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It's starting to look incredible! That second torso shot is awesome :)

 

About the butt plate snaps, even though some armors had only one snap like you've done and like the RS suit, Centurion requires 2 to be present. Like three of the armors on the pic below:

 

Thank you for pointing this out.  I like the idea of adding in the second snap, mainly because the cod wouldn't fit snug enough and it was annoying, (probably the reason why the second snap is there in the first place.)  Anything to make the armor fit just a little better makes perfect sense to me.  Thanks again.

 

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Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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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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We had great weather today for painting this weekend, and Scootch had been sitting patiently for a week.  So, we took him outside to enjoy some of our abundant California sunshine.

 

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Searching for any rough spots before the next coat.  As husband described the process, it is like painting a car. Everytime you apply a coat, you need to sand it so you end up with a nice, shiny finish.  "Honey, want to feel the helmet?"  "Geez, for the last time, no."

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Painting Scootch along a surface that is already white.  The fence desperately needed painting anyway.  Cross one off the "honey do" list.

 

Question: Do we need to apply a gloss coat to the helmet?

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So, last night we had dinner with Kyle and his family and returned his armor.  Before we did, I did some comparison shots of his RS armor to my RS armor.  Kyle has a "screen accurate" body type at a height of 5'10", (5'11" in armor.)  I'm the exact same height as Temuera Morrison, which must make me screen accurate for something. 

 

Before I left, I did comparison photos of the two RS suits.  You can probably tell the two apart, without labels.IMG_4838_zps36c7705d.jpg

In case you need a hint, my armor is the one on the right.  Keep in mind, these two kits were identical when they were first shipped from RS.

 

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Kyle's thigh piece on the left and mine on the right.

 

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My shin piece on the left.  Kyle's on the right.

 

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The arm pieces were interesting.  I had to double-check to make sure I didn't grab the wrong pieces because they looked almost identical.  Kyle's arm piece is on the left, and mine is on the right.  I've been trying to tell my engineer my arms are too big, and he's been arguing if we trim them they will be too small.  

OK.  Seriously.  What more proof do I need that my arm pieces are too big?  We are still having the big arm resizing debate.  I feel like C-3PO waving these huge arm pieces around. 

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Yes, and I have to admit the paint on the helmet came out looking great. The engineer knows his stuff. 

 

We're still wrestling a bit with the arms.  Been harder time to find work on the armor lately as schedules have gotten busier.  So, we've been hunting for little free minutes to try and complete the project.  Last fitting pictures were taken nine days ago when the strapping was completed.

 

Now, the belt wasn't done yet, and the snaps for that are not in place.  And, the arms are sitting all wrong, hence the great arm debate.

 

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Here's the pic from the back, unedited and marked up with all the areas we knew we wanted to fix.

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1. The shoulder straps are too long and are touching the backplate.  This is probably due to my height.   I trimmed off "one rib" from the back and resanded.  Will try another fitting today and see if they are still touching.

2. Because my biceps and arms were much too big, they wouldn't stay on unless I kept my arms crooked at all times.  This is fine if you are constantly holding a blaster, but meant I could never straighten out my arms.  I asked Kyle how to solve the problem.  "Eat more protein?"  Wise guy.  He then said others with the same problem have fixed it with foam.  Ah.  Now, that is helpful.  Will go shopping foam.  Right after I finish this enormous nerf steak.

3. Belt. Blegh. Working on it.  Kyle warned to be careful about the positioning of the snaps on the abdomen since so much else was resized on the armor.  Have not placed the snaps yet.

4. Thigh pieces sitting too high and are hitting the butt plate.  

 

Readjusted the thigh pieces down and they still hit the butt plate.

 

After the first full test fitting in the armor, I did the first full test walking in the armor.

 

"Uh... is it supposed to make that much noise when you walk around?" my husband asked.

"No," I said, laughing.

 

I sounded like the garbage compactor scene on the Death Star.

 

"Keep walking and let's see if we can figure out where it is coming from," the engineer grabbed up the curved Lexan scissors and started chasing me around.

 

There were two primary areas causing the "rattle."

 

 

 

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The first area was the thigh rubbing up against the buttplate.  My engineer trimmed it slightly so it followed the contour of the buttplate. It immediately quieted things down considerably.  This is the type of fine tuning adjustment where you absolutely need another person.  

 

The sniper plate was also hitting the lower leg when I walked.  My first thought was heat gun, (as always), but we actually decided to try something else first.  This is the piece that already looked like it took blaster damage to the clamp incident.  While this might add to the delightful wonkiness of the armor, I didn't want to overdo it.

 

A picture from the "Thigh and Shin" tutorial had stuck in my mind due to the comfy looking piece of foam right under the kneecap.  At the time, I'd thought the foam was there to prevent the armor from chafing uncomfortable against the leg on long troops.  But, now it occurred to me the foam might have been placed there to push the sniper plate out.  It was definitely time to go foam shopping.

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Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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There were plenty of foam choices at the craft store.  Conveniently, it all came in white.

 

Since my arms were very oversized at this point, I decided to start with a bigger cut of foam and knew I could always trim it back later.  

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I attached the foam with Industrial Strength Velcro so I could easily yank it back out if it annoyed me.  There was still something nagging me about the arms, so I kept looking up a lot of arm reference pictures as I was working.  Yes, some people watch the news or soap operas.  I stare at pictures of stormtroopers.

 

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Yikes!  Why didn't I see it before?  As I was stuffing the padding in, it suddenly hit me what had been bothering me about the arms.  The cover strips lined up on one side, but not on the other.  We didn't see it with the fitting because my arm pieces were falling off.

 

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Well, the good part about the arms being too big is they could still be yanked apart and these pieces made to match up properly.  And, hey, then they might actually fit better, too.  Good thing the padding wasn't actually glued in or I'd be ripping out foam right about now.

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I did add in a piece of foam to the bicep so that piece would at least stay on.  But, this piece was also added in with Velcro so it could be yanked out and moved if necessary.

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This past weekend, my engineer worked on cutting open the arm pieces and getting the strips to line up properly.

 

 

I focused on finalizing the other pieces, sanding off any rough edges.  Love the plumber's sandpaper, (courtesy of cousin Walter.)  Yes, I had to be vacuumed by the Dustbuster when I was done.IMG_4880_zps6356f96d.jpg

So, the piece was corrected and the strips line up on both sides, but I'm still concerned about the length.  I'll put the full kit on today with the body suit so I can your opinions today on the overall fit on everything.  But, it still feels to me like the arms are too long.  I can move my arms like I'm holding my blaster and reach my arms up as if I'm putting my helmet on, (which Kyle said is an important test of fit.)  But, the edges of the arms are hitting my wrist bones and that is both annoying and painful.  I'd like to trim the arms back some more, but my engineer is worried we'll make them too short.  I promised to consult the collective wisdom before we did anything.  I did mark a possible trim line at the top.  Advice, please?

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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First, if i were to trim the arms, i would do it at the wrist ends.

 

However maybe your problem for bending your arms is just due to your biceps dropping too low. Have you ever thought about biceps hooks? It will keep them up, as preventing them a bit from twisting.

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And wait for the drop boxes to be strapped in place before fully understand all the rattling you will do when walking  :lol:

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I believe you would want to cut off any excess at the wrist, and maintain the detail at the elbow.

 

Fantastic work Diana, you guys have really come a long way.

 

Almost there, just a bit further.

 

The anticipation must be killing you....

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First, if i were to trim the arms, i would do it at the wrist ends.

 

However maybe your problem for bending your arms is just due to your biceps dropping too low. Have you ever thought about biceps hooks? It will keep them up, as preventing them a bit from twisting.

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And wait for the drop boxes to be strapped in place before fully understand all the rattling you will do when walking  :lol:

Hi Germain-

 

Thank you for the suggestions.  I will try the bicep hook and see if it helps.  I noticed there was an excellent tutorial on how to create a bicep hook.

 

With regards to trimming at the wrist ends, I was wondering how much more it would be OK to take off?  We are getting close to the detail at the end.  I know there needs to be 11 bumps on one side, and 12 on the other.  I was worried about cutting into any of these and losing any of this detail.  I did find a thinner foam and pad the inside by the wrist section to try to ease the scraping on the wrists.  This is also Velcroed in so it can be yanked out at any time.

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I believe you would want to cut off any excess at the wrist, and maintain the detail at the elbow.

 

Fantastic work Diana, you guys have really come a long way.

 

Almost there, just a bit further.

 

The anticipation must be killing you....

Kyle told us the other day that the hardest parts of the project are starting and finishing.  This seems to be true.  It is the little finishing up details that have proven to be challenging. Missing parts.  Pieces that aren't lining up perfectly.   Snaps that won't snap.  Great anticipation for me, but a few grey hairs for my engineer who is also under a lot of strain from work.  I give him a lot of credit for staying with the project to the very end. 

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So, I could use some guidance on the belt. The reference diagram here recommends approximate placement of the holster at 3/4" from the edge of the ammo pack.

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However, the RS belt has a marking on the back marking the holster at 1 3/4" from the edge of the ammo pack to the placement of the holster.

 

This is what the holster placement would look like if I followed the above reference diagram.

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Pictured below is the RS marking "dot."

 

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This is what the RS placement of the holster would look like.

 

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This looks very much like the RS reference photo from the album: "RS Suit.  Photo References." by Locitus

 

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So, which is the correct positioning? Do I split the difference?

Edited by AsBlondeAsLuke
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This holster underneath is the "Simon's holster", which is kind of unique, i don't think there's two of them ;)

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The shape is different; there's no holding strap; the fastening to the belt is different; it is made of one piece folded over, etc...

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This holster underneath is the "Simon's holster", which is kind of unique, i don't think there's two of them ;)

sml_gallery_12157_59_85444.jpg

 

The shape is different; there's no holding strap; the fastening to the belt is different; it is made of one piece folded over, etc...

Whoa.  I am amazed by how much you know about all of this.

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A thing that might be a solution would be to trim only the inner wrist half of the forearms in a diagonal line, like the right one on the pic below:

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Thanks, Germain.  A clever solution.  We haven't trimmed the arms yet, but we'll work on the armor some more this weekend, and hopefully finish it.  Famous last words, right?  

 

Below are the fitting pictures I promised.  We haven't had a chance to try the bicep hooks yet or attach the holster.  Wondering if perhaps the biceps might also be too big? Everything else feels OK, other than the arms.  My husband told me to walk upstairs so I could see how it looked in the full-length mirror in my son's room.  I laughed at him and said: "Is that some sort of test to see if I trip going up and down the stairs?"  I didn't trip, but I certainly wasn't going to win any points for speed, grace or style.  Shoulder straps still seem to be touching the backplate, too.  Might have to adjust those a tad.

 

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Sorry I'm late, first up, if you need longer S trim LMK the length and I'll trade you out. Second. Rustoleum is a great choice. For a smokin rad shine you may use this method. Auto parts store Polishing ball (fits into a cordless drill and is a four inch pink foam ball)  Griot's Garage #3 polish and Griot's Garage "Speed Shine" pre wax. So, if you have any overspray on the lid, wet sand it lightly with 800 grit or higher up to 1200 grit. just enough to take out the overspray dusting which adhered to your paint job. Otherwise (or after that) get that polishing ball going with plenty #3.... don't let it go dry and gummy on you, you want it to become dust. It will buff the paint down, the sheen will appear to dull away, don't trip, just buff it off with a nice towell, soft, no rough stuff. After you do your teeth, coms, vocoder, decals.... you can wax it a couple times with the speed shine. Do the brow trim too, it really pops!

  This is a great way to cherry a rattle can job.

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Sorry I'm late, first up, if you need longer S trim LMK the length and I'll trade you out. Second. Rustoleum is a great choice. For a smokin rad shine you may use this method. Auto parts store Polishing ball (fits into a cordless drill and is a four inch pink foam ball)  Griot's Garage #3 polish and Griot's Garage "Speed Shine" pre wax. So, if you have any overspray on the lid, wet sand it lightly with 800 grit or higher up to 1200 grit. just enough to take out the overspray dusting which adhered to your paint job. Otherwise (or after that) get that polishing ball going with plenty #3.... don't let it go dry and gummy on you, you want it to become dust. It will buff the paint down, the sheen will appear to dull away, don't trip, just buff it off with a nice towell, soft, no rough stuff. After you do your teeth, coms, vocoder, decals.... you can wax it a couple times with the speed shine. Do the brow trim too, it really pops!

  This is a great way to cherry a rattle can job.

Actually, Scootch, your timing is impeccable.  We're planning on working on the bucket this weekend.  We hadn't thought to use 800 or 1200 grit.  These tips are invaluable.  Thank you again.

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If your shoulder bridges extend too far in the back i think it's because they're glued a bit too high on the chest plate. They should be glued between the 5th and the 6th ridge not counting the first big one.

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Other than that, it's still some very impressive work! Congratulation to you and your engineer  :)

 

Edit: For Centurion you will have to trim down the front cover strip of the left thigh so it ends before the bottom ridge

Edited by The5thHorseman
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If your shoulder bridges extend too far in the back i think it's because they're glued a bit too high on the chest plate. They should be glued between the 5th and the 6th ridge not counting the first big one.

med_gallery_12157_16_28971.jpg

 

Other than that, it's still some very impressive work! Congratulation to you and your engineer  :)

 

Edit: For Centurion you will have to trim down the front cover strip of the left thigh so it ends before the bottom ridge

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Thanks, Germain!  Good tip.  Because we used Zap-A-Gap, (ugggh,) the straps can't be pried up without cracking them.  However, we did find another solution which worked very well to drop the straps forward and pull them off the back plate.  It was easy to yank up the elastic straps on the inside.  For some reason, elastic and Zap-A-Gap happily separate with kind words and pretty persuasion, whereas plastic and Zap-A-Gap are bonded for eternity.  Once we adjusted the elastic on the inside, it pulled the straps off the backplate.

 

We will make sure to trim down the left thigh front cover strip before Centurion.  We'll set some time aside to make sure it gets done.  

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So, it's been a long journey but we're just about done.

 

Spent the past week finishing up all the final little details. Painting all the tiny little parts that have to be painted.

 

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U/V Rays probably aren't good for the armor, but I love working outdoors.  Plus, all of the paints and glues have warnings up the ying-yang about odors, fumes, cancer, death, tidal waves, global warming, etc, so I figured it is probably safer to work outside whenever possible.

 

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I originally used a Sharpie to darken the panhead screws on the T-det.  But, didn't like the way it came out.  RS pre-assembles the clips on this part.  But, it was easy to take apart.  Once it was disassembled, it was easy to paint using Humbrol black paint.  Much darker and deeper color penetration than using the Sharpie. 

 

One of the issues that had frustrated us the week before was snaps that wouldn't snap.  So, it was time to correct them.  We purchased replacement snaps and simply added in new ones.  We had snap failures on the belt. The replacement snaps worked perfectly.

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The new snap is actually Zap-A-Gapped on top of the old snap.  It is not going to win points for inner beauty, but it snaps perfectly.  Since it is on there with Zap-A-Gap, those two pieces are now married for all eternity.

 

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We had an alignment issue with the snap on the other side of the belt.  Yes, who knew the belt could make for such drama?  At one point, my engineer said: "Do you really need these snaps?  Can't you just wind it around your waist and use the velcro?  What is the purpose of these snaps anyway?!"  I shooed him out of the room and told him I'd figure it out on my own.  I discovered the original measurements were off by 1 cm. on one side.  Now, this was before we'd actually purchased the replacement snaps so I had to forage around for a snap.  There were none.  We were totally out.  And, it had to be the right size to match the rest of the RS snaps.  The only one I could find was a "test snap" we'd punched into a piece of ABS plastic.  So, I carefully trimmed it out and glued it into the correct place 1 cm. off from the other snap.  I nicknamed it "the hamburger snap."  Sure, the other snaps are laughing at it, but it snaps beautifully.  And, my belt holds perfectly now, exactly where it should be.

 

So, those were the noogly little projects of the week.

 

My favorite fun project of the week was handpainting the helmet.  And, this project, funny enough, started out with something that didn't go right.  And, it ended up being my favorite part of the project so far...

 

We were placing the decals on the helmet.  Most of them went on OK, except for this one tear.  It looked... blegh.  58941f9b-7b7f-46eb-abb9-d02bfb7f41ee_zps

Wrinkly.  Bubbly.  Husband wanted to leave it.  He just wants to be done.  But, seriously?  A wrinkly tear is like having a huge zit in the middle of your face.  How can you ignore something like that?!  "There's tiny little bubbles in the paint.  There is no fixing it," he said.  I raised up my eyebrows.  Oh.  Things can always be fixed.

 

He headed off to do his engineering thing.  I dug through the box that contained my RS bucket, (still unbuilt.)  I pulled out the handpainting templates.  Hah.  I'd already ordered all the paints because I knew once I finished my armor, I was going to build that other bucket.  It's on my future "to do" list.  There were two sets of templates.  Seriously?  It was like shouting: "Hey!  Paint the other helmet, too!"

 

I watched all nine of TrooperBay Mike's videos on "Hand Paint a Helmet"   I love that guy.  And, then I started painting, and watched the videos all over again while I painted.  I guess I'm what you call a "visual learner."  Those videos are pure gold.

 

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Painting the traps.  

 

I had thought that handpainting the helmet would be terrifying and difficult.  It was exactly the opposite.  I did one small section everyday and absolutely loved it.  So much so that when Kyle told me I had to do redo one small section I was thrilled.  Woo hoo!  I get to paint it again?  Yeah!  More painting!  

 

So for anyone who has been thinking of peeling off those decals and handpainting their bucket, do it!  Be gone nasty decals!  

 

I put on my headphones and had the nicest week ever with my bucket. Never would have happened with a bunch of decals.

 

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And, those decals come off easily as long as you go slowwwwwwly.

 

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My handpainted tears came out looking like the decals which are supposed to replicate handpainting. (I haven't pinstriped yet.)  I took this as a good sign, though, that I got the look right.

 

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I did get some minor bleedthrough everytime I peeled off the templates.  Of course, since I like my painting so much, I was like: "Woo hoo!  An excuse to go back and touch up

the paint!"  And, it is super easy to touch-up those little stripes using a number zero paintbrush.  Sigh.  I'm just sorry I don't have any more to fix.

 

 

 

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Admittedly, I got a little obsessive about my paintbrushes.  I had to have one of every brush that TrooperBay Mike recommended in his video.  Maybe more than one.  It was just so much fun doing all that little detail work.

 

And, if you make a mistake, just keep a Q-Tip handy.  When the paint is still wet, you can brush it right off like it never happened.  It is like an eraser to a pencil.

 

One thing that is absolutely key, though, is obsessive hand washing.  You must keep your work area and yourself absolutely clean.  If you got a blotch of black paint on your hands and then touch your helmet, you will end up with a fingerprint on the back of your head.  

 

So, I got totally OCD about washing my hands.  That's OK.  What's one more compulsion to add to the list?

 

Tomorrow, I'll finish pin striping the helmet.  But, we're running out of things to do.  Very strange.

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This is a treat Diana!!! Such great progress and a great mod job. Sorry we didn;t catch that shoulder bridge issue before you glued it in place.

 

A couple things I noticed while we are on the subject of paint. Your ab buttons seem really small. You might want to touch those up. Second, the pinstripe around the helmet details can be daunting without the proper brush that I don't see pictured in your brush cup. It has always been a benefit to me to use a long bristled (3/4 inch long) thin brush. It will hold the width of the pinstripe better than trying to do it with a tiny short bristled brush. It will hold more paint and allow you to make your overall strokes longer and more even. Practice first on some scrap plastic. Draw a pencil line and follow it. Do this until you are comfortable with your technique. But I believe the brush is crucial.

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Belt is much more difficult to assemble right than what we would expect from it. It's really easy to screw up this part. At the time my brother built his suit i wrote a tutorial for him, and it ended up making almost 2 pages without being fully complete  :56pullhair:

dsc_0422.jpg dsc_0423.jpg

 

 

And i'm so pleased you finally decided to handpaint your helmet. I'll be honest, when i saw you used decals i cringed, but then i saw you removing them and get the brushes and i'm happy now  :)

 

And don't worry i developped an OCD too when painting. It was to always fully check the helmet twice or three time after each pain session, to be absolutely sure i didn't make some unnoticed fingerprints on it and to not let them dry.

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