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gazmosis

Manufacturer assembled armor: too accurate?

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Several armor makers offer the wonderful option of you providing your measurements and having them build your armor for you. As far as my experience has led me to see, these sets are constructed to exacting methods that were used on screen. However, (as the trooper who just left my house after the SECOND repair on his set would attest to) screen accurate methods may not be suitable for Legion trooping. 

I can totally see if you wanted a display suit to add to your collection. But Legion troopers put their armor through paces the armor was not designed to be put through. I feel the construction of the suits needs to altered to match the demands set to that specific set of armor. On this trooper's armor, the plastic ammo belt was attached to the canvas belt using the tiny 6MM speed rivets used to hold the ammo pack on the bottom of the thigh. Without any kind of washer, two of the three rivets have pulled through the canvas belt requiring the front rivet cover to be pried off and broken. We used a standard pop rivet with a back up washer to re secure it permanently.  Luckily, I know how to make replacement rivet covers. My point is, I believe that if an armor manufacturer offers to construct your armor for you, it should be determined whether or not the suit will be trooped in or used for display. And if it is for trooping, it should be built for it. 

What are your thoughts on this???

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I completely agree with this.

 

usually when I build a suit for someone it's done with the harness system and snap plates.

I call it the "trooping style"

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Two things spring to mind why your belt did not hold using the correct method.

 

1. You made the holes in your canvas belt too big.

 

2. You laid the belt out flat when you marked the holes for the rivets.

 

Did you do one or both of these to result in your belt failure?

Edited by troopermaster

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one of the things I like to use are chicago screw posts for the belt attachments.  this way you can remove the belt for tailoring or cleaning.

and paul makes great points to consider!

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Thanks for chiming in guys. The belt I repaired was built by the armor manufacturer themselves. I have never considered using speed rivets. I am sure when done correctly it can work, I just can't bring myself to trust them to attach the two belts.

Edited by gazmosis

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I use the single capped rivets on every suit I build I have never had anyone complain about them not holding the ammo belt on. It must simply be down to how you installed them.

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I'm not trying to call anyone out. What I am saying is that the original suits and their methods of construction differ from the demands we place on OUR suits. Those suits needed to stay together and look good in the background. Ours are scrutinized and must withstand a beating weekend after weekend and still look good from a foot away.

As you proved, Paul, the methods used back then CAN work if done properly. However, the same method, using the same material CAN and DID fail. Is this because of builder error? Without a doubt.  But the person who invested in the trust of the builder probably has a bad taste in their mouth.

If the 1976 methods can be improved without being seen and/or detected to ensure that the armor can withstand OUR demands, why not upgrade. I am all for keeping the tradition for a display piece.

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That would be okay if everyone wanted the same things from their armour. Not everyone wants to be a pristine trooper to look good for the public. I am finding that more and more people are going for screen accurate builds regardless of how long their armour will stay looking good. We know the original suits got beat up during filming, but the actors did not care about the armour they wore unlike 501st members. Everyone has their own idea of how a trooper should look and how it should be worn, which is fine. I just think you are being to quick to dismiss the original methods because of someone's inability to make an accurate set up.

 

Like I said earlier, all my belts have these rivets and they hold up just fine so they do work very well.

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Yerrp, same here.

I've never had a single cap go on the belt or the ammo pack on any of the suits that I've built for others throughout the years .

And for the record most of these guys REALLY troop, we're talking at least 20-30 in a year for most of 'em.

If it's done right in the first place no one should have a problem with using these original methods.

 

:)

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My ab belt is also made with cap rivets and it's doing just fine.

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Paul is 100% on the mark, I believe. As you know, the 501st costume standards really only care about how the costume looks from the outside, so as long as it is cosmetically correct that's all that's judged against. As the saying goes "if I've done it, it's not impossible", Paul has put together numerous suits using accurate methods, so it would seem to be more of how it was built one would think. Or, even if using correct methods, sometimes mistakes happen. I've been worried about long term troop-ability too, but one person in my garrison has a suit made by Paul and he troops the heck out of it, and it seems to hold up just fine.

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I trust Paul, he seems to be 100% legit. He will be assembling my armour, and I am totally looking forward to it. Anxiously awaiting. As for the belt coming loose, I bet it was like Paul said , the holes were too big, or the curve was not accounted for. Neither here nor there, I'd did sound like an easy fix.

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If it's a really big issue and if this was a manufacturer fault as you have mentioned, then bring it up to the manufacturer. Personal trooping and evidence suggests that the original strapping works fine for trooping. So let the manufacturer know about it, cross fingers and hope you could get another one! :P

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The armor in this case was built by the manufacturer. It was without a doubt an error by the builder. For the exception of a small crack at the back of the thigh and this belt rivet issue, the rest of the armor has held up fine. We were able to successfully do the necessary repairs. I was just wondering if anyone else had these or similar problems. Another thing I had noticed with the accurately assembled armor is the avoidance of inner connecting strips on the clamshell parts. Has anyone had issues with these not being present??

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...... My point is, I believe that if an armor manufacturer offers to construct your armor for you, it should be determined whether or not the suit will be trooped in or used for display. And if it is for trooping, it should be built for it. 

What are your thoughts on this???

 

 

 

To get back to your original post, there should be no difference in build quality whether you use the original methods or ‘modern’ alternatives,be that for trooping or for a static display....if you build it right.

 

Over the years I’ve incorporated both into my builds (and still do) and touch wood up to yet I’ve never had a problem with either.

If guys want inner cover strips because it looks good and makes it all nice and clean, I give it to ‘em,

even though they were never on the originals and not really needed. We’ve got guys in our Garrison with TE2’s, TM’s, AP’s, etc. that are at least 6-8 years old and not one of ‘em have got any inner cover strips (not even on the shins).Yes the strips can add a bit of strength to the parts, and yes they give it a nice clean finish (and I really like ‘em by the way :) ), but they’re not needed

 

.....if you build it right. B)

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Listen to Billy Haggis, you should. There is a reason he has multiple awards for contributions to the detachment and it's body of knowledge.

 

:salute:

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Build it once...build it right.....know your materials and methods and it will work.

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Why would anyone bother putting inner joining strips on an accurate build?

 

The whole idea of being accurate is to imitate the original screen used costumes so adding the inner strips would make your armour inaccurate. In all my years I have never added inner strips as there really is no need for them. If you want to add them, fine. But they are not necessary. I think people worry too much about the armour not holding up if they only use the outer joining strips but have faith in them and they will last a lifetime.

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Maybe if you were bouncing around on the Death Star, or getting tossed about in Cloud City's Carbon Freezing Chamber by Chewbacca , you may need the inner cover strips...lol. It does sound like it would strengthen them up a bit.

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Why do they need to be stronger?

 

There is no stress put on any of the parts. They are just clamshell parts hanging on your body. You would have to physically pry them apart once they are glued together. I just don't get it :wacko:

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Honestly, in a lot of cases, "things" tend to be over built. If Troopermaster says it is not necessary , I would go with that. His Expert Armourer badge says a lot. It does make sense from a maintenance standpoint not to install inside cover strips, in case repairs are needed. As Paul stated.

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I think this thread should be resurrected. There are a lot of good points in here for new builders and old alike!

 

Thank you to all of the expert armorers who have chimed in here to provide help to all of us doing builds to help us make as accurate and robust of a build, while still staying within the screen accurate methods.

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You think this thread should be resurrected to bash screen accurate builds?

 

I've been away from here for a little while and everyone has taken to picking holes in to uber accurate builds.

 

Once upon a time it was considered rude to bash people who had less accurate armour. Now it seems the be de rigour to bash people at the top of their game. I just don't get it.

 

If you ask a supplier to build you a suit. Surely one of the first questions to be mused will be how do you want it built? Accurate or practical?

 

If there was a problem with a particular build I would have thought a pm to the guy who built it would be appropriate not a thread calling them out unnecessarily.

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