Jump to content

Pandatrooper's AM build thread[*AM]

Recommended Posts

Thanks guys, glad you like it.


John, this isn;t the exact one, but it looks like this




You can buy them online from any hobby store, they are used for sealing heat shrink material on RC airplane wings.


I got mine from a local hobby store.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking good so far.


Yeah on my FX kit I had to do quite a bit of trimming of the chest and ab pieces. I took about an inch and a half between the ab & cod pieces. I don't have a "Michael Phelps" long torso. I'm 5'7". If you don't cut the chest piece it'll cover up the details on the ab plate and end up touching your belt like my friend's here.


Also I trimmed my shoulder bells a lot. They were huge, almost dropping down to my elbows. They covered the biceps entirely.


AM/FX kits = bigger troopers . . . but we can make it work for the "short to be a Stormtrooper" Stormtroopers :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lookin good man, like to see it all finished up for sure, i'll have to keep watching this thread. I so would love to get some of those AM thighs and shins to replace my FX ones but he won't sell the parts, sadly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ab buttons have been primered



Painted the buttons using Humbrol colors 5 (grey) and 15 (dark blue)



I cut a small piece of leftover ABS to create the side buttons panel. Tupperware TK says to just install the buttons straight on the ab, but I will glue this panel down to the small vertical button panel before installing the painted buttons.



The AM shoulders are HUGE! Here's a comparison of my current screen lineage shoulders on the left, and on the right is a straight out of the box AM shoulder. The middle one, I heated up the shoulder and re-shaped it to try and match the screen look. I know AM is fan sculpted, but during the build I try to do little things to match the kit a little closer to the film look, at least in terms of proportions.



While I was at it, I decided to cut an inch off the bottom since the AM was too long for me.



The AM shoulder on the left is heated and narrowed, has an inch removed from the bottom, and a return edge added and first pass sanding. The one on the right has had an inch cut off. Again, I leave about 3/8" plastic on the end for doing the return edge.



The arms took a few hours, but I made all the snap plates and glued them in, and sewed new velcro / elastics for assembly.



Completed arms (sorry about the flash / no flash). Pretty happy with the results, much more tailored fit for me!



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job sir! I'm amazed at your technique and honestly have no idea how you did half of the stuff you did (return edge? WTH! :lol: ). I still have a LOT to learn about building armor. I don't even have half of the tools I'll need like a heat gun or clamps. Will definitely follow your thread when I start my AM kit. This just made me a bazillion times more excited to order my AM kit sometime in the next few months. Hoping to get my armor together near the end of October if that is at all possible. Excited to see more of your great work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dude - this is an AMAZING thread! Even though I expect my inbound AM kit to fit me pretty much out of the box (I'm 6'1" & 215lbs) I'll definitely have this thread up when I start my build. :D


How about asking someone on staff to either pin it or add it to the Academy? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you like it guys, hope you find it helpful and inspirational in that you can do a lot of stuff on top of a basic build. The AM kit is a great "canvas" to start from, and just by adding in some details or customizing for a better fit will yield a great build that's a lot of fun too! I'll be posting a review of the AM kit after I'm done, I've already got a few things that I would suggest as improvements should Tupperware TK decide to refine the armor later on.


Jason: Stukatrooper developed the "heat seal iron" return edge trick, he posted a great tutorial here:




I think I only have one edge left that I might do a return on (I'll probably need to cut the armpit area of the chest piece as it's way too wide for me). If I do it and decide to make a video, I'll post one up for you. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn Terry you did some trimming! Excellent thread indeed! I'm still working on the same Tupperware lite kit myself when time allows. I also opted to detach the cod piece for a little easier mobility. Its just a great idea.

Edited by TK-?
Link to comment
Share on other sites



You are amazing! You should work for Hollywood! You have God gifted talent!You can put your tk next to a ANH screen used TK and people would think that your TK was the Screen used one! We are fortunate to have you here!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Panda, I love reading your build topics. I have been out of pocket "On Business" you might say and have not been able to finish my AM Kit. All I have left are the thighs, and wanted to see how you guys were working on the AM kit thighs. Thank you for posting you thread on here, it gives me some insight so to finish my kit. Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting back to updating this. I've actually already trooped twice with my AM but haven't had time to update this thread due to local garrison duties. :) Here's goes.


To add some extra detail to the vertical button plate, I cut a small scrap of ABS and glued it to the AB section to replicate the look of the screen suits. The AM buttons are separately machined aluminum buttons which is a nice detail.



I've also cut out the ab button panel. I trimmed it thinner than it came from AM (I removed about 1/8" from the thickness). I drilled the holes in the panel, then glued it to the Ab section with Plastic Weld and drilled the holes through the panel into the ab, to ensure that the alignment was good through both sections.



Back to the piece that took the most work: the chest. Believe it or not, it's probably the piece that's taken the most work. It's very large in size, and I have a few nit picky things about it. I know its a fan sculpt and doesn't have screen lineage, but some of the design elements made it harder for me to assemble the way I wanted to.


Just a recap of what I've done so far:


Initial cut of extra material



Cutting material off the lower edge to reduce the height. No picture shown, but I also did the return edge on the bottom



Here, I've trimmed off more of the arm pit area after comparing it to my screen lineage armor. The AM chest is considerably wider here, and will work great for bigger troopers, but needs modifications for slimmer troopers



I've added the return edge to the arm pit area



I used a heat gun to bring the side / bottoms a little closer together, to create a more "barrel chested" look. The screen lineage suits had this sculpted in but the AM has very straight lines, so I tried my best to emulate this shape. It's actually a little too strong in this image, I've since softened the taper slightly



With the chest plate mostly completed, I glued on the ribbed shoulder straps. I used Plastic Weld on the edges and E6000 under the ribs to hold it in place. The Plastic weld cures much faster, and prevents the straps from sliding or moving during the curing (something I learned from my last armor build).



Torso / arms completed (I took this pic before I finished the ab button plate)




The belt has been curved using the "paint stick clamp" method (see tutorial link in this post). For the belt, I'm using TK4205 / Wyatt's canvas belt material (Thanks Wyatt!)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the Thermal Detonator, I decided to do the hanging clips a bit differently. On my previous build, I did them in the screen accurate way by bending aluminum hooks that were riveted to the TD pipe. But after several troops with photo ops with fans, I found that the slightest bump would send the TD flying off my belt. Wasn't super practical for me so I came up with a sturdier solution: Closed end style clips that allow you to slide the TD onto your belt. It won't come off unless you take the belt off and slide the TD out (which is held in by friction against the velcro).


I had tried making them out of aluminum, but I ended up snapping the aluminum flats I had 3 times so I abandoned that idea. Maybe I can convince Jawa001 / TK4702 / Jesse to make some for me. :)


I figured I'm much handier with plastic, so I started by trimming some plastic to the size I needed. The belt was 3" tall, so I accommodated by adding about 1/4" for each top / fold that would be bent into shape.



I made a simple clamp out of a vice clamp and a few sections of aluminum flat bar. I clamped it into place, and heated the tops with a heat gun, then quickly folded the clip over itself to create the loop. Once it's cooled, it's quite strong since it's ABS.



After you fold both ends, this is what you end up with



You can see how they will attach to the back of the AM TD here. I actually like the AM TD as it's much lighter than a PVC / ABS pipe.



I've drilled some 1/8" holes in the clips and the TD backing plate. The holes against the TD are 1/8" but the holes on the other side of the clips are bigger about 3/8" so that the head of the rivet gun can press against it for the correct pressure. This image is just prior to painting them silver to look like aluminum (if I didn't tell you they were plastic, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference!)



Underside of TD clips



Rivets visible on the inside. Always make sure you use a backing washer on the inside when riveting plastic to prevent the rivet from pulling out.



You can see how the TD mounts on to the belt here (scrap belt material shown)



The TD can now be assembled by gluing shims inside. You need to assembled the clips / rivets first, then glue it together.



Glueing the button panel on the TD and end caps in place. Holding everything with rubber bands while the E6000 sets



Thermal Detonator completed


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's Wyatt's canvas "vintage cargo strap" belt material. I know Wyatt said not to, but I used a solution of 20% bleach to 80% water to clean / bleach the belt slightly. The AM kits is quite white in contrast to the belt, so I felt a little color match was in order. I only bleached for about 45 mins, then soaked and rinsed the belt overnight, and rinsed it again, to make sure no bleach was left to weaken the material. I hung it to dry (avoid using heat as heat will shrink canvas).


I wrapped the belt around the torso to make sure it fit the armor, and left a 7" overlap for the closure in the back. I sewed the ends of the belt and closed them with bar tack stitches, that way the ends can fray a bit for that "used" look but they won't fall apart. I've also sewn velcro for the belt closure which will also hold the TD in place. I also like to sew in some velcro (hook side) on the inside of the belt on each side of the hips, to support the holster and to keep things aligned. The front of the belt is held in place with snaps (belt to ab armor) to keep it centered every time you put it on.



For the drop boxes, I had a set of KWS designs "inner boxes" I had never used. I trimmed slots in the corners to make it fit snug inside the AM drop boxes, they fit perfectly! I also cut some 1" wide notches in the inner boxes, to accommodate the elastic to allow it to lay flat.


I took a different approach to attaching the elastic. I made a loop of elastic, and through the loop I placed a piece of ABS scrap, and glued the ABS scrap to 2 small "bridges" under it, and glued all the ABS into the inner drop box with Plastic Weld. I also spread some E6000 onto the elastic to glue it to the inner drop box. Then assembled the 2 halves, and used Plastic weld to seal them shut.


I found that this way, the elastic stays nice and flat and the inside is nice and tidy (yes, I know no one sees the inside, but I do!)


Here's an assembled one and an opened one before sealing it shut.


You can see how the elastic is attached inside the box, and I will attach this to the belt via the snaps (punch a hole in the elastic, and slip it under the snap before attaching the armor to the belt.)



You can see the rivet used to secure the drop box. I used a rivet and not the snap backing as that was too short to pass through the belt armor, cargo strap belt, the drop box elastic, and the female snap. I took a long 3/8" rivet and cut it exactly to the size I needed, and snapped everything together.


You can also see I've riveted in the Anrev made leather holster. I attached it "Stunt" style with 2 rivets on the lower part of the belt. I used rivets because I never really take the holster off, and I'm super paranoid about the holster falling off during a troop.



Great photo of the belt, holster and TD in place. You can also see I have installed the rivets on the side of the AB / kidney section, I will paint these white later.



A few people have asked for info on harnesses. I made a custom harness setup that's very easy for me to get in and out of. The left side is hinged clam shell style with a few elastic and snap straps, and a couple sections of velcro (not attached in the pic). The closure side is simply velcro, very quick to put on and take off.


The suspenders are attached via velcro on the ab section and kidney, but in the back they extend up to the shoulders of the back section and attach with velcro and snaps. The back has a bridge of nylon webbing across the back to prevent the shoulder bells from separating. The front of the suspenders have "suspender fastex" clips which are very flat and low profile. I usually leave the left side one always done up, and I only need to un-snap and snap the right side one. There is a short sternum strap as well.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen this armor in person now and it's amazing. One of the best builds I've ever seen and he's meticulously ensured it fits him perfectly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul, glad you like it! I built it for trooping, so easy in and easy out was very important to me. I spent a lot of time on the harness and snap system, it's really easy to get in and out of now and a lot more comfortable too!


Jesse, I have a few ideas for your TD clips. I'll PM you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job Terry! Really, really like those suspenders you built. Are we going to have to check out the EIB app for a completed armor photo? :)


Thanks Adam! I'll try and take some better pics of them and possibly a video too.


I'll post some finished pics before I apply for the ANH stunt EIB. I'm still waiting on my AP lid (I ordered it a while back but it didn't arrive in time for my charity troop last week.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...