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Svache's build thread (TK-80866)


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I figured I may as well start a build thread here as well... well, it's more like a continuation thread of my old one at the TFA forums since I'm building again.. or still... lol... and I don't think it's really a build thread either, just some pictures here and there. Far too often I didn't think of making pictures lol, but I guess I share what I have anyways :)


I was almost finished and could have finished in time for Celebration Anaheim, but my paint turned out very ugly (webbing) and some of the bondo cracked on the last Monday before Celebration started, which left me with too little time to get the paint cured if I would fix it right there and then. Add to this that the rubber knee gaskets were too short for my longer limbs (I'm only 6'0-6'1, but my torso is in comparison shorter than most people), and you can see it was better for me to hold off for a bit.


Anyways, my journey started on March 24/25: 





67 parts, the bag of greeblies not included... one big puzzle lol



That's one part I wont be seeing back for a while.... 

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Confusion with some of the cutlines... what do we go with? 1 or 2? 

Turned out the part between line 1 and 2 is the glue tab, so line 2 it was :)




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So anyways, at this time we had our annual con coming up, so I did not have too much time to actually do something with my armor. Plus I was way too scared to do it all by myself, scared to mess it up, and thus I had to wait several days until the weekend was over (and looking back to it, did we not have our annual con that weekend, I would likely have finished in time for SWCA - oh wells). 

Anyways, while at the con, on Friday March 27, I received an email on my phone from Anovos, saying my second box, the one containing the gaskets, gloves and neckseal, was shipped. Funny enough, I get home a few hours after that email and... 




That must have been the fastest shipping ever... in mere hours it was shipped from California to Hawaii, amazing o_O

I wasn't too happy about the gaskets, it felt heavy and sticky.. the gloves, however, are very comfy :D


Here's the contents laid out:










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So Monday March 30 was the first day we would finally cut some armor. Finally, because most of the 75 were already sizing and sanding the bondo bits... I felt like we were way behind. 


Anyways, as you can see, we figured out the bucket and a bit of chest armor. We didn't have to get it at the Anovos booth, it was secretly included   :D



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So, later on we found out that in the armor had shrunk in the Hawaiian heat...well, that or the armor was simply pulled too small. Losing 4 inch of my waist was not enough, I needed another inch in order to fit the armor. While I looked for options, we figured to add two thin shims on both sides of the back... 




What I didn't realize at that time, was that the thermal detonator would cover the line in the middle over the back, and that we could simply cut it there and create some kind of corset. Granted, that is indeed much better.. now I can grow back into my armor w000t! :D



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Thanks for posting your build Jeroen! The more threads, the more information to help me get started. :)


No problem.. I doubt mine is really that much informative, but oh well, I figured better something than nothing ;)

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Then Tuesday came around, and it started to show time was not on my hand... My wife was doing night shifts, so I had to be at home for my daughter, and my armor was at my build buddy's place. I went to work on my armor for a few hours, but it wasn't really that much. I also started to get the first signs of the famous Con Cough or Con Cold, or whatever you want to call it, and was sniffing quite a bit that day. 


Then Wednesday, my build buddy got stuck in quite a huge gridlock, which reduced the build time again. My cold also got worse and, well, my nose was in a constant runny phase. We did some sanding that day, which really sucks when your nose is constantly running.. the particles in the air aren't exactly helping lol ;)


And then I was out for yet another weekend. The cold turned into a fever, with temps up to almost 102 Fahrenheit, and it was not until Monday April 6 that I could build again.. yes, time was certainly not on my hand :(


Anyways, some pics I shot that Monday:










Btw, most of the armor in those pictures, I just realized, is actually that of my build buddy Gits, TK-5897 (rivergr on the boards). 

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We then had some on and off days of building. Due to my wife's night shift it was, most of the time, just a few hours a day for me unfortunately.
Since I'm a bit lazy right now, I will simply quote my post from the TFA build forums that followed next on Sunday April 12th, I guess it shows my thoughts at the time a bit:

It's just past 11pm and I just got home from another day filled with armor...

Man oh man, what a drama armor this is lol

It seems my outpost buddy is mostly ready, just a few final touches, but nothing minor that I can think of at this point.

As for me, I unfortunately lost time due to con/wife/daughter/scheduling the past few weeks, and that is hurting me right now. Cutting is done, strapping is done, bondo is done, sanding is done, gluing is done, etc etc... if I didn't had to paint the armor, I would practically be done lol.. But yeah, it's not painted just yet..

BUT I wont give up just yet.. tomorrow I'll be putting the paint on, the temps are nice and warm here so I shouldn't have much problem. Plus it can cure until Wednesday evening (when I have to pack for our early Thursday morning flight), which is over 48 hours and should be good enough....... I hope... lol ;)

Only thing I'm kind of looking at a possible downfall right now, is the knee gasket. My legs are too long to have it fit nicely... it fits, barely, but it means the shin is riding too high, the thigh too low, and when I walk, the gasket pops out. I *think* I have a solution for this problem, hopefully tomorrow I will find out for sure if the solution works.. if not, I will have ruined a perfectly fine neck seal lol

Anyways, that's the latest status update from me... it seems still possible to finish up on time, granted that I do get the gasket problem fixed and all the paint done.

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Some pictures I took the Saturday and Sunday before Anaheim:


My big help (she was actually part of our build crew lol), to some better known as that girl with the pink TK Commander armor:





Hanging the laundry.... well, the gaskets to dry (sadly it did not remove the chocolate smell lol)



Ready to receive some bondo..



TK-5897 seems to be filling his armor with air... umm.... right xD


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Monday April 13th... TK-5897 was mostly done, just doing some minor tweaks but nothing that would prevent him from not being able to go to Anaheim with his new armor.. I can tell you I was (and still am) a bit jealous lol! As for me, sanding the bondo was done (yet it was a rush job as it turns out now), and I just had to paint and see if I could somehow extend the knee gaskets by cutting up the neckseal (the one we got with the TFA armor has a similar shine as the gaskets) and sowing that to the gaskets.


I figured I'd paint in the garden, and of course after weeks of nice weather, this is what the morning showed me:




That's not optimal to paint in.. sure the temps are still nice, but the humidity is very high, plus I wouldn't be able to paint out in the open.. soooo I went on to Walmart, purchased me a canope, some plastic sheet and other stuffs I needed..




It looked pretty cool... like my personal paint booth.... but yeah, interestingly enough, as soon as I was done setting it up, the skies opened up... suuuurrreeee wasted a couple of hundred bucks right there, as if this suit was not expensive enough lmao  :laugh1:

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After a huge dip on Sunday, where I really did not think I would make it on time anymore, I had regained my hopes, also with the supportive words from my outpost buddies, and started painting...
And sure enough, the bottle says a new layer has to be added within an hour or after 24 hours.  Well, after 24 hours was not likely going to happen, as the paint would not have enough cure time, so I tried to do it within the hour... but... you can guess what happened next: I failed... I had to pick up my daughter in between the coats and it took me more time than anticipated. The result was this on various parts of my armor:

Looks great, doesn't it?  :mellow: 
Then add that on some parts, the bondo seams turned out to be cracking... yeah, like said, it was too much of a rush job. 

My thoughts as I posted them on the TFA forums later that Monday:


Contemplating what to do....

I have two full possible days left. If I want to bring my armor along, it has to be packed on Wednesday evening the latest as we're flying to LAX early Thursday morning. BUT.... I ran into new problems regarding the paint. At least two parts, a bicep and a forearm, are showing that flaky paint, that webstuff... There is one part where the bondo did not fill entirely correct, and another where the bondo is showing a slight crack in the paint. 
Add the existing gasket problem due to my leg size that isn't done yet, and I forgot to size and strap the cod plate last night (but that's a really minor thing). The only help I have around the house is my 5 year old, and while she is willing, having her help me suit up to see if it all fits isn't exactly going to work either. 
If I would overlook the paint/bondo problem, I would be able to finish with no question. But if I did that, I'd be ashamed to wear it, it wouldn't be 501st worthy to me. 
So yeah, I guess I'll have to use tonight to think about what I want to do, try and fix the issues with the suit in a last attempt. Or wait until after Celebration, and make sure it becomes more of a quality job in time for May the Fourth. With the latter, I may look into my beat-up TK, that needs some minor fixes (an hour work tops, if I can find the things I need at the hardware store) and troop in that. It would be sad either way. 
Bleh :/
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So anyways, I talked with a couple of people that night, thought it over some more and decided Tuesday morning to forego on the hope to be part of the hype at Anaheim, which hit me quite badly, I was pretty depressed about it.


Instead, I went ahead to fix my regular TK (a bit earlier that week, I had cut off an inch or so on both sides to accompany my weight loss, and I had to add new split rivets and such). It was an easy fix, and at least I was able to troop alongside our Detachment Leader in his famous Aloha style trooping:




And, while looking back at it now, it was perhaps for the best that I only had my regular TK with me.. it gave me much more flexibility in movement (as silly as that may sound, and I had a great time trooping with my daughter at Anaheim, something I would likely not have done if I did have the TFA with me)..

Here's some more pix of that...











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How did you get to have the new TK armor?


How thick is the armor?




I was lucky enough to be picked as one of the first 75 in the Legion to receive the armor, in the hopes that we would have as much troopers able to come to Anaheim with the new TFA armor for promotion of the new movie (or so we thought, but it was more a promotion of the armor in the end). 


I don't know the exact thickness but it is, I think, a bit thicker than my AP TK armor, but not as thick as some of the other armors. 

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After we got back from Anaheim, I kind of took a breather for a week and started sanding this past weekend. The paint had enough cure time and I am going over every piece to make sure it ended up ok enough. For now it seems that means mostly re-sanding the webbed parts, repainting here and there, and redoing some of the bondo'ed parts. I will likely try plastic weld for at least some of the bondo'ed parts, and am looking for something else to fill up the small cracks/gaps I have here and there. 



Piece that need to be redone with bondo or plastic weld (over a wider area, since the left part sits higher (because of the glue tabs) than the right part. 



Little holes that need to be filled up with some filler...



So yeah... waiting for my daughter to get out of school in about 30 minutes, then off to a store and back home to do more sanding and painting w00t! xD

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Nice work Jeroen. I did come across a tip while assembling clone armor, adding a strip of fibreglass matt and resin behind places that require bondo helps to strengthen the joint and stops the bondo cracking, may be worth a try.

Edited by gmrhodes13
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Nice work Jeroen. I did come across a tip while assembling clone armor, adding a strip of fibreglass matt and resin behind places that require bondo helps to strengthen the joint and stops the bondo cracking, may be worth a try.


Thanks Glen. Clint did give me the advise to place an ABS strip behind it (or actually double them up since it's not super thick what we got from them), but this may be an idea as well. After all, it's the inside, so looks don't really matter there imo :)

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Someone asked me about the paint we used, so I will post it up here as well... we were recommended to get the following as it came closest to the bucket:


Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Primer (WHITE) - 4 cans recommended
Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Ultra Cover Paint+Primer (WHITE GLOSS) - 6 cans recommended
Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Ultra Cover Paint+Primer (BLACK SEMI-GLOSS) - 1 can recommended
Turns out, those recommended amounts were a bit too much.. but hey, I guess it's always good to have some extra cans at home in case you need to do some fixes (plus, with all the sanding I've been doing, it's almost as if I am painting the suit twice, so who knows, it may end up to be correct for me lol) 
Oh, here's what that looks like when you have to buy it for two suits:
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An alternative approach is taking your kit to a professional auto painter.


The advantage is that the paint color can be computer-matched to the spray cans, and doing it that way makes you immune to both weather restrictions and variations in the paint color and application quality, especially if your rattle can skills are lacking. The disadvantage is that it costs (a lot) more.

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Yeah that would be another possibility, I know at least one person did it from the 75 who got this armor. Skills were not really the issue in my case (would be silly, it's not the first time I spray paint something lol), it was just that it was a rush job, I didn't have the time for it to do it nicely.. I had to paint on Monday before Celebration, I couldn't let the paint cure for 24 hours or more between coats, so I had to do it within the hour. I failed there as I had to leave the house at one point and that caused some parts to have that webbed stuff going on, the time between the two layers was about 1.5 hours, and that's what killed it. I have since resprayed some of those parts, now they're getting enough dry/cure time between the layers, and it all looks very nice now :)


The bondo'ed parts are currently the only issues I'm dealing with. They are mostly sanded down, but some need fixes (small cracks/gaps/hairlines that need to be filled, it needs some extra backing to make it stiffer, and there's an issue with the forearms where the two parts of ABS don't line up due to the glue tab (one side is higher than the other, making it hard to get a smooth glass-feel between the parts). 

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So anyways, current standing..


I have sanded all parts of the armor, the pieces that were actually good to go included (although that was just a minor sanding with 800 grit). The ones that did not need any special attention are all repainted and are curing as we speak. The pieces that do need some extra TLC (from filling up small gaps/hairlines to fixing a crack in the bondo) are the detonator, ab plate, forearms and shoulder/back part. Considering we have 4 or 5 troops this weekend, I'll be doing this in the coming week.

I can tell you, it feels a lot better not to have to rush anything and just taking my time. Sure, I probably spent way too much time on sanding some of the bondo'ed parts (I felt I became a bit anal at some point, trying to make it smoother than glass lol), but oh well, it's all for the best =)

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