching!
  2. Thanks guys, The thighs probably need some work. I was curious about the backs being uneven, but I did some looking around and some of the screen used suits weren't perfect either. Regardless, the right thigh back is definitely more pronounced than the left… I may be able to at least make those similar without needing an iron. About the front, I can shave that cover strip down a tad but the tops don't meet very cleanly up there, I don't want to take it too far down and risk exposing the seam. And thanks Kris, I'll adjust the bicep a bit lower… I haven't added the snaps to connect to the shoulder bells yet, so thanks for helping me eyeball that one. Stay tuned, the bucket is next!
  3. Hey all, I wanted to get your opinion on some things… As you can see, I'm kind of a lanky guy with long arms (6ft) so the forearm/bicep gap is bigger than I think it should be ideally. The biceps are pulled about as low as they can go and still be connected by the elastic loop. I'm just worried that if I make the forearm/bicep closer, the gap between the hand guards and the forearm will look too big so I tried to split the difference. Is this ok? The ab/kidney section may still be a little big around the waist. If I trim it any more, I will need to recut the "notch" but that's fine, seeing as I was planning on rethinking the snap assembly anyway. This is even more evident in the back: Thoughts? Suggestions? Onward! I picked up some slotted screws at the hardware store recently and put them on the t-det. The probably need to be countersunk a little bit, but I'm not sure my drill bits are up to it. So with that finished, I headed over to the drop boxes. First I trimmed them to the required thickness (I left one untrimmed to show the difference). I decided I wanted these things to open and close so I could put stuff in them. Velcro was handy, and I didn't necessarily want a "pocket" so I added strips to the inside top and bottom. I trimmed off some of the fuzz (right side) for a cleaner look. I'll attach them to the elastic when I get some rivets. Action(ish) photo! Just having fun with my blaster and the Black Series Rogue One helmet… it fits! Thanks for following along!
  4. Thanks Jorge! I have definitely considered a tab system and might have to implement one depending on how this goes. I made the "openable" side with the intent on it being easy to remove if it didn't work. As of now, it's a bit of a pain to snap them all up, but with a flick of the wrist, they all pop open fairly easily. Again, time will tell but I have a feeling you are right on the money here.
  5. Thanks all for your comments and suggestions. Looks like i'm going slotted! I'll probably go to the local ACE and pick up some replacements this week, although I might try Haso's trick too. In the meantime, I've been connecting the ab and kidney pieces on the left side of the armor. I will be using the 3in. elastic, folded over and secured by the 6 split rivets. It's a bit unorthodox, but i'm a thin(ish) lanky dude and I want to make sure the seam looks good and tight. To start, I drew a line 10mm from the edges of the ab and kidney… Marked three holes on each side and drilled them out… …and did the same for the other side. Don't worry about all of those pencil marks, they'll be cleaned off soon. The edges are still a little rough and need to be cleaned up and sanded before we start attaching anything. I then cut a piece of elastic to size and attached it with some e6k on one side. You can see in the photo where I have folded the elastic into 4 strips. The first strip is glued to the armor and then folded over itself. This will create a strong (I hope) seam, and keep the two pieces from shifting around too much when being worn. I marked the location of the holes I drilled earlier to avoid gluing those areas. I'm going to be sticking a soldering iron in there to open them back up and I didn't want a bunch of melted glue to gum up the works. Anyway, glue applied and elastic gets folded over and clamped for another 24hrs. While the glue is drying, I turned my attention to the split rivets. I sanded them up real nice and hit them with a few coats of gloss white paint. The paint is kinda bubbly and terrible, but I plan on refinishing them once they are in place. I just wanted to get a first coat on the underside so I didn't have any metal showing where the rivet meets the plastic. Glue dry, holes burned, and rivets going in. So here you can see how the rivets are attached. the elastic is folded over and you can now see 3/4 of it's width. We'll do the same for the other side and hopefully it works out. I used my ruler as a base for the next fold. Folding underneath just like last time, only we're doing this step first. Glue applied, wait 24 hrs. And then, glue and clamp the strip to the other piece of armor. I went ahead and attached the rivets to give it a little more security while the glue sets. And done. I think it looks pretty nice! I used a rubber mallet to bend the rivets all the way back on themselves so they don't catch on my undersuit. For the other side, I wanted to have the exposed snap be functional, so I carefully measured, drilled a hole, and added a snap. I ended up using Dritz snaps for the visible ones because they look a tiny bit more like the originals. Since one snap will not be enough for the seam to hold its shape, I decided that a strip of snaps would work. Snapped and glued into place. I'm going to make some tiny elastic straps to secure each side together. This should keep the two sides from moving up and down. While I was at it, I added snaps for the cod onto the butt plate. As you can see, I could use the crimper tool on the front snap, but the rear one needed to be attached with the Tandy tool. Thanks for watching!
  6. Hey everyone, sorry it's been such a long time. Don't you just hate it when life gets in the way of completing projects? Anyway, to the build! zv288bot, thanks for the suggestions for the thermal det. I finally got those caps pulled off with a little bit of heat and a lot of patience… seriously, it took forever because the painted tube had kinda "glued" the caps on, and because I mashed them hard onto the tube to try and get them down to the required length of 7.5in. The whole assembly was off by about half an inch, so I measured a line approx. 1/4in. from each cap and took a hacksaw to it. So that was fun. Once I sanded the rough edges, I installed the caps to see if we were closer to the correct length… yep! Next I need to drill new holes and get those clips on. Still deciding if I want to get the slotted screws… hmmmmmmmm Here's the white plate being glued, and you can see that I added some fuzzy velcro to the back of the clips so they don't wreck the ABS. During the long break, my shoes came in! They are Imperial Boots' 421 and they are wonderful. Mine are size 12 and thankfully, they fit great. The site says that the shoes run a bit narrow, but that wasn't an issue for me. More to come soon!
  7. Great call Jorge, I'm going to try to get these caps off… might try to pry them off (carefully) with a thin piece of something. I'll keep you updated.
  8. Definitely not trolling, your question is totally valid! To be quite honest, I never even thought about measuring the t-det until you brought it up… it's a little over 8 inches, so I might have to cut it down a bit. Well dangit. I'm having a hard time removing the caps but if it's gotta be done, I'll find a way. Anyone with some experience want to weigh in on this? Will this be an issue in the future? Thanks for looking out Jorge!
  9. Wow thanks Mark!! Your kit is great, and the updates are killer. It's been a joy building it, no lie. I have some updates: That's right. Time to bust out the sewing machine. Figuring out how to make these things… I used a soldering iron to poke holes through the elastic. And the infamous snap plates. These will be glued inside with e6k. Some test fitting… Junk in the trunk. Here's the uneven thigh seams I was talking about earlier. Measuring the notch… Cutting to size… Here we go! I fear it's going to be a long process gluing these things in. I'll keep you updated!
  10. Thanks for all of the info Gary! I will be looking into the hot water bath. There is a bunch of info on the forum to help me out there, but I know it's always risky when you start bending plastic. Your help and support is much appreciated!
  11. Thanks Aaron & Brad! It's settled then… the corners will be rounded. Thanks for the input! … More photos! (lots more photos ) Time to tackle the thermal detonator, the legs, and the ammo belt. Starting with the thermal detonator (or the O2 canister which I think makes more sense but whatever), I am using the AP t-det kit with the included brackets and screws. The screws are black, but they are phillips head… I may get some flat heads later. The tube is white instead of grey, so it'll need to be painted. In order to get accurate guide holes, I measured the spacing with the circular end caps on. I have seen people get dinged for having too much space between the metal clips and the caps. I thought it would be cool to use the extra tube space as a storage pocket, so we'll see how that pans out. The end caps fit very snugly, so I could just use friction to hold them on. The clips are fitted and screwed. I had to bend the clips slightly to get them to behave, but it all worked out in the end. Remember the felt that I used for the inside of the hand guards? Well, I had some left over so I decided to line the inside of the tube, so if I had anything in there (keys and whatnot, I dunno) they wouldn't jangle around, making more noise. I painted the tube and I have laid the plastic on so I'd know where to scrape the paint off before gluing. I just used some primer I had laying around and it matches the grey on the ab buttons almost exactly. And completed: After the paint was applied, I guess it made the tube just thick enough that the end caps won't come off easily. I may scrape some paint off later, but I'm getting antsy, so I'm moving on. Time to tackle the legs! I just stick a pencil in the groove and trace a line… seems like the best way to do it. After a pass with the knife, I can bend and snap with the mini pliers. After an exhaustive fitting/measuring session, it was time to cut the seams. The raised line is a little ambiguous… I had to get creative when deciding where to cut. I used the tape to average out the variations and took a deep breath. I didn't take any pictures of the cover strip/trimming/gluing but I have attached an image of what I think is an accurate depiction of the process: Cover strips attached and dry: 'Murica Location of the proposed "mobility cuts." Maybe it's because I have skinny legs, but the upper back of my thigh pieces do not meet very cleanly. Will this be a problem? What about in the upper levels of the 501st? I am keeping the ammo pack stored in it's bent position so it gets used to being that way. I lightly hit it with the heat gun once a day for a few days while the thigh was drying. Added the rivets to secure the ammo pack. These were a pain but after some effort, the connection is secure. r Please ignore the dirty floor, That is what the plastic's for. I may add some velcro to the ammo pack to keep it from sliding down. It's a pretty tight fit, but the slightest bump can send it flying below the lip of the thigh. I didn't take many photos of the shin construction, but it was pretty straightforward… until I got to the sniper plate. This thing has been the biggest pain in the build so far. I fought with it for hours before giving up and hitting it with the heat gun a bit. I was scared to heat it up too much, but a little bending eventually got it to fit. It stayed clamped for 3 days just to be sure. 25mm strips on the back, to give the industrial velcro a little more room to bite, 20mm for the front. The contours don't quite match, but the velcro holds everything together nicely. Can't wait till the shoes come in so I can see how it all looks together. To finish up the post, I thought i'd trim the ammo belt. I needed to keep the button covers from getting lost so I taped them together. Trimmed at a 45 degree angle 10mm from each corner. Next up is the snaps and straps and all that good stuff. I had a question though… Does anybody know where to get the old-style tandy snaps? The new ones have their logo on the back, and if I want this suit to pass centurion requirements I have a feeling it will need the older snaps. Specifically for the two visible on the butt plate and the lone snap on the ab/kidney section. How are the new builders getting around this? And that's it for now! Thanks for reading!
  12. Hey Bill, So far, they seem pretty substantial. It feels like a vinyl wrap, but not quite as thick. I have a feeling that if you tried to get them to curve around the buttons without heating, you'd see some wrinkles. I will update on durability as I go along. Thanks Jason! Stay tuned…
  13. Thanks everyone! *Whew* Glad to know I didm't screw up too badly on that return edge. I'm using the metal ruler/clamp solution to cut my cover strips and stuff like that, but I was having trouble getting the ruler to lay flat over the curviest of the armor pieces. I did almost two semesters of nothing but cutting things with the XKnife back in college, so I guess I feel most comfortable free-handing it. It's not as perfect as some of y'alls builds, but it gets the job done. The thighs scare me the most, because that's a lot of plastic to cover… did you use the ruler/clamp solution for those pieces? More photos! I got the cover strips cut and sanded… And attached to the outer part of the bicep. One side glued and dried… And both sides glued and dried, inner cover strips added (I'm bad at remembering to take photos BTW). Here's my setup for the flat pieces: It's tough bending these thick cover strips, but the mini pliers help. It still tears my hands up a bit. The problem with using the mini pliers is that sometimes you get little ridges at all of the stress points… But a little shaving and sanding takes care of the edge. Just gotta sand the edges and round the corners and we'll be good to go. Curvy-piece-tape-method in action on the forearms. Aaaaand like an idiot I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the forearm construction or the shoulder bell trimming. It went great though! BUT I did take photos of my attempt to make the bicep hooks for the shoulder bell strap. I got out my trusty heat gun and mini pliers and went to work. And due to the magic of the internet, we can see that the forearms and shoulder bells are magically complete! And I also tackled the ab button plates. Mark at AP has kindly illustrated where the cuts should be made on the big plate. I can see how someone could be in the groove and forget to leave a bit of flashing around the raised box. Good looking out Mark! Lining up the cuts where I want them… Cut! (I know it's upside down in this pic) I just freehanded the smaller rectangle. While I was at it, I cut and sanded the belt button covers. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have done this so early because I had to tape them to the belt piece so they wouldn't get lost. I am going to use the decals that came with the AP kit for the buttons, and possibly the helmet details too (I am debating whether I want to hand-paint them or not). How do these look? Decals applied to smaller plate. Heat gun… Just a light touch of heat makes these things conform to the curves very nicely. I'm really impressed with how it all turned out. I have seen some builds that round the corners of their ab button plates, and some that leave them square. Not sure which I'm going to do yet. Thanks for reading!
  14. Thanks everyone! And wow Luc, That's a good eye you have there! To be honest I haven't done much research on the drop boxes yet, but I figured i'd probably need to trim them a little more. Mine are currently 20mm so that should be a quick fix. Thanks for the heads-up! Time to trim the biceps! bend'n snap technique… For the smaller pieces, I had to use the mini pliers. There's a very small lip on the elbow-edge of the bicep, so I assume there's no return edge here. I felt like I could get a truer line if I went at it from the inside. As for the top, I think I may not have left enough edge… But this edge will be hidden by the shoulder bell, so I don't think it's that big of a deal (or at least I hope not! ). Moving on to the seams… I'm 6' - 175lbs. so I will be using the regular 15mm cover strips for the arms. This means I need to measure 7.5mm from each ridge line. I marked a few guidelines as I went… And then used some painter's tape to get a straight line, connecting all of the marks. Then, used the tape to guide my Exact-o blade. Test fitting the two halves… More progress soon!
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