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Sharkbait's TFA Captain Phasma Build


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  • 4 weeks later...

I asked my shiny brothers and sisters for good vibes and well wishes over the weekend, and apparently it worked! 


I got a ton done at my Build Party on Saturday, and even did more work on Sunday!  It’s a miracle! 


I decided that I have to have her ready for the chromer/painter by the end of the first week of October- he needs as much time with it as possible, and I just have to get it done.


I’m down to fiddly, tedious stuff, so I just needed to sit down and do it, because with a nose to the grindstone, it actually wouldn’t take that long.  In our terms- in costuming terms not that long, not in normal people terms.  The work pictured here is over three days.  About six hours on Saturday, about three hours on Sunday morning, and three hours on Tuesday night (sidelined by a bad day at work and a migraine on Monday). 


Some re-gluing/extra gluing of the ab boxes, a few were a bit loose (hard to glue):




I sanded down the wrist guards, but I apparently forgot to take a photo of it.  If I remember I’ll add it later. 


Seriously- invest in a belt sander.  Even the one from Harbor Freight.  It’s amazing. 


Cut out the chest opening and glued the greeblie onto the back.  I was debating, but I was right in the end: it looks way better with the deeper recess.  I had a bit of trouble with the Dremel getting into the corners, but I think I’ll just touch it up a bit with the epoxy.  From a distance of even two feet you really can’t tell now. 




I also added the chest greeblies, as you can see.  I hit them all with a couple of coats of Rustoleum 2x Primer- it filled in most of the little bubbles in the resin, and the final coats of paint of chroming will take care of the rest, if anyone but me can even see them now (I kinda doubt it).  The weather is cooling down (thank god), but it was just warm enough in the sun to get them to set. 




There’s a lot going on here.  Ankle spats are getting their inner strip (can’t be fully closed, else you’d never get them on), thighs are being prepped for greeblie attachment, shins are also prepped for the same, gorilla Tusken mask looking utterly creepy in the corner, my TK bin in the background for two new TKs building theirs to look at for reference, my weakness, Red Vines, placed strategically close to me while working.  Build party madness, I love it!


Shin ammo packs (no idea what they actually are, I’m calling them ammo packs, because they remind me of the thigh ammo packs on TKs). 






The shin greeblies seem to attach pretty easily, but the thighs had more of a curve to them, and the greeblies were straight.  I used the same technique I did for the V inner strip attachment bending- two sets of paint sticks on either side, proposed bend in the middle, heat gun (always moving), careful bending, cooling, then repeat for all four.






It worked surprisingly well, I was kind of afraid it wasn’t going to work at all.


I got a lot of stuff sanded down and edges polished up, as well.  You really can’t tell in photos, but it’s pretty obvious in person. 


Forearm greeblies are gluing:



Bicep greeblies are gluing:



Kitty break!



I was hosting the build party and working majority of Saturday, so I didn’t get to spend much time inside with her.  She missed me, clearly.  (She does that on her own, incidentally, she loves to lounge on my shoulder and be carried around the house, too).  I made it up to her later that night when she crashed out in my lap and we watched BBC Sherlock together. 


Next up, thigh holster attachment and greeblies!




That holster is a pain in the butt, not gonna lie.  It became clear it’s pretty much a three-step process, once you’re ready to actually attach and assemble. 


Due to the curve of the thigh, and the small edge for attachment of the base and weight of the resin piece, I’m going to use bolts for extra support. 


I’ve been hording screws, brackets, and hardware for years now- every time I had something with extra hardware, it went into the bin (I really am a Jawa at heart, apparently).  It took about fifteen minutes, but I was able to dig out a pair of matching length bolts and washers. 




I drilled a hole through the base, then marked it on the resin piece, drilled a bit there, and then used the base upside-down to mark and drill the corresponding holes in the thigh.  The holes in the resin piece are really just for an extra support and gluing, not for actual screwing in.  The washers give the nuts a bigger purchase base on the inside so they won’t pull through. 


Here’s the real start of the three-step attachment process:






Bolts through the thigh, giving the washers some glue for extra purchase.  You really need at least four hands to work on this part. 


Once that glue is dry enough (normally 48 hours, but since I’m gluing the whole thing again I’m going to work with it again in 24), then I’ll glue on the base, give it about 24 hours, then glue the resin holster on, and give it all a final 48.


I also hand sanded down the middle of the base just a bit, to take it from a total straight line to a bit of a curve in the middle so it wouldn’t be fighting the attachment to the curve on the ends. 


Then attaching it!  It was so easy, worked just like I planned! 


No. Not at all.  It was a disaster.  I didn’t put enough glue on both washers apparently so only the inner ones stuck, so the screws and top washers just slid right out and I needed six hands again to hold them in place.  I could get one end through all the parts then the other would pop out, or I just got glue everywhere. 


I have glue all over me, all over the thigh, all over the holster parts, I have smudges from paint from the interior of the helmet all over me and now the thigh.  My c-clamps aren’t deep enough to reach in on either side to hold it, and it’s too slick to get a purchase while using paint stir sticks as an extender/way to even out pressure.  My regular clamps also aren’t long enough.  Putting it on the table and weighting the inside didn’t work because it’s too slick and it just rolled all over the place.




But it’s done!  So good concept, just needed some better execution.  More glue on both washers, perhaps the base of the screw, and bigger/deeper c-clamps.  If I were earlier in the build (and day) I would have just gone to Home Depot and/or Harbor Freight and found what I needed and added more glue and set it aside.  But it’s 8 pm on Tuesday night, I have work in the morning, haven’t eaten dinner yet, and this thing has to be done by Friday.


I had a moment of panic when I thought I had the thighs flipped.  I kept looking at the knee curve and thinking I had it right, but what if I didn’t.  So I pulled out Izzy’s FOTK…  his are exactly the same shape on both the front and the back. 


I’m thinking this is another KB kit quirk- kinda like the top of one of the thighs being straight across, with no curve/cut out for a human butt whatsoever. 


The higher curve has to go to the front because it accommodates for the knee plate and the space where you see gasket around the top and bottom of said knee plate.  I had it right.


But, I slipped them on, and walking that back bit was just not curved enough for comfortable walking.  Since Izzy’s is very obviously curved on both sides, and the CRL is sort of ambiguous (the thigh, knee plate and shin are pretty close together in the full body photo and the individuals don’t really give you a solid view), I just decided to trim the backs up a bit. 


Proposed curve to trim:



Left: before trim, Right: after trim (unconsciously throwing the Live Long and Prosper, apparently):



That littlest bit of trim and curve made a world of difference- I can walk with no pinching at all, and the gasket should protect to a degree against that, too.  Also, I think it looks a little better being more uniform. 


I picked up some Gorilla Glue epoxy to fill in some spaces and gaps.  I was originally going to use Bondo, but: I hate Bondo.  It’s goopy.  It’s messy.  Its stench is legendary.  It sets way to quick no matter how little hardener you put in.  I don’t know what I’m doing and half the time end up making more work for myself in clean up.  I hate Bondo.  Plus, for the areas I was working with, having the putty consistency was going to be much easier and better suited for placement and smoothing. 


I picked Gorilla over JB Weld because the packaging specifically mentioned sanding.  I’m pretty sure they both could be sanded after hardening, from what I could tell they were basically identical just different brands.  Gorilla did say a work time of ten minutes, while JB was 25.  I kinda wanted 25, but I also figured 10 was better than Bondo’s 1 – 4 minutes if you’re lucky.  It gets harder to work with and less pliable towards the end, but it doesn’t lock up and become a brick like Bondo, so I’m calling that a win, too.  I hate Bondo, in case you couldn’t tell. 


I had sanded down the back/yoke connection to make it more even.  All I had to do was fill in the valley with the putty and smooth out the corner.  The putty worked just like it was supposed to and was pretty easy to work with.  I always try and wear gloves at first, but it never work and they rip and I end up taking them off halfway through.






It turned out pretty good!  I’m very happy with it.  I’ll sand it to make it smooth once it’s cured, but I think it will disappear once chromed/painted. 


Lastly I spray painted the inside of the helmet black:




It looks cool, it looks better than white, when kids (and short adults) look up they see darkness inside the helmet, not a prop made of fiberglass, and also the dark interior lets you get away with a less-dark lens, which is optimal for vision.


To Do List for the Phasma Phinish Line!

Before the end of the week:

One last round of fine sanding, where needed (pretty much done, but there’s always that one spot you missed)

Dust, wipe down, and remove any remaining excess glue (it will move from the garage to living inside once this is done)

Helmet clean up – touch up some of the grooves, a light wet sand across the whole thing, a bit of clean up in the mouth/nose area.  It came pretty close to ready out of the box. 


Before the premiere:

Acetone 3D print lines from blasters

Paint blasters

Or at least the F-11D, the SE-44C is, after all, TLJ, and just a fun addition.  But I plan do just do everything on them at once, to make it easy and not repeat steps unnecessarily. 

I also already have the quicksilver baton (also TLJ) so it’s not like I’m going to be short on things to occupy my hands. 


Whenever I get around to it:

Battle damage to prop helmet

Paint prop helmet

It’s now a prop, after all.    


The end… is in sight.  It’s actually quite anti-climatic and it doesn’t feel done in any way, but my to-do list is dwindling rapidly.  I guess it’s all fine-tuning, mostly, so you don’t see as much of a difference in the many piles of white plastic parts scattered all over the garage. 


I wanted to prep the strapping and stuff now, so it would just be an install job when I got it back from chroming, but I’m not going to have time.  And honestly it won’t take me that long anyway- I’ve done a whole lot of strapping now and I think I can knock it out in an evening or two, plus glue dry time. 


It looks like she’s gonna be done by the premiere!!! 

Edited by sharkbait
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All that freaking work on that damn thigh holster and...






Guess what I'm doing tonight, I guess...  I managed to screw in the screw a bit, too, to make it tighter.  Now I  have to figure out how to unscrew them and pry the thing off.  



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Weird things you say when you're a costumer: Oh hello, butt plate... I haven't seen you in a while...


The good news is I was able to fix the holster pretty easily- it came off without much trouble, and with no damage other than some glue to scrape off. It went back on about the same as it did the first time- a huge pain and four plus hands needed to really do it. At least this time I hadn’t been painting so there weren’t any paint smears to worry about.




I scraped and rubbed off excess glue in various places. My thumbs feel rubbed raw from all the rubbing and picking at glue. It reminds me of Peter Jackson saying they had so much chain mail made for the LOTR films, that the guys that did it just about rubbed off their fingerprints on a couple of fingers from linking it all together. I did a bit of fine sanding on a couple of edges, checked on seams and inner strips, basically gave everything a once over. Touched up a trim or two. Doesn’t look like much but will make a difference in the end.


One of the shin spats had shifted during gluing, and the seam was huge, so I pulled it apart and re-glued it. Annoying, but just another symptom of how my week is going. I checked it again before I went to bed and it stayed in place this time.


The belt boxes still honestly confuse me, but I’m just going to send them all off to the chromer/painter and then figure them out later.



In my review and digging through the pile of parts, I found that I had forgotten about the upper boot spats- they weren't the right shape out of the box.  They're supposed to be rounded, mine are just straight.  This is a pretty early KB kit, so it's entirely possible they've worked out some of these things and quirks in the newer versions (they've had at least two versions since mine, not sure after that).  




So I marked it up and trimmed them real quick.  I used the first off-cut to mark the next ones.  






Well look at that... she's actually fully assembled...  And yet, she looks not a whole lot different than she did in a huge pile of parts form BBB Day.  




Now it's time to get all the dust and grime off from being in the garage for all this time.  (My town is a dusty place on a good day, and the garage is terrible, no matter how many times I use the blower to clean it out).  


The weird things you do as a costumer:


Bath time for Phasma!




I figured the bathtub was the most efficient way to clean off all the parts. I was going to just take the hose to it, but outside has dirt and grit and dust. And cobwebs. Because I stop cleaning those up in September because I can just call them “Halloween decorations” for the next two months.


I did the helmet clean up by hand- I don’t think fiberglass would react badly to water, but I’m not taking any chances with dropping it, for one. I’ve taken water to ABS before with issues.


She's now drying off across my guest bathroom... which amuses me more than it should.  








And that’s… that’s actually it. She’s ready. I can’t believe I’m saying those words- but she is, she’s ready for chroming!



Edited by sharkbait
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She's going to the chromer tomorrow!!!  


Don Valenzuela of Don Valenzuela's Autobody in Clovis is going to be doing it for me.  His main business is autobody painting and work, but he's also an artist and has done beautiful logos for some local wineries.  


I'll be dropping her off after work and then... then I can work on all the other stuff in preparation for when she gets back.  Gotta wrap up cutting out all the fleece for the cases I'm making for all the parts while I still have them tonight.  

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  • 1 month later...

Well, look at that…




The lighting in my living room is terrible, so it's really not showing it off well.  There is a fuzzy but noticeable reflection when outside in sunlight and in better, more direct light.  It's much more impressive looking in person than here.  I think it's perfect for TFA!


They were still working on the back/yoke, ab/kidney, one of the boot spat sets, and the helmet, but I picked up the finished pieces!


I had a marathon weekend of trooping and setting up (six troops in three days, two on Friday, three on Saturday, and one on Sunday; plus setting up for the parade that was the third troop on Saturday, and setting up at our local theater for ROS).  I have neither the energy nor the time to even think about this, but yet, I must press forward. 


The weather is awful for painting, but all I have left is the Alclad.  I mixed up some custom champagne from silver and gold, and I’m happy with it.  I just now have to get up my neve to hang the blasters up somewhere and get to town with the airbrush machine. 


(I’ll add a photo here later or in the next post, whichever I remember to do).


I cut out a bunch of Velcro and elastic pieces for the connections.  Elastic for the hand guards, wrist guards, boot spats, internal strap for the fingers (to attach to the palm of the glove, so if they come off, they’ll just dangle), and cod/butt connection.  Velcro for the shin closures, ankle spat closures, some for the chest to yoke (hopefully it will have enough edge to attach to, we’ll see), and inside the biceps (upper and lower), forearms (upper), thighs (lower) and shins (upper) for the gasket attachments. 


I’m going to use the gasket harness to hold up the thighs (I believe this is what its’ designed for- it’s the right length and the right position, so I’m going with it).  I’m going to get some suspenders to hold up the ab/kidney.  I wanted to get some fun special ones, but right now, I’m just getting whatever I can find for now, then I’ll go on Etsy and find some cute personalized ones (I’m thinking either Ravenclaw or Doctor Who) when I have more time.  I just want to finish right now.  Upgrades and mods will be inevitable anyway, so might as well do them later. 


I just about tore myself apart going over how to work on my lifts…. I added some material to the bottom so it wasn’t as steep of a drop, I was looking into expanding foam like Wookiee feet to add a backing for the slant in the back… I even bought a can of expanding foam.  And then when I was just so frustrated I didn’t know which way was up, I found some elevator shoes with internal lifts on clearance and just bought them.  4.4’’ of lift, between internal and heel.  Should have just done this in the first place, but I was trying to keep the cost down (only spent $40 total on the lifts, so not a huge loss, I can use the boots for something else).




Another learn from my mistakes- if you want serious lift, just get shoes made for that purpose.  They also make these in much less extreme lift (I think about 1.5’’), though for that little I’d do the inserts and use a cheaper shoe.  The lifted shoes are kind of expensive, but not bad as far as good and specialty shoes go.  Also like such things, they have a big price range- anywhere from $100 - $400. These are Calto (I've heard that brand thrown around before, appear to be well-thought of).  


At our last build party of the  year (November), I did manage to mod and ¾ paint my blasters:


There were a few subtle modifications needed to convert the F-11D to the F-11D Phasma carries- remove part of the trigger guard (she’d never get her finger in there with the finger armor with it, and honestly, even without it’s close), and remove the second part of the grip (again, she can’t bend her fingers well, so the smaller grip the easier she could grab it). 


I used a dremel with a cutting wheel to cut off both pieces, then filled in the open space with epoxy putty (I’m using Gorilla brand). 


It’s quite subtle, but after you do it it’s install like “That’s Phasma’s blaster!” v. “That’s an FOTK blaster.”  At least for nerds like us.  I mean I got called “Superman” at a recent troop (as a TK… specifically Reindeer TK, so I had my blinking red noise and antlers), so there’s that.


Instead of acetone knocking down the 3D print lines, I used filler primer, per a suggestion from a Squad-mate.  Worked great.  There were just a couple of steps in the order I did them that I should have done differently, but it’s too late and not worth it for me now. 










What I did:

Used liquid latex to mask off all areas that were going to stay black

Paint entire thing with filler primer

Paint entire thing with glossy black. 

Paint entire thing with Alclad (next step, not yet completed as of now)

Remove latex (will be done after Alclad)


What I should have done, and what I recommend doing:

Paint entire thing with filler primer

Paint entire thing glossy black

Use liquid latex to mask off areas that remain black

Paint entire thing with Alclad

Remove latex


My original thought process was the black parts that are staying black are already black, save myself the step of re-painting them black.  Except I could have just masked them off AFTER and I still would have done the masking only once, gotten the fillable primer on there to knock down their 3D print lines and probably a slightly nicer black gloss (though they basically disappear with the rest, because your eye tricks you, and they were quite subtle to begin with.  Plus, there’s not a lot of black on the blaster, so you don’t really notice).  But, like I said, not worth taking off the latex, painting it black again, letting it dry in this cold weather, re-applying latex, and then airbrushing it.  If I weren’t on a deadline, maybe.  Still a maybe. 




And FYI, you burn through this stuff pretty quick- so buy more than one can.  There was an emergency Home Depot run in the middle of the build party.  










Ignore the weird textures- that's where the latex is.


What’s left to do:

Glue in all Velcro and elastics

Install lens in helmet (once received)

Install helmet liner (once received)

Make and install helmet fans (can make fans now)

Get suspenders, and install once ab/kidney received

Glue belt boxes together and attach to belt

Make magnet closure for ab/kidney (armor isn’t back, but I can make the structure and glue it in once the armor’s back)

Add corresponding Velcro to yoke (once received)

Glue magnets into armor fingertips

Sew magnets into glove fingertips

Tailor in gloves?  I seem to recall them being a bit big in the fingers (I have long, thin hands),  but I couldn’t find them last night because I lost my TK gloves and they’re the same (Nomex) so I yanked Phasma’s and totally forgot until right now.  Would you like a metaphor for how my week has been going?  There you go. 

Order Nomex gloves ASAP (trying to remember my size- man my eBay purchase history is WEIRD)

Airbrush blasters

Make various snap plates for connections, and what connections I can make now with the parts I have


Probably something I’m forgetting but that’s most of it!

Why does it seem like less when written out like that?

Edited by sharkbait
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Last night's progress!




It doesn't look like a whole lot, but it was.  That was a good three hours worth of work.  E6000 is famous for oozing, but man, it was just being awful last night.  I ended up scraping a lot off the table and using it rather than squeezing the tube because there was so much there.  


I glued Velcro to:

The top and bottom inside of the biceps, for gasket connections

The top of the forearms, for gasket connections

The bottom of the thighs, for gasket connections

The top of the shins, for gasket connections

The shins for closure seam

The ankle spats for closure seam


I also cut out little pieces of ABS (from scraps) to act as a sandwich for the elastic connections- underside of armor piece, elastic end, ABS scrap.  The elastic will stay in place better is stress areas (constant on/off of hand guards, wrist guards, etc.).  Pictures of that when I glue the elastics in


I ran of out of time, ran out of glue, ran out of clamps, and ran out of energy.




I am confident I used every drop possible out of that tube of E6000.


My elevator shoes should arrive today!  Got lucky- the company is based in Arcadia, which is only about 3.5 hours away from me, and they shipped same day.  


Tonight I will glue in all the elastic connections-

Hand guards

Wrist guards

Knees?  (Debating between elastic wrap around or Chicago screwing them into the gaskets for semi-permanent attachment)

Boot spats (toe)

Heel spats

Fingers to each other to base of glove


And glue in the magnets into the finger tips



Top boot spat (not yet back from painters)


I also will make various snap plates, I can't make all the connections yet, but I can at least get some of the base plates gluing and assembled ready to go.  

Snaps on shoulder bells to yoke (yoke not back)

Snaps on cod and butt for cod strap (all in hand)


I'm thinking Velcro attachments for the thighs- so cut some more Velcro and glue to the inside of the thighs and sew to the strap on the harness.  My TK is snaps, and it works, but I don't see why Velcro wouldn't also work.  I can always rip off the Velcro and add snaps at a later date if needed.  


Belt boxes to belt- Chicago screws through the back box and through the belt.  I have enough pieces and still have Izzy's FOTK in my garage for sizing and placement over the missing ab/kidney.  I'm a little concerned about the belt to the ab- mine doesn't have a good lip to Velcro or otherwise attach the belt.  Worst case scenario I get it as tight as I can and hope it does't slip (no holster to weigh it down at least) for now.  Later I think I'll cut off the tiny, not flat lip from the ab, and add a new, flat backing piece to which I'll add Velcro or snaps to attach the belt.  I'm going to glue the head of the Chicago screw into the inside of the inner belt box, then glue the inner box into the outer box- they're not going to be functional anyway.  


I ordered gloves, they've shipped already so they should be here soon.  In the meantime I'm taking back my Phasma turned TK turned Phasma again gloves and using those.  I can still wear them with the TK with magnets in the fingers if needed in the meantime (for the premiere I plan to wear as many of my costumes as I can, as many times as I can- it's tradition, and I have four whole days to do it).  


I also ordered more magnets- One of the dang finger magnets broke from connecting with another.  I also am using the ones I had planned to use for the ab/kidney closure for clamp magnet purposes, and don't feel like prying off the blue tape I have on them.  And then some more rounds just in case the rectangle ones don't work for the closure.  Plus, you can never have too many magnets.  Thank you, Amazon Prime- they will be here tomorrow.  


I'd like to say I could then also airbrush the blasters but I know the above will take up all the time I have after work tonight, so that will have to be Thursday's job.  Gonna be down to the wire but I think I can make it!

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You know you're in the end stages of a build (or project) when you start going to the hardware store daily.  Or maybe also the beginning, too.  Well, I always did say it's not a real project until you have to make at least two trips to the hardware store.  Bonus points if they're in the same day.


I got nearly everything done I wanted to get done last night, and since my goal was a bit ambitious, I'm calling that a win.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to glue the elastic connections into both the finger armor and tip armor, because of the magnets also gluing into the finger tips, and I was right.  I will be able to glue the finger tips onto the elastic tonight, since the glue has set enough the magnets won't shift anymore.  I also didn't get to sewing in the other magnets into the gloves.  But I also hate hand sewing and avoid it at all costs, so I'm not that upset about it.  


Otherwise, last night's work:




A whole lot of gluing, some sewing, some planning, and thank god for sewing clips (the little colorful clips).  Corresponding Velcro glued or sewn in (belt box covers, chest plate, thigh holders), snap plates made and glued in (cod/butt connection and shoulder bells), elastic straps (wrist guards, hand guards, toe boot spats, heel boot spats, knees).


My shoes arrived!




They're actually pretty comfortable, and I will be able to stand in them at length which is obviously very important.  They fit!  For reference, I used Calto's size chart and measured my foot- I normally wear a Men's 10 (Women's 12), and I was spot on to their Men's 10, per measurement and now fit.  So I'd say they run true to size, and/or at the very least true to their size chart (what a concept, I wish more vendors were like that).  I wish I had some more ankle support, so I'd recommend, if you can find it, a boot version, though if you can't these are a valid option.  Because they're men's shoes and while my foot is long, it's narrow and not particularly high, when I walk the shoe doesn't come with my foot when I lift up- the heel slides off.  So I made a quick elastic loop to slip around the base of the boot and around my ankle.  Problem solved.  (I feel like I learned this from a motorcycle trick, but what application that would have on a motorcycle I have no idea- maybe I was just inspired by the strap on gear shift toe guards or stirrups on pants to  keep them down).


I got the belt done!




The other two soft pouches with covers are not on there, but I have them, have sewn the needed Velcro to one, and the corresponding Velcro is gluing to the plastic covers.  They just slide onto the belt so they can be added at any time.  I used Chicago screws to attach them- punched holes in the back box and belt with my soldering iron, put glue on the inside around the holes so the inside part of the screw would stay in place, and screwed in the second half from the back of the belt into them.  I also glued the inner boxes into the outer boxes, since they're not going to be functional anyway.  


This finger armor mess just looks hilarious:




To make the finger connection contraption, I took a piece of Velcro, sewed five strips of elastic to the back of it, and then glued each of those elastic strips into the base of the fingers.  I will do the same with the base of the finger tips tonight.  This creates a stretchy connection between each of the parts, so that I can pull them on and off, but they will stay in place when on.  And, if one does manage to get bumped or otherwise come off, it will dangle as the Velcro will be stuck to its corresponding piece on the palm of the glove.  I can also take them off to wash the gloves (which I do every now and again, because those can get gross, especially after summer troops).  I stole the idea from @LadyInWhite- it's been a couple years so I have no idea what connection material she used, but the concept is the same.  


Due to the placement of the corresponding Velcro, I'm going to have to hand-sew it into the palm.  Lots of hand sewing in my future tonight.  


I decided on trying out suspenders to hold up the ab/kidney- I snagged a pair at a local Boot Barn.  They seem sturdy, hopefully they'll hold up.  I think I'll skip the neat ones as they're probably more decorative than heavy-duty and I want service over look.  I want to avoid putting extra stress on the armor itself as much as possible, so I plan to get some sort of bracketing and glue it into the ab/kidney, and then clip the suspenders onto that.


This is the custom champagne color I plan to use to airbrush the blasters- it's made with a mix of Alclad Chrome and Gold, with more chrome than gold.  What's kind of interesting is when it settles, they split into their respective colors.  But they mix easily and well, and the separation in the bottle when sitting is normal, so I'm thinking it won't be an issue once painted.  I probably should have noted how much of each I used, so I could replicate it, or at least help out a future Shiny Sister, but I made this randomly at a build party in November, and I didn't write it down.  Roughly it was 3:1 silver to gold.  I used pipettes to transfer from the original bottles to this one.  So about three pipettes of silver and one of gold, then just tweak it until you're happy.  




To to (tonight):

Sew magnets into glove finger tips (inside so they don't shatter each other)

Sew Velcro onto glove palms

Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor

Airbrush blasters

Yoke snap plates for shoulder bell connections (so they can be ready to glue in once back/yoke is received)

Make helmet fans

Velcro to top of cod for attachment to belt, most likely

Velcro to top of butt plate for attachment- CRL says to kidney (well ab, but it's the kidney back part of the kidney/ab, so technically kidney), but I'm thinking placement might be belt.  I'll hold it up and see, either way. it's getting Velcro

Corresponding Velcro to belt for cod

Possibly corresponding Velcro to belt for butt, or maybe it will go on the kidney and we'll hold off 'cause I don't have that part back yet


When I get the rest of the parts:

Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat

Glue in helmet liner

Install fans (I will tape them in if needed, that's my current "temp" fix on one of my TK ones)

Install lens

Corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest)

...is that really it?  I think it is.  Wow.


I'm really at the point where I don't care if y'all have to duct tape me into her- she's getting worn and debuted at this premiere!  They sell silver duct tape, right?  :laugh1:  It worked for Izzy at TFA with his FOTK!  (Half a roll of white duct tape every time he wore it, no joke.  Good times.  Actually it was a great adventure, I got pretty good at it by the third time, too.)

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Well in looking back at my list I didn't get nearly as much done last night as I planned to.  But it took just about as long and I quit a bit early because I was running into walls and couldn't think straight.  It's been a rough week, the weekend was busy and while great, stressful and tiring.  I just want a break from everything.  


I started to hand sew in the magnets, and before I could even get the first stitch in, I knew I couldn't do it.  It was just going to be a huge pain and more trouble than it was worth.  I decided to glue them in, instead.  Because they're going in on the inside, I think they'll hold or at least hold enough that they'll be workable.  


I had to put the fingers far apart to they couldn't connect with each other while they were drying:




Similar with the Velcro patch on the palm- Velcro is hard to sew through by hand, it's thick and tough.  I just maneuvered, shoved, folded, and twisted it into my machine and got them sewn on that way. 


Gloves are now done.




I managed to get the Velcro glued onto the cod (which apparently I forgot to take a picture of), corresponding sewn onto the belt (again, out of it, no photo), and glued to the butt plate.  I tried several times to figure out the corresponding placement on the belt, but I think I might need the ab/kidney first to get the placement right.  The belt will fit differently over that than without.  The cod is fairly easy because it's directly below the two horizontal boxes, and I know where those go.  I might try the butt plate again tonight, but I might also just wait until the ab/kidney is back.  I'm going to call the place tonight and check on the status- it's been a full week now since I picked up the last parts, so I don't feel like I'm bugging them too soon.  And as of yesterday, the premiere is one week away.  


To to (what I set out to do and what I managed):

Sew magnets into glove finger tips (inside so they don't shatter each other)

Sew Velcro onto glove palms

Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor - I guess I forgot about this.  Oops.  

Airbrush blasters - I didn't forget, I just gave up for the night.  It was for the best.  

Yoke snap plates for shoulder bell connections (so they can be ready to glue in once back/yoke is received)

Make helmet fans - I forgot about these, too

Velcro to top of cod for attachment to belt, most likely

Velcro to top of butt plate for attachment- CRL says to kidney (well ab, but it's the kidney back part of the kidney/ab, so technically kidney), but I'm thinking placement might be belt.  I'll hold it up and see, either way. it's getting Velcro

Corresponding Velcro to belt for cod

Glue magnets into lens in prep for corresponding magnets into helmet

Possibly corresponding Velcro to belt for butt, or maybe it will go on the kidney and we'll hold off 'cause I don't have that part back yet - Decided it does go onto the belt, but the exact placement so it sits right is currently unknown.  I did cut the corresponding Velcro, so it's ready to go when I get it all back. - Going to do this when I get the parts


When I get the rest of the parts:

Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat - I could probably figure it out pretty easily now, but it will take about 10 seconds, so it's not a real worry.

Glue in helmet liner - Shouldn't take too long, I've been playing with the placement on my other prop one to get an idea of where I want it.

Install fans (I will tape them in if needed, that's my current "temp" fix on one of my TK ones) - either glue in Velcro or tape it, either way won't take long.

Install lens - Add corresponding magnets to helmet

Corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest) - It's cut, just needs to be glued on.

Edited by sharkbait
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San Jose Sharks v. Vancouver Canucks - Star Wars Night 2019

4 - 2 Sharks!


So that's what I got done this weekend.  I went as a guest of Rebel Legion's Endor Base (I'm Sunrider), and also did their Honor Flight for the Cops Care Cancer Foundation that morning.  My Jawa was unfortunately a hot mess and everything that worked when I tested it and put in in the bin the night before failed epically, so I just handled at the Sharks game (that eye that was working?  Nope, wire and solder came loose.  That bag of zip ties you swore you saw in the bin?  Nope, only one bando for you today.  Those three sound gloves that two of which were working at full capacity?  Nope, only one works, it has only four of five sounds, and Utinni is not one of them).   It worked out because they had several handlers have to drop out so they were in need.  It was also fun to handle again- I'm always in costume these days, but I handled extensively while I was building.  I actually miss it a bit.


How Friday afternoon went:

Paint all over the table?  Check.

Paint all over me?  Check.

Paint on the blasters?  Not a drop.  


The internet is telling me it was probably too cold- I couldn't get it to suck up the paint.  Air was flowing, but no paint.  Maybe the pressure was off, too, but it appeared fine as it did have good airflow.  I was going to try again on Sunday when I got home from San Jose, but I didn't do anything.  Except re-sew my finger connections to the Velcro, because of course there was a loose thread and it didn't actually sew on well at all.  


So yeah, that's basically how my entire week last week went.  One screw up after another.  


I called the painter's on Friday morning- haven't gotten a call back yet.  I'm going to call them again today and see if there's any update. 


At this point- I don't think I'll have time to finish before the premiere.  Even if I get her back tomorrow (if I can't pick her up at lunch today, I'm booked until tomorrow), I don't think I'll have enough time for glue dry times, let alone the last finishing tasks I have to do.  I really wanted to debut her at the premiere, but honestly- I won't rush it just to finish if it is at the cost of quality and longevity.  I did the same with my TK- I was so close to getting into the Legion and trooping the TFA premiere, but I just needed that little extra time.  I was finished in January and approved and assigned my TKID February 1st.  It was worth it.  I still had a blast handling at TFA, and I have a ton of other costumes to choose from now, so I'm not hurting for something to wear (quite the opposite).  It's almost a relief that it's a possibility.  Now watch they'll call me back today and tell me she's ready and it will be off to the races again.  


To do:

Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor

Make helmet fans

Glue magnets into lens in prep for corresponding magnets into helmet

Prep suspender/strapping attachments for ab/kidney (to be installed once back)

Airbrush blasters


When I get the rest of the parts:

Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat

Glue in helmet liner

Install fans

Install lens

Glue corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest)

Install suspender/strapping attachments to ab/kidney

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I received a call back last night, and it's confirmed: she won't be ready for the premiere.  They had to order more paint (which is somewhat specialty therefore special order and not Amazon Prime Two Days), and it should be here Wednesday (tomorrow).  They expect to have her finished by Thursday evening or Friday sometime.  I almost feel better that it wasn't my failure to get things done.  I wouldn't call it their failure,  just that the stars didn't align.  I don't think they quite knew what they were getting into when they quoted me the original timeline (I suspected, but was hopeful regardless).  I'll take a break from the Premiere Weekend to pick her up whenever she's ready regardless, but she's basically going to get set aside (I'll bring the helmet to show off) until after.  Then it's Christmas.  So I'm thinking the weekend after Christmas is when the finishing bits will happen and start their glue dry times.  


I won't have to worry about sticking my head in a glue fume-filled bucket, so there's that.


So, new goal: this popped into my head last night: I want to debut her, not just show up to a troop and suit up (the first time, at least)- the premiere was the obvious, but she's not ready, so, what's our next one?  I don't want to wait for ages for it...


Fresno State Basketball Star Wars Night - January 4th.  We've never done Fresno State (or basketball) games before, this is our first, but I'm hoping this will be the start of another annual sporting event for us.  Sporting events are by nature larger venues and with luck larger attendance.  I'm also thinking she's now going to come out at our Fresno Grizzles' Baseball Star Wars Night in May- that's arguably our biggest event of the year when there's no premieres, and only second biggest when there is.  


January 4th is it.  Let's do it! Provided I get her back on the rough timeline proposed above, or even around Christmas, then this is doable, so long as I just keep working at what I can do.  The pressure is lessened by still on!


Oh yeah- and those fingertip magnets: they're not strong enough to go through the glove fabric and still have pull to the inside of the finger tip armor.  So either use stronger magnets or just use the elastic connections (based on preliminary fittings the elastic will be more than enough to keep them on and not get lost if they do come off).  I have extra magnets that are small enough to fit, so I'm going to try and salvage it by letting them connect to the existing glued in ones, and see if the extra pull is enough.  I am glad I didn't go through the trouble of sewing those stupid things in to each finger, though, that would have been a nightmare and it wouldn't have even worked.  


To do:

Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor - This is actually more of a pain that you'd think, and you probably think it's a bit of a pain.

Make helmet fans - I was all set to do this last night, found the fans, the battery packs, the soldering iron, the wire strippers... and no solder.  No where to be found.  Because of course.

Glue magnets into lens in prep for corresponding magnets into helmet - I'm debating on how many and placement, and depending on how many I do I might need to do it n two installments.  Or, I might see if I can use another magnet on the opposite side to keep them in place while gluing and not suck to each other.  

Prep suspender/strapping attachments for ab/kidney (to be installed once back) - MacGyver is seriously going to be proud of what I have planned for this.

Airbrush blasters - I have to find my space heater, that's the only way I'm going to even attempt to warm up the garage enough to paint.  I think it's in the rafters in the garage?

Re-do elastic bands for around the boot and/or find something thin and soft to shove in the top of the shoe as a spacer.  My foot is a woman's foot and flatter/shorter than a man's, but I'm wearing men's shoes, so they're a bit big in the top.  When I step they want to come up a bit before the rest of the shoe follows.  Having big feet and wearing men's shoes before this is not an uncommon problem for me, I've fixed it before.  I'm thinking a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Because I already have a stash of those for Jawa masks.  


When I get the rest of the parts:

Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat - Easy, will probably take five minutes total, then 48 hour cure time.

Glue in helmet liner - Again, should be easy, getting it into the helmet with glue on it and not getting said glue all over the outside of the helmet will be the hardest part.  At least E6000 rubs off easily.  

Install fans - Glue in corresponding Velcro  to helmet, 48 hour cure, stick in fans and battery packs.

Install lens - I'm thinking put glue where the magnets are supposed to go, then put the magnets onto the lens itself, held by the back corresponding magnets, and then set into place, let the magnets do the work for me.

Glue corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest) - My only concern with this is there's a return edge on the chest and I will have to get enough surface area of the Velcro to attach for it to stick.  This is an FOTK style armor thing.  

Install suspender/strapping attachments to ab/kidney - Once those attachments are made, it will just be a matter of gluing them in and letting them cure for the 48 hours.  

Edited by sharkbait
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Well, I got something done!


Finger tips are glued onto elastic connections:




This will never not look weird and hilarious to me.  I used them because I had them, but now I actually recommend investing in some sewing clips (like these)- they're cheap, come in abundance, and are great for little spaces you need to clamp, like the fingers.


I finally made my helmet fans- so here's a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make basic helmet fans (they're basic, but they work great, and I've had great luck with them lasting).



9v Batteries (I use Amazon Basics - in my experience, each battery will last at least one long troop (3+ hours), or several shorter troops (roughly up to 6 hours) - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B00MH4QM1S/

Battery packs - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07BXBS93X/ (you speficailly want ones with on/off switches, and the better ones are pictured with the screws separate.  I never use the screws, but they're a better product than the ones without that pictured)

Fans - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0775ZM4DW/

Heat shrink tubing (two sizes- I can't say I know what size, but I recommend getting a box of assorted because then you'll be covered for all projects) - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B072PCQ2LW/


Soldering iron

Lighter or other such heat source (heat guns work, though overkill)

Optional but can be helpful: Helping Hands - https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07H4XCRTF/

Velcro (for attaching to the inside of the bucket) - sticky back works fine here






Step 1:

Strip off the ends of all wires



Step 2:

Slip smaller heat shrink tubing onto one of the wires- doens't matter which wire (red or black), doesn't matter if fan or battery pack



Step 3:

Slip two sizes up from first heat shrink tube onto both wires - doesn't matter if fan or battery pack (I used only one size up, and it was barely big enough).  Ignore that they're already connected here, I missed this step and had to go back after I'd taken the picture.



Step 4:

Twist together like connections from fan and battery wires - red battery wire to red fan wire, black battery wire to black fan wire.  Install battery and test to make sure working.  



Step 5:

Solder connections.  Test to make sure working.  


Step 6:

Slide smaller single wire heat shrink into place over the solder connection and use lighter to shrink.  Test to make sure working.  (In above photos this is the red tube).


Step 7:

Slide larger heat shrink into place over exposed and previously covered connections and use lighter to shrink.  Test to make sure working.   (In above photos this is the yellow tube).


Step 8:

Attach Velcro to back of fan and back of battery box, and corresponding Velcro into desired placement in bucket.  


I once again ran into a roadblock that I decided it would be best if I had the armor back to do it- you can guess at placement, but it's better not to.  And since it doesn't matter for this weekend anymore anyway, I'm going to wait.  


To do:

Glue elastic connection into finger tip armor - This is actually more of a pain that you'd think, and you probably think it's a bit of a pain.

Make helmet fans - I was all set to do this last night, found the fans, the battery packs, the soldering iron, the wire strippers... and no solder.  No where to be found.  Because of course.

Prep suspender/strapping attachments for ab/kidney (to be installed once back) - MacGyver is seriously going to be proud of what I have planned for this.  To be honest I just didn't feel like going into the cold outside to use the dremel and so I didn't get to these.  

Airbrush blasters - Maybe if I just glare at them long enough they'll spontaneously explode and/or paint themselves.  Maybe.  I'm about at that point.  

Re-do elastic bands for around the boot and/or find something thin and soft to shove in the top of the shoe as a spacer.  My foot is a woman's foot and flatter/shorter than a man's, but I'm wearing men's shoes, so they're a bit big in the top.  When I step they want to come up a bit before the rest of the shoe follows.  Having big feet and wearing men's shoes before this is not an uncommon problem for me, I've fixed it before.  I'm thinking a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Because I already have a stash of those for Jawa masks.  


When I get the rest of the parts:

Glue magnets into lens in prep for corresponding magnets into helmet - I started to do this, then realized I really need the helmet for exact placement, so it has to wait.  

Cut and glue in elastic connection into final boot spat

Glue in helmet liner

Install fans

Glue in magnets and install lens

Glue corresponding Velcro to yoke for chest connection (already glued into chest)

Install suspender/strapping attachments to ab/kidney


I got this!!  Right?  :laugh1:


I hope everyone has a great time at their respective theater troops for the premiere!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is still progress!  Slow and uninteresting progress, but progress.  I'll take it.  As we inch towards the finish line, here's what's been accomplished so far:


Glued Velcro onto the inside edges of the chest plate, and corresponding to the outsides of the back plate.  Because that top connection is tiny, and there's no way it's going to hold, even with lightweight ABS.  (Totally forget about it with Jimmi's fiberlglass set, fyi)




As well as the snap plate to the top of the yoke for the shoulder bell connections. 




I also made the connections.  I just used Nylon webbing, rather than elastic for this one, because unlike the OT TK bells, these won't be taken on and off, therefore need the stretch to be connected.  They'll basically be stationary and semi-permanently attached.  




I ended up not MacGuyvering my suspender attachments, which is probably for the better. I used D ring picture hangers.  They were a bit narrow at the top for my large suspender grips, so I just mounted them sideways so they fit perfectly.  They do make larger D-ring connections, but on a timeline I wasn't going to go on the hunt.  But if you have the time and plan ahead, that would probably be advisable.  For inquiring minds, my MacGuyver plan involved straight picture hangers, spacers from a TV wall mount kit (cut in half because otherwise they were too tall), and ABS scraps.  The D-ring way has way less glued together pieces and is therefore more stable, but the MacGuyver way was pretty ingenuous for stuff found around the house.  




The bases are sandwiched between two pieces of ABS for extra strength and connection.






This is what I was talking about with my extra piece of ABS to reinforce the elastic connections:




So that's done on the knees and boot spat pieces.  


Helmet liner is in:




Fans installed:




Lens installed:




I will probably trim the lens at a later date, when I have more time- cut out the nose area so there's not excess material there.  Luckily the lens is easy to remove and replace for cleaning as well.


I got started on the ab/kidney closure.  I'm hoping these magnets are strong enough to keep it shut.  I had a moment of crisis when I test-fitted it and it was a snug fit.  This is a female thing- it's contending with both a bust and hips.  It sits right at the top of my hips, so that will help, but it's just at the bust line.  I thought about snaps, but I didn't want to go that route because I didn't want to put repeated stress on that area.  My OT TK has some stress cracks there that I need to reinforce, granted after 4 years of heavy trooping (90+ troops), but still, due to the paint job Phasma will not be as easy of a patch up at the white ABS OT TK, so I want to avoid any known potential issues in the future if I possibly can.  I'm going to trial run the magnets, see what happens.  Maybe do a second magnet set if needed, and then if that still doesn't work, then I'll switch to snaps.  Velcro seems like more trouble than it'd be worth, though it would hold if you could get it into place.  Also didn't want to go that route as first choice because it would involve a handler getting up close and personal every time to get it attached and I try to not put handlers in awkward situations if I can help it.  


I mocked up a rough pattern for my design:




Now, since my handwriting is akin to a doctor's handwriting, here's the key:


4x Magnets (mags)

2x cut out - 1x half and 1x full

2x solid - 1x half and 1x full

(Original idea- now known two sets of these are needed, so the new numbers are: 8x magnets, 4x cut outs (2x half and 2x full), 4x solid (2x half and 2x full.)


Glue the cut out pieces on top of the corresponding solid pieces so the magnets are set in.


These are the magnets I'm using: https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07S6GJXCZ/


They are stupidly fragile and I shattered one by knocking it off the table onto the floor (granted it was the garage floor, so concrete, but still, only a height of maybe 4'').  They seem to not shatter themselves when connecting in the plates because of the inset, but this is a concern.  I'd recommend some nice N52 ones from KJMagnetics, like these: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BX882-N52.  They still have the ability to shatter on direct contact (and slightly more so being a stronger pull force), so make sure you inset them.  I'm using the Amazon ones because I got them cheaply and with free One Day Shipping on my timeline.  Maybe they'll hold up, we'll see.


Then time to make the ABS connectors:




I used my dremel with a cutting wheel to cut them out and it made quick work of it.




Sand them down and trim the edges so they're not sharp and pointy.  Remember this is internal, so you don't want it catching on your under suit or poking through to skin.


Next I glued the magnets into place:




The circle magnets are just there for gluing purposes- they're not attached.  I'm using my washing machine (since the magnets stick to it) as a way to keep pressure on the pieces to glue together.  


I decided to let these cure for 24 hours, then I'll stick them into the suit, and glue, and wait for those to get the full 48 hour cure.  Too many moving parts trying to glue at once would just be a challenge to try and clamp in place.  


The more I look at it the more I think I need to do a second set of these for closure.  I should be able to knock that out tonight and get it gluing.  


That half scrap sheet of ABS I got at a local plastics place has been amazing.  It's not smooth/smooth ABS, because I guess that's special order, but it's been working great as scraps and unseen stuff.  Well worth the $20 I paid for it.  


To Do:

Glue in first magnet closure set

Make and glue second magnet closure

Add foam or padding in front of helmet in middle of forehead to keep it from falling back into my nose.  (Probably a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, since I have those on hand).  

Cut Magic Erasers for padding on top of foot to keep boot from lifting when walking

Figure out butt plate attachment to belt - why is this so hard?  It's simple, yet alluding me because of placement.  I think I should wear the ab/kidney and belt to get the placement right.  Kind hard to do on yourself.  Maybe I'll just wear it backwards for fitting, since it will be basically the same placement.  

Test fit!

Edited by sharkbait
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Well, the bad news is the magnet closure didn't work.  The good news is they were easy to remove.  I had a bad feeling about it and test fit it at the 24 hour cure mark (I leave E6000 for 48 hours), and it was a disaster.  I think the concept works (well, I know it does, because a friend and fellow Squad member did it with his KB FOTK and it worked, I copied the design from him).  It just doesn't work if you've got a snug or very fitted armor.  Then I think the pieces shifted a bit when gluing, and so they didn't line up as perfectly as they did when I left them.   Basically the magnets just didn't line up perfectly (and they have to be PERFECT), it's an awkward spot on a woman (contending with hips and bust, one would be enough), and it's a snug fit, so the magnets just didn't have the strength to hold.


I ripped them out and have snap plates gluing now.  Probably should have gone this way to begin with, because several of my concerns about using the magnet idea did turn out to be realized.  My advice, and if I were doing this again- either shim it or make it fit so it's not a snug and fitted fit, but extra wiggle room and do the magnets, and line them up perfectly and use math and geometry to make them perfect, or just do snaps.  You might want to do snaps anyway.  I think women will benefit from snaps way more than men regardless- or at least women with prominent hips and/or busts.  If it attached decently at the bottom, it wanted to overlap at the top, and if it fit right at the top, it wanted to splay open at the bottom.  


Are you ready for the weirdest selfies I've ever taken in my life?  I had to stop working for a while because I dissolved into uncontrollable laughter after I took these.  They're just too ridiculous.  




The cod fits in the right spot, the belt looks good.






Falcon wanted to get in on the action, too, and posed appropriately to match.  


The butt plate sits REALLY high.  I need to fit it again with the armor, but even then, on previous test fits it's kinda riding high.  I mean it's totally covered by her cape, but it just feels so weird.  I don't exactly know how to fix this, as there's a very obvious connection at the top of the plate and that fits under the belt, and the belt goes where the belt goes, and the cod is sitting pretty good.  I'm actually wondering if this is another male v. female body type issue- it's because of how it hits on the hips and then how the curves are different (on different people, as well).  Not to keep blaming that, but hey, we're shaped differently, it's just life- and these suits were designed with men in mind- and very lean men at that.  My TK butt plate does stick out similarly at the top, but it's larger and so it's less noticeable because it covers more and evens itself out.  Way to give me a complex, armor.  :laugh1:


I can shimmy it down a bit, and that helps.  I could raise the cod a bit, but it is pretty much sitting perfectly in terms of how much you see of it.  I'll figure it out, it will just be an awkward and hilarious processes.


I added the piece of Magic Eraser into the helmet in the front. It still touches my nose, but it's better.  When I have time I need to take out the lens and trim it.  For now, I think it's fine for a trial run- there's always issues you never find util your first troop anyway, it won't be the only thing I'll be tweaking.  


The shoes fit snug enough I can't shove a foam piece/Magic Eraser in there, so I'm back to trying to do an elastic stirrup around the boot ant my foot.  Thankfully cutting elastic and sewing the ends together to make a loop is a less than five minute job.  


I finally just added a whole lot of corresponding Velcro to the belt for the butt plate attachment.  It's longer than I need, I think, but then I'm covered in terms of attachment.   Having the ab/kidney did help do the trick on placement.  


To Do:

Elastic stirrups for shoes

OH YEAH, AND THOSE DAMN BLASTERS.  My dad's a genius- he said to put the paint bottle in warm water and hold the blasters directly in front of the space heater for a bit before trying to paint.  Gonna try it and hope, it's all I've got left until Spring at this point.  

Test fit!

Approval photos!

Edited by sharkbait
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Well, that was hugely anticlimactic.  


I submitted Friday night, was all set to debut her at the game on Saturday... and then... nope.  Somehow in my packing and trying to organize, my freaking gasket harness didn't make it into the bin- and I didn't get to troop.  Thankfully I found it on the floor in the garage (narrowly missing where the car tire tread would have backed over it).  Without it I have no shoulder gaskets, no bicep attachment (therefore no arm attachments), and no thigh attachments (no leg attachments).  The event was still super fun and handling was a lot of fun.  Everyone who trooped and handled had a great time, which is what matters.  


And then I need broad daylight for photos, even though we tried really hard with lights, a white background, camera strobes AND a shop light.  So new approval photos to be taken on Saturday, outside, at a build party (hoping for good weather!  It's dark, foggy and wintry today).  I've found it's difficult to capture the true nature of the paint- it really likes direct light best.  There is a distinct fuzzy reflection in direct light, which fits with the weathered nature of TFA Phasma, but in some photos it's just not coming across.  


I warmed both the blasters and the airbrush paint and still nothing- airflow but no paint.  I give up.  


I have to start completely over on the paint on the blasters.  I decided as a last ditch effort with a specialty rattle can I found- the picture of the product on an actual piece looked like the perfect pale champagne color.  Nope, it's way too bright and way to dense, if that makes sense.  Not at all what was pictured or advertised.  Should have known.  Also liquid latex is not meant to be left on for extended periods of time.  I'm having a hell of a time picking it off.  And it's taking some of the coloring with it.  I need to strip it all off, hit the entire blaster with filler primer, then black, then mask, then airbrush, remove latex ASAP, and pray.  


I'm beginning to think this costume is cursed.  I know there aren't a ton of Shiny Sisters (and Brothers) out there, but did anyone else have just such huge and consistent issues like I'm having?  It just feels ridiculous at this point.  


It does give me more time to tweak even more things.  I need to cut off the wonky tiny trim from the bottom of the ab plate, and mount a new, flat one there, for belt connections.  It will never stay in place as is.  I'll also add on on the kidney, which will keep the butt plate in place where it should be, not way high like it's wanting to sit.  


I had to tighten a bunch of elastic connections.  I also need to add more to keep the parts in firm place.  Somehow my left shin spat is loose and the right is perfect, though I used the actual shins in their actual size over my actual boots to size them.  I'm pretty sure the chest connection needs work, but it will be okay for a few troops and photos.  Longevity-wise it will need a better connection- that at least is the kit and the armor design itself, not me.  


So I'm afraid to even put a new proposed debut date, lest I jinx myself, but the next event worth taking the time to put her on is our Weekend Blender, a two-day con at the end of February.  So I guess that's it.  

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2 hours ago, masterx244 said:

:Seems like you got murphy on quick dial towards the end.... That guy (crossref murphy's law) likes to mess up all plans...... the more ways to trouble you got the quicker you get issues...

Pretty much!  I keep thinking I'm at the very tail end... there's only so many things left to do, therefore so many things to go wrong... but every time I turn around there's something else to do!  :laugh1:

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