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TK5492

Review of Jimmiroquai FOTK Armor

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Hello everyone,

 

I don't post nearly as much as I should or used to but I felt I would I would be remiss in my duties not to write a review for this armor. I know alot of folks are either on the fence for this armor or are on the waiting list. Hopefully this will help with that indecision or at the very least offer a solid set of finished pictures and information to the community. This wasn't my first set of armor nor will it be my last. However, after working with ABS all these years it was interesting to broaden my horizons. Here goes...

 

Material:

Flexible fiberglass. What is it? Well. It's what it sounds like. It is very much the same as it's rigid counterpart as it is different. It flexes very much in way that would be reminiscent of polyurethane. It cannot withstand too much abuse though or it will crack or tear just like any other material. Very common sense in this aspect. The weight- it's heavy. It is what it is. If you're like me and spent the last 4 years in an ABS ANH TK then you're gonna be a tad surprised. If you're a clone and already had rigid fiberglass with a slush cast helmet then you're going to be presently surprised as this stuff is much more comfortable then rigid fiberglass and I would venture to say it is also lighter. This stuff is awesome to work with. Unlike ABS, it is quite forgiving and any issues you have can simply be bondoed or sanded down with little problem as you will be painting anyway.

 

Preparation:

Not a whole lot is required but be prepared to sand and bondo in many areas. Like I said, it trims well and sands easily wit 220 grit. Expect the same level of preparation as you would from preparing any fiberglass or plastic part for paint. As always, a nice even surface is key to get the best from the painting and you will need to do a final wetsand and possibly during primer to get the best finish. The big things that were required were:

 

- Cutting the pill holes

- Cutting the chest 'vent'

- Gluing the shins (overlap method)

- Trimming the biceps depending on side and bondoing

- Cutting the eyes and vents on the helmet

- Trimming pieces and sanding for proper fit/ function etc.

 

The good news: Jim includes an excellent and well thought out PDF file for everyone who buys the armor that walks you through step by step of how to correctly build and strap not just the armor but the helmet as well.

 

Troopability and Comfort:

Here I will reiterate: not as comfortable or light as ABS. However, I trooped the TFA premier for about 2 1/2 hours in the armor and if pressed I could have gone longer. That was after doing an event earlier that morning in a very hot and uncomfortable news studio for at least an hour. If you can troop and ANH you can troop this too. I can walk easily and movement is roughly the same as in the ANH except the upper body is much more rigid. The big deal is you need help. I can put on my ANH all by myself like a big boy. When it comes to this stuff I'm worse than vader. I think the other TFA troopers here will agree that this is the biggest issue with "troopability." But that too is overcome with solid handlers, which I know we have here in GA! :)

 

Painting:

I didn't use Rustoleum. Sue me. I have, and always will, prefer Krylon and that is what I used. As always, I had no problem spraying the armor. Because the armor flexes heavily you may experience some paint cracking in high flex areas. Simply spray in the "flexed position" as you would wear it and bazinga- you're good to go. If you are going to paint it yourself you may want to get rustoleum in order to match the color of the other TFA troopers in your garrison. I chose not to do this because I dislike rustoleum paint and I chose Krylon based on personal opinion alone. This armor will take whatever paint you throw at it. Again, surface preparation is the main key!

 

Overall impression:

I love this armor. It's a fan sculpt from an awesome guy and I love that. It has a "made with love" feel to it even though it may have it's imperfections. That's what I love about my ANH, and that's what I love about this. The build is the build. It can be as easy or as hard as you make it. Use this community as your guide as I always have, and your garrison mates and it will be none the more difficult then any other build.

 

Approval process:

I will touch on this very briefly. As with any costume, use the CRL as your bible for this build and work with your GML's requests and I see no reason you cannot be approved. Simply building the armor is not a guarantee of approval. Enough said on that.

 

The Man:

Jim Tripon is probably the most organized and decent guy you could ever buy from. He hand sculpted this armor and then has kept his runs going to help out the folks that cast it because it keeps their business afloat. He is truly what I believe the 501st represents. Sharing his passion for crafting with others not for his benefit but for ours. He will do whatever you need to make sure you have a smooth and pleasant transaction and will keep you well updated and informed. He answered all my questions diligently throughout the whole process and I would certainly purchase from him again anytime. Don't be afraid that he is in the Philippines. Shipping was no issue and everything arrived in perfect condition.

 

Below are some recent photos of the armor. Here's a little rundown on my equipment to make it easy to see what's pictured. I hope that this review will genuinely help the community with this armor.

 

Armor: Jimmiroquai

Helmet: Jimmiroquai V3.0

Boots: TK Boots

Blaster: Heston 3D solutions

Gaskets: Jimmiroquai Cloth gaskets

Pouches: Jimmiroquai

Belt: Imperial Gaskets

 

IMG_5332.jpg

 

IMG_5317.jpg

 

IMG_5319.jpg

 

IMG_5327.jpg

 

IMG_5322.jpg

 

IMG_5325.jpg

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Thanks for the review, following this thread!

Love the sculpt but what bugs me most, as with the original images, is the size of various parts. eg the legs seem a tad too big and too long.

Also, you didn't use velcro for the handguards which is apparent in the pic where you can see it coming off when you are holding the gun. Any reason for that?

Edited by Fedaykin

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That's incorrect as I did in fact use Velcro. It is sewn to the top of the gloves and adhered to the bottom of the handguard. It simply had disconnected in the front in the picture. In fact, if viewed more carefully you can see the "hook" velcro on the underside of the handguard is visible. Just a small flub during photographing.

Edited by TK5492

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Oh ok. I was asking because i was interested if you were using an alternative method or something. Didn't want to disrespect your build. Sorry if it came off that way.

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No problem. :) As far as I know this is the only feasible way to do it and be accurate. An elastic strap would cover the palm and gluing obviously isn't an option due to the rigid guards and fabric gloves.

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Thanks for the review!  Much appreciated.  This is the earlier version of the kit and Tyler is being kind when he talks about surface prep.  But thanks to feedback from him and others, several issues have already been addressed with the newer kits.  About the thighs, i'm a little embarrassed to say the the thighs fit me almost perfectly.  Haha. Again, as i didn't use any Anovos reference, my main model at the time was Finn.  I researched what his height was and extrapolated from there.  And Hence the huge looking thighs, i guess.  Haha. But i've experimented with an unpainted new one and a really easy mod would be to cut an inside seam, then adjust and close with velcro. :)

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Armor doesn't appear to have a very smooth finish.  I wonder if that'll be an issue with approval?

Newer kits are much smoother. Practically no surface prep necessary before primer. :)  

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I had no issue with the surface in regards to approval.

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I received my Armor from Jim , and all is true, it is fantastic, I was super concerned with painting and cracking because of it's flexibility, I had worries of having to have an auto Paint shop spray it with flex bumper paint but after buying a few different Vinyl Sprays I found one that I'm going to go with, it is Dupi Color Gloss white Vinyl and fabric paint, did a test and it has a huge range of flex, here is my kit and a couple pictures of my Paint test.

Thanks,

AL

meWX1P.jpgu9vOLN.jpgGkPGcJ.jpg8KG273.jpgMsiNPo.jpg5qEYCa.jpgSaazEs.jpg

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Thanks for the review!  Much appreciated.  This is the earlier version of the kit and Tyler is being kind when he talks about surface prep.  But thanks to feedback from him and others, several issues have already been addressed with the newer kits.  About the thighs, i'm a little embarrassed to say the the thighs fit me almost perfectly.  Haha. Again, as i didn't use any Anovos reference, my main model at the time was Finn.  I researched what his height was and extrapolated from there.  And Hence the huge looking thighs, i guess.  Haha. But i've experimented with an unpainted new one and a really easy mod would be to cut an inside seam, then adjust and close with velcro. :)

 

Asking this may make me look like an incompetent idiot, but as this is my very first TK build, i would like to ask if you could post a photo of this please? I am not 100% sure if i understand correctly. Also, adding a new seam is no problem with the 501st CRL?

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I don't think Jim is saying to add a new seam but to cut along the already existing seam(s) and overlap with velcro to make the thighs smaller.  I would likely be doing this to all the parts to make them fit nicely and look more accurate as needed.  The challenge is to make the seam look like they mate together cleanly after the cut rather than an obvious overlap.  Check out some of the great build threads esp. ukswrath's 

 

I forget the terminology but the idea is to use scrap HIPS pieces and cut an overlap strip and use it to reconnect the other side after the cut. 

 

So cut an existing seam, clean up the edge you want to preserve. 

Cut a scrap HIPS strip.

Fit the thigh piece and determine how much you are cutting.

Cut to fit, clean the edge

Glue the HIPS strip to the back of one edge with overlap.

Then either glue the overlap joining the other edge or use velcro.

 

Something like that...

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Here is my 80% complete kit from Jim, believe it's the newest version. Much smoother, helmet is anovos, and I repainted it and the armor with rustoleum gloss white

 

50afe3390afcc2db91188556fd3c873c.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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I don't think Jim is saying to add a new seam but to cut along the already existing seam(s) and overlap with velcro to make the thighs smaller. I would likely be doing this to all the parts to make them fit nicely and look more accurate as needed. The challenge is to make the seam look like they mate together cleanly after the cut rather than an obvious overlap. Check out some of the great build threads esp. ukswrath's

 

I forget the terminology but the idea is to use scrap HIPS pieces and cut an overlap strip and use it to reconnect the other side after the cut.

 

So cut an existing seam, clean up the edge you want to preserve.

Cut a scrap HIPS strip.

Fit the thigh piece and determine how much you are cutting.

Cut to fit, clean the edge

Glue the HIPS strip to the back of one edge with overlap.

Then either glue the overlap joining the other edge or use velcro.

 

Something like that...

I bought some sheets of abs from ATA and used those as my seam runners to reconnect, works really well and can be contoured nicely with a heat gun

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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20 people per month, check his current list. there are quite a few non responders in each run, so the list moves faster than you might expect

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The newer version of the armor looks fantastic. Although I will say even though there are some uneven areas on the earlier kits I don't feel it's *that* bad. The worst of it is really the thighs and the back piece. Other than that everything is very smooth. I'm sure if I wanted to I could resand and get the surface even better.

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20 people per month, check his current list. there are quite a few non responders in each run, so the list moves faster than you might expect

 

Can you link me to this list?

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Wow im glad hes making improvements on his armor kit! Looks great!

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I received my Armor from Jim , and all is true, it is fantastic, I was super concerned with painting and cracking because of it's flexibility, I had worries of having to have an auto Paint shop spray it with flex bumper paint but after buying a few different Vinyl Sprays I found one that I'm going to go with, it is Dupi Color Gloss white Vinyl and fabric paint, did a test and it has a huge range of flex, here is my kit and a couple pictures of my Paint test.

Thanks,

AL

 

 

Did you use a primer first?  

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Thanks for the honest review. I'm very close to the top of the list and was excited but nervous about this armor but you calmed my concerns, now I'm just excited. 

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