So, you got a set of ROTK vacuum formed armor and you are not impressed with the level of detail for the hand guards… Not to worry, I got you covered.
If you are not familiar with a product called Sentra, Sentra is a brand name for PVC foam board. This is not craft foam, it is rigid like a PVC plastic pipe; however, it is also a thermal forming plastic. This means you can heat it with a heat gun and shape it. There are numerous videos on YouTube on how to work with Sentra. In addition to being a 501 member, I am also a member of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club (MMCC) and we use Sentra extensively in making Mandalorian armor.
There are a lot of other bands of PVC foam board and it is available at most plastic supply stores as well as thicker version at most Home Depots and Lowes but this thickness is normally ¾” thick and too thick for use as armor. I recommend 3mm (1/8”) for this application.
Here is a 12” x 12” x 1/8” thick PVC board available on Amazon for $6.99, this is more than enough to make the hand guards.
I have made a template for this tutorial that is scaled and will print out properly on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper., look for the template as a pdf attached to this thread.
Other things you will need:
· Xacto knife
· 220 grit sandpaper
· CA glue (Super glue)
· Glazing putty or Bondo
· Primer paint
· White Gloss spray paint or whatever you used on your TK
If you have any of these other things, it will make the process easier:
· Band saw
· Belt Sander
· Foredom or a Dremel with a 1/8” (#194) carving bit
Let’s look at some reference images of the ROTK handguard.
And these are some images of my Jimmiroquai ROTK handguards.
Things to note are the curves where the hand guard conform to the back of the hand. There is a sharp angle portion between the index finger and thumb knuckles.
First you will need to print out the template and cut out the parts. You can just cut out one top and one bottom section if you want and just mirror them on the Sentra. Once you have the templates, make sure they will fit your hand, make any alterations on the template as needed.
Next, trace the templates on the Sentra with a pencil.
Now you can cut the Sentra in half and tape the two haves together to render two of both parts (the main part and the top part. Once the parts are taped together, cut the two parts out with a band saw or use the ruler and Xacto knife. You should now have 4 parts. I transfer the bend line and alignment lines to all parts. Note that the top part is oversized. This is because you will need that extra material when you bend the parts.
Next, sand the top parts. Once they are glued on to the main part, it will be harder to sand the sides of the top part.
Next, use a hot air gun or hair dryer to heat up the main part along the bend line. Be careful to not overheat and cause the Sentra to curl, shrink, or burn. Wearing some work gloves and using a spare board and a flat surface, bend the Sentra on the line at about a 30-40 degree angle.
Next, apply CA glue to the underside of the top part and align it on the main part and clamp or tape it in place. Note, because we have not bent the top part it will protrude over the angled section on the main part.
Next, remove the clamps and tape and gently heat the handguard along the back edge on the top and bottom then gently curve this section to the handguard conform to the back side of the hand.
Next, gently heat the top part that overhangs the angled section and using a spare board, bend the top part to conform to the main angled part and hold in place till it is cooled and set.
Next, gently pry the two angled parts open enough for you to apply some CA glue then clamp and let cure.
Next, trim the top part so that it matches the main part then sand the handguards with the 220 grit sandpaper. I choose to round all the sharp angles since the screen used had guards are rounded.
Next, using the Foredom or Dremel, carefully hollow out your indention on the font of the handguard. Since this part is not 6mm thick, just shoot for center and only go about 1/8” deep. If you don’t have either a Foredom or Dremel, it is possible to do this with a 1/8” drill bit and an Xacto knife but it will be difficult to make it look good. Just take your time.
Next, use the sandpaper and Xacto knife to clean up the indention.
Next, use the glazing putty or Bondo to fill anything that needs filling such as the separation between the main part and the top part or any imperfections you may have caused with the clamps or tools.
Next, lightly sand and blend the filler then prime the hand guards.
Next paint the handguards. Once they are cured, you can apply Velcro to the back side and mount them on your gloves.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful.