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A Slightly Disheveled Medium and a Pristine Big Brown Box Arrived Today - Dark's RT-Mod ANH Hero (and Stunt) Build Thread

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Looks great so far. I hear ya with the little ones not wanting to nap..sucks when build time is cut short, I can't wait till our 2nd one is here then build time will be very minimal lol and great shirt!



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Thank you, Bryan.


Our second one will be here in late July / Early August, so I'm racing against the biological clock. LoL.

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Ouch..ya you don't have a lot of time. Ours isn't due till Oct 20 but yet my boy seems to do everything he can to get me not to work on my armor but little does he know once it's done his dad will be the coolest on the street :)



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By the way, wanted to say I finally found your build, and look forward to digesting yet another saga of epic builds. Even worse, I've hit the corporate firewall which means I can't even see the photos in the thread here. How dare I work. :rolleyes:  :angry:  :smiley-sw013:


Meanwhile I don't think I'm going to start mine yet until I actually do stuff with the armor. It's just sitting in the box. I didn't expect to be getting it so soon so I'm woefully unprepared at research at this point, not to mention the blaster. I'm thinking I'll start with the helmet first which I'll order on Wednesday. It will most likely be more of an update/"oh god is this right"/what did I do thread. You all know how I roll at this point.


Glad I found ya, I'll be lurking. Muhahahaa.

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For what it's worth...I have only built one suit, but have not had any problem with E-6000 and the snaps up against ABS.



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How will you attached you cod to your ab plate? Snaps and webbing or glue them together?

I had installed mine over the week-end with Snaps and webbing. Today I was looking at it and took out all the snaps and decided to glue my parts with a piece of HIPS. I did not like the look with the webbing and snaps combo.



Edited by Tolo
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Hey Derek, good to see you found your way over.


Thank you, Ian.


Jonathan, so far, my "Mythbusters" experiment is busting the myth completely. The snaps, and ABS appear to be perfectly fine after two days of drying.


Thank you, Steve.


Eric, my plan is to use webbing plates and snaps to attach the cod to the abs. I've been debating just riveting it though.

Edited by Dark CMF
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You're not the Steve he was referring to in this particular case.


I believe, without question, that you are far more helpful than the other Steve.  LoL.

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Thanks, Diana - your build was truly an inspirational part of even making some of the attempts that I'm making.  ;) 



Awesome build documentation! *goes to find the blaster built now....

Thanks, Clint!

The blaster build is there, but it is not QUITE done yet.  :D  I've got two or three more little things to do to finish it.  That will be happening very quickly after (or near the time that) I get the armor about wrapped up.

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Thanks for sharing that, Sean!


Jesse - Congratulations on your approval! Did you have to do any cutting to the thighs?


Thank you Evan! Would you believe I was slightly chastised for sharing that particular picture of the cake, because it was not completed in that picture. She put some more decorations on it before calling it done so I could take it to work with me. LoL

Thanks man! Sorry for the late post but umm not not much at all, I cut from the back but not from the top.. I hope it's helpful.

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Glad to serve as some form of inspiration, Kyle. February will be here before you know it. I felt like this day would never come nine months ago too, yet here we are! ;)


Thank you, Tim. I've decided that the armor "SEEMS" to be a simpler physical process to actually build than the E11 itself was, but the research that has to go into the armor is so above and beyond anything else that it can become mind numbing at times. For instance, I haven't updated anything here in a few days, but that's because I stalled out while doing research and I had to reach out to a few people who's opinions matter a great deal to me about the subject that I was researching, and I had to wait until I got those answers. Naturally, those answers led to a few more questions, etc... Finally got all of the information that I needed to attain a good comfort level, and I've gotten back to actually building the armor again within the last 24 hours. I'll have some pictures posted within the next day or so. There are actually pieces connected to each other now!


Anyone who is following along, or reading this for help, let me tell you this: If you are unsure about either how to proceed, or if what you are thinking about doing is a good/bad idea just stop and ask somebody. While we all want to get our armor and get it built and get approved so we can receive those digits and begin trooping, remember that this is a pretty expensive hobby and you're probably far better off hitting the pause button to get the right information than you are forging ahead with a bad idea or a misunderstanding of something in the CRLs.


Jesse, I appreciate you weighing in, brother. I've already got the backs marked for cutting, as they definitely need it. I won't know for sure about the tops until I get the torso assembled, so I can test fit them with the clamshell in place. Currently, I believe that I may need to remove as much as an inch from the top front and top back of the thighs. We'll see though.


Cool progress so far this week. Can't wait to share it with all of you in the near future. Exciting stuff!

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Cool progress this week (so far) with a lot of pictures (surprise!!) that I can choose from for the build thread.


Let's get the party started with this one:



Placing the center bracket on the chest plate's return edge, to mark the screw locations for drilling.


In order to use the "original strapping" method, you've got to install brackets made of piano wire, or whisk wire, or metal wire (I hope that you start to understand that these are metal brackets) at the edges of the armor plates. The preferred method of installation is to use the return edges. My chest plate (seen here) has return edges. Since the kit came pre-trimmed by Rob, there were no real return edges to use. I spent a lot of time researching this after receiving the brackets and the armor and beginning to test fit them. Part of that research included talking to Paul (TrooperMaster) and Steve you know, the helpful Steve (Gazmosis) about how to fit them if you don't have any return edges, and how would that potentially impact an EIB/Centurion application.


As we move through this batch of pictures, you'll see, and I'll comment on, the method of installation that I am using.



After drilling the holes, run the screws into them.



Seems elementary, but don't forget to put the elastic loops onto one of the brackets at each connection point.



The standard measurement for the chest brackets on the sides is 25mm from the edges. I didn't have a very comfortable amount of return edge within 25mm, so I wound up using this post-it note for my spacing on the sides. At the end of the post-it, there was enough return edge to support the bracket.



All three chest brackets installed. The kit comes with only three "tall" brackets, and those are for the bottom of the chest, as seen here.



The smaller brackets (you get 15 of those ones) are used everywhere else. Here, the three short brackets on the top of the abdomen, are installed to attach to the elastic loops from the chest plate.



A look at the front, holding the pieces up by the shoulder bridge.



You may have noticed that I don't have return edges to install the brackets on. As a result, I'm putting them in the "face" of the armor plates, as close to the edges as possible. What you see me doing here is bending the brackets. They come shaped for installation on the return edges. Installing them on the face of the armor plates means that they will be sticking straight out, into my body. This causes two problems: One, pain. I don't want to deal with that and Two, since they are built to go on the return edges, installing them this way will reduce the distance between them. That will cause more gaps to appear between the armor plates because I have not shortened the elastic loops, just the space between the brackets.



I've twisted the loop on the left-hand side here, to get the bracket out of my body and provide the maximum distance between the brackets for the elastic.



The right side receives a matching twist to the loop.



Here, the brackets have been installed on the top ridge of the butt plate. You might be thinking "Hey... There's a little bit of return edge there!" You're right, the center definitely has enough return edge to support the bracket, but I wanted to have a consistent appearance in the bracket attachment throughout the armor so even where there is a return edge (with the exception of the chest plate) I have maintained the edge of the armor's face as the installation point for the brackets.



Kidney plate connects to the butt plate.... Chest plate connects to the, abdomen plate, and so on and so on... :D



Brackets installed on the bottom of the back plate.



All brackets and elastic loops are installed: Chest/Abdomen and Back/Kidney/Butt plates are all connected, and their screws await painting - eventually.


There are still more pictures that I planned to share right now, but I was not tracking a planned trip for grocery shopping apparently. I most certainly wasn't tracking that it is supposed to begin momentarily. I'll post more later. The next batch was very rewarding, but equally difficult to do.


Please feel free to comment/question/etc...

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Okay, grocery shopping is complete, and now I know how young Jedi Anakin Skywalker felt circa Ep III.


The trip started with me preparing to run my rather loud mouth at two old ladies who had opted to park in the "expectant mother" parking, because there were no other close handicapped parking spots available near the door. As a result, my 7.5 month pregnant wife and I parked up the hill, three aisles over. All I said I was going to do was to stop by and congratulate them on their impending arrival and find out when they were due. My wife didn't like that idea at all. They were spared my congratulatory well-wishes because they got into their car before I got to it. :/ The rest of the shopping trip went similarly, but here I am, alive and well - and with junk food!


/End Rant. Back to build pictures.



The logical next step, as perceived by me, is to get the torso closable so that I can begin test-fitting and making strapping that is properly sized, etc, so I started on the left side, with the rivets. I measured points 10mm from the edge and placed a piece of tape along the line. I then went back and measured again, marking 10mm on the tape so that I could drill properly. Good thing I thought to do so because as you can see, 10mm was not at the edge of the tape.


(measure twice, cut/drill once!)



Abdomen rivets in place (I read in the pinned rivet post that everyone recommends beginning with the rivets in the Abdomen before doing the kidneys, and it makes really good sense as you see here) and the holes for the kidney plate rivets marked and drilled 10mm from the edge of the kidney plate. Had I started with the kidney plate, the alignment may have been odd, but starting with the abdomen rivets, I could see where they'd need to be on the kidney plate and was able to maximize the spread on the abs as a result.



Rivets in place, tape removed. Keep in mind that these are not set just yet, they are resting in the holes.



I'm going to borrow a page from Q (GMrhodes)- and probably many others, but his build is where I saw it first - and use ABS strips to reinforce/support the rivets. I'm using this piece of 3/4" aluminum as a guide to cut the two strips to 7.5" by 3/4". I'm simply using the razor blade to score and snap the ABS.



Here they are.



I taped them into position so that I could mark the hole drilling location on them.



I set them on top of a roll of painter's tape so that I could drill the holes without risking my hand or the floor being run through by said drill.



After they were drilled, I used a small phillips screwdriver to punch holes in the elastic, after cutting it to the proper length and burning the edges a bit to stop them from unravelling.



Then, I marked each strip clearly to ensure that the holes lined up properly when I put it together.



To assemble them in the armor, I put the same Phillips screwdriver through the hole in the elastic, and then put the screwdriver ever so slightly into the split of the rivet. This way, I was more easily able to slide the elastic onto the rivets.



After getting the elastic seated on the rivets, I installed the ABS strip, and taped it into position to ensure that nothing fell apart while I was working on one of the other rivets.



The next step was to place the washers on the rivets, and bend the prongs/splits flat. This was relatively easy with some different pliers on hand. I used a piece of scrap ABS to protect the outside of the armor (after putting painter's tape in place to hold the rivets in place) and used a variety of tools and approaches with the pliers to get a very nice, flat line of rivets on the abdomen plate.



The second side... Not nearly as "easy" as the first side. Man, I struggled with this one a bit because I did the top and bottom rivets before moving to attempt the middle one. Problem is that once you've done the top and bottom rivets, there is no way that you're going to get a pair of pliers of any kind onto that center rivet. I strongly suggest that you start there. LoL. I repeated the same basic processes for the kidney rivets, but the center one was a special type of aggravating work. I mostly used a large flat head screwdriver to pry them flat and then used the blunt end of pliers to flatten them even more.



You can see that the kidney rivets (the left side, here) are not quite as flat and excellent looking as abdomen rivets on the right side. This picture was before I took the large blunt nosed pliers to them.



This picture is after taking the blunt nose of the large pliers to the kidney rivets. Much better - I think.



And with that, the left-side of the torso is joined! I can wear it with just a piece of tape on the right to hold it closed. Feliks as always, provided steady guidance as the TK build supervisor, so I'm confident that all is well with the build so far!



A look at the outside, of the left side.



A look inside the torso.



One last look at the work of the evening because I'm really proud of how it turned out. I suppose I should take a picture with the ruler on the edge and the rivets next, since I don't happen to have one here. LoL.



And a look at what's next... The right side, complete with snaps, Velcro, and oh.. crap. I've got to learn to run the sewing machine :o


That's the updates for today. If you see any issues, please let me know. I'm using the EIB/Centurion levels of the CRLs as my guideline for any and all decisions, as that is where this build is being aimed at, since day #1. As always, thank you for following along and commenting, but it is time to get back to work!!!

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