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501st Stormtrooper[TK]
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    First ROTK Centurion
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    Naast MMCC, GA Garrison 501st

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  1. Update, Ok so I was concerned that the Sentra that I chose to use for the base of the shoulder strap master mold would be too porous so I made the base from ¼ thick plexiglass and used the styrene half rounds. Once I had this completed I made the mold. Once the mold was cured, I sprayed it down with release agent and molded another set of shoulder straps. The results were the same, the cured rubber was not smooth and was pitted. So, I cleaned the mold and made another set without the release agent and man did that make a huge difference. So at this point these are as good as I can get them until I can find a supplier that produces ¼” half round plexiglass or acrylic rods at a decent price. Here are the pics: If you are interested in a set, I have created a sale thread here: As always, thanks for the interest.
  2. Outstanding, I was considering making my own vacuum formed kit but getting the smooth both side ABS is way too expensive for me. I noticed that I forgot to mention that 1 4'x8' sheet will produce (roughly) 1 set of ANH TK armor. As for the ROTK armor, I was able to snag a black series RO helmet off Amazon for $49.00 last year. I plan on modifying it for a ABS armor build once I get the armor. I plan on keeping my Jimmy kit shinny white but the ABS will get weathered. Also, for anyone who does not know, I have made some urethane rubber shoulder straps to replace the fiberglass ones since they cracked last year. I am still perfecting the process but once they are ready for prime time, I will make them available to whomever wants them. More details in my ROTK build thread here on FISD. Not really looking to make money or push sales in anyway, they will go for cost basically and I just wanted to make them available to all who want them.
  3. Imperial Valour, you may want to message 850 Armor Works and HSP to get a time frame on when these will be available. I paid for a chest plate and ammo belt with 850 last year before DragonCon and have still not received them. When I contact them they say they are still working on the bucks. They have offered to refund me but I am fine to wait. However, I still have no idea when (if ever) I will see my parts. I do not think anyone has done a comparison between the flexible fiberglass and the ABS. I will say that I have vacuum formed Mandalorian armor in both ABS and HIPS. Comparing the three materials, the ABS seems the most resilient. In my experience, the flexible fiberglass will crack at stress points if it is flexed often (like putting it on and taking it off). Additionally, since the fiberglass must be painted, the paint can crack when flexed as well. I used automotive paint so that is not a huge issue with me but I would think that spray paint would crack when flexed. ABS vs HIPS. Originally the standard TK was formed with HIPS (I believe); however, many formers are now using ABS because of the cost. For example, a 4’x8’ sheet of 1/8” thick (.125) HIPS is $55.60, where a 4’x8’ sheet of 1/8” thick (.125) ABS is $35.20 from my supplier (Calsak Plastics). However, the ABS is not smooth on both sides. One side has a hammered finish (textured like a truck bed liner) and even if I form the armor with the smooth side up, the detail of the texture side comes through. This can be sanded but it would take a lot of work to make a TK kit with this textured stuff. Calsak can order both side smooth Abs but you must purchase a whole pallet of 100 sheets for this and that is a lot of cash. I know 850 is using the smooth both side ABS so their armor should be good to go. Another down side of the ABS is that it is mostly available in black. HIPS is glossy white and therefore no need to paint but most ABS armor will need to be painted. Using Abs for Mando armor is not an issue since we mark up most of our kits to look extensively battle worn so the texture is more of a benefit than a hindrance. The last Mando kit I built I used a combination of Abs and Sentra. Sentra is a not a vacuum forming plastic, but you can shape it with a heat gun, so for Mandalorian armor it is idea and I have been very impressed with it. Hope this helps. Ukswrath, agreed, I prefer ABS for vacuum forming.
  4. Thanks Yoshix. Ok so a little update on the shoulder straps. After pondering options other than Velcro for attaching the shoulder straps to the breast plate, I came up with several possible methods. I considered everything from snaps to a hook latch but nothing really jumped out to me, then out of the blue I came up with the simplest idea of them all, a simple pocket. So I took some left over HIPS about 1/8” thick and cut two small pieces to fit the area behind the raised portion of the chest plate. I had filled this area with PC-7 originally to provide an angled surface for Velcro so I needed to mill all the PC-7 out and reduce everything back to the way the chest plate came. Next, I used Bison contact cement to attach the HIPS. Once the Bison cured, I blended the outside of HIPS with the inside of the back plate with PC-7 and let is cure. After the PC-7 cured, I painted it white and added the Velcro that holds the black elastic shoulder straps that run from the back plate to the chest plate. Next, I did a test fit of the shoulder straps and the are perfect. The only thing that holds them in the pocket is friction; however, the pocket is about 5/8” deep so I do not think they will come out hen wearing them. So, I feel this has solved the attachment to the breast plate. I am working on building the new master bucks to cast. Once they are done, I will make a silicone mold then cast some new shoulder straps. Thanks for the interest.
  5. Ok guys, the test of the shoulder straps was successful; however, the Velcro attacked to the front top section of the shoulder strap to attach them to the inside of the chest armor was not sufficient to hold the straps in place. Although, they stay tucked inside the chest armor, they did move and displayed a gap between the straps and the chest armor. This is not a serious issue and I am considering adding a snap to the strap and inside of the armor to hold the straps in place. Here are some pictures taken when I test fit everything the night before my troop. And here are a few pictures from the troop. So, in the coming weeks I will work out the remold and how to attach the straps. Once all this is done, I will put a feeler out to determine how many of you Rogues are interested in these. As always, thanks for the interest.
  6. GMRhodes, thank you. I called Smooth-on and spoke to them about a gloss coating. apparently if my mast is glossy then the mold will be glossy and the pull from the mold will be glossy. so as I said previously, I will be making a new glossy master. Failing that, there is a product called Epsilon Pro which can be applied in several coats and will give a flexible glossy finish. I will see what i can come up with in next few weeks. Thanks for the comments and interest.
  7. UKswrath, thank you. Ok, so I attempted to put all my armor on last night to test the shoulder straps and the Bison adhesive did not hold the soft Velcro on the top of the straps. So, it looks like I will need to invest in the Smooth-on urethane adhesive. In the interim, I will be sewing the top Velcro on the straps for this weekend’s troop. Another observation I have made is that the shoulder straps are not glossy and will not be an exact match for the rest of my kit but they are very white and I am expecting that they will not stand out that much. I will get some pictures of the troop and my kit and post them once I have them. Thanks for the interest.
  8. Thumpy, thank you. Update, My master must have been more porous than I thought because the urethane straps I pulled got some black dust in them and I cannot get it out of them. I have tried everything rubbing alcohol, acetone, soap and cold and hot water, etc…. Nothing seems to work. So, I figured I needed to smooth my master and make a new mold. I sprayed some gloss clear coat on the master and made a new mold. The pulls were not as clean as the previous mold and I think it’s a combination of both the old silicone I use to make the mold and the fact that the clear coat was not as smooth as I wanted. So, I took the opportunity to make a new set of straps with Velcro embedded in them. This time I used jut the Velcro and no nylon webbing. I have tried several types of glue to adhere the soft Velcro to the top flat portion of the straps. The only glue that seems to work is the Bison glue. Smooth-on does make a urethane adhesive but its $50.00+ for a pint test kit. The Bison seems to work well, and the only drawback is that it that it is a off white yellowish color. This is not a real issue since it should not be seen but I am still in the development stages of these, so I will continue to investigate. I have a troop this coming Saturday and I will test out the straps. If all goes well, I intend to make a new master in the coming weeks and get some new silicone to make new molds and hopefully I can come up with a cleaner mold to produce cleaner pulls. That’s it for the update. Thanks for the interest.
  9. Update, Ok so I got around to casting the shoulder straps in Simpact 60A. his stuff is an off white urethane rubber that is fairly stiff. I added Smooth-On’s white pigment to the mix to ensure a proper white color. Mixing and set-up is fairly simple and no need to gas the product. I poured the first one and demolded it 2 hours later. I placed it on some wax paper and let it cure for a full 24 hours. It was a little tacky but I figured out that was the mold release. I washed it with some warm soapy water and presto! One complete flexible shoulder strap done. So, I made another one, then I made two with a piece of Velcro sewn to a piece of white nylon webbing and imbedded them on the back side of the shoulder straps. After the straps were cured, I used my hot knife to cut the excess webbing off and I think they came out equally nice. The webbing adds some stiffness to the strap, but I really don’t think it is needed. My primary goal with the nylon was to have a surface for the Velcro. I will see if any of the silicone based adhesives I have will stick to the urethane. If they do I will add Velcro to the other two straps. Once I have the process down, I will be offering these to whomever wants to purchase them. I am not looking to make any real money on them so they will go for just a bit over the cost of materials and shipping. I am figuring about 30 bucks for a set of two shipped to the US and Canada. Elsewhere the shipping may be a few bucks more. Regardless, once I get all this sorted, I will post the straps for sell in the proper forum. Thanks for the interest.
  10. Well crap I just realized I posted the question to Dave and not to Ted; however, I think my question was valid to the both of you and you both have answered so I guess its all good. Ok so lets get some updated pics guys and get y'all approved. We need more ROTKs out there. On a side note, I am thinking of doing a Rogue One racing shirt or T-shirt or hockey jersey so be looking for a feeler thread in the Rogue One section at some point. Ted I would like to see the shoulder bridges and the changes you made. I will be doing my first pour for the rubber shoulder straps tonight. Be well brothers and happy new year.
  11. Zeddy, page 4 of my build has a respectable paint guide. As for glossy vs flat. Everything white is glossy, all the details on the ab plate and sides are glossy. The grey on the TD and helmet is flat. the black brow is flat and the neck seal ring is flat. I shot my entire helmet then applied a gloss to everything but the brow and neck. Then i went back and sanded the grey stuff to make it flat.
  12. April 2018? Big Deal, where are the updated pics on what you have been working on? I need to see some progress here brother, the Empire needs you.
  13. Zeddy, pick up a set of small files like these https://www.amazon.com/Dolland-10Pcs-Diamond-Needle-Metal/dp/B07CGDNMQN/ref=sr_1_5?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1546872447&sr=1-5&nodeID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=mini+file+set The first file on the left is roughly 1mm thick and 4 mm wide. This is what I used to get my lines looking good. Once you open the hole enough to fit the file inside, then run the file back and forth lengthwise along the long sides of the holes. Do not push and pull the file inside the holes as this may break the thin sections between the lines. If the helmet is sitting on a table, you want to move the file up and down along the entire side of the lines, this will even the lines and make them look more uniform. I hope this helps. What type of paint are you using? If you are using spray paint, do not try to get a thick coat on or you will continue to get runs and cracking, do multiple thin coats until you achieve the look you want. You may need to wet sand between layers with some 220 or higher grit, but don’t go too smooth or the paint will not stick. If you use a flat paint and the apply a clear coat over it, you will get a better result than if you just use a glossy spray paint. If you do decide to do a clear coat, let the paint cur for a minimum of 3 days before you apply the clear or you may get some orange peel.
  14. Update, I have replaced a lot of the Velcro and I think one of the largest factors on why so much of the Velcro failed at dragon con was the heat. Additionally, I think I have fixed the shin armor from rotating. First, someone at some point in one of their builds mentioned a contact cement called Bison. I ordered some of this stuff from Amazon and used it to stick the Velcro inside the shin armor that attaches to the boots. In the two hours I wore the shins and boots walking around my shop, it looks like it will hold. Next, I added some snaps inside the shin armor and the boots that should further ensure that the armor does not rotate. Lastly, some good news about the shoulder straps. I stopped by The Engineer Guy and spoke to some subject matter experts on what products to use for making the rubberized straps. I picked up some Smooth-On Simpact 60A Urethane Rubber. I will be making a test set of the straps in the coming week and I will let you guys know how they turn out. If they work out, I will make a few sets to sell to whomever wants to buy a set. Additionally, I investigated some options to make a rubber version of my RO T-21. I think we have narrowed down the product to use but the cost is going to be significant. My investment beyond already building the T-21 will be a lot of silicone and Smooth-Cast for the mold and some Mold Max for the actual rubber gun. I would need several gallons of this stuff so I expect that my investment would be close to $1000.00. This would allow me to produce several of the guns that I would attempt to sell. I am not sure what the asking price would be. Needles to say, it will be some time before I make a decision on this project and I would need to see interest in the T-21s before I even attempted it. Well that is the update so far. I will update on the shoulder straps once I get them made. Thanks for the interest.
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