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  1. Thanks for the idea! I will try to apply Tino's idea first before starting to cut away on the butt plate (which I would indeed rather avoid. I will do my best not to rush -- and to ask others before I do most things. I would really prefer not to mess anything up -- especially this close to getting basic approval! Haha, I can't wait for that day myself! Thanks! Thank you! I will do some re-work on that, as there is indeed a bit of a gap there. Good point and thanks for the link! Since I will be taking my thighs apart once more (at least from the back) it might be a good opportunity to cut away a bit of that return edge at the same time. I will and thank you very much for the feedback! In fact, here's the next set of photos with lowered biceps (by about half a centimetre) and lowered forearms (about a centimetre): Both of these were taken with the torso just hanging from my shoulders, the crotch snap not closed and without the belt to hold it shut, so please no comments about any and all gaps in that part of the armor The gaps in the arm are more evenly spaced, which is nice, but I might end up taking off that one forearm corner for a smoother look: Good idea? Yes, no, maybe? Next up: looking at my shoulder straps to lift up the back of the armor and trying to find a better fit for my thighs. Oh, and the tube stripes, once they arrive. Can't forget those. Apparently they've reached Germany by now, so it shouldn't be too long now. Depending on how I can lift the butt plate up I'll shorten the crotch strap after that... I hope I'm not forgetting anything
  2. Haha, half the time I forget about it myself until my parents mention that I need to clean up my work area in my room if I want them to drive my stuff Yeah, that's probably a good idea... I'm already in contact with Tino (T-Jay) from my new squad (or the squad that I plan to join, I should say) but it might be good to get to know some of the others as well, especially regarding that work space. I should be able to store my stuff in my transport box, but working on things might get difficult, depending on the room. We'll know more in two weeks, I guess I'm very much looking forward to it! No promises that I'll integrate every single suggestion that you might have, but I'm sure it'll be interesting and informative no matter what
  3. I'll try to shorten the shoulder strap next, I think, and see if that helps... It should lift the entire back the centimetre that it needs. Hmmm... I guess I could try for basic approval without the cuts, try a troop or two and see how it all works out. I'm 177cm, so it should be doable, going by what you say. If it doesn't work out until then by me trying to adjust the strapping a bit, could you try to take a look at it when we do the submission pictures? Maybe there's a simple solution that I can't spot and you can't see due to only having the pictures to work with. Nothing at all yet, I have to admit. I will move out in about one and a half weeks, which means moving into another squad area. Given that I'll probably spend the next two weeks busy with the move, it might take a bit to get those pictures taken and submitted. Since afterwards I'll be living in a tiny space that I rent from my employer (Catholic Church and I don't know their stance regarding weapons and armor replicas, which makes me a tad nervous, I have to admit) it might get a bit difficult to work on things during the next year, which is probably the reason why I try to get so many things beyond basic approval done... Yeah, that would be awesome! As I said, with the move that might get a bit difficult, but if at all possible, I'd love to have someone look over it person. Thanks for all the help so far, Rich! I would love to hear your ideas, even (or especially if) that turns into several pages! It's fascinating to hear what others spot, what ideas they have and how some tiny details can improve the overall look and effect vastly. Truly, I look forward to any and all contributions by you (and all the other wonderful people on here) in the future!
  4. The easiest fix first: I just made some elastic loops that should hold it up easily. After using a thinner padding in the back I got to this point: With the way the plastic is pressing against my head this is the absolute lowest that the helmet will go as I have it right now. Tino (T-Jay) not only offered that advice, but also to show me a way to pad the helmet in a way that I can wear my glasses, so maybe my padding will change again in the future... This is what it looks like with a lower left thigh and shortened butt elastic: Correct curvature from the back, even with a bad quality picture. This however led me to a slight problem from the front: The butt plate is visible from the front and slips even more into the thighs. Maybe I'll need to make the thighs a bit smaller or maybe I'll need to do something with the buttplate... I'm honestly a bit puzzled about how to solve this. Any ideas from the experts here? I'll go and research mobility cuts now because with the lowered thighs those will be necessary, I think. Once I've got proposed cut lines I'll be back here. If any of you can offer cut lines (that will be Centurion-level approvable), please share them with me! Anything else that I need to work on I would love to hear about as well, of course! Otherwise you can expect an arms update tomorrow along with the proposed cut lines.
  5. I'll try that first then! It is permanently fixed by the rivet in the cod and with a snap at the butt. Hmmm, shortening the elastic at the snap? That might work, thanks for the idea. I'm gonna have to look at the snap itself and how exactly I'm gonna go about it. Maybe I'll add another snap, or maybe I can shorten the elastic by sewing and/or gluing that strap shorter. Yeah, I'll avoid heating the plasting as long as there's any other option. I've seen pictures of warped plastic and really don't want to risk anything like that. Yeah, I will definitely share pics of my proposed cut lines before actually cutting anything to make sure everything is OK! Better safe than sorry... Oh wow, thanks! I sure hope so! As I said, there are a few minor issues, but I sure hope to be able to apply for EIB shortly after getting my armor approved
  6. So glad to hear that! Any ideas what those minor changes could be? I thought so... I'll try and play around with different elastic lenghts later today. Probably about half a centimetre down on the left and about a centimetre up on the right should hopefully fix the issue. Haha, thanks! Same gap for elbow and wrist? I'll see what I can do. I haven't had many mobility issues with the arms, but I'm sure a centimetre (and a half?) should help me anyways. Again, I'll have to play around with the elastics a bit, but that should not be a huge issue. And, hey, it's quite amazing what such little details can do to improve the overall look! The elastic holding the shoulder bridge down. It always seems to slip forward and as soon as I open the shoulder elastic (from back to chest) it falls down. My idea was to take a spare piece of elastic, glue it to the back piece under the shoulder bridge and have the other side of that elastic velcroed to the back piece -- about a centimetre away or so. Like that I would have something to hold that elastic in place, whilst keeping it easily moved around for putting the armor on, but also with the option of removing the elastic should I ever need to. Or I could just glue it straight on and save myself some work Yeah, I've got one. Since it's currently held in position by the rivet, I would either need to replace the rivet (and go buy a single rivet because I do not have any spares, which I would honestly prefer to avoid) or I would need to cut it off, leave the rivet non-functional and glue it in there, I assume? I do worry a bit about putting too much stress on the plastic like that though and I very much do not want it to crack because of that. Is there anything I could do to prevent such cracking due to stress? The armor can get uncomfortable if I try to bend my legs too much, leaving the shins especially to cut into my legs and cutting off my blood flow if I want to hold my legs at a certain angle for a certain amount of time. I suspect that this means that I should do some mobility cuts? I mean, if they do not stop me from achieving the higher levels, there is basically no con to this huge pro of being able to move properly -- and hopefully getting in and out of my boots without my feet cramping due to the position the armor forces my legs into. Since the shins seem to be the main problem for me, I was wondering whether you need to do mobility cuts on shins and thighs if you want them, or if it's possible to get them solely on the shins? If I know myself well enough I will probably do them on both shins and thighs if I actually go through with that, if only because I'm fairly sure it looks better like that, but I was still curious. Glad to hear that there's an improvement! Haha, yeah, that might be good in general, getting that kind of professional feedback. And the more people that comment the better anyways. I'm sure that there are issues that I might not have spottet yet... Still too high? Well, now it gets interesting, because this is in fact my head touching the bare plastic. There is no possible way for me to get that helmet even lower... This is what it currently looks like from the inside and this is what it looked like in the pictures that I took earlier today. Only got the padding at the sides that I need to keep the helmet from sliding around... Thank you so much! I'm very proud of how far I've come. To think that only two months ago I was seventeen, waiting for that brown box with basically no experience at working with any of the tools that I needed and completely stressed because of the final stuff for graduation... And now I'm eighteen, have graduated, am about to move out and have learned so much about Stormtroopers, the armor, working with all kinds of tools... And I've got a lot of ideas on how to continue to improve it (how about a bit of weathering?). It was an amazing experience so far and I got to meet a lot of fantastic people and I'm sure it'll only get better (also, the work's not done yet... there are still a few details that I need to improve for the higher levels, such as neatening the paint on the ab plate or dealing with the gaps in the leg armor... and the tube stripes ) Thank you for all your advice!
  7. I did it. I've got a mix of the original strapping and snaps now and used the time as well to countersink all the screws that I used for the original strapping. I then went on to paint the screws and rivers white and inserted the crotch rivet. Aside from the missing tube stripes, I'm fairly sure that my armor is at a level where I could submit it for basic approval. I will wait until I've moved out and gotten situated in my new job to take the proper pictures, so that might take another month or longer, but I intend to spend the next week and a bit before I move to finish up the last details. Here's what the armor looks like when I wear it: What I noticed upon seeing these picture for the first time was how the left and right thigh seem misaligned with the left being higher than the right. I am unsure as for whether I should pull the right thigh up, the left one down or a mix of both. Given the fact that the left thigh seems to clash with the butt plate, that one will probably need to be lowered. Another thing that seemed a bit off to me were the forearms. They both seem to be too high up and could stand to be lowered so that one can't see as much glove around the wrist and lower forearm area. It might just be my personal opinion, but I think I need something to semi-permanently hold the shoulder elastics in place because they tend to hang in the middle of my shoulder bridge. Maybe something on the back plate that I can open and close via velcro? Other end of the torso: the butt plate. I'm fairly sure it needs more curvature and that you shouldn't be able to see those snaps that easily. Also, it sometimes seemed as if it would almost slip into the thighs, which does not sound good to me. Another thing that I need to do something about are those small gaps at the back of my thighs. Either I fill them up, or I cut them out via mobility cuts. Currently I'm leaning towards the latter because some kind of "being able to move my legs" would be pretty neat. Oh, and I need to tuck in my belt for the thighs better, because that is not supposed to be in front of the armor Regarding the overlap between my ab and kidney plate, Tino (T-Jay) suggested simply putting the ab over the kidney plate instead of the other way round. It actually worked out better than I expected, even if it took me half an eternity trying to lay that belt over the correctly aligned plates. Maybe I'll work on something that will help me in this aspect even further, but unless this constitutes a problem with getting the armor approved, I can work with it as is. Helmet wise, the pictures above were taken without any additional padding. Just looking at them, I feel as if thick padding might do more harm than good. Thin padding might work, but I'm unsure if that would not lift the helmet up too high. The way I wore it in the pictures I had the lens in a way that I could view things as easily as possible and whilst more padding might allow for more movement of the head,I'm not sure whether that's the way to go. Thanks! There probably won't be too many posts now, because as you can see above there aren't many things left for me to do by myself. What I need now is all kinds of suggestions as for what I should improve and what looks good the way it is. If anyone is interested in any further details or needs more pictures of anything I will do my best to supply that, of course!
  8. That looks really good! Is the material still flexible after applying the glue? (I know it said so on the glue itself, but that doesn't always have work out like that.)
  9. Once again, it took me a while because my strapping is taking most of my time, but there are a few other things that I did as well. I cut my sniper plate once more, this time to make the sides that angular cut instead of the one I had made before, because it seemed more accurate and better looking to me. Probably not quite noticeable, I cut out a mouth part of the lens because if it were to slide down a bit, it could be noticeable in the frown. Then I reworked my helmet padding, using the one that RS supplied in a way that they probably did not intend me to use it. There's still an empty space at the top, because I want to try out several thicknesses of padding once I wear my armor to figure out what looks and feels best. And I hand-countersank the ear screws (a vast improvement looks-wise). Please ignore the pencil line, I hope to get rid of all of them soon enough. In (probably) one or two days I should have finished my new strapping, so I can share pictures of that and hopefully even of me in the whole armor, so that you can give me advice regarding the fit and where I need to improve things.
  10. My transport box actually arrived, alongside my Holster, making it the fastest delivery of this build. My new holster is the one by Darman and whilst it first seems heavier and bigger than expected, it looks good once I secured it to the belt: Only a short update today, because I spend the majority of my time reworking my strapping, which takes a lot of time but doesn't allow too many opportunities for pictures as of now. Once I get it done, I will post a picture.
  11. Glad to hear that! And thanks a lot for the phone call yesterday -- it was a great help to the point that I actually continued working on the helmet yesterday evening! I added the entire RS included interior of the helmet, so my helmet is only missing the tube stripes (along with the template) by now. I really like this picture because you can see the green in the eyes and the gaps in the teeth beautifully. I think I might have to cut out a nose area in the future and maybe I'll even rework the eyes entirely at one point, but right now I'm very happy with this very simple set-up. One of the things that Tino (T-Jay) suggested was to work on the Hovi Tips a bit more to make them look more realistic and like the paint wore off rather than the thick off-white line that the tips from RS had. He suggested that I use wax around the tips and then paint it over with black and I got to say that I'm fairly happy with the result. To compare: The one at the bottom looks more realistic and less cartoonish than the original version. Maybe I'll whether them a bit further to get more white around the tips, if that's needed, but as of now, I've got a off-white Hovi tip, painted black, with some wear and tear at the tips: A (slightly blurry due to the camera quality) close up. If some slight and really simple weathering can improve the look of the armor this much, then I'll probably do some more in the future -- just some small things like this that genuinely help it look so much more like a "real" Stormtrooper. With Tino (T-Jay)'s help, I've also decided on a transport box and that I will re-work most of my strapping to make it easier to wear and work with. This means, that I'll probably spend the evening mapping out how I want my new strapping system to be and what I need to do to achieve it.
  12. Sooooo, grand plans, not much done over the last 24 hours. I did NOT do the helmet interior, nor did I add the crotch rivet. However, I did manage to add those black stripes. I roughly marked out where I would like my stripes to be, using tape and a pencil, then went over it with the paint itself. However, the paint job wasn't quite as neat as I would've liked it to be (this one looked the worst, so I picked it out), which meant that I got to put on some additional grey paint to cover the black. Once that was done, it was still undeniably hand painted, but looking a lot better. Here's the finished result: Is there anything I should re-work? If so, please tell me before I put my paint away and forget where I put it The other thing that was mentioned before was the unfortunate overlap of the ab and kidney plate: As you can see, with the belt closed, the sides overlap. Which meant that I needed padding. Given that I still had about a square metre of black foam with a thickness of about 5mm, I decided to cut myself my own padding: However, I soon noticed that even with several centimetres of foam, it barely touched my body, never mind helped me get enough padding to make sure those plates align. Given that the padding in the middle did not work due to me being way too thin, I thought that maybe padding closer to the overlap would work better, pushing the ABS where I needed it to be pushed away from my body: (sorry for the bad quality, it was nearing midnight at this point and in the bodysuit I was overly warm and in general I was very tired at this point, meaning that I totally ignored things such as light quality) This brought me better results: Like this you can actually see the upper rivet. Still not good enough, but very much better, so I decided to let it be for now and finally go to sleep. Maybe I'll continue to work on it this afternoon. Since I'm currently also contemplating my Strapping system, I'm not sure whether I'll leave it to the rivets to hold that connection, especially since they could leave a possible gap the way they are now: Given my previous experience with that gap, I'm fairly sure that it'll turn out to be a non-issue, but a reworked strapping in that area might carry benefits anyways. Again, I'm thinking about it. I haven't really gotten anything new onto my to-do list, but even that might change sooner or later, so again, I'm not 100% sure what I'll do today. Probably I'll continue with the padding, maybe I'll finally bring up the courage to do the lens. I have planned on calling a member of the 501st later today (not gonna say who, in case they don't want it mentioned) and maybe together we will find a few more things that I should work on, even if that call will be more about trooping in general. If any of the people reading this have further ideas on what to improve/work on, please let me know so I can do my best to get this armor as accurate as possible before I move in a few weeks (because I'm not sure how much work I can get done in the new place). If you need any other angles or pictures, please let me know!
  13. Just adding that the vocoder seems a bit off to me, going up to touching the helmet itself, especially the parts on the side. Also, is it just me, or is there a hollow space between the vocoder and the helmet? I mean, I'm no expert, but I just spend yesterday evening painting my own vocoder and it did not look like that.
  14. Thank you both! I'll have to revisit the local hardware store next week to look for those tools! Until then, I've almost finished my paint job (aside from the tube stribes, where I'm still waiting on the template... Which might take a few more days to arrive). The grey is finished and with the help of some tape and my trusty toothpicks I've gotten some of the black done: To: Once I've uploaded this update, I'll go sit down and put those black stripes on as well. I'm not sure what my next update will be about. Maybe I'll insert the lens, chin strap and foam into the helmet. Maybe I'll start working on that padding. Maybe I'll rework part of my strapping system (although, maybe I should wait for the padding to do that). I will do some small "repairs" today as well, which will include neatening the paint and finally inputting a proper rivet into the crotch (I mangled the last one and ignored the issue for a while). Maybe I'll trim down the screws inside the helmet. Now that I'm getting closer to finishing the build, I find that there are many small details that I want to sort out whilst waiting on those last few items that I need to fully finish the build, so I'm not even sure what else I might be doing over the next few days. I only know that I will try to get at least one thing done per day for now, until there's nothing left to do.
  15. Impressed-? I'm surprised, since at least to me it seems very obviously hand-painted with all those little details that I just want to get a bit better than they currently are. And, well, let's see if the rest of my painjob manages to impress you as well. Regarding the toothpicks: I only used them as a help, the main paint job was still done with a brush. But, yeah, I love using toothpicks for whatever reason. Those things are super useful for the weirdest stuff and always get underestimated Good to know! I think I'll stick to ABS then once I get around to re-working my strapping... And thank you for the information about metal! I do not know whether that's the case for E6000, but if it is, I don't want to be the one to find out by putting it on the metal Padding? Yeah, I might have to look into that. The thought did cross my mind before when I was putting on my armor for the first time, but I had somehow forgotten about it until now. Then again, it is more noticable when you're looking for that overlap than when you're exited to wear your armor. I look forward to taking them! This is literally a childhood dream come true and I can't wait to finally join the 501st properly... Only waiting on a few shipments now, as well as those last details that I'm working on at the moment. Oh- regarding those details, I recently noticed how many of my screws are sticking out a bit further than I would like to. I've heard that "countersinking" (?) might help, but I don't know what exactly that is, nor how to do it... Is there a tutorial on how to deal with those screws somewhere on here or would anyone be willing to supply an explanation on what I should do? I feel it would really improve the overall look and feel of the armor if I could get that done. Thanks in advance!
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