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  1. Next Up: Thermal Detonator / O2 Cannister I utilized the spacing measurements found in threads by ukswrath and panda's builds. They were pretty helpful in the assembly process throughout. Panda's masking tape trick worked like a charm! At this point, I glued on the central plate and just placed the end caps. This is where I overestimated my abilities, having done a dry run of placing them on before I painted. You'll see why in a bit. I did this so that I could measure where to mark my drill points for the metal clips (sourced from Panda's Props). I was having trouble finding the perfect screws to use. Most seem to use #6 x 3/8in slotted round/dome/truss screws. None of the hardware stores around me had that exact pairing. What I did find were these at Lowe's. My plan was to remove the caps after I found the drill marks. Then use the nuts to hold them in place. So I got started and painted the heads black. However, removing the caps after I had painted the PVC proved to be...unwise. It required a deal more muscle and fingernail strength to finesse them off without ruining the paint coat. I laid the coat on a little thick and increased the thickness of the tube to the point where it was more snug than when I tested it. I chose not to remove the other cap, but now had to screw the nuts in all the way at the bottom of the PVC. Enter the specialty tool I call the "Sticky Stick" You can look for this on my etsy page soon. Worked like a dream, and felt like I was building ships in a bottle. I replaced the end cap. Didn't even bother with glue.
  2. My recent task has been to finish up my belt. After modifying my canvas belt to size, I got to start on the drop boxes. I followed several methods I've seen here, of making my elastic bands and using the hole to mark the drill spot on the drop boxes. And then to make them line up more easily with the edge of the ABS, I cut out a portion of the elastic, and soldered off its edges to keep from fraying. The final step will be to dabble some glue on the inside of the elastic so the boxes don't move away too much from their spot. Add in the holster now... And it's done! I've ordered some clips to use with the thermal detonator, so once that's finished it'll round out the belt.
  3. Do the V shapes prod or irritate much? I did some hot water bathing to try and mold them and I made softer U's. However, since I was boiling the water, I thought why not just try to alter the butt plate? This seemed to do a good job, along with changing the right side straps with elastic. The tips still seem to protrude just a bit, so I'll probably use the V-tabs anyway. Thanks for the tip!
  4. The nylon strapping works well. However, I want to move them to the outer part of the butt/kidney piece to help pull in some of the posterior's...uh...cheeks. Going about the second time, it was much easier to have the full straps made and together when I glued on the two attach points. No mucking about with measurements between snaps. Here's the posterior now attached. I'm gonna redo the right side straps with elastic, because I can't get my fingers anywhere near the nylon when I'm in it. Yeah those cheeks still be wide. I've seen some people use an ABS tab, and I'm going to try that to make sure that but don't jiggle.
  5. Second update of the night! In addition, I started working out the thigh supports. I cut some elastic and glued it to the front of the thighs. With a black thrift store belt, I measured out the length for them to hang from it by. Looped it, and then sewed them together. All together now.
  6. I acquired some sewing skills (courtesy of my mom lol) and started to make some straps this weekend. Starting with the right side kidney to ab. I'm not sure which direction to head with other strapping connections. I've seen where a lot of troopers use glued in snaps on the armor, and then separate nylon snaps to bridge them. Assumedly this makes it easier to break apart and transport. This guide by chiefbonan looks like it will be very helpful. For the snaps on the armor, it seems like most people use ABS base plate for the male snap. The above guide mentions using nylon for some. I don't know what the advantage for each is, so I'm testing each first on the kidney to butt connection. Immediately I noticed that the snaps set in plastic (from left-over cover strip) is not very bendable to the contours of the armor. So I might go with nylon if a stress test goes well.
  7. Good stuff. While the front seems just good, you're right. I think it can go up higher under the shoulder bridges when I attach it. I was most worried that there would be a gap between the kidney's and back when I did that. But again, the strapping will probably help a lot there too.
  8. Before moving on with any of the torso, I wanted to make sure everything's still fitting correctly. Time to suit up (kinda). The posterior flanges do stick out a bit. but I presume they'll contour better once the strapping snaps are set. I'm 6'0'' on the tall side, so the chest/back ride a bit high on me. I gave ample space on the shoulder bridge to compensate my noodle proportions.
  9. Very right gmrhodes, I trimmed it up again. WTF buttons appear to be a pinch larger. Tonight I tried out some strapping. I found that using a soldering iron was really easy to make holes in elastic. Here's where I applied this experience at the cod/posterior strap.
  10. Ab and buttons update. Here's a quick shot of the Han snap I installed. Below is the process I went through to fix the ab button plate. There was just enough scrap left around the ammo belt button that I could use to create a plate. I careful removed the ammo button and rectangled? squared it off. For stability, I took some more scrap abs and built up a stack to create more surface area to glue on. I didn't want to rely solely on abs paste! Then I attached the two sides together. ABS paste time! I used a toothpick to spread it around the seams and after it dried, I went through the riding grits of sandpaper to smooth out the edge. In hindsight, I definitely should have just left the edges around the original pull and filled in the dents with abs paste. Would have been much easier. But at least I got that sweet sweet abs paste experience.
  11. Expanding off my last post, I wanted to get to this point with the belt so I could fit it with the ab plate. I drilled out holes using Ukswrath's estimates. I began to install the snaps here. Due to the awkwardness of the ab's shape, I had to invent the shady tower of Pisa. But it worked! Now with those installed, I could us a pencil to shave some lead on the snaps and press it into the canvas to get my distance. Importantly, I also made sure there was a slight overlap on the button plate. I quadrupled checked this and then set those snaps on the canvas. With those snaps set, now I could install the ammo pack with pop rivets. And test fit:
  12. Continuing with the belt, I drilled out the holes to attach ammo belt to the canvas. The middle hole I mismeasured so it's off by a little. Luckily, it will be covered by the button, so I'm not worried about correcting it. Measure twice people! Using these holes, I measured out the middle of my canvas and marked where to punch holes. When it comes to the hole punching, I tried out several of my options. I ordered a rotary punch, and while this one hasn't been useful with nylon or elastic, it worked well enough on the canvas!
  13. Well, further work on the ab's right side is postponed until I can get new snap pliers. Heads up, stay away from Hobby Lobby's heavy duty snap pliers. They have poor instructions that also refer to vague non-included attachments. They also break the snaps. So until amazon delivers me a new one, getting started on the belt will get me closer to finishing the ab plate anyway. I found it easier to score the ammo belt from its backside by following the edge of the holes' cusps. I found this nice diagram for reference: http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160510/2146e2d88bd088c1ee23e84b539089bc.jpg Using my pre-built canvas belt from Steph's Imperial Outfitters (forgot to include in pic! But really nice. She also supplied my neck seal) I cut the corners off to match the edges. Finally, I marked where I will drill for the rivets/buttons. Ab button placement looks good. I'll be sanding the edges down flatter so it sits flush when time comes to glue.
  14. I'm jumping around a bit since I feel I want to move to another piece when I reach a slight obstacle impasse. Here's the left ab/kidney plate juncture where I measured out the rivet holes. Reference: Marked, drilled and test fit:
  15. Maybe the Walt pulls vary slightly from armor to armor. I got in contact and they didn't seem to be aware of this requirement and suggested a similar process. I'm not too bothered by the described process if I can just find some big enough scrap ABS for the plate.
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