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Ukswrath's FOTK build thread


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Oh man it looks good!


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Thanks Shaun


Phoenix props is doing a run on blasters


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I've purchased 3 blasters from 3 different builders (not includiing PP) not putting my eggs in one basket and still here I am.  :angry:

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Wow that is stellar ! outstanding job Tony , looks much better on you than sprawled all out on the floor the other night . Lol...


Right!? Doesn't look like much on the floor now does it? lol

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Suspension (aka strapping) picture heavy



To perform the following you'll need the items from the "Suspension Materials" list on page 1


1. Starting a square yard of mesh. Measure the inside diameter of the ab at the upper and lower edges. Use the longest measurement, you can always cut off what you don't use. Deduct approximately 3"+ fro the total measurement to account for the seam at the back of the armor.  





From one edge of the mesh sew in boning material to form secure edge. For those who don't know about boning material it's pretty much a piece of plastic you can sew through.






2. Using clamps secure to the bottom edge of the ab armor. 





3. Slip the ab armor around your body. Bring the mesh to the top of your shoulders. Measure and cut off excess.


4. Measure approximately 11" from the boning edge (lower seam). This should be the approximate distance from the lower edge of the ab to the top edge. 

NOTE: The ab height is 11" at the rear of the ab and taper upward to around 12" at the front (measuring from lower return edge). Since the lower seam will not be attached to 8/10 of the armor there'll be a lot of room for adjustments. Before making any final cuts and sewing take plenty of measurements and fast forward to final sections in this tutorial to get an idea of how it look when finished.

Another Note: During final assemble the lower seam will be connected to the ab behind the ab boxes. Your ab may need to be removed to perform this task.





5. Sew in boning material at upper seam





6. Check fitment






Lower edge front



Lower edge rear (rear ab seam indicated by red line)




Upper front & rear




7. Starting at the top of the mesh (aka shoulder area) cut to within 1" of the upper seam, left and right sides of the ab









Back (no need to cut)




8. Cur the front like a tank top. Everyone's measurements will be different. The inside cut will be you neck line near your collar bone.





9. So this is where things get a little tricky. Cut the inside as illustrated below tapering from the bottom seam to the top seam. The lower seam supports your thing armor (legs) and besides being secured to the armor it's also velcro strapped around your waist. Since everyone's waist is different this is where you'll take another measurement. I personally remove almost 8" from the lower edge at the center of the back, 4" on each side of the ab entry. The area that is cut out will be replace by a 1-1/2- 2" (your choice) of nylon webbing and velcro forming a waist belt. Be sure to leave enough mesh at the lower edge to sew in the nylon belt.





Remove and check. The result should look similar to this.





10. Measure, cut and sew waist belt nylon webbing to lower left mesh & seam.





10b. At the opposite side of the nylon sew hook portion of velcro to one side and loop side to other. Note: The loop side will be your waist adjustment, make sure it's long enough. 





10c. Measure and sew nylon webbing to right side lower. At the opposite end of the nylon sew in buckle. The velcro from the left side will feed through it.






You should have something like this





11. Upper back mesh. Sew in 1/2" ribbon or edge material at each edge, from the boning edge (upper) to the top pf the mesh (do not use the same boning material used in the lower and upper sections. It's not flexible enough). This section will eventually be used to connect to the shoulder plates.





12. At the upper edge of the mesh sew in a 1" slider buckle.





From the center of the buckle to the lower edge should be approximately 6"





Since you're probably a bit confused at this point here's what it look like with the suspension system installed.





13. Front straps. Similar to the rear upper straps sew in ribbon or other into all the edges cut including the front strap sections. Measure and sew in ribbon material, or other down the length of the mesh (front) and around all newly cut areas.





14. Measure, cut and sew 1" nylon webbing into upper ends of front shoulder straps.





So far you should be looking something like this





15. Install thigh support strapping.

Since eveyone's thigh connection measurement will be different the most important information is the positioning of the straps.  The thigh will have a strap mounted approximately dead center of the armor and at the side. The front mainly controls the height and the side mainly controls the position. The following illustrations will give you an idea of how the straps will be sewn to the mesh. I'll also thrown in some pics of the thigh inner strapping to help understand how they work together.


First off, the mesh supports.





Center strapping





Side strapping





Laid out before sewing





Center sewn in





Cut off excess where it exits mesh and sew back in running vertical. 





Sides sewn in at a 45 degree angle approximately 6" from the center straps.





Back to center straps. Sewn in 1' female buckles 





Side straps will the make 1" buckle. The obvious reason for the different buckle connections is eliminate frustrations when putting on your armor.





And as promised, the legs for reference.





To be cont......

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Suspension cont... 


16. Shoulder connecting brackets. The following connecting brackets connect the rear mesh shoulder connection to the front mesh connection, to the biceps. That's right, the biceps. 


First, the template. This will be used for the left and right sides.





5-1/2" Long





3" wide





These holes will be used to connect to female buckles using zip ties.





This slot will be used to connect to the rear shoulder connections using a 1" nylon webbing.






This slot will be used to connect the the biceps using nylon webbing, male buckles and buckle sliders.





The bracket material. 1.5mm ABS cover strip mater (specifically, ATA) 





17. Trace the template to the cover strip material





18. Cut out.





19. Trace and cut out 1/4" foam padding. This is the same material I used on my waist belt. It will be placed on the side of the plate that rests on your shoulders. 





Install padding





20. Shape plate to the contour of your shoulders. Using a heat gun heat up and form and shape as needed. 





21. Using 2 zip ties connect brackets to front shoulder female buckles.

NOTE: My front buckles are swivel type so they can move side to side 30 degrees helping to eliminate pinching.

NOTE 2: Use high quality zip ties





Measure and make pre-bends in the zip ties. Easier to install this way. 





21. Test fit 1. Connect to chest strap buckles. FYI I forgot to mention after installing the front chest nylon webbing, install 1" male buckles.





22. Measure and cut two sections of 1" x 16" nylon webbing. Sew one end the center section of a 1" buckle slider. These straps will connect the brackets to the biceps.

NOTE: At the opposite end of the strap will eventually receive 1" male buckles.  





23. Measure and cut a section of 1" x 16" nylon webbing. This will be used to connect the rear shoulder straps to the remaining shoulder bracket.


First attach it to either left slider then feed it through the right bracket. From there feed it through the left bracket them back down to the right rear shoulder strap in a criss-cross pattern like this.





24. Test fit time. Either install the suspension system on your self or if you have a mannequin use that. Mannequin works best to see how thing work and should line up.

NOTE: At this time the brackets were not molded to my shoulders yet so obviously they're laying flat.






To be continued....

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Suspension cont....


25. Installing thigh and Bicep connecting straps.


Starting with the thighs. Using 1" nylon webbing cut sections to 12" to be used for the center connections. One end will be glued to the armor the opposite end of the webbing install 1" male buckle.


For the side thigh and bicep connections we'll be using 1" x 7" sections. One end will be glued to the armor, the opposite end will have a 1" female buckle sewn to it. Make four of these.





Side and Bicep connections






The legs install the straps front center and side.






Bicep right (forefront), back ground is the left. 

Note: Install strap forward of side (pill hole) connecting strip.





More thigh and bicep 





To be cont.....

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Suspension cont...


27. Connecting suspension system to ab.

Note: As mentioned before, the lower seam will need to be connected to the lower section of the armor just behind the 3 center most ab boxes.


Place suspension into ab.





Starting with the upper mounting. Measure and drill two 1/8" holes approximately 5-1/2" from the left and right center ab rib. 

NOTE: You'll be drilling through the boning material so be certain your suspension system is centered.





27b. After drilling install 12mm cap rivet. I used a nickle post on the outside of the armor and a gun metal cap on the inside (just preference, you don't have to use two different color rivets)





28. Measure, drill hole and install rear rivets.

Note: Later you may need to trim your TD upper bracket to accommodate the rivet mount.






29. Lower suspension mounting. Remove center three ab boxes. Measure drill holes through armor and boning material as outlined.





30. Install pop rivet. Use rivet washer on armor and seam side for added strength.





30b. Install ab boxes.





Check suspension system





EDIT: Almost forgot, I added E6000 between the upper seam and armor outside of the riveted areas like so. For added strength of course.





to be cont....

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Suspension (strapping) cont... 


31. Shoulder Gaskets


The gaskets will have three shoulder to shoulder connections. Starting from what would be the back side I'm going to be creating two anchor points using 5/8 (15mm) black elastic, 12mm cap rivets and 5/8" buckles.


Back side  




From the ribs at the top of the shoulder, measure from the rib closest to you (the front) 1" down and 1" from the gasket edge. Mark the location.

Note: this will be performed on both left and right gaskets so you may see pictures of either / or. 





Next hole down will be 6-1/2" from the top rib and again 1" from the edge.






At the newly marked locations punch a 1/8" hole for the cap rivets.


32. Cut four 12" strips of 5/8" elastic. Fold over 1" at one end then punch a hole using the same hole punch describe above.





Cap rivet to be used. 12mm Gun metal.






33. Install rivets and elastic.





34. Flip gasket over to the front. Being there's only one connection from gasket to gasket in the front the mount will be a bit different. Instead of one anchor point there will be two, two anchor cap rivets with 5/8" nylon ribbon between the two.


First hole, measure and mark 6" down from the top ribs, rib closest to front. Also measure and mark 1" from the side.





34b. The second hole will be 1" below that hole.





35. Cut a 4-1/2" section of 5/8" nylon ribbon. 





36. Fold over each end approximately 1" and using the hole punch, punch a hole through both sections.






37. Feed ribbon through 5/8" female buckle.





38. Install ribbon anchor using the same 12mm cap screws. Should look like this when finished.





39. Install buckles on the rear gasket elastic straps. 

Note; It would be wise to install the buckles in the opposite direction to avoid connection issues while putting on the armor.


View from the back





View from the front.






to be cont...

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Hey Tony, do you know the film is only two days away now? :P

I'm always amazed and amused by how many updates you manage to post to delay the submission pictures! Each time I open your thread I feel like this is going to be for now and... nop.


By the way, these ImperialGaskets look really super nice.

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Suspension cont...


40. Shoulder gaskets to biceps. As mention in several other tutorials, you'll need to cut 2-3" along the upper ridge line so that the gaskets will fit into the biceps.





Since my shoulder bells has a suspension connection it's best to completely cut out a section 3" x 1" section to accommodate the nylon webbing.

Note: You may need to cut more or less depending on your body side and where exactly you placed the nylon strap 






41. Insert your gaskets into the biceps, mark location then install industrial strength velcro (loop side)







42. Installing elbow gaskets.


Align biceps and fore arms as such.





43. Install gaskets 





Should look like this when finished





to be cont...


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Accuracy up cont..... Shoulder (yoke) to bell connection


I'm going to address the yoke to shoulder bell really quick at the request of a couple troopers.


In a previous post I left off cutting the holes for the shoulder bell connecting straps.


13. Measure and cut four strips of 6" x 1-1/4" black elastic.





14.  In my case the slits in the yoke would not accommodate the elastic and velcro together, neither-less a snap so I elected to sew in 1-1/2" section of velcro (hook side) at one end then feed it through then install the snap. 


Velcro sewed in place and fed through the slits.






15. At the other end fold the elastic over 1". Using a 1/8" hole punch, punch a hole for the female snap you'll be installing.






16. Install snap. Note: Elastic fold and female snap will be facing the armor side.








17. Install industrial velcro (loop side) on shoulder bells and install bells.





18. Something I forgot to mention earlier. If you use the aluminum plate or other metal support technique don't forget to glue a piece of ABS plastic or similar between the support and the yoke, like so.




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Suspension cont....


The following pictures are with the ab and/ or the ab and shoulders installed


Just the ab / suspension and TD.





Install the arms. Connection from the plates to the biceps. Very comfortable I might add, seriously.





Shoulder gaskets connected





To be cont.....

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Hey Tony, do you know the film is only two days away now? :P

I'm always amazed and amused by how many updates you manage to post to delay the submission pictures! Each time I open your thread I feel like this is going to be for now and... nop.


By the way, these ImperialGaskets look really super nice.


hahaha sorry for the delayed submission pics, I was waiting for 501st approval first but i guess it doesn't matter at this point right? 


Oh, these are ANOVOS gaskets. 

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Excellent Build! I've already decided to not rush for the movie premiere and just follow some of your tutorials. Do it "right" you know?


Good choice about taking your time and building it right. 

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Some final assembly details.


Chest to Yoke.


Installed 1" industrial white velcro at the lower rear, lower front sides and upper chest areas.





Chest plate



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I wanted to post some pictures to show how well the suspension system functions. Here it is hanging on a mannequin. 





Without chest, yoke, TD and belt



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