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I finally was able to order armor!!  After many years of looking forward to this day and wondering if I would ever take the plunge, and I finally did!  Ordered the NE kit yesterday and got it today thanks to the magic of UPS and living relatively close to the source.  My helmet unfortunately is still in the mail, dang USPS taking their time after royalmail did.  The helmet is a fully built TM ANH STUNT helmet right from the master himself.  So my only concern is the armor, I am fully ready to take on the frustrations and pain the future holds for me while building.  I think I have about a quarter of an idea of what I am doing! :D

It is one thing to look at photos of other builds and to actually hold the pieces yourself.  Makes you ask so many questions.  I will do my best to hopefully get this thing right the first time!  Also to hopefully make a trip to the hardware store to get items to start assembling as I did not think I would order a kit so soon, or receive it the next day.  Any and all help would be great!  Especially as to how some of the pieces like the arms fit, making sure I got the pieces right.  Also the trimming on the chest, back, ab, kidney, and butt all to fit right. 

As far as my build I am a really small guy, 5' 8" 136 lb.  roughly a 29" waist.  Got a little bit of popeye arms going on.  Very lean, so I will need to trim this bad boy up like crazy.  Think I will start with shoulders, and arms.  Those seem like good starting points to get my feet wet.  Hopefully I won't mess anything up haha.  Once again, my biggest concern is matching the pieces right to one another.  Will use my photobucket for the photos. http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/ravinousbunny/library/?sort=3&page=1

 I just lost all urge to work for the rest of the week as well >.< 

Here we go...!

Once I can get to the hardware store that is before work hopefully.... :D

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Can't wait to see the first cut, good luck with the build :D

I am sitting here staring at my biceps waiting for them to cut and glue themselves.  Man this is really really nerve wracking.  Well about to try and size them up and make the first cut... here goes??  Pics to follow soon

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Welcome. Returns are generally speaking a matter of comfort and subjectivity on most pieces. Also depending on the strapping method you plan to use for the torso, the returns will vary. A good rule of thumb IMO is 3-5mm on biceps and forearms, erring on the thinner side. Shins and thighs, about 5mm is good to start but as you fit it and adjust to your body you may want to thin that or even eliminate such as behind your knees.


The torso (ab, chest, kidney, butt) I would say 5-7 for the outer returns , but many people like them thinner for aesthetic reasons. For the edges between plates, somewhere around 10-13 is good if you are using strapping brackets, so you have space for the screw heads. You can go less if using snap plates.


Remember these are rules of thumb. Proportion and fit to your body is the ultimate goal. Really study as many images from the screen used armor in the reference section of the forum.


Other people's builds are helpful, but may have inaccuracies you aren't aware of. So don't just go blindly by what you see there. Just because someone else got approved with it, doesn't mean it's correct.


Good luck and remember to go slow. Savor the build, you will be finished before you know it.

Edited by Echo
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Just updated my photobucket with some more pics.  Spent about 2 hours just on sizing up the left bicep, and still not done...  This is def a precise and painful process, every slice down makes me cringe.  I have a question about the bicep, I have it where the top is getting to about a thumb width while have my arm bent flexed a little.  However the bottom closer to my elbow is really open.  Do people taper their biceps or keep them pretty much how they are?  I am getting pretty sleepy so I won't be doing any more cutting or even attempt to glue yet haha.  I figure once I get really worked into the first bicep, the second should follow suit quite well, but progress is progress :)  Also I do not have a good way to take off the return edges or I would, trying to avoid any unnecessary blemishes on my armor as possible.




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Well I finally finished the biceps!  Hopefully...  Well I think they are pretty good anyway! :)








Also finished the coverstrips for the biceps... however...  Due to my fear of bees and of getting stung and of being the only place I could use the e-6000 for now, this is stopping me from gluing...


I live on the third floor of an apartment complex and these somehow nested between the glass door and the screen.



I will start on the forearms after I get off of work and hopefully have those ready to glue by the weekend, might try and go over to a friends to glue these pieces.


Also I got my TM ANH STUNT helmet yesterday!!!  It looks amazing, my only two concerns are that the frown has 5 teeth cut out on both sides, and it is not as shiny as the rest of my armor, though this thing is super sexy!





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Looking good so far!


Hey, want to trade a pair of slightly trimmed down shoulder bells for your untrimmed shoulder bells? ;)  I cut of about 1/2 to 3/4 all around on mine, and they feel a bit small... but I'm 240 lbs and 5'8."

That's if you find your bells look too big.

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Looking good so far!


Hey, want to trade a pair of slightly trimmed down shoulder bells for your untrimmed shoulder bells?


That's if you find your bells look too big.

As far as the trading I'll have to see what mine look like! I haven't messed with anything other than the biceps :P
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I just finally got to a point with the left forearm where I have it trimmed down to a better fit length wise.  Now are the forearms suppose to feel super huge as far as how much extra space inside of them?  Seems like a lot of space from top to bottom between where the cover strips would go.  I have trimmed them down quite a bit, will trim down some more tomorrow though to get a better look down to the wrist. 

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Well after a few days I have gotten the left forearm to a point which I am content with.  I learned an easier way to trim the armor, from the inside not out.  Also I removed all return edges on both forearms first, was quite easy and turned out pretty good, think I will go back and do that to the biceps since they haven't been glued yet.  I still cannot glue the strips on yet :(  I bought some eco/child/pet friendly wasp and hornet killer.  Did quite a number on the wasps killing them within about 10 seconds.  Unfortunately, I walked onto my balcony to find a couple bees flying around, sprayed them real quick then a swarm flew out from some plastic siding leading to the storage door outside, I then quickly ran inside after spraying 10-15 bees, with one following me in.  I found that one shortly later and took care of it.  No stings were caught in that struggle.  Though I do apparently have a pretty bad wasp problem on the balcony and will have to get some pest pros out here to clean it up.


Besides all of that mess, I was quite sad that I wasn't going to get to glue the strips on tonight like I wanted =/  So I just finished trimming up and sizing the forearm.  Its as small at my wrist as my hand will allow, also and my elbow is pretty good as well.  Will def need some foam to fill in some voids and get it to sit right.  Will hopefully start on the right forearm tomorrow and get some glue going by the weekend.


I also suffered my first cut today!  Quite surprised it took this long after I kept getting more and more chancy with my cutting, I had it coming!

















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Alright time for an update of the day!  I feel like I accomplished quite a lot before and after I went to work.  After feeling how the bicep was sitting against the back of my arm I decided to trim off all the return edges on the top of the biceps, still debating on doing it for the bottom.  I am going to check the balcony out tomorrow and see what the situation is, hopefully good so I can finally start gluing pieces together! 

I also completely finished trimming and sizing the right forearm, even made a little bit of a mod to make it fit better by trimming out a dip to form better the my arm bending.  I did not make the cover strips for the forearms yet, will do that in the morning.


I think I am going to work on the torso parts next, get those fitted and trimmed, and form them better to me.  I figure that will be best to get those pieces sorted out so I can see how I need to trim the top of thighs.  I also do not have boots yet to trim the bottom of the shins accurately.


And yes armor is officially baptized in blood, here is hoping that is the only blood drawn for this one. :P


















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Good progress!!!

Thanks!  I was working on sizing up all the torso pieces before work.  Man is that not super difficult to do by yourself.  Was using tape to hold everything up and try my best to get a good idea as to what I was doing exactly, lol.

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Do you have anyone local in your garrison that could help?

I think there may be some.  One guy has given me his number and told me to call if I had any questions.  Though I am not sure exactly if I have anyone that could physically help me yet.  Still trying and hoping to figure that out.  It is kinda hard with the garrison spread out over North and South Carolina.  Less TPSM (Troopers Per Square Mile).

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So I believe it is time for a long awaited update!!  I have been building everyday since my last photo updates, just got lazy on getting on the computer being to busy building.  I think I have made tons of progress and in the right direction!! :D  I was finally able to start gluing and have gotten both biceps finished!  The left forearm will be finished gluing tomorrow and I will set the last glue for the right forearm tomorrow as well!!


I have gotten strapping done for the butt, kidney, back, chest, and ab plate!  I still need to add the shoulder bridges and just placed the order for my belt!  I know that the belt will help everything sit better.  I have a really tiny frame and waist (29" or so) so the belt will be much added help!  With the help of my girlfriend I was able to get the torso strapping done!  The armor is made to where it sits on my shoulders and everything is connected down from there, this is surprisingly comfortable!  Still need to add the strapping from the cod to the butt.  I did not use split rivets for the left side as I do not have adequate space nor the tools to be able to accomplish such a feat.  Just getting all this wearable was such an accomplishment of its own.  Though I am pretty sure I might have trimmed a tad to much off the ab plate sides, not sure it will change to much though.


I still need to get a neck seal, holster, under armor, boots, gloves, td clips, and fan (helmet is surprisingly hot after wearing and moving around for only a little while).

I also need to trim the shoulder bridges before attaching those.  Need to get the shoulders, biceps, and forearms squared away for wearing.  Then start on the thighs and shins, ammo belt, and td pipe.  I have accomplished a lot, but still have quite a ways to go.  Though I think getting the torso strapped and sitting was going to be the hardest part, so downhill from here?  :)


Now pics!





























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Ok so for a really really really long needed update haha.  I have finished all of the trimming and gluing and strapping for the hard armor!!  :D  Just did a test op, no neck seal or bottom suit yet, and everything fits pretty good!  I have a lot more mobility than I would have thought with it all on actually, may need to adjust thighs.  I also think I will have to trim the shins up maybe an inch, though I wont know for sure until I get get my hands on some boots.


I still need to do the following...


Assemble belt, canvas belt and rivet gun will be here tomorrow.  Holster will arrive with neck seal from Darman.  Will prob need to adjust belt size (not sure how to go about it)

Assemble drop boxes.

Assemble TD pipe, still need clips, will buy within a week or so.

Attach sniper plate to shin.

Rivet pack on right thigh. Also trim the corners.

Get some boots!

Glue elastic on hand guards to wear over gloves.  Sticking with the plastic hand guards for now.

Order under armour bottom.

Will probably attach back of shoulder straps to armor for a better look (not worried about complete screen accuracy here)

Add strap from crotch to butt, may need to trim crotch more.

Trim and paint ab buttons, still need paint for this.

Need more snaps/velcro on outer part of butt to help form better with kidney

Need to add foam inside forearm, also adding snap from bicep to forearm.




Does this armor make my head look big??  Well actually no it makes my head look super tiny, even though I have a pretty big head haha.

It is very hard to take good pics of myself and display the armor.  Should have better pics tomorrow.






















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Looking good so far :D just watch extra material on you're cover strips and round the corners as they will catch

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