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11B30B4’s ROTK Build

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Mikelbrierly, that was an awesome statement. Had to laugh. Nope it’s not my job, although I think most of us would gladly take high paying jobs on the Star Wars creative team. Anyway, since I asked Brian to make the 1943 M38 scope for me, the least I could do was properly review it.


Ukswrath, thank you for your compliment.


Update…. Wait for it…..yep, more sanding…

Done and waiting for masking and paint.




And this is all that is left to sand. Note the metric ton of glaze on the thighs, that will be fun to sand. Anyway, if I am lucky and dedicated, I may have all the sanding done by Sunday. I am not promising anything but it is possible.




Thanks for the interest.

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20 minutes ago, 11b30b4 said:

Mikelbrierly, that was an awesome statement. Had to laugh. Nope it’s not my job, although I think most of us would gladly take high paying jobs on the Star Wars creative team. Anyway, since I asked Brian to make the 1943 M38 scope for me, the least I could do was properly review it.


Ukswrath, thank you for your compliment.


Update…. Wait for it…..yep, more sanding…

Done and waiting for masking and paint.


And this is all that is left to sand. Note the metric ton of glaze on the thighs, that will be fun to sand. Anyway, if I am lucky and dedicated, I may have all the sanding done by Sunday. I am not promising anything but it is possible.


Thanks for the interest.

:laugh1: can so relate to the sanding 


Anytime on the kudos

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On 6/28/2018 at 12:41 PM, mikelbrierly said:

Man this must be your full time job! You’re build and reviews are thoughtfully detailed! We all appreciate the info!

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I second that.


consider doing a Sky Trooper in the future?  Combines the worlds of Mando, TK, and Tie.  You’d work with fiber, bondo, putty, PC7, and/or abs paste, and lots of SANDING, priming, painting, and some prop-building too.  I just wanted to throw it out there.

Edited by Thumpy~
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Jeff, I am speechless. That review is truly amazing and I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for spending the time to put together the most detailed and helpful review I have ever read. Your feedback and observations are epic and deserve a true trooper high five for that. I am so glad you reached out to me for the scope and your request got me back into making scopes again with enthusiasm. Nothing pleases me more than to hear your satisfaction with what you got and paid for. I hope to make good on your suggestions as they are great ideas that will serve others well when they get a kit. Such a great documented review with all the pics too. Love seeing the finished product as well. I made so many of the kits in pieces but rarely find time to build them myself so its nice to see them ready to go on a blaster.   Thank you a billion!!!!!:D


Your armor build is inspiring as well. I really want to go R1 now. 

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Ukswrath, sanding has got to be the most monotonous part of this build. I had a lot of sanding to do when I built my Mandalorian armor but nowhere near this amount. Mostly because the finish of this armor is required to be sleek and shiny.


Thumpy, thank you for the suggestion. I will look into the Sky Trooper and see what all is involved. After all, you guys know that once you build one costume, that is never the end, rather, only the beginning of your collection.


Brian (Bulldog Props), you are most welcome. You deserve recognition for the awesome product you make. It will most likely be sometime in early 2019 before I get around to building the new Rogue One E-11 and adding the 1943 M38. I still need to source the Hengstler and power cells but I am slowly collecting all the necessary parts. I will post the build here and/or in the Rogue One E-11 thread.



Well I did sand all the remaining parts but the once-over was not enough for all the parts. The thighs are giving me a real hard time. Here they are sanded and at first glance, they look good but a closer inspection reveals numerous issues.




Because of all the issues I found with them, I re-coated them with primer and now you can clearly see the problem.




While I waited for the primer to cure, I finished sanding the remaining parts. Here is what is ready for masking and painting.






So the parts remaining are the two thigh pieces and the thermal detonator. I glazed the larger pinholes in the thighs and will sand them again. As you can see in this picture (yellow arrow) there are large areas on both sides of the thighs that are look very rough. The feel smooth but the primer brings them out. I am hoping that the next sanding will smooth some of this out and then the three layers of automotive primer will bring it all together when I actually start painting. I cannot sand them any finer than 220 grit or the primer and paint will not adhere properly.  The thermal detonator is a completely different issue. There is a seam that runs along it lengthwise where Jim must have made it in two parts and sealed it together. The seam is very thin and I have sanded through it in a few areas. I have backed the inside of the seam with PC-7 and then glazed the outside but it need to set for 24 hours before I can sand on it.

I may be obsessing a bit and seeing issues that will be covered by primer and paint but I would hate to paint everything and then realize I needed to redo these parts.




So, my garrison has a racing shirt run that ends on July 22nd. I really wanted to finish this build in time to get approved and order the shirt but I do not think I will make the cut off. I also do not want to rush anything and end up with a less than centurion level set of armor. Adding to this time constraint is the fact that I will lose a whole week in July due to work. I am not a happy camper but I will persevere. I plan on finishing the sanding tonight and clean up my workshop and begin construction on the paint booth. I will need to get creative on how I will hang everything inside the booth but I have a few ideas on that front. The saga continues…


Thanks for the interest.

Edited by 11b30b4
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Looking sweet. Yes, no rush is best but I know that feeling about the gear. Those shirts are cool to have. Maybe with enough time put in you can get it done in time and still have the results you want. 

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Brian, thanks for the support. I know it will be close but I will not know until the witching hour.



Sanding is finally done (I hope). I knocked out the last few items earlier this week. I am still not happy with the thighs but I am hoping that the primer will do the job (fingers crossed).




Next I built the paint booth. For this I used ¾” PVC. Lessons learned from my previous paint booth are as follows:

1. Buy a lot of “T’s”, you will still run out and need to go to Hope Depot but buy more than you think you need.

2. Ventilation, buys some cheap A/C filters and use them to filter air that is being introduced into in openings of the booth to equalize the pressure.

3. Figure out a way to prevent the sealed booth from collapsing due to negative pressure from vent fan.

4. Anchor the floor tarps so they don’t pull up from negative pressure.

So I don’t recall exact measurements but I started out with a 10’ x 12’ x 80” tall booth and eventually made it 10’ x 10’ x 80”. I used more cross members and supports than I did on my previous booth to help in making the booth more resistant to the negative pressure.










Once I tested the booth, I added some tables and hanging wires to hold the armor being painted.



Since the hanging wire was an afterthought, I hard mounted it to the ceiling in my basement. This meant I needed to cut holes in the clear tarps and then reseal them. Due to a mistake on my part, I ended up adding another filter to one of the holes which will help in equalization. I did put some hanging wires on the PVC pipes but it will not support a lot of weight so this is for small stuff only.




The blower is a 12” unit with exhaust hose I got from Northern tool. I already had an 8” (same model just smaller) for my smaller paint booth but I wanted something more effective. The motor is completely sealed so no issues with using it to vent flammable fumes. Running on low it does a great job for the paint booth. I think running it on high will be too strong for this paint booth.




So, once everything was set up, I masked most of the armor and hung it in the booth.




I still need to mask the helmet and then I will be ready to paint. Unfortunately, I will be working the next week so everything will have to wait until I am done with work.


And that is the update, thanks for the interest.

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Brian, thanks. Having a basement for a workshop was a mandate to my wife when we bought our house. Her mandate for me in the next house is a detached workshop so all the fumes from paint and fiberglass do not make the house smell like a body shop. ;)


Update, I am back from my work trip. Man, being away for a week has killed me but I am back and today I tied up some loose strings in preparation for paint tomorrow.


First, I reworked all my air compressor lines and re-dehydrated the desiccant for the filter. I replaced the inline disposable filter and got some new hose. All that sorted out, I hung two more hard mounted wire hanging contraptions to hold the armor being painted. I also added the last cheap A/C filter to paint booth so it now has 4 20 x 25 A/C filters. The negative pressure inside the booth is better managed now and less likely to collapse the drop cloth walls. So here is how the booth looks now.




I have staged the primer for mixing.




The paint and clear coat are also ready to go as well.




These are the paint guns we will be using.




So the plan is to start painting at 08:00 tomorrow. I will have the assistance of a fellow Mandalorian Merc who has more experience in painting automobiles than I do. He will do most of the painting and I will mix the paint and mostly stay on the outside of the booth helping when needed. We hope to get two or three layers of primer on the armor. This will depend on how the first coat goes. After the first coat we will deal with any issues with the armor to ensure a smooth surface. For this I have staged a ton of sand paper ranging from 100 grit through 2000 grit.




After we get all the armor primed, we will apply two or three coats of the white base coat. After another inspection and addressing any issues we will apply two clear coats. At that point we will remove any of the parts that get airbrush color added. Then we will spray two more clear coats on the remaining armor.


I will let all the armor cure for 24 hours then being to mask the parts that need airbrushing. These parts will be the helmet, thermal detonator, abdominal, and back plate sides.


I have looked over the “Rogue One Paint Guide” here on FISD and went a step further, I made some graphics to better outline what needs to be painted and what colors to use.






So basically I will be using three colors; French Blue, Black, and Medium Grey. For this I will be using flat acrylic opaque airbrush paints. The French Blue and Black are US Art Supply “airbrush ready” (meaning they do not need to be thinned) and the Medium Grey is a Tamiya acrylic that will need to be thinned for the airbrush.




Once I have masked the parts, I will airbrush them and then remove the masking. Then these parts will get two more coats of clear coat round them at a total of four coats just like the other parts. The airbrush I will be using is an Aztek A7778 kit that has 9 interchangeable tips.




While these last four parts are curing (for 24 hours) I will apply the flex seal white rubber paint to the inside of the other parts. These last four parts will get the flex seal after the 24 hours curing.


After another 24 hours to cure the flex seal, then I will add all the Velcro and straps, and the lenses and vent covers in the helmet and lastly do a test fit. Hopefully, I will be updating this thread throughout with what I experience and more pictures.


And that is the update, thanks for the interest.

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Your paint guide is really cool. 


Just a quick question: Will the airbrushed areas - helmet vents and teeth, TD grey area etc need the clear coat? I just wonder if they would stand out more, or look separate from the rest of the armor if they were not only a different colour, but if their finish was a little different as well. I'm not sure if it's clear in any of the available images, but if their "construction" was originally using separate materials, there may be a visible difference in sheen as well. 


Again I don't know if someone has had a better view and everything is high gloss - I just think that some of the tears and trap vents might look more "separated" if they were a flat grey. I sort of got the impression that the Black Series helmet had used duller grey too.


Any thoughts?

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Big Deal, thank you for the compliment on the paint guide. I will have more to say about it below. As for the airbrushed sections you bring up a good point that I must have forgot to mention in my previous update. Once all the airbrush is done I will apply two more layers of clear coat to the parts that were airbrushed. This will make everything glossy and uniform. I am not sure if these areas were glossy on the actual props but since I have no other reference that can closely detail if they were in fact gloss or flat, I will go with glossy and can always buff them with some sandpaper later to dull them if needed.


Update….a big one


Ok so I love it when a plan goes well and hate it when it does not. The painting is the latter but not a total disaster. I have already stated that I only have one previous experience with automotive paint so that factored into this issue. As I write this, it is Thursday and a lot of stuff happened on Sunday and Monday so I will try to keep this coherent.


So some of the issues I ran into may have been caused by using the non-automotive primer on the armor during my sanding phase but I do not think this is the case. Another option is that the automotive primer may have had a reaction with the flexible fiberglass and I think this is more likely. I will detail what problem I ran into further along.


Sunday 08:00 my buddy arrived and everything was ready to go.




We mixed the primer and tested it in the smaller spray gun but it was too thick to flow in that gun so we went with the larger gun and it flowed well. We test sprayed some paper and got good color and flow and assumed all was well, it was not. After my buddy had sprayed several parts he notified me we had a problem.


Apparently we had the air mixture on the gun too high or the paint flow too low. The air pressure from the compressor was good at 39 PSI. The primer went on these parts like it was powder coat. Here you can see the back plate and how rough the primer was.






So me being more familiar with my spray guns, I went into the booth and got the mixture rate correct but the damage was already done. These parts would need to be sanded and this pushed everything back. We pulled these parts and I started sanding them while my buddy sprayed all the other parts.




Sometime later all the parts had been primed.








After the messed up parts were sanded, washed and dried, they were re-sprayed. We used all the primer so, a note to anyone else doing this, get more than 1 qt of primer. I will include this in my list of lessons learned at the end of this post.




Next we inspected all the parts and I must admit that I did a piss poor job of this, there are a lot of things I should have observed and corrected but I didn’t and these became issues later. SOOOO if you are doing this, make sure you inspect everything after primer and correct all the mistakes before you move to apply the paint. One thing for sure that I should have done but did not was to sand everything with 800 or 1000 grit sandpaper.


Why didn’t I do this? Well first, I was concerned with all the instructions for the paint and primer and the specified times between primer and paint to ensure adhesion. That time window was closing quickly. Also, that is a lot of armor and most likely two days of sanding, two days that I didn’t have. However, if I had sanded I would noticed a lot of issue and could have saved myself some time and trouble in the end. My other concern is if I sanded the primer to 800 or 1000, I was concerned that the paint would not stick to the primer. I should have considered using 400 or 600 grit and I would have been ok I think. Regardless, I didn’t do any of this and went straight to painting.


The paint and also the clear coat are much thinner than the primer so the flowed out of the smaller and more controllable gun just fin but this also meant that we mixed smaller batches of the product and we had to do this more often. I do not know if the larger gun would apply the paint and clear as well, I suspect we it would have come out heavier and would have been more likely to run. Anyway, we sprayed at least one layer of paint on most of the parts before we ran out of paint. I only had a pint of the paint and that went fast. Again buy more than you think you will need.














So we ran out of paint and these parts did not get any paint.




Sooo Monday I hit the automotive paint supply store again and dropped another $150 on more paint, and I decided to double down on the clear coat just to be sure I had enough. This time I got a whole quart of paint instead of another pint. I wanted to apply another layer to all the parts and that was a good idea.


The instructions for the paint stated that the clear coat must be applied between 45 minutes and up to 24 hours after the paint. Any longer I would be required to sand everything. However, I figured out a way to extend this. I would just apply the second coat of paint just before the 24 hours and that would give me another 24 hours. This was good because I found all the issues I had eluded to previously.


So let’s talk about the helmet. Painted with compressed air is a tricky thing. You must maintain the proper distance from the item being painted or you will get too thick and end up with runs. But if you get too far from the part you will end up with a powder effect similar to what we experienced with the primer. On the helmet we had these issues with the primer and the paint did not cover them up.


First, in these pictures you can see all the yellow circles identify what I found. The area around the teeth was very rough and would need to be sanded. The seam between the front of the face and the mouth was very powdery and would need to be sanded. There were rough areas inside the openings where Hovi mics go and the inside edges of the tears were rough. We had a run under the left eye. I also noticed wherever I had masked an opening such as the eyes, the primer and/or the paint got very rough. I assume from blowback of the product hitting the masking. So all of this (other than the run) would have been apparat if I had inspected better after the primer. Anyway, I had more paint so I could fix all of this with sanding and removing the masking, then repaint everything. The only thing I would not be able to do is re-prime but as long as my sanding was not too rough, I could take the roughness down with some 600 and 800 grit and not remove the primer.






I ended up sanding the whole helmet with 800 grit and got everything nice and smooth then re-painted it.


The other two issues I found after painting was an insane number of pin holes on a lot of the parts and some of the detail lines along the cover strips were filled in or not deep enough. In this picture you can see what I am talking about. Notice the detail lines along the cover strip and also all the small pin holes.




The weird thing is that none of these pin holes were evident when I had primed with spray paint primer and sanded everything two week ago. I can only assume that this is the reaction with the fiberglass that I mentioned previously. As you can see from earlier pictures, most of the spray paint primer was sanded away so I do not think it is a reaction between the two primers. This leads me to believe that the automotive primer reacted with the fiberglass. Again, if I had done a better inspection after the primer, I would have seen these issues and corrected them. Instead I raced to paint and now I was stuck with them.


So how to address at least some of these issues. First I applied very small amounts of glazing putty in the largest of the pin holes. I would not be able to prime over the putty so I hoped that the paint would stick to it and it did. I also took a razor blade and rescored some of the detail lines on some of the parts and re-painted them as well.


After everything was repainted and I waited the obligatory 45 minutes, it was time to clear coat. The clear went on thin just like the paint. Everything got to layers of clear and that was 1 whole quart of clear. Luckily I have another quart so applying more clear after the airbrush won’t be an issue.






It was at this paint that I found a few areas where the paint had separated from the primer or cracked. Most of these areas are very small and not noticeable unless you really looked for them but one area that was noticeable was the back plate. In this picture you can see the paint had cracked on the sides of the cog wheel. I think this occurred because the paint was so thick here as I tried to get the sides of the cog wheel. Again this is an issue with me not properly inspecting after the primer and noticing how rough the primer was on the sides of the cog wheel in all those recesses. I have decided to let this stay for now and I can come back later and mask this whole area off and sand and redo everything inside the square.




So Wednesday, after 24 hours of letting the clear coat cure, it was time to mask and airbrush. I started with the back plate by masking most of it and lightly dry sanding the side plates with 220 grit to ensure the airbrush paint would stick. I removed the sanding dust with a damp tac cloth.




Sorry, I forgot to get a pic after the black was applied.


Next, I masked off the abdominal armor on the sides and sanded them with 220 grit.




I measured the circle on the front of the abdominal armor and came up with a diameter of 9/16” so I made some vinyl masks on my vinyl cutter and applied them. I lined them up as best as I could. I also masked the small square area as well. Then I masked the rest of the part off but its not in the picture below. Lastly, I sanded the areas to be painted and hit them with the tac cloth.




I also masked off the thermal detonator and sanded it then set aside.




Here is the painted abdominal armor. It still needs another layer or two of clear but otherwise it’s good to go.






Lastly I started sanding the helmet in the areas that need to be masked and painted. There are a lot of them since the brown trim and neck trim are molded into the helmet. The teeth, tears side ears, back square things, and the separate tube things. I will mask it off tonight but I do not think I will get to paint it until Friday.




So you may be wondering just what were the ramifications of the pin holes that I did not fill in? Here is a thigh plate and in the reflection you can see the unevenness of the clear coat.




Here is a closer picture.




As you can see, it is noticeable but not the end of the world. If I really want to fix it, I can sand the clear coat smooth with some 800 or 1000 grit then apply another layer of clear but I am going to let this go since my end goal will be TD and there will be considerable weathering later on.


Ok so for everyone who decides to go with the automotive paint process, I will share my lessons learned. I do not know if you could avoid a lot of this stuff but just using rattle can spray paint but I have had mixed results with spray paint and seen a ton of issue with spray paint clear coats cracking and orange peel. My other concern was the flexibility of spray paint and spray paint clear coat on the parts that need to flex just to be put on such as the lower leg armor.


At a minimum you will need to following amounts of primer, paint, and clear. Keep in mind the listed mixture rations for the products I used. You may need more or less of a product if the mixture if different.

Primer 4:1 mixture- you will need at least 1qt, I recommend 1.5 quarts.

Paint 1:1 mixture- you will need at least 1qt, I recommend 1.5 quarts.

Clear 4:1 mixture- you will need at least 1qt, I recommend 1.5 quarts.

You will also need a ton of mixing cups, like 20-30 depending on the size of your spray guns, otherwise you will be cleaning mixing cups to re-use.

You will need a ton of screen, like 30+.

You will need a ton of mixing sticks, like 50+.


The color I used was the Ford Frozen White and I thinks a great choice.

Lessons learned:

Prep is the second most important part of painting.

Inspections and correction after primer is the most important part of painting.

Test your spay materials every time you refill the gun on plastic not paper to make sure you have a clean and good flow.

Unfortunately, the pot life of most of these products is fairly short (30 min – 1 hr) so only mix what you use each time.

If you are spraying primer for more than a few hours, you need to stop and clean the gun or it will clog. DO NOT LET PRIMER SIT IN THE GUN, it will become a solid mess and you will need to toss the gun in the trash.

Watch lots of videos on YouTube on how to paint cars to understand the process and how the layers would be sprayed and what the “wet look” should look like.

When things go wrong, and they will, don’t get pissed, fix them then if you can but also understand that you need to keep your momentum going or you will get more frustrated. This is the main reason I did not fix the back plate cracking when I noticed it. I can fix it later and I kept my momentum up to get to the end of the tunnel.


Ok so that is the update, more to come soon. Thanks for the interest.

Edited by 11b30b4
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Sorry to hear about the paint woes. I hope it all gets fixed the way you want it in the end. Great guide for anyone looking to go the same route. Your trials will certainly help others. Thanks for sharing!

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Honestly man, it still looks great. In my opinion, someone would really have to get close and be purposefully inspecting for imperfections for this to be noticed. With that said, I know what it feels like to have in the back of mind that it's not up to my own standards, lol.


Keep up the great work and equally great thread! 

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LTM, great meeting you last night at the Armor Party and I love that E-11.


Brian, thanks buddy. I think I will end up fixing the back plate after approval if it doesn’t become an issue for approval. Other than that, the rest of the armor will stay as is since I will be weathering all of it at some point to make the TD for Rogue One Jedah Patrol. Besides, coming from the Mando side of things, I prefer weathered and used look anyway.


Devolver, thanks and I agree, unless you really got up close, you would not notice it. One thing I learned a few years ago is that a costume really only needs to be accurate at 3 feet distance. Anything more is just for your own interests. Regardless, I do know the issues are there and that bugs my OCD.


Ok just a quick update.

Yesterday, before the Armor Party I knocked out the Thermal Detonator and tube front face thing. I also took a pic of the sides of the back plate.








I have started to mask the helmet and should get it painted tonight then clear coat all these parts once more and get to work on the Velcro and straps. Hopefully, I can submit for approval by Sunday.

Thanks for the interest.

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Ukswrath, Thank you and I am happy with the kit overall. I just hate the imperfections but I will fix them or learn to live with them.



Today has felt like a horrific Chevy Chase comedy. Well let me back up. Yesterday I finished masking off the helmet and then painted it. Masking those teeth was a real pain but I got it all done.








After that I pulled all the masking off and went back in with a small brush and did the outline of the tears and the boxes above the eyes. I didn’t see score lines around the two boxes on the back so I guess they don’t get the outline.








Next I put all the stuff that needed another layer of clear in the paint booth and took all the other parts out. Then I shot the clear on these parts.














At this point I realized that I could go for GML approval on Saturday and I may actually make the 11pm Sunday racing shirt cut off. I would hold off on doing the flex seal on the inside of the parts until after approval. So, while the newly coated parts were curing I started to assemble the other parts and putting Velcro on them.














So Saturday I got up and took my dog for a walk and got my Starbucks on. I came home expecting to finish the helmet and when I pulled the cured clear coated parts out I discovered that the clear coat did not like the black airbrush paint I used. Here you can see the side plates are heavily pitted.




The brim on the helmet was just as bad. OK, Don’t panic… Just mask off the black areas, sand them with some 600 grit and recoat. Yes this will push your timetable back but you can do it. So I did just that and it did help somewhat but the pitting is still there so I had to run with what I had.


Luckly, the clear coat is dry to the touch at 90 minutes and cured after 8 hours of air drying. So when the helmet was dry enough to handle, I put the screens inside and secured them with tape. I cut up a construction helmet and used the harness inside my helmet. I attached the Hovi mics and the lenses. Lastly, I superglued front pipes thing and the helmet was done “for approval”.








Next, I emailed my GML and let him know to expect pictures by 9pm “ish”. I put on my kit and tried to take some pics but the damn reverse “selfie” camera kept washing all the detail out. Here is an example.




Up close it works fine.




So once again the universe was doing everything it could to prevent me from getting that damn racing shirt. I stopped working on this crap and got something to eat. Then I ask my wife to take the pics for me and they came our great.

















So I sent the pics to the GML and we will see if I get approval and a racing shirt tomorrow. As for the kit. I will re-think the inside of the helmet and start applying flex seal to the inside of everything. If I still have time before DragonCon, I will fix the back plate and possibly redo the black helmet brim and side plates. I wish I had time to build the T-21 and the Jedah pack but I just don’t thing I will have time to complete them. Well that is it for the update. As always, thanks for the interest.

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Great job man! Two things i would like to comment on are your drop boxes. I think the black elastics are too long. Next is your ab armor needs to go down a bit or you need to cut the top part more so it is not showing on the sides. Hope this helps! Overall topnotch job bro!

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Great job Jeff. 


An area of concern for me are the shoulder bell gaps. They should be very close if not touching the shoulder covers. Your GML may or may not mention this.


Here's a reference photo




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