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About tsongololo

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  1. Time for an update. I haven't had much time to work on the armor, but did determine the microphones are worthless for this application. I ended up with a slightly larger mic, with a pre-amp built in: I also finally had a friend over that could get some better photos. The helmet is not complete, so the lens is just sort of placed in there over the screws, and the ears are taped on. But the stripes are looking pretty good! Trooperbay decals. I didn't trim the upper thighs yet. And there seems to be alignment issues with my left limbs. Dying the boots is a tedious process and there is still dye left. I think it they'll need all of it.
  2. Here's a few more pics clarifying (hopefully) what I'm trying to do. Please excuse the excessive photos - I just got a replacement laptop after having been without for almost a year. Posting photos is now *easy*! A fresh coat of paint to start over on the scrap ear. Microphone placed in hole. Here's a new black stripe. The featured bump seems to be larger overall than the "correct" one. It almost works. And here's the mic overlaid on the good ear, no holes drilled. It's wider than that stripe.
  3. Alright, here's some pictures of the real ears. I hope the alignment holds true. Gap is larger than I'd like, but hopefully fine. And here's the fat stripe one. You can see the large hole where the microphone was hanging out -
  4. LOL that’s my scrap ear. I just slapped on some paint in about 2 seconds to get a feel for how wide that stripe has to be. There’s a microphone fitted in there! The microphone is tiny, but still wider than a normal stripe. So the big question is, would that pass being that wide? It looks funny to me so I’m guessing no. I’m not sure if I could paint the margins of the mic grey so I can get the stripe width down. I must say, it seems to be well camouflaged! Or maybe the weird stripe dimension draws attention away from it. I don’t have any pictures of the completed ears, I’ll have to add them when I get home. The comparison photo with the R1 has a fitted, but unpainted ear.
  5. One more question: Which is the front? I'm assuming it's the one with more of a banana curve? I did trim two stripes off to make it fit, so I'm not sure which end I trimmed.
  6. No worries, in fact I like a challenge so I'm not frustrated (yet), though like most mechanics I don't like to do work twice. I'm all for trying new techniques and being creative with supplies on hand. R&D is fun! Some of these techniques could potentially transfer to actual work. What I've learned so far: Micro Mask says right on it to not use with water based paints. I think I let the paint dry a wee bit too long too, and it was much too thick. I haven't decided if I want to try again by airbrushing white, then blue with the same masking technique. If I had oil based paints I definitely would. Denatured alcohol and a microfiber cloth works GREAT to remove day old Testor's acrylic French Blue (and is safe for plastic). It does take a bit of elbow grease but it had both sides paint free in about 5 minutes. It did, however, stain the plastic underneath with a very faint ghostly blue image of the stripes, including the runs. 5000 grit sandpaper polished both sides out in less than 2 minutes. Now to change the subject: Does that ear bar stripe look too fat? I put my screwed up ear to good use as a test bed. Electronics showed up today, and I positioned a microphone in the rear stripe. The thin one was drilled off center so I abandoned it, and it's roughly the same width as the finished ears. I wanted to duplicate the installation of my R1 helmet, but it had a nice slot to cut out and cover with fabric. That won't work on this style. The other alternative is mounting behind a smaller hole.
  7. Helmet update - I'm now in the last 10% of the project, which could take as long as everything else if I let it. I'm totally feeling the frustration (and excitement) of being SOOOO CLOSE but still a lot of work to do. Anyway, I found a template for the tube stripes with a Google image search. It helps a lot to get the right keywords. Hint: search "tube stripes", NOT "stormtrooper helmet" template. I sized it in Word, printed it, and cut it out. I had to trim off a few stripes to make it fit. Without the luxury of vinyl, I came up with a creative solution that sorta worked. I applied Micro Mask to the paper, which is water soluble. It softened the paper up nicely, which made it flex and adhere to the tube without buckling. I let it dry, but perhaps not long enough (10 minutes max). I had water based Testor's French blue, which went on really thick. I think this combo wasn't ideal - there was some running underneath, but better than just paper taped on for sure. And when I peeled it off, it took some of the paint with it. I forgot to get a picture of the immediate results. It was disheartening but I was able to make it acceptable with about 30-40 minutes of effort. Still not awesome, but good enough.
  8. Thank you! I’ll gladly take you up on that suggestion, especially if it will only enhance mobility. Better to err on the side of caution. Easy fixes are the best fixes. I just ordered electronics for my helmet. <sigh> There goes another $75. The plan is to make this self-contained to the helmet and more professional looking. Hopefully I can get tutorial quality documentation this time. My beta helmet is interesting for sure, and a proof of concept, but not what I’d consider something that should be replicated. One more question: The Tube Stripe Masking Templates files are missing from that thread. Are they located somewhere else on the forum? Were they intentionally removed, or would it be ok to PM Panda Trooper?
  9. WOW!!! I just tried everything on, and I wasn’t really expecting to be as stoked as I am. It looked awesome! But I don’t think I can see the flaws through my excitement. Maybe once I get some pics that weren’t taken with a potato, I can get some feedback. But if anything sticks out with today’s post, please critique! Once I got the helmet and gloves on, I swear I totally felt incomplete with no blaster! Odd, since that wasn’t on my radar - I wanted to get basic approval before starting that project. So so far so good....got the boots on! Got the belt on and the TD is on. I can’t even tell if it’s centered, but close enough for today. Arms are next... One down... Full suit of armor! Using the R1 helmet for now...found the gloves, got them on...looks cool!
  10. Thank you Daniel for clarifying that. I thought maybe I read that sandtroopers were different somewhere, but I’ll go with information overload instead. Cableguy Dan - the replacement calf has been done correctly (insofar that it actually is split), with magnets to help the bra hooks. I gotta say, the ATA parts have been really easy to work with. Though maybe experience helps too. Maybe I can get away with one calf fused - if not, I can always split it. And then maybe replace it. Here is the RS right calf: And the ATA left (with....unconventional closures): The helmet is going together without too much fuss. It’s got more charm than the R1 bucket, AND I have binocular vision!!! It fits my face way better. Here’s a comparison with the Hasbro R1:
  11. Time for an update! I haven’t had a lot of time to work on my armor this month, but have been going fairly good for the last week. Got my new shin from ATA completed, bells have been trimmed, and I reworked how the ab closes. I’m ready to test fit the armor, but with the wrong boots for now. Still need to dye boots, make a holster and neck seal. In theory, I’m ready for...HALLOWEEN! I have a completed R1 bucket. I’m making good progress on the ATA helmet, got the left ear trimmed and fitting nicely. Then it looks like the right ear...just won’t fit the way I rough trimmed it. I *thought* I was following the transition lines. I’m unclear if the kit comes with two sets of ears, or one of each for regular TK and sandtrooper. But at least I have another! Pics to follow soon, as long as I can get into the armor by myself.
  12. I got a free sample of this - looks different in person. The stitching isn’t really stitching, just a stripe the width of a thread between the ribs. What do you all think? Should I post this in another sub forum?
  13. Here’s a few pictures of what the kit entails. I’m stilling finishing up my RS armor & the helmet arrived a few days ago, so I likely won’t get started on the R1 for a few weeks. 3D printed parts: Some parts are familiar, others not so much. The squares aren’t obvious to me. The arms and legs for the most part look like mirror images and are symmetrical. Thickness difference in the shin halves. Biceps in the foreground, shins and one set of thighs in the back, some hand guards, and 1 of 2 I don’t knows. And some boots I got from Groupon for $15. Obviously they need to be dyed, and a zipper added for Centurion, but for the price failure is an option.
  14. Good news they will be shipping at the end of the week!! BBB day is coming soon.
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