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Hello All!     I've been wanting to provide an update for a while, but admittedly it was a busy year.  My TK ended up seeing a great deal of action in 2015, but held up beautifully.  Not a single cr

Ah, thank you.  I do love my white jacket.  I think I drive Kyle crazy with the thing on troops since I'm so fond of it and love showing it off.  My favorite part of it is the inside which Dave Filoni

It has been a year since I started my build.  So, in honor of the big day the brown boxes arrived on my doorstep, I'm doing an update.    Events since my Centurion in late August:   I opted not to

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First of all: congrats on such an awesome job!

It is an honor to have TKs like you on the 501st. Good job trooper!  :duim:

 

Second: this thread is incredible, a great reference and I hope other people learn from it.

 

Third: we have a future member in the Spanish Garrison, Almudena, who got an RS and was having similar problems, I directed her here, to see what you did with your armor. Thanks!

 

Very proud of you and your job to wear this armor as it should be worn.

:salute:

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19 Pages of awesomeness !!! Diana, thank you so much for sharing this journey. As someone just getting into it, I was impressed with the extremely thorough way you and your husband approached this build. I plan on using it as I go forward. Too bad you're 2k miles away, as I might be inclined to abduct the 'engineer' for some 1st hand advice. BTW, you never did mention if he ever made the leap over to the dark side and picked up his own armor. Thanks again, for a fantastic post !!

19 pages of awesomeness?  My huge ego and I thank you, Andrew, and I'm glad the build thread could be of help to you in the start of your journey.  With regards to the distance, I received some amazing support on my build from Germain in France and Derrek in Germany, (who gave me the nickname "Blonde As Luke"  :smiley-sw013: ), so friends come from all over on the FISD.  Now, with regards to the leap over to the dark side, no, my engineer decided that the demands of his work and his devotion to surfing would make it impossible for him to become a stormtrooper himself.  He also continually claims he is simply "not into Star Wars."  Yet, this is the same man I catch watching Robot Chicken videos on YouTube (the Star Wars ones) and he told me last night he dreamed of a surfer named Mos Eisley.  I have hope for him yet.

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First of all: congrats on such an awesome job!

It is an honor to have TKs like you on the 501st. Good job trooper!  :duim:

 

Second: this thread is incredible, a great reference and I hope other people learn from it.

 

Third: we have a future member in the Spanish Garrison, Almudena, who got an RS and was having similar problems, I directed her here, to see what you did with your armor. Thanks!

 

Very proud of you and your job to wear this armor as it should be worn.

:salute:

TK-Damian, those are high words of praise indeed.  Thank you.  If I can be of any further assistance to Almudena, please let me know.  It is very challenging to size the armor down for a woman, but well worth the effort.  

 

Once I achieved Centurion, I finally did my cards.  (Thank you, Trey!)  I adore my cards.  I feel so... collectible.

 

 centurioncard_zpsc18f17e5.jpg

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Hey Diana,

I think I have a solution to getting your husband to join the 501st! It combines what he loves and what you love!

 

Scuba Clone Trooper!

 

I know it may not be the most common but that's the beauty of it!  How many will we ever see?

 

7940868504_08cdbfed31_z.jpg

 

4944261474_403c2d3e27.jpg

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Wow!  I give this fellow credit!  Imagine walking around a con in those flippers!  I notice the flippers are on his belt in the top picture.  But, wow, whoever he is, he looks amazing.  Nicely done.  And geez, you get to carry a BIG gun.

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It has been a year since I started my build.  So, in honor of the big day the brown boxes arrived on my doorstep, I'm doing an update. 

 

Events since my Centurion in late August:

 

I opted not to do the Jes Gistang female stormtrooper armor.  I loved the idea of armor that fit well and was designed for a woman, but didn't like the "femme trooper" branding.  Not for me.  Armor for women is a great concept.  Would be great one day if there is female stormtrooper armor that could be separated from the concept of a "femme trooper."  (Won't even begin to comment on the bare midriff video.)  So, the branding and the image ruined it for me pretty quick and I sold it.  But, it found a great home and I know the folks who are building it now will do an amazing job.  Just not for me.  

 

This weekend will mark my 15th troop with the Golden Gate Garrison.  I learn something from every troop and they all reinforce my belief that the armor is never done.  Another member of my garrison, who has been doing this a lot longer than me, recently said to me about trooping: "You know you're doing it right when something falls off."

 

Hah!  Good advice.  Can't say I've ever had any pieces fallen off, but I've had plenty of bits that rub the wrong way and I always earmark them for: "Gotta' fix this before the next troop."  There seems to be one of those every troop.  Always something to do.

 

My armor has held up beautifully.  No cracks.  No dings.  Just the right amount of weathering you'd expect with regular trooping. And, I've marched in long parades.  I've done troops in very cold temperatures.  In very hot temperatures.  Climbed up and down stairs.   I've traipsed through dark muddy alleys at night with my fellow TKs, (now, that was good fun.)  I've dodged large piles of horse dung.  And, the parts have held.

 

In the beginning, I was slow getting the armor on and figuring out what pieces went where and I'm still not as fast as some of the guys who have been doing it for years, but it gets easier everytime I do it.

 

And, I'm sticking with my belief that "the armor is never done."

 

I've adjusted and sanded my arms a number of times to eliminate "bite" in the crook of my arm from holding my blaster for hours at a stretch.  Here's a typical picture of armor bite after a troop.  I used to get bite in a lot of other areas, too, but have been sanding and Dremeling away all the sharp little bits that dig into the flesh after too many hours in armor.  Trying to do the same with the arms, but they're tricky.  You spend so much time arms up and locked, holding the blaster.  (If you do it right, you should look like the stormie in the 501st logo.)  Whenever I make an adjustment, it is always a balance between trying to get the perfect fit and not affect the screen accurate look.

 

armorbite_zps2590d581.jpg

 

I've worked on my helmet a number of times to adjust the padding.  My head is swimming around in there.  After moving around the pads and foam, I switched to a hardhat helmet liner.  (picture below)  I've used it on three troops now, and it holds the helmet very tightly.  Almost too much so.  At a recent Toys for Tots troop, my head was perfectly secure in my helmet and an overzealous Marine grabbed me in a headlock.  It was one of those requests that went like this: "Hey, can I do a photo with you?  I have this great idea for a photo..."  GRAB!  As my head was being twisted at an angle that no human neck should go, I was shouting: "Hey!  This is not OK!"  At the time, I was more worried about my RS helmet cracking like an eggshell, but it would have helped if my helmet could have popped off more easily.  Might have freed me from the headlock.  Or not.  She was a very determined Marine.  I've since loosened everything up in there since the band was adjusted very tightly that day.  I have another Toys for Tots troop this weekend.  Don't think my overzealous Marine will be at this one, but there's always at least one wacky photo request every troop.  (By the way, for those new to trooping, a great answer to these sorts of photo requests is: "No."  or "That's against Imperial regulations.")

 

This is what my bucket looks like on the inside these days.  Not as pretty as having padding in there, but at least it doesn't spin around like a scene in Poltergeist when I turn my head.  The liner holds my head tight so the helmet moves with me.  I switched out my Echo fans for regular fans.  The Echo fans kept me nice and cool on hot days, but I always felt like I was scraping myself on the big screw that holds the fan in place when I twisted my helmet on and off.  And, you can't reposition the fans since everything is fixed on a band.  It basically only sits in the helmet one way.  Plus, I was sometimes getting fogging issues, even with antifog on the lenses.  So, one of our Vaders gave me a spare set of his fans and I'm going to try them out on my next troop.  They were super easy to install and there's lots of flexibility in where they can go.  Right now, I have them close to the visor to help with the fogging.  Might be too drying for the eyes.  We'll see.  Everything is on Velcro so they can move.  Ah, where would costumers be without industrial strength Velcro? 

IMG_0478_zps045f908f.jpg

 

I moved my Aker to the side of my chestplate so I could move the volume up and down easily.  This helps tremendously in dealing with feedback.  I have yet to find the perfect mic.  Still searching.  Recently tried a dual transponder throat mic, but husband said it sounded like mush.  So, the search continues.  Thinking it might be nice to try one of those mics that you install directly into the helmet (like the Vaders do in their helmets.)  This would eliminate the problem of mics shifting out of place when the helmet goes on.

IMG_0482_zpsbf957b57.jpg

 

The best part about trooping has been the friendships I've made with other people in the garrison.  As fun as being a stormtrooper is, I think my favorite times are the moments I spend before and after a troop laughing and joking around with the people from the garrison as we get ready and talk about costuming.  Or, the times we go out for a bite to eat after a troop and talk about anything and everything under the sun.

 

Here are a few pics from some of my favorite troops.

 

This was from a Star Wars themed wedding where Yoda officiated the ceremony and Vader walked the bride down the aisle.  We were waiting for the bride to arrive here.  I am the... yes... the short stormtrooper.  Oh wait!  There's two short stormtroopers in this picture.  (Thank you, Adam.)  How nice.  I'm the short one on the left.

mikeandmayasstarwarsthemedwedding_zps4b3

 

 

 

This picture was taken off the Instagram page for local radio station Alice 97.3.  I'm the trooper on the left holding local radio host "Vinnie" of "Alice and Vinnie" under trooper arrest.   This troop started at 6 AM, (arrival time 5 AM), and it was very cold that morning.  You wouldn't think it gets that cold in California, but it does...  Even with an extra layer of thermals on, I shivered in the dark and cold.  This picture was taken later on in the morning, when the sun finally came up.  It was an awesomely fun troop, though.  Would definitely do it again.

eaa2f552-8a62-4d82-8d9a-b52646abdd0f_zps

 

 

United Airlines employee day.  Second trooper in from the left.

IMG_0063_zpsceb14b80.jpg

 

United Airlines day was so incredible.  Adam (toybiz) and I ended up getting grabbed and pulled onto the tarmac by the ground crew.  We were asked to walk in front of the crowd just as the "Patriot" planes were taking off to go join the Blue Angels in San Francisco.  The rest of our garrison had either gone to lunch, or left early, or was elsewhere taking pictures.  It was just being in the right place at the right time that we were standing there just at the moment when the planes were taking off and suddenly they decided it would be cool to have stormtroopers as part of the action.  So fun to walk in front of the big crowd.  Not sure if any of them were even watching us since the planes started taking off, but hey, we looked good.

 

Building and painting the Scootch helmet 

 

RS bucket 

 

Comparing a completed men's vs. woman's RS suit

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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The best part about trooping has been the friendships I've made with other people in the garrison.  As fun as being a stormtrooper is, I think my favorite times are the moments I spend before and after a troop laughing and joking around with the people from the garrison as we get ready and talk about costuming.  Or, the times we go out for a bite to eat after a troop and talk about anything and everything under the sun.

 

That's the truth! Awesome friends you make by joining the 501st.

 

And i love the jacket Diana ;). As good as the armor.

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I love your thread D! Thanks for the awesome update. You're a pleasure to troop with and you make a great TK.  

Hey!  It's my favorite Vader! Thanks again for the fans. Looking forward to trying them out this weekend.  Everytime we're out on a troop, there are always so many laughs.  This is one of my favorite pics.  I call it "the four ninjas."  Easy to guess which one is Vader.  Hey, at least we're all in our balaclavas, (which at one time I swore I would never wear.)

 fourninjas_zpsac54d3cc.jpg

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That's the truth! Awesome friends you make by joining the 501st.

 

And i love the jacket Diana ;). As good as the armor.

Ah, thank you.  I do love my white jacket.  I think I drive Kyle crazy with the thing on troops since I'm so fond of it and love showing it off.  My favorite part of it is the inside which Dave Filoni was kind enough to sign for me with one of his amazing signature drawings.  It was especially kind of him considering I'd smacked him twice in the back (completely unintentionally) during the group with my blaster.   When you are a new trooper, it is hard to figure out how to do that "buckets off" shot because you are used to taking your helmet off with two hands.  But, suddenly, your blaster is in one hand and you have to take your bucket off and you've got your sound system on...  Next thing you know you're jabbing Dave Filoni with your blaster, (repeatedly as it turns out...)  He was very nice about it, although I did feel bad for poking him.  Maybe that's why the stormie on the inside of my jacket looks like they're copping an attitude.  Here's the group picture from that day.  I'm the little mini Lego trooper there barely visible behind Boba Fett.

 

 

 

IMG_5865_zps3dcd5a48.jpg)grouppicturewithdavefiloni_zps915be7b4.j

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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Awesome update, Diana!

 

I've been considering doing some updates to my thread, for many similar reasons that you've done here.

 

A: I've got more work to do for my Centurion application (eventually we'll get the house set up, and I'll host the mother of all armor parties when it does! :D)

 

B: As you said, the armor is never really "done" even if it is changing the electronics configuration, as a newer TK you always seem to be tinkering with something (until you find another build to do Heh heh heh...) and it is probably best to share those experiences with new recruits/cadets who are reading through our build threads.

 

C: Just because, I am also waiting on ordering cards until I have my Centurion approval and personally I recommend that same approach. If you don't, you'll have cards right away - which is awesome. There are many days where I legitimately actively think "I wish I had some cards... :(" But I know that if I order them now, I'll look at them after my Centurion is complete and nit-pick them. Because that's how I am. LoL

 

Great update, love the jacket also!

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Tim!  Great to hear from you.  As always, your advice is pure gold.  I waited until I achieved Centurion to do my cards, for exactly the reasons you said.  I wanted those cards, but knew I would never be happy with my picture until my armor was up to Centurion standard.  As it turns out, I loved one of the action shots my son snapped during the photos we were taking for the Centurion approval pics and it was perfect for the cards.  It was well worth the wait.  I will have to say I don't get to hand many of the cards out for the simple reason there are no pockets in the TK and we don't often have handlers with us.  So, I end up trading cards with other folks in my garrison and carrying them in my pocket for when I meet fellow Star Wars fans around town.  Although, last weekend I trooped as a Jedi for a holiday parade and I had pockets in that costume. I'll admit I ended up giving out a few of my stormtrooper cards to some die hard Star Wars fans I met there.

 

With regards to another build, my next project is going to be the Episode 7 armor.  I already contacted TrooperMaster Paul and Kevin (KwDesigns.)  They both need more ref material before they can build.  We need more trailers. :)  But, once those kits are available, I am hosting the Ep7 build parties at my house.  I'll keep hosting parties until we all get our kits done.  I'd love to form a whole squad of troopers in the new armor.  Just like in the movie trailer.  I'm the short one you see in the middle.  See?  There's our new squad.  

(And, suddenly, thanks to the magic of J.J. Abrams, I'm not too short to be a stormtrooper.)
star-wars-the-force-awakens-screenshot-n

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Yeah... The partial reveal of the Episode VII Stormtroopers has caused a conundrum for me...

 

I know that it will take awhile for the CRLs and EIB/Centurion details to be ironed out, and then even longer for the armor makers to bring the molds up to the necessary level of detail.

 

Besides, I'd already decided on Fixer (Republic Commando) as my next build. LoL Now... Now there is some internal debate.

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(whispering) Do both... 

 

You see, by the time you finish Fixer, (who is assume in ways I can't even begin to describe), the Episode 7 armor will be ready.  There is no problem.  You know, when I first joined, and saw pictures of people with a half dozen armor bins in their garage, I thought that was a bit excessive, but now I am starting to get it...

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This was from a Star Wars themed wedding where Yoda officiated the ceremony and Vader walked the bride down the aisle.  We were waiting for the bride to arrive here.  I am the... yes... the short stormtrooper.  Oh wait!  There's two short stormtroopers in this picture.  (Thank you, Adam.)  How nice.  I'm the short one on the left.

mikeandmayasstarwarsthemedwedding_zps4b3

 

 

United Airlines employee day.  Second trooper in from the left.

IMG_0063_zpsceb14b80.jpg

 

United Airlines day was so incredible.  Adam (toybiz) and I ended up getting grabbed and pulled onto the tarmac by the ground crew.  We were asked to walk in front of the crowd just as the "Patriot" planes were taking off to go join the Blue Angels in San Francisco.  The rest of our garrison had either gone to lunch, or left early, or was elsewhere taking pictures.  It was just being in the right place at the right time that we were standing there just at the moment when the planes were taking off and suddenly they decided it would be cool to have stormtroopers as part of the action.  So fun to walk in front of the big crowd.  Not sure if any of them were even watching us since the planes started taking off, but hey, we looked good.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRJ9bmaFm_E&feature=youtu.be

 

And, then, Adam and I stood on the tarmac for... what was it, Adam?  Probably two hours.  We estimated we took at least 300 photos with people.  We had to split up into two teams because there were so many people wanting to take pictures with us.  By the time we left, I was starving. (Trooping always makes me hungry.)  It was like 3:30 PM and I really really wanted lunch.  But, as we tried to work our way back to the changing area, people kept stopping us for more pictures.  United AIrlines has about 10,000 employees at that site and it felt like we took a picture with every one of them.  Oh, and it was hot that day.  Turned out to be one of the hottest troops I did all summer.  Since when does it get hot in San Francisco?  I wouldn't have made it without both fans running in my helmet.  Good thing I put in fresh batteries before the troop.  If one of them had gone down, I would have been down on the tarmac passed out.

 

Truth!

 

Finding a hobby that a person can be passionate about and finding others that share that same enthusiasm, is very rare indeed. IMO, what's unique about "Bad Guys doing Good" is how we all come together from very different walks of life, different experiences, and yet we find a common bond, a goal larger than all of us put together. - This is a true definition of the Force. ("its in you, me...it binds the galaxy together..."  :laugh1:)

 

Nothing feels closer to being a Rock Star than when in character. People need and want us there to help, a calling bigger than any of us.

 

You are welcome Diana! It helps for us to be vertically symmetrical, this helps our Vader look taller! ;) 

Here Diana (right side of the photo) and I are flanking Lord Vader at one of the most unique weddings I ever attended...

 

5.jpg

 

Vader did give away the bride and...

 

17.jpg

 

Yes, Yoda did officiate the wedding...

 

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United Airlines Family Day was a lot of fun. Diana, yes it was about 1 1/2 hours making our way to the fence where the jets were parked and 2 hours on the tarmac taking at least 300 photos, but hey look at the kind of photos they were getting...

 

AidenKatieXwing.jpg

 

It was the 30 minute trip back to the staging area that I thought was most tiring...I don't think we could have walked more than 20 feet at a time without being asked to have pictures taken.  We were hot (temps in the '90s), sweaty, tired, hungry and I didn't know about you but my feet hurt. But hey, we were there for the fans of Star Wars right? :smiley-sw013:

 

Didn't mean to thread jack, but glad to have made your friendship and look forward to our next troop! :)

 

25.jpg

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The elevator picture!  Ha ha!  I'd forgotten about that one!  Very reminiscent of the Death Star.  How many TKs and a Vader can you fit in an elevator.  Ever since then, it has become something of a running joke to stuff as many of us as we can into an elevator.  It always surprises the heck out of people when we spill out onto onto the next floor in all our costumed glory.  Folks almost passed out when we did in the library in Mountain View, (the same troop where they asked us to play "cricket" in armor, write "stormtrooper haiku" and we chased after Batman in the Batmobile so the police wouldn't give him a ticket.  Oh, and I figured out just how "high" I could climb steps that day when I staggered up those enormous steps into the BookMobile...)  Ah, and we get to do it again this weekend. :)

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I just spent the last 4 hours reading this from start to finish. 

You (and your engineer) are such an inspiration to building a TK. I wish I would have seen this before I started mine. 

I hope you understand that your shared experience and build journey is 'priceless' to those who are new to this and aren't quite sure if they are up for it. 

BIG UPS! 

PS. When are we gonna see the engineers build thread...? :P

Edited by HansDC
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Four hours.  I was wondering how long it would take to read this whole thread.  Now, I know.  

 

So pleased to know we were able to provide some inspiration.  Building this armor was the best thing that has happened to me in the past decade.  Eh, other than the birth of my son, of course.  

>>I hope you understand that your shared experience and build journey is worthless to those who are new to this and aren't quite sure if they are up for it. 

Hans, I'm going to assume you meant "worthwhile," but I do appreciate the sentiment.  The engineers build thread?  Rrrrrrrright.  Yes, still trying to get his shapely buns into armor.  He keeps insisting it is not for him, yet he can't seem to stay away either.  Go figure.  I suppose he likes the building of the armor more than the idea of wearing it.  Works out good for me, I suppose.  I have endless ideas for future projects.

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 I suppose he likes the building of the armor more than the idea of wearing it.  

 

That statement, right there.....  Pretty much sums up every single engineer I've ever met in my life.  Spot on!!!  ;)

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