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TheLorelei

Lorelei's 5'4" ATA ANH-S Centurion-Hopeful Build

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I'm finding these shins difficult to hot water bathe. Using a large stock pot I'm able to submerge over half a shin at a time vertically, or a decent bit of one side if I lay the shin across the top of the pot (keeping the pot very full), so that's not the issue so much as the temperamental nature of the shins. Despite being fairly thick, it's easiest to work with them after submerging them for only about 15-20 seconds. (For reference, if I submerged my biceps - or forearms - for that short a time, they would merely laugh short laughs and not budge at all.) Any longer than that and the shins start to take their preexisting curves to extremes - the open rear seams fold in on themselves, the awesome "dents" along the front shin seam become REAL dents, bad dents, squeal-a-little-and-frantically-push-them-back-out dents, and harsh bends become harder. Side note, beware correcting those bends with too much force. If someone were silly enough to do that, this might happen.

sD6Xd1n.jpg&key=a5a77a87cc655ae39b71ffe4aa9639b1781d699209e21caf1812662add69996a

Someone is sure she can fill the crack with ABS paste, reinforce it with a scrap on the back, and polish it out of existence though. Fear not.

 

So this is where they stand! Literally. Haha.

WxxMP9a.jpg&key=b41b1b699ed8eca8e19f16713e1b55f045586e64691e8bab95cd5b88c16999b8

D17wKB7.jpg&key=115684a03c6ae9720946b0d0ec2962dbdfee313f9fa538edc16032ecf55d701f

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What do y'all think? The left one fits pretty perfectly, in my opinion. The right one is definitely larger, more noticeable in person. You can sorta see it in the last picture. The right one has been a huge pain in general, and is greatly improved from where it was, I swear! It was a weird almost heart shape when viewed from above before. Now it's still more circular than the pleasing oval of the left, but not TERRIBLE. I think I'll trim it tighter before fighting it again.

 

But anyway, brutal honesty time. Left shin too tight? Boots too squished? Posts too boring? Promise I won't cry more than a few hours.

In my opinion, the outer right shin on the bottom should be trimmed so that it ends where the inside half ends, and same for the left shin:

7099e7b43abb7ec25fda1f7221ff171a.jpg&key=add9f9996a6d09d3ce0302e2f88fa219c8982f8550cac6e151809e5c2b8f268d

 

Also, look at the top of your left shin and right where I circled green- you can see the left top is a bit smaller. c4b12e6cc6e600ef3d8e577235da8f6d.jpg

I suggest taking off a bit where I drew red dotted lines- just a couple mm each side, and refit it. This should take some of that space out of there. If it still doesn’t feel the same as the left, repeat the process until it’s a little more snug. Not TOO snug where it’ll hurt, you gotta be able to walk!

 

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Good ol' fashioned squeal-a-little-and-frantically-push-them-back-out dents. 

Truly an important part of every great build. :laugh1:

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1 hour ago, Rat said:

We here in the Imperial army do not cry. We simply cut onions.

Sent from my 5054N using Tapatalk
 

There's no crying in baseball! But space baseball... with a laser bat... in white armor... in a legion... of stormtroopers and others... yay Star Wars.

Edited by PhilBobTheFish
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Shins look awesome to me. Like was suggested, I'd also trim the bottoms to match. Are the shins being held together with the tape or do they stay closed by themselves? One piece of advice I found helpful is that you'll have a much easier time with the shin closures if you're able to bend them into shape so that they stay closed naturally rather than having to be forced closed with Velcro, bra straps, etc.

 

Side note: I recently got added to the DO team so I will be eagerly awaiting your EIB and Centurion submissions. :)

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Looks great! Keep up the great work. Just make sure they are not too tight that you can't walk. 

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Oh, those shins look so symmetrical and sit so flush - stuff I have always dreamed of during my RS build :P looking good, and soon you will be part of the ranks ;)

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Nice work, I do prefer a heat gun over water bath, there is more control but you really do have to practice before using one.

 

I've seen a few local troopers with RS armor have issues with the shins cracking at the top due to stress opening, you can either glue some strips of ABS behind or use ABS paste, both will help it cracking further.

 

Looking good.

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On 11/27/2018 at 10:02 PM, PhilBobTheFish said:

Good ol' fashioned squeal-a-little-and-frantically-push-them-back-out dents. 

Truly an important part of every great build. :laugh1:

Hahaha - good to know I'm in good company!!

On 11/27/2018 at 9:02 PM, Bud Spaklur said:

I suggest taking off a bit where I drew red dotted lines- just a couple mm each side, and refit it.

Yeah, I ended up doing that. But also in my hot water bathing I straightened out the backs of the calves too much, they were rather flat, so I ended up pushing them back into curves which a) gives my calves more room and b) gave me more to trim at the top than the middle. It was weird and I can sketch it out if future readers need clarification.

On 11/28/2018 at 12:03 PM, shashachu said:

Shins look awesome to me. Like was suggested, I'd also trim the bottoms to match. Are the shins being held together with the tape or do they stay closed by themselves? One piece of advice I found helpful is that you'll have a much easier time with the shin closures if you're able to bend them into shape so that they stay closed naturally rather than having to be forced closed with Velcro, bra straps, etc.

 

Side note: I recently got added to the DO team so I will be eagerly awaiting your EIB and Centurion submissions. :)

Thanks! Gotcha. The shin bottoms have been trimmed to match - I followed the original curves with a protractor so they stayed ATA-accurate.

QknCZy7.jpg

In re: tape, they stayed together by themselves when left alone; they didn't stay closed when around my boots.

CONGRATULATIONS on your elevated status! Go show those tall people how it's done! Haha. But yes, I look forward to submitting. Eventually.

On 11/29/2018 at 1:41 PM, Pretzel said:

Looks great! Keep up the great work. Just make sure they are not too tight that you can't walk. 

Thanks! Not gonna lie, the left one touches my calf muscle. It's definitely not so tight I can't walk, but I think it might prefer to flex open when I flex my calf. I will likely put the halves together with a few mm gap to account for this, unless the rest of y'all's armor touches your calves, too.

On 11/29/2018 at 3:35 PM, gmrhodes13 said:

Nice work, I do prefer a heat gun over water bath, there is more control but you really do have to practice before using one.

 

I've seen a few local troopers with RS armor have issues with the shins cracking at the top due to stress opening, you can either glue some strips of ABS behind or use ABS paste, both will help it cracking further.

 

Looking good.

Thanks! Yeah, I can see the perks to a heat gun... and hey, check out what happened when I boiled that crack I repaired with ABS paste:

ivWZJAY.jpg

mEPfULv.jpg

Maybe I didn't let it cure(?) for long enough? It's still hard, just foamy looking. Annoying to re-clean it up but at least I didn't polish it before. Anyway there's my word of warning about boiling ABS paste repairs.

 

This weekend, I'm not letting the >50°F weather catch me by surprise. I plan on getting almost all the remaining glueables glued tomorrow (minus outer forearm cover strips on the undersides, hand plates on gloves, belt rivet covers, and shoulder straps), and am prepping like nuts today. Here's my list:

 

-make 4 double snap base plates and 14 singles

-cut magnetic closure mount holes in shins and glue holders in

-outer front shin cover strips

-evaluate outer thigh cover strips - redo if necessary

-outer bicep cover strips

-mount snap plates in thighs

-finish sanding drop boxes, glue in elastic, glue shut

-mount snap plates on chest to back connection at shoulders

-evaluate chest to ab connection, move snap plate/remake elastic if necessary

trim ab and kidney to proper size, mount closure slidey bits and glued snaps (visible snaps later)

-figure out snap placements in bicep, forearm, and shoulder bell and place those (hopefully doable while outer cover strips are clamped)

 

SO. Off I go!

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1 hour ago, TheLorelei said:

unless the rest of y'all's armor touches your calves, too.

Mine does, elliminates all need for extra strapping to keep the shins from twisting:duim: But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can see for yourself :salute:

 

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1 hour ago, TheSwede said:

Mine does, elliminates all need for extra strapping to keep the shins from twisting:duim: But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can see for yourself :salute:

 

:explodingemotie:

Now you just need to go ahead and jump! :P

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30 minutes ago, PhilBobTheFish said:

:explodingemotie:

Now you just need to go ahead and jump! :P

Jump? :)

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On 12/1/2018 at 2:29 PM, TheSwede said:

Mine does, elliminates all need for extra strapping to keep the shins from twisting:duim: But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can see for yourself :salute:

Ha, that's fun! And great to know. Thanks. Went ahead with the spacing I had on the right (trimmed since last picture) and widened the left along the seam just a smidge.

 

Despite not getting done all I hoped over the weekend (next time I'm telling the tree it can decorate itself), I made progress. Not necessarily progress than makes for good pictures - nobody wants to see me gluing things wearing a post-apocalyptic respirator huddled by a pile of firewood in the wintry half-light with a chilly drizzle and thick fog lazily tumbling by - or wait, it might sound like it'd make a good picture but it wasn't nearly as poetic as it sounds, I was sitting on a lunch sized igloo cooler for the love of Mike. But anyway I got work done. And THEN I went to a garrison-mate's house and got help sizing my ab&kidney AND an offer to come over and use their workspace (and belt sander!!) whenever I need it :jc_doublethumbup: which is just so awesome and generous and I'm quite excited. I also got feedback on my chest plate, which was looking like this:

6X7SlBl.jpg

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AKA huge. It's been recommended that I start by bending the sides in and the tops down, and see how that goes before trimming. Works for me.

 

I'm making my own holster, and cut that out last night. It was surprisingly easy, using a template I found floating around the forums. I mocked it up in cardstock first, made my edits, and used a utility knife to cut it all out. Really not bad. I'll be casing the leather (getting it saturated with water to make it easier to work with) and punching my rivet and thread holes tonight. Should be a quick assembly after that!

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Looking awesome Lorelei. Nice call on making the holster.

Sent from my 5054N using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, TheLorelei said:

And THEN I went to a garrison-mate's house and got help sizing my ab&kidney AND an offer to come over and use their workspace (and belt sander!!) whenever I need it :jc_doublethumbup: which is just so awesome and generous and I'm quite excited.

I hope whoever offered that likes waking up at 2am for last minute stress sanding. :laugh1:

 

(Also, props to whoever is helping that much with your build) :th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:

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Nice Work so Far! Looking forward to seeing how the Holster comes out. :jc_doublethumbup:

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18 hours ago, Rat said:

Looking awesome Lorelei. Nice call on making the holster.

Hey thanks Rat! It seemed like another fun challenge, and since it's so different from the rest of the build I knew it'd be a nice change of pace. It's been super fun so far, and really not that difficult. I'll provide a rundown of my madness-- I mean, method - later. This no-camera thing is getting quite frustrating, though.

 

18 hours ago, PhilBobTheFish said:

I hope whoever offered that likes waking up at 2am for last minute stress sanding. :laugh1:

 

(Also, props to whoever is helping that much with your build) :th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:

Me too, Rowan, me too. :laugh1: Kidding, kidding. See, my tactic to avoid such nocturnal ventures is to keep my kit at my boyfriend's house - that way I have to confine my work to reasonable hours, because it's simply not around to be worked on.

(Yeah, they're some real great folks! Neither have TKs but have spec ops troopers and such so can help plenty. Side note: this is such an incredible community.)

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Alright! Let's talk HOLSTER! Part 1

 

I found this post (https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/23643-making-a-holster-for-anh-stunt/) quite valuable, and essentially followed it. However, I had just a few things to add. So here. My stuff.

nyOUYJh.jpg

Clockwise from the lower left we have:

-a small sledgehammer which was likely overkill (but available!)

-a corner of a piece of leather

-pliers (you really, really need them)

-bits of leather I didn't clear off my mat

-a sharp pencil (does double duty as a writing thing AND a scratch awl)

-a sharp razor/utility knife

-a 5/32" punch (a truly awful one)

-a scarily sharp 4-tooth 3mm lacing punch (teeth are 1.5mm, space from tip to tip is 3mm) (really great quality, less than $5, go AliExpress!)

-a pack of leather needles which I'm so glad I picked up on a whim despite thinking I had one already because you do need at least two

-waxed thread for sewing leather (a lot thicker than expected, but looks and works great)

and, in the center, two 6x6 plumbing gaskets on top of a magazine.

 

Armed thusly, and with as much knowledge of leatherworking as one can gain by watching a vendor at the renaissance faire, I set to work.

 

I found a reasonably sized and priced piece of 8oz (~1/8") black leather for just under $20 on Amazon. Nice and thick! It seemed too good to be true. Because, as with many things in life, it was. Turns out it was quite matte/scuffy. Turns out (more hours of research later) that's easy to fix with a 50-50 mix of water and black Resolene swabbed on with a sponge in layers. That stuff is great! You can see the pleasant shine in the pics below. I'll likely go over it once more to even it out when I'm done.

yPwXUIF.jpg

I drew Troopermaster's template (from the thread mentioned) on an old poster. Then I copied only the width on the leather and wrapped it around my blaster to be sure it'd work with leather as thick as mine; I ended up widening the pattern by under 1/2". 

 

Misc. Discoveries:

a) my 5/32" punch is absolute rubbish. Do yourself a favor and buy a decent one

b) one must hammer on a cement surface to get anywhere

c) "casing" leather is very nice, softens it enough to work with

d) 6x6 rubber gaskets (available in the plumbing aisle of a good hardware store) make nice *cheap* backer pads so you don't dull your (potentially) sharp tools - either use two gaskets or stack it on a magazine as one gasket is likely not thick enough

kOL95eY.jpg

e) the link in the other tutorial appears to be broken, but saddle stitching isn't as tough as it may sound and Tandy has some great tutorials on YouTube

f) if done after casing, drawing along your stitching line with a sharp pencil lends a desirable stitching groove

 

Everything else you can read in the other thread. :) midway through stitching, the holster looked like this. Please note I did not punch my snap/rivet holes yet because I'm chronically impatient. I likely should have done that before stitching.

zxMZal4.jpg

Front:

qtQXa23.jpg

Back:

vmFYHXJ.jpg

And hey, that's good enough for me!

Finished product to follow. ^_^

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Looks awesome Lorelei.

Sent from my 5054N using Tapatalk

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Confessions, Part... something.

 

Man, I hate typing this out. But here goes.

When I got the help sizing my ab+kidney, I barely even looked at the positioning before scoring and snapping. A bad idea. I know. Well the size itself was fine, but I realized later that one side seam was further towards my back than the other. It wasn't HORRIBLE because you'll never see my right and left sides at once to compare but it was noticeable, at least to me, and it put the seam under a snap plate too. (How that didn't tip me off before I cut it, after all the measuring I did to make the snap plate locations even, I cannot say.) Well anyway I decided to rectify my mistake, and had fortunately saved all the snapped off pieces so I could tell exactly how much to add back to the kidney and remove from the ab to keep the overall size where it was.

dT349PS.jpg

A clean cut at least. I CA glued them together and ran a bead down the back with some accelerator to solidify it.

m6BmLgY.jpg

Then I slathered some ABS paste over the whole dealio. Figured I'd have a nice lesson in shimming. I haven't done enough sanding yet in this build, anyway.

hxuppxu.jpg

That was yesterday. Today I cut the shim down to size (hence the smallness in the next pic) and wrapped some 180 grit around a paint stick and wet sanded the mess. And now I have this dark line running down the middle and I can't figure out why.

EzrcyhA.jpg

Was there pencil graphite on the seam that I didn't notice before gluing? Is it a shadow? An unfilled crack? Most importantly, WHAT on EARTH can I do about it now? Best I can figure is to carve it out, or sand it down past (???) the darkness and build it back up and sand it back down again.

 

It's been a quick process so far so I'm not too worried about it, just bewildered and highly disappointed in myself. So. Any advice greatly appreciated, as always. Y'all are the best. Just think - after this I'll know how to help somebody else who gets into the same situation! *forcibly shifts paradigm*

 

Now nice things! I hot water bathed many items yesterday. My chest tabs are bent down for a closer fit (front/left is current, back/right is original):

jOTBNEc.jpg

Yvx1lzy.jpg

And the side wings are bent in too.

Ac335W3.jpg

Boy, was that a pain. One insisted on curling at the end. I ended up clamping it between two paint sticks with binder clips for the rest of the work which flattened it well.

My shins were a bit off as well. The cover strips weren't lying flat.

FzLvpU8.jpg

But now they do!

FgdfnUA.jpg

And I finished my holster, which was awesome. More on that later.

Edited by TheLorelei
Clarity
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Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your not hardcore! Your doing amazing, this will be your crowning achievement and you will proudly serve the empire! Or it’ll get all messed up and look horrible... Just kidding, really, great job.


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38 minutes ago, Frank75139 said:

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your not hardcore! Your doing amazing, this will be your crowning achievement and you will proudly serve the empire! Or it’ll get all messed up and look horrible... Just kidding, really, great job.

Hahahaha - *perfect* response. Thank you for the grin.

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I'll ditto Cranks response. Awesome work and cant wait to see that holster.

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Oh those shins...I did a lot of hot water baths to get my rear cover strips to line up on my ATA kit.

Great job so far on your build and the fix on the kidney! Keep up the good work!

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