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Tuba's ESB build


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Hello everyone! 


Just getting this thread started to show y'all my progress. I've got an AM kit, bought 2 years ago, and am finally building it. I decided to go ESB because it isn't done much far as I know in Houston/Star Garrison. 


I'll be posting pics of it later when I get on my desktop, but I've gotten most everything done on the upper body and legs. I'm currently adding shims to my thighs so they'll fit lots better. The only thing that isn't done is my lower torso, but as soon as I get more snaps and webbing in, I'll be fitting it to my body and add in shims. 


I'm quite a large guy, so you'll be seeing lots of shimming on my armor, but I think it is going well. 


Here's a few pics to start off:






These are my biceps after having to fix them. A guy was helping me with my armor when I first got it, but he didn't measure my arms when he put them together. After much research here I got them apart and put shims in to fit better. 


Also, I won't be going for EIB or Centurion unless it isn't too far off and only needs minor tweaks. I just want to get in the 501st and have fun. I do appreciate any advice! 


Thanks for looking!

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, on to more of my build.


I wanted to start on the bucket because I love helmets. Here's some progress pics of my helmet build.

















The ear gaps I'm particularly proud of. At first, there was quite a gap. But, after trying to refit over and over, I put the ear pieces back on and decided to very gently heat up the plastic around the ear gaps with a heat gun, used a towel to form it better to the contour of the ears. I think it came out well.




So, after many tries and fittings, I think I got a good shape of the helmet down. On to putting on the cap!







Now for painting the helmet details! First, the vocorder.






Looks nice, huh?






I used the base decals that came with the kit so I wouldn't have to do too much detail work (hehehe). I did paint in the stripes into the cheeks and back.








As you can see, I was able to largely align the stripes on the cheeks and back. I have since gone back and cleaned them up, made them more symmetrical, and fixed the ones that are just horribly out of alignment. I'll post a pic of it fixed later.



I went on to fix the shims as they were assembled wrongly by my "friend" long ago. Added shims to the back, heat formed it to contour it better, and got the back cover strips on. I'l be doing more work to blend the paint better (Had to paint in order to get the color to match better with the shims) with the rest of the ABS. 




Attaching sniper plate!






That's all for now. I'll take some more progress pics tonight and get them all uploaded and posted here. 



Edited by ehinote2187
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Helmet Detail progress.


I cleaned up the stripes on the cheeks and back and redid a couple lines to get the symmetry a little better.











And here is the lower mouth area. Installed the mic tips, tidied up the frown a bit better, and cleaned up the vocorder.



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Leg progress.


I think the shins came out well! After a full test fitting, I may try and trim a bit to fit better down by the ankles, but right now it feels fine with the boots on.





Shims for the thighs!







Together and formed with a heat gun.









I still need to sand down the seams where I had applied ABS slurry to bind it all together and paint. But it's coming along well!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone! After a monumental break (and a summer class), I got back to building my stuff.


Here is how I attached my lenses in my helmet.


I first mounted some screw posts above the eyes:





Next I cut out some lenses from a face shield, drilled holes in the correct spots, and made sure they fit right.





I touched up the shape of the lenses, mainly so that they don't poke my nose, haha.





Looks pretty good, huh?



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Hey Everett!  Helmet looks great!  Nice idea with the lenses. 


I don't know if you are aiming for EIB or Centurion but if you are, keep in mind the traps, tears and tubestripes need to be decals.  Keep moving along!

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Thanks, Steve! Right now, I just want to get it all assembled and approved. The traps, tears, and tubestripes are decals, it's the black "pinstripes" in the traps and tears that are painted. I did them according to the reference pics. I may get better decals down the road, but I like it just fine now. 


And I don't know about going for EIB or Centurion. I know I can't get centurion right now with my chest and backplate. They're the AM v1 pieces. If I do get the itch, I might upgrade.


But thank you for letting me know!

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Little update: put the screen backing into the frown in my bucket. I used some "Instant Screen Repair" patches I got from Home Depot. Pretty cool little things I may need to get for my actual window screens. But I digress. 


I painted them the same black as the frown, layered two on top of each other for more protection, and glued them in using Loctite STIK'N SEAL. Pretty good stuff that I've used on other props (Proton Pack, some trek stuff). 


I really need to get on working on the torso parts. It's the only thing left, really. I'll be perusing build threads to see how to go about getting it together. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update: Not much to report, but I did get my hand guards done tonight. As they are AM hand guards, they were HUGE! I found somewhere that people trim about an inch off of them. I went with 25mm (slightly under). I think they came out pretty well!



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Hey Everett,


I too went with the elastic strapping around the hand for the hand plates.  I did find that they liked to move / rotate around my hand during my first troop.  FWIW I put some black velcro between the hand plate and glove to stop this from happening.


Food for thought.  Good luck with the build and have fun with it man!

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  • 1 month later...

Nicely done Everett, I was looking for a solution to the handgurad issue too I'm going to be doing the same thing. around an inch and heat forming it so it looks more contoured to my hand like TM's guards. I'll be following this thread as I'm trying to do convert an AP to ESB

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks, Dave! I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting progress pics and updates. I need to do that.


But here's an update. 


What is done:

- All arm armor (not strapped)

- All leg armor (may need trimming)

- Helmet (needs inside padding and electronics)


What WAS left: Torso shimming and strapping.


Well, I finally got off my @$$ and shimmed my kidney and ab plates so that they'll fit all the way round my spare tire, lol. It's actually way too extended now. But, that just means some trimming to make right. All that is really left to get the armor on me is to start strapping it all together.


Three days ago, when the final trailer for TFA came out, I got inspired to do more work. I strapped my front and back torso pieces together, independent of each other. Yesterday, I got the chest and back pieces together, and wore it all for the first time. It felt great. 


Next up is crotch strap (gigity), side straps (between kidney and ab plates), arm straps, and then garter system for thighs. Then the TK belt, then the thermal detonator. 


I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!


I'll post some pics later on.

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Some progress pictures to follow my last post!



We'll start here:




Attaching the shims to the kidneys.






Ab armor shims done.


I closed the seam between the shims and the armor with some good ol' slurry. I then took them outside for a coat of paint as the shim plastic was a few shades of blue rather than white. Came out pretty well. 







Strapping has begun! The snap "plates" and straps on the kidney plate.






Plates on the posterior, and the two male snaps on the taint.






Snaps and straps on the ab armor. I was very happy to find that one of the straps that came with my kit was just the right size for the crotch strap. From here I'll need to find a happy medium between the shims on the ab and kidney plates to trim and then attach the straps for the sides. 







Back plate with snaps and straps.






Front plate with snap "plates". 






It stays on without having to hold anything! YEAH!




That's all I got for now. When I get more glue in, It'll be on to getting the sides trimmed and strapped, then arm strapping. 

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I'm getting closer! Got a new bottle of glue in (used up one already on this build!) and started to add more snaps/straps. Arm pieces are now strapped to the upper torso, started work on the garter system, and am now close to adding the straps to the kidney/ab plates. 


Anyone who is still watching this thread, I have a question about the gap between the kidney/ab plate. Is it better to have no gap at all/have the pieces overlap each other? I'm talking about 1/4" of overlap. Or is it better to have a little gap, like about 1/4-1/2"? Just want to make sure before I cut some more. 


I'll also be asking my squad recruit page about this.

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Getting close! Added the side straps to the kidney/ab plates. There's just a bit of overlap, about 1/4". If I should go crazy, I can take off that 1/4", but for now I'll keep it. 


All that's left: Thigh garter system, TK belt (ordered), holster (getting from a friend, will have to mod it with loops), pics to submit. 


I can't freaking wait!

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Build is nearing completion! Here's a few things from last week.


Armor on the floor. Jeez, I'm gonna be a big TK...






Belt assembly!






Did a heat bend on the belt so that it won't look too wonky on me.






Canvas Belt! Thanks to TKittell and his amazing work, I'm one step closer. It's very nice, I highly recommend it!






Added male snaps to the plastic part.






Female snaps on the canvas belt. Put 'em together and, baby, you got yourself a TK belt!




The Big Test!











Look, a thing!



All I'm missing are my dropboxes (waiting on the inner dropboxes from kwdesigns) and holster (getting from a friend). 


Let me know what you think!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went to sleep last night a recruit and I woke up today a trooper! I've been keeping an eye on my phone for an email from the 501st, and it was the only notification on my phone this morning. Something really good to wake up to!


TK-77459 reporting for duty!

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