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Cricket's RS Stunt Build (for the Vertically Challenged)

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I think this new solution for the thigh will visually work better indeed. Now I didn't mean to make you start all over again, and that notch was indeed beautifully crafted (!), but it just felt a bit off for me. And like you said, more booty clearance this way :D.

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Now I didn't mean to make you start all over again, and that notch was indeed beautifully crafted (!), but it just felt a bit off for me.

 

Hey, no need to say that.  And it's not making me start all over again.  In fact, working with the heat sealing iron is quite easy for me now.  The new changes to the thigh didn't take me more than 20 minutes to do.  So, easy alteration.

 

I ditched using a jig for making new returns on the thighs.  You don't need a crisp angle like on the torso returns, but more like a soft 45 degree angle.  All you need is heat from the iron to gently soften the ABS, and gentle polishing of the heated ABS with the wood stir stick to get a nice 'organic' edge.

 

I began here:

 

32918880682_75ce88566f.jpg

 

If you look closely in the pic above, you can see my pencil line where I needed to make the new return.  I didn't cut any of this off (yet).  Using some Goo Gone, I erased the pencil marks from the plastic.  I didn't want the heat to embed anything in there and mar the finish.

 

After about 20 minutes of careful heating/wood polishing, I flattened out the angled return part of the thigh.

 

32692923550_793b21f7a4.jpg

 

Can't see what changed?  Keep reading...

 

When working with a heat iron, remember do not put heavy pressure on the iron while heating the ABS.  It will cause weird creases in the plastic.  Just hold the iron firmly in place and wait.  Watch closely and you will see the plastic start to soften.  Once it is soft, remove the iron and buff for about 10 seconds to the desired shape/angle with the wood.  The wood helps to sculpt the plastic into place as it cools (it leaves a polished finish, too- bonus!).  If you don't get the shape/angle you want, just reheat the plastic and repeat the process.  You will most likely need to make several attempts to get the shape you want, so be patient; you'll be rewarded with some pretty spiffy new returns.

 

Here's what the top of the returns looked like after initially flattening out the angle on the thigh.  

 

32918882982_69144f2f84.jpg

 

Holy buttercream, Batman!  That return looks FRIGHTENING, doesn't it?  haha....  This kind of thing doesn't scare me anymore.

 

I've got the angle I want, so that's all good.  Still, gotta take care of that nasty return.  A few minutes of using my lexan scissors to trim, and some sanding, here's the result:

 

(before on the left, after on the right)

32692925570_b66a826abb.jpg32692926650_ef73831ea3.jpg

 

Another angle (before on the left, after on the right):

 

32918880762_d90990da0e.jpg32918885332_46f80e97b7.jpg

 

I'm good on this now.  Time to get kitted up again to get the left thigh fit!

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So close!!!!

 

I finished altering the thighs to fit yesterday, and I was all excited to try on my kit for the final fit, which was to be followed by submission pics today... and then...  I saw cracks.   :blink:

 

The fit of the butt plate has been nagging me because it pops out of alignment with the kidney when the kidney is secured with the belt.  If you look closely at my pics, you can see it.  

 

32860658682_7b112a0d1c.jpg33059664855_7a8013806f.jpg

 

It's not something that would affect submission pics, but it was something that I was going to address after initial approval.  So as I was looking at the kidney/butt connection before putting it on, I noticed cracks in two areas of the return that are not part of the bracket holes.  Ugh.  This confirmed that something needs to be done asap about how the butt plate and kidney are getting along.  Right now, they're having a fairly decent brawl; upon further examination of the kidney, I saw a crack beginning in one of the center bracket holes.  Damn it.   :6:

 

So I separated the fighters to get a look at what needed to be immediately repaired.  Both have suffered injuries.  I've managed to ABS paste and reinforce the cracks at the stress points.  

 

My kidney gets pulled in a bit when the belt is tightened, so the kidney shape changes somewhat when it's on (the kidney is made more flat at the back and rounded at the sides when tightened by the belt).  But the butt plate doesn't have the support of the belt, so it's just left out there on its own.  The brackets are doing what they're supposed to do, but I think I need to reposition them.  The brackets are lined up perfectly when the kit is not on me, but I'm fairly certain that the brackets are not lined up when everything is on.  I also think I've got the butt plate overly curved inwards, which results in outward stress on the returns when the kidney is tightened to my midsection .  

 

Understand that the kidney and butt plate meet perfectly when the kit is NOT on me, but they fight when they're on me.  Frustrating.  So after the ABS paste has dried, I'm going to try this:  putting on the torso including the tightened belt, but keeping the butt plate off.  I'll then reshape the butt plate with hot water based on the kidney shape while the kidney is on me.  This way I can make sure that the shape of the return on the butt plate matches the kidney as it is worn.  If someone out there has any additional suggestions about how to fix this issue, please chime in.  

 

While my butt plate and kidney plates recover, I'll be doing some additional tweaking.  Like redoing my drop boxes on the belt.  Part of the problem with the drop boxes popping out at the sides is because the elastics were too short when I had the thigh armor on.  Easy fix to make the elastics slightly longer on those.  And rebuilding my garter belt (I'll be doing a more screen-accurate thigh-glued elastic version instead of snaps).  And touching up all the paint that has chipped off during my many fittings.

 

Sigh.  Bad news is that this will delay my submission pics by a few days.  The good news about this is that it'll solve the nagging issue I've had with the butt and kidney pieces before submitting my pics for initial submission.  I should be able to complete repairs this weekend.  I expect to send in my pics next week.

Edited by Cricket

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Would you be open to adding some snap plates and strapping (with or without Velcro) to take some of the load off of your original-type strapping system and return edges? Putting the load on larger areas of ABS will lessen the chances of further future breakage, especially while trooping!

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well before you get too much trimmed put padding in the front of the shins and rear of the thighs so they sit straight. That will prevent a fair bit lock and pop. Then adjust.

 

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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also keep in mind that the original strapping bracket destroyed armour over time. that why the running joke for ages was you basically had to make the armour look like crap to earn centurion.

 

As suggested put a glue strap on either side of the kidney butt seam..or snap plates and strap..and it will hold the ends in preventing flare. Heat it up ever so slightly to hold the shape.

 

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Would you be open to adding some snap plates and strapping (with or without Velcro) to take some of the load off of your original-type strapping system and return edges? Putting the load on larger areas of ABS will lessen the chances of further future breakage, especially while trooping!

 

As suggested put a glue strap on either side of the kidney butt seam..or snap plates and strap..and it will hold the ends in preventing flare. Heat it up ever so slightly to hold the shape.

 

 

Thank you for your input, troopers!  Both of these suggestions would work to force the kidney/butt plates together, but it's a band-aid. Unfortunately, it won't solve the fact that the pieces just aren't fitting correctly as they're currently strapped in.  If everything is adjusted properly, the pieces should fit correctly.  So after staring at the pieces for hours, I'm now thinking that the butt plate is the culprit.

 

Here's why:  the kidney is correct size (width wise).  I've got the brackets in the right locations on the kidney.  So when the belt pulls everything together, it fits as it should.  No pulling, tugging, or stuff out of alignment.  So I can let the kidney off the hook as being the troublemaker.  

 

Now the butt plate.  The center bracket on the butt plate is fine.  But I think I've got the brackets on the left and right sides positioned too far out.  I did this to avoid "butt flare" (flaring butts away! haha...).  So when I cinch up the belt, the outer brackets bring in the butt plate to curve.  It also results in the excess material being forced and "bubbled" out where the brackets aren't secured just under the kidney.  The butt plate shifts inwards with the kidney on the left and right and simultaneously outwards away from the kidney at the back when cinched.

 

So my center bracket on the kidney showing a crack in one of the bracket holes is likely due to the stress of the butt plate trying to pull away as the left and right sides are brought inward.  And the cracks I'm seeing in the butt plate in the curved areas on the left and right (but not on any of the bracket holes) would also be due to this forced inward curve.

 

Okay, still with me?   ;)  

 

I think this will all be solved by finding a new location for the left and right brackets on the butt plate.  Any residual 'butt flare' will be dealt with via a hot water bath.  And if there is a little extra on the width ends of the butt plate, I'll just make them into extra returns.  I will keep you posted!

Edited by Cricket

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They should ideally be in line vertical with each other and not pulling on any angles at all.

 

And keep in mind that these were never a perfectly symmetrical properly formed spacesuit. They are a high density tupperware product forced into a six foot tall cyndrilical male form. Id have to see what the internals look like .

 

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And, oh... The belt is not structural. It should not be holding anything together. You should be able to forget it.and walk around and not notice.

 

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They should ideally be in line vertical with each other and not pulling on any angles at all.

 

 

Agreed.  The brackets weren't lined up, even though the kidney and butt plate are lined up nicely.

 

And, oh... The belt is not structural. It should not be holding anything together. You should be able to forget it.and walk around and not notice.

 

 

Yep, agree on this as well!  The kidney/ab goes together just fine without the belt. When I say 'cinch the belt', it is more to keep the belt up on me.  Even though I use the ab snaps and velcro under it, the belt likes to move around a little on me unless it is snug.  The improper placement of the brackets was causing the butt plate to flare out when it shouldn't, which resulted in me trying to make things even tighter, which made things worse.  Gah!

 

Thank you for the feedback, Mark!  Much appreciated!!!

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One thought on the kidney/butt plate. For some troopers they just put armor on and it looks fine. For others including myself...eh...

 

In order for my TE2 kit to look right on me, I had to put some strategic padding in the back/butt to get it to line up right. Just some light foam and some hot glue, and I was in business. It took about 4 tries, but once I had it dialed in, I looked great. Just something to think about.

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Oh, and I also didn't have the kidney snug against me - you'll need to move around after all.

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One thought on the kidney/butt plate. For some troopers they just put armor on and it looks fine. For others including myself...eh...

 

In order for my TE2 kit to look right on me, I had to put some strategic padding in the back/butt to get it to line up right. Just some light foam and some hot glue, and I was in business. It took about 4 tries, but once I had it dialed in, I looked great. Just something to think about.

 

Oh, and I also didn't have the kidney snug against me - you'll need to move around after all.

 

Yeah, the foam may very well be a good option for me once I get everything lined up properly.  I am floating quite a bit inside the armor.  Just to give you an idea of my size, my waist is 26 inches, and the armor around me is 40 inches.  Lots of room to move in there for sure.  :)

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Use the foam to keep the suit in place. But you may want to pad a belt instead of glued to the armour so the suit sits and moves easily but the padded belt keeps it where it needs to be. Presuming you hang thighs off a garter belt .

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First of all, I want to thank some of the veteran troopers here for sharing some invaluable feedback on my kit.  It's an honor to have you guys not only put eyes on my build, but also offer suggestions on how to improve it.  So... Thank you!

 

Before diving back into the rebuild of my kidney/butt plate, I was thinking about last night's discussion about padding.  My back plate has also been a source of minor frustration for me.  The bottom of the back plate kept wanting to pull itself into and slightly under the kidney.  So even though it wasn't overlapping back there, it kind of looked like it was.  I have some foam, an exacto knife, and velcro, so I carved out a 1 inch x 1 inch x 6 inch wedge of foam and velcroed it to the bottom inside of the back plate.  

 

32983376101_2dd9b19591.jpg

 

And WOW.  What a difference in how the back looks now!!!  The back plate and kidney meet up perfectly now- there is no shifting inwards of the back plate.  I can't get a decent picture of how it looks, but believe me, it's a gazillion times better.

Now I'm off to get the kidney/butt thing resolved.

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Bingo.

 

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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Glad it's working out.  Can't wait to see a suited up pix of the before/after.

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Masterful job Christine. Especially on getting the new thighs. The armor looks amazing

 

Thanks, David!  :D

 

Okay, so after careful reviewing the kidney/butt plate issue today, here's where the problem has been isolated to:

 

32988025721_08eb005390.jpg

 

I've had to reshape and shrink the kidney, which resulted in needing to reshape the butt plate.  I had shaped it before, but clearly I didn't shape the butt plate good enough because it's popping out all on its own on the left side (the inside is supported with blue tape where the brackets/elastics should go).  The center and right sides are good, though.

 

33114775445_7e1590240c.jpg

 

My repairs are still curing, so I'll wait until tomorrow to get the butt plate shaped to match the kidney.  It seems easy enough, but it's harder than it looks when you're doing this alone.  Still, I think with enough of a hot water bath and patience, I should be able to get this lined up.

 

In the meantime, I deconstructed my garter belt and made a new one.  My belt is a 2 inch tactical belt.  I like it because it is very heavy and sturdy.  But I didn't like how the buckle needed to be threaded through and adjusted each time I put it on.  Easy fix by purchasing a 2 inch quick release buckle.  

 

32988019851_39fc57788a.jpg

 

I then cut off the 'threaded' buckle, heat sealed the cut end, and threaded the new ends through the new quick release buckle (no sewing of that required- yay!).  Then I took two lengths of 3 inch elastic and sewed loops at the top to thread the belt through.  Those elastics will be glued into the thighs.  And voila- new garter belt!

 

33114775725_df6778a201.jpg

 

I'll get this installed once I've cleared the kidney/butt plate hurdle.  I'll probably experiment with adding some padding at the back of it as suggested by Mark, too.  

 

The finish line is in sight!

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No elastic. Elastic is bad. Elastic is not structural. Like capes. No capes. No elastic capes. You want webbing for thighs. Otherwise they'll move around and pinch under cod's. Snap plates with males on thighs and female on one inch webbing looped over the belt so the thighs don't move when you twice side to side.

Edited by sylverbard
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No elastic. Elastic is bad. Elastic is not structural. Like capes. No capes. No elastic capes. You want webbing for thighs. 

 

Haha... No capes!  ;)

 

Thanks for that suggestion, Mark.  I've actually already built two mock-up garters (I didn't bother documenting that part): one with 1 inch webbing and one with the 3 inch elastic so I could try out which one works better.  For me, the elastic one is hands-down more comfortable holding up the thighs as I walk (even when the thighs were still too long).  The webbing just doesn't feel as secure on me.  I didn't have issues with the thigh riding up under the cod at all with the elastic garters (nor with the webbing, actually!).  The 3-inch elastic doesn't allow for the thigh to twist out of place.  For extra security to prevent things from sliding, I will be adding a small square of velcro to each bit of elastic (under the elastic loop and attached to the belt).  

 

However, if I ever do decide to ditch my elastic garters, I will fully credit you for the idea.  :)  Thanks again!

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Haha... No capes!   ;)

 

Thanks for that suggestion, Mark.  I've actually already built two mock-up garters (I didn't bother documenting that part): one with 1 inch webbing and one with the 3 inch elastic so I could try out which one works better.  For me, the elastic one is hands-down more comfortable holding up the thighs as I walk (even when the thighs were still too long).  The webbing just doesn't feel as secure on me.  I didn't have issues with the thigh riding up under the cod at all with the elastic garters (nor with the webbing, actually!).  The 3-inch elastic doesn't allow for the thigh to twist out of place.  For extra security to prevent things from sliding, I will be adding a small square of velcro to each bit of elastic (under the elastic loop and attached to the belt).  

 

However, if I ever do decide to ditch my elastic garters, I will fully credit you for the idea.   :)  Thanks again!

 

Christine, go with webbing. Remember last year when I built my kit? We talked about this. The belt-to-thigh union doesn't need to stretch. Elastic only means you will be redoing it soon plus your thighs will bounce when you walk. You've spent so much time and effort on your kit, I'm sure you want it to be as low maintenance as possible. Webbing is the answer. ;)

Edited by Addertime
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Christine, go with webbing. Remember last year when I built my kit? We talked about this.

 

We did?  I don't seem to remember that, but that's not saying it didn't happen.  I've been breathing in a lot of e6000 over the past few months.  I don't see anything in your build thread about garter/thighs either.  Link me up (or PM to the message).  

 

I really don't want extra pulling and tugging on the belt, which is what would happen if I go the webbing route.  The thigh stretches back, so either the elastic stretches between the belt, or the webbing pulls the belt down.  I've worn my fair share of garter belts (more when I was younger *cough cough*), and not having any sort of stretch on them is just not comfortable to me.

 

Scouring the FISD threads and surveying my garrison about this has been really interesting.  The whole webbing/elastic garter thing seems to be more of a Coke/Pepsi preference, n'est-ce pas?  Thanks for the feedback, troopers!  :)

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Mines 3" elastic and almost an identical set up as yours on a 2" wide duty belt. I have my thighs attached with e6000 directly to the elastic and put on my thighs like a pair of ABS shorts! Trooping for a year and have had no issues yet. I didn't want a snap or anything between my skin and the armor to rub or pinch me.

 

To get them hanging the right height I put the belt on then slipped one thigh and stood in front of the mirror and adjusted until it was the right height then marked the top of the thigh with chalk on the elastic. Then repeat on the other side. Then I took all of it off and removed the garters from the belt and glued them into place. Once dry slip them back on the belt and done.

 

Oh yeah, almost forgot the most important part of my set up!When wearing my tactical belt I also wear the buckle in the back which makes it possible to put the thighs on like shorts.

 

 

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Edited by MoSc0ut
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Use elastics for accuracy. I know a lot of people with elastic garter and they do just fine during troops. So I'd say keep your garter the way you have it right now. Might even make it easier to sit down in armor.

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