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  1. I've been an annoying combination of sick, giving myself eyestrain peering at reference images, uploading pictures, and busy with life, but a few things have happened. I'll give more of an update tomorrow. But this is significant, and I think goes back to when it was still Anovos' kit. The instructions are unchanged. There are no specific callouts for which clip greeblies go on which armor pieces. The instructions say -- and my kit came with (as you can see in the layout pic) -- six large and six small latch clips. I just noticed when I went onto the Denuo Novo site to take a look at the subassembly sets that each leg subassembly comes with one large latch, called out for the thigh, and two small latches, called out for the shin and spat. Similarly, each arm set comes with one large latch, called out for the bicep, and two small latches, called out for the forearm. Not only does this not match what comes in the full kit, but they're all wrong. The thighs and calves get the large clips (total four), while the biceps, forearms, and spats all get the small ones (total eight). I've pointed this out to them and I'll let you know what they say. Hopefully, there'll be a correction, and those of us with too few of the small clips will be sent a couple more. [ETA: Partial never mind. I'm an idiot. All the time I've been looking at the spats and it never clicked that they get the larger clip greeblie, too. So it's three large per leg and three small per arm. The fill kit is correct, but their parts sets do need to have the greeblies adjusted still -- just differently than I had originally figured it. I have sent an emended e-mail.] Meanwhile, I've gotten frustrated at the chest-to-back overlap seam, as well as the inner thigh and inner calf overlap seams. They don't fit the rest of the æsthetic, and obviously are a concession to variable fitment of different-sized extras. I feel more and more strongly that they should be butted seams like the outside seams on the thighs and calves, and both seams on each bicep. They're also not terribly visible. Part of the eyestrain was trying to get clear looks at them, from either screen-grabs or in-person photos. Getting things aligned where they should be, it just makes sense to me to make those seams match the rest. Since the TFA suit doesn't have the more blatant "one-size-fits-most" overlaps of the TLJ suit's biceps, thighs, and calves. I had already asked Denuo Novo if I could get spare parts, when they told me they'd be listing parts sets soon. Now I'm looking at getting not only additional pieces to help with heavily-formed parts like bulking up the thickness of the shoulder bells and spats, but also getting a second upper-torso set and another pair of legs, that I can build up movie-accurate, for approval, but keep going on what I already have to idealize those annoying seams. 99% of people running into me won't see or won't know any different, and it'll both look better/more consistent and not snag. I know this'll piss off the purists, but I want this costume to look the best it can. To me, that means not slavishly replicating filmmaking expediency. I'm already having to make calls like how to tackle the spats, where the film suits had badly-lined-up back pieces, with sloppy velcro -- that half the time wasn't even fastened. Or the forearms, where so often they're visibly gapping. Seeing how often the velcro on the chest-to-back join came loose (freeze-frame through the assault on Jakku at the beginning of TFA -- many of those troopers already look like they're falling apart and we're only a minute in), I just have to do something better than velcro. So I'm making all the latches functional, in one form or another.
  2. So everything is now at least rough-trimmed to within an eighth-inch or less of final. There are places where the .060" ABS is helpful, and places where it's a headache. It is definitely a decent kit if one were to want to trim it to the instructions, slap velcro on where they say, and call it done for something to wear for Halloween or to ComicCon. But to get it even marginally close to film-accurate is going to take almost as much work, Tony, as your Alpha suit did. @ukswrath, @gmrhodes13, @Sly11 -- I need eyes-on, here. Experience, familiarity, judgment calls, known parts, and, if possible, measurements... First of all, thickness. I'm eyeballing the film suits' biceps and thighs and calves as having chonky return edges at the overlaps. 5-6mm or thereabouts: With the overlapping parts being about half that. From there the edges thin out to the more typical-looking return edge of the same 2.5-3mm that the overlapping tabs have, and that the shoulder bell and codpiece and inner chest all have. From the thickness seen in the "J-cuts" at the top of the bicep... The lower edge seems to be consistently thick around the front...? ...but thins by the time it gets to the back... (I note the shoulder bell looks to be more in the 2-3mm thickness range, like the overlappy bits of the biceps, thighs, and calves -- and that that looks to be the same as the gap in the front-bicep seam...) The tops of the thighs and calves, now, definitely vary in width, getting fatter around the overlaps: The tops of the calves clearly thin out at front and back, as seen above and here: I have been able to find no clear angles looking at the bottom edges of the thighs close to straight on, but I presume they're similar to the rest of what's seen here. Meanwhile, I've been straining my eyes at the bottoms of the calves to try and determine how the hell the spats are attached (Is it just that bit of glued-on mesh fabric at the front? What is that fat tab in the back and how is it attached? Just to the inside of the spat as a spacer/guide?) But I do notice the bottom edges of the calves are the same as the top, and the thighs, with the spats being the thinner thickness all the way round except for where the flap attaches. Looks like the main piece starts widening around the lowest point of the curve up to where the tab is. And the thigh and calf seams look to be a lot less gapped than the ~3mm of the biceps. More like only about 1-2mm... So I have to build up a lot of edges and the softness of the pulls (and, in too many places, lack of material to work with before it gets into thermoforming wastage) does not help. Rather than applying filler topically, that can crack or flake out -- even the Poly-Fill -- I'm going to rough up the soft "corners" on the return edges of th ekit pieces and see how ABS paste works. If it fuses well, it'll be essentially one with the piece. Probably also use that to hide the stacking of layers in the reveal edges. The good news is that the thinness helps with pieces like the knees -- which, surprisingly, match the thick-in-the-middle-to-thin-at-the-ends taper of the originals: I just have to build that edge up to something more square... But, because of the space inside, I can make an attachment system more like what you have in yours, Tony. Lastly for this post, the chest... I won't get into edge thicknesses of outer and inner here -- that'll be later. What I want to know is if anyone has ID'ed the tab and latches used to fasten the outer chest to the inner: As far as I know, they all had this, including Phasma: The tabs look like found hardware, not custom-fabricated. And the post-and-grommet friction fasteners remind me of some sort of maritime locker closure, but I don't know what to call these stupid things, so none of my searches have yielded the right thing yet. Does anyone know what was used, or where to find something similar?
  3. I'm 6'1" and pretty solidly built. I'm active, so I have pretty substantial thighs and forearms, so that's always a point of worry for me. If I were wearing anything more than the shorts (and UnderArmour leggings under them), the thighs would probably be a bit snug, but size-wise, I'm good. I've been slowly shedding my COVID stress-chub, and my current main concern is seeing how the corset fits (really, more than with the OT TK, the one-piece ab and kidney plate feels like a posture trainer. No slouching in this kit!) -- and it's not a huge concern, at that.
  4. I agree with both of you. A personal dream is to have Del work with Jan Dursema and Dark Horse to do a comic adaptation of Phasma. Jan's an amazing artist, and, with Del's consultation, I know whatever ended up on the page would be Del's intention. No ambiguity. As it is, it's frustrating that the creator of the character has so little impact on club standards for said character. It is enough for me that she says his boots and the armor on them are like Phasma's. Since he died in the sequel (spoiler alert), and had left the First Order anyway, I feel like Cardinal's story is as complete as we're ever going to see, and I doubt any new ancillary material will feature him. Probably just the odd erroneous repaint from toy and collectible manufacturers. I am prepared to be wrong, if we ever get any content on Disney+ or the big screen that fills in the later part of the gap between The Mandalorian and The Force Awakens. If, for some reason, we see the goings-on in the First Order a year or more prior to TFA, but at least a decade past where the post-ROTJ shows currently are, we may see Cardinal, either as Brendol Hux's bodyguard, or in his capacity as the head of Stormtrooper training. I pre-emptively offer myself and my costume for the part, and -- per Del's vision -- they can get Kalani Robb for the close-up, helmet-off shots. Speaking of costumes... I'm in Shawn's queue for his rubber gaskets. Thanks again for the lead, @Sly11 . I already have Teresa's rubber-look neckseal. All the armor pieces are at least rough-trimmed and all are now sanded except the forearms. This is a step I'd be doing regardless of character. Because of the pieces that should be seamless and aren't, because of surface defects from the thermoforming process, careful joining and filling and sealing is needed, and it'd be getting painted even if it were going to be a white 'trooper. I am currently opening up all the holes that I am opening up, and doing that without error is slow and tedious work with micro-files at the end. I am only using the stickers supplied for a couple spots. Everything else is going to be movie-accurate or better. The shin and bicep and chest pillholes, and chest center vent are all getting the correct gaffers' tape, thanks to Tony. Other things like the handplate indents and backplate triangles are very soft and rounded at the bottoms, where the originals are very crisp, so those are all getting cut out, sharpened up, and re-backed with new material. Advice requested: The long oval indent at the top of the forearm and the two parallelogram stickers on the forearm back. Those are black or off-black on the movie suits (or, I presume, are supposed to be on those costumes missing the stickers in those spots). I am cutting those areas out to sharpen them up, too, but don't know if I should leave them open to see the black rubber gasket through, back them with the same gaffers' tape as the pillholes, or back them with off-black-painted pieces to make a new, clean indent. I'm also not sure of policy with conflicting movie suits. For instance, some forearms have black at the bottoms of the oval indents, some do not. I prefer how it looks with, but even if it's optional, I don't know what the preference is. Hoping to also get commentary on the other things I brought up on page one.
  5. @gmrhodes13 -- you quoted part of the sentence, but not all of it. Stormtrooper boots are synth-leather unless something calls them out as something else. Which, so far, nothing has for the FOTKs. Plastoid has always been the armor. Even the FOTKs, despite the TFA Visual Dictionary calling it out as "betaplas" in one instance, still have it referred to broadly as plastoid in other works, including the later Visual Dictionaries. She spits on his boots. Which are flawless plastoid. The same descriptor that is applied to the rest of his armor by the same author elsewhere in the same book. His boots have red armor on them. And yes, Phasma is too tall for the standard greaves. Hence the lengthening pieces at the bottoms. Except for the extra bits around fingers and wrists, which are ascribed to being nonstandard crushgaunts, everything else she's wearing is First Order gear. The Flametrooper groinplate, the prototype Stormtrooper helmet, all of it. The thighs and biceps and forearm armor and knees and handplates and shoulders are all the same pieces from the same moulds that the other Stormtroopers are wearing. The only difference is that the chest and back plates are hinged and the shoulders, rather than one piece, presumably because the chrome plating on the costume isn't as flexible as the urethane-based material the pieces are made of. Add the cape hides that join. The only other nonstandard elements are the cape and the boot armor. The actress wears different boots in different scenes, and we can conjecture why, but all the publicity shots have her wearing black versions of the FOTK boots, with the armor over that. The novel establishes that, while we first see the cape on her in the movies, Cardinal had an identical one first, and that it's a First Order command/captain's cape. Since he has boot armor also, and since it's the color of his armor also, and since hers isn't called out as standard or non (just that they're "segmented sabatons"), but it's attached to standard boots, I'd defer to it being an additional detail of a First Order Stormtrooper Captain's kit. Including the black boots under the armor, as hers aren't gray or silver to match the armor on them. The argument that they're red (synth-)leather boots does not make any sense to me, as there is nothing to support it, and plenty to reject it. Okay, so Vi's not looking at his feet in that first encounter in the hangar. She does later when she spits on them, and her attention is drawn to how her blood and the armor are different colors. Her observation at that first encounter that the color of his armor is a twist on standard is accurate. All of the shared pieces are the same. He just has a couple extra on his boots, that she wasn't paying close attention to at the time. Even Phasma, for the alternate helmet and groin armor and the greave extensions, still has 18 of 20 pieces in common with a standard FOTK, plus accessories (belt, belt boxes, pouches, gaskets, harness...). The same description (chrome plating as twist on standard armor's white) would apply, even without calling attention to the few differences. Please don't cherry-pick the color and ignore the reference to the material in the same sentence, and sprinkled throughout the book. The only other First Order trooper that has any boot armor is the Flametrooper, and that's just a band over the arch. Doubt that's sufficient coverage for Vi to spit on it specifically. So yeah. Based on the book, Phasma's boot armor works best as another attribute of a First Order Stormtrooper Captain. Of which, at the time she was promoted, there were exactly two. And after Cardinal escaped, there was exactly one. So we have no other Captains to reference. Captain's cape and boot armor are the only differences from standard shared between them, and not specific to Phasma. And even then, the two non-standard versions of her kit are still established First Order items, and not invented by her. Since the only specifically called out piece of nonstandard kit are her crushgaunts, I'd call that implicit that the boot armor is also an established First Order bit of trooper armor. Since we don't see it on anyone else, and since it fits standard-build FOTK boots, and since Cardinal has armor covering most of all of his feet, logic and deductive reasoning keep bringing me back around to it being identical to Phasma's. Which Del confirmed in conversation. Author's intention, put down in heavily implicit word choices in the text. Maybe she should have found an excuse to slip in a phrase that his boots and boot armor were identical to Phasma's. She didn't think it was necessary to do so, as all the other cues convey that. So if the LMO team decree they're to be unadorned red leather FOTK boots... Well... "I recognize the Council has made a decision, but, given it's a stupid-an impolite person decision, I elected to ignore it."
  6. A. Ny. Way. *lol* Pictures. I'll start with the traditional layout: As has been discussed elsewhere, a lot of the parts got changed to the updated version from TLJ, despite most of us ordering this as a TFA suit. Some rolled with it and are building the TLJ version. I am putting in the extra to TFA this thing. The cod is off to the side because I got a TFA one from KB. The thighs and calves and biceps all have the TLJ style curved overlap on the inner seams. I gotta address that. And the forearms are a whole topic unto themselves. First, though, the truly problematic bits... The belt boxes are all cast as single-piece resin parts: These are fairly late-stage worries. I can get them sorted and attached to the belt pretty near the end. But I'm currently trying to figure out what I want to do. I may ask KB for some plastic pieces, and use these to site the mounting screws in the same places... Then there's the holster bracket. Of itself, not awful: The cutouts aren't truly cutouts, as there's no undercut from where the lower pieces have larger holes. But I have R2dan's upgrade. There is, however, a problem: The aluminum pieces are the right width. All the cutouts and screwholes are perfect and correct. They're just... short. As you can see. Just a couple millimeters, but... Who made the measuring goof, here? Should I just grind a millimeter off each end of the base part? How crucial is this difference, as far as approval? I know some bust out the micrometers, while others just glance and say "good enough". I got the aluminum pieces to be an upgrade from the less sturdy kit parts, but are those millimeters enough to ding me from EI or Cent? Less problematic, but I just wanted to shout out to @ukswrath -- guess what they didn't fix? I'll be using your approach to get the overlapping pieces to seat right. On the other hand, remember all the fiddly shaping you had to do with the ab boxes? Check this out: (The big one is off getting some special attention.) In general, apart from the belt boxes and the solid mass that is the thermal detonator, I am loving the resin detail pieces. Here's ab box #2: Or take a look at the "kit kats" for the left calf: And the rest of the fiddly detail pieces are clean and sharp. The rails for the forearms aren't moulded in: And I am pleased to see the clips are TFA style: And Tony... Check this out: There's more, but I'm going to leave off here for now. More later.
  7. Stormtrooper armor was established as plastoid back in Alan Dean Foster's novelization of Star Wars. That was carried forward in the Ultimate Guide to the Star Wars Universe, first published in '84, and the West End Games RPG and Decipher CCG in the late '80s and early '90s. So that's solidly set. I need to run down exactly when it first was put into the lore, but Stormtrooper boots are "synth-leather". Alan Dean Foster wrote the novelization for TFA, as well, and I need to re-read that, but I don't remember the composition of the First Order Stormtrooper armor or boots specifically called out in there. The Visual Dictionary provides little new, beyond referring to the armor material as "betaplas" -- presumably an updated formulation. The Visual Dictionary also refers to the plating of Phasma's armor being taken from a salvaged Naboo yacht once owned by Palpatine, which is where Del got that aspect of the story in the novel. Relevent exerpts: There are some other incidentals, but that's the meat of the references from the novel text.
  8. Thanks, both of you. @gmrhodes13 -- I am pleased to say the DN kit comes with TFA style clips. The inner legs and biceps are curved overlap TLJ style, though. I shall address those. The chestplate side cuts are also TFA. The forearms I cam make TFA with the wastage on the parts and some scrap. @Sly11 -- thanks for the lead on the gaskets. I'll ping him tonight and update my order with Teresa. The cape is deductive reasoning, the text of the novel, and conversations with Del. Phasma is a Captain. Cardinal is a Captain. The TFA Visual Dictionary points out Phasma's cape as a "traditional First Order command cape". Del gave Cardinal a cape in the book, since he's a Captain, too, and intended it to be identical to Phasma's, including which shoulder it is worn off of. Several times, he is absently tapping his sidearm, and it is a visible tic, not hidden by the cape hanging off the other shoulder, as the mirrored cover art shows. And I will protest in the strongest terms the decision on "red FOTK boots" to match the action figure. Hasbro has gotten at least as much wrong as right over the years Their Black Series "gaming greats" Force Unleashed blue Senate Guard, for instance, is a repaint of the Black Series Kir Kanos, complete with the wildly inaccurate Crimson Empire style armor. The Black Series Prototype Boba Fett is a repaint of the Black Series ESB Boba, down to the non-Prototype-suit flamethrower and other inaccuracies. And so on. Now, in this case, the figure contradicts the primary source -- the text of the book. We don't have to see it to know what "polished plastoid" does and does not mean. I will, reluctantly, get a pair of red FOTK boots from Gio to get approved. But I will tell you now, I will be wearing my black boots with red armor plates at every event I can. On to pictures now...
  9. Which is weird to me. Statues and action figures used to be considered supplemental reference only -- if it showed something that was unseen on the primary reference (onscreen use or three agreeing ancillary visuals from different sources), it was considered apocryphal untrustworthy. Since we know the Black Series figure has other known inaccuracies, that automatically casts doubt on any "new" information it might convey. Going by established precedent, the "polished plastoid" descriptor in the book automatically nixes uncovered boots, as that term has been used universally since the early '90s to describe what Stormtrooper hard armor is made out of (which annoys me for other reasons, but that's a rant for elsewhere). When the material Stormtrooper boots are made out of has ever been referred to, it's been some Swarzy version of "leather-like". So, to me, "polished plastoid" = hard armor, and "not the same shade of red" = red hard armor. The Black Series figure used regular FOTK feet, rather than a Black Series Phasma, so it already contradicts, just as them using a TLJ head instead of TFA. So I can't trust that depiction of the boots under the hard armor that should be there and isn't. Phasma's armor isn't all that custom when one steps back. The greaves are lengthened because she tall. The chestplate is unique, but similar to the standard model, and probably a concession to the material it's made out of versus the other. The groin armor is borrowed from another extant trooper type. The helmet is a rejected prototype. The Visual Dictionary pointed out the cape as a uniform element, and not personal swag. Since Cardinal predated her as a First Order Stormtrooper Captain, she is copying him in wearing it. If she copied the boots and their armor, too, rather than making that up, it would make sense as another minor hallmark of officer versus trooper. Retroactive continuity. The main problem is that none of the prior reference is in agreement, with each other or the author's intention. I always hate when no one talks to the person who came up with the thing to find out how to depict it. So does that mean if I stick to my guns with the boots, it won't be approvable?
  10. @Sly11 -- so Teresa's rubber-look neckseal and gaskets wouldn't fly for Centurion? My main objection to rubber gaskets is if they're solid, like the originals, they really impede movement. There was only one maker I knew of who did "hollowcast" rubber gaskets, and he hasn't been doing it for a while. As you said, though, now that the kits are moving, I'll ping him and see if they might do another run... Can you clarify a couple things for me? The chest plate side grooves... That mean the moulded-in "separation seams" the outer chest plate has? This kit has the right spacing, but all the edges are soft, and I'll be sharpening them up. I shouldn't need to go to the extent of cutting the wings off, cleaning things up, and regluing them with a backer plate. Bicep traps? Are those the "stepped" recessed detail? What is meant by "forearms"? And while I know the ab boxes need to be done separately and attached after painting, so as to have visible seams, where are things with the thigh holster bracket and the left-calf "kit kats"? My instinct is to do at least the former as seamless. Regarding the Cardinal-specific stuff... I've talked to Del a lot about him, trying to fill in details and iron out the inconsistent representation, and I have a couple takeaways: • He should have the same cape, in the same orientation, as Phasma. The TFA Visual Dictionary calls it out as a "traditional First Order command cape". And, as others have said, if a uniform isn't uniform, it isn't a uniform. The cover artist depicted Cardinal on back cover as a mirror counterpoint to Phasma on the front -- silver armor with a red stripe on a cape off the left shoulder, versus red armor with a silver stripe on a cape off the right shoulder. It was done without consultation with or approval from the author. She agrees it would be stupid for uniformity and practicality (gonna get in the way if he tries to draw his sidearm). • He should have boot armor like Phasma's, in the same red as his armor. That was what was in her mind when writing, that was what was behind the passage where Vi spat blood on his feet and absently noted it was a different red from the "polished plastoid" it landed on. She hadn't thought about the boots underneath. Regular troopers have white, like their armor. But Phasma's are black, with armor plates to match her armor, and after mocking up both versions, black boots with red armor looks better. • He looks like Kalani Robb. I do not. So I'm going to be bucket-on most of the time. But yeah, pretty much everything else is straight TFA Heavy without the vest (sidearm on thigh holster, carried F-11D Heavy when appropriate). Though that brings me to... @gmrhodes13 -- I apparently need to take a closer look at how the TLJ suits differ. I knew about the elbows. I knew the trimmed-up cod from some of the TFA suits became standard. Am I reading that right, though, about the overlapping being different? I have studied the pics from Celebration 7, my 4K screen-grabs, and whatever else I can find from the period and I know the inside seams on the biceps, thighs, and calves all overlap -- some sloppy, some less so. One of the Celebration suits had such a clean, aligned overlap, it looked like an OT Stormtrooper. When I post pics later, you'll see how this kit has the inner-leg seams. To match the TFA look, I'd definitely have to cut the front half back to slight concave curve, instead of the very convex it comes with. Is that double-convex thing a TLJ hallmark? Or just an Anovos inaccuracy? The bicep and calf, though, I'd like to eliminate that inner seam as an opening point altogether, if possible. And take my inspiration from the cleaner suits and have all of those seams even and tight (if still overlapped). The thigh I can make non-opening. The bicep I probably can, too. The calf, not so much. Since I'm already making the spats functional, it made sense to me to see if I could do the same with the calves. Sorry for all the questions. This has suddenly just gotten very real for me, after years of hypothetical.
  11. @gmrhodes13, I need a bit of experienced opinion, here... I am getting Teresa's rubber-look gaskets, I have a bunch of Tony's upgrades, and I'm all-around aiming to make this suit to the highest standard I can. One of the things that bugs me about the film costume, though, is how a lot of it was managed. The parts that were obviously designed to be the opening side, with the clips and all that, are glued shut, the clips decorative -- while the side that does open is a really sloppy overlap and/or velcro closure. The first suits that Anovos made back in 2015 had movie-inaccurate features in that regard, like the inner thigh seam that butted and glued to look like a hinged piece to complement the latched outer seam (that also didn't open, but still...). I was already going to make the spats functional by gluing the rear extension and making the clip functional with the snap approach -- the reverse of how the instructions say to do it (and, IIRC, how the movie costume works). Unlike the alpha versions, the forearms on these are two pieces instead of four. The bit on the movie costume that was left partially un-attached is now a single moulded piece with the sides, that overlap the outer forearm piece. I'd like to see what I can do here, and also with pieces like the biceps and legs, to make the decorative clips more functional, put hinges where the design indicated they should be, engineer things so everything closes up tight, with no velcro spacing, no gapping, no overlapping. Since I am not building this as a standard (or heavy) FOTK, but as Cardinal, I know there's no Centurion standard I could strive for. So what say you to the notion of building this "better than the film costume", so long as nothing obviously visually clashes with the look of the movie costume? About the only things a sharp-eyed examiner would notice would be the non-overlapping inner thighs and calves, and non-velcroed biceps. If you think I ought to stick with the canon reference for those overlapping bits, what would you recommend to make those look as clean and deliberately designed as possible?
  12. So I'm still uploading pictures, but I took a break from cutting and sanding to make some more observations. The instructions, which have not been revised since sometime under Anovos' tenure and an earlier conceptualization of the kit, are disressingly unclear on exactly where to cut, and one has to look to reference images. There are also a lot of edges that are way too rounded/soft compared to the movie suits, and need a good flexible filler to build up the edges. The instructions also have us using way more velcro than I'd like, and I'm looking at better closures for at least some of them. I'd like to rig something for the outer chest at least somewhat akin to the movie suit. The instructions also do not have us opening up the center-back seam on the kidney plate, and using the side closures -- which shouldn't exist -- to get it on and off (i.e., yet more velcro). Also velcro for the cod and butt, rather than snaps. So much velcro. *sigh* The instructions are also woefully unclear on how the spats are attached to the greaves. Thank god for the build threads on here, but I'd welcome any insight on what to do with these. Thanks to Tony, I have the gaffers' tape and mesh fabric to put behind the various cutouts that the kit gives us stickers for. I have notions for how to up-detail the recesses in the handplates, forearm boxes, the one ab box with the recessed square, the triangular recesses at the top of the backplate, and the "O" in the backplate proper. But I'm looking for all the ways I can get this to the highest standard of assembly and detail. There are many areas where I feel the film suits dropped the ball, and I want to do better where it doesn't conflict with the visible canon. That is to say, nothing I do is going to look different from the film suits -- just better up close, and maybe more functional than uselessly decorative.
  13. I am building this as Captain Cardinal, but posting here, as everything I'm doing applies to a standard FOTK (minus boot armor), just with white paint instead of red. I want to catch maximum eyeballs. If the Mods That Be truly deem it inappropriate, it can, of course, be moved. @ukswrath I'm gonna lean on your insights, here. Your build thread for the earlier Anovos suit has been an invaluable primer, and your take on what is the same, what is different, and what to do about it would be most helpful. A technical question, as I've been out of the loop for a bit... Has onsite photo hosting increased? Or is the cap still bizarrely low? If I have to link offsite photos, I'll need to spend a while tonight getting things uploaded. It's a lot easier if I can just upload them inline as I type out a post. First off... Anovos lied. Shocker, I know. Remember when they said the test pulls they got from China weren't sharp enough, so they re-started from scratch to make inversion-forming dies -- where the plastic gets sucked into a concave form, rather than pulled over a convex one? So that way, all the crisp detail is on the outside where it needs to be? The test pulls from that were what they showed a couple years ago before Celebration. A couple people got kits and then we heard nothing more... But Disney mysteriously had a whole bunch of familiar-looking suits manning their "Rise of the Resistance" attraction at both US parks. Well, I just went back and looked at those pics again, and those pieces are what I just got from Denuo Novo. The "wastage" shapes and tells are identical. The pieces I unpacked were absolutely pulled over a convex form. The sharpness of the edges on the insides of the pieces is evidence enough of that, and a few even have some minor webbing out on the wastage. So if any inversion-forming dies were milled, we never saw any pieces made with them. That's not to say these are awful. Some of the edges aren't as sharp as they ought to be, and I'll be addressing that. There have been some improvements since the early publicity and 501st-only suits... And a few things that are definite downchecks in my book. The ab boxes, left-calf "kit kats", thigh holster bracket, and all four belt boxes are all cast resin. For most of the ab boxes, that's a blessing. The cutouts to fit the contours of the ab plate are moulded in. No painstaking shaping required. Same with the kit kats and holster bracket. On the other hand, the belt hanging boxes will now require a lot of work to make functional, if one wants to go that route, and the center-front boxes are inaccurate in minor ways I'll show when I get to pictures. Also, the holster bracket is one piece -- base and stacked plates together. All of it cast as one fused piece. Impressive, but I have to cut the plates portion off, as I have R2dan's aluminum upgrade. And the thermal detonator and its mount are all a single solid piece. So that's gonna get addressed, so all that weight isn't pulling down on the mounting plate. I wish they'd kept the forearms as they were for the early release kits. Careful cutting is required to make something more resembling of the film costume's assembly. And, of course, the cutouts back by the elbow aren't TFA-accurate (somewhat similar to the way Finn's were cut, but not identical). I can fill those areas in, though. The codplate is the trimmed-up version. Some TFA suits had had that done, for whatever reason, but it's considered more a feature of the TLJ revision. I got a KB TFA codplate that I'll be swapping in. Someone please let me know the best approach to pictures, currently, and I'll start with the visual aids tonight.
  14. I'll get the det hollowed out, then, and rig a routine-detachable setup so I can pop it on when needs be, and leave it off the rest of the time. Last big question: Do Teresa's "latex-looking" gaskets meet the higher standards? I don't expect there to ever be a Centurion level for Cardinal, but I'd still like to make my costume to the highest standard I can.
  15. I just got by BBB last Tuesday, also without shipping notice. I had, however, gotten an e-mail from DN a week or so earlier requesting confirmation of my shipping address. Since they took over a year ago, I've seen quite a few people receive their orders not too long after that happens. The wait was excruciating, though. I am also building mine as a TFA, got a replacement codplate for such, and am pleased the forearms are more TFA than TLJ. Now all I'm waiting for is the helmet, and hoping the person I was going to swap with still has his Anovos Standard TFA. I remember when Anovos said they weren't happy with the sharpness of the early pulls and started from scratch to make inversion-forming dies (with the plastic getting sucked into a concave form, rather than over a convex one). The later test pulls they showed seemed to be in agreement with that. What I got in my box mostly looks like it was pulled the old-fashioned way. Even have some mild webbing on some of the wastage areas, which wouldn't be a thing if it was pulled into a form. A couple pieces look like they might've been inversion-formed, but most look like they were pulled over regular bucks. The pillslots and separation seams in the chestplate seem particularly soft, compared to the movie suits. Makes me wonder what manufacturing assets Denuo Novo got for these... Overall, I'm happy... I wish the ab and belt boxes were plastic rather than resin, but I can work with this. I can cut the holster bracket portion off the base and attach my R2dan parts. But the detonator is too chonk. I'm gonna have to break out a paddle bit and core that sucker out. On the flip side, since I'm building this up as Captain Cardinal, I might ditch the det, since Phasma didn't have one under her cape, IIRC. The thing sticks out pretty substantially. Does anyone know if a set of hollowcast rubber gaskets are ever going to be made again? The cloth ones are nice, but not accurate enough for my blood. @griffonknight, both the Portland and Seattle Garrisons are pretty big and active and helpful. Seattle in particular recently did a big group build of the FOTK, so there are some experienced hands around when you're ready to wade into this thing. I'm up in the Seattle area, as well, and would also be happy to assist if need be. Welcome. @lithimus, when Anovos changed it from TFA to TLJ on the fly, I sourced and got a TFA codplate from KC. He had a brain fart and forgot he'd sent it to me and another one arrived on my doorstep a couple months later. Since I only need one, would you like the spare? It's just the plate itself. It doesn't have the upper stepped connector tab to attach to the ab plate. Shouldn't take major skill to cut the tab off the DN piece and do some work with scrap plastic to mount it to the TFA one...
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