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Sharkbait's TFA Captain Phasma Build


sharkbait

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Aw yeah!!!  Finally!!!

 

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It's really me under there.  I'm about 6'4'' - 6'5'' in all. I can't actually bend my arms enough to put the bucket on myself, so I now I get to tell a handler, "Bucket me!"  when getting ready.  

 

Still needs minor tweaks, but they're dwindling, at long last.  I need to tighten the elastic connections on a couple of the boot spats, glue a spacer in the left ankle spat (left and right are the same size, yet left wants to rattle and is loose), take in/tighten glove fingers so the finger armor fits better and the fabric doesn't bunch up and generally be too tight because of the bunching, the bottom chest plate to bottom back plate doesn't close and therefore connect fully- it's just not big enough, so I need to adjust the velcro attachment and maybe shim it.  Thankfully it will be hidden.  I might need to take in the gaskets a little bit, as I've lost weight since I measured for them, but that's just taking in a seam.  

 

And then those damn blasters.  I have to pick away at the liquid latex and get it off, then I basically start over on paint: fillable primer over the entire thing, black glossy coat, mask off parts to stay black, then champagne mix Alclad it.  I'm going to be disassembling my air brush to see if there's a blockage somewhere that's preventing paint.  That wouldn't make a lot of sense since it's never had paint run through it before and has actually never been used beyond hooking up the compressor and checking air flow, but it's all we could come up with.  I would love to finish them before the debut troop so I can have a blaster (I feel so awkward without one in full armor- I'm missing something), but between the weather and the effort and time it's going to take to even get them cleaned up to where I can fillable primer and black coat them, I have no idea if I'll have time.  It's a Con so I'll probably just cheat with the pike if I have nothing else.  Anything goes at Cons.  

 

New photos sent for approval, now we just wait and cross our fingers!  I'm feeling so much better about her now- everyone at the build party loved her, the neighbors driving by were slowing down and checking us out, and she went on a whole lot easier this round.  The sunlight did wonders.  We had a total of five app picks taken that day- our Squad's newest ESB Boba, myself, and three new Mandos!

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  • 7 months later...
On 9/7/2020 at 10:44 PM, indiechixor said:

I'm working on my Phsama right now - did you ever hear back regarding approval? 

Heh.  Full update below!  (And also nice chatting with you yesterday!)

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Well… as you might have guessed by my dropping off the radar for the past few months that things didn’t go as planned. 

 

She wasn’t approved.  The paint was deemed “too aluminum.”  The fit, it was remarked, was perfect, it was just the paint.  “Just.” 

 

2020- the gift that keeps on giving.  Seriously, so many things, worldwide, state-wide, local and personal, first the world imploded around me and then my life imploded.  Just ugh.  Screw. This. Year. 

 

I wrote at least five drafts of an update, edited them heavily, and deleted them without posting.  I really struggled with what to say and how to say it.  I even drafted a sales post for her, but I deleted that, too. 

 

The moral of this story and the tl;dr version is this: You have to shell out for the spray chrome: it’s the price of entry.  Know this from the beginning, budget it in from the start and you’ll go far. 

 

I’ve come to the conclusion based on others’ experiences that Al-Clad is not great for longevity and will likely need to be re-done as much as once a year.  For that reason, I don’t recommend it.  (If a Shiny Sister or Brother in the future cracks this code and makes it work, then by all means, disregard this,  but as of now, and my own experiences and knowledge, I don’t actively recommend it). 

 

I ended up sending her to Chrome Factory, LLC in Las Vegas.  I couldn’t let her beat me.  I’m just too stubborn.  Never underestimate how stubborn I am. 

I am mostly happy with CF.  I am a bit hesitant to recommend them based on my experience, but I haven’t written them off completely.  I would perhaps look into the spray chrome place back East (I forget the name, but other Phasmas have used them). 

 

The Good:

The spray chrome is beautiful.  It’s incredibly reflective, it’s chrome, it’s pretty durable- fingerprints and smudges aren’t automatic and rub off very easily, light scoots across the hardwood floors don’t scratch it up, scraping away dried liquid latex with various household brushes, fingers, and fingernails didn’t do anything to the chrome underneath (speaking of the blasters here, more on those later). 

 

The price was reasonable ($1.5k for spray chrome (plus $200 for old paint removal/prep) which is from my research, a good price if not the industry standard). 

 

He’s done several other Phasmas before and also Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.  He knows his way around costumes and the lingo and unique challenges that goes with them. 

 

The Bad:

I felt a few parts were bit sloppy and two sets of pieces were completely missed (yet they were wrapped up meticulously in plastic wrap like all the other parts, so it should have been noticed.  I admit I have high standards.  (Photos of all this below).

 

Despite me telling him about four or five times (in writing, we were conversing via e-mail) that parts of the blasters were to remain black- they returned entirely chromed. 

 

The communication was good in the beginning, but broke down later (which, at this point, I’m just convinced in a prerequisite to be a 501st level vendor as I hear it like a broken record so often across the board with rare exceptions).  I am mostly willing to blame COVID for a lot of the following issues:

It was supposed to be a timeline of 4 – 6 weeks.  I was fully excepting and okay with 6 – 10 weeks.  After the six week mark, I started messaging him asking for status.  It was always “done and ready to go” and was going to go out that Friday/that Monday/within a few days.  We did this about three times, but no BBB on my doorstep and no tracking.  The last time I asked if there was tracking for that last “I shipped it,” I never got a reply, but about four days later I had my BBB on my doorstep. 

 

Like I said, I’m mostly willing to blame COVID as this was all happening in late March/April when things really started going down.  He was unable to work and tired to, got caught, kicked out of the shop for a while, there was a gap before he could get back in, etc.  I wouldn’t worry too much about this if you send it in in the future, assuming we don’t go on full on lockdown again.   

 

The riffle also arrived to him  broke, he fixed it, and it was broken again upon return to me.  I stuck a dowel in it and re-glued it and I think that will do the trick now that it’s not being shipped anymore.  (I believe this is a design issue, not the fault of CF). 

 

Toes and knees were missed, but will probably blend overall (laying it all out on the floor together they seem to kind of meld in). 

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Smudge/scrape on bottom of inner shin.  On the inside, so I’m not worried.

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Drip on the front of the shin.  You can really see the reflectiveness of the chrome here, considering you can nearly make out my phone case.  (It says “I am SHERLOCKED” in case you were wondering, for all my fellow BBC Sherlock fans). 

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Underside of the helmet not chrome. 

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Further changes, updates, and projects for completion:

 

I fixed the riffle as I said, with the dowel down the body shaft and into the butt stock.  I punched a hole for the dowel with my soldering iron and used a combo of E6000 and CA Glue to glue it back together. 

 

I used liquid latex again to mask off all the blaster parts to remain chrome and hit them with a coat of sandable primer and then glossy black.  Liquid latex still sucks to get off even if it’s not weeks later.  Which, by the way, don’t wait weeks, it’s a damn nightmare.  Though waiting just long enough for the paint to dry (in 100+ F degree heat) and then trying to peel it off was only marginally better, so… just know you’re in for a challenge, thumbs rubbed raw and you’ll need patience.  I also found a scrub brush like for the kitchen sink worked decently well in loosening and taking up the last bits.  You do have to put muscle into it regardless. 

 

I’ll be touching up any black parts that scratched off/got missed with some black acrylic paint. 

 

Riffle mostly done, still some more latex to clean off.  That stuff is stubborn, as you can see by the large pile of tiny scraps. 

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Pistol is also mostly done, looking a bit better than the rifle, probably because it’s smaller and had less to deal with. 

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I tightened the neck opening on the cape, just added an extra fold and sewed it down (it was just slightly big and showing a bit more shoulder than was ideal).  I really love this cape. 

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I tightened one shoulder connection. 

 

I added a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which I keep around for Jawa masks) into the front of each ankle spat for stabilization. 

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I added the lens back in the helmet (I removed it for chroming purposes). 

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I re-added a couple of Velcro connections I had removed for chroming- back to chest, yoke to chest.  E6000 does not really like the chrome, so I roughed up the connection to help it adhere.  I’m not entirely sure the yoke/chest connection will work or hold, so I might end up with a snap set up.  We’ll see.  If I were doing it from the start again, I’d probably just work out a snap set up and be done from the start.

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A couple of the Velcro connections for the gaskets inside a bicep came loose, so I re-glued it with a combo of E6000 and CA Glue.  I also think I’ll try and remove the gaskets only when I have to.  Less stress on the Velcro connections plus easier to get on and off.

 

I ditched my second set of gloves (Nomex) and swapped them for stretchy compression ones (like we use for Jawas now), because the Nomex were just a bit large in the fingers and were too tight under the armor.  They were kind of painful and putting my hands to sleep.  I re-added the Velcro attachment to the palm for the fingers.  I was smart this time, and split the seam to better access the palm.  The fingertips still want to pop off, so I think I might need to add a bit of Velcro or try a stronger magnet on the outside of the glove.  The magnets are still in the inside of the fingers from the first failed attempt. 

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I also fixed a crack in the side of the abs

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Third Time’s the Charm Approval Photos:

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Wish me luck, again!  It’s 2020 so we can all use all the luck we can get. 

Edited by sharkbait
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  • 1 month later...

Finally, at long last- SHE'S APPROVED!!!

 

My beautiful shiny girl is finally ready for some trooping!  Now to wait for a troop that's longer than it takes me to suit up in her... :laugh1:

 

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There were a couple of tweaks done, and a few more "final" thoughts and advice:

 

I used black electrical tape for the black indents on the biceps, forearms and ab box:

 

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The wrist guards are there, they just like to slip under the forearms.  I'm working on a fix for that.  Basically it will be keeping the forearms (and therefore biceps) up high enough so they don't slide down and slide over the wrist guards.  

 

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She's SO SHINY AND REFLECTIVE.  

 

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My stupid belt boxes came off AGAIN. Well, two of them.  The Chicago screw idea is great, if it works, and it has for the smaller rectangle boxes/horizontal that are flush with the belt have been fine, it's two that are vertical that get bumped and moved.  I'm thinking velcro.  Just sew some onto the belt, glue onto the back of the boxes, my velcro is good so it should stay for a troop.  If it pops off in the box or while dressing, oh well, that's easy to deal with.  

 

When you suit up and take photos you realize how much of this costume is covered by the cape.  So much hard work just hidden! 

 

If I notice any trooping tweaks I'll continue to post and update.  So far I've just walked around the house a bit.  Still in the getting used to it "don't trip and fall on your face" phase of slow, calculated and stiff movements.  

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Congratulations! I was just wondering about your application as I started to tinker on my kit. Great work! 

 

I screwed my belt boxes on for a permanent attachment. Washers on the back to hold it to the belt and so the screws don't pop out. Chicago screws would be less permanent, however, they have a mandatory depth/thickness between the nuts to meet so they don't have a gap; you'd have to countersink one into the box. I suppose you could rivet or glue on velcro for the boxes as well. 

 

Congratulations again!

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