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Gaanon's AM Build Thread


Gaanon
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Call this ANH TK 2.0?  I was originally approved with an ATA kit and WTF bucket but I was never completely happy with it.  Nothing against ATA, but I'm a bigger guy and ATA isn't made for someone like me.  If you look at my kit you'll see 5" gaps on both sides between kidney and ab plate and crazy large cover strips/shims on the back of my thighs.  So I started looking for a larger kit that would fit better.  I had two in mind.  My GML recommended AM, but I had thought another would fit better so I got on the wait list.  And waited.  And a few months past the estimated delivery date without word my turn was up, I tried to contact him for an update.  Two and a half weeks later and still no response, so I reached out to Armor Masters this past Sunday, placed my order and sent some PayPal funds.  The kit was boxed up and in the mail Monday!  Fast forward to today and it's already BBB Day!  I've NEVER seen things happen that fast.  Pro to living in the same state is super fast delivery.  Con...is when the state is California and you have to deal with the sales tax!  Ouch!!!:duimomlaag:

 

So let's start off with the obligatory BBB Photo.

vCcQEGO.jpg

 

Since this is at work I didn't have much time to do anything other than take a quick look inside.

0mLgiIa.jpg

 

Tomorrow I'll crack everything open and take a photo of the complete kit.

What I've noticed already:

- There's a lot of extras.  Multiple hand plates, ab buttons, knee plates, etc.

- Mic tips are aluminum.  Should be good enough for basic, but they don't look like the resin cast ones on the inside.  I'm guessing they'll need to be replaced for higher approval

- Even came with helmet padding!

- Plastic is thick.  Even thicker than ATA.

- Ears are pre-trimmed and the eye holes are already cut out.  Overall it looks like there's a lot of trimming already done.

- Everything is smooth.  No bumpy wonkiness that are in other kits.  My understanding is that the AM molds are machined aluminum.  I thought I'd like something smoother and more even...now I'm not so sure.

 

Anyone with an AM kit, feel free to chime in on what it takes to assemble.

 

Brian

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It’s a great kit I love mine. They make the helmet super easy. Extra parts are for the different TKs so you can switch if you want to do a sandy down the road. I found the plastic to be very nice to work with due to the thickness. Be careful cutting but it is very sturdy. With that being said I did get a crack in my chest (my own fault, packing incident) so don’t be too careless. Seeing those pics makes me want to buy another one.


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As promised, back at work and here we go!


vufG0W2.jpg


Everything laid out on our conference table at work.  What else is a conference table good for?  I was surprised at how much stuff there actually was.  Took up the whole table.  Now for the detailed images.


bQmp1Jb.jpg


Here we have the helmet, pre-trimmed ears, two types of shoulder straps (need to look up the different versions of this kit) and biceps.


lxknWjo.jpg


Chest, back plate, and forearms.  Looks like a lot more room than what I currently have.


uh65pLz.jpg


Ab and cod, belts (something else to look up), different ab buttons, different hand plates, thermal det was pretty much preassembled, drop boxes (inner and outer).


ZHWOvGi.jpg


Leg day (I had to move around the other side of the table for a better look.  TK knee plate and two TD knee plates, thigh ammo belt (AM will prebend them for you if you like)


DIWjL6m.jpg


Some of the extras, correct brow and neck trim, aluminum mic tips, ABS weld (I'll stick to E6000, thank you) and some hardware.

iLXiPa5.jpg


Detail on the belts and buttons


fTKK1MF.jpg


Detail on the ab buttons and hand plate options.  


awunfyu.jpg


Ab and cod detail (I was happy this was one piece.  I've heard some kits this comes in two parts and didn't want to deal with that.)


Rw71YXg.jpg


Close up on the kidney and butt plate. 


jMuUCwz.jpg


Close up on the pre-trimmed ears, mic tips, and shoulder strap options.

And that's about it for now.  It also came with what looks like the correct lens material.  Decal options for TK or TD as well as some frown mesh and tube stripes for stunt and hero. 


I will say this, packing was awesome.  Everything wrapped almost individually and stacked neatly.  Not tossed in with peanuts like I've seen before.  I'm going to have a heck of a time getting it all back in the box.  But all in all I'm quite pleased with the kit itself and the value.


If I didn't have work today, I'd be at home beginning assembly.  


Brian

Edited by Gaanon
Missing an img tag. Oops.
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You're reading this.  You're following along with the build.  Maybe you have a kit already, maybe you're new and looking to get one soon.  Hopefully this will help you out as so many have helped me, whether they know it or not.  If you haven't spent at least a week under the Getting Started - Read this First! section, you're not doing yourself any favors.  If you're of average size or at least of average build, you're lucky as most kits should fit you just fine.  If you're like me and could stand to lose a few pounds or more, read, research, and read some more.  I'm 5'10" and pushing 250lbs.  A "standard" kit doesn't fit and while I can build it to basic, it doesn't look good. (my opinion)

 

For example, you can see from my approved kit, my thighs have crazy shims in the back that I'm not happy with:

s0FgcwB.jpg

 

Same with the gaps between the kidney and ab plate:

bfkD2Xu.jpg

 

Overall, I think the gaps between the different parts are too much.  But it's the best I can do with what I have.  I hope, for the bigger troopers like me, that want to join, they can use this build thread as a resource for what can be done with the right stuff.

 

Brian

 

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Well said man

You’ll like this one a lot more. I was 260 when I started mine and had a lot of extra cut off. I could have gotten bigger and still been able to size that to me. Lucky for me I went down to 245 (still trying). I’m not sure why it’s all still on the desk, start building!

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I can see a few upgrades from the parts in my AM 2.0 set, but then I have had it for nearly 3 years and still not finished putting it together, although that's down to my attention span more than anything else.

 

I am actually in the process of thining down the returns I left on my biceps and getting them ready for another hot bath as they dig into my upper arm, you might come across this when your prepping the biceps on your build.

 

The helmet looks sweet, mine is an earlier 3 part kit.

 

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31 minutes ago, Frank75139 said:

Well said manemoji122.png

You’ll like this one a lot more. I was 260 when I started mine and had a lot of extra cut off. I could have gotten bigger and still been able to size that to me. Lucky for me I went down to 245 (still trying). I’m not sure why it’s all still on the desk, start building!

You know how it is, work before pleasure...Plus, the wife doesn't know about this one...yet.  And I've got a troop this afternoon for a book signing with Ashley Eckstein :jc_doublethumbup::smiley-sw013:  I'll be working on getting together some supplies (aka read Supply list for your TK build...) the rest of this week and hopefully I can make the Garrison Armor Build Party this Sunday.  Plus I also printed out all the notes I collected from my first build.

 

30 minutes ago, Artshot said:

I can see a few upgrades from the parts in my AM 2.0 set, but then I have had it for nearly 3 years and still not finished putting it together, although that's down to my attention span more than anything else.

 

I am actually in the process of thining down the returns I left on my biceps and getting them ready for another hot bath as they dig into my upper arm, you might come across this when your prepping the biceps on your build.

 

The helmet looks sweet, mine is an earlier 3 part kit.

 

If it helps, let's get it done together.  I'll be looking for your updates!  I know my first build took forever.  Partly from fear I was going to mess something up.  But I learned we call that weathering...for the most part.  About 2 years to build, then a month for my initial rejection, and two months for all the fixes.  My GML was at the build party I got my final approval pics done and gave me the unofficial thumbs up on the spot.

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OK, experienced builders, first questions:

 

1)  Belt.  I've got two and from the looks of it two different rivet covers for the belt.  I'm going to be using the square covers.  The question is, which belt should I use?  Is there really a difference between the one with the square recesses and the flat one?  Yes, I will be adding my 45* cuts to the corners in place of the rounds either way.

 

2)  Shoulder straps.  I know I'm going to be using the one with the texture to it.  But what costume is the other one for?  I didn't see anything on any TK like costume in the CRL database.  Although I may not have looked hard enough.

 

3)  Hand Plates.  Again, more for my knowledge than anything.  I know one is ANH and the other is ESB/ROTJ.  I thought the slotted looking one was for some sandys or HWT, but I can't seem to find it.

 

Brian

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21 minutes ago, Gaanon said:

OK, experienced builders, first questions:

 

1)  Belt.  I've got two and from the looks of it two different rivet covers for the belt.  I'm going to be using the square covers.  The question is, which belt should I use?  Is there really a difference between the one with the square recesses and the flat one?  Yes, I will be adding my 45* cuts to the corners in place of the rounds either way.

 

2)  Shoulder straps.  I know I'm going to be using the one with the texture to it.  But what costume is the other one for?  I didn't see anything on any TK like costume in the CRL database.  Although I may not have looked hard enough.

 

3)  Hand Plates.  Again, more for my knowledge than anything.  I know one is ANH and the other is ESB/ROTJ.  I thought the slotted looking one was for some sandys or HWT, but I can't seem to find it.

 

Brian

Do you have some pictures?

 

I'll do my best to answer without pics :)

Yes, the belt gets the square rivet covers.  If you have round ones, those might be the large ab buttons for a sandtrooper.  Two ABS belts?  Are they the same size?

 

Shoulder bridges - yep, use the one with ridges.  I'm not sure what the other ones are.

 

Hand plates - yes, the curved ones are for ESB.  The slotted - or cheese grater - ones are for some sandtroopers.  They used both the traditional ANH hand plates and the cheese grater ones.

 

Hope that helps

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I'm not sure if you have come across this build yet, but I found it pretty helpful for my first build.  I didn't build an AM kit, bit there is still a lot of good info for anyone.

 

 

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here's my entry for your questions:

 

1.  The ammo belt choices look like they are accommodating for larger screw heads where the covers won't be able to stay flush on the plate....hence the recesses.....could be wrong.  I used larger Chicago screws on my ammo belt and therefore had to put extensions on my covers so that they sit flush.  Those recesses would've helped a brother out.

2.  I recall when TD shoulder straps just asked for the smooth variety.  Perhaps they thought this would have been used for a TD build?  Now they are more specific with ensuring the shoulder bridges are elastic.....trooperbay's canvas ones aren't spec (anyone want to buy canvas shoulder straps? :P)

3.  Look at the Sandy behind the famous picture of the captain strolling with his BFG on his shoulder.....I believe he also has an orange pauldron if memory serves.  He's got the cheese grater hand plates

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From what i remember, you use the belt without the square indents and the covers are flat squares with the raised centre, button or whatever it's called.

 

There are rubber handguards that are great and found in the sales threads, i have a pair glued to gloves for my TK.

 

The shoulder straps are the ridged ones, which should be glued a specific way round, from what i recall the first bump on the front of the strap should be the slightly wider one, but you might want to double check that as there has been a bit of discussion concerning the shoulder bridges of late.

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2 hours ago, Artshot said:

From what i remember, you use the belt without the square indents and the covers are flat squares with the raised centre, button or whatever it's called.

 

There are rubber handguards that are great and found in the sales threads, i have a pair glued to gloves for my TK.

 

The shoulder straps are the ridged ones, which should be glued a specific way round, from what i recall the first bump on the front of the strap should be the slightly wider one, but you might want to double check that as there has been a bit of discussion concerning the shoulder bridges of late.

Yes, the larger bump goes in front (I am building AM as well) but waiting on a question if you cut the plastic in front of the bump if going for centurion. Do you cut at the blue line or dont worry about it?

 

8JJbESy.jpg

Edited by LTM
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55 minutes ago, LTM said:

if you cut the plastic in front of the bump if going for centurion. Do you cut at the blue line or dont worry about it?

 

Screen suit for ref.:duim:

jAeeMlz.jpgvMjnqLh.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally some time for a little progress!  It's just difficult to get stuff done during the week and well...there's some new movie release this weekend.

 

 

I started off working on the Ab and cod.  Following @ukswrath I trimmed back a bit of the cod and curved it off.  I also trimmed back some of the return edge on the sides (where the legs will go).  I didn't take a before pic (I'll try to in the future) but if you look at it in the right light, you can see a small dip and I used that for my guide on the return edge.  I can always trim more later if I like.

EEXwZJV.jpg

Yes, that's my workbench.  It's in the garage.  Pardon the absolute mess around it.  Lots going on.

Next is the start of the trim on top.  Ya got two choices (well more than two, but two real ones) to connect the chest to the ab plate as well as connecting the back pieces together.  Either snap plates or brackets.  Yes, brackets are more accurate, but I prefer snap plates.  I did snap on my ATA and they worked fine.  I've seen velcro on an Anovos build and I'll pass on that all together.  I know the brackets can work great, and there are a great many troopers out there with them.  But when they break, it can be a real problem.  

So, since I'm going with snap plates, and since this part will never be seen there's no reason for so much return edge, so I'm trimming it down by about half.  Plus, on the sides, it kinda digs into me.  And being the larger guy that I am, I can use all the extra room I can get.

sz3lKKs.jpg

You can see the difference in width.  The very top is what I've trimmed so far.  The rest...not so much.  Yet.  But I'll get there.

My plan is to trim up the torso section first and get that sized to me.  Once that's done I can figure out how to situate the arms, legs, and shoulder bells.  

 

That said, I've got a troop tomorrow for Solo.  Hopefully, I can get to watch the movie Sunday with one of the kids, then Deadpool on Monday with another.  Somewhere in between I'll get more work done.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been a while. Been too long. Between life getting In the way, working on my kid’s Biker Scout, and trooping in my ATA, hasn’t been much time to work on the AM.

But here’s a gratuitous pic during our recent troop at Legoland California for Star Wars days.

RE0NziI.jpg

 

But back to the task at hand. I finished up the return edge on the top of the Ab plate. Feels much better now.

6WHDo8N.jpg

 

Since that was done, it’s time to add some snap plates. I’m using the standard Tand Line 24 and attaching them to the armor using nylon webbing instead of spare ABS. It conforms to the shape of the plastic better and without the need to heat the plates to shape.

iQjazy5.jpg

 

And the same with the back. I did add the extra clamps to the front. Just to make sure it gets on there solid.

wP5ixEa.jpg

 

Hopefully more progress in the future. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

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What can I say, I couldn't help myself.  I did a little bit more work tonight.

 

I removed the return edge on at the wrist of the forearms and taped them together for a test fit.

6Z0LbdY.jpg

 

Now, I know what you're saying, the wrist is uneven, You should even it up at the most visible end and leave it off behind.  Normally I'd agree.  Except here, since there's no return edge on the wrist, I can trim the wrist down since it's the inside piece that's too long, and still have everything look nice and purdy.

 

And here it is for the test fit.

tgmAyjN.jpg

 

Yes, entirely too big wearing it and I need to trim it some.  I'll get there.

 

But first, some thoughts on the AM kit.  I said it before, and I'll say it again, this kit is SMOOTH.  Looking at it you can see how it's been CAD designed and not just hand sculpted or casted.  Look close at the detail on the ridge on the outside of the forearm.  HUGE difference between the AM and ATA.  On another note, I almost cried this forearm is so big!  I had to shim the backside of the ATA.  I'm certain the AM will be using standard cover strips front and back.  However, unlike the ATA (and other kits) it doesn't have the ridge that the cover strip glues on to.  That's a good thing and a bad thing.  Good, because I don't have to worry about it for sizing.  Bad because I'm used to it, and it's more screen accurate with it.  What matters most at this point, is that it shouldn't be something that will prevent me from EIB or Centurion.

 

That really is all for tonight.  Father's Day tomorrow (Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!) so how much I get done depends on how much the family had planned for me.  Until the next update!

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It’s hard to stop when you start. I ended up taking a lot of days off of work cause I felt like I was on a roll. Don’t have experience with any other kit but the AM was nice to build.


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On 6/16/2018 at 9:28 PM, Gaanon said:

But first, some thoughts on the AM kit.  I said it before, and I'll say it again, this kit is SMOOTH.  Looking at it you can see how it's been CAD designed and not just hand sculpted or casted.  Look close at the detail on the ridge on the outside of the forearm.  HUGE difference between the AM and ATA.  On another note, I almost cried this forearm is so big!  I had to shim the backside of the ATA.  I'm certain the AM will be using standard cover strips front and back.  However, unlike the ATA (and other kits) it doesn't have the ridge that the cover strip glues on to.  That's a good thing and a bad thing.  Good, because I don't have to worry about it for sizing.  Bad because I'm used to it, and it's more screen accurate with it.  What matters most at this point, is that it shouldn't be something that will prevent me from EIB or Centurion.

The AM may not be as accurate as others armors yet, if those others don't fit you correctly what's the difference right? ;) AM is quality armor, not to mention fans won't have a clue or care about the difference. Armors like AM and RT-mod are perfect for larger troopers, plenty of which now proudly wear the EIB and Centurion badge. 

Keep up the good work Brian.  

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