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Burke Kevlar

HOW TO: ANOVOS kidney plate shims

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I figured with all of the amazing help out there on armor assembly, I didn't have much to offer. Plenty of great tutorials on shims out there, too. After KMan was told he needed to preserve the notches on his kidney plates, I decided I would take a stab at my own mod.

 

Put me down as another fellow who is built bigger than the average 1970's Brit. No hope of losing a few pounds to fit behind my ab plate, though. Those hip bones aren't getting any slimmer. Anyway, I need to add a few more inches to the whole shebang, but I don't want to fill in the nicely sculpted ANOVOS kidney notches just to cut them out again.

 

The following might be a bit more work than most want to do, but if you can fill two seams, you can fill four. Plenty of ABS paste to go around!

 

First up, the horrifying reality that is hacking off two chunks of your armor. I made my cut about an inch in from each notch.

 

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For some reason, I thought it might be easier to leave the ab plate attached since I had it all nice and strapped with E6000 on all the rivets.

 

I selected a few big, flattish pieces of scrap I had left from the initial trimming. Some of the thicker chunks never flattened out properly. I don't have a heat gun, and I guess the water boils cool enough at my altitude that even bending was tough.

 

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I also cut some strips for the inner side. Nothing was big enough to cover the entire 2" plus overlap on either side, so I made plenty of extras. This was a multi-step process. Here's the first gluing:

 

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You know how all that goes. Here's the end of glue step one:

 

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Well that was a refreshing break from sanding my seams. Plus, ROTJ is over. Time to pop in the next one and get back to work! Plenty more updates to come.

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Part Two: The Shimming

 

With some of the backing in place, it's time to fine-tune the outer shims to the right length and get them glued in place.

 

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Where I made my cuts, the length of the shims was about 1/2" different. Measure everything to be sure, and don't assume everything will just come together. Mock up your pieces like I did above and make sure the return edges are as close as they can be and that the piece matches the contour of the kidney plate. You can always give it another bath at this point, but later it's going to be rough.

 

Once it looks right, commence to gluing!

 

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I had some trimming to do afterward, but the main part is done!

 

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Next up: Filler!

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Looking great! Be sure to do any slight bending of the shim before you do the filler. This is needed so the kidney piece does not flare out away from the ab when finished.

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Interesting idea, splitting the kidney side and moving the notches like that! You've done a very nice job, too, very clean. (so far ;) )

 

The only issue I'd note is they are now considering changing the CRLs to specifically allow the type of shims I did, essentially updating the specifics of where the kidney notch needs to be and allowing it to stay in the original location. I don't think the final ruling is in, but it should be any time now.

 

http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/36618-crl-change-discussion-kindey-notches-for-all-tk-costumes/

 

If they make the change, I think it's likely you'd be grandfathered in, but I would check to be sure, personally, before you go farther.

Edited by kman

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Appreciate the advice, Tusken! <br><br>

And kman, thanks for the info. Guess I'd better finish up in the next few days if I want to be grandfathered anywhere! <br><br>

The filler is almost done. My arms are falling off from the sanding, but aside from Centurion-level mods, I'm ready to go!<br><br>

That reminds me. Still need my Kittle belt. I should order that sucker in the morning.

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Lessons learned about ABS paste:

 

Don't let it get too thick. First off, it'll take forever to sand down. Second, if it doesn't have enough acetone in it, the paste won't truly melt down and weld with the armor.

 

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You can see in the previous pictures that the paste got airy as well. The third illustrates that the seam was never filled.

 

I hacked all this paste off with the chisel blade on my Xacto knife and started over with thinner paste.

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All right. In real life, still not quite there, but I'm getting close.

 

After hacking off all the improperly done paste, I thinned it way down and even added some fresh acetone just before. In some cases, you may have to carve out some bigger areas. If the seams don't fill in with acetone and paste, you're going to find out during sanding.

 

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Round one of sanding:

 

Notice in the picture below. I have a few areas I need to fill in a bit. There's also a cavity in the upper middle, and on the left you can see a dark line. I carved those out and carefully dropped in more paste with a toothpick.

 

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Take your time. Sanding is going to be imperfect at first, so you may have to fill in some areas where you went too deep. Don't worry about the finest paper until you've addressed all of the little pits and scratches you need to fill.

 

This is after several rounds of the following grit progression: 60 (quick), 200, 400.

 

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A few more holes to fill, then it's on to 200, 400, 800, 1000. Woo!

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Been a rough few days at work, but I am almost ready for fine sanding. On durability testing, a fine crack popped along one joint. A little carving and some very thin paste started the healing process. Then a second coating this morning will give me a surface to sand down again. Sigh.

 

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The other side held up to bending and twisting. It's roughly-sanded with 60-grit, so I'm set to hit it with some 220 next!

 

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So it looks like this Memorial Day weekend will be a time of sanding and trimming. After the grill is cleaned off, of course.

 

Just as an FYI, most of my armor is done. Other than my belt, I have some minor trimming to do for best fit on a few other pieces. I'm teetering over the edge of helmet mods, but might hold off until my basic application is out there.

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I forgot if it was already posted...but Ukswrath mentioned in his build thread that we no longer have to move the 22mm x 22mm notch when shimming.  You'll be fine since you did this before the decision was made...but you'll have to mention this in your submission for Centurion. 

 

I'm thinking of what I want to tackle this weekend....I need to start making snap plates, but I'm thinking of doing my Kidney Plate shims....just not sure what I want to do yet...but I'll definitely be referencing this when I do.

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Thanks. Yeah, kman mentioned they're changing the CRL. Guess I should have dragged my feet slightly longer! In any case, I'm soldiering on with my four seams. Hopefully to be finished today!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Finished!

 

This is the look after final sanding with 2000 grit paper and some Novus polishing.

 

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Smooth to the touch, but you can see some color inconsistencies. Therefore, I took some advice and gave the piece some light dusting with white spray paint.

 

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Even though it has now been deemed unnecessary, I'm still happy I took this route. Took way longer than I thought, too, but I'm now pretty confident in my ABS paste skills. Can't wait to start putting it all back together!

 

Thanks for your suggestions, everybody.

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