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Suspend's AP ANH Stunt Build

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Ok, so it's Friday, three days before Christmas, and I'm jumping up and down like a school girl yelling:

 

OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!

 

Santa came a few days early this year!!!

BBB.jpg.58a17f79d207c89589a49d916304dbcf.jpg

 

Now I'm going to summon up ALL of my strength....I will NOT open the box.

 

I'm wrapping it and putting it under the Christmas Tree.  My daughter (age 6) will just have to deal with the fact that Daddy's Present from Santa is bigger than hers. :P

 

Mark

 

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11 hours ago, Suspend said:

I will NOT open the box.

 

I'm wrapping it and putting it under the Christmas Tree.

You must be more powerful than the Emperor:smiley-sw013:

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Hello again, I figured I'd better post an update or everyone will forget about me.. :smiley-sw013:

 

Since Christmas, I've been working to complete my E-11 Blaster so I've been putting off starting on my armor.  My blaster is now pretty much at the painting stage so I'll have time to begin things while I wait for paint to dry.

 

So, when I last posted an update I had my BBB under the Christmas tree.  Well, after thinking things through, I didn't leave my BBB present under the tree.  I figured the repercussion from MY present being larger that my 6-year-old's presents was too great, so I hid my present downstairs.  When I finally opened my gift to myself, it truly was a White Christmas...

 

Contents

 

Pieces_2

 

Pieces

 

So that was back in December....and the box has sat in my bedroom for the past 2 months.  But now I'm going for it....

 

It's an AP (Authentic Props) kit.  Untrimmed with an unfinished helmet.  It looks like everything is there.  In fact, I seem to have two sets of hard guards, which is a little odd.

 

I did a lot of research before purchasing.  I'm 6' 1" and around 195 lbs.  That puts me in a bad spot, in my opinion.  I'm kind of tall for a "regular" kit and kind of thin for the kits for "larger" troopers.  I narrowed it down to AP and RT-Mod.  The AP kit is regular sized and the RT-Mod kit is 5% larger.  I was (am) really concerned about the amount of black showing for the arms and legs.  I was also concerned that I would end up needing to reshape the RT-Mod kit because it would look too big on me.  In the end, two things influenced my decision.  The first was that (at the time) AP had a surplus of armor and could ship immediately, no long wait.  It was my understanding that RT-Mod generally has a 1 year wait.  The second thing was that Harrison Ford is just a hair under 6' 1" and he fit into a regular Stormtrooper outfit in Star Wars.  So AP won.  If the AP ends up with too much black showing, I may end up making a mannequin and turning it into a really awesome display for a home theater room......assuming I ever get a home theater room.

 

Mark

 

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You will look great, I have tons of customers your height it will fits nicely!  remember not all 6.1" have the same proportions, some have a longer neck some shorter legs,  long torso ect... BTW you were not suppose to get 2 sets of hand guards LOL!

 

Again thank you for choosing AP!

 

Mark (AP)

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Mark, good luck on your build! I found that when unsure of where to trim, refer to as much reference material as possible as well as approved Centurion applications!

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Seeing how you have approached your excellent blaster build, I have no doubt that you'll knock this one out of the park. :jc_doublethumbup:

 

Looking forward to seeing your progress...

 

Dan :)

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Best of luck on your build and your back-up plan dosen’t sound to bad either:smiley-sw013: sure you won’t need it though :salute:

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OK.......lets start this.....

 

I'll update my parts list as I go:  (placeholder post)

 

Name : Suspend

Height : 6" 1" (185 cm)

Weight : 195 lbs (88.5 kg)

 

Armor : Authentic Props

Boots : Imperial Boots

Hand Guards : JustJoseph63

TD Clips : Ukswrath

Holster : Darman Props

Neck Seal : Darman Props (but I might still change as I'm not overly happy with the bib closing in the back)

Dark Green Lens / S-Trim / Rubber Gloves : TrooperBay

Nomex/Leather Flight Gloves : EBay

E-11 Blaster : Doopydoo's with T-Jay's Completion Kit + Suitcase Props Parts

Undersuit : Currently, Pathfinder/Kodiak Thermal Underwear from Walmart

 

That's my parts for now.  I'm holding off on the belt and helmet electronics until later.

 

Mark

 

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I have a feeling this will be a great build to follow. :popcorn:

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So, fighting off the incredible urge to start with the helmet......I'm starting with the biceps......and I've already got a question....but it's somewhat theoretical....

 

So here's the AP (untrimmed) bicep:

 

20180331_010930586_iOS

 

You can see the molded in trim lines fairly well so cutting shouldn't be a big issue.  It looks like their trim lines would leave enough plastic for a 40mm cover strip.  :-)  Not going to need that.  I'm tall but I've got the arms of a teenage computer nerd.

 

20180331_011150410_iOS

 

I started off standing with sandpaper.....then moved to a sanding drum on a dremel....and finally went for the big guns.....

 

20180331_013350749_iOS_2

 

This worked the best but you have to be really careful about what you are doing.

 

20180331_022615247_iOS

 

Here's where it gets a bit interesting.  I fit the biceps to my arm and it looks like I'll be fine with the standard 15mm cover strips.  So I did a "rough" trim for the 15mm....

 

20180331_214219058_iOS

 

And ya know what?  It's still a little big.  I'll probably just end up leaving it but here comes my theoretical question: what if I did want to trim off more?  What's the procedure?

 

The reason I ask is because the AP kit has this little "raised ridge" that the cover strip gets glued on to.  It has this ridge on both halves.  If I trim off more, the cover strip will be hanging off what's left of those raised ridges.  That doesn't seem right.

 

20180331_214325292_iOS

 

Mark

 

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2 hours ago, Suspend said:

That doesn't seem right.

Right you are - the original armor did not have does ridges on the biceps...so only option with the kit you have is to leave the ridges big enough for the cover strips but best option if possible would be to get rid of them altogether.

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I'd throw some padding in them. You want to keep proportion with limbs. 

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Second what Magni said.  I had to do the same thing - to get the forearms to fit right I had to use slightly larger coverstrips.  But then my biceps were a bit big - so I added some padding. 

 

My arms are sized so that i couldn't lose the ridge on the edge of the biceps - they would have likely been too small - unless I wanted to then build a shim. 

 

Another option I didn't try was removing the ridge (from the back at least) - then gluing them together (but not touching) with a wide inner coverstrip - and then adding a regular width coverstrip to the outside (that just barely covers the gap).  This may have given me the room at the back I needed to keep the front coverstrip the same as my forearms (and keeping my biceps fitting my arms).   I'm doing some building next week and will probably experiment with this option.

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Well I trimmed up the second bicep.  All went well.

 

20180401_234238285_iOS

 

And then I cut my first cover strip.  This is beginning to feel pretty natural.  :-)

 

20180330_043835529_iOS

 

Then onto the forearms where things got a little more difficult.  Here are the untrimmed forearms as they came from AP...

 

20180401_234645789_iOS

 

And now the forearms "roughly" trimmed..  (I say roughly trimmed because I've left enough material for 20mm cover strips)

 

20180402_014956757_iOS

 

At this point I was fairly surprised.  The biceps fit quite large on me but the forearms are quite the opposite.  I don't think a 15mm cover strip is going to work for the forearms.  Luckily the biceps were only "roughly" trimmed so I've still got a few mm to play with if I want to go bigger with the cover strip.  It's weird, the left forearm feels tighter than the right but they're both a little tight.  Particularly closer to the elbow where your arm muscle is.  The armor fairly round in shape (at that point) whereas your arm is kind of oval.  If I squeeze the armor into an oval shape, it's not tight anymore.  I wonder if I'm going to have to do a hot water bath to get the shape a little closer to my arm shape?  This is something I've been really dreading.  I've read too many horror stories about hot water baths and heat guns gone "wrong".

 

Here's a pic.  It's digging in a bit right where the blue tape meets my elbow area on the right side of this photo.  You can see the blue tape even wrinkles there as the armor is pulling the tape downward there too.

 

20180403_043727163_iOS

 

As I say, if I put a bit of pressure in the center of the forearm, causing the sides to flare out when it takes more of an oval shape, then it feels fine.

 

Now a few things come to mind:  1) It's not that bad.  Live with it.  2) Maybe cover strips will pull that area out more as the armor does have more of a curve to it there.  The rigidness of the cover strips may pull that area out naturally.  3) Swallow my fear and hot water bath those suckers.

 

Thoughts?

 

Mark

 

P.S. - As I mentioned before, I don't have big muscular arms.  I wonder what people who do have more muscular arms would do?  20mm to 30mm cover strips?  :-)

 

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Hey Mark,

To be fair to hot bathes everywhere, they are not that bad.  The heat gun, however - can be trouble.  If you think a slight reshaping will work, then go for it. 

So, in summary - option #1 has no place on this forum :).  Option #2 probably will not work. Option #3 is the winner here.

 

That said, a couple of other AP builds for troopers with larger arms all mention cutting slightly larger cover strips.  And you can always add a bit more to the back cover strips if you want to keep your front strips as close to 15 mm as possible. 

 

I'm envious of your work space.  Looks nice. 

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Hot water baths are the key to easy shaping.  I used it on my shoulder straps and worked like a charm.  I also had to make a return edge on my kidney and back plates as I wanted to use bracket strapping system, that I used a sealing iron and was a bit scary at first.

 

Long story short....the hot water bath is the best option to shape those parts if you feel like you need it.

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I had some trouble working on forearms on an AP kit too. I tried the hot water several times but it needed a pretty drastic reshaping to fit the trooper so I used the heat gun. AP forearms are just too small, in my opinion.

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14 hours ago, wook1138 said:

I'm envious of your work space.  Looks nice. 

Thanks, but don't be envious.  It's basically a Gladiator Workbench with the power strip and some plastic checker plate floor tile.  I picked them both up about 5 years ago from Sears in the US.  They were both much cheaper in the US than purchasing from Canada.  I love the Gladiator GarageWorks stuff.

 

Mark

 

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Well, I jumped off the deep end.......and survived....

 

20180404_022502022_iOS

 

Very apprehensively I tried the hot water bath.  Pretty much boiling water.  Slid the pot off the burner.  Dipped the armor piece in for 20 seconds.....nothing.  30 seconds.....hard to tell.  40 seconds.....I think it feels softer.  Maybe a bit less "spring" to it when it's flexed.  Less aggressiveness to return to it's former shape.  40 seconds, hold the armor piece flexed outward a bit, then under cold water.  Bingo!!!  I did this a couple of times to each piece.  The shape looks slightly different, but not much, but the very harsh corner on the outer forearms definitely looks less abrupt.

 

20180404_024338604_iOS

 

The piece on the left almost looks like it's got a bit of a "wave" to the left edge.  It's subtle though and completely disappears once the pieces are taped together.

 

20180404_030350274_iOS

 

Now from the photo things don't look much difference, but it feels quite different.  Looking at the photo from yesterday there is less space now at the top of the arc.  The top of the curved arc fits closer to my arm and the sides aren't as tight.  WOOHOO!!!!!

 

Thanks everyone!!!  I was freaked out about melting the ABS in the pot of boiling water but for 30 or 45 seconds, it just seems to loosen the rigidity and make it a little less likely to return to it's former shape.  I really appreciate everyone's help and encouragement.

 

Mark

 

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I've made a bit of progress since my last post.  Let me catch up on the gloves....

 

As you probably saw in one of the previous photos, I picked up 2 sets of silicon hand guards from JustJoseph63 and I have a set of rubber gloves from TrooperBay.  I also have a pair of nomex flight gloves from E-Bay.  Originally I glued one set of hand guards onto the TrooperBay rubber gloves but then I started not liking the gloves as much.  I'm not sure if the rubber is getting a bit old or if they just kinda got squished in shipping but the fingers had several creases in them that I wasn't too excited with.  By accident I was at Home Depot looking for surgical type rubber gloves and I saw a pair of Gorilla Grip gloves that looked pretty much identical to the TrooperBay rubber gloves, so I picked up a pair of these that weren't squished.  :-)

 

I put the glove on and lined up the hand guard with the flat part of my hand, so that the front edge of the hand guard kind of lined up with the edge of my knuckles when you are making a fist.  I used masking tape to tape the location and took the glove off.

 

20180412_175203423_iOS

 

20180412_175252108_iOS

 

I squeezed a facecloth into the hand opening, used E-6000 glue on the hand guard and then wrapped it tight in masking tape to hold the hand guard to the glove.

 

20180412_180138616_iOS

 

And here they are after they dried...

 

20180414_033030896_iOS

 

 

20180414_033304240_iOS

 

Now for my question.....I'm not sure if they are a little too far back?  Some of the photos I've seen now show the front of the hand hard actually hanging over the knuckles towards the finger tips.   At the time it seemed obvious to me that the guards should sit on the flat part of your hand, but now I'm not too sure.  I guess I could always leave them for now since I've got long arms and having them back a bit may help to hide the gaps I will inevitably have at the wrist and elbow.  I also know that some hand guards, particularly the ABS ones, can be very large and these silicon ones seem like a more "natural" size.  Anyway, I'm babbling.  What's the consensus?  Should the hand guards overhang the knuckles?

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

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On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 12:32 PM, Suspend said:

Should the hand guards overhang the knuckles?

I allowed for just a few mm of overhang on mine - but I'm not sure what the norm is.  Many of the screen shots from ANH look like the front wraps around the knuckles a bit - IMO.  At the end of the day, it is the amount of black that is showing at the wrist vs the elbow that will be scrutinized during approval. The location of the hand guard will affect that somewhat.  See how it looks with everything else on - but, I have a feeling you will be fine.

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