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Ukswrath's AM 1.0 build

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Day 4


2h. Calves cont.... Left calf rear cover strip install.


Measure the left calf section from just below the return edge just above the lower return edge.



Cut rear cover strip length, in my case 322mm and width 25mm.


Apply glue and install cover strip from just below the upper return edge to just above the lower return edge.



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Hey all, I was asked by a fellow garrison member to assembly his AM armor and decided to post the build process. Enjoy.   Armor: AM 1.0  Helmet: MTK (Initial ATA build idea was scrapped and a MTK b

4. Abdomen   First order of business, the cod. Slice off about 2.5cm, then rounded it off.     4a. Mark the cod rivet hole 2cm from the newly cut end of the cod.      4b. Drill 5/32" hol

4. Ab & 13. Kidney Side Rivets   Holes drilled, rivets installed. Measure the distance from ab rivet center to kidney rivet center. It should be 20mm.       Measure and cur 3/4" webbing

7. Thighs


Staring with the front right & left inner thighs, right & left outer thighs. This procedure applies to all four front thigh sections.


Locate return edge. Mark cut line 10mm from return edge. 




Cut and remove extra material. 




7a. Right & left rear inner thighs.


From the fitment measurements we will be marking the thigh at the section where the 45% inner thigh return edge meets the horizontal return edge, approximately 45mm the area marked starting point.

NOTE: This measurement also leaves 10mm for the outer cover strip.




Cut and remove material.




7b. Right & left rear outer thighs. 


From the fitment measurements we will be marking the thigh approximately 45mm in from the starting point. 





After cutting




Once all the cut have been completed this is what you should be left with.




7c. Install front thigh inner cover strips.


Using removed material, cut inner cover strips 20mm in width. Takig advantage of the AM design I was again able to use the natural contour of the cover strip material on the entire length of the inner thigh, approximately 410mm.






Add glue to inner cover strip.




Install inner cover strips on both left and right front. Secure with clamps at the end and earth magnets in between.







7d. Install front thigh outer cover strips. Reminder: Use outer cover strip material that came with your kit.


After removing all excess glue, prepare thighs for outer cover strip installation.




7e. Measure and cut cover strips. In my case the length will be 400mm and the width of 20mm.





Bevel all edged and chamfer all corners of the cover strips. 


Apply glue.




7f. Install cover strips. Secure strips with a clamp on each end and earth magnets in between. 





Let dry.

Edited by ukswrath
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7g. Install thigh rear cover strips.


Cut rear inner cover strip from extra material. In my case the length measured approximately 295mm. The width was cut to 20mm, which is similar to the outer cover strip.




Taper the top of the cover strip to match the angle of the inner thigh.




Add painters tape to help thigh sections stay together and aligned during cover strip installation and gluing process. 




Apply glue to cover strips





Install cover strips




Let dry.

Edited by ukswrath
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8. Chest & Shoulders


NOTE: After the AM chest, shoulders and back plates were completed it was requested we shoot for Centurion approval. AM 1.0 back plate does not meet Centurion standards so had to be replaced. At this time we also decided to the replace the large AM chest plate instead of trim it. The upper AM sections (chest, back and covers) were replaced with ATA. This update can be found on page 5.  


Starting with the shoulder strap cover strips,


Remove excess material leaving approximately 3mm from the edge of the bumps and 2cm from the end of the strip to the top of the first bump. 








Bevel all edges.






8a. Install mounting supports. 


As seen in some other builds adding support braces to the underside of the cover strip assists in the mounting process and helps to better secure the covers to the chest plate.


First measure the size needed, approximately 38mm in length and 5mm in width.




Cut supports from extra cover strip material. Glue in place and let dry for 24 hours.




8b. Installing shoulder covers. 


The AM chest plate has a huge contour in the armor where the cover strips are mounted. 





There's no way to glue the covers in one shot so it will be done in stages.


First stage..


Glue the covers on the edge closest to the neck. NOTE: This location was selected because it has more surface area. I elected to glue it there first giving the covers a better chance bond with the chest plate. I'm also hopefully that by bonding the bulk of the cover first it will allow the second stage to bond correctly and effectively also.


Let's get started, apply glue to one side of covers. The side that will be closest to the neck obviously  :)




Install covers on chest plate and check, and recheck cover angles ensuring they align with back plate.




Let dry for 48+ hours.

Edited by ukswrath
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8c. Shoulders, round two.


Remove clamps and asses the next step. YIKES! This aught to be fun  :blink:




Our goal is to, ever so gently press the unglued portion of the cover to the chest plate.




NOTE: To assist the plastic during the bending process I would set the chest plate in the sun for a few minutes. I'm not a huge fan of the heat gun but if you feel comfortable, have at it. Don't warm it up too much or it could soften up the dry glue.


Apple glue to the cover crevasse.  :D I have to smile because that's what it looks like.  Holding it on its side let the glue seep into the gap for a minute or two. 




Using a vise, a very strong wood clamp or something similar prepare to squeeze the two together. NOTE: I would keep a high tension clamp on the dried side for added protection.


NOTE: On the underside of the chest plate place a 1/2" thick x 1" W x 1" L piece of wood. This will help prevent crushing the outer chest plate return edge.


Place a t-shirt between the plastic and clamp. SLOWLY squeeze the sections together. NOTE: I would advise against trying to completely mate the two surfaces in fear of creating a crease mark in the shoulder cover.




Let dry for 48 hours.

Edited by ukswrath
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7h. Thighs cont.....


Install rear cover strips.


Clean off excess glue and prepare to install cover strips.




Measure rear thighs. In my case the rear cover strips are 275mm in length and 20mm wide.




Cur out cover strips.




Taper the top edge to match the top of the thigh 




Apply glue








Let dry.


Once dried, remove clamps and magnets. If you so desire remove all excess glue from inner and out cover strips giving it a nice clean look.





7i. Reduce all upper and lower thigh return edge material.









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2i. Calves cont....


Installing sniper knee.


Place knee plate on shin, hold in place with a few earth magnets or clamps and check alignment.





If satisfied, apply glue and install.


NOTE: I was able to hold the sniper knee in place with earth magnets while glue dried. This may not be enough in your case. You may need clamps or similar.


Apply glue to lower corners of sniper knee.





Install glue at top of cover strip. About 1-1/2" worth.




Attach to armor.






After initial assembly is complete go back and add more glue to the corners and area you believe might become a issue.


Here I put it in the corners, the ares that are most prone to problems.




Let dry.

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2j. Calves cont......


Clean up and remove upper and lower return edges.


If you so desire remove excess glue for inner & outer cover strips and sniper knee.


NOTE: I forgot to mention this before but a great tool for glue removal is a piece of plastic a bit softer than the ABS your working with, in my case I used a cell phone LCD removal tool.





Removing return edges.









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1j. Forearms cont......


Cleaning and removing or minimizing all return edges.


Remove excess dried glue if so desired.






After ........





Remove return edge and finalize all corners.





Leading edge (nearest elbow)





Trailing edge (nearest wrist)



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2k. Biceps cont.....


Install final outer cover strip.


Measure the length of the forearms and cur cover strip. In my case it was approximately 158mm in length and 15mm wide.





Apply glue to strips.









Let dry.


2l. In mt case I minimize the upper and removed the lower return edges














7m. Reshape biceps. As you'll notice the biceps are oval in shape. I will attempt to give them a more cylindrical shape using the hot water technique.


NOTE: Since my biceps are already assembled I will be doing the shaping by hand. I will be reshaping the lower section of the bicep only since the upper is not that out of round.


NOTE: If you attempt this please use caution and wear all necessary personal protection equipment like full length clothing, heavy rubber gloves (the kind that will not only protect you from water but from heat also), and eye protection. 


NOTE: Practice this procedure several times before actually placing the bicep in boiling water.


1) Bring a pot of water (5" deep) to a boil. 

2) Place the bicep in the water for 30 to 45 seconds.

3) While waiting turn on your faucet, cold.

4) Remove the softened bicep

5) Placing you palms over the cover strips, squeeze the bicep in to the shape you desire.

6) Hold under the cold water for 2-3 minutes.

7) Repeat if necessary until desired shape is achieved.    











Let cool

Edited by ukswrath
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7n. Bicep cont......


Installing shoulder bell retaining clip


Using outer cover strip cut to 150mm in length and 15mm wide. Remove burs from edges before proceeding.


NOTE: Wear heat resistant gloves and eye protection..





Starting at one end mark cover strip at the following measurements. 20mm, 50mm and 90mm.


NOTE: The reason I personally put two bends in the clip is to help prevent it from rubbing on your arm.


The first bend will be the loop section.


1) Lay the cover strip on a piece or wood marking up. Place two other smaller pieces of wood on each side of the 20mm line (approx 4mm apart). The two separated pieces of wood help concentrate the heat we want to apply to a specific location.   

2) Using a heat gun, heat the area of plastic in between the wood for about 15-20 seconds




3) Remove and quickly fold over.




4) Next using the same technique heat up the 90mm section. Once heated up bend to a 15 degree angle like so.




5) Now the 50mm section. Bend it back 15 degrees.





If all goes well your retaining clips should look like this.





7o. Attach the clip to the bicep.


Apply glue to the clip like so. You only need to add glue to a 20mm section.





Place the glued section just below the thumb print and install clamp.


NOTE: The top of the clip should be approximately 23-25mm from the upper edge on the inner bicep.




... and we wait. 

Edited by ukswrath
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the delay. life, armor changes, etc. Let's continue on.


Ab cont... today we'll be installing the belt snaps, trim and paint the ab button plates


4j. Belt snap installation. Following the ab snap template, measure and mark ab snap holes. The particular snaps I'll be installing are 15mm "S" snaps, aka poppers.




Mark snap holes to drill


Starting with the left side measure 59mm from left center return edge. Then measure 15mm from lower return edge.




Mark right side holes.


Measure 28mm from right center return edge. Measure 15mm from lower return edge.




The distance between the two holes is 343mm.


Drill two 3/16" holes for the male post.


4k. Install snaps. Snap and install identification.




Install male eyelet through back of ab.




Install stud on top of eyelet.


Place something flat and hard at the back of eyelet. I used very hard piece of wood. Using the Stud setter drive the stud down on to the eyelet.




Ab snap complete.


4l. Ab button plates. Trim ab button plates and paint. 







Using painter tape cover a piece of excess cover strip material or similar.





Using square cut out 9+ 15/32" holes on painter's tape and place over buttons. After all the buttons have been outlined cover remaining exposed ab plates.








Prepare to paint grey buttons. Colors as per color chart.



Cover blue buttons locations. 




Paint. Let dry




After drying, cover grey buttons and remove tape from unpainted blue buttons. Paint Blue as per color chart.




Let dry then remove all tape.



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7h. Thighs cont.... Installing ammo belt


NOTE: AM belt replaced with ATA.


After trimming ammo belt measure 50mm from either left or right outer box to edge and trim excess. 





The overall belt length is 334mm






Starting with the right side of the thigh measure 6mm & 6mm from return edge corner and drill 3/32" hole for rivet.





Measure mounting hole 10mm & 10mm from edge at both ends of the ammo belt. Drill 3/32" hole






Mount right side ammo belt to thigh. Rivets and tools needed.





Mount belt. Install eyelet post from the ammo belt inward. Install cap on eyelet. Place something hard under the outer eyelet then using tool drive cap down onto eyelet.







Wrap ammo belt around thigh, drill a 3/32" hole into thigh at ammo belt left hole location, install rivet similar to right side.






Belt should be centered with outer cover strip.






In closing I generally apply a small amount of E6000 glue between the ammo belt and front of thigh.




Edited by ukswrath
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10. Thermal Detonator


Canon reference pic. 





Trim excess plastic from caps and face plate.





Face plate is approximately 115mm in length. Circumference width approximately 85mm.  




Cap width .78" or 20mm




Cut 2" PVC pipe to 7-1/2"





10a. Measure .78" or 20mm from outer pipe edge. Reduce the OD (outer diameter) by sanding or other so that the end caps will slip on without much effort. Test before going to next step.





Measure and find center of pipe.





Add painter's tape to pipe, enough to cover the width of the entire face plate. Locate center of face plate and position it on the pipe and center it with the pipe.






Using a pencil outline the face plate on the painter's tape. 






Remove outer section of tape that has been outlined.






Scuff up the remaining uncovered pipe surface using 3m scotch brite pad or similar.





Install painter's tape where end caps will be later installed.





10b. Paint assembly grey with approved color. 






Let dry. After drying remove tape.





Center and glue faceplate to tube with E6000. Let glue dry.




After drying.





10c. Making TD clips


Using 1/16" x 1-1/16" aluminum band metal, cut two 9" sections.





Using a pencil measure and mark strip in the following sections. 1/2", 2-1/2", 5"






Round corners on one edge. 






Establish the center of the strip a drill a 11/32" hole at the 1/2 & 2-1/2" locations.






Using a separate pipe made of thicker material drill two holes for separate screw that will be used for bending the straps or use self tapping screws. Mount 1/2" hole to pipe.






Place opposite end of pipe in vice or clamp to a table or bench.


Double checking to ensure strap in perpendicular to pipe, wrap strap around pipe 180 degrees from mount screw.






Remove strap from pipe. Notice the section of strap on the 1/2" side is straight, you will need to bend this. 


Using a vise if possible place a piece of heavy cloth in the jaws. Install 1/4" section of strap, tighten and slightly bend a curve into the section. Note: a pair of pliers or channel lock wrench will work also but you'll need to take to evenly bend the area.









Place the clips on the edge of a piece wood curved side up. Place the 5" marked section at edge. Placing one hand on the table side and the other on the exposed side begin to crease the metal.





Place a 1/8" piece of round iron or similar in a vice or clamp to a table. Continue to fold the edge around until it is parallel with the curved but flat section. Note: it's not a great idea to use a screw driver as I did but it served a purpose. ;)  






Using a file taped with duct tape place the file in between the bent sections near the end.






Clamp section nearest to clip bend.






After bend your clips should look like this.




Edited by ukswrath
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Thermal Detonator cont...


10d. Final Assembly.


Temporarily install TD end caps. Install clips by first aligning them with the caps and face plate. 



Mark holes to be drilled.




Drill 3/32" holes and install #8 x 1/2" aluminum pan head screws or similar.




Install clips.


Once installed though not a requirement slightly bending the clips roughly half way through the remaining straight section (seen below) will give the clips a little extra bite on the cloth waist belt hopefully preventing little hands from walking away with your TD during troops. 



Side note: For the record, screen accurate clips have a slight bend (curvature) throughout the length of the straight section mentioned above, as well as a slight bend roughly 1/4" from the end as seen in the following reference photo. 



Using a piece of 1/4" round iron or similar, place iron under 50mm section (or half the distance of the straight section) and gently press strip towards assembly. NOTE: This can also be done prior to attaching the clips to the tube. 



Glue end caps and paint screws. Don't forget to paint the screw heads black. This is a requirement at the higher levels of approval.



Overall length roughly 7 1/2"





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Nbd, just providing the most comprehensive, easy to follow build thread EVER... geez Tony, you're seriously knocking this one out of the park! Definitely looking to your expertise when in doubt, you make it look like child's play ;-)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Starrfox1
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11. Belt assembly


In the following section I will be assembling the belt with the following items, AM ammo belt, Tkittle cloth belt (3" wide), "S" snaps (female), ATA drop boxes and holster (not sure sure who made it but is withing specs).


Starting with the ammo belt trim side edges to within 3mm of box edge. Overall length is 18-1/4" or 464mm, width is 4" or 102mm. 





Measure and mark the center of the belt.






From the center measure 1-1/2" in each direction for a over all width of 3"






Using a angle square measure cut corners to 45 degrees. 







11a. Cloth belt.


Measure the length and width of the belt to determine its center. In my case the belt was 54" in length and 3" in width. The center was 26" and 1-1/2".







 Place and center ammo belt on cloth belt and align the ammo belt center mounting hole. Using a pencil mark the cloth belt through the outer ammo belt mounting holes.


NOTE: The ammo holes were already drilled at 1/8" 







Before proceeding I highly suggest marking the cloth and ammo belt which direction is up to avoid accidentally incorrectly marking rivet and snap locations. Coming from experience. ;)  







Determine and mark center of ab plate. This is the location the cloth belt will be centered to.





Lay your cloth belt across the ab centering the belt with the ab. The top of the cloth belt should be approximately 1/4" below the return edge of the ab button plate return edge (sorry, forgot to take a picture here so I illustrated it, well...tried).  :blink:






Ensuring the belt is level with the ab mark belt in locations opposite of male snaps on ab.






Once snap locations are established, double check. Next using the punch tool provided with the "S" snaps (approximately 1/8"), punch holes in belt.






11b. Installing drop boxes


Let's take a look at a our template. Were going to use the measurements for "Stunt"





Measure and mark horizontal locations for holster Chicago screws. Start with the left mount hole closest to ammo belt, 20mm from ammo belt. Then measure approximately 114mm from left mount location to outer mount location. Finally measure 15mm from cloth belt edge vertically to the horizontal locations.





Using 5/32" leather punch, punch hole for holster mount screw.







Measure and mark holster mounting straps approximately 40mm from the top edge of holster pouch.    





Using same punch, create hole for mounting screw.






Mount holster placing the female portion of the screw facing outward.




11c. Drop box & installation


Trim outer and inner drop boxes


Measure and trim drop box width to approximately 10mm in width. Inner drop box a bit thinner.






Using 3/4" white elastic measure and cut a 10-1/2" (265mm) section x2.





Install elastic around cloth belt. Place belt approximately 2mm from ammo belt. Mark elastic and inner drop box locations.  





Using 1/8" leather punch create holes in elastic.








Drill 1/8" hole in inner drip box.





Align boxes with ammo belt edge. Note location of elastic in relation to belt snap, mark and cut. Do this for both sides.






Using 1/8" x 1/4" pop rivet, rivet elastic to inner drop box. I personally use aluminum rivets and washers to avoid corrosion and the washer give the elastic a bit more to hang on to. In other builds I also added a bit of E6000 between the elastic and drop box for added strength.




I personally ad a strip of E6000 between the elastic and canvas belt to keep the drop box from walking around.





At this point glue inner drop box to outer drop box using E600 or CA glue. Another option is to place velcro between the two to use as storage boxes. 





Finished. Note: later on in this tutorial this AM belt was replace ATA  which is Centurion approveable, this AM belt version is not. 



Edited by ukswrath
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