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Turning a toy into armor!

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I saw a thing on Facebook from the RPF where a guy had created a full suit of TFA armor for his son out of one of the 4' kid-size toys.  Well, I have a nephew who is about the right size, so I'm going to do the same thing as my entry for the Uncle of the Year competition.  And this is going to be my build thread.

 

My goal is to have it done by Thanksgiving, since that's the next time I'll see him, and unfortunately, Halloween is too close, what with job and everything, to be able to make it by then.  

 

Also, he has two younger brothers who will grow into it, so this armor better last a while!

 

Step 1: Go to Walmart, buy a giant toy, and have random people think my son is standing up in the cart, or wanting to push the voice-activation button on the front.  I got the last one, so it was meant to be!

 

cGPtsVMl.jpg

 

Step 2: Take him out of the package, and find the right size screwdriver to start disassembly.  I took off the helmet first, so it's no longer a "him" but an "it".  These things matter.

 

Step 3: Cut off his leg at the knee!  The way this thing was molded is really odd.  Someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea, so whatever.  I'll deal with it.  The shins are split inside and outside, the thighs are split front and back, and the arm not holding the blaster is molded out of one piece of plastic with no seams.  

 

So I took off his leg with a Dremel, and then used my lexan scissors to trim up to the return edge, and then took most of that off.

 

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(There's still a little cleanup to do on this picture)

 

Then I unscrewed the inside and outside pieces, and look at all the support material inside!

 

8DyGhuLl.jpg

 

Well, that won't do, so I cut out 90% of the support with scissors.  I'll have to go back with a sanding head on the Dremel to clean up what's left without cutting through to the outside.  My nephew will be wearing pants under it, so as long as there's no really sharp bits, it should be ok.

 

F19ERjHl.jpg

 

 

I took off the left knee cap plate next, it's actually split in half as well, with an inside and outside piece.  I'll end up gluing them together, and running a band of elastic or velcro around his knee, so it stays in the right place.  (Not pictured)

 

I took off his left forearm next, and trimmed it down to the return edge at the top and bottom.  The left hand was fit around a knob at the wrist, so I had to take it off, then cut a hole in the wrist end.

 

MnXXy3Ul.jpg

 

For the right arm, the hand part is recessed into the arm, the opposite of the left side, so I drilled through the palm and back of the hand, then cut between the holes to get it off.  When I unscrewed it to get the blaster out, I noticed that the grip of the blaster was molded onto the hand, and the inside of the grip is left with it, in white.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this quite yet.  Other than the grip, the blaster isn't too shabby.  (I'm also considering attaching magnets inside the blaster and on the hip, so it can be snapped into place on the hip holster... but that's down the line a ways.)

 

b7wEl5kl.jpg

 

Anyway, that's where I'm at for now.  More progress later!

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Oh, and here's the video of the first guy to do it. (And I noticed Ukswrath commented on it!)

 

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A little bit more work tonight... before giving my hands some time to rest.  Cutting whatever kind of plastic this is, is harder than ABS.

 

Ryan, the helmet almost assuredly won't fit.  It's tiny, compared to the body.  A costume helmet may work better, but the guy with the video said they just got used to the un-helmeted Stormtrooper.  And that's ok too!

 

"Anakin? Is that you?"

 

VwCyr1Nl.jpg

 

Ha ha.  Then I unscrewed the back from the front at this point, since everything but the arms is one solid piece.  (Actually, the kneecaps and black gasket around there were separate and came out once the legs were apart)

 

GvuBmewl.jpg

 

There's a TON of extra material in the thighs.  That's gonna be fun.  The holster plate is a separate piece and comes out when the front and back are unscrewed.  It'll be easier to mod then, maybe.

 

I took out all the electronics, and set them aside.  The plastic "try me!" button on the chest is separate from the electronic button, so I put it back and glued it in place.

 

qetMjuBl.jpg

 

The back plate is cut in half now, and the things are removed.  I split the back right above the thermal detonator.  I dunno what you TFA builders were complaining about, it all came as on piece for me!  Anovos needs to get their act together!

 

I trimmed up that connection point, it'll have velcro hanging down from the back so the TD can be set in place.  I think that's the best way to go about it.  The TD, belt, and butt plates are going to stay as one piece.  If a bathroom break is needed, taking off that plate and the ab/cod plate should be sufficient.

 

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The neck opening has been widened, and I've trimmed out the arm hole and all the interior stuff on the right side.  

 

ja17c3Kl.jpg

 

And that's when I decided I needed a break!  I'll get back to it this evening, after sleep happens.

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There is a second member of our garrison - Jason Pizzino - who is doing the same thing for his 5 year old daughter. It would be awesome to see the two of them together, especially with our cadre of full-size FO stormtroopers. :D

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Awesome project! The kid would love it!

Just curious - how much is the 48" toy going for?

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Wow - what a great idea!  You are a super dad :)

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Thanks for taking the time to document this.

 

I'm about 90% of the way finished with mine for my son, I have to finish tonight in time for Hallowween so I haven't documented it myself, been working too fast!

 

I'm glad to see everything I've done has lined up with your decisions. One thing you reminded me about are bathroom breaks! I can't tell the 5 year old to just hold it for too long, so I need to make sure that's easily accessible.

 

I had planned on attaching the TD/Ab/butt/cod piece to the chest and back armor with Velcro but on a test fitting I discovered my son really wants to be able to turn his upper body and that limited him.

 

So I think I'm going to do suspenders to the butt/cod piece and not attach it to the chest so he'll be able to turn a bit. Still thinking it over.

Edited by Bryanmc

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Sorry I haven't posted anything here in a while.  I've been putting finishing touches and fixes on my Ghostbusters setup for Halloween, so haven't been cutting plastic. 

 

Others who have done this: How did you get rid of ALL of the support material in the thighs and right arm?  I can't seem to get enough leverage to cut with my lexan scissors, since there are so many support beams and things inside.  Dremel tool with sanding wheel? Really big scissors? Hedge trimmers?

 

That's gonna be the hardest part of it all, I think.

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Trimming out the support material in the arm, legs and body pieces took FOREVER. So much more difficult than any other armor I've cut.

 

I would cut it down as much as I could with my lexan scissors (and ruined a pair) then finished with an Exacto knife (and broke 3 blades in doing so).

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Alright, so I'm not alone with that.  Bryan, do you have any pictures of your finished set? I'd love to see it!

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I will this weekend. I've been out of town since Tuesday so rushed to get it done by then. I painted it Monday night and left it.

 

When I get back on Saturday we are going to do a final suit up and attach Velcro. Hopefully all will work for Halloween!

 

My son is a little short this year for the thighs and shoulders so we aren't going to use them this time, but next year it all should fit like a glove.

 

This isn't a good pic of everything but here's a test fit we did. I like it because you can see how excited he is. :)

 

C0B6F27E-EC46-4C4C-8A7D-65166BC3E692.jpg

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Very cool, looking forward to seeing it all together!

 

I'm putting my kit together blind, since my nephew lives about 10 hours away.  The first time it's put on will be when I see him over Thanksgiving.  It'll be very important that all the things that can be Velcro'd are, since I won't be completely sure of fitment until then!

 

Maybe I could get my sister to make a duct tape mannequin and send it to me for test fitting... lol

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You'll need a couple of tools to get rid of the excessive internal support structure.

 

jakks_calf_and_tools.jpg

 

First, get a pair of tin snips, or three. The color of the handles indicates whether they are straight or curved. Use these to cut down the sides of the support rectangles. Bend the support rectangle down, and slice it off using an Olfa utility knife, the kind with the break away blade to create a new sharp, pointy tip. When the plastic is flexed, the knife will slice through like butter!

 

Use wire cutters (diagonal cutters, or dikes) to cut off the screw studs when necessary. Leave them in place if they don't interfere with wearing the armor so you can screw it back together. The armor is made of PETG, like a plastic 1 gallon milk jug, so no adhesive is going to stick to it!

 

I was using a belt sander to grind down the remaining support structure, but the top roller was just a little too big to fit inside the armor, and ground down more than I wanted to.

 

Instead, go to Harbor Freight and buy their 20 piece drum sanding kit. It's got three different size sanding drums, and the abrasive material is super coarse. Chuck the drum in your drill, and charge your secondary battery. You'll be able to grind down to the inner surface level. Plus, you can reverse the drill to flick away the melting plastic.

 

Follow up by cutting the remaining melted plastic with the utility knife.

 

jakks_thigh.jpg

 

The school Halloween parade is in just a few hours, and I'm going to apply liberal quantities of 4" white gaffer's tape to hold the armor all together!

 

Charlie

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Cute kid, and what an awesome parenting win!

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