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501st Stormtrooper[TK]
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Everything posted by kman

  1. Great comparison, Caleb! (sorry it took me so long to get back to FISD and see this thread!) If I get a chance, I'll have to see if I can add some extra photos of my Praetorian, to match the extra ones you provided, along with a weight measurement. Sadly, I don't have my Hyperfirm anymore, but I might see if I can borrow it back (sold it to a local buddy) to add in the photos of that, too. Maddening that we apparently STILL don't have all the details I value most in one rubber blaster. My biggest complaint about the Hyperfirm was the rail (although it could be tweaked to be a bit better) and the lack of springs in the recoil tube. Praetorian added the recoil spring (yay!) and upped the overall quality (yay!), but made the rail worse. Along comes HHP with a nearly perfect rail (FINALLY!), but takes a step back in the recoil spring, and a minor step back in overall quality (perhaps?). *sigh*
  2. A little superglue and some ABS paste, and you can barely tell the button was damaged.
  3. Looks like a much easier repair than mine was! LOL Pro tip: Don't use pop rivets, anywhere you can avoid it. Use Chicago screws, instead, so you can unscrew them if you need to. (use a drop of threadlock or E6000 to make sure they don't accidentally come unscrewed over time) There's two varieties of Chicago screw, one is closed and looks kinda like a smooth-domed snap top (but smaller) on top, and the other is open and looks almost identical to a pop rivet. (except you can unscrew it!) You can see both types here (just before I put the button covers on... you can also see the drop box alignment to aim for):
  4. Drop boxes should sit snug against the ammo belt, aligned with the bottom corner. No visible gap between the two parts. For the holster, Stunt requires ONLY the bottom two be connected (as you have pictured now). Hero requires all 4 to be in place. This means two different belts, unfortunately...
  5. Bravo! (Pls add to Attache links collection, and make this sticky!)
  6. If only your armor's color matched Anovos, it would be a no-brainer to swap parts for yours. But since he has Anovos, there's only the stock size to work with, so shims are needed.
  7. Yikes, life's little curveballs are never fun. Best wishes to your efforts to climb back on top! And thank you for continuing your staff work here at FISD. Glad you can keep a toe in the pool, at least! It would be tragic to lose your invaluable input entirely.
  8. That's a pretty bad a$$ weapon, right there. I wouldn't necessarily be against it, although technically it makes our CRL even less accurate than it already is, so it might be hard to convince the brass. I can see arguments in both directions, but unless they put it up for a vote, it's not my call LOL.
  9. Yup, I'm pretty sure I used 1/4" as well. Pretty much any size that's in that range should work, and which one works for you depends on your belt, your ammo belt, and what sort of repairs (if any) are needed, because that all stacks up and determines how thick things are. It's easy to pad things out a little with some spare ABS if it's a smidge longer than needed, than if it's too short to grip adequately. In fact, it may be a good idea to make an ABS washer on the back side, to give more surface area to grip the belt, but it's not strictly necessary. Again, a lot depends on the thickness of the belt. (Anovos OEM belt vs. Imperial Issue, vastly different thicknesses, for instance) Oh, and my belt boxes came pre-assembled from Anovos, already glued together, so I didn't use anything on mine. Others I've assisted have opted for simple rivets, or even just gluing the elastic in place, or both. Chicago screws would technically work here, too, but again, you'll probably want to shim out the inside with scrap ABS "washers" to give extra thickness and strength. And the c-screws would need to be short enough that the shallow boxes still close fully.
  10. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it beyond this point. That looks "smooth enough" to my eye. The bigger issue might be the color shift, since you weren't able to match the Anovos white-ish coloring. (no one really can) Perhaps our judges can opine as to what should be done at this point, assuming you're trying to get to Centurion? You're more than ready for general approval, IMO, and possibly even EIB. (assuming the rest of the build is complete, of course)
  11. I like snaps to connect them, for the very reason you mention. If you have non-detachable attachments on both sides, you'll never be able to separate the parts. I positioned the snaps on regular snap plates between the rivets. The rivets can be just for show... they don't have to be functional in any way. You can even use Velcro there, if you wanted. (I doubt you want to, considering the effort you're putting in, but just to illustrate the point) I used 2" webbing going straight up the seam, with multiple snaps on each side. This forces the halves to stay aligned, and doesn't allow much, if any, vertical play, so it can't get uneven. I used the same concept on both sides (left and right). A single strap (or even 3) going from one side to the other was inadequate to keep things aligned nicely, on my burger-loving body.
  12. Hey there! I cleaned up this graphic a little bit, as the edits were a little rough, and I added a "Revised 2019" text to it, so it's a bit more obvious to all which one is being looked at. Anyone is welcome to use it.
  13. Nail polish remover is usually Acetone combined with a number of other ingredients, skin conditioners, etc., such that the Acetone is not full strength. I'd recommend using full strength Acetone. A can of full strength construction-grade Acetone is only a few dollars at Home Depot or Lowe's.
  14. What power input does it require? 5v? Any chance of a USB power input to simplify connections?
  15. Did you emboss the 501st Legion into the side of the blaster? Hopefully just an option (I don't see it on the model files) for fun ... it's cool, but it won't pass approval if the judges see that.
  16. Looking great! I would make your top return edge before you start sanding the ABS paste. Less stress on the clean, finished surface. And yes, there needs to be *some* overlap between the ab and chest pieces. You don't want to be able to see undersuit. When there's minimal overlap, which is common for tall buys like us (I'm 6'3" as well), you'll want a very good connection between the two so your ab doesn't pop out as you move around. Once you're all armored up, it's hard to put back underneath, and also hard to notice this has occurred if you don't have friends watching out for you!
  17. Thigh ammo pack photos: Centered: Outside edge: Inside edge (already painted): Sniper Knee photos: Note no return edge on bottom of sniper knee: Note trimmed inside edge of sniper knee to show bend in underlying knee ridge: ab plate button cover photo:
  18. Nice progress! Have you figured out strapping yet? I'd work on that before you attach anything to the oil pan. Everything gets a lot more awkward once there are fragile things sticking out in multiple directions.
  19. Two people started Hyperfirm, and parted ways long ago. Hyperfirm continued in business until it closed up about a year ago, for reasons involving the sole remaining owner that have nothing to do with the quality of their blasters. The other original Hyperfirm guy, who had left, opened Praetorian Blasters after their split, but didn't do much until about 2-3 years ago, when they resurfaced and started selling high quality blasters... better detail than Hyperfirm, frankly. More money, too. Noticably lighter than Hyperfirm, which makes them great for trooping. (Hyperfirm had a nice satisfying weight, but for long troops, the lighter the better) They've become a lot more popular since Hyperfirm closed up, being the sole remaining high quality option. Praetorian is the best bet out there, IMO, for trooping, today. There's a UK-based company called ShearTech that is popular for our UK brothers, although IMO the detail is not as high as Praetorian, from what I've seen. If you want a high detail shelf queen, you can build a resin kit (beautiful detail, and inexpensive from places like DoopyDoos), but resin is fairly fragile and one drop that lands wrong can shatter it or break big chunks off. There are people who troop with them, but I personally never would. There's also the all metal kit from FieldMarshall which is a lot more money, but absolutely gorgeous. Metal, so far more durable than resin, but it's not an all steel legit Sterling submachine gun conversion, so it could dent or deform badly if dropped wrong. And much heavier than any of the rubber or resin blasters discussed. (although nowhere near as heavy as the 12lb+ Sterling conversions!) I wouldn't bother with the Hasbro conversion anymore. They were popular when they first came out, but there are a lot of details that are wrong (which is why they're explicitly called out for higher levels) and we have better options today. The Rubies blaster is stupid cheap, and great for the money, but other than an extreme budget choice while saving for a better option, I'm not a fan. (I do keep one in my bin as an emergency backup / loaner).
  20. Tandy's snaps didn't used to be branded. That actually changed about 2 years ago. Before that, they were plain. Old vs new: I'd feel fine using the Anovos snaps for these purposes. If any of them fails, replace it in the future, no big deal. Labeled vs. unlabeled makes no difference even for Centurion purposes. If someone's face is close enough to the Han snap (let alone the crotch strap LOL) to make out the lettering, we have other issues. You need a set of snap setting tools to install snaps. They're simple and inexpensive. You can buy them from Tandy or random Chinese ones online elsewhere. Personally, I bought a kit from Tandy that included a number of snaps and the setting tools. I paid less at the time (several years ago now) than the $15 they're asking now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003W0IIJK/ I patched the back of my belt, after cutting out the Anovos buttton covers. Spare plastic works perfectly. (doesn't even have to match exactly since you can't see it from the front anyway)
  21. And just to make sure we're all using the same terminology: These are what we (at FISD) commonly refer to as "popper snaps": (the ones you had pictured in your post, above) These are the style of snaps commonly referred to as "Line 24 snaps": ("Line 24" is technically Tandy's brand name / size designation for this style of snap, but it has become fairly ubiquitous and can be found referring to snaps of the same size and variety that were NOT made by Tandy, too. Anovos supplies "Line 24-style snaps" with their kits.) (Photos are not meant to be precise, and are not the right finish, etc., they were just handy on Wikipedia's page and show the two main variations nicely)
  22. I've only removed my ammo pack from my belt once in the 3+ years I've had it (which was quite simple, with the Chicago screws), so I personally recommend the Chicago screws over the snaps that Justin is recommending, but either will do the job. Go whichever way you prefer. My belt hasn't been damaged, so I think you're fine as long as you're not trying to press sharp folds. I used a dab of e6000 on the back to hold the drop boxes in place, although I'll be changing that method to Velcro, since I need them to be removable for some alternate armor configurations. (HWT) There's no need for rivets. Use whatever method you want to attach the elastic to the boxes. The popper snaps are NOT what you want for the one visible snap that gets mounted into the corner of the ab plate. You need the ones Anovos supplied, or Line 24 snaps. Popper snaps don't have the right base. I'm referring to the upper snap, here: These same snap types are also used for the crotch strap snaps in the butt plate, NOT the popper snaps (and not the front cod, that's just a smooth dome rivet). Those are good for internal strapping connections (shoulder straps in particular) and for the belt connection. Butt plate: Otherwise, I agree with Justin's advice, above.
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