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Since I didn't want any details to slide, I've been focused on staying organized with the build.  I started a binder of reference notes with the required costume components, and also other key documents we find ourselves referencing all the time.  

5d68e6f4-6102-4cd0-b53a-8235e7ffb47c_zps

We do use iPads and a computer for looking stuff up as well, but the electronics are taking a beating with all the ABS dust flying around.

 

Chest was all trimmed.  Arms were pretty much done, (but not glued, it was raining.)  So, we moved on to the thighs.

 

On the Tutorials page, it says: "Thighs.  One of the hardest parts to get right."  Not lying.

 

We spent hours and hours struggling with those thighs.

 

I read so much about "church bell syndrome" in other people's build threads, I knew I wanted to avoid big 'ol clunky wobbly oversized legs.  But, of course, I didn't want to trim too much.  So, we trimmed just a tiny bit at a time, and I ran up and down the stairs after each trim to test the fit.  We figured stairs would be about the hardest thing you'd have to do in armor.  Well, that, and trying to pee.  

Just a tiny bit.  More can always be trimmed off later.  

 

 

Sanding the edges so everything lines up perfectly when glued.

 

IMG_3668_zps4d2681d7.jpg

 Fittings.  Fittings.  Constant fittings.  Did all of these with the undersuit (rather than jeans) to make sure the fit was accurate.

 

For some reason, when my husband lined the pieces up like this, I started singing: "Knocking me out with those American thighs."  


Speaking of which, when I first started here on FISD, I received some lovely advice.  One piece of advice was to "get some great build music."  This has been very helpful.  We listen to music constantly while building.

IMG_3676_zpsc56d0144.jpg

OK, OK, back to those American thighs....

 

We were double-checking the sizing between the two sides to make sure they were sized the same left and right.  

 

 

Trying to figure out how the armor all fits together so we know how to trim the top edges.  When we lined up the bottom, the top didn't line up.  This happened on both the right and the left.  We figured it is much more important the bottom line up because of the return edge.  So, these pieces were trimmed to match the contour of the armor.

 

Needed a better way to organize all of our building supplies because our "stuff to build with" just kept growing.  Cousin Walter used a bucket tool organizer and ever since then husband has been having a serious case of bucket envy.  So, for $3 for the bucket, and $6.99 for the organizer thingie, we set him up with his own bucket tool organizer.  Wow, was he happy organizing all of his building supplies.  Adorable.

IMG_3704_zpsc862f972.jpg

 

Tomorrow, our heat sealing iron arrives and we get to mastery the mystery of return edges.  The adventure continues.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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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

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Since I didn't want any details to slide, I've been focused on staying organized with the build.  I started a binder of reference notes with the required costume components, and also other key documents we find ourselves referencing all the time.  

5d68e6f4-6102-4cd0-b53a-8235e7ffb47c_zps

We do use iPads and a computer for looking stuff up as well, but the electronics are taking a beating with all the ABS dust flying around.

 

Chest was all trimmed.  Arms were pretty much done, (but not glued, it was raining.)  So, we moved on to the thighs.

 

On the Tutorials page, it says: "Thighs.  One of the hardest parts to get right."  Not lying.

 

We spent hours and hours struggling with those thighs.

 

I read so much about "church bell syndrome" in other people's build threads, I knew I wanted to avoid big 'ol clunky wobbly oversized legs.  But, of course, I didn't want to trim too much.  So, we trimmed just a tiny bit at a time, and I ran up and down the stairs after each trim to test the fit.  We figured stairs would be about the hardest thing you'd have to do in armor.  Well, that, and trying to pee.  

07d7aa65-599a-44db-bbab-e38dd7941f4d_zps

Just a tiny bit.  More can always be trimmed off later.  

fab7dff7-406c-483f-b8b5-9a5bda368b60_zps

 

Sanding the edges so everything lines up perfectly when glued.

 

2ebfdbb3-38a3-4726-8580-22090bbfbec3_zps

 Fittings.  Fittings.  Constant fittings.  Did all of these with the undersuit (rather than jeans) to make sure the fit was accurate.

527543cb-c372-4482-9c01-7554ef83790e_zps

For some reason, when my husband lined the pieces up like this, I started singing: "Knocking me out with those American thighs."  

 

170c6c00-32fe-4cac-a480-5b934eaa4d48_zps

Speaking of which, when I first started here on FISD, I received some lovely advice.  One piece of advice was to "get some great build music."  I've been using Pandora and keeping the music going helps a great deal during those late night build stretches.  We've just been listening to the Pandora station "Today's Hit Radio" since it is one station husband and I can both agree upon.  (Our musical tastes tend to vastly differ.)  But, it is actually good stuff and sounds good cranked loud.  (I'm sure my elderly neighbors are most appreciative of our late night building habits.)  So, anyone have particular music they always build to?

 

OK, OK, back to those American thighs....

 

We were double-checking the sizing between the two sides to make sure they were sized the same left and right.  

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It really bugged me in the beginning how none of the parts were labeled.  So, I got one of those Brother P-Touch label makers and obsessively labeled every piece.  Now, I feel better.  Hey, I just didn't want to be that trooper with their armor on backwards.  

 

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Trying to figure out how the armor all fits together so we know how to trim the top edges.  When we lined up the bottom, the top didn't line up.  This happened on both the right and the left.  We figured it is much more important the bottom line up because of the return edge.  So, these pieces were trimmed to match the contour of the armor.

 

ca50e5cd-f302-4586-b504-efbad12f5474_zps600d6a8b-f753-44ea-99b4-9397e573553d_zps

Needed a better way to organize all of our building supplies because our "stuff to build with" just kept growing.  Cousin Walter used a bucket tool organizer and ever since then husband has been having a serious case of bucket envy.  So, for $3 for the bucket, and $6.99 for the organizer thingie, we set him up with his own bucket tool organizer.  Wow, was he happy organizing all of his building supplies.  Adorable.

 

Tomorrow, our heat sealing iron arrives and we get to mastery the mystery of return edges.  The adventure continues.

HAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!   You started a bucket full of "armor tools" just like me!!!

Edited by Haribon72
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HAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!   You started a bucket full of "armor tools" just like me!!!

Yes, ever since you came over to build, I've been hearing about that bucket everyday.  Have to admit it does organize all the build supplies beautifully.

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Help!  Dealing with some serious overlap on the sides.  

 

On the costume requirements, there is a lot of talk about gaps and shims between the ab and kidney plates but nothing about overlap.  

 

Here's what I'm dealing with on the sides.

 

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So, I need to figure out where to trim further so these pieces sit exactly flush against each other.  

 

If we cut the abdomen plate any further, I think this piece will sit too far forward, (i.e. the area where these two pieces connect would be closer to my front than my side.)

 

So, the logical spot to trim would be the kidney plate.  However, if we trim, we will loose the “notch†detail on the bottom of the ab plate.  

 

Is this an important detail?  I can't find it listed as a requirement anywhere in the approval specs.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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I think your belt will cover the notch area anyway.  You may be able to trim a tad off the abdomen plate, but you are correct in that it will be better to trim most off of the kidney.

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So, I need to figure out where to trim further so these pieces sit exactly flush against each other.  

 

If we cut the abdomen plate any further, I think this piece will sit too far forward, (i.e. the area where these two pieces connect would be closer to my front than my side.)

I agree with that. So i would likely trim most off of the kidney plate too. 

 

About the notch it is indeed covered by the holster/belt sometimes, but i read above you bought an iron-sealing so you could always recreate this notch with it.

Like that:

Kidney plate to finish but no corners cut out so had to wait for the amazing Billy Haggis to come up with the dimensions for this...

KidneyPlate.jpg

 

.....and of course he did, thanks Billy.  :jc_doublethumbup:

 

KidneyPlateCornersCut.jpg

 

KidneyPlateCornersFolded.jpg

 

KidneyPlateCornersPolished.jpg

 
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The notch is an important hidden detail :D

 

The key to trimming the sides to fit your thin waist is to keep the connection in the center of your side. So is this means a little from each side, so be it. You just don't want the seam to be placed really far back so that it throws off the whole seam running down your side.

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I've been following your build for a little while now and I've found it to be really insperational! I think you guys are doing a fantastic job! Vader will be pleased.. I'm going to be getting my RS prop masters ABS kit in the mail soon for my first build. Just wanted to say this thread helped me out alot! Also I ordered the strapping pack as well, what other tools did you have to buy? We're the rivets included? The lens and the mic tips for the mask, we're they included as well? I would like to get everything set up before my kit gets in so I could dive right it and get it done!

 

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I've been following your build for a little while now and I've found it to be really insperational! I think you guys are doing a fantastic job! Vader will be pleased.. I'm going to be getting my RS prop masters ABS kit in the mail soon for my first build. Just wanted to say this thread helped me out alot! Also I ordered the strapping pack as well, what other tools did you have to buy? We're the rivets included? The lens and the mic tips for the mask, we're they included as well? I would like to get everything set up before my kit gets in so I could dive right it and get it done!

 

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Hi Albert- Glad I was able to help.  With regards to tools, there is an excellent list here.  

http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/11760-basic-tools-needed-for-armour-building/

 

Be sure to check out the other resources in that area.  I somehow overlooked this page at first.  The info in here is invaluable.

http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/forum/4-assembly-mods-and-painting/

 

 

With regards to the strapping system, I photographed it the best I could for you, sorry if the lighting is not the best.

IMG_3815_zpsd38d7086.jpg

 

IMG_3816_zps826b20ed.jpg

IMG_3820_zps8a59e3ec.jpgStrapping for the shins.

The elastics for the shoulder straps.

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IMG_3917_zpsce1bd27c.jpg

 

 

 

 

The lens and mic tips are included with the RS bucket. The ears weren't shipped with my bucket and arrived later.  If you have any other specific questions about your RS, you can also PM me.  Good luck with your build.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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Ah, good things always come in brown boxes.  Saturday we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our heat gun so we could do return edges.  Almost as soon as the doorbell rang and the box was deposited in our hands, we got to work.

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We immediately got started on creating a return edge on the ab plate.  We'd watched PandaTrooper's two excellent videos on creating return edges. But, we probably should have started with a less curvy, complicated piece.  Our return edges were not pretty. OK, no, that's an understatement.  The result should've been on an episode of heating irons gone bad.

IMG_3782_zpsfac48030.jpg



"Husband felt it was "fine" since the return edge was "on the bottom" and "nobody would see it."  Uh huh.  Yes dear.  But, I would always know it was there an it would forever bug me.  So, having read on the boards that you could fix most anything with sandpaper and Novus, I started sanding.  And, sanding.  And, sanding.  By the end, parts of me were so covered in ab dust I could have been a sandie. Or, maybe a snowie.  But, it looked better.  Parts of it will probably always look like I stepped too close to an ion reacter.  Thankfully, it is a bottom piece between two plates.  And, it does show what a lot of sanding can do.  Good tip, though, practice first before going crazy with the heat gun.IMG_3781_zps4479ef32.jpgIMG_3777_zpsb31d8d0e.jpg

 

 

So, while I was sanding, husband announced he wanted to try again and do another return edge.   However, this time he decides to practice first on a spare piece of ABS.  Ah, that would have been wise to do the first time around.

 

Practicing with the heat gun on spare ABS.  The smell of burning plastic begins to fill the kitchen.  I hope the same thing doesn't happen to my beautiful armor.  I start to imagine other parts of my RS turning into a pile of melted goo and my dreams of becoming a stormtrooper dissipating like an action figure melting in the hot sun.  But, if this second one is a disaster, too, I figured I could always sand that one like crazy, too, and try to sand it back to life.  I think I've sanded off my first three layers of skin.  It's OK, though, because I still have four left.

IMG_3731_zpsbdc011bf.jpg

 

IMG_3733_zps10cf947b.jpg

IMG_3734_zps4c8cfb5c.jpg
The new return edge...

Hmmm... you can't fault success.  It looks like a return edge.  I put the sandpaper away.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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Back to work.  Using a wood block to create a new return edge.

 

IMG_3789_zps4462c8e0.jpg

IMG_3766_zpsaac3ec59.jpg

 

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"Hot!  Hot! " Husband sounded a bit like Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back.  Can't say I minded.  

 

Starting to think there is some merit to this wood block idea.  (Ignore the eskrima stick underneath.  We use that for sparring practice.  Hey, need to exercise a little bit in-between all this armor building.)

IMG_3765_zps8ac49cdc.jpg

 

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More test fittings.  We've also taken out the overlap on the sides.  It is a much better fit.  

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Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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Shims.   They are things you add to the sides when you need to make the armor bigger.  And, they are added to the underside of the arms and legs to reinforce the armor.  But, it turns out they are also good when you trim too much on the interior return edge and need a place to hang the brackets for your strapping system.  Yes, you know how folks are always warning you not to trim too much?  Well, that is very very good advice.  Because if you do trim too much, you have to add pieces back on again and it looks like this...

 

IMG_3802_zpsa20869b3.jpg

 

 

 

IMG_3806_zpsbbcea244.jpg

Hmmm.... I think husband needs to add a few more clamps to this one.  Yes, there are not nearly enough.  If you are missing a clamp, odds are, it is over at my house.  It's like a little clamp fiesta going on there.

 

Husband thought he'd tackle the belt next.  But, as it turns out.  He and the hand riveter are not friends.  So, the belt is not done.  He said: "What is this fascination with rivets anyway?  Why can't we just use screws and paint them?"  I shook my head and pointed to the CRL.  He sighed and said he'll figure it out.  This is his: "I'm thinking very hard look..."

 

IMG_3693_zps342cc2fe.jpg

Our reference binder has been invaluable. Looking up our research before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

IMG_3812_zpse65320eb.jpg
Test fitting the shins.  They feel fine, but they look big.

 

 

IMG_3813_zps2148246f.jpg

 

The fit of the thighs is still not perfect, but it's better.  Gah.  These thighs are tough.  Still making laps around the house in them, trying to figure out if they're comfortable or not.  Read a good tip that you should be able to fit three fingers in the front and the back if the fit is correct.  Eh, I could stuff my cell phone down there.  So, perhaps useful considering the lack of storage in a TK, but it might explain why I'm still having problems walking around.  Well, that and the lack of a strapping system.  So, this is too much space.

IMG_3835_zpsc6a16b36.jpg


Adjusted it again.  Now, the thighs felt comfortable and I could walk.

IMG_3825_zps8fcbc9cf.jpg

All strapped together.

IMG_3838_zpsdd88b665.jpg
Whew.  We were exhausted by the end of the day.  Spent eight hours straight building on Sunday.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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This is shaping up to be a great build.  It looks like you solved the overlap problem on the sides.  I'm always impressed when someone creates their own return edges, and your work is no less impressive.

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I agree with that. So i would likely trim most off of the kidney plate too. 

 

About the notch it is indeed covered by the holster/belt sometimes, but i read above you bought an iron-sealing so you could always recreate this notch with it.

Like that:

Thanks so much for the great reference pictures on recreating the notch for the kidney plate.  These will come in very handy, especially since husband seems to have conquered the heat sealing iron. :)

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This is shaping up to be a great build.  It looks like you solved the overlap problem on the sides.  I'm always impressed when someone creates their own return edges, and your work is no less impressive.

Getting over the fear of building was the hardest part.  

 

Ah yes, the overlap is gone.  At the beginning of the day, the armor was measuring out to 39 inches around.  My waist measured 29 inches.  It explained why it wasn't fitting.  We trimmed, did a fitting, measured, and did it again.  (We still left some breathing room in case I decide to go for a mad rampage at Krispy Kreme.)

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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I personally like the thigh pieces that sit right over your thighs without much wiggle room. This cuts down on odd movements, rattling and pinching as the thigh slides to a new position you might not have anticipated. Just don't get it to tight that you can't fit your foot through the bottom of it when putting it on.

 

Gaps/trims looking good!

 

The looser things are on your body, the worse it looks, the armor should fit just right, not to lose, not to tight as to not allow movement. Also, if they are loose... they rattle up something fierce! Some rattle is good, it's a balance game.

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(We still left some breathing room in case I decide to go for a mad rampage at Krispy Kreme.)

 

Come to Canada and have some Tim Horton's. For sure you will not fit anymore lolll

 

 

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I personally like the thigh pieces that sit right over your thighs without much wiggle room. This cuts down on odd movements, rattling and pinching as the thigh slides to a new position you might not have anticipated. Just don't get it to tight that you can't fit your foot through the bottom of it when putting it on.

 

Gaps/trims looking good!

 

The looser things are on your body, the worse it looks, the armor should fit just right, not to lose, not to tight as to not allow movement. Also, if they are loose... they rattle up something fierce! Some rattle is good, it's a balance game.

Ah.  That is excellent to know about the rattling noise.   I was definitely hearing that tell-tale rattle during all of the fittings.  I walked around the house, and up and down the stairs, and it was noisy.  Once we finally got the fit correct on the thighs, which took days, the noise went away.

 

The other thing I noticed was as soon as we got the fit right, I could suddenly walk in the pieces, too.  I was really struggling before and wondering I'd ever walk comfortably in my armor.  The whole time we were doing the fittings, I had this image in my mind.  I'd seen this YouTube video of a trooper running up this building with all these stairs in a race for charity.  Maybe it was in Boston?  But, I remember telling my cousin Walter about it and saying everyone should have armor that fits that well.

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Come to Canada and have some Tim Horton's. For sure you will not fit anymore lolll

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk

I had to ask husband what Tim Horton's was and his eyes lit up with delight.  "Tim Horton's!  I told you about Tim Horton's!"  Hmmm... must be good.  We eat (overly) healthy in this house so he must love it when he travels and can finally consume something that doesn't look like a poster for the Farmer's Market.

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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Amazing progress! You'll look fantastic once all strapped together  ;)

Germain, thanks for the feedback.  OK, we are going to glue then.  

Funny.  Before I was so freaked out about the thought of gluing the pieces.  Now, I feel like I can always just pull them apart and redo it.  Not a big deal.  We're almost done.  Maybe it is all the glue fumes and the great music we're playing, but we're getting to the point where we're having a lot of fun.

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Oh and i forgot that you asked for what we were listening during our build, and i remember that back when i was building mine, i was listening a lot the last Daft Punk's record: Random Access Memories. I had great time mixing these two thing together  ^_^

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