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Darth Aloha

Darth Aloha's RT-MOD ANH Stunt Build[*RT]

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Aloha kãkou,

 

I found FISD a year ago after i took the Vader beach photos. I first posted here some time around the new year when I started saving my pennies. I ordered my armor in July. Now according to the Canada Post website my armor is somewhere in the US. If you believe the postal lies, it should be here in the next couple days.

 

Let my 10 month journey be a lesson to all you other instant gratification junkies. Patience is the key to this hobby that I only have mere a retail connection to.

 

This isn't my intro post but I have not wanted to be a stormtrooper since I first saw A New Hope. I wanted to be Luke and as a 5 year old, I had the white thermal long underwear to make it happen. I was once on the other end of the costuming spectrum. I loathed Halloween until last year when I put on that craptastic rubies Vader helmet and flowery board shorts.

 

Then.... I interacted with kids.

 

My wife and I are going to a Halloween party this year, but I am most excited about going out trick-or-treating. We live right down the road from a subdivision where a 1000 people show up from all over the island every year. Folks that live there spend 100's of dollars on candy for the event.

 


Due to my lack of armor I will start with all the bits and pieces I have collected throughout the year. I think the photo is missing a few tools like my exacto, snap setting tool and of course the e-6000. The two items I have not purchased are an aker/iComm and a belt. Rob of RT-MOD mentioned something about a belt in one of his emails. He may have sent one with my kit. The photo below does not show my TK Boots but you will them listed below.

 

Click on the photo for a version without numbers.

IMG_5717-1.jpg

 


 

Below are closeup photos of each item with links to their venders. Click on a photo to see a larger version. This would have been easier if ip.board supported tables :)

 

1. ANH Holster - TK8280

 

th_IMG_5714.jpg

 

2. Hasbro E-11 Blaster - Droopy Doo

 

th_IMG_5715.jpg

 

3. Undersuit - Pinnacle Aquatics Lycra Suit

 

(Actually I took it from work)

 

th_IMG_5724.jpg

 

4. Helmet Fan - TK-4261

 

th_IMG_5701.jpg

 

5. Neckseal - TK409

 

th_IMG_5702.jpg

 

6. Screen Accurate Chinstrap - Karin

 

th_IMG_5712.jpg

 

7. Line 24 Snaps 10/pack (black) - Tandy Leather Factory

 

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8. AB Buttons - Vader Dave

 

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9. Thigh Garters - Mightytank

 

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10. E-11 D-ring - Karin

 

th_IMG_5698.jpg

 

11. Brass Round Head Fasteners - Office Max

 

I'm pretty sure they're the wrong size

 

th_IMG_5711.jpg

 

12. Heavy Duty Snap Pliers - Amazon

 

th_IMG_5693.jpg

 

13. Static Burst Box - scout trooper

 

This was a total impulse buy.

 

th_IMG_5707.jpg

 

14. Black and White 1" Elastic - Ebay

 

th_IMG_5699.jpg

 

15. Thermal Detonator Clips - TK 4702

 

Jesse is a magician.

 

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16. Magcraft 3/4-Inch by 1/8-Inch Rare Earth Disc Magnets - Amazon

 

th_IMG_5700.jpg

 

17. Nomex Flight Gloves - Ebay

 

Because no one should troop in Hawai'i wearing rubber gloves. Even up in the mountains where I live.

 

th_IMG_5703.jpg

 

18. Unpainted Rubber Hand Guards - Karin

 

19. Rubber Chemical Gloves w/Painted Handguards - Karin

 

th_IMG_5704.jpg?t=1317064189

 

20. Pop Rivet Gun - Ace Hardware

 

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21. Lexan Scissors (curved and straight) - Amazon

 

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22. Boots - Totally Killer Boots

 

The last size 12 on the shelf. I would probably still be waiting for these but sometimes timing is everything.

 

th_IMG_5725.jpg

 


As of 9/22 the status of my shipment was: "International item arrived in destination country" Here's hoping my armor shows up today.

 

Aloha nui,

 

-Eric

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Don't cha just love being surrounded by all that stuff. It builds up so much suspense :P Looks like your ready!

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box.jpg

 

IMG_5729.jpg

 

IMG_5730.jpg

 

IMG_5731.jpg

 

IMG_5738.jpg

 

Initial thoughts as soon as I am able to contain myself.... Aloha!

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Initial Thoughts

 

Here are my initial thoughts on the RT-MOD kit as delivered.

  • I have never seen so many stamps on a box before.

  • The ABS armor is much lighter than I expected. Maybe because my crappy ESB eFX helmet is so heavy I assumed it would all weigh more. The box from Rob only weighed 13 lbs (6 kg). I also need to stop babying it. It isn't made of porcelain :)

  • Rob should put green lenses in his helmets and switch to s-trim. He does put two of the three ear screws in and sends along ear rank decals for you to decide where to put them. The vocoder decal is much better looking than I assumed, but it will get painted eventually. The padding he uses is very comfortable. But all that aside, I'll be making it Centurian-able this winter after some Trooperbay retail therapy. I like the RT-MOD helmet very much, but after lusting after buckets this whole year I think I need a bumpy mishapen one someday.

  • While I doubt any other armor would fit my tall frame as well, I'm glad it is pre-trimmed to save me time and anxiety. However I think Rob was rushing to get my armor out (ordered in July and shipped in Septermber) and it seems a bit sloppy. I'll post photos of what I mean soon. Luckily I have lexan scissors to clean up some of the mismatching of halves.

  • I thankfully don't need to add shims to the ab/back but I do need to lose a few pounds... stones... kgs... etc.

  • Rob's assembly instructions kinda suck even if you were going to use the ton of velcro he ships with the kit.

  • The "canvas" belt he ships is made of while pleather. Yuck.

  • I have no idea if I should trim my biceps... photos to follow later today.


First of Many Questions
  • What is the best tool to smooth the roughly trimmed edges of my armor? Metal file? (not ready for dremel action yet)

  • Is this too much of a return edge on the forearms?

IMG_5740Medium.jpg

 

 

 

 

IMG_5739Medium.jpg

 

Aloha and thanks,

 

-Eric

Edited by Darth Aloha

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Congrats on the new arrival! :D

 

As for your questions:

 

1. I'd start with good ol' fashioned sandpaper

2. Looks fine to me. It's hard to tell, but if that's the elbow-side of the forearms then you can have return edge (in varying amounts at that) still and be accurate.

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Ha. Thanks man. Sandpaper! I need to stop being afraid of scratching the shiny white goodness. I'll put the paper on sanding block and I'm sure all will be fine :)

 

And those are the wrist ends of my forearms. I'll leave them for now and trim if it looks goofy.

 

Aloha,

 

-Eric

 

Congrats on the new arrival! :D

 

As for your questions:

 

1. I'd start with good ol' fashioned sandpaper

2. Looks fine to me. It's hard to tell, but if that's the elbow-side of the forearms then you can have return edge (in varying amounts at that) still and be accurate.

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I'd consider getting a dremel and practicing on some scrap materials a little. You'd be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it. I used mine for quite a few things during the course of my build.

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Yep! Sandpaper is a great thing, :D Try 180-220 grit to get the bulk of the scissor made messes off and then just a quick sand with 300+ to give that silky finish on edges.

 

Fwiw... My dremel is probably the best cordless or corded tool I have... by far. I use it extensively from home and house stuff to motorbikes to... anything really, lol! I didn't use it on my suit build too much aside from helmet trimming, but a small sanding barrel did work wonders at about half revs for the tighter curves and sanding them smooth. I left about the same amount of return edge on my forearms, but in the end I took it completely off except the bit on the raised form. My hands are MUCH wider than my wrists though so the extra bit of room to slide'em in and out made a huge difference to the overall fit.

 

Dude, Big Wave is my fav island beer! I drink gallons of it when I visit Kaua'i, :D

 

AND I'm stoked that I get to watch your build!!! I just arrived at my rig in the Rockies of Alberta tonight and will be here workin' nights for the next couple of weeks. This will definitely keep me entertained!!! Congrats on starting it!

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  • Rob should put green lenses in his helmets and switch to s-trim. He does put two of the three ear screws in and sends along ear rank decals for you to decide where to put them. The vocoder decal is much better looking than I assumed, but it will get painted eventually. The padding he uses is very comfortable. But all that aside, I'll be making it Centurian-able this winter after some Trooperbay retail therapy. I like the RT-MOD helmet very much, but after lusting after buckets this whole year I think I need a bumpy mishapen one someday.

I agree, after assembling my "pickly and bumpy" ATA lid I friggin LOVE it compared to the super smoothness of a fan sculpt. It's WAAAAAY tighter than an FX/AM, but it's scale fits me much better. Oh, and green lenses all the way. The S-Trim can be an aftermarket upgrade, :D

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I'd consider getting a dremel and practicing on some scrap materials a little. You'd be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it. I used mine for quite a few things during the course of my build.

 

I actually own two of them. One with the flexible shaft thing and one without.... oh plus the two at work :) I'm just a nervous nelly. I turned into Woody Allen as soon as the box arrived. Like I said in a prior post... I need to remember that its ABS not porcelain.

 

Maybe once I start trimming these biceps I'll have some extra material to practice on.

 

Yep! Sandpaper is a great thing, :D Try 180-220 grit to get the bulk of the scissor made messes off and then just a quick sand with 300+ to give that silky finish on edges.

 

Righton. I have a metric crapton of sandpaper around to clean up after Rob's harried trimming.

 

 

Dude, Big Wave is my fav island beer! I drink gallons of it when I visit Kaua'i, :D

 

I tend to drink Big Wave on tap mostly... I'm more of a Longboard in a bottle guy... or whatever happens to be on sale. Beer here is expensive :)

 

 

AND I'm stoked that I get to watch your build!!! I just arrived at my rig in the Rockies of Alberta tonight and will be here workin' nights for the next couple of weeks. This will definitely keep me entertained!!! Congrats on starting it!

 

Thanks man... I'll try to keep it as updated as often as I can. I expect to make some progress this weekend as the wife and baby boy will allow :)

 

More about bicep fitting in a moment...

 

Aloooooha,

 

-Eric

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Bicep Fitting

 

Me:
I just don't know if I should trim these biceps
Wife:
If you trim them make sure that you are able to lift a beer to your mouth for the Halloween party.

I'm so glad I put a ring on that woman.

 

Looking at these screen caps from Jesse, I'm thinking that the biceps on the ANH stunt braddahs were fairly tight to the arm. They look much smaller than I had expected. In fact they seem like a much smaller diameter than the shoulder bells. Given that RT-MOD is for larger troopers I think my bipceps could use some trimming. They don't seem as ridiculously huge as the AM biceps, so I may surrender my tickets to the gun show.

 

web.jpg?ver=13172660410001

 

It also seems that the bicep is WAY up into most stunt trooper's armpit. That allows the elastic to go around a good portion of the bicep.

 

Here is me with one bicep a smaller diameter than the other... one is out of the box RT and the other is "trimmed"

 

biceptapedMedium.jpg

 

I think I already know my decision but I think out of the box bicep is too large for my arms. I think it will look more accurate if I trim off a bit of my bicep.

 

Here are a few photos of how much trimming in the biceps I'm thinking of trimming off. It's pretty much the width of the overlap.

 

IMG_5745Medium.jpg

 

IMG_5746Medium.jpg

 

 

Here are my next questions...

  • When fitting biceps, how far do you push them up into your armpit?
  • How tight should they really be? After looking at countless build threads I'm thinking... pretty darn tight.

Aloha and thanks :)

 

 

-Eric

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I ran into the same problem... and ended up trimming mine not twice, but three times. That's probably a headache you'd rather not go through, lol!

 

I say tight, but not so as to make your arms turn blue. Get your bells trimmed and situated on your shoulders where you think they should be and keep them low enough to minimize the gap between forearm and bicep when your arm is straight down. Also, placement so the band does fit over the bicep itself is pretty important in stunt. With my AM biceps I had to do a TON of heat shaping because they were rather bulbous on the "thumb print" part. Another thing that might help is minimizing the return edge on the upper part as that will lend itself to fitting tighter to your form without having that air gap.

 

I'm liking the way "trimmed" looks in your photo and just remember that in that screenie you're looking from the back of the bicep. On the inside of the bicep the strap is pretty well at the top of the bicep itself and is more or less just holding it straight and not actually wrapped around the middle of the bicep piece. If you look really closely at the left-most troopers right arm:

 

BicepScreenie.jpg

 

it's actually sitting a lot lower than in his armpit... My AM is fan sculpt and until I get my ATA suit I won't be able to be positive about that though. I'm also a LOT lankier than the actors that played stunt troopers and probably a bit skinnier. I still say your trimmed looks best though.

 

*Edit: That red line is showing the outline of the bicep and how low it is from his pit. ;)

Edited by kaptinkaos

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Well pretty much how it should all go is get it to fit you, somewhat snug but not tight. Get it to where you could get a finger or 2 between your body and the plastic. You don't want a bunch of space in your armor otherwise it will knock and wobble around.

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I ran into the same problem... and ended up trimming mine not twice, but three times. That's probably a headache you'd rather not go through, lol!

Yipes. Well either the AM biceps are much bigger (and I think they are) than RT-MOD or my biceps are HUGE! I only trimmed a little bit off. I suppose I'll be able to pry the pieces together and re-trim if need be.

 

 

I say tight, but not so as to make your arms turn blue. Get your bells trimmed and situated on your shoulders where you think they should be and keep them low enough to minimize the gap between forearm and bicep when your arm is straight down. Also, placement so the band does fit over the bicep itself is pretty important in stunt. With my AM biceps I had to do a TON of heat shaping because they were rather bulbous on the "thumb print" part. Another thing that might help is minimizing the return edge on the upper part as that will lend itself to fitting tighter to your form without having that air gap.

Excellent advice... thanks KK.

 

Well pretty much how it should all go is get it to fit you, somewhat snug but not tight. Get it to where you could get a finger or 2 between your body and the plastic. You don't want a bunch of space in your armor otherwise it will knock and wobble around.

That's exactly what I needed to know for the stuff I did today. I was having a helluva time finding how to fit biceps. Bicep is a very common word and I probably read every post with the word "bicep" in it.

 

More about forearms and biceps trimming in the next post.

 

Thanks guys,

 

Aloha,

 

-Eric

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Forearm Gluing

 

It would be fun to get a collage together of all the photos on FISD of forearms being glued. I bet there are too many to count linked in build threads all over this forum. Nothing exciting here. I only glued one side. The underside will get velcro to fit my meathooks.

 

IMG_5759Medium.jpg

 

IMG_5758Medium.jpg

 


Bicep Trimming

 

This is as much as I took off my biceps. It is exactly the width of the overlap which gave me a nice line to dig the exacto into. The first one I did I just scored and tried to snap. It was more like score and bend and bend and tear. A foam sanding block and some 220 paper took care of the ragged unseen edge nicely. The second one I was cleaner. I let the exacto knife cut through the ABS.

 

IMG_5757Medium.jpg

 


RT-MOD Belt

 

Rob told me he couldn't sew the belt he sent me. I'm glad he didn't because it is made of pleather. Here's a photo of it in all of its horribleness.

 

IMG_5760Medium.jpg

 

 

 


Questions Du Jour

  • What do you recommend for spreading E-6000? I have these acid brushes I use for wood blue. It seems to do an ok job but does not spread very evenly. Popsicle sticks spread nicely but make the glue hard to control.
  • I read somewhere that you should put E-6000 on both sides of the joint and maybe let it dry a little. The glue seemed to cure a little bit as I was spreading. Should I let it sit for longer?

Noob TIP: If you are reading this and you haven not started your build, I suggest buying more rare earth magnets than you think you need. I have 24 making 12 glue points. I wish I had at least twice as many.

 

Bicep gluing tomorrow and I may try to make some snap plates using inch nylon webbing instead of a for-sale sign.

 

Aloha!

 

-Eric

Edited by Darth Aloha

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Questions Du Jour

  • What do you recommend for spreading E-6000? I have these acid brushes I use for wood blue. It seems to do an ok job but does not spread very evenly. Popsicle sticks spread nicely but make the glue hard to control.
  • I read somewhere that you should put E-6000 on both sides of the joint and maybe let it dry a little. The glue seemed to cure a little bit as I was spreading. Should I let it sit for longer?

Noob TIP: If you are reading this and you haven not started your build, I suggest buying more rare earth magnets than you think you need. I have 24 making 12 glue points. I wish I had at least twice as many.

 

 

Bicep gluing tomorrow and I may try to make some snap plates using inch nylon webbing instead of a for-sale sign.

 

Aloha!

 

-Eric

 

Love the progress! You're just "moving along"! Lol, ;)

 

Spreading E6000... I never really did. I just put a thin smear onto each surface, pressed one piece to another, wiggled them around a bit back and forth to spread the glue and clamped it. Some others may pipe up and tell you the correct way to use a "contact cement" such as the directions say, but I've had to separate my biceps twice and lemme tell you... They were affixed quite firmly, lol!

 

I wish I had 100 3/4" rare earth magnets, but 36-48 would be ideal for a speedy build. If you're only doing say 1 bicep or forearm at a time a dozen is enough.

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Forearm Gluing

 

It would be fun to get a collage together of all the photos on FISD of forearms being glued. I bet there are too many to count linked in build threads all over this forum. Nothing exciting here. I only glued one side. The underside will get velcro to fit my meathooks.

 

Questions Du Jour

  • What do you recommend for spreading E-6000? I have these acid brushes I use for wood blue. It seems to do an ok job but does not spread very evenly. Popsicle sticks spread nicely but make the glue hard to control.
  • I read somewhere that you should put E-6000 on both sides of the joint and maybe let it dry a little. The glue seemed to cure a little bit as I was spreading. Should I let it sit for longer?

Aloha!

 

-Eric

 

Its good to Glue one side at a time and let it cure. I glued one side and clamped it down then the other side which resulted in my strips on the first side sliding slightly and not gluing down fully.

 

I spread my glue kinda like you're already doing. I hold the nozzle up right on the part then squeeze out the glue. As the glue comes out i start moving the tube down the area I want to glue and pretty much scrape the glue on the piece. If its a wider area i'm trying to glue then i do the same thing but instead of moving in a strait line, i "draw" in little circles to spread the glue around with the nozzle just above the part. That way you don't have to use anything and dirty up pieces to spread it around. ( time to make everyone hungry) Think of it as if you were trying to pipe out a real thin layer of icing on cake.

 

On the e6000 tube it will say for non porous material, roughen it up and put a thin layer on each side and wait 2-10 minutes then put together. I wouldn't wait any more than 3 minutes though. The e6000 would start to get gummy at about 5 minutes if i remember right.

Edited by kevster

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Oh, almost forgot... One thing I did that may be a bit excessive is to put a tiny drop of CA glue at each end of the ANH cover strips. I was worried they might catch and start pulling off over time and with heavy use. It's such a tiny amount of CA that I can just pop the end off if I get a small flathead screwdriver under it and then remove/separate the piece as you would under normal E6000 gluing.

 

Ditto for me on how I spread the E6000. Just used a wavy motion with the tip as I squeezed it out on the piece. Also a good thing Kevin mentions is doing one side at a time. I too followed that rule. OH! Use a LOT of tape to secure everything together before walking away and letting it cure, lol! I basically covered my joint with a long strip and then depending on which piece it was (thigh, forearm, etc) I used about 4-6 pieces of tape perpendicular to the joint to ensure none of it would migrate or wander as I clamped it together. Obviously, check after clamping to make sure it hasn't moved and you should be good.

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I use the very small "craft sticks" to spread the glue. Got 'em at Wal Mart. Or you could use those wooden stir sticks you get at coffee shops.

 

I am a follow the directions kinda guy, so I let the glue sit for 2-3 minutes before squeezing both surfaces together.

 

And yes, buy more rare earth magnets than you think you need. Problem is, they're dang expensive, and they are prone to breaking when they snap together.

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I really recommend these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120357100337&category=119112&_trksid=p5197.c0.m619#ht_1670wt_1398

Buy like 30 of them. I bought 20, and I ended up Stacking them 2 and 2 to get a tighter bond, so because I only have 20 (well, now there's like 16 because some of them broke) I can't glue more than one strip at a time, and that has been frustrating, because it slows the build.

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I don't recommend neodimium magnets off the bay of e's. Lee Valley is about half that price or less when buying 6 or more (30 magnets total as they come as sets of 5 per). I'm sure there is a hardware store somewhere in the islands that you can get magnets from for WAAAAY cheaper, lol!

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