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New Trooper under construction


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So here we are, working on a childhood dream now in the realization!

 

Due to my lack of workspace (my workshop is the kitchen table) and the fact that I have two young kids who love to get into everything I chose to go with a fully assembled set of armour as opposed to a kit, and then modify it to fit me. The only option I could find was SDS. I have since learned RS does do a made to measure armour build, but I was not aware of him at that time. So I went with the SDS Armour and Hero helmet. It is very nice armour, but sits big in the arms and legs and a bit in the mid section. I am 6’2 and 165 pnds, with a slim build, so I knew I was going to have to modify it and trim it down. I also want to get it EIB approved. Plus I want to have it done so I can go to my first event next month.

 

I have done costuming for years, but have never worked with plastic before, so I was a little nervous cutting into a very expensive purchase. But I had spent two months pouring over these forums so I felt very prepared. And Pandatroopers AM as well as Kapitian Kaos’ build thread were very insightful. So I felt prepared.

 

I started with the biceps, then calves, then forearms. I measured three times and cut once! I made a few minor mistakes but they can’t be seen. After my first day I felt pretty confident and away I went. The only place though I could leave stuff to dry where my kids wouldn’t touch it was the bathtub!

 

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I trimmed away the extra and removed some of the overlapping seams. The arms had no outside shims, the thighs didn’t have one in the back. So I took the plastic belt that came with it (which I requested not to be assembled so I could go canvas) and cut appropriately sized shims for everything that didn’t have one. Everything is glued so it just slides on. I think they look pretty good if I do say so myself! I am waiting to do the calves until I get my boots from TK Boots, which he said is maybe three weeks.

 

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After looking at all the options, I decided to go with fasteners for the side rivets as they were the right size and will be easy to install. They are just cosmetic so I am not worried about them holding things together. I spray painted the rivets as well as the rubber hand guards. I think I prefer the plastic ones personally though with the Normex gloves. I just seems to feel better, and looks nicer.

 

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I also bought a gorgeous 50 gal tool box with wheels and pull out handle for trooping. Got it from Home Depot. In Canada it is selling for $100, but on the USA website it was $59. So they price matched it for me! Sweet. I am just waiting for my Imperial stickers to come in and mark it up appropriately.

 

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Mounted the hand guards. I went with Pandatroopers style setup, minus the palm strap. The hand guards came with some amazingly strong industrial Velcro, which I used to attach the guard to the Normex gloves. These are NOT coming off. I put the first one on crooked, and it was a challenge to get it off! Super strong glue. I installed a strap to go from the hand plate to the forearm armor, held in place by a Velcro connection just inside the armor. This extra material also allows for a strap to wrap around the wrist, which is nice and comfortable. I didn’t want a palm strap, just so the glove has a nice clean, strapless look to it.

 

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Then we move onto the body. I am redoing the existing strapping system, which means I need to make snaps. Once again I took a page out of Pandatroopers play book. I attached the male snap to the snap plate via 1/8†rivet. I put a small washer inside the snap head so to as to secure the rivet. Very fast to assemble and they sit very flush.

 

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I chose to double reinforce them, that way the second piece can make full contact with the armour, without worrying about the metal coming in contact with the glue.

 

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As the armor was pre-assembled, it already had a strapping system in place, a velcro one. Nice system, but the pieces never go back to the same place, plus the velcro pieces were large to accommodate a lot of body types, so I wanted to clean it up. So I ripped out the Velcro and started to install snaps.

 

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Next was taking care of some of the EIB extras. For the side rivets I used fasteners, spray painted white and away we go. And of course measure four times and cut once (or in this case punch holes)! They are secured in place by the Velcro I am using to hold the sides together.

 

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It was a pain to pull the Velcro back to get underneath as the glue is super strong, but the end result was worth it. A nice clean set install.

The right side snap was super easy as well.

 

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Edited by Sparrow
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My build has been running smoothly, but I have now hit a hickup. It has to do with the chest armour and the back plate. I am a slim guy and the two pieces fit niceley on me, but there is a gap when seen from the side, you can see in behind the armor. SO I have been trying to think of a solution. Is it allowable to attach a trap/velcro under the arm to connect the chest and the back plate. I did a test and that did pull it in and make it nice and snug,

 

The other option I was thinking of was to put in some padding just on the inside to hide the view, similar to what some use to pad the inside of their armour to keep it from moving around.

 

I'm anal when it comes to fine details. I don't want anyone getting a peek inside!

 

Thanks for any advice!

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Sorry, I got it figured out. I took the long way of asking if it is okay to use a cheater strap from the side of the chest to the back plate. I just got confirmation elsewhere that it is okay as it is black on black.

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PICTURES!!! Show us and we can better help you.

 

Yeah what Brian said.

 

Are you saying that your chest sticks out enough to see inside your chest plate from the side?

 

If you look at screen captures from ANH you'll see that the chest and back don't necessarily meet. However the chest should lay flat against the ab plate like Han below.

 

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I'm not a huge fan of the underarm elastic strap to connect back and chest. I did something similar to firebladejedi's solution pictured here... but not quite as fancy or adjustable. That wide elastic not only keeps my chest plate flat against my body it helps keep my back plate up higher and aligned with my kidney.

 

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Aloha,

 

-Eric

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Thanks! I have not seen this approach yet, so I will look into it! I`m slim so I need something ot pull on the chest and back to keep them snug to the body.

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I'm a real slim guy and my should be here soon, so I'm really enjoying this thread. I'm gonna be doing a strap and snap system just like this so it really helps having the pictures also. I like the idea to use the elastic to keep the chest to the ab plate. Keep up the good work and good luck! This should turn out great!

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Wow Steve! nice build! Keep it up!

 

I juuust finished my SDS build (i had the kit) but now i wish i had waited a little longer and checked this build out first...*sigh*

Anyhow, i also like to go EI, but although mine came in a kit, the belt was already made :((as was the o2 canister) I'm now figuring out a way to separate the ammo pack from the belt..the canister will be replaced or i'll try to get the white clip off..

I like the shims you made ...I used the velcro at the back but thats no good...I now want to glue them, but i dont have extra abs until i get the belt done..

Btw...are shims mandatory(on the back) or can i just glue the pieces together (without adding shims)??

Could you please show me how u did the side rivets ( i don't have a shed or tools either..only a kitchen table.. LOL)

In short..great build so far and it shows again what a noob i am...

:salute:

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Mine is kinda like Aloha's. I have a strap snapped from the center of my chest plate to my ab plate and there is 2 straps from my back to my kidney in the middle. This both holds them against each other and stops unwanted separation. I too don't like seeing a strap on the sides from chest to back under the arms, but that is personal preference.

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When I ordered my armor I requested that the gloves, belt and canister not be assembled as I knew I wanted to set those up differently. Worst case scenario if you destroy something trying to take it apart, you can order spare parts!

 

I have glued the biceps, forearms and thighs together. They all just slide on. It looks a lot better. Everyone has their calves velcroed. Shims are not required, it is a personal thing. I simply liked the look of it, and it is more ANH accurate. But you do want to use your belt to create them so the shade of white matches the rest of your armor.

 

As for the side rivets Etienne they were super simple. I do have to install a new set however. I used plastic spray paint on the fasterners and it is coming off. So I need to use some metal spray paint on them. I will be redoing them this week some time so I will post some pics to help you out.

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Stanley 37 in. Mobile Job Box. It has a large logo on top, but a 2 inch strip of black velcro covers it up nicely. Just waiting on my Imperial logos to come in for me to mark it up accordingly!

 

http://www.homedepot...catalogId=10053

 

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Edited by Sparrow
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So I have decided what to do with my upper armour. I am going to attach the suspenders to the back plate as well as the chest plate. I did several tests of taping the pieces together and spacing things out, and by attaching the suspenders to the back and chest, it pulls the two pieces in nice and snug to the body. So I have the snaps now drying.

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My main intent in all of this was to avoid things like below, where one can see in behind the armour being worn. Kind shatters the illusion. If I have anywhere where you can still peek in behind, I can just add in some weather stripping foam to fill in the gaps. This would also give the armour a more sealed in look, which would make sense since it is supposed to be an environmental suit. And it doesn’t effect the screen accurate look. It is just an extra detail.

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I also taped up and sanded the upper armour to prep it for gluing on the straps

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I also painted some new side rivets. I used plastic paint on the first set and the paint is wearing off. I also forgot to sand the last set ooops!

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As for the side rivets Etienne they were super simple. I do have to install a new set however. I used plastic spray paint on the fasterners and it is coming off. So I need to use some metal spray paint on them. I will be redoing them this week some time so I will post some pics to help you out.

 

Thanks Steve! That would be great! :duim:

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Stanley 37 in. Mobile Job Box. It has a large logo on top, but a 2 inch strip of black velcro covers it up nicely. Just waiting on my Imperial logos to come in for me to mark it up accordingly!

 

http://www.homedepot...catalogId=10053

 

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Thank you buddy... picked one up today :)
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A very busy and productive day today. First off had a very successful fitting with my strapping system. My suspenders are attached to the back and the chest plate thus keeping me very nice and snug. Sorry, no pics. I’ll post some of those later.

Secondly I glued on the straps to the chest armour.

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Then I put in my crotch and but buttons for EIB. With these I had to get creative. As this armor was pre assembled, there were already two snaps in there that I had to work around.

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The crotch was easy, just drill a whole and put in a single brad

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The but was tricky. I could drill a whole for one, but the other one I had to drill a hole through the existing snap.

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The first snap I just used a washer and hammered it into place. The second one I used E6000 and hammered it into the existing tab. If it ever comes out, I have lots of replacements. I think it came out well.

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Then I redid the 6 side rivets. Some of you wanted more detail on this process so here you go. I started off with 6, 8mm paper fasterners, sanded them down and spray painted them. This was a few days ago.

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When it comes to the armor, measure six times, cut once! So the rivets are to be 10 mm from the side. Include another 4mm and that takes you to the center of the fastener. So measure 14mm from the edge and draw a straight line. The spacing between them is simply supposed to be even. But one must keep in mind that the lower two rivets will be hidden by the belt, but must still be there. So what I did was measure down my line 15mm from the top. This is my first rivet spot. Then down another 16mm, is rivet # 2, then another 16mm is #3. You should now have a X for all three spots.

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Then we need to pull off enough of the Velcro that is on the side so we can get under to install the fasteners. This Velcro has super strong glue so it will be tough but will come off.

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Once it is out 20mm, pull out the drill or your punch and make three wholes. Clean up your pencil marks and then pop in your fasteners.

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Some fasteners will need to be trimmed to fit properly. You will notice that once folded out, there is a little bump. This bump needs to be flattened out. The Velcro will sit on it better and this will also secure the fasteners in place. I just used the same tools that came with the snaps to tap them down a bit.

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Pull down the Velcro back into place and you are done. If you want you can also warm up the Velcro with an iron. Don’t let the two touch!, keep them an inch apart. This just warms up the glue on the Velcro and makes it more sticky. It worked because this vecro was very hard to get off!

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Next is the ab section. Make sure to line up the top of the two pieces together and do the same thing.

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The belt. I chose to go with white as I want that “fresh out of the factory†look. I used rivets on one side...

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...then snaps on the other. I chose to go with snaps so I can easily remove the holster for storage and for those times weapons are not appropriate.

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Now the below pic looks like the drop boxes are attached via fabric...

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NOT! It is fabric glued onto Velcro. I chose Velcro so once again. They can come off for easy storage.

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The final product. Almost, the covers were not glued on, oops!

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