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TheDecisiveRaindrop

501st Stormtrooper[TK]
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Everything posted by TheDecisiveRaindrop

  1. Vaders are always wanted since there tends to never be enough to go around. My garrison since it’s starting to wake up from the Covid nap has a little bit of competition for Vader slots since everyone wants to get trooping again. Usually Vaders have other costumes that they go as when that spot’s been taken. as others have said, Vader costumes do tend to be expensive, so I’d take that into consideration.
  2. It’s honestly awesome seeing what you’ve done with eva foam! One of the things that really stuck out to me was the fact that all the skills you learned from foamsmithing really does apply to working with hard kits as well! I’m still terrible at using bondo and sanding lol. Not only that, but you strive for accuracy as well! This is what the 501st is all about and I hope to see you get a plastic kit some day, but no rush! I am super glad that you are sharing your journey with us here! I look forward to your future posts!
  3. Really sorry to hear that! It took me 2 months to get access to the garrison forums because of some maintenance shenanigans where my application got lost in the nether. I ended up messaging a trooper here on FISD who was with the garrison and he engaged with the garrison commander and let me sign in. You don’t need to be a 501st member to be a member of a garrison’s forums, but being in the 501st allows you to see more forum sections and allows you to sign up for troops. This is one process I do find a bit silly, but I understand why they put restrictions on who can join the forums. lastly, have you tried messaging Ukswrath here on the forums? He’s one of the admins and is located in the western Cali, but I’m sure he can get you in touch with garrison members in your area if you asked him.
  4. Sounds like either Armor Master or RWA kits are probably where you’d want to conduct your search. The next step is to look through build threads and see how other troopers of a similar size have built their armor. It will also help you understand the differences between those two kits.
  5. I can understand that the hobby is really intimidating when you first join FISD, and when I was much younger, I felt the same as you. To the point I *gasp* bought ebay armor because “what does it matter? Armor is armor!” sure enough, I opened the box and realized just what I got myself into. Between poorly made parts, tons of inaccuracies, and just in general, terrible part quality. Thankfully I was able to return the armor for a full refund. Didn’t sign back onto the forums for a long while since I felt so discouraged. Then I decided to go to the page Gmrhodes posted and ended up making that my home page for a bit. Weeks go by as I started to really study the different armors to figure out which one was best for me, between quality, durability, and accurateness. I started reading other people’s build threads to get a better idea of what I can expect. I got in contact with my local garrison and they arranged to have dinner with me in just the span of a few weeks! All for a total stranger no less, but they were excited to meet a possible future trooper! Eventually I settled on an Armor Master 4.5 kit. A kit that costed twice as much as the 400 USD ebay armor I got! And let me tell you, I did not regret it. All the research payed off and I was able to get help from everyone on the forums. Not only that, but one of the troopers at the dinner turns out to live just a few minutes from my place and offered me to work on my armor in his basement. He basically was a guiding hand helping me every step on the way and was the one who helped me take my submission photos. What you get for joining the 501st is finding a second family as it turns out lol. what sets the 501st apart from other costuming groups is the fact that we strive for movie accuracy, to aim for a level of authenticity that even Lucasfilm even recognizes. That’s not to say that there aren’t other costuming groups of similar standards, it’s just that in a lot of ways, the 501st is the gold standard. I suppose at the end of the day, you will need to ask yourself why you want the stormtrooper armor. If you want to dress up as a stormtrooper from time to time, it is perfectly fine to do so without the strict guidelines of the 501st. However, if you want to go the extra mile and be part of a group that helps others and has a lasting impact both to star wars and her fans, then maybe this is the place you want to be. Sorry for the long post, but I think it will give you a better idea of “why we are the way we are”. The 501st isn’t for everyone, but unlike Yoda, we are certainly open to people who at least try.
  6. The trooper who guided me through the building process said it normally takes about 60 hours for a normal TK build and that mine took twice that amount because I was so focuses on making sure everything was made to a higher level. Once things calm down a but where I’m at, I’ll get ready to submit a pre-submission for EIB. I’ve already done my first troop up in Flagstaff. Hopefully some troops open up down there so I get to finally troop with you valley troopers!
  7. EIB will probably be the next step. I should be in a decent position. All I’m worried about is just the helmet paint.
  8. Thank you! I was super nervous but thankfully I had two other troopers who helped me pose for my submission photos, one of them being a former gml.
  9. Whelp! I made it! I just got approved for my ANH stunt TK! Thank you everyone for the input and feedback!
  10. TK-55590 of the Dune Sea Garrison requesting access! https://www.501st.com/members/displaymemberdetails.php?userID=33945
  11. Just curious to see what some of the things you guys may have spotted that need to be addressed. I know for sure I need to raise the thighs and make the cover strips on the arms and legs match up, anything else I’ve missed?
  12. Whelp. I keep wanting to make updates and post pictures but then something breaks, something then gets redone, that thing I’ve redone then breaks, and it became an endless cycle of trial and error. Been going through tutorials and and other build threads to get a better idea of how to do things, but I feel that I need to do my own take on everything. Regardless, I felt confident enough tonight to start taking some pictures of the armor fully kitted up. The internals are a mess and I will try redoing them tomorrow. Once they are in a state that I like them, I’ll probably take a pictures. As always, any commentary is welcomed. I know my left arm wasn’t properly aligned, and the shoulder bell tops need to be closer to the shoulder bridges, but I did fix the dropping white elastic problem. I’m thinking I may need to trim the top off the thighs so that the sniper knee has proper clearance.
  13. The issue is when I am wearing the armor, the elastic is pulled outwards from under the bridges due to the way the snaps are set that connect the bells to the shoulder elastic. So it’s kinda pulled out like this. To remedy this, I think using a high strength industrial velcro to help keep it in place while trooping.
  14. Ugh... life has been a bit rough these past two months and progress has slowed to a crawl. I am not very experienced with painting, so I’ve ended up doing and redoing the paint on the helmet a few dozen times trying to get it right, namely the tube stripes. I’ve went through two different sets of stencils I’ve struggled with the traps and tears as well. After off and on work, I think I am at the point where it could possibly pass for basic approval (hopefully), but my end goal is still making it Centurion. If I ever work on another ANH stunt helmet, I think I’ll just do stickers and maybe paint over them for higher levels. Anyways, here are some pics of some of the progress I’ve made. One thing that I tried doing that isn’t helmet related was redoing the shoulder bridges. I’ll probably add velcro to ensure that the white elastic holding the arms doesn’t slide out from under bridges due to the arm weight. My next step tomorrow will be painting the inside of the helmet with flex seal, I believe I’ve seen other troopers doing this but it has been a while since I really looked into it. A question I would have is if I should use Flex Seal Spray, or use a can that I have sitting around. I also plan on installing a dual fan set up and if possible, installing an icomm setup all in the helmet. That is the current plan at least, and I’m completely open to feedback and concerns!
  15. I haven’t been able to work on my armor as much as I’d like to but I am a decent way through painting the armor. I have the DT built and screws painted. I’ll be getting a spare TD built with more accurate panel and brackets for the future. Next up is progress on my helmet. I’m pretty happy with the frown and chin, tears are a wip and I’ll need to completely redo the tube stripes for a third time. First time I used the wrong blue and used the button panel dark blue, so I cleaned that up. Second attempt I didn’t apply the paint correctly and still turned out wayyy too dark. Here is a pic before I clean this up. As for progress on the belt... I messed up big time trying to heat form it. I have a spare ABS belt that comes with the kit but I need one extra button. Everything else is fine though, and I should be getting the parts I need soon. Next up is the button panels. They are all painted and ready to be glued. Not sure if you can really tell from the picture but I was trying to ensure the paint doesn’t extend beyond the bottom as per the CRL. Gonna glue them on probably tomorrow. Oh, also got the ears painted. All that’s left for me to do is finish painting the helmet, finish assembling the helmet, fix the ABS Belt, and do the strapping for the arms. Hopefully I can get pictures of the final fitting once the belt is fixed.
  16. I second this, although I understand you’ve probably been busy with commissions.
  17. I will definitely need to try that! My snapping game is far from adequate currently.
  18. Also, got a bit of work done on my helmet. Got the brow at the height I like tried fitting the ears and I believe in order to align the ear screws with the traps, I’ll be needing to trim off the back half of the bucket a little bit. I’ll also be probably trimming a but of the right side’s brow gasket to make it line up more with the trap. When I get back to my armor, I’ll be sure to snag some better pictures with the ears in place to give you guys a better idea before I cut.
  19. Will do for future snaps! I’ll admit I am not the most experienced with setting snaps.
  20. Belt is back on track and I have decided to use chicago style screws and a glued an approx 1” strip of nylon for more rigidity to where the screw will go. My host recommended I fill the female screw with E6000 so that it will jot come undone during troops but still removable if need be. Gonna probably want to figure out how to give my snap some proper support to make it easier to snap onto the abdomen.
  21. Measured twice, snap once. Should have measured three times snd looks like I will now need to snap twice. The belt appears to be way too loose.
  22. Decided to trim the big ab button following the Billgram, and it looks like for the AM 4.5 kit I will need to trim it further down than the prescribed measurements Gonna trim it so it matches the button on this reference photo
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