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TK Commander Build - It's become a OCD thing


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Ok...Here we go.  My TK Commander build.   I have been consumed by this process and I have finally reached phase 1.   The original goal is two fold.  Building a TKC full set of armor for myself and TK armor for my sons.  I have also been working on Dia De Los Muertos helmets and I want to do some matching armor.  However that will be a thread for a different day.






My first post here: Albuquerque Stormtrooper started it all.    The armor molds are from plaster molds and then re-cast to Ultracal 30 and bondo to get the detail I needed.  Based from a set of AM armor I acquired from someone who didn't have time to assemble it, for a physical reference and screen shots and direction from some of the veterans here, I re-made most of the pieces.  I know from all the info on this site that AM armor tends to be on the large size so I took that into consideration while re-doing the pieces that were not usable.  


Trimmed and ready for assembly:  



Edited by Elumusic
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So my own BX Helmet - Version 3 for those who are counting.  I had some input from Steve regarding it's ability to receive Centurion Status.  The consensus before this last round of changes was that it would get EIB status no problem.  With this round I am hoping for Centurion.  We shall see.  So here is the first pull from the new molds. Tears have been reshaped, mouth widened and the 5th tooth made more apparent.  The mold was also made a little deeper to get the earbud a little farther from the tear per Steve's request.




So here we are trimmed and ready for paint.






Ear buds have been re-worked to make the stripe bar shorter.



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Part of my build included new molds.  Here is the middle phase of the plaster cast I did for the back.  I got as much of the detail I could with the plaster and then made a pull and recast it with Ultracal 30.  Added some bondo to the mold and detailed the OII with a dremel.  The new back piece is much closer to the screen used armor than the AM armor.  I'm pretty happy with it.


plaster mold in progress.




a little more clean up.




off the vacuum table ready for recast.




pouring Ultracal 30 and adding a void for vacuum holes




After releasing the new mold and bondo sculpt we have a completed mold.




second pull.  The first didn't pull correctly.  I had to add some additional vacuum holes.




Trimmed and ready for paint and assembly.



Edited by Elumusic
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Chest plate was done similarly.  This was my second pull.  I had to add a vacuum hole in the triangle between the pecks to get a clean pull.  The molds weigh in at about 40 lbs.  By the end of the day my back was done.  8 hours to pull this set of armor.






Trimmed and ready.  I may need to use a heat gun to pull the sides in a little more.  But then again, I have no idea how any of this will turn out.  I'm in the dark because it didn't come in a brown box and I can only hope my re-dimensioned pieces will come together in the end. 





Edited by Elumusic
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Did the back plate and butt plate.  I rough cut both pieces and then glued the back to the butt using this Acrylics glue.  Works very well but it's permanent.  No pulling pieces apart with this stuff.








The two pieces are now "fused"



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Bicep armor next.  Started with the right side.  This was the first piece I did that required fitting.  I read a bunch of threads about bicep armor and did what I could.  I messed up and made it a little to small at first and had to go back and add a shim and widen it.   I don't have the biggest guns in the world, but I do frequent the gym.  The issue I see is that if they are too loose they will look to big so I opted for a little tighter fit.  Also the AM armor biceps are shaped opposite an actual arm shape.  I went back and used a heat gun to make the shape a little more round to fit around my muscle.  


I used a 10 MM strip.  I know 8 MM is correct, but I wanted a little more depth so it was comfortable.




Glued in the shims and let it dry an hour or so.




This is the side that I had to go back and make a little larger.  The cover strip is about 2 or 3 MM wider than it should be.




Here is the rounded shape after the heat gun.  Needs a little more trimming to get rid of the rough spots that dig into my arm.




The only issue I had was the heat gun got a little hot and warped the inside piece just a little.  I'm just going to go with it for now.  It's not bad and the paint stripe will cover most of it.  I will also add a blast mark to give it some justification.  If all else fails I'll make a new one.  You can see the warping below.




Here's how it fits.  Keep in mind I'll have a suit on underneath.  The piece fits just loose enough to fit over the suit, especially after the additional trimming around the inside lip.




Here's the other side which fit's great the first go around.  Live and learn.





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Having to back up.  The bicep armor according to the 501'st description must be an overlap constructed piece.  You won't find the requirement under biceps however, it is actually under the shoulder armor heading.  UGH!!!!  hey 501st...you have an error on your site.  I did let them know.  It's still not fixed.  So I will go back and pull new biceps eventually.  For now I am going with it on a non-centurion build....this being the only hiccup keeping me from centurion.  

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On to forearms.  Everything has been trimmed down to 15mm and the overlap method used to connect the two sides.




The wrist return edges have been trimmed off completely per the Centurion specs.  I need to do some more sanding for the side joint to get it a little flatter.  I had to do some mods with a flat iron.




The back side of the bicep is only trimmed on the inside of the arm.



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Shoulder Bells....need to trim them up to look like the video game a little more.  The shape in my opinion is not as square as the ROTJ armor.  So I am going to contour them as the pencil lines show.



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Making a few more adjustments for the shoulder bells before I cut them.  I am going to match the inside curve of the arm cut outs for the chest and back plates.  This will make things match up a little better and give it a more sleek, less blocky look.  More like screen captures from the game.  See the image below.  Contours are similar for arm cuts and bell curves.



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Here is a helmet I did that sold recently.  This is the BX helmet first edition.  (My own custom molds) I am on edition 3 based on centurion feedback.  Basically the changes to the new model are the tear shape, mouth width, tube width.  All geared toward getting Centurion Status and matching screen lineage much closer.   However, weathering, paint color will be similar to this.  I am thinking that I will round out the point at the vocoder, more like the screen capture above.







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Hi i am going to be building a stormtrooper commander suit i was wondering if a rotj stormtrooper armour from Mark at cfo is a good start for the armour or if there is a better starting point.

Also what exactly needs to be changed with the armour to make it into a trooper commander.

Is it just the chest plate shoulders and helmet?.

Any help would be great thanks.

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Mark would be the best choice in my opinion. But the helmet needs to be an ANH version. You might be able to use Mark's if the dimensions are correct. Check with him.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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More work here.  Calves.  The AM armor is problematic for the overlap method because the back of the calf molded part faces the wrong direction.  I went round and round with this in my head before asking Mark at CFO to send me a picture of the back of his calves armor.  Here is a picture of the ROTJ calves from CFO.  The overlap is supposed to face inward so that the velcro or hook closures do not show.  And as you can see, the ROTJ armor is molded with the overlap facing the correct direction.







And below are the AM armor calves.  This photo needs some explanation for those who are as confused as I was.  First it's hard to find images of the back of calves for ROTJ armor.  And it took me a while scouring the forums here at whitearmor to find how the AM calves were molded.  And it turns out I am not crazy, the AM armor calves are molded the wrong way as far as the closures go.  The molded closures face outward not inward.  The image below is taped with the overlap facing inward, the correct way, but you can see that there is no molded bump out.  The bump out is underneath so if I used it as it is, then it would be backwards.  In addition, the AM armor is for bigger people.  My calves are about normal for the movie actors.  So cutting these down to fit would remove most of the overlap at the closure regardless.  So unfortunately the only option is to make my own cover strip and hope that the 501st guys accept the modification and still make Centurion.



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So here is the front of the shin using the overlap method.




And here is the back being fitted with a new overlap strip.  You can see the molded overlap on the other side.  It is so small now because of the large scale of the AM armor.  I had to cut most of it off to fit my calves properly. 






Here is the finished strip on the right leg.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Lots of progress this weekend and the few weeks prior.  So backing up a little here is the progress on the thigh armor.  I had to cut down the AM armor thighs more than once.  Looking at Panda's build he cut an inch off but I think I needed at least 2 inches.  The AM armor is really tall in the thighs.  






So here I am using the overlap method even though the AM armor isn't correct. I will have to use a coverstrip on the back.  And below is the ugliness that the heat gun caused as I bent the armor to take stress off of the return edge at the bottom toward the knee.  That being so...I will make lemonade out of this and use the armor regardless and put a blast mark on on since I am doing Commander armor.




And finally some new return edges at the top of the thighs.  I will need to do some more smoothing.  But looks pretty good.  



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More shots of the calves.  I added the sniper plate.




And finished.  There are also some blemishes on the calves mostly from the glue's chemical reaction and warping the plastic a little.  Again, Commander armor should be battle worn and I will take this as battle wear and make the best out of it.




Ammo belt connected to thigh.  And my finished thighs.  I will sand the blemishes down a little so that they aren't so noticeable and then as I mentioned, blaster marks to make it work.





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Progress on the suit as a whole.  It's starting to look pretty sweet.




Now to tackle the ab buttons.  The commander needs 5 buttons on the right and an inverted center panel.  




I wish I had gotten a picture of the 5 button strip mod I did.  But I guess I forgot that one.  I glued two pieces of plastic together to get the correct thickness and then used a dremel tool to mold it to match the 4 button strip receiver and glued it on top.  I'll get a photo to show this mod.  It worked out very well.  I also need to get the strapping system photographed. 


But here is my test fit.



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Any tips for the strapping inside? I ordered my armor from mark(cfo), he will glue most of it and I do the part that I have to make on size.(sorry don't know how to explain) and I do the strapping part. So any do's and don'ts. <br>

I can't wait to see how you painted it

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