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Brattie's AP Build and Journey to The 501st

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~psst.. psst ~ It's red.. so it's R3-P0.. the one seen momentarily in HOTH :)

Thought the Jawa side of you liberated it to hide your prize



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Alright.. so.. I have been keeping a very close watch when I am spending money on items needed for the TK or Jawa since January. This includes purchasing the items, tools needed, etc etc.  I tracked it by month and tabulated it all so I could get a good understand of just how much of my limited resources I was putting into all of this stuff..


For those building or starting a build and are new.. I suggest you do this so you realize  just how much money it takes and what you have put into your gear..


Total Money spent on Costuming and builds ->  From January to Aug 24th, 2016 --> : ALOT - Cost removed because I got tired of explaining and proving to people where it went.


Right now I can picture you going... HOLY SMOKES!


Keep in mind I had NOTHING as far as anything for these builds and such. This includes Batteries, voice systems, hearing assist systems, padding, strapping, gloves, bins, etc.


I am hurting for cash left right and center but I still managed to get this all sorted out. Just little at a time.  If that scares you.. then you need to think about it before you take the plunge.


Does that number bother me?


Yes.. I have debt that needs to be paid off but the benefits both mentally and physically were worth it.


Did I pay that amount all at once?


No, we are talking about 8 months of the year - it was little bits at a time.


Does it change what I've done?


No.. This is a great cause, it's something I can do for others and at the same time do for myself. I needed something that I could enjoy in life and that dragged me out of my little room and back into the world.


Volunteer work is about helping others, not yourself.


Was it worth it?


I have been fighting against an uphill battle of debt for 8 years since my X and I separated. Much of it from our relationship, but with him out of work and not making much money I can't expect any help there. That being said.. I am still making some progress on debts and I am pleased that I was able to pull off these two costumes, meet all these great people, have a new spark of fun in my life and social events to attend. My life has become better overall and every penny of what I have spent has already paid me back 10 fold in one way or another.


In the end people, we all have debt, (alright most of us that aren't rich), we'll always have it.. it never goes away.. there are always car payments, mortgage payments, bills, etc.. it never ends.. so why ruin another 8 years of my life sitting on my butt in a dark little room praying to win the lottery and doing nothing but staring at walls?


I won't let that happen anymore.. it's time to flip debt the finger and live life.


Now in saying that I'm not going to run out and spend another $XXXXXX dollars on other costumes. I'm not going to run out and buy a house or go crazy. I will watch my money carefully as I have always done.. always weighing the "Needs" over the "wants" and the "will it help me" over the "will it hurt me", does it have value, will it gain value, can it be used on a regular basis,  will it protect what I currently own, etc.. and I just keep going on from there.


So if you are ready for this journey.. then expect the journey to have a price. Nothing is free. Everything costs in some manner or another.. and I haven't calculated in Gas to get to events.


Do yourself a favor.. track what you spend and see where you end up.. the number might surprise you.. I considering opening a bank account called Costuming.. and dropping similar amounts into it each month like I was still building and then taking that amount every few months and paying off debt.. LAUGH..


That's all for now from the one with a big heart and empty pockets!

Edited by Brattie
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Very true.. and about planning.. doing little bits at a time.. spreading out the cost.. helps keep it all sorted.. I'm lucky.. I don't own anything on my builds or items. All of the costumes themselves are paid off.


It's just amazing how much it costs when complete.

Edited by Brattie
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$17k for a TK and a Jawa? I don't understand why so much. I know how much the AP kit is. Why so much?<br><br>

I built a AM Stunt TK, TM Hero TK (that's the most expensive TK out there), Tusken Raider and a Sandtrooper for less than that and still have a 5th costume incoming next month. All totalled up its much less than the $17k.

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In my post I mentioned I was talking about everything I needed.


Not just the Jawa and TK orders, not just the Bins, not just the boots, bandoliers, bags, holsters, under armor, sweaters, shirts, patches, gloves, snips, knives, audio system, hearing assist system, fans.. not just the tools, not just the gas to get to far off stores, not just files, safety glasses, dremel, etc.. everything.


I do analytics and tracking all the time and tracked everything down the the penny.. including shipping charges of items.


I had nothing that was needed for building stuff.. no soldering iron, flux, solder.. no glues, no velcro, lights, paint for the bins, decals for bins, etc..


I also picked up extras.. 2 blasters.. the R3P0 head.. all the wiring, and items for that.. locks, you name it.. I have built 3 jawa masks and have another with a paintball mask being worked on to try to get more air.  I have a detailed massive list on every thing right down to paint, washers and clamps. I planned to be doing some of the build myself.


I'm proud of myself for doing so much and getting so far within my current limitations. yes I spent a lot of money, but every item I've purchased I've used or it has been used.


It's the true look and cost of the builds so far.. not just the armor / material.

Edited by Brattie
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Congrats, Angie! I haven't been around a lot lately here since I've been trying to breathe some life into MEPD but it seems the site is once again not working. Armor looks great and glad  you finally got it and assembled. Now, you need to look into building a sandtrooper :) 

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Good Morning,


T minus 6 sleeps and counting...


Am I nervous.. it's my first major event with the 501st, my first time working through 2 costumes and going to be switching in and out the whole show.. my first time working the booth, and I still have work to do on my gear..


No.. not nervous.. and not yet panicking either.


Today I have to get to a friends to make tweaks.. a couple return edges and a few other adjustments and well.. he has the better tools to do it with... can't have things falling apart when I'm at the show!


Then Saturday I race out to another friends place to make a few more harness adjustments for my trooper and a few other adjustments... I tell ya.. there is no time to be nervous .. yet.


Chalk up more gas for build items to the next couple days! Laugh.


I do have to say that a few orders have arrived over the past couple days.. my Legion Name tags for one.. they are awesome.. a new wooden helmet stand that's totally amazing .. picked this up from a Garrison mate.. as well as an officers hat and a beautiful painting for my room. So it's been productive!


I managed to sort out rides to and from FanExpo and I'm going with a more experienced person, so that helps a great deal.


I am thinking of working out a strapping system so I can place my Jawa bin which is small onto my GIANT TK bin so I can hook them together when on duel troops like FanExpo will be.

Will post pictures of this stuff when I get a chance!

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Reduced gap




Adjusted side




Adjusted other side




Adjusted belt




Aligned drop box




Adjusted strapping system


Overall better fit but bad hair day.

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I'm confused by the aligned drop box. The box should line up with the edge of the plastic part of the belt , not the cover strip in the thigh...unless thigh is that wide. Yours seems to be outside the belt edge.

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I can clear it up...


For 501st approval:

  • Belt face is made of plastic (TK ammo belt).
  • The soft belt proper is made of canvas, or material with a canvas covering. Size must be 2.75” (70 mm) to 3.25”(83 mm) wide and not wider than the plastic portion of the belt. The color is be white to off-white.
  • The drop boxes dangle from the sides of the front plastic belt (ammo belt) via white straps and are aligned under the plastic tabs of the ammo belt.


For level two certification (if applicable):

  • There shall be three square buttons, one centered in the middle and one on each end of the plastic ammo belt..

For level three certification (if applicable):

  • Drop boxes must have full inner drop boxes to close the back. Flat covers are not allowed.
  • Drop boxes are vertically aligned with the end of the ammo belt with minimal gap between belt and box.
  • The corners of the plastic ammo belt shall be trimmed at a 45 degree angle.


Per Centurion level which is what I'll eventually be going for if I stay as a TK.. Drop boxes are vertically aligned with the end of the ammo belt with minimal gap between the belt and box. :)


Hope that helps :)


I'm getting ready for Fan Expo so my posts may be minimal over the next week and a little.

Edited by Brattie
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Next research on the list of things I'd like to look at...








Items needed:


Any armor builder:


TK shoulder strap cover or similar, $8+




Oil Drain (22"x 15"x 4") or similar $17, Amazon > http://www.amazon.co...o Oil Drain Pan

CDN--> Amazon.ca - -$16-25 CAN


Plastic Container kit $23, Amazon > http://www.amazon.co...Food Saver Set)

CDN-> Amazon.ca Containers - $36.99 CAN


Hardware store or other:


2' x 2" PVC $4, Lowe's

2" PVC Caps (x2), $3, Lowe's

15"x19" No Parking sign (thick plastic) $6

15"x19" For Sale sign (thin plastic), $5

3-1/2" x 8-1/2" wipes container, $3

#8 x .375" Philips head screws, (x16-20), $2

Bumpers, $3, http://www.lowes.com...=1192421&rpp=32

12oz Valspar Silver Fox spray paint (looks like Slate Blue), or flat light grey should work as well. $5

12oz Rust-Oleum Flat Light Gray Primer spray paint, $4

12oz Rust-Oleum Black Matte spray paint, $6

Rivets 1/6"x1/8" (x8) & Rivet Gun, $20


Hobby or craft store:


E6000 clear or white, $4

Art paper, heavy (1/16" thick), black 12"x12", $4

Photo storage box or similar 7-1/2" x 11" x 4-1/4", $4

1-1/2" W x 1-1/2"L Velcro (hook and loop), or similar

8' x 1" black nylon webbing

1" black adjustable buckle 


Automotive store or other:


1' Radio Antenna (rubber or plastic) with swivel base, $9+. Napa Auto. http://www.napaonlin...5903_0361152922




Other items:


4" x 4" tapered drinking cup $2

1" soda bottle cap 

2-1/4" juice dispenser caps x2

Edited by Brattie
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There are some days I truly have to filter my feelings when posting as I find that I would love to just reach out and force choke some people. There are so many things I'd love to do, and things I'd love to create, aside from winning the lottery I have other obligations in my life. So unfortunately I can't follow all of my dreams.


I am very proud of what I have done, and I have a plan that I will slowly move forward with regarding my gear. This plan will take some time. I am proud that I have managed to get together 2 great sets of gear for trooping. I am not Rich. I have other obligations in life other than just building star wars gear. Both sets of my gear has pros and cons..  Example: The TK being so much cooler than the Jawa.. but the Jawa being more comfortable.. I think it all balances out. Yes .. I know I'm a tall Jawa.


I have always been open to constructive criticism and listening to different peoples outlooks and thoughts in order to help brainstorm different solutions. My Garrison Mate's mother is an awesome lady that's helped with so much of the sewing aspect of builds and helped with so much brainstorming. 


That being said I also seem to get a lot of non-constructive criticism and "nit-picking" about stuff. I mentioned it before in this thread and it still continues.

Some even question things I have done with my own gear and at times make me feel as if I have done something wrong when I have not done anything wrong.


If you are new to building, like I was.. keep your chin up and lean on those close to you that will encourage you and help you through your build. Have thick skin also as there will be others that don't seem to have the ability to offer constructive ideas and input.


Firstly, Please remember --> It is my gear. End of story.


Secondly, please understand that I'm not here to compete. There is no line in the ground that I am attempting to pee over. I am a lady. I sit to pee.

I don't care if my gear is better or worse than others. I have met the required standards in both my builds.


Is my gear perfect? Nope.. it isn't, and neither was the gear in the actual movies.


If you have gotten this far in this build thread,  I would hope that you have realized that I am a person that likes to hang out with good people, have fun, and do stuff for good causes.


Other questions that seem to come up...


Do I want my gear to look good? yes.. like everyone I want it to look good.


Do I care if my gear gets banged up? Nope.. it's a stormtrooper.. I'm sure realistically they'd get a bit banged up.  That's my choice.


Do I compare my gear to others? Nope.. this is my gear.. it is my own, it is built to fit me and no one else. It is unique in that fashion and there are no others exactly the same.


Do I think my gear or myself is above others? no.. again.. not here to compete, or to act like I'm better or my gear is better than others.


Do I question every choice I have made for my build and such? yes.. but as it is my build so therefore it is only my place to do so.


Do I wish I had loads of money to do more?  Yes.. who doesn't? Unfortunately I don't have the cash to build every outfit I want.


I'd love to build a Mandalorian, or a TFA Snow Trooper, or my most favorite as of late... a shore trooper. All of that could take me a life time of saving. It's just not in the cards.


So what do I want to do? I plan on tweaking and working on my gear for a while.. it really never ends. I plan on enjoying time with good friends and do good things and not fret about all the other crap. It isn't worth it.


And so life continues on...

Edited by Brattie
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When people ask how to build a TK, I say, each one is customized to the owner... They are, from the fitting, down to the strapping. Each has their own way of doing things, are they right or wrong? No, when worn, the look the same, to give a uniformed identity. That's how you can tell if a TK is right or wrong, not in the semantics of the strapping or the painting inside the bucket... Or the mesh in the teeth. Some TKs have these things, others don't, it's all personal preference.<br><br>

Want to figure out if your armour or bucket needs things? Try without first, then add later if you still insist. <br><br>

This note is to none in particular lol

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