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Zaphod's First Order TK (TFA) build thread(TK-31415)(ABS Paste)(Pic Heavy)Photobucket links fixed


Zaphod

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So this will be my first build thread, and my second set of armor. I was very appreciative of all the build threads when I built my ANH Hero TK, and since there aren't too many TFA build threads, I figured the more the merrier. Every little bit of information, all of the mistakes or just things that didn't work out, will help the next person. Thank you to everyone who has shared their TFA builds, I'll be studying them as I write my own. I have progressed to the point where I'm waiting for ABS Paste to harden on the Back/Yoke, Thermal Detonator and Chest Resin cutout, so in the mean time I'll post some my progress to date.

 

Obligatory Brown Box photos

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Resin Parts

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Tools

*Utility Knife and cut resistant gloves! (Really, I nearly lost a finger cutting the TD on my ANH TK)

I used the cut and snap method for the most part. If you prefer to use sheers or snips or a Dremel with cutting wheels, that's fine too. Use whatever makes you comfortable. The first cut is always a little nerve wracking.

*Belt Sander

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If you don't have one of these, borrow buy or rent one. It will save you a ton of time, and those seamless edges will turn out a whole lot better. Thanks Krista (kme1682) for suggesting I get a Belt Sander.

 

*Sandpaper 120 grit and 220 grit. The belt sander came with an 80 grit sanding belt.

*Dremel with sanding barrels

There will be a lot of sanding

*CA Glue (Zap-a-Gap) and Zip Kicker

*E-6000

*ABS Paste (tiny pieces of ABS cut from the armor trimmings, baby food jar, acetone)

*Popsicle sticks

*Bondo glazing putty

 

 

 

 

The First Cut

Let's start with the easy stuff 

 

Butt and Cod (5B,5C)

I have to say, the cut lines are fairly obvious on this kit. (for the most part) 

The butt and cod are easy to cut.

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I marked out all the cut lines with pencil. Using a utility knife, (don't forget the cut resistant gloves) I lightly scored close to the cut line. I went back over the score line two more times a little heavier each time, and then the scrap is ready to break away. Then I used the belt sander to sand down to the cut line. I then smoothed the edges with 120 grit sand paper. I used the Dremel with sanding barrel to sand in between the tabs.

 

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Hand guards (3E,4E)

These were located in the space above the two front shin pieces (3C,4C)

Same as before; pencil in the cut lines, score & snap, belt sander, clean up by hand with 120 grit.

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Tune in next time for Knee Plates and Shoulder Bells

 

-Zaphod

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Knee Plate (3F, 4F)

These were located in the space above the two calf pieces (3D, 4D)

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That wasn't too bad. Just the thing to build up your confidence with this new armor, with no sign of replacement parts in the near future if you mess up.  :blink:

Lets keep going with the easy stuff.

 

 

Shoulder Guards (5D, 5E)

The cut lines are obvious, nothing tricky about these.

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The Inner Shoulder Guard Tab (6F, 6G)

These are the pieces that gets glued under the shoulder guards. This is another easy piece to cut.

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Lets Glue it.

I centered the lip inside the Guard as best I could, marked around the Inner Tab with a pencil and sanded both gluing surfaces to rough them up, (give the glue something to grip on to). I penciled out the position of the Inner Tab because I wanted to use CA glue, and you don't have much time to position your pieces once you put them together.

 

 

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I used CA Glue for the first time on this part. Zap-a-Gap is scary fast, so I'll use it sparingly for the rest of this build. I'll mostly use it where there isn't a lot of gluing surface area, where there are seamless joints or where parts might slide around while clamping.

 

More easy stuff to come.

 

-Zaphod

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Time to make some ABS Paste

I cut up trimmed pieces of ABS into tiny bits about 1/8" x 1/8". Put them into a clean baby food jar, and poured acetone over the pieces until just covered. Put the lid back on and left it for a day or two while I cut the parts that will have seamless joints. Biceps, forearms and Ab/Kidney.

 

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Biceps (9A, 9B, 9C, 9D)

Easy to identify cut lines again. Score close to the line; score a couple more times to deepen the cut, and then snap it out.

 

CAUTION!

THESE PIECES HAVE GLUE TABS.

DO NOT CUT THEM OFF!

 

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This is where the Belt Sander shines. The length of the sanding belt gets the seamless joint edge nice and straight, minimizing the gap that needs to be filled. Come to think of it, I used the belt sander to sand down all the pieces to the cut lines. You get a lot of control when you can grip the piece your sanding with both hands. And just cleaned up the edges by hand with 120 and 220 grit sand paper. Huge time saver. The kit came with a template for the shims (see pic). I used Zap-a-Gap again. This joint has to be permanent, so E-6000 won't do.

 

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I glued the shim to one half, then glued the other half

This stuff sets up so fast I didn't have time to take a pic. Just kidding, I forgot.

 

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The other side of the biceps has a nice big fat glue tab

 

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Ready for the ABS Paste.

I taped off each side of the joint to contain the past and hopefully limit the amount of sanding I would need to do.

 

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The ABS Paste I made was not soupy or lumpy, smooth but not as thick a peanut butter, more like honey on a cold day, I'd say. If you think it's too thick to spread smoothly into the seam, add a little more acetone and give it a stir. It starts to set up fairly quickly, not as quick as CA. You spread it on, smooth it out as best you can, you have less than a minute then it starts to get sticky/messy. 

 

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I tried smoothing it out even more by using an acid brush dipped in acetone, and just painting the ABS Paste seam. It kind of worked. I'll be sanding it off anyway so...

 

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And done

 

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That will sit for at least 24hrs, longer depending on how thick you put the paste on there.

Next time, Forearms.

 

-Zaphod

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Great progress!

 

That will sit for at least 24hrs, longer depending on how thick you put the paste on there.

 

That stuff takes forever to dry... I started sanding after about 24hrs and found that the parts still had a foamboard like consistency on the inside. Only after about three days my parts had dried completely.

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Great progress!

 

 

That stuff takes forever to dry... I started sanding after about 24hrs and found that the parts still had a foamboard like consistency on the inside. Only after about three days my parts had dried completely.

 

Yes. It can take quite a while to set up. I was busy with other parts of the build while it dried. I think I left the Back/Yoke sit for about a week before I dared to take sand paper to it. This is the main reason the Alphas went with bondo, no time to wait for ABS Paste to dry. I'll share pics of the biceps all sanded down in my next post; they turned out great. And wait until you see the new resin chest cut out. I'm particularly proud of that.

 

-Zaphod

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Yes. It can take quite a while to set up. I was busy with other parts of the build while it dried. I think I left the Back/Yoke sit for about a week before I dared to take sand paper to it. This is the main reason the Alphas went with bondo, no time to wait for ABS Paste to dry. I'll share pics of the biceps all sanded down in my next post; they turned out great. And wait until you see the new resin chest cut out. I'm particularly proud of that.

 

-Zaphod

Looking forward to see that! Unfortunately mine had a lot of bubbles trapped inside that I had to fill afterwards.

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Looking forward to see that! Unfortunately mine had a lot of bubbles trapped inside that I had to fill afterwards.

I did too. I'm using more paste to see if it will fill the holes left after sanding the bubbles. If it doesn't, Bondo Glazing Putty will do the job.

 

-Zaphod

 

 

-Pete

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Before I move on to Forearms, I thought I'd share how the Biceps turned out.

Here they are after being sanded down. The gloss sheen of the ABS is gone after sanding with 120 and then 220 grit, naturally, but so is the seam.

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Pretty pleased with that. 

On to Forearms

 

 

Forearms (7A,7B,7C,7D,6K,6L,8A,8B,8C,8D +resin greeblie x2 + shims x4)

Be careful trimming the wrist opening of the forearm. There is a detail that needs to remain.

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Keep this detail intact

 

 

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The Forearms have 9 pieces each to them (if you include the shims). There is a template for the shims to be used on the forearms.

The two side pieces (cut from 7A) are glued to the bottom (7B) with the shims and these joints need to be seamless.

 

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The belt sander gets those edges nice and straight

 

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Time for ABS Paste

 

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After the ABS Paste had dried, I sanded.

Pleased with the results on these parts too.

 

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So far so good with the ABS Paste.

Repeat for the other forearm.

 

The top piece of the forearm (7C) has a resin "Railroad" greeblie and a two piece box (7D,6K) that gets glued on to it.

 

The box bottom (6K), will need a little creative sanding to get it to sit in flush inside the upper box.

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Glue the resin piece on before the box.

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Everything to this point I glued with Zap-A-Gap(CA).

 

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The top piece itself in not glued all the way down the length of the forearm. This is so it can flex open to allow your hand to pass through the narrow opening at the end.

You will glue approximately 75% down the length of the top piece on both sides, starting at the elbow going towards the wrist. I glued the first 50% with CA, and the last 25% with E6000.

My thinking here was, the lower part of the forearm will be flexing every time I put my hand through; I'd be okay with breaking the E6000 bond rather than having the piece crack because the CA bond was too strong.

Time will tell.

 

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More to come, thanks for watching.
 
-Zaphod
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Forearms (7A,7B,7C,7D,6K,6L,8A,8B,8C,8D +resin greeblie x2 + shims x4)

Be careful trimming the wrist opening of the forearm. There is a detail that needs to remain.

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Keep this detail intact

Yes, don't do what I did and cut this detail off. lol. It was not fun trying to recreate it.

 

Excellent thread so far! :)

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Chest Resin Cut out upgrade

 

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I was a little reluctant to cut into the chest of a brand new set of armor, with no telling if or when I would be able to get a replacement piece if I messed up.

But I figured I'd do it for the better good of the FISD community. There will be others that follow who will need to know what works and what to avoid.

So here is what I did.

I put the resin piece onto the inside of the chest right over the buldge from the vac formed cutout.

It was able to move around a bit so I just tried to center it a best I could and traced around it with a pencil.

 

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Time to cut.

I cut just inside the line. I wanted as tight a fit as possible.

 

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Well, no turning back now.

I did have to sand down the edges a bit to get the resin piece to fit in.

 

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Using pieces of ABS cut from the sheet that came with the kit, I made some brackets. Put ABS piece in a vice, heat it up with a heat gun, then bend it over. Repeat 6 times.

I put painters tape across the hole to support the resin piece while I positioned the brackets with magnets.

 

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Each bracket was removed one at a time and heated up with the heat gun until I got the angle of the bend just right.

Then using the CA glue, I glued the brackets to the resin cutout.

 

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 I used CA again to glue the whole thing to the chest plate. DOUBLE CHECK to make sure you are not putting it in upside down! I almost goofed.

 

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Time once again to take out the ABS Paste.

I taped off the work area, and got to work spreading the ABS Paste.

 

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Remove the tape immediately and leave it to dry.

I have been leaving everything I use ABS Paste on to dry for about 5 days to a week.

Once dried, I started sanding with 120 grit.

You can see I put the paste on pretty thick. Those bubbles will fade away with more sanding.

 

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And the bubbles are gone. I finished with 120 grit.

I can't feel where the armor ends and the resin begins when I run my fingers over it.

I will sand again with 600 and then go over the area with Bondo Glazing Putty, just to be sure I catch every imperfection.

 

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Well I am pretty pleased with the way that turned out. I think I'll do something a little less stressful next time. Like the Thighs and Shins maybe. They look simple enough.

(Notice how I keep putting off the Thermal Detonator, I'm sort of dreading that piece.) :vomit-into-the-toilet:

 

-Zaphod

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Well I am pretty pleased with the way that turned out. I think I'll do something a little less stressful next time. Like the Thighs and Shins maybe. They look simple enough.

(Notice how I keep putting off the Therma Detonator, I'm sort of dreading that piece.) :vomit-into-the-toilet:

Looks nice and seamless.

The legs have the holster and the two detail bars on one of the shins. Don't underestimate them.  :D

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Looks nice and seamless.

The legs have the holster and the two detail bars on one of the shins. Don't underestimate them.  :D

 

The hardest part of my TK was the ears.

I'm discovering all of the "ears" this kit has, lol  :blink:

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I did notice that you haven't touched the TD yet. lol. In all honesty, it was a bit of a nightmare to do....it's like one giant set of TK ears, from hell.

(But when compared to trying to figure out my own fabric gaskets, it wasn't the worst part for me.)

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Another awesome TFA build.

 

Man you sure love that ABS paste don't you? lol By chance have you given those area where the paste was applied a good flexing to see if the area will crack?

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Another awesome TFA build.

 

Man you sure love that ABS paste don't you? lol By chance have you given those area where the paste was applied a good flexing to see if the area will crack?

 

I have not. My guess is that if it does crack with ABS Paste, it would have cracked anyway. I think the ABS will stand up better than Bondo at any rate.

 

I will be posting another update sometime this weekend hopefully. I have to tidy up my workshop; I have a member of the R2 builders coming down with his ATA Kit. We are going to try to get it built in a day so he can troop on the 15th  :blink: . Wish us luck.

 

-Zaphod

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I have not. My guess is that if it does crack with ABS Paste, it would have cracked anyway. I think the ABS will stand up better than Bondo at any rate.

 

I will be posting another update sometime this weekend hopefully. I have to tidy up my workshop; I have a member of the R2 builders coming down with his ATA Kit. We are going to try to get it built in a day so he can troop on the 15th  :blink: . Wish us luck.

 

-Zaphod

 

In a day huh!?  :icon_bow:

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Well, we didn't get Paul's armor built in a day.  :blush: 8 hours on Saturday (we didn't start until 2pm), and 5 on Sunday, and all that's left is the internal strapping (ran

out of snaps :angry: ). So close to getting it done.

 

Edit: Paul did get to troop on the 15th in his new TK armor  :jc_doublethumbup: (unapproved.....shhh!)

 

More updates on my TFA TK

 

 

Thighs (3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 10M)

CAUTION! THESE PARTS HAVE GLUE TABS, DO NOT CUT THEM OFF!

The Thighs have nice big glue tabs on them, and cut lines are again easy to find once you realize that.

The trickiest part will be the Holster Base Plate (10M) that gets glued to the outside of the right thigh.

 

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I glued these with E6000, mostly because I wanted the extra time to line up the long seams correctly. The CA is so fast, (almost instant), I didn't want to chance it on such a big gluing area. These are easy, no seamless seams to worry about, so no ABS Paste.

Clamps and magnets and 24hrs later, they're done.

 

 

Next the Holster Mounting base. (10M)

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I carefully sanded it down. Follow the curve of the cut lines, there is a different curve on each side of the piece. Sand, fit, sand some more, fit again, until I was satisfied with the fit. I then held it in place and went around the edges with CA glue and Zip Kicker.

I used the CA glue to fill the seam and sanded it as smooth as I could.

I think it is a little harder to sand than ABS Paste.

The holster base plate is the only seamless part of the thighs.

 

(Edit: There may be a different opinion on whether this is seamless or not. I'll try to get better info and update this thread).

 

I will go over the seams with Bondo Glazing Putty before I paint.

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Shins (3C, 3D, 4C, 4D, 10K, 10L)

CAUTION! THESE PARTS HAVE GLUE TABS, DO NOT CUT THEM OFF!

The Shins also have nice big glue tabs on them, and cut lines are easy to find once you realize that. The inside joint is not glued, like regular TK shins; you will need to get your foot through.

The trickiest part of this was the two boxes (10K, 10L) that get glued to the outside of the left shin.

 

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As with the thighs, I glued these with E6000. Clamps, magnets, time and they're done.

The two boxes that get glued to the side are different, pay attention to that. These are another set of "ears" I had to deal with, with this kit. Follow the curve of the cut lines; there is a different curve on each side of each piece. Sand carefully, fit, sand again fit again, until I was satisfied with the fit. Then I held it in place and went around the edges with CA glue and Zip Kicker, just like I did with the Holster Base.

These two boxes are the only seamless part on the Shins.

The inside seam I will probably keep closed with white Velcro.

I will go over the two box seams with Bondo Glazing Putty before I paint.

 

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Thermal Detonator (10A, 10B 10C, 10D, 10E, 10F)

After my success with the chest, forearms and biceps, I thought the Thermal Detonator should be less intimidating. It wasn't. It took a lot of work. I went very slow on sanding and fitting.

 

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Even with being as careful as I was I still ended up with gaps bigger than I would have liked. But, they will all get filled with ABS Paste so, no big deal.

One thing I should have done was to tape the end caps inside the TD while I was fitting the two pieces together. I had a gap on the underside of the TD I could have avoided if I had done this.

With the TD held together with tape I started to apply ABS Paste to the insides of each joint, and then put paste on the outside of each joint. I left the tape in place until the ABS Paste dried. 

 

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Then I removed the tape that held it all together while the ABS Paste dried and applied more paste to the empty spots left by the tape.

 

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After sanding it looked pretty good apart from the odd bubble here and there. (Wouldn't you know I forgot to take a pic of the sanded TD). I used Bondo Glazing Putty to smooth the imperfections on all the seamless joints.

It looks like a lot of Bondo, but it sands off easily.

 

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With everything sanded down smooth, it was time to glue it to the TD Plate.

I held it in place and glued it with CA glue all the way around. I decided I wasn't going to use the glue to fill the gap. I think ABS Paste is easier to sand.

 

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More bubbles again, I must be slapping it on too fast or something.  

 

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A little more ABS Paste, let it dry. Then glazing putty and sandpaper and DONE. The worst part to sand was the joint between the TD and the TD plate. With a bit of patients and persistence I think I got it looking okay.

 

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The TD bracket, I'm not even sure it will be enough to keep the TD in place, so I will be using Barcoder's Idea of adding straps and snaps.

 

Edit: Update from Barcoder's first troop. He said the bracket dug into his back the whole troop, and he would probably end up removing it. I may do the same if it does the same to me.

 

 

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And thats the dredded Thermal Detonator DONE!

:dancing-trooper: 

 

 

There certainly are A LOT of tricky pieces to work with in this kit.

I say tricky rather than difficult because by taking it slow, sand a little at a time, fit, sand a little more, check the fit again, (like TK ears) it is very doable, just need to be patient with it.

 

AB section is up next. That should be a breeze after the TD, right?

 

-Zaphod

 

 

Edit 2: Update I removed the bracket and replaced it with straps and snaps. The bracket didn't work too well and held the TD too high IMO.

 

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-Zaphod

Edited by Zaphod
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