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Sharkbait's TFA Captain Phasma Build

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Time for yet another round of "What have I gotten myself into this time?" courtesy of Sharkbait (ooh ha ha!).  

 

After numerous people telling me I should do a Phasma, what the character could (and should) have been (don't get me started on TLJ), how awesome Gwendoline Christie is, and that Make-A-Wish troop I don't stop talking about ever where our then-Squad Leader pulled every favor he ever had and then some to get the Make-A-Wish little girl her favorite character, Phasma (at the time there were about 10 Phasmas in the entire Legion), and I got to troop my TK along side, I finally decided I was going to do Phasma.  

 

Armor: KB Props, in hand

Helmet: Thorsson, in hand

Neck seal: Geeky Pink's, in hand

Gaskets: Geeky Pink's, in hand

Fingers: Jim (Starbuckcylon) (resin), in hand

Belt: KB Props, in hand

Undersuit: TK undersuit/Easbay compression shirt and pants

Cloth belt pouches: TrooperBay, in hand

Boots: In hand, random black boots found on clearance for $12.

Inserts: 4.4''.  I estimate with my barefoot height (5' 11''), the boot heel (1''), the inserts (4.4'') and the dome on the helmet (1''), I'll stand at about 6' 4''.  

Cape: Jessica's, on order

Blaster: Heston3DSolutions F-11D in hand, (needs champagne chroming)

Chroming: Current plan is professional auto body paint by an actual pro.  Fingers crossed they can do the base coat and chrome coat for me for an accetpable cost.  If need be, I'll do the black base coat (not ideal, but money talks).  She's going to be expensive, and I'm okay with that, but I can only justify spending up to a certain point before I have to be realistic.  I have connections to auto body painters via family, so sending it to one of their contacts for at minimum clear coating is a possibility.  Depending on price, I might do the blasters myself with Alclad and then maybe a nice auto clear coat.  

Extras: Heston 3DSolutions SE-44C, on order and JJ Industries quicksilver baton.  Are either from TFA? No.  Do I care?  Obviously not.  Haha- hence "extras."  Majority of my events are non-canon, the public doesn't know the difference, and that baton is amazing and I knew I wanted to play with it regardless.  Toys and photo props and talking pieces.  I won't use them at every troop, just once in a while for the fun of it, and obviously they will stay at home for the few canon troops we get.  Also Heston had another 50% off sale and I had been toying with grabbing a SE-44C anyway, so just take my money already.  

 

Goal Timeline: Finish by the release of Episode IX - December 20, 2019, so I can troop that premiere (locally).  

Edited by sharkbait
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Great news, looking forward to the build, not enough Phasma builds on here ;) 

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I haven't had a chance to follow through a Phasma build yet. This should be fun.

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And here we go!

 

Rough trimming is mostly done- a few curves I need to use the dremel on.  Next I will fine sand the edges and then I can start assembling the armor!

 

30040503057_71aecf8b54_o.jpg

 

Finger armor has arrived (the yellow pile), and they need sanding and polishing.  

 

Gaskets are on order, threw in a neck seal as well (Geeky Pink's), cape, belt and soft belt boxes will be the next purchase.  

 

Close up of the boots and lifts:

 

30040501367_b5fa8b9788_o.jpg

 

The CRL says no laces, but no laces are going to show, so I should be able to make it work.  I found that because of the height the lifts added, my foot wouldn't fit comfortably in most non-lace boots.  

 

A pair of my work heels with my lifts for scale, roughly 4''.  If I can wear those heels 4 - 5 times per week and walk comfortably, then I think I can do the same with these lifts.  I'm going to build up the base a little so that there's not such a distinct drop in slope at the arch, which should also make it more comfortable.  

 

30040500217_f495ac88c3_o.jpg

 

And finally, the helmet thus far:

 

30040498467_2b50bd21eb_o.jpg

 

A little more fine sanding along the eyes and then I'm ready to fine sand the whole thing.  There's a lot of little extra bits that I have to remove, most of which are in tricky places.  We'll see how that goes.  I'm also going to cut out new lens material.  The helmet came with bubble, and I just can't see out of them except a tiny little spot in each eye.  Not a great combo for someone on lifts who's already kinda clumsy.  No stumbling Phasma around here!

 

With luck, I'll have some time between a troop, decorating for Halloween, and Book Club this weekend to get some more work done!

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Yeah that is a good start off point. Looking forward to seeing your build. I haven't followed one of these yet.

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Awesome! Following your build because I have a KB FOTK, so mine will be pretty similar. Looks like you have the upgraded kit with the resin TD and 2 part forearms?

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2 hours ago, shashachu said:

Awesome! Following your build because I have a KB FOTK, so mine will be pretty similar. Looks like you have the upgraded kit with the resin TD and 2 part forearms?

Nice!  Yes, I have a resin TD (pretty light but still feels sturdy, for resin, I'm impressed and intrigued).  The forearms are two parts.  (The four bits next to each other just above the fingers).  I realized when looking at other KB builds that the kit has undergone several revisions.  Makes it hard to follow other build threads but good that they're paying attention.  

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@TheSwede has a newer KB kit and a great build thread: 

He made some interesting mods to the 2-part forearms so it should be a good reference.

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21 hours ago, shashachu said:

@TheSwede has a newer KB kit and a great build thread: 

He made some interesting mods to the 2-part forearms so it should be a good reference.

I'm following that one, too! 

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Hallelujah, there is movement at last!!

 

45993624385_87a0ba3d4f_o.jpg

 

Yoke gluing to the inner back plate connection.  Once dry, it will be glued into the back plate and be a complete piece ready for final sanding.  

 

I did manage more trimming, majority of the rough trimming is done, some of the fine sanding and trimming is done- the hand guards and knee plates are finished in that regard.  I've trimmed and molded (where necessary) the boot spats, and now I'm ready to trim to make them look like the shape they do in the CRL photos (they're kinda wonky- I'll take photos later).  

 

But I'm not gonna lie, she sat pretty much undisturbed for a good three months before last weekend.  I went to a Mando build party and finally managed to get working again.  This kit is just a huge snot to work with.  I'm constantly frustrated as I keep running into walls where I can't figure out what to do next.  So I start on another part, and run into a wall there, then another part, another wall, repeat until so frustrated it sits for three months.  Christmas and the holidays were busy (and cold in the garage), so that did slow me down a little, but honestly I had no desire to work on it even when I had time.  It's not just the kit itself, by KB, it's FO in general- they're stupid complicated.  Though the boot spats have me a bit concerned (more later).  

 

I thankfully have a friend's assembled FOTK kit for reference at my disposal (it's basically a mannequin piece, so he's letting me borrow it while I build), and that has helped tremendously.  

 

I got a little of the desire back after working on her this weekend, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to continue the trend of at the very least chipping away at it.  

 

My goal is to be finished and troop her at the Episode 9 premiere (locally).  I need a firm date in my head to get me moving.  I'll only forgo that if it comes down to producing quality work that I'll be happy with in the long run or just finishing it to be finished, at diminished quality.  Realistic expectations.  I should be able to get it done by then,  provided I just keep moving.  

 

My Geeky Pink gaskets and neck seal came in, and they're phantastic!  I really love them, and I can actually move better than I expected.  I should be able to start assembling some of the parts, now- forearms, biceps, thighs and shins.  My gloves came in (just basic Nomex, like my TK- they'll be primarily covered anyway), and I can mod them and add in the finger tip magnets for finger armor connections.  

 

Ironically we've got a potential new member working on an TLJ Executioner right now, and though he started after me, he's pretty far along and I'm likely going to be hitting him up for help and tips.  

 

I've also officially decided I'm going to pay someone else to chrome her.  I will do the black base coat depending on cost, but I simply don't have the skill level or ability (or honestly desire) to attempt to chrome her myself.  I'm actually happier now that I don't have that hanging over my head, too.  I have two uncles who work in the auto industry (truck decals) and they have industry contacts I'm going to try and talk with.  I have options, but I'm just not quite ready to explore them fully yet because I need more done to show them what I have and what I'm after.  It will be expensive to outsource, but like this costume was gonna be cheap anyway, plus, I finally got that raise!  (I'm proud of my negotiating skills, had to pat myself on the back there).  For me, it will be worth it to avoid all the frustration and confusion.  I still think there's a fair amount of viable at-home options for other Phasmas out there, just not this one.  

 

So... tl;dr version: finally working on her again, hope to keep it up, more updates to follow!  Wish me luck- I need it all!

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:popcorn:

 

Cannot wait to see the outcome!

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I love the look of Captain Phasma. To semi quote Senator Paplaptine: “We shall watch this build thread with great interest.” :)

Edited by TK-42134

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Hey SharkBait!

I’m happy to hear you love your gaskets. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!
You know, I wish I was closer. I’d be right over. Or we’d plan a weekend and go crazy with building.
We’d whip that thing up in NO time!

My lady is also a KB kit. And I really did hate that armor by The time I was finished building. Truly.
I wanted to light her on fire! Of course that melted away when I saw her all completed and together. Awaiting her first troop. (The first time I wore her was for Celebration Orlando. First test trial. I was terrified!)

If there is ever anything you question or need help with, please don’t hesitate. I’ll help as best as I can from afar. Pictures. Products. Methods. Info. You name it.

Teresa/SoulArt/TK-41307/GeekyPink



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Very exciting times ahead for you Rebecca, and hopefully your second Centurion honor.

Looking very much forward to watching this all come together. :popcorn:

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Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  (And Flickr is still down after its triple the expected time update so I'm going to add photos in later, 'cause I'm excited to share progress!)

 

I basically have Johnny (@johnnycano) to thank for getting me started once again!  I was stuck, frustrated, and super busy for a long time.  Then I vowed that after my seven troops in four days/four on May 4th, I was again free to force myself to focus my efforts back on Phasma.  I’d also managed to complete a bunch of little projects and wrap up another (non-Star Wars) costuming project, so I had basically run out of excuses to put her off any longer. 

 

The back/yoke is connected!  The edge is a bit rough on the top.  I’m going to sand it some more and then make it smooth with Bondo.  Since it’s going to get painted and chromed, I’m turning to Bondo to help with minor imperfections without fear.  It smells even worse than E6000 but it does the trick.  As suggested by Johnny, since it is a flex-area, I’m going to make an ABS strip bridge to keep the movement out of that area, as Bondo is not flex-friendly. 

 

 

 

The pill holes in the chest really weren’t recessed enough to give them a good luck, so they have been drilled out.  Thanks again, Johnny!  I’ll put black tape or fabric behind there once chromed. 

 

 

 

The ab/back-kidney is together!  I’m going for a side seam, since I think it will be easier to get in and out of with a split, and it just about fits perfectly that way.  I opted for a side seam opening rather than splitting the back simply because the side was already open, while the back I would have to cut.  Why make a cut if there’s already an opening?  Plus I think side will be easier to get in and out of.  I have magnets for closure already in hand.  (Thank you Prime shipping!)

 

 

 

 

 

The biceps were a bit wonky.  There was a recessed strip on each, but on different halves.  So I added a corresponding inner strip on the other sides, while gluing the other halves together.  Once dry, I glued the other side to the inner strip. 

 

 

 

 

 

For the forearms, I probably trimmed a little more than I should have for the base plate, but it’s done and I can work with it.  Also it came pre-trimmed, and it sort of necessitated a closer shave on that.  That’s why I recommend getting a KB untrimmed, because I think sometimes they get production oriented and move a little quickly on trimming.  Probably best to just take more time yourself but save yourself potential fixes or harder assembly later.  Perhaps they’ve also already overcome this and it’s no longer an issue- this kit is from the middle/end of their rough patch some time ago, and they have proven to come back to full strength since. 

 

Anyway, I made inner strips and then heat-gunned them into roughly 90 degree angles using clamps, paint stir sticks and a work table.  Clamp paint stir sticks to either side at approximately half of your strip, heat gun the hell out of it, and use the table to bend it, since it’s too hot to touch. 

 

 

 

It was then I realized I was an idiot and needed four, not two.  So I repeated the process twice more. 

 

Gluing the inner strips to the forearms wasn’t overly tricky, it was gluing the inner plate to the strips that proved the challenge.

 

 

 

 

There is a seam line present in the original, so I think I might actually be okay, but I’ll take a look once it’s cured.  If need be, I’ll put a touch of Bondo in there. 

 

Next I turned to the ab boxes and the belt boxes.  I had planned to finish all the above plus the boxes by this week, but then got sidelined by a hard and fast cold (thankfully it also cleared up fast), so I might not quite make that goal.  But I’ll be close. 

 

 

 

Right now my biggest advice for this costume: invest in a belt sander.  It can be a cheap one, I got mine from Harbor Freight.  But honestly I have no idea how I would have survived this far without my belt sander.  I love my Dremel (so much I’ve worn out three cheapies and finally invested in a real Dremel), but for all the curves and lots of plastic to be removed, belt sander is where it’s at. 

 

Especially with the boxes.  So much easier to get even and quickly. 

 

And all the extra sanding I kept finding I needed to do.  Didn’t I sand this already?  How do I have this much more sanding to do?  Didn’t I do this piece twice now?  How do I still need to sand more?  Why does this still have a catch?  I swear I’ve sanded this piece at least three times now…

 

 

 

Needing a little finishing finesse and applicable greeblies, but otherwise done for this stage (pre-chroming stage):

Chest plate

Back/yoke

Biceps

Forearms

Boot spats except over-shin pieces, need to do shins to fit them over them

Shoulder bells (the first thing I finished)

Cod piece

Butt plate

Knee plates

Hand plates (main part- second wrist Phasma-specific piece coming from KB)

 

Up next:

Finish ab and belt boxes (should be able to do this on my own)

Finish off finger armor (rough sanding done, needs more for fitting) (I’ll be able to finish this myself)

Secondary hand plates (I can finish once received from KB)

Assemble shins (yeah I’m gonna need help)

Assemble thighs (same as shins)

Attach all greeblies/boxes (forearms, thighs, shins) (once the main bits are assembled I don’t foresee major issues)

Finish off boot spats (easy)

Clean up 3D print lines from blasters (I have a new technique to try from a Mando friend- acetone and a cotton pad and q-tip, carefully and slowly, just rub away at the lines, and clean up thoroughly between to prevent too-deep editing.  He said they do on their stuff and blasters, so I figure why not?)

Helmet: sanding, prepping, finishing off for painting/chroming.  There’s quite a lot of clean up to do on it.  I’ve been avoiding it. 

Maybe finish/assemble thermal detonator – optional for Phasma, I might have trimmed it a little close (CRL and photos I found did make it kinda similar, though), and it’d be one less thing to do, so we’ll see.  I've so far not spit back, which it would cover, and also the cape will cover the whole area for the most part, so I'm just going to see what happens and how I feel about it and what needs to be done to it.

 

What I’m coming to again and again is that the chroming is actually not the very last step- it’s in the second half, but it’s much earlier than I anticipated.  I’m finding that I can’t finish off pieces by adding strapping, snaps, Velcro or elastics, because I’m leaving that until it’s chromed.  (Ease for the person painting/chroming it, the inside can be black that way which I think will look better than white, etc.)  So, I want to finish off the boot spats, or put the corresponding Velcro into the biceps and forearms for the gaskets, but I can’t, because that has to wait.  Then I feel like I’m making less progress than I should.  The same with adding black behind the chest pill holes, or other black details inside of other pill holes/recesses.  I can’t put the boxes onto the belt yet.  I can’t affix the knee plates to the gaskets.  I can’t functionally do the attachments for the belt to ab, cod to ab, butt plate to kidney.  I also can’t put the magnet attachments into the fingers (I guess I can sew them into the gloves).  I also think I’ll hold off on installing the magnet closure of the ab/back side until after chroming.  The less the chromers have to work around, the better.

 

But I do have everything either in hand or on order that’s needed to complete her and that’s a fantastic feeling. 

 

I've also decided I'm going to chrome the blasters myself.  There's just so many little picky details and what stays black, what doesn't, that one, it's going to be a fun tape job, and two, for someone who's not a) a costumer, b) a 501st costumer, or c) being paid to professionally do this for me, I think it's just a bad combo to have someone else do it.  Trying to ask a non-costumer/non-501st minded person to make sure these parts stay black (and there's a lot) but the rest gets champagne-tint chromed just doesn't sound that great.  So actually I can move forward with that part whenever.  I suppose worst case scenario and I can't get it professionally chromed, I'll have cut my teeth on the blasters before moving to the actual armor.

 

My current extras:

 

Baton

 

This thing is machined aluminum, it’s no joke.  It’s got some weight to it.  It breaks down into two pieces of easy storage and transport, thankfully.  I would recommend it to any TLJ Phasmas or just anyone who wants a bad an impolite person Phasma baton.  My only fear is learning how to pose with it without goosing anybody or whacking them in the face.

 

 

 

It’s also Falcon approved. 

 

 

 

But then again everything is a toy to her.  Everything.  Thankfully she gets just as much enjoyment out of the toy mice I bought her as she does a leaf she found in the garage.

 

A 3D printed SE-44C blaster pistol from Heston3DSolutions (same as my F-11D), ordered and should be here in a week or two.  These are both TLJ Phasma components, but I knew I had to have that pike from the moment I saw it on screen, and Heston had another 50% off sale and I couldn't help myself.  They can also be used as props on our tables at Cons, we pride ourselves on having great prop tables.  Plus it's a nice addition to my collection of various levels of blasters- a hyperfirm E-11 (ESB), a Jawa Ion Blaster (resin, wood, heavy, fragile, really prop only though originally for my Jawa), a painted Rubies DL-44 (for my TIE), a converted airsoft MerrSonn Power 5 (for my Officers), and a hyperfirm DLT-19 (for my Shadow Scout).  

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