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FBJ's ANH Hero Build [TM]

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I've trimmed and taped back together both biceps. I may neaten them so they sit flush, but then again original armour was not perfect so may not. That will be for another day. I am out of time for today, I need to get some lunch and then do some housework before class. That mean tomorrow I can get on with the forearms and then on to glue.. Its starting to come together now.







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Day Nine


Ok so I have had my Weetabix and coffee and its straight on with the forearms. You've seen how I trim plastic so I'm not going to show that again, plus I've already done it ready for final fit and glue.


Time for a pop quiz..


Who can tell me what these are for?




If you answered;


A coffee stirrers - you have spent too much time with Gary H


B glue sticks - you have spent too much time with Pete B or Billy H


C I don't know - you have not spent enough time with any of the above!!

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One of the defining details for any ANH trooper armour build is the use of the cover strips on the arms and legs.


The use of these is down to the way the original armour was designed, sculpted and made; and is still the way any fan made armour is produced - having 2 parts to the armour parts made seperately and glued together.


One way to overcome the unsightly seem left by the way the armour was assembled was to add a cover strip over the top and bingo - straight away the seem is gone. It also adds a certain depth and look to the armour.


So the correct method for arm and leg assembly is to have the two halfs of the armour butt together flush - and then glue the strip on top.


So onto the size of the cover strip needed. The industry standard for the arms if you are trying to get your armour as close to the screen used examples is a strip 13mm wide. This info is from troopermaster after looking at real screen used suit in person, so thanks to him for sharing. Its not known if all the suits were the same, but its highly likely.


Now the size of 13mm is applied to the forearms and biceps, front and back.


Replica armour before cover strip in place




Replica armour with 15mm strips





Screen shot



LFL reference pic



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While I am getting ready to glue its time to start thinking about the cover strips themselves.


Ok so there are 3 ways of trimming these - straight cut, rounded or cut to fit and at 45' corner cut.


I've built suits using all of these ways - which way do you prefer and why?







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A quick look at the glue I'm using, Stelmax. Its serious glue for serious builders. Its white, powerful and will warp your armour - be warned..


Just to show you I checked out a small piece of scrap abs from a previous armour build.


I use the nozzle cut at a sharp angle and put quite a lot on this piece, you will not need this much. When the two halves go together it splodges out of the side just like the real thing.











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And the cover strips themselves. I got 8 pieces of plastic about 2 feet long and just over an inch wide to use for the cover strips, this will be fine if you take the top armour makers advice..


Good stuff!




For the joining strips, cut the long parts first and use one piece each time. Use the off-cuts for the arms. One long length cut in half will do the backs of both thighs. The off-cuts split down the middle will give you 15-17mm wide strips (depending on the width of the cuts) so no need to use a wide strip and cut down each on every time. Just a few little tips there mate :)



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Ok lets get gluing. When you are happy with everything, make sure your parts are clean and dust free. I gave my bits a quick wash. If you are worried about the glue splodging you can run some tape along the side of where your strip is going. This can also double up as a guide marker. It is kinda obvious where your strip needs to be as I is covering the join but its your build, do whatever it takes.


Some use magnets, some clamps, some tape to hold it in place while drying. I use whatever I have to hand. This is fast stuff so will not take too long to go off.


Here's a quick pic of the first strip going on. My iPhone battery needs a charge as I forgot to put it on overnight, so maybe not so many pictures this avo. Also I need to be on top of this Stelmax..




Many people myself included like to add a strip to the inside of the arms and legs too. It neatens things up, looks better maybe, but is not needed and is not accurate. You must do as you think it right, of course.. I'm not going to use them on this build.

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All 4 cover strips are on. Its taken me about an hour to do all of them. Take your time. Be as pernickety as you like. Use micro precision, be sloppy if you like but remember to be yourself. Do it your way.


This Stelmax only takes a few minutes to go off, just hold your parts together for a few second's and then you can put them to one side. Get everything you need to use close by and ready first. This stuff actually dries to be quite pliable, your nozzle will get clogged up and you can use a cocktail stick or nail or other similar tool to scoop it out when its dry.


Ok I am going to stop for some lunch and then look at some more gluing goodness. Make sure you keep your windows open, no not on your laptop, the windows in your house as this stuff pongs - im starting to feel little light headed here at fbj towers...

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This thread is useless with out pictures..









Sorry about the upside-down pictures, I am rotating them in photobucket, but as usual its rubbish..

Edited by firebladejedi
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Right forearm 90 per cent complete. I will deal with the wrist return edge tomorrow. I'm going to leave gluing the other for tomorrow as I need a rest.

Prob getting high from all that glue sniffing.







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Ok we have time for one last picture today, a sneaky peak at the completed right arm sans strapping. I shall leave you with this while I have a snooze before tennis. I'm playing against a girl from the office, then straight off after that for another ninja class.. until next time you've been watching FBJ building his new TK from TM. TTFN.



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Ok I am about two thirds through this build now and all arms are glued ready for strapping. Today I have been making my cover strips for the legs. Not much of an update but I thought I would share this tip for making the cover strips if you do not have a long enough steel rule.


To follow this you need to be smart on which strips you make in what order.


1 choose which strip you are making and measure how long or wide you want it.


2 tape it to a good clean solid surface for cutting, I used the kitchen work top. Its taped to hold it in place while cutting.




3 add another unused strip next to it so that your straight edge will be the same height for cutting.




4 use another long cover strip as your straight edge.




5 lightly run your sharp knife along the edge to make your cut. Let the knife do the work and run this over very gently and repeat until you have cut through. If you try to make your cut on the first run the knife may dig in and take a line you did not want it to.




6 repeat as needed - save the shorter cover strips until last and you may be able to use that steel ruler you have that was not quite long enough for the other parts.


That's all of them now ready to be glued on. But I have run out of time for today, as I start work again at 5PM. I'm off to have some lunch. I'm having steak today, mmmmm steak.....

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No real updates for today, but a few pictures of the arms and legs as they are at this moment in time. Rest days this coming week are Wed, Thurs and Fri so I am hoping to get quite a lot done then.


You can start to see the different return on the various parts. Each piece has been trimmed differently. Also the cover strips are all different.







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I really should have used a real camera for this thread, but you get the idea..






And I think it is going to rain again in the minute, its getting dark. I think I just heard a rumble of thunder..

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Day X

So welcome back to Day X of this incredible build, while I've been hard at work this week the armour fairies have broken into fbj towers and have now completed my right shins ready for me to add on the sniper knee plate to the more left wing righty. I will do that while the glue is drying on my thighs.

Still on my long list of things to do is; glue thighs, trim knee plate, thigh pack, shoulder straps, build thermal detonator, sort out belt including drop boxes and get this suit strapped. Then when all of that is finished I will start on the helmet.

I have a hero helmet with this kit, as my first idea was to build an Han Solo replica. But that soon went out of the window when I got going and what's happening here is I am building a suit that will be a made up jumble of parts cobbled together with a hero helmet.

I used to work with a guy that was a stormtrooper in ESB, and during numerous chats he stated that they often got to work and when required to get suited up made a dive for the 'best looking stuff' meaning that first in would get dibs on what armour was available. So my suit will look like that. More will come apparent with pictures. Yeah we all like pictures.

While I fire up my photobucket account and take pictures of where I am at, remember X never marks the spot - and I X'd you first!...

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Ok so as promised, not that anyone is reading this crap, are pictures of my right shins. I decided to have them match up at the back, because at the front, the knee plate will cover the top of one, and the thigh pack can cover the other. I would like to think I will do the strapping and knee plate on these today, so I can finally say that something is finished. This build it taking forever, even I am getting bored reading all of these updates.







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Knee plate. Check your reference pictures, this one shows where it site and how its trimmed. No rivets please, just a good splodge of glue will do.




Mark where you want to trim, be generous, you can always tri it some more later.







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Check the fit and trim again if needed.





This can be tricky to glue due to the curvature of the various sides that need to be stuck down. I'm using my fav white glue, that will prob melt my shin slightly, but that all adds to the original theme.

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I'm going to stop for a late lunch while I charge up my Dewalt. So far I have still only used 6 out of the 7 tools featured in the picture.




Back soon....

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Day X+1

Ok so here is what I got up to yesterday,

Bell elastic is in


Bicep hooks made and fitted


Wrist return edge gone - I used a junior hacksaw to remove it


Holes drilled and strapping added to shins, knee plate glued to middle of left shin, I will complete the sides later


Is there anyone here that has yet to name their armour parts? Steve and Wayne are screen accurate names but I went with Mark..

Until next time - please give peas a chance...

Edited by firebladejedi
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