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About Linus

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    Everett, WA.
  • Interests
    Sailing, Shooting, PC Gaming, Hockey oh, and... Star Wars :-)

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  • 501st Unit
    Titan (WA)

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  1. Linus

    Wich boots and where ?

    Just be aware, the caboots.com site does indeed have "Stormtrooper Ankle Boots" that would go for basic approval and it looks pretty good yet... it does appear ,from the site picture, they have a seam up front that would not be acceptable for level two certification. CRL States: "There is no seam present on the front of the boot". Gotta be careful when I state this and say this caution is specific to TK CRL https://www.caboots.com/cart/product/stormtrooper_ankle_boots/
  2. Great story line and character development you have going. Keep it up! Question on the helmets being put on. I noticed everyone's very precise about placing it on, at an off-angle and then twisting it forward. You can even hear a sound effect as though a seal lock and internal pressure is established. Is the twist a bit of creative license? I've read just about every book in the Star Wars Universe, many about Stormtroopers and have yet to come upon that approach. Definitely a nice touch.
  3. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    No diversion at all. Rather, rather a much appreciated reality check and "Myth" is the perfect word for for describing where many of us (newbies?) seem to think we need to go with this compulsion for achieving roundness. (really speaking for myself more than others here). Somewhere along the line I presumed roundness even though I had concluded that it actually fit my thigh pretty well, as is. Here's the full quote: "Final thoughts:There's a slight oval shape to both of these Thighs. I decided not to attempt any reshaping at this stage because it fairly closely resembles the natural profile of my thighs (wider from a side view and narrower from a front view) but I will re-assess when I start final fitment and strapping". Thanks for the course correction and keeping me honest Paul! Amazing how I followed that train off the rails...
  4. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    That makes a lot of sense. Since I had aligned the right Thigh from the top, this resulted in the lower ridge offset causing the ammo pack to be ever so slightly lower on one end in the back as well. I thought about this at the time, thinking if I lowered it slightly, the ridges would be even with each other but this was overshadowed by the need to align at the top based on reading it somewhere. If I had aligned them via the lower ridge, I wouldn't have created that artificial wonkiness. Thanks for the clarification and the correction picture! Sometimes I follow things a bit too literally and don't follow my instincts. Down the rabbit hole I go...
  5. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Thank you! Not sure which is more work the build or the picture taking, pic management/pic posting and documenting the process. Having fun with both though! Now on to the more exciting parts like the torso and bucket...
  6. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Copy that, thanks Tony! Yea, this is the showroom model. I'm sure the used model will require changing things a bit after I come home with a few indents
  7. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    4. Thighs and Thigh Ammo Pack: Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over and I weigh a few more pounds (still enjoying turkey sandwiches every day *said in a Homer Simpson voice*), I can relax a bit more and get back into my build routine. The thigh build has taken me a bit more time than I imagined. Not only because of the holiday 'commotion' but it turned out to be one of the more complicating Q/A and wait for response areas for me because I had some questions for (TM) Paul, JustJoseph and ukswrath behind the scenes to be sure I didn't flub anything up. Got all that sorted out thanks to some great support and here's my progress. Started with the ubiquitous rough trim that goes with every part - Took off all but about 21 mm from the front cover strip "ramp" using a clamped ruler and score n snap method. Shaved the extra molding off the outer sides using the pencil and scissors method I referenced in earlier sections. For the top of the Thighs, I took off just a tad more (all but about 3/16 inch) than most returns on other limb pieces due to this being a known "pressure and poke you" area: I'll show in a later pic where I took most of the return off at the top of each Thigh in a narrow area where the outer (and inner) cover strip meet and explain why (which was great advise from (TM) Paul. For the bottom of the Thighs, I left the standard 1/4 inch return that I've been trying to maintain for most return edges on the limbs (where applicable). Next was trimming the circumference off the back of the Thighs. My picture below is something I picked up initially by doing. It was really nice to get some validation for this approach when I later found a pic by (TM) Paul where it appeared he had the same or similar method to minimize on the gap and I believe there are a few others that do similarly. What I started toying with after my first round of limb pieces (biceps) was to treat the remaining return edge on the bevel portions a little differently when I trim them. This admittedly simple trick is to leave an extra 1/16th or so of plastic (in addition to the cut line) on the raised area of the bezel (see red text and line in pic below) and to hand-file-trim that down to custom fit with the opposing edge. This also applies to the where the return edges come together (past the cover strip) on the upper Biceps and upper forearms as well. It just ensures your two edges will come together more evenly, minimizing the sliver or "gap" that often occurs. I found that if I trimmed everything using the same line when I melded the two pieces together, the ends would flare out. Now for the fine print... Before I go accusing others of doing something that was not exactly common in the film suits, I'll just admit that this satisfies my personal need to make things perfect (at least in my mind) and I believe I've seen similar success in other builds. While I've achieved a real nice union of these two edges on many of my pieces this far, I can honestly say that more often than not, there were noticeable slivers or gaps on the bottom of thighs, on the top-back of calves, etc. in the film suits. Is this clean approach cannon? not often... Most of em had a sliver or more of gap. So, take this for what it's worth to you. Additionally, I rubbed a thin layer of E6000 on the back side of these joining surfaces to lock them down and prevent snags or rough trooping from spreading or ripping them apart. You'll see the results further below in the final results. This next pic is just a reference for what Paul and others building TM do to align the front two halves of the thighs. The two pieces are actually backwards in relation to one another in the pic (sorry) so I'll explain. The right Thigh (which is on the right in the picture) gets the Ammo Pack so alignment of both pieces starts at the top and the bottom is mismatched intentionally and can be left that way because it will be covered by the ammo pack. The left Thigh should be aligned evenly starting at the bottom and the offset should be trimmed at the top to even them both out. This is because the left Thigh will be somewhat visible behind the sniper knee. Note on the pic. At this stage I have glued them together, both in front and back, using inner cover strips. Later if will trim the upper edges to align with the cover strips and narrow the return in that area where they join. Here's a pic of the advise I received from (TM) Paul on how to handle the rear cover strip and joining edges trimming. The blue line was my question on if I should trim it that way (I had seen some build take this approach). The red line is Paul's advise to both bring the pieces together in a nice fluid way and to also minimize on the "poke you" factor of having protruding edges in your posterior On to Thigh Ammo Pack trimming. I had originally started by trimming down to the cannon - 3-5 mm return edge. In hindsight, I now wonder if I should have hot bathed it to form a round shape first, then trimmed down the edges. This is due to some of the edges getting a bit "curly" due to heating it a tad too long or due to the nature of that small return reacting to the heat and/or the shape of the boxes restricting some of the circular shaping. After trimming edges, I used a can of tomato paste to draw and then cut my rounded edges. In looking around the house for a pre-made template, there were many to choose from but this one sized out the best. Here's the finished product: Here's a view of the curve as a result of the hot water bath. It looks better in the picture but there are a few of those curly edges on the bottom. My mold after the hot water bath was to wrap it around a plastic juice pitcher then cold water cool which wasn't the most sturdy method to tape it to. I'm now thinking I should have made a wooden mold or something a little more solid to hold it against while it cooled. I'm also not convinced that I had it hot enough or too hot because after two attempts I started getting chicken, thinking I'd only make the edges worse with more attempts. Nevertheless, I deemed this one good enough or replaceable later if needed and figured I'd let more seasoned builders provide feedback on the finished product. This was my method for not only dry fitting it so I could measure and cut the back lengths but later what I used to secure it during gluing. I decided to secure and glue the front right and front left sides with E6000, making sure the rear was perfectly positioned with magnets for single cap rivet drilling and attachment. The gluing also ensured the ammo pack molded around the thigh's shape without any irregular bulges making it less uniform. I must've spent hours fitting and refitting this so that the rear edges lined up with the pics/specs for rivets placement per the original RS armor pic in our FISD library. I think I got that rivet placement and the rear edge pretty dam close to the reference pic. Needless to say, I'm really glad this portion is done cause I'm really tired of looking at that ammo pack . Additionally, I dry fitted the front cover strip in place so I could ensure the ammo pack aligned with the bottom edge of strip without too much/too little gap. Special thanks to ukswrath and JustJoseph for advising me on how to secure those rivets properly. I ended up going with a 8 mm/5/16 rivet punch (as opposed to the pliers and customizing a piece of metal as a base in my vise such that it would fit between the narrow ridges inside the Thigh, allowing me to hammer it down. Final cover strip gluing: Thigh Final Product - Front: Thigh Final Product - Right Sides (sorry for the blurry pic): Thigh Final Product - Left Sides: Thigh Final Product - Rear: If you look really closely or zoom in on the front's inner cover strip, you can just make out where I narrowed the return as it neared the cover strips. This was great advise, once again, from Paul because it basically brings the return edges on either side right up to the inner and outer cover strips where they thickness of these matches the thickness illusion created by the return edge. I nice meld of two thicknesses that you won't even notice because it will be up against your upper thigh. Final thoughts: There's a slight oval shape to both of these Thighs. I decided not to attempt any reshaping at this stage because it fairly closely resembles the natural profile of my thighs (wider from a side view and narrower from a front view) but I will re-assess when I start final fitment and strapping. The angle of the Thigh Ammo Pack is about middle of the road in comparison to the movie references and other builds. I sort of like the angle it has because it aligns with the angle the top of the Shin provides giving it a fluid look. What I didn't want to do is duplicate the screen wonkiness where you could often (not always) see the Thigh Bevel sticking out below the ammo pack. It looks like the stuffings coming out of the guy! 4.1 Thighs and Thigh Ammo Pack Lessons Learned: Not too much to add here. I'll reinforce the notion that if you are in doubt, just ask. Better to ask and gain assurances or direction than make a mistake or regret not following through. My other hindsight is, I should have added a mm or so to the overall width that I trimmed the front cover strips ramps down to so as to ensure there was a mm on each side at the narrowest point, right in the middle of the front strip. I went with about 21 mm for the width that the cover strip would sit on. 22 or so would have been better and looked more uniform on either side at the narrowest point.
  8. Man oh man this looks well put together! Can't wait to see more.
  9. Been following along. Really nice work so far and thanks for the frequent chuckle
  10. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Appreciate the feedback Tony! Leaving a bookmark-Entry for unfinished portion of Shins (rear cover strips) so I can move on with Thigh build section... Lessons Learned (Shins): While it was a bit scary doing my first re-shape using the hot water bath - method, it turned out well after some preparation (a good layout of all items needed and a mental walk-through of the steps I was going to take). Another key is patience and trial/error. Take it slow and heat up the plastic in boiling water using the least amount of time possible. The plastic will get quite soft and "wiggly" which is what you want. Some have indicated boiling it around 25-30 seconds before shaping, my shins took closer to 55-60 seconds so I made multiple attempts, working my way up to that time, before the re-shaping took. The key to working your way up to the right heat and achieving re-shaping success is not overheating it. I did this with my Thigh Ammo Pack (see the next chapter) and it got a little "curly" around those very thin/narrow edges where they were trimmed affecting that edge re-shaping. As was discussed above, if you trim a lot from your shins, this effects the overall shape. Be prepared to re-shape them so the ends meet more naturally now that they lack some of that natural roundness. This is a debatable topic because on one hand you want to maintain the intended shape of the armor and on the other hand, the desire is to have the armor appear as though it fits you well. I personally think there is a compromise in there. Perhaps I was going for a bit more fit than most. I just hope, when it's all on me, it has an overall symmetry. I was reading about the original 50 suit set and some of the design notes or discussions about the armor and it seems the initial intent was for the armor to look like it was organic or grown on each trooper. Not sure if they kept or achieved that vision necessarily, when they started filming but I believe the notion is a good one to strive for in a build. Leave any trimming that is dependent on another piece being in place - for last. As with Shins, be sure to have your torso sections in place and fitted before trimming thighs and be sure to have thighs and boots in place before trimming final length on Shins...
  11. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Shin Continued, Sniper Knee "corrected". Alrighty, here's my effort (or attempt) at aligning the Sniper Knee a bit more to the shin. Warning/Disclaimer - the below might (likely) seem to some (or many) as extreme or un-necessarily obsessive attention to detail and of that I am guilty. What I really love about modeling, my job as a Systems Engineering puke, and just about everything I'm passionate about (to now include putting together the beautiful white armor) is the detail, accuracy and well... a character flaw I'll call pursuit of perfection. While I am far from it, that doesn't change my inherent need to try achieving it or as close as I can reasonably come. That is not to say my build is anything near it either because this is my first (newbie) attempt and I've already made a number of mistakes. The counter argument to this being is it necessary or even beneficially. I'm not sure but again, that doesn't stop OCD-ish folks like myself from wanting to try. I've seen many cases where the build was not overly concerned with attention to detail or accuracy yet it still came out looking outstanding on the builder which I'm thinking, speaks to the forgiving nature of this plastic and the amazing inherent design of it that that permits us to get away with a lot and still look great. Ok, enough on that... The first step to redo the Sniper Knee was... of course - to remove it and then clean off all the excess glue. Man! what a chore that was to carefully peel away, using a number of different tools to gently nibble at and pull away the E-6000 underneath. I gotta say, this ABS is remarkably resilient and forgiving because it came out completely intact! When I re-glued the Sniper Knee to Shin, I payed special attention to the alignment points that I previously used and where I'd need to change those alignment points in order to get a correction. Here's the end result that you can compare with the previous picture above and you can be the judge as to whether it was a noticeable and therefor necessary or beneficial change . I'm guessing the alignment points are fairly intuitive and obvious to many but I'll provide those alignment points I used as reference - below. My assessment: For the most part, everything fell back into place where they previously had with a admittedly, very minor, difference. The front ridges on either side of the Sniper Knee (seen in gold below) were previously shifted to the left. I made sure, in the second gluing, that the Sniper Knee ridge-angles were centered on either side with the Shin's ridge-angles which, again, are referenced below in gold hash marks. As far as I can tell, this shifted the Sniper Knee angle more closely to center by a mere 2-3 mm . Yep. the Sniper Knee is still (from a front view) canted to the left but by just a tad less than before. Pretty minor improvement but I can now proudly wear my Sniper Knee knowing it's a compromise between "better" and still ANH wonky! Here's the reference points (gold and green) I mentioned above that I used for alignment on the front. Note the expected gap on the front between the Sniper Knee lower edge and the Shin - cover strip. Note the yellow arrows referencing the ends of sniper knee being aligned and snug up against the shin upper ridge (more on that in the pic below this one). On the second gluing, I also made sure to not apply glue to this area so as to remove the need to clean it out from under a surface that doesn't touch anyway. Side View - Right Side. This is the second alignment point (see green arrow) which is, in my opinion, the most important and crucial alignment that effects the overall look and fit. The maker's intent here is to ensure the Sniper Knee lower ridge fits right over the Shin ridge and reinforces that ridge visual line as though they were one (see green lines depicting ridge visual line). Side View - Left Side. Noting once again the visual alignment between shin ridge and Sniper Knee ridge. Also ensuring that Sniper Knee ridge is butted nice and tight underneath the Shin's ridge. Additionally, I furiously researched every picture I could find that would tell me what the Sniper Knee - side ridge, upper edge was trimmed to. There were numerous ANH pictures which showed the top of the Sniper Knee ridge narrowing as it progressed downward to the point where it aligns with the top of the Shin's ridge so, I trimmed mine down to eventually align/merge with the rearward Shin upper ridge. My apologies for the picture glare which washed out the two surfaces where they join. I'm trying to stick with no flash pictures so the shadows and lines are more clearly defined but I couldn't seem to get the lighting duplicated or good enough this morning when I took these pics in a different session than the rest. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Please, by all means, feel free to share any/all thoughts. I'm always open to and look forward to other views, suggestions and debate. I think they serve to broaden and refine. Coal to Diamond if you will...
  12. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Shins Continued - Sniper Knee. Apologies in advance, I didn't save all of my pictures from the trimming process because I ended up pausing on the sniper knee while reshaped the shins in the above hot water bath. Shin trimming was pretty straight forward. A few notes within the process I followed and a slight deviation from build direction per (TM) Paul's build threads. First off was removing the slight return at the bottom of the sniper knee - plate. This is necessary of you want the lower/bottom of the plate to lie perfectly flat when glued to the shin surface. As you can see by the below pic, out of the box mine had about a 1/8th to 1/4 inch return edge that I removed entirely. I found this to be the case with pretty much all ANH reference pics that I could find. When I dry fit the sniper knee to the shin I had an ever so slight overhang on the right side. This is that slight deviation from Paul's build and likely due to my front cover strip return edge being trimmed down to 20 mm (with minimal 1-2 mm additional border between cover strip and return edge). So, I did end up trimming this end ever so slightly (about 1/8th inch) so that it didn't hang over the bevel or ridge where the angle turns toward the rear. For trimming the outer return on the overall (diamond shaped area) of the sniper knee, here's what I decided on which is about 5/16th of an inch (or 9 mm). From what I've able to make out in the ANH reference photos which is rather difficult at times due to image quality on these smaller items, this is pretty close close to cannon.. A personal preference note: Wherever there is a turn in the armor that is rounded, I've attempted to mimic that rounded corner on my armor. Not only does this match the outer edge (see upper bevel, rounded angled-turn at the leading edge) but I believe it may help, ever so slightly, to reduce the likeliness of cracking if there were more of a sharp angled cut. I've used mini rat-tail files and my leather hole cutter to create these various rounded corners. Here's (what was) the finished product which I was not completely satisfied with. Now, don't misunderstand me here. I spent a lot of time ensuring both in dry fit and gluing that the right and left side of the knee lined up perfectly with the shin upper-bevel as well as attempting to center it on the cover strip, fully realizing the resulting crookedness is ANH "Wonkiness", which was by design, part of the armor's charm, campy, screen accurate, etc. I truly respect and appreciate those elements yet my inner (anal retentive or as I like to call it - attention to detail oriented) voice kept convincing me I could do better/fix it. I wanted such a prominent piece to sit straight dammit so, I ended up taking it apart and retrying (see further below and you can be the judge as to how much of a correction or difference it made Next up, the "corrected" sniper knee...
  13. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    My Wife has a thing for Orange . She makes it look good. Me not so much... I am getting the idea of what it means to be sweating in rubber gloves though. Thanks Tony!
  14. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    OK Results are in . Hot water bath was a success. For those worried about their first time doing this, as I certainly was , here's some details. Since my shins are the XL length and I don't have a pot or container big enough, I searched about for alternatives and found a rubber made tool box my Wife uses for craft paints that fit perfectly. I took the lid off, tested it to be sure it wouldn't give way with so much boiling water in it and away I go! I boiled the water for about 3-5 minutes to remove impurities before dipping my precious plastic in there (also boiled the twine I used to hang it) and set off on a number of attempts. This is a big container so I ended up boiling three large kettles worth of water to fill this thing with enough to submerge the calves. Because I was a bit nervous about the cover strip areas being effected by the heat (I had read a thread last night where he indicated he had to redo some), I only submerged them right up to - but not including the return edge for the cover strips. The first two or three attempts seemed to be working but only by a small amount. After the first round of water started cooling, I learned that I had to ensure the water was fully boiling and without delay, quickly submerge them. Additionally, I found the 25-30 seconds others has posted as being sufficient time, wasn't enough for mine. I'm guessing because TM is a bit thicker than some (1.5 mm), I needed to leave them in for about a minute or so before it started making a difference. Next step was to quickly remove, overlap the back calf ends by about 3/4 inch on both ends (tried a bit less at first but it was not enough), tape them in place and swing them over to the sink where I ran cold water over them. Here's the results. They're nearly touching now which is quite an improvement over the two inch gap they previously had! I'm pretty happy and relieved now. Whew... Thanks to Paul (TM) for the slight overlap tip and to Tony for the confidence boost on the hot water bath method. For those with similar concerns, it really wasn't that risky or difficult once I got set up and had a few runs under my belt. The biggest challenge was getting all that water to boil at the same time and smoothly as well as quickly transitioning through each step in the process. I think I'll reserve the heat gun method for a future build Onward to sniper knee!
  15. Linus

    Linus' ANH Stunt Build (TM)

    Yep, figured as much. I'm all for the extra work hence the questions on reshaping. Honestly, my intent is merely to shape this armor as though it was made for me. I did not make them overly snug but I am a bit tall and lean (at least in the limbs ) so I guess that's the trade-off. Thanks for the input Paul! Good to know Tony. I was planning on the Velcro method and I did buy the Industrial Velcro so I should be good then. If it won't hurt, I think I'll do some hot water bath testing starting with the shoulder bridges and the TD plate and if I feel good about what I've learned from that, try a bath or two to shore up the shin gap just a bit. Thanks for the reinforcement!