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


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Here I go with my official RS Props TK build for the Vertically Challenged (also known as This TK Comes in a Fun Size). For those of you interested, I am 5'4" and 108 lbs.  This is my very first armor build, so please feel free to jump in if you see me veering off course.  I’m setting this kit to Stunt, with my eyes on the prize of Centurion.  

 

Since this build has many, many pages to it, I created an index so you don't have to wade through all of it if you don't want to.  If you want to see the unboxing of my RS Props kit, just keep reading (it's further down the page).  

 

Here are the overview of topics so far:

 

Some Things to Know Before You Go

Diagram of Where to Cut/Trim for Shorties

Making ABS Paste

ABS Paste for Small Repairs, Heat Ironing New Thigh Returns

ABS Paste for BIG Repairs (not for the Faint of Heart, Short of Time, or Chronically Impatient)

Cover Strip Sizes

Belt Corners and Ammo Pack Measurements

 

Sizing Down the Chest

Rebuilding a Return on the Bottom of the Chest (MUCH easier than using ABS paste, believe me)

Recap of Where I Trimmed the Kit on the Torso

Reinforcing Shoulder Bridges and Jig for Making New Returns

 

Shoulders

Shoulder Bell Trimming

Shoulder Bell Fitting

Shoulder Trim Points for Short Troopers

Reinforcing Shoulder Bridges and Jig for Making New Returns

Discussion of Shoulder Bell Shape

Garter Belt, Shoulder Snaps

 

Biceps

Biceps

Making Bicep Hooks

Arm Strapping

 

Abdominal Mods

Painting Ab Buttons

Reducing the Height of the Ab

Cutting the Cod!

Installing Inner Strapping Brackets

Recap of Where I Trimmed the Kit on the Torso

 

Shrinking the Kidney to Fun Size

Shorten the Kidney (always remove from the BOTTOM ONLY!) and Rebuilding Returns

Kidney/Ab Rivet Placement

Kidney/Ab Rivet Placement Continued...

More Kidney/Ab Rivet Stuff, Building the Belt, and Countersinking Screws

Troubleshooting Kidney/Ab Not Lining Up on the Right Side- GAH!

Fixing the Kidney/Ab Misalignment Issue

Even More Fixing the Kidney/Ab Misalignment Issue…(The Sequel)

Getting the Kidney/Ab Misalignment Thing in Order (The Final Battle)

PlastiDipping the Helmet and Kidney/Ab Bracket Creation

Kidney/Ab Bracket with Styrene Tab Installed, Discussion of Shoulder Bell Shape

ABS Paste for Small Repairs, Heat Ironing New Thigh Returns

Kidney and Butt Plates Get Into A Fight (Alignment Issues and Cracking)

Detective Work on the Kidney/Butt Plate Connection (what's causing the cracks?!)

Kidney and Butt Issues Worked Out

Filling Out the Armor

 

Shin Stuff

Shin Fitting

Shin Trimming for Shorties

(Magic) Magnetic Shin Closures Part 1 (initial installation)

(Magic) Magnetic Shin Closures Part 2 (magnetic closure improved)

(Magic) Magnetic Shin Closures in Action (video!)

Sniper Knee

Giddy Up!  Home Grown Stirrups (not a tutorial)

 

Thighs for the Vertically Challenged

Leg Adjustments

Leg Adjustments Continued...

Sizing the New Thighs and Padding the Lid

Installing the Ammo Pack

ABS Paste for Small Repairs, Heat Ironing New Thigh Returns

Fine Tuning the New Thighs

Initial Left Thigh Trimming (not yet there, but dang close)

Reworking the Back of the Right Thigh

Final Right Thigh Trimming and Spiffy New Returns Using a Heat Iron

New Garter Belt

Rebuilding a New ANH Notch on the Left Thigh

 

Handy

Gloves

Getting a Curve on Latex Handguards

 

Love to the Lid

Ditch the Brush!  Sponge On the Tube Stripes!

DIY Fan Bracket (not a tutorial)

Sizing the Thighs and Padding the Lid

 

All Together Now

Test Fitting It All!

And Feedback Is A Good Thing (time to fine tune it all…)

Initial Submission Pics!

Thank Yous! (My Version of the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech)

 

Advanced Tactics

Time for Apply For the EIB

 

Fixes Before Applying for Centurion

Time to Apply For Centurion

 

Armor Has Been Built... But There's Always More to Do

Displaying the E-11

Mystery Purple Stains Showing Up On the Armor- SOLVED!

Test Driving the Kit (All Systems Go!)

SOLVED!- E-11 Holster Stretch Issues

 

Field Exercises

Reports of Rebel Scum in a Nearby Quadrant (First Outing Away from Base)

Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 (First Really Big Outing Away From the Death Star)

 

Whew!  

 

 

****Let the build begin!****

 

But first, I'd like to share some Star Wars cookies I made with my son awhile back.  Because everyone loves cookies.  Wookiee cookies are awesome because they're chewie.  And yes, I know my TK cookies are not screen accurate.

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Everyone got a cookie?  Okay, good.  To the unboxing!

 

I want to mention how awesome of an experience it was to purchase a kit from RS Props.  They were professional, courteous, and always highly responsive to my (many) questions.  I received my kit in just a little over two weeks after I’d placed my initial order.  And that included shipping from the UK to the US!  I’ve heard that in the past, RS wasn’t always as responsive or easy to obtain armor from.   That was not my experience at all with them.  I’d buy another kit from them in a heartbeat.

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I ordered the 1.5mm ABS kit, and it’s lovely.  A nice milky creamy white, complete with all the bumps and lumps you’d expect from it.  Someone wrote that they appreciated it when armor has that 'craptastic' look, and I think now I understand what they were talking about.  A sanitized, perfectly smooth and symmetrical TK is not attractive to me at all.  Now, to open the big big box...  I felt a little dizzy with excitement at this point...

 

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First, the scent of the contents.  An invisible wave of the smell of fresh ABS hit me as I peeled away the bubble wrap.  I have found that I enjoy the smell of ABS now after building my first helmet.  It smells like...  victory!   :peace:

 

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Ah, this is going to take a while to unwrap it all...

 

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Twenty minutes later....  Yay!  It's all in great shape.  You don't need to see all the close up pics of every single piece, right?

 

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Very surprised to see that every single piece is LABELED.  I've stared at so many armor builds that I think I know what's what, but it's still nice to see labels so I don't have to think quite as much.

 

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Also surprised to see that the ears have been pre-marked for shaping.  I wish that an additional set of ears was included with this kit though.  That's okay, though.  I've already built one lid and have overcome my issues with the ears, so I think I'll be okay (knocking furiously on wood).

 

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Sweet swag pack inside, too.  Love the stickers!

 

I noticed that the color is different than my ATA lid, so here are a few side by side comparisons...

 

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The RS is more creamy white, the ATA is brighter.  The RS is way more bumpy/lumpy than the ATA, but also has more sharp features.  The RS lid is thinner, especially around the area of the mic tips.  I will most likely reinforce the inside of this thin area with some ABS paste.  I’ll also be plasti-dipping the innards, so that should increase the heft of the bucket overall.

 

And I could be wrong here (because the RS lid isn't finished yet), but the RS lid seems a bit larger than the ATA.  Verdict: I really like them, despite their differences!  Very glad to own them both.

 

If I have one grumble- and it's a very minor one- it's with the Hovi-Mic tips.  They are kind of sloppy.  You can see the casting of these is a bit of a mess.  You can also see someone's thumb print from the CA glue and extra CA glue drips on the side.  I'll probably repaint these.

 

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And you can see the CA glue inside the mesh screen in the middle of the tips.  I'll poke these out with a toothpick.

 

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Again, this is a super minor grumble.  You can't really see most of the mic tips once they're installed anyhow.  These mic tips wouldn't have stopped me from buying this kit!  I'm a very happy soon-to-be trooper!

 

I'm going to need to do a LOT of modifications to this kit to get it to fit my 5'4", 108 lb frame.  I’m terrified of this whole process now, actually.  I’ve been re-reading Diana’s thread  http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/25919-dianas-rs-props-build-anh-stunt which has loads of info for modding an RS kit to a more petite body type.   

So.  Let's do this!

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TK-10401 reporting for duty!

Here I go with my official RS Props TK build for the Vertically Challenged (also known as This TK Comes in a Fun Size). For those of you interested, I am 5'4" and 108 lbs.  This is my very first armor

I said it would be converted in a few months.  Well, other projects got in the way, and life, too...  so it actually took a little over 2 years to complete, but this kit is now officially a Sandtroope

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Something I learned from building my ATA lid is that it’s really handy to have some ABS paste on hand to use at a moment’s notice.  And I never did.  I’m avoiding this hassle by being proactive and making the stuff NOW.

A few weeks ago, I had some minor surgery on my jaw, which left me in a state where I couldn’t eat anything solid.  I ended up eating my share of baby food (lost a lot of weight, too), and I saved the jars.  Empty cleaned glass baby food jars have a gazillion uses!  One way to use them is to store ABS paste.   Keeping the paste in an air-tight glass jar ensures that it will last for a very long time.

 

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I first did some minor trimming on different areas of the armor in order to gather some scraps, making sure to not use any ABS that had pencil marks on it.  Don’t want to alter the color in any way at all. 
 

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I cut the ABS into tiny pieces with some tin snips (easier than using Lexan scissors), and put them into the jar. 

 

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I labeled the jar with the armor maker, because I expect to have an ATA kit here in a few months.  I don’t want to mix or confuse which ABS paste to use on what armor.
 

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I happen to have a bottle of Pure Acetone on hand from Sally Beauty, but any kind of pure acetone will work just fine.  I poured some in, and stirred it all up with a coffee stirrer.  How much to pour?  Good question!  I poured enough in to not quite entirely cover up the pieces.  I sealed it up, gave it a good shake, and left it alone.

 

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A few hours later, the acetone has melted a good part of the ABS, but it’s still too thin.  I stirred it again, sealed it, shook it up, and left it for a few more hours.

 

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And voila, ABS paste! 

 

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It should be completely smooth.  If it’s not, leave it, and give it some more time to cook.  If it’s too thin (I prefer mine to be the consistency of play-dough), leave the lid open and stir.  Acetone evaporates quickly, and your ABS paste will thicken up in no time at all.  Too thick?  Add more acetone, stir, and wait.  Running low on ABS paste?  Dump more ABS scraps and some more acetone into the jar and repeat the process above.  Too much ABS paste?  What’s wrong with you?  You can never have too much ABS paste around. You never know when you’ll need it!
 

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Good luck! Yes, interesting to mark the ears. Seems like every bucket lines up in its own unique way. Hopefully the lines are helpful.

Hey Luc!

 

Yeah, I was thinking about that, too.  I guess it's more of a rough guide than anything else.  To me, it seems like the lines they penciled on include some of the flashing that I'd want to remove.  Beauty of these seem to be in the ear of the beholder.  ;)

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Looks like you have everything in order.

I look forward to watching this build.

Diana did an amazing job on hers, so using her as reference is a great idea.

 

Love the way RS labelled everything and drew the ear out. Makes things at least a little easier lol.

 

Good Luck!

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Awesome idea with the acetone paste!  

 

Getting the kit to match your frame will indeed be a process, but just take it slow and bit by bit.  You'll be there in no time =)

 

Looking forward to watching your progress!

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Yea! Looking good. A word from a lesson learned by me careful with the ABS paste in a sealed container. I did the same thing in a mason jar. As the acetone evaporated it built up pressure and scared the poop out of me when I twisted the lid open!

 

Sent from my LGLS740 using Tapatalk

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Yay, yay, yay! Let the fun begin!

I love the pre-marked ears. I spent a bunch of hours on my ears. And the paste... yeah, been meaning to do that myself. I made it a long way without needing it but all of a sudden I have a need... :| 
Thanks for the push and good luck with the build. So glad you got it!

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Yea! Looking good. A word from a lesson learned by me careful with the ABS paste in a sealed container. I did the same thing in a mason jar. As the acetone evaporated it built up pressure and scared the poop out of me when I twisted the lid open!

 

Sent from my LGLS740 using Tapatalk

Hahahaha!

The exact same thing happened to me!

 

Sent from my SM-T210 using Tapatalk

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Yea! Looking good. A word from a lesson learned by me careful with the ABS paste in a sealed container. I did the same thing in a mason jar. As the acetone evaporated it built up pressure and scared the poop out of me when I twisted the lid open!

 

Hahahaha!!!  I was worried about this kind of thing.   Would love to have been a fly on the wall when that happened to you.    :)   Thanks for the heads up!

 

Interesting thing happened to my baby food jar lid overnight...  I think the acetone softened up the plastic in the lid a bit, because when I checked it this morning, the lid was sitting loosely on top of the jar.  I can't seem to tighten it like before.  The paste is still in good shape- it needs to be thicker, actually.  I've re-secured the lid with a rubber band.   That should prevent any explosive events for now, and keep the paste in workable condition for awhile.

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That makes sense too. Have you seen the youtube video where they use a coffee can lined with a cotton or paper towel soaked in acetone to smooth out 3d printed items. Just the vapors as the acetone evaporates has that kind of effect on the plastic. It's crazy.

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Yes! The fun-sized build is about to begin! Great start Christine. No pressure or anything, but I believe you'll have quite the crowd following along here. Truly always impressed with those details (everything labeled and the pre-marked ears, swag) that RS includes in their kits. Have fun!!! You're going to be a Stormtrooper!!

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First, I'm happy to announce that I'm going to my very first armor party this weekend!  Super excited to get some hands-on assistance and tips for my TK.  

Okay, so my build has slowed significantly due to life and stuff going on that keeps me out of my workshops.  And I was having some serious morale issues as of late.

 

I was chugging along nicely trimming my kit.  Started with the forearms, which meant that I needed to remove all the return at the wrists.  Easy and quick to do, right?  Next thing I know, I'm picking up the shins, and trimming the returns off the bottoms of those, too.  Feeling good, I flipped the shins and began to remove the returns off the tops of the shins.  (insert tire screeching sounds here)

Yes.  I removed all the returns off the tops of all four of my shin pieces.  :(  Only after I had finished up (and feeling rather proud of my progress at the time), I discovered my major error.  Those returns need to stay there.  Oh.  Man.    

 

You know that feeling after you've been slugged in the gut?  Well, I've never been actually hit in the stomach before (not by an adult, I mean), but I know that it's got to feel something like how I felt when I realized that my shins were FUBARed.  

I was so embarrassed.  I've read so many build threads, seen hours upon hours of videos of TK builds, and I make this rookie mistake?!  Looking at the rest of my kit, I wanted to entirely give up.  I stared at the remaining pieces of my armor for a very long time, not confident I could continue.  So after going through disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance, I figured I needed to troop on!  Bite the bullet, contact RS Props and order myself a new pair of shins.  Lesson learned for me: work slow and steady, and review EVERYTHING before trimming.  

And just when I fully accepted my fate that would lighten my wallet.... something amazing happened.  I'll share that with you in the next post.  ;)

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Yeah, I feel you. I had a couple of moments like that. Gary (Sentry71) and Tony (Ukswrath) got some frantic PMs asking if they could talk me off the roof. It's all good, it works itself out right?!  ;)

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Removing the return on your shins is not the end of the world...it's not a requirement to have it, though most would say it looks better if you do! But I guess I will await to see your update to find out more!

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Hey Troopers, I've got a question for y'all...

When gluing armor parts together that need to be properly fitted...  let's use the thighs for example (I'm not actually starting there first)...  For the pieces, would you assemble/glue the fronts of the thigh first, and then fit/cut the back of each side to size?  I will be reducing all of my armor down to Fun Size.  That method makes the most sense to me, but I would love to hear if something else is suggested.  Thanks for any words of wisdom!

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Removing the return on your shins is not the end of the world...it's not a requirement to have it, though most would say it looks better if you do! 

Thanks for that, Luc!  :)  I like the look of the returns on the shins, and not having them there would have annoyed me every time I put the armor on.  I don't think many would have noticed except for me, but it's one of those details that I couldn't live without.  

 

Something I’ve been happy to discover during this build is that Rob and the support team over at RS Props is fabulous.  Initially, I had contacted them about the problem with my kit containing two right inner forearms.  They were quick to respond and remedy things by arranging to send the correct left inner forearm right away.  As I was waiting on that forearm, well, that was around the time when I screwed up my shins. 

 

I had put my shins away and decided to work on my shoulder bells instead.  There is a pinched area of ABS at the top of the shoulder piece, and I emailed Rob to find out how to cut it down.  See?

 

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There are no cut lines on it, and I didn’t know where to start.  Also, I thought it would be a good idea to ask about ordering an extra set of shoulder straps for my kit.  I’ve seen them crack on more than one set of armor (although not necessarily RS armor), so it’s something I wanted to have on hand as backup.  At this time, I decided to tell Rob about how I’d butchered the shins.  Admitting my mistake to him was humbling, to say the least.  Again, I was mortified that I’d made such a stupid error.   Here’s an example of what my shins had been hacked down to:  

 

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Rob emailed me back very quickly with measurements and photos of how to trim the shoulder bells.  (For all of you following along, it should be 12" from the bottom of the spine to the trim, then 5" from the edge of the spine to the trim.)  

 

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Then he told me that he would have everything- shoulder straps, left inner forearm, and two sets of shins- ready to send out the next day.  I was confused because he hadn’t mentioned the cost for it all, and I hadn’t submitted any payment.  I became concerned at this point.  Frustrated, I figured that I would just pay whatever he told me because even if I couldn’t afford it, I still needed it.  Oh well.  I asked him once more how much to pay for everything and braced for the reply. 

 

I was extremely surprised by the response.  Rob told me that he was happy to send it all out to me for no charge.   He said it was because they want to support their clients with their TK kits, that the people at RS Props are fans first and foremost, and that it’s not all about the money to them.  If I hadn’t been sitting in my chair when I read that email, I think I would have fallen onto the floor.  Talk about amazing customer service!!!

 

Everything arrived to me safely two days later.  That’s two days from the UK to my home here in Georgia.  So flippin’ fast! 

 

Moving along, I trimmed down my shoulder bells.  You can see how much needed to be removed.  This was before I sanded them smooth, but you get the idea here.

 

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And now I’m making all my returns about 6mm wide.  I’m using the super high-tech process called pencil-taped-to-my-finger.  I don’t remember where I saw it first used, but it helps to create a fairly consistent line to trace the return before cutting.

 

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Once again RS come thru with customer service !!! And super quick delivery . You are. Very lucky to have bought from such stand up guys . <br>

Good luck with the rest of the build , hope you enjoy the experience .

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Hey Troopers, I've got a question for y'all...

 

When gluing armor parts together that need to be properly fitted...  let's use the thighs for example (I'm not actually starting there first)...  For the pieces, would you assemble/glue the fronts of the thigh first, and then fit/cut the back of each side to size?  I will be reducing all of my armor down to Fun Size.  That method makes the most sense to me, but I would love to hear if something else is suggested.  Thanks for any words of wisdom!

 

E6000 comes apart super easy, if you're using that.  When I had to resize my stuff I just glued both, figured out how much had to go, cut about 75% of that, reglued, sized again, and so on.  Usually I reckon you'd want to take a bit off both sides where possible, but for the thighs where it has an explicit edge you might just do the back.  Stuff like biceps/bracers, I'd do half and half.

 

Just my 2 cents tho

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E6000 comes apart super easy, if you're using that.  When I had to resize my stuff I just glued both, figured out how much had to go, cut about 75% of that, reglued, sized again, and so on.  Usually I reckon you'd want to take a bit off both sides where possible, but for the thighs where it has an explicit edge you might just do the back.  Stuff like biceps/bracers, I'd do half and half.

 

Just my 2 cents tho

Thanks for that, Sarah!  I will probably be doing lots of gluing-ungluing as you suggest.  Probably the best way to get a nice custom fit!

 

I had an amazing time at my very first armor party last night!  I was able to get some serious hands-on guidance about kit-building there.  And everyone was so nice, too!  The drive took a little less than an hour to the party, but it was totally worth it.  I loved seeing other people's armor and comparing the different maker's kits.  I was fairly motivated to complete my kit before, but after meeting with members of the 501st last night, it's like I'm on fire to get this thing done now!  And while I won't be able to participate in DragonCon in Atlanta this year (I don't want to rush completing my TK), but I think I'll be in it next year for sure.

 

So, if you're new to TK building like me, don't hesitate to get yourself and your kit to an armor party.  You'll learn a lot, and you'll have fun, too.  And with that, I'm going to get off the computer and get busy making cover strips.  :D

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Erhh meeerrh gerrd!  

I've convinced Mr. Cricket to take our family to Star Wars Celebration Orlando next year!  Tickets to Celebration and Disney World have been purchased and hotel reservations have been made.  

I'm sure to have my TK completed by then, and most likely will have my son's FOTK built as well.  So super excited!!!!  

And now back to my build still in progress....

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Regarding sizing, instead of gluing and ungluing, you can just tape and untape and cut down small amounts at a time.

Thanks, Luc!  

 

So that's what I've been doing today on my biceps today.  Little by little with tape.  

 

Before I began, though, I did some measurements of the bicep pieces.  My flexed bicep is 10.5" (don't laugh, I told you I'm tiny).  At the armor party, the consensus was that you should have about 1/2" of space around the armor and the arm when it's on.  So I added an inch to my bicep measurement, which made the internal circumference of my bicep a total of 11.5".  Using a handy Google calculator (because I never paid much attention to algebra in school TBH!), I figured out the diameter of the inside of the bicep piece for my arm.   That came to 3.66".  So that was the approximate diameter I was aiming for when reducing my bicep pieces.  

 

I did some more calculations, and figured that I would need to remove approximately .8" from each of the bicep pieces.  Since the pieces aren't symmetrical, I had to scientifically eyeball how much to take off of each side (I'm a fan of the Scientific Eyeball method).  I squeezed the parts together, taping the right bicep pieces together, so it would match my calculated measurements.  Sliding it on, it fit pretty well over my compression shirt.  Yay!

 

So I clamped the bicep halves to my table and removed a little material at a time.

 

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And then look at how much I removed!  Trimmed down to my size on the left, untrimmed on the right.  This looks so flippin' scary, doesn't it?!   :blink: 

 

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But then when you consider that the original untrimmed bicep has a 16.5" circumference (5.25" diameter), and my scrawny arms are just a 10.5" circumference, you can see why so much needed to be removed.   Take a look at the size difference!   

 

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I will give my trimmed pieces their own little spa treatment in a hot bath later to give them a better shape once I'm certain with the final fit and glued them together.  

 

I still may take a little more in, but I'm happy enough with it for now to move along.  Now to tackle the left bicep.  Wish me luck!

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