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Pandatrooper's AM build thread[*AM]

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What's in the brown box?... :)

 

No, I'm not going to start a mystery thread! It's a new AM kit from Tupperware TK!

 

I was very excited to get this kit, and I'm glad to have a kit that's 100% fan made. This will be a longer term project, so this won't be updated as quickly (need to finish a few other projects first), but I wanted to save the space for it.

 

I know this kit was built to accommodate bigger troopers, but being a thin guy I'm going to build it slimmer. I want to see if I can capture that "70's slimmer / screen look" of the promo pictures. I don't think I'm as tall as those guys, but I'll do my best to scale the kit accordingly.

 

This AM kit will be my primary TK armor going forward, with an AP lid. I want to make EIB stunt with this kit, along with a new blaster build.

 

Tupperware TK is a great seller. Great product, and great service. I couldn't recommend him enough for a great quality kit at great prices!

 

4443324309_8353a5e576.jpg

 

4444095576_c15c5a3753.jpg

 

4444095562_f5d0f3a272.jpg

 

Wish me luck!

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Good luck! I'll be watching this thread. I have a friend that is putting this kit together right now. I think it looks great and I agree Tupperware TK is a great guy, very helpful.

Edited by JohnBlackk

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i just got an AM kit as well. it will be interesting to see your plan of attack!

 

*watching*

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Thanks guys! I'll probably start with the torso first. I already have a plan of attack:

 

- heating up ab / kidney and re-shaping to fit my waist

- trim sides to match with kidney

- reshape butt

- trim and shorten chest (it's a bit long for me), might cut the neck opening, and the rib cage edge, and do a return edge there. Risky, but I may attempt it. Might need to make it narrower too.

- install the 6 rivets, elastic sides, and "Han solo" rivet on the right

- create a custom harness for myself based off my current design

- integrate my thigh garters

- make a crotch snap / strap

- I have a new way of attaching the chest plate

- install voice amp / wireless mic

- make many, many snap plates... :)

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- I have a new way of attaching the chest plate

 

 

can't wait to see your build. Your creativity is amazing.

 

BTW - whatever happened to your PVC blaster build?

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Still working on it. :) I was going to make it out of PVC but I decided to make it out of aluminum instead (more room inside for electronics). That's one of the "other" projects I was referring to. Along with a T-21 blaster, etc.. :)

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On 18.3.2010 at 11:37 PM, pandatrooper said:

Thanks guys! I'll probably start with the torso first. I already have a plan of attack:

 

- heating up ab / kidney and re-shaping to fit my waist

- trim sides to match with kidney

- reshape butt

- trim and shorten chest (it's a bit long for me), might cut the neck opening, and the rib cage edge, and do a return edge there. Risky, but I may attempt it. Might need to make it narrower too.

- install the 6 rivets, elastic sides, and "Han solo" rivet on the right

- create a custom harness for myself based off my current design

- integrate my thigh garters

- make a crotch snap / strap

- I have a new way of attaching the chest plate

- install voice amp / wireless mic

- make many, many snap plates... :)

 

 

Hey Terry, everything you listed here is what I did or had to do with my AM kit. I'm a thinner guy as well. ;)

 

I'm still doing some more finishing tweaks on mine as well as wrapping up my Hasbro blaster mod. I hope to have some pics ready soon.

 

http://whitearmor.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=10296

 

 

It can be done with the AM kit for sure, just alot of trimming involved. You'll have plenty of plastic left over for snap plates! lol

 

Good luck with your build... can't wait to see the results!

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I just got myself AM also and have to agree, Tupperware TK is great service and great communications.

 

I was just wondering if it'll be an issues outdoors that you can see through the armor? I read that with former FX armor in outdoor it was possible to prime the armor inside to prevent unwanted exposure through the white parts. If this is still suggested for AM, it'd be much easier to do now before starting to build...

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FX - like AM - is made of 0.090 ABS. Real thick, sturdy plastic. I've never heard of anyone nor can I imagine being able to see through it.

 

If someone posted about being able to see through FX then I suspect what they got wasn't actually FX but a flimsy FX recast - and there ARE some of those out there.

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I just got myself AM also and have to agree, Tupperware TK is great service and great communications.

 

I was just wondering if it'll be an issues outdoors that you can see through the armor? I read that with former FX armor in outdoor it was possible to prime the armor inside to prevent unwanted exposure through the white parts. If this is still suggested for AM, it'd be much easier to do now before starting to build...

 

There's absolutely no way you can see through this new AM armor. It's nice and thick and very opaque. ;)

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Brian, what a slave driver!! :)

 

I haven't done too much, other than sorting through all the pieces "test fitting" them on my body. I can see I'll have to modify quite a few areas as I'm a slim build and only weigh about 150lbs. The hand plates are HUGE on me!! :D Not sure if I'm going to cut them down or how to approach that just yet.

 

I sized up the chest plate and found it's a bit long, so I'm going to trim the neck opening lower, and will likely trim the bottom edge too, and give it a return. I know there's "shoulder straps" molded into the chest and back, but I'm not going to use them. I have a different way of attaching the chest now, so I'll cut those off as I don't need them, and to make it a bit more screen accurate. I've also been sizing / marking areas for the abs / kidney as there's tons of material there (I've got like a 31" waist, so I'll need to trim a lot off)

 

No pictures yet. I like to post updates when I have a "good amount" done, so it's likely I'll finish the torso, then post images.

 

I've ordered an AP lid to go along with the AM kit, so I'm waiting for that too. I'll be hand painting everything (including cheek tube stripes) on this lid, I've had good practice and I'm confident with the skills required there.

 

In the mean time, I've been working on a T-21 blaster / tutorial (it's going to be a big tutorial, fairly detailed). I'm on the last few scratch building portions, then I'll paint it. I've also been working on FID tutorials, so that's taking a bunch of time.

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That's awesome! I need to get over to my build thread and give an update, too.

 

Sounds like you're a busy guy. Keep having fun!

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Update, with pictures! Finally...

 

The AM armor is great. Fan sculpted, so no "screen lineage" but still great in terms of durability and finish (ABS plastic) and great service from TupperwareTK. All the parts come trimmed for easier assembly, which is great.

 

Armor laid out. I got a "Lite" kit, with no helmet. That comes later.

 

Here's 2 pics, I couldn't fit everything in 1 shot :)

4580105533_38bf9064ff.jpg

4580736516_c065e03044.jpg

 

I always start with the biceps, since that's the easiest part. I know the AM kit was designed to be built with overlap seams, but I'm going to butt seam the joins ANH style and cut plastic strips to use as ANH cover strips to hide the joins. I just personally prefer that look.

 

I'll go into more detail on the bicep, but essentially, you're using the same process on every limb / part:

 

- size up to your body

- mark it with a pencil

- draw some straight lines of where you'll cut

- tape the parts together, size again (measure twice, cut once!)

- cut one side, size it up again

- cut the other side

- tape the parts together, size them up. Adjust cuts if necessary

- glue shims / glue the halves / let cure

- test size just to be sure (it's easier to have to disassemble at this point, rather than removing ANH cover strips and doing it again and again)

- apply cover strips

- assemble armor

 

As always, I'd like to thanks Stukatrooper and Firebladejedi for all their tips, guides and advice on the forum. Most of the techniques I use are ones they helped establish / document, so many props to them!

 

So here, I've cut an 8mm wide strip to use as a guide. If I leave this amount on both sides, that adds up to 16mm, and a 15mm ANH cover strip covers it nicely.

4580736774_8d88b313e1.jpg

 

After cutting, I overlap it with the other side, and test fit it over my bicep (giant guns! - not!) However, make sure to at least bend / flex your bicep slightly, so that the bicep is comfortable to wear. If you make it fit your perfectly straight arm, it will be a tight squeeze once it's assembled and you try to bend at the elbows.

4580737040_36103b74fb.jpg

 

I mark the overlap areas with a pencil, and draw a straight line. Then use a metal ruler to score a line with an Xacto, then bend and snap the plastic.

4580737326_90d7dac79c.jpg

 

Tape it up and test fit it again over your arm.

4580106869_2006fa175d.jpg

 

Here, I've glued a shim inside on one side of the bicep. I used Plastic Weld to join it. I'll use E6000 for similar joins on the legs, where there's usually more stress on the parts and flexing is required (eg: opening shins to get them on, etc.)

4580737848_0df9ae6aba.jpg

 

Gluing and clamping the shim and both halves together. You need lots of clamps, get them BEFORE you start your build! That way, you can alternate and work on another part while one is drying / curing.

4580107343_06c4700d85.jpg

 

Shims installed inside on both sides, everything is now clamped and set aside to cure. I'll apply the ANH cover strips later.

4580107681_f3d01e2616.jpg

 

Forearms, same thing. I use my 8mm guide to draw a line, and start cutting. This time I used scissors.

4580107949_1e44bd8049.jpg

 

The AM kit was made for bigger troopers, check out how much I need to cut off!

4580738996_9329e43d68.jpg

 

The halves are cut, both top and bottom are lined up for sizing. No other forearm pics, but I assembled them as described above.

4580108491_03dfabf9bf.jpg

 

Here, I've cut the thighs this time using a 10mm guide strip (since both sides will equal 20mm for the ANH cover strip). I'll glue the front halves first since I want the front to be screen accurate, but I know the back will be too since my thighs are skinny (my real thighs, not the armor!)

4580108779_b06b4f87c0.jpg

 

One detail here that I'm showing is that I plan to cut the length of the thigh down about 1" from the top, and do a return edge. AM has increased the thigh length from the previous FX kit, but the thighs are too long for me now comfort wise, so I'm cutting 1" off the top.

 

Actually, I'm cutting about 5/8" off the top and leaving 3/8" extra for the return edge.

To ease in assembly, I will sometimes glue a shorter shim inside and use Plastic weld to hold it in place, before I place a longer strip inside and secure the halves and the inner shim with E6000.

4580739784_31be306dee.jpg

 

Lower shim on thigh

4580109593_7aebb8723e.jpg

 

Inner shim is now glued in place with E6000 and clamped / held in place via rare earth magnets

4580109829_8b0c00992a.jpg

 

The front butt seam is done, now onto the back. Slide it over your thigh, and overlap the pieces. Mark with a pencil where the "center" of the back seam should be.

I find that a lot of troopers leave a lot of room in their thighs, and I did that on my first build too. Then you have to pad it and the area above your knee sometimes has too much space. I call this "Church bell thigh" syndrome. When you walk, the thigh is swinging around! If you look at some of the promo shots, the armor is much tighter to the wearer. This is how I want to approach my build.

 

Check out how much plastic I've cut off the back of the thighs!

4580110065_ee12def5e3.jpg

 

I've glued an inner shim to one side of the back of the thigh, then I'll glue the halves together

4580110341_0117cf1a59.jpg

 

Here's a shin. I've used the same method as the thigh. Use a 10mm guide strip on either side of the front of the shin, draw a straight line (use the guide strip as a ruler). Cut, then join the sides. I've already glued the seam here.

4580110575_07131e329a.jpg

 

I know I'm bouncing around a bit, but I need to let things dry / cure so I'll usually move on to other parts. Here I've got the chest and I've marked and cut off major portions of it.

 

I've cut the shoulder straps (I know Tupperware TK made it easier to assembled with "extended" shoulder to back connections, but I have a different way of attaching the chest, so I cut them off.

I've trimmed the neck opening lower, and I did a few other cuts. More cuts to come!!

4580741594_2a5c97a04a.jpg

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On a side note...

 

Does anyone else think this pic is funny? When I look at it I see 4 dogs all trying to devour the same bone! :P

 

4580107681_f3d01e2616.jpg

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On 3.5.2010 at 2:32 PM, puro said:

Terry, was in your package a separate plate where the 3 ab plate buttons should go?

 

If you look at the instructions, the main ab button panel (the buttons and ridges) is a separate piece. To the right of that is the vertical panel that has 4 buttons. You can install the aluminum buttons directly on the vertical panel. If you want that look of an extra layer of plastic, simply cut out a piece of spare ABS you've trimmed off a body part, and install it under the ab buttons.

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Here’s a thigh. Having already test fitted it, it’s about a half inch too tall compared to my current armor. To make it more comfortable for trooping, I’m going to cut 1” off the top, and do a return edge using a heat sealing iron.

 

4581309381_188e478a46.jpg

 

Here you can see where I drew some lines as guides. The inner thigh height was fine, it was mostly the front and outer edges that were too tall. The transitions and follows the original curve as close as can be, with a little eyeballing.

 

4581309769_e3bce2d23a.jpg

 

I’ve cut about ½” off the thighs, leaving a bit of plastic to heat and bend for the return edge. This is just a first pass with the iron. Yes, it looks rough, but once you event it out, and sand it, it looks fine.

 

4581310565_dd9dc6a04e.jpg

 

Before, with a rough pass

4581941776_82f5143f54.jpg

 

After. Just take your time and go slowly, heating sections at a time. Fix the blemishes after with a Dremel and some sanding.

4581942168_56cb583c4a.jpg

 

Comparison of finished edge (not fully sanded / polished yet) to an uncut thigh

4581941394_6284f06ff0.jpg

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Terry, you got some mad skillz ;) Great job man.

Edited by Shooter

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you could have even moulded TM/ANH style tops on the thighs with a kit like that!

Edited by TK Bondservnt 2392
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ANH cover strips on biceps added

4581942608_131fa57593.jpg

 

ANH cover strips on thighs added

4581945648_09dfcd6f1d.jpg

 

Using my “paint stick clamp” method to bend the battery packs for the knee.

http://whitearmor.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=8757

 

I simply cut the paint sticks slightly narrower to fit the gap between the packs, then heated the bases and bent the sections one at a time.

4581943006_672ec0bd1e.jpg

 

Just work it slowly around

4581943786_e912386448.jpg

 

Nicely contoured battery pack to fit the profile of the lower thigh / knee area

4581944182_1a016d295d.jpg

 

Here’s the thigh with the return edge done, ANH cover strips added, and battery pack riveted in place

4581314017_77a1267c56.jpg

4581314407_3173b2f20a.jpg

 

Left shin with knee plate riveted in place

4581315575_1d85736a13.jpg

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Going back to the chest piece. The torso is considerably longer on the AM kit than screen derived kits, which is great for taller / bigger troopers, but not so good for me (5 foot 8 inches, and 150 lbs). I’ll be reducing the completed torso by several inches.

 

I’ve cut about 1/2" off the lower center of the chest, and about 1.25” from the lower edge / sides of the chest. TupperwareTK sorted added more of a “swoop up” to the bottom of the rib cage area, so that it wouldn’t get hung up on the ab plate.

 

But looking at reference pictures, the swoop is not as severe, so I chose not to cut an even 1” all across the bottom.

 

I know he made the chest longer for bigger troopers, but I feel on me it would look out of proportion, so I've cut it shorter in an attempt to match it up at least slightly closer to the screen look.

 

4581315957_71bff495b8.jpg

 

I also left a about 3/8” of plastic for the return edge

4581316345_fcaaa02130.jpg

 

Here’s a comparison of the AM back with my current back. It’s huge! Not much I can do about the width, but I can cut some plastic from the bottom and bend the top and the sides a bit.

4581947206_e44c91a07a.jpg

 

I’ve marked off areas I will cut. I’m removing about 1.25” from the bottom edge. Again, I’m leaving some plastic at the bottom for a return edge

4581317147_0b6e922273.jpg

 

I’m cutting the top shoulder sections too, as I will be assembling them differently via the my harness / strap system

4581317525_8de03f80d1.jpg

 

I’ve also cut the cod and removed 1.25” from below the belt line. I find I have much better mobility by cutting the cod and attaching it with snaps / elastic. It also makes bio breaks much easier. :)

4581948502_eaf4c43333.jpg

 

I’ve removed an additional 1.25” from the lower back. Not doing a return edge here as the belt covers it.

4581948886_26ffc555a1.jpg

 

I’ve cut about 5/8” from the upper butt and removed the return edge too.

4581949332_96444d2fba.jpg

 

Here’s the rough return edge for the lower edge of the back. Very rough, but not for long. A couple extra passes with the iron and a Dremel will clean it up.

4581319495_c3daac5d1b.jpg

 

Rough sanding pass

4581319867_24c84f538b.jpg

 

Sanded the ab plate buttons and cleaned them off. I’ll be spraying them with self etching primer to prepare for painting.

4581319149_bd8603ffd9.jpg

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Terry you're doing a great job! Can't wait to see this completed.

 

What kind of hobby iron are you using? Where did you get it?

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