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MaskedVengeance

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About MaskedVengeance

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    Corporal

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Chattanooga, TN / Chickamauga, GA
  • Interests
    Star Wars (duh), LotR, cycling, playing and watching sports, travel, daddy-daughter time.

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  • Name
    Caleb

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  1. I just read through this entire thread, and now really want to investigate the possibility of making my own, since I am also on a poor man's budget. This is FANTASTIC WORK, Bill, and I hope that someday you're able to complete the project. I'm sure many of us would love to see the end of all your work, since it's so impressive! Mark (@Stormageddon) - What methods did you utilize to create a two-part system?
  2. Greetings Troopers! I've just posted a new thread in the same vein as this one from @kman, with photos of the new Hellhounds / Trooperbay rubber E-11. In fact, this thread served as the inspiration and basis as mine, and I formatted my post to compliment this one. i.e. I used the exact same camera angles and perspectives so that between these two threads all three blasters could be compared against each other. Check it out below if you're interested in seeing a comparison between a new rubber blaster on the market and the old war horses. Below is a photo of the E-ll I purchased from @Hellhounds and used for my photo review. I'm loving it so far!
  3. If a picture paints 1,000 words then this photo review of @Hellhounds' rubber E-11 blaster will be an EU-expanse worth of information for any Trooper seeking a product comparable to the old Hyperfirms and the newer Praetorian blasters. The inspiration for this thread came from the fantastic comparison (thread) of a Hyperfirm (HFx) B-Grade rubber blaster verses that from Praetorian Blasters (PB), by @kman. In fact, the angles of my photographs are intended to replicate those used by kman, to provide the opportunity for close comparison of the three models. Essentially, these two threads should compliment each other. The Hellhounds Props (HHP) E-11s (among other blasters) are new as of October, 2019, and are currently available from Daniel directly, as well as from @TK-4510 on Trooperbay. As I understand it, this purchase is from the first run of a dozen blasters, and thus far there appear to be no user photos of these Hellhounds rubber E-11s on FISD. Daniel from HHP currently has threads mentioning his E-11 product here and here. Regarding Rubber Blasters For those of you unaware, these "rubber" blasters are actually constructed of a combination of foam and rubber, and may have some form of armature (solid framework) serving as the skeleton. The benefits of rubber blasters are primarily weight, durability, and safety. These rubbers are heavier than standard Hasbro and Rubies conversions, as well as most resin builds—providing a slightly more realistic helf—while still remaining light enough for hours of trooping. Fully metal E-11s can start to feel really heavy really quickly. As you'll see below, the HHP weighed in at 35.03 oz, or 2.19 lbs. Rubber blasters are also less likely to break if dropped, and if a component does come off, it will likely just need to be re-adhered, rather than reconstructed (resin or plastic may have cracked or shattered). Finally, rubbers are safer when trooping in close proximity to children who may wander outside the line-of-sight of a Trooper with a bucket on. A swing and impact of a rubber E-11 is less likely to injure innocent bystanders. The most obvious disadvantage of rubber props in general is that they are generally not as detailed and refined as their resin counterparts, but advancements in molding techniques are changing that. Now, to be clear, I am in no way associated with or being compensated by Hellhounds or any other blaster maker for this review; I am simply seeking to provide Troopers with data on a new product. Note, too, that throughout this post I will link to parts of the official FISD E-11 Blaster Reference thread, to provide additional insight and imagery. So, without further ado, open kman's thread below, split-screen your device, and feast your eyes on three types of rubber E-11s from this (US) side of the pond! HHP TOP DETAIL VIEW The Hellhounds Props (HHP) magazine appears to be closer in length to a Praetorian Blaster (PB), rather than the notoriously-shortened Hyperfirm (HFx). HHP appears to be just a hair shorter than PB, but I've also seen longer magazines on some images posted by Daniel on social media. Perhaps HHP magazine length is still being fine-tuned, but I may try to see if I can acquire a longer one. Additional, note that the HHP Hengstler counter includes the two soldering pins, while the PB and HFx do not. Finally, there is a HFx-quality seam on the HHP between the rail and top T-track, but the HHP T-tracks' quality and installation into the venting holes matches those of PB. HHP TOP VIEW Immediately obvious from this view is that the HHP has a static (non-movable) aluminum D-ring installed, similar to that from PB, but the PB version is rubber cast directly to the end cap. This HHP is similar to HFx in that it does not have a faux recoil spring behind the charging handle and bolt, like that provided by PB. Notice a slight tinge of brass on the scope, and a pretty minimal and clean seam line on top (much like PB). HHP FRONT VIEW This is where further distinctions are easily identifiable between the three blasters. In general, the HHP has cleaner lines than a B-Grade HFx, but PB comes out on top with the crispest lines and no visible seams. One of the HHP front scews is excellently made (PB quality level), and the other is adequate. The front sight is also correctly thin, matching that of PB and differing from HFx's thick block, and the HHP barrel bore dept on the HHP is 0.5" (1.27 cm). Note that, with blaster in-hand, the tip of the HHP appears cleaner than this close-up photo presents. Macro photography tends to reveal blemishes which would otherwise be indistinguishable to the naked eye from normal real-life use distances. HHP BACK VIEW As previously mentioned, the HHP includes an aluminum D-ring (woohoo level 3), while the PB included a molded rubber one, and HFx none at all. Once again, PB comed out ahead with the most detailed knurling on the rear sight, followed by HHP, with HFx at the bottom of the pile. The rear end of the scope appears to be of similar quality on all three E-11s, and notice the more visible brass color on the rim of the scope (also present on the front, seen later). HHP RIGHT SIDE Stormtroopers and Femtroopers, I present to you, a METAL SCOPE RAIL, with open space underneath! You read that right. HHP finally provides us with an OT E-11 without a solid rubber rail, which was and still is the standard with HFx and PB. This was actually one of the two major factors in my decision to go with HHP (price was the other). Of course, doing so sacrifices the recoil spring and the clearing strip and extractor detail on the ejection port. Make note, too, that this HHP scope does not have the round knob on the right side. HHP LEFT SIDE An iconic angle of the E-11. The trigger guard appears to be of similar thickness to than on an HFx, which may be just a hair thicker than a PB. The guard feels very sturdy and I'd have no concerns holding my index finger on it during a long troop. The trigger itself is cut out in the same fashion as an HFx, with more open space below and behind it than that provided on a PB, and the HHP trigger feels a bit flexible, which leads me to believe it is cast in solid rubber. Additionally, aluminum appearance is present beneath the selector switch on the HHP, a detail left out by HFx but also included by PB. HHP BACK QUARTER VIEW This perspective highlights the metal scope rail, though take note that the rail is thicker than it appears in this image (due to camera lighting). I spoke with HHP about the strength of the rail prior to purchasing, and Daniel assured me that it is solid—which I agree with. That scope isn't going anywhere, and I do not foresee any sag in the long-term. Notice the screw head on the underside of the rail, which secures the scope (a second is obscured from view by the counter). Additionally, this angle, once again, shows the magazine length, which is significantly longer than the HFx but perhaps just a hair shorter than the PB. And finally, two notes regarding the rear sight area. First, the horizontal retaining pin area has been molded as a recessed space on the HHP, as opposed to raised and textured (faux) pin on both the HFx and PB. Second, though not easily discernible in any of these images, there is a locking notch band at the end of the receiver tube on the HHP. HHP BOTTOM VIEW Another major differing point of this HHP blaster with PB (unsure of HFx), is that Hellhounds hollowed-out split the arms of the folding stock. On the Praetorian the two arms are actually a solid piece molded around the trigger guard. The second photo below shows this up-close. AWESOME! The only other distinguishing feature from this angle is the length of the magazine, and the already-discussed aluminum appearance beneath the selector switch. HHP EXTRA VIEW This angle shows several features which are missing from the HHP blaster but were included by PB and HFx. The ejector knob is missing on the HHP, as are some greebles on the magazine which are present on the PB (not so on the shortened HFx mag). These omissions, and perhaps also some missing details on the front and rear of the power cylinders are perhaps the greatest weakness of this Hellhounds blaster. It's possible that the ejector knob fell off in-transit, so I will be reaching out to Daniel to inquire about a replacement/addition. On the plus side, the casting of the Hengstler counter appears very nice. HHP ADDITIONAL ANGLES The images from this point on are all from new angles not included on kman's Hyperfirm vs. Praetorian thread. They are intended to highlight the fine detailing present on these Hellhounds blasters, and will so provide a better view of the of the differences in the three rubber E-11 blasters. These first two images provide alternate angles of the mag well area, showing the lack of the ejector knob. The two soldering pins on the Hengstler counter are also visible. Notice the detailed inscriptions and oval inlay on the bottom of the magazine well, shown below. Very nice, as is the texutre on the magazine itself. The two images below highlight the T-tracks, venting holes and folding stock. As previously mentioned, the T-tracks are smooth and straight. While I am not certain that the original Sterlings had such a texture on the stock metal, I definitely like the presence of the it as it adds to the weathering and could even be considered to be carbon scoring. "You boys have seen a lot of action..." The image below shows a close-up profile view of the muzzle screw, front sight, flash guard, and folding stock butt. Notice that, in the same fashion implemented by HFx and PB, and clearly for the purpose of providing structural support, the front sight is not hollowed out on the HHP. The two images below are intended to highlight the charging handle, ejection port and guard, and texture on the folding stock and grip. Note that, as already established, there is no recoil spring, clearing strip, and extractor on the HHP. However, the grip detail is fantastic. Additionally, other than the rubber trigger, the grip is the only other place on the blaster where flex can be found—on the smooth front and back. I suspect this may be intentional to provide comfort in-hand, and I like it. Below: End cap and D-ring from both sides. Also shows the end cap clip, scope rail, and rear sight again. The textured and inscription details on the back of the scope can be seen on the photos below. While there is some brass weathering, a little more would be nice. These two photos below highlight area around the front of the scope, showing the molded screws, metal rail, power cylinders, and the soldering pins on the Hengstler counter. Notice more brass color on the scope rim The HHP weighed in at 35.03 oz (2.19 lbs or 0.99 kilos), comfortable for long troops. FINAL THOUGHTS By my assessment, the Hellhounds Props blaster situates itself right between the HFx Hyperfirm line and the Praetorian blaster. Overall the mold / seam lines are of better quality and more minimal than those on Hyperfirms, and approach or in some cases match those of Praetorian. A few details are missing on the Hellhounds, such as the recoil spring, magazine ejection knob, and greebles on the magazine and power cylinders, but conversely, HHP has included details not currently seen on OT blasters from Praetorian or Hyperfirm—a real metal scope rail and split arms on the folding stock! While this may not always be the case, it is also worth noting that the Hellhounds E-11 is currently less expensive than one from Praetorian. For me, this blaster was an EXCELLENT choice, and I would not hesitate purchasing from Hellhounds again. And there we have it. Hopefully this photo review can serve, in conjunction with kman's thread, as a valuable guide for any Trooper in the US considering purchasing a rubber E-11. Perhaps in the future I'll have the pleasure of owning more rubber blasters (DLT-19!) and be able to create additional comparison guides. I'd be happy to serve as a weaponry photographer/reviewer Amazon Vine Program style here on FISD. In case any of you missed the link near the top of this post, here is the FISD's official E-11 Reference Guide: Move along, move along... MV
  4. Congrats Trooper! Both on EIB and the LFL! I’m a new recruit and have been following your journey these last couple of weeks. I haven’t read all of your thread and story yet, but have covered quite a bit of it. I hope to join you at EIB and Centurion in the new year! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Greetings Jeremy! I am new here myself, and am just starting my first ever build, on a TK stunt like you. My goal is also to finish by the summertime, or fall at the latest. If it isn’t already obvious, this forum is an excellent place to ask questions and get support. So much information and helpfulness! I look forward to following your progress as we build towards the Legion! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Awesome! I too am just starting my build of an ANH stunt TK. Looks like we’ll be on the same timeline, though I’ll probably be working quite a bit more slowly than you. I look forward to following your progress on a build thread! And welcome to the forum! These Troopers here are amazing! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. OP (MV) Post #3 Thank you all for your helpful comments! Family life with an 8-month old has been busy, and since my time on FISD is primarily squeezed in here and there on Tapatalk, it takes me a couple of days to get back to my desktop machine and type out a post such as this. So here's an update. MBB (medium brown box) Day was the day before yesterday!!! Christmas came early! Needless to say, I was eager to rush home from work. While I don't have anything to compare it to, that rubber E-11 is sweet. I still plan on posting a review in the appropriate Weapons Locker forum, but based on reviews I've read, the quality of this one from TB and Hellhounds appears better than at least the old Grade B Hyperfirms (I've never seen photos of the top level). Praetorian does seem to have cleaner seams, and a few fine details which this one doesn't, but here's the kicker: this rubber E-11 has a separate metal scope rail, with open space underneath! I know, the image above doesn't clearly depict that. Stay tuned for my review post! (I'm also curious to know if this E-11 would be approved at level 3). I also checked out my local Michael's store for paint, and only found Testors. Perhaps Humbrol is only available in the UK or online. This was a tiny 0.25 fl oz bottle I got for $0.90. I wonder how much I will need for just the frown, since I plan on using "painted-style" decals for the traps and tears. I may try Hobby Lobby to see if they have larger bottles, and also the satin black and French blue colors. On the armor front, I've been in touch with Terrell (ATA) and he says that his right-side thigh piece is 16" tall with the recommended trim lines, and the left-side piece is a little over 15" tall, I imagine to accommodate the sniper plate. In my previous post I mentioned that the distance from the top of my knee cap to my belt-line is 18", but since I've never worn armor before I don't know how far below a Trooper's normal belt-line the top of the thigh pieces should end. I know the black gap is supposed to be minimal. Below you'll find diagrams of what I'm attempting to describe. That's me on the left, and the Legion ANH Stunt TK CRL model on the right. I'd assume that a TK's normal belt-line would be somewhere underneath the actual armor belt, but my question is would the thigh armor end any closer than two or three inches below said belt-line. I don't want increased gaps to disqualify me from Level 3. Imperial Boots opens up their next wave this Friday, so I'll be grabbing some 421s, ordering half to a whole size up from my regular shoe size. It's too bad that the shipping cost is equal to half of the price of the shoes. Perhaps I'll ask my local squad (Mos Nooga of the Midsouth Garrison) if anybody else is planning on ordering, and potentially pool shipping costs. Finally, I've decided to give Flickr a try for image hosting, since I'm already a user on that platform, but I'm still having trouble pasting BBCode here into FISD. Am I supposed to use the Code feature on the menu above, or just past here into the body? I will continue to try imgur as well, to see what ends up working for me. I did discover the image resizing feature here on this forum's platform, so that has been helpful. Now to continue sourcing snaps, rivets, and Chicago screws/rivets... MV p.s. It's no Throne Room or Imperial March, but currently my 8-month old daughter loves when I sing her the Cantina Band song. Amusing.
  8. Hi Jeff! I saw your avatar and couldn't help but comment. That page in the Star Wars Visual Dictionary was my favorite growing up. I spent HOURS and DAYS pouring over it, reading and rereading. I even mentioned it in my New Member Introduction post. I'm a recent recruit and just beginning my first build.

     

    Anyway, cool photo. =)

    1. StrmTRPR85

      StrmTRPR85

      Thank you Caleb!  Welcome to the FISD as well!  Looking forward to following your build thread as well!  As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out to myself or anyone else here on the FISD!  We are all eager to help and excited to have new troopers!

  9. Welcome, Luke! It looks like we will [hopefully] be getting TK approved at the same time in the new year! I'm starting my overall first Legion build and have been soaking up the wealth of information here on FISD. I, too, will be ordering my 421 footwear from Imperial Books when they open back up at the end of this week. Note: I believe I saw an ad on their fb indicating that they would be running specials on the Fridays of this next wave for the holidays--maybe they'll have something with the 421 line. Looking forward to following your progress! MV
  10. Hi Dan! Seems we are on the same plan--building our initial TK armor with Centurion specs in mind. I, too, am at the front end of my first build, and look forward to following your progress on this journey! For the Empire! MV
  11. Welcome to FISD, Mason! I, too, am a TK recruit embarking on my first build, and as I'm sure you've already gathered, the fine Troopers on this forum are an excellent resource! They will not steer you wrong, and when in doubt, ask questions and post pictures! I haven't received my armor yet so thus far I've mainly been asking questions. I look forward to following your progress on a build thread, and joining the Legion together! Caleb [MV]
  12. @Cricket - Here's the post I previously referred to. What type of cloth did you use for these sachets? Microfiber or felt of some sort? Did you simply cut your own by-the-yard fabric squares with zigzag craft scissors? I want to ensure I don't scratch the armor. @kman - Do you have a suggestion for smaller diameter alternatives? Does the 7/8" size simply not fit inside forearm pieces? Btw, EXCELLENT post Joseph! I love all your 101s!
  13. No worries, Cricket! That ABS reinforcement trick is awesome; perhaps I'll try to implement it myself. Btw, I had another question for you on a separate thread; when I get a chance I'll navigate back to it and then tag you on my question.
  14. OP (MV) Post #2 Research here on FISD continues, and several purchases have now been made, including an E-11 blaster, decals, and flex hand guards from Trooperbay (Holiday sale!), and several crafting supplies from Walmart. In my next post I will document all my running purchases and costs for this build, and will update that specific post throughout this build process. For now I simply have a few thoughts and more questions for those already indoctrinated. Since TK-4510 shipped my Trooperbay order so quickly (ordered day before Thanksgiving and shipped on Black Friday), I am expecting tomorrow (Monday) to be a MBB Day. That is, a medium brown box day worthy of recognition since my rubber E-11 will be inside! I'm new to this 501st universe so I must preface this by saying I've never even seen the old Hyperfirms or newer Praetorian blasters before, but based on the social media images and videos from Mike and Hellhounds Props, I have HIGH HOPES and am super excited! I will try to do a review of the blaster by this next weekend, with many close-up images. Stay tuned in the Weapons Locker forum for my post! In my initial new member introduction and first post in this thread I mentioned that I'm expecting this build to take 6-9 months, and while I still suspect that such a time frame is still likely, I've identified another sub-goal which I'd like to aim for. After checking out the FISD monthly newsletters from the present back to July, I realized that I may be able to land in the first 1,000 individuals to be awarded EIB status (a current program by FISD!), and also the first 500 for Centurion. Based on the number of current awards in those areas (947, 451 as of the Nov newsletter), and the monthly trends from the past five months, I should be able to remain in those thresholds if I finish in the next 8 months. Sure, I know such a goal may not have much meaning, but I thought it'd be neat. I like nice round numbers. Speaking of numbers, I've been pondering what five 501st ID numbers I'll be submitting on my application, and I found the threads mentioned in one of the recent newsletters fun to read. I like how the posts offered a personal look into the individuals in the faceless suits. I currently have seven TK numbers I'm considering for various reasons, and look forward to being able to post the significance of my eventual selection on those threads. Questions First, late last week I had a freak-out moment when I realized that I may be too large for ATA armor. I am 6' tall (some Doctors say 5' 11 3/4") and currently about 185 lbs (I fluctuate between 180 and 190). I wear size US 34 pants, and the actual measurement around my pants-line (hips) is 38 inches. The largest circumference of my stomach is 40 inches around. Should I expect to need to shim the kidney and ab sections of ATA armor? Similarly, I wondering about the height of the high pieces, which cannot really be shimmed. The height from the top of my knee to my pants-line (hips) is 18 inches. Are ATA thighs tall enough to minimize black caps and enable me to pursue Centurion status? Regarding TD clips: I am planning on purchasing some but want to make sure I get the proper curve for Centurion status. Does it matter which way the bend on the armor side of the clip bends towards? I'm currently eying @ukswrath's pre-made clips. The photo below shows a few of the craft items I purchased, and I am working off of @justjoseph63's supply list, also linked below. Can anybody speak to the quality of the Dremel 7700? It received mixed reviews on Amazon due primarily to the battery, but I'm curious about whether even a low-model Dremel brand product would be similar to a different brand (i.e. Avid Power "Rotary Tool Kit 1.5 Amp with 110pcs Accessories" on Amazon). Did I purchase the correct E6000? I got two tubes, and figured the clear color would be best. I plan on over-applying the flue when doing my cover strips so that I can easily pull off the excess in one fell swoop. Are these the sanding "sponges" that Joseph intended in his supply list? I also plan on getting the flexible sandpaper that he mentioned, as well as the appropriate files. Should I look in a cosmetics section for such files? Additionally, I'm utilizing imgur for the photo below, and it wasn't as easy as I was expecting. It wasn't difficult, but the steps noted in a recent FISD thread didn't work for me. I couldn't find the BBCode link to share, and instead had to right-click and copy the image location, rather than just copying the imgur post URL, which wouldn't paste properly here into the forum. All that is beside the point, though, since my real question is whether or not there is a way to resize the photo below. I figure there may be times when I'd like to insert smaller images for various reasons. Finally, what's the proper forum etiquette for tagging other members? I didn't see mention of that in the forum guidelines, and I wouldn't want to be inappropriately tagging the awesome Troopers whose information and products I'm referencing. Alright, I think that's it for me. It's 2:15am here in Georgia and I need to wake up in less than four hours for work. I have a bad feeling about this... Caleb [MV]
  15. That’s a GREAT removal of the frown paint from the gums! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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