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Adianu

Adianu's WTF shorty build

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I'm not really building yet, but since I'm starting to order pieces I thought I'd start a build thread.

 

A little intro- I am a total n00b to armor. I'm an intermediate seamstress, earning my stripes through drafting and sewing my staff officer and Rey costumes. I'm 5'2" petite build so I know I'm in for a lot of trimming... but yes, I have seen the threads from the ladies who have been here before me :) I will be leveraging heavily.

 

I've been eying a TK build for years, but honestly have been scared due to my height and inexperience with armor. But last weekend while shopping for TIE armor for my husband I (drinking wine) also asked for a quote for TK armor, and pulled the trigger on both.  

 

So, status:

 

 

Up next:

  • Lots of stuff saved in Evernote notes! Gloves, neck seals, etc.
  • go measure my feet for good TK boots size
  • Other tools
  • Wait... worry that I won't be able to pull it off... remember that it took me 2 years to sew an officer uniform... worry that I am too short, etc. etc.

 

 

 

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Hello Sherry! Don't worry! Never too short to be a Stormtrooper! You may have come across Cricket's Build Thread. A legend when it comes to tiny troopers. Her build thread can be found here: 

I am sure you are studying that. So that would be a great start. Once you start getting your armor, post up tons of pictures! We are here to help! 

 

 

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Looks like you are off to a good start, Sherry!  The undersuit pieces you ordered should be fine, but it looks as if the decals on the pants may show when suited up.  You can wear them inside/out or take a black Sharpie to them if this is the case.

The ABS scissors are great for detail cutting, but you may want to think about a pair of small tin snips.  They plow through ABS like butter!

 

If you are still collecting supplies, I have a list that may help:  https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/31404-supply-list-for-your-tk-build/

 

 

Best of luck on your build, and if you have any questions, just let us know!

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Walt makes a great kit. Good start there. Joseph has the list for all the goodies. Which makes that part easier. And you have all of us here to help you along the way to the finish line!

You got this Sherry!:duim:

Building a suit is so much fun to do. It's like potato chips, once you start you don't want to stop. So I'll say you should beat your 2 yr. record easily!

 

Looking foward to tagging along reading.

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Off to a promising start Sherry.

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Thanks for all of the encouragement! 

 

- Received pants from Academy... they fit (other than being way too long, but assuming I can hide the extra length under my boots) (shirt still pending)

- Asked WTF for short thighs. They reminded me that there are kids' kits... but I'm pretty sure those are too small for me. (I know a squad member with this kit and she's about 3" shorter than me... and I couldn't get the helmet over my head). So going with regular kit, short thighs, and lots of trimming!

- LOTS of reading on the forums accomplished. Starting to feel more educated yet also glad I have awhile before I have a kit in hand to worry about :)

 

A few questions I have so far:

- Return edges. Where are they needed/desirable? I guess NOT on shins and forearms... and I intend to do snaps... so is it desirable other places? I will be trimming heavily so probably need to add in anyplace I want them. I did see a great tutorial on doing this with a hobby iron! But would not like to do them more than necessary.

- Snap plates... I've seen several tutorials using ABS plates. I saw one using nylon strips that seems on the surface to be easier to me- nylon square, install snap, E6000 it to the ABS main piece. Is there some catch here? Any advice?

- Suspenders vs garters vs belt for leg suspension- advice?

- I plan to do butt joint and cover strip method. I've seen some who do the strip on the inside as well as outside- thoughts on this? Cost/benefit?

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8 hours ago, Adianu said:

- Asked WTF for short thighs. They reminded me that there are kids' kits... but I'm pretty sure those are too small for me. (I know a squad member with this kit and she's about 3" shorter than me... and I couldn't get the helmet over my head). So going with regular kit, short thighs, and lots of trimming!

 

 

I built the WTF kit to fit my 4'11" garrison friend using the short thighs.  The WTF kit overall is smaller than many kits out there, so you might be surprised about how little you will need to trim off.  I didn't need to trim much off the tops of the short thighs for my friend in order for them to fit.  So I'm guessing that for your height, you shouldn't need to trim much- if any- off of the thighs.  The torso will need trimming on the chest at the neck line, and a little off the sides of the chest for mobility.  Depending on the strapping method you choose (brackets or snap plates), this will determine where your additional cuts will need to be.  

If you have sewing experience already, then this works in your favor!  The plastic is just like pattern pieces that all fit together with glue instead of thread.  When correctly altered, the torso armor locks together on its own without any skewing or twisting to the parts.  The torso is the biggest hurdle for us Vertically Challenged, but if you take your time (post lots of pics and ask questions!), you can get through it!  Cut conservatively, keep everything in proportion as you trim, and you'll do just fine.  :) 

 

My answers are in bold below:

 

9 hours ago, Adianu said:

- Return edges. Where are they needed/desirable? I guess NOT on shins and forearms... and I intend to do snaps... so is it desirable other places? I will be trimming heavily so probably need to add in anyplace I want them. I did see a great tutorial on doing this with a hobby iron! But would not like to do them more than necessary.

Remove return edges entirely from ends of forearms and bottoms of shins.   If you're doing snaps, then you don't necessarily need returns at the bottom of the chest plate, top and bottom of kidney, top of butt plate, or bottom of the back plate, either.  Again, you probably won't need to trim as much as you think you will!
 

- Snap plates... I've seen several tutorials using ABS plates. I saw one using nylon strips that seems on the surface to be easier to me- nylon square, install snap, E6000 it to the ABS main piece. Is there some catch here? Any advice?

 

I have made snaps with nylon webbing, glued directly on the armor, and it works just fine.  Pretty easy, actually!

- Suspenders vs garters vs belt for leg suspension- advice?

I've tried both.  I found suspenders to be more trouble than they're worth, but that's just me.  Others I'm sure swear by them.   I use a garter belt setup on my thighs.  3" elastic glued directly to the thighs, with a 2" tactical belt and a modded quick-snap buckle.  My thighs go on like a pair of shorts, with the buckle fastening in the back.  They are quick and easy to put on, and quite comfortable.
 

- I plan to do butt joint and cover strip method. I've seen some who do the strip on the inside as well as outside- thoughts on this? Cost/benefit?

It's a personal preference to add an inner cover strip when assembling with the butt join.  Of course, you need the outer cover strip- it's part of the armor!  I like having an inner cover strip not only for the extra strength it gives to the armor pieces.  An inner cover strip allows you  to try on your pieces when they are fully structually assembled as opposed to taped-up pieces.  I tend to apply my outer cover strips last because sizing for height is done as one of the last steps of the build. (Why cut through 3 layers of ABS unless you absolutely have to?)  Also, by waiting until the end of the build to apply your cover strips, you end up with nice, clean cover strip edges, not ones that are chopped off at the edges.  Make sense? 

You don't need to use 'good' ABS strip pieces for the inner cover strips.  I like to use scrap cuts for mine whenever possible.  Walt tends to include more than enough cover strip material for both inner and outer cover strips, though.

 


Hope I didn't write too much of a novel for you!  I will be following your build along with the rest of the troopers who have chimed in here.  Mistakes will happen, and that's okay.  Share your successes, but don't ever be afraid to share your failures as well.  Remember, we all have been through this journey, and we're here to help you along yours.  

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Just a few simple answers from me, though cricket hits them all as well.

Return edge is not required anywhere on your kit. Though there are the two places it is a must to remove them, wrist side of the forearm and the bottom of the shins. However no return edge is required to stay. Most people trim theirs to roughly 3-5mm. Plus most screen used costumes had little to none on them.

Snaps plates can be any thing and a personal choice. Though nylon webbing I think is become the more popular choice for them.

Suspenders vs. garter. Again a personal choice I think most people use the garter system though.

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Oh and as far as inner strips they help with stability and reinforcement. Though I would would highly suggest inner strips on the shins. They get a lot of stress from putting on and taking them off. Adding them will help prevent cracking.

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Oh and as far as inner strips they help with stability and reinforcement. Though I would would highly suggest inner strips on the shins. They get a lot of stress from putting on and taking them off. Adding them will help prevent cracking.

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You may as well do inner strips on all parts. Can never have enough reinforcement on your armor.


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You may as well do inner strips on all parts. Can never have enough reinforcement on your armor.


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Oh indeed, I just wanted to make a point on the shins and the stress they get put through.

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Thanks for all of the input, this is very helpful. And Cricket, of course seeing your build is incredibly helpful! 

On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 7:35 AM, Cricket said:

 

I built the WTF kit to fit my 4'11" garrison friend using the short thighs.  The WTF kit overall is smaller than many kits out there, so you might be surprised about how little you will need to trim off.  I didn't need to trim much off the tops of the short thighs for my friend in order for them to fit.  So I'm guessing that for your height, you shouldn't need to trim much- if any- off of the thighs.  

Hmm... I asked for short thighs, I hope that's not a mistake! I do have short legs though, I have to hem petite pants.

 

I'm sure I will come up with more questions as I try to get organized while I wait on the armor :)

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6 hours ago, Adianu said:

Ok... Panic time. Just found out WTF had a 90 percent helmet size. Do I need to see if it's too late to ask for this??

Just ask, from what I hear they have great customer service:duim:

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A few updates:

  • Did get 90% helmet (and short thighs) on my order with WTF
  • Found out TK Boots is closing up shop, and my feet are too small for Imperial Boots. Decided to suck it up and paint some that fit my feet. Going to give these boots a try, currently taking notes on supplies and processes to airbrush them (looking at threads like this)
  • Ordered straps and elastics based on the list linked above (https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/31404-supply-list-for-your-tk-build/
    • Realized this won't cover me for the nylon snap plates I'm planning, so looking to order some more. Fortunately strapworks.com is fast and reasonable shipping!

Also thrilled that me beginning this project pushed a good friend of mine over the edge to start a build too! She is another petite female who lives nearby, is extremely resourceful at costume building, excellent researcher, and will make this seem much more doable :) We're sharing notes and resources already.

 

And this Saturday there's an armor party not too far away that will have several TK's in work, so I'll be going ready to watch and learn!

 

Upcoming decision points:

  • How badly do I hate setting snaps? (Pretty badly!) Ordering some TBD tool to make it easier
  • Make vs buy on belt, holster
  • Source for neck seal (have decided that is a "buy", not a "make")

 

 

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4 hours ago, Frank75139 said:

Snaps are the enemy!


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Ok. Trying to find options. 

 

https://goldstartool.com/heavy-duty-press-for-grommets-snaps-buttons-rivets-die-set.html

 

does anyone know if this does the job for Tandy 24 snaps? Totally worth it if so, but don’t want to pay the return fee if it doesn’t!

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Completely unnecessary. I mean, if it does the trick, have at it. But I got this snap setting kit and it worked like a charm:

 

General Tools 1265 Snap Fastener Kit with 6 Fasteners https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004T7VT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_i01iCbCRY6VWR

 

For rivets, I got this which also works perfectly fine:

 

TEKTON 6555 Rivet Gun with 40-Piece Rivets https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NPT74C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_911iCbFNW4KVG

 

Snaps and rivets are very easy to set. Have you watched any videos on YouTube yet? Here’s one for snaps:

 

 

[/url]

 

Here’s a vid for rivets:

 

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Completely unnecessary. I mean, if it does the trick, have at it. But I got this snap setting kit and it worked like a charm:
 
General Tools 1265 Snap Fastener Kit with 6 Fasteners https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004T7VT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_i01iCbCRY6VWR
 
For rivets, I got this which also works perfectly fine:
 
TEKTON 6555 Rivet Gun with 40-Piece Rivets https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NPT74C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_911iCbFNW4KVG
 
Snaps and rivets are very easy to set. Have you watched any videos on YouTube yet? Here’s one for snaps:
 
 
[/url]
 
Here’s a vid for rivets:
 

Yeah, I've got a snap setting tool set from Tandy and I at least in theory know how to use it. But I have a lot of issues with getting things aligned properly and hammering hard enough to set without denting everything up. By far my least favorite part of making Jedi belts... I'll check out some tutorials and see if there's something basic I've been missing, but if it's still miserable I'd rather get a press and not have to hate snaps :)

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Getting a press also gives you the opportunity to help fellow Troopers with their snapping or even pre-make snap plates (webbing/ abs) and sell some sets:duim:

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13 hours ago, Adianu said:

Ok. Trying to find options. 

 

https://goldstartool.com/heavy-duty-press-for-grommets-snaps-buttons-rivets-die-set.html

 

does anyone know if this does the job for Tandy 24 snaps? Totally worth it if so, but don’t want to pay the return fee if it doesn’t!

That's the exact one I got and I love it.

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33 minutes ago, TheSwede said:

Getting a press also gives you the opportunity to help fellow Troopers with their snapping or even pre-make snap plates (webbing/ abs) and sell some sets:duim:

I agree with Daniel on that one, too! Also you could get other dies for the press and punch holes etc. for snaps and things.

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3 hours ago, Adianu said:

Yeah, I've got a snap setting tool set from Tandy and I at least in theory know how to use it. But I have a lot of issues with getting things aligned properly and hammering hard enough to set without denting everything up. By far my least favorite part of making Jedi belts... I'll check out some tutorials and see if there's something basic I've been missing, but if it's still miserable I'd rather get a press and not have to hate snaps :)

 

That Tandy snap setting tool is complete crud.  I went through so many failed snaps using that thing!  Once I picked up the cheap-o General Tools 1265 Snap Fastener Kit, setting snaps was a breeze. 

That said, hammering snaps into submission is loud and requires some... enthusiasm...  and I don't always have it in me to beat up those snaps.  That snap press looks really sweet... and it's on sale right now!  Hm...  I will be building another TK in about two weeks.  And other upcoming costume builds certainly will be in need of some snaps.  I think I can certainly justify acquisition of this snap press at this point.  :)    

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2 hours ago, Cricket said:

 

That Tandy snap setting tool is complete crud.  I went through so many failed snaps using that thing!  Once I picked up the cheap-o General Tools 1265 Snap Fastener Kit, setting snaps was a breeze. 

That said, hammering snaps into submission is loud and requires some... enthusiasm...  and I don't always have it in me to beat up those snaps.  That snap press looks really sweet... and it's on sale right now!  Hm...  I will be building another TK in about two weeks.  And other upcoming costume builds certainly will be in need of some snaps.  I think I can certainly justify acquisition of this snap press at this point.  :)    

Glad to know maybe my snap issues aren't just user error :) That is a good point about it being on sale... 

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I've been not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of my boots and paints so that I can ahead on that work. Paints were due to arrive on 12/29, boots on 12/31.This morning I confirmed that paints are lost in the mail. Angelus customer service was great, they're filing a claim with USPS and will re-send my order. Boots arrived today and they are way too small. I'm unsure of whether they're actually the wrong size, or if I ordered in US Men's size and they're labeled in UK sizes... I ordered a 6 and they are a 4. Whatever the case, while they can fit onto my feet they will NOT be workable for any length of time. Glad they were super cheap!

 

But in better news... Walt's has a shipping label printed for my armor! Eeek!

 

Meanwhile I've purchased a neck seal from Geeky Pink (should ship this week), bought canvas for the belt, and I think am now fully stocked up on elastic, nylon straps, and snaps. My snap setting tool came in the mail today, and I bought a belt sander and soldering iron.

 

Oh! And I went to an armor party and got to observe some TK work first-hand. Extremely helpful!

 

I'm a federal employee who is currently furloughed, so I'm looking for productive things to do :) (Yes, yes, plenty of things I should do around the house, but...) So, I was thinking of the following:

A couple of questions:

For snap plates- any recommendations on how many, what size, etc? I would rather over-engineer than skimp so was considering using 2" nylon and 2 snaps on each. Will that be a pain? Should I have some locations single snap? I've seen some great diagrams here

 

For rare earth magnets- what exactly should I be looking for? It seems like pricing is all over the place and I'm not sure exactly what I need. I intend to do little fabric satchels for them and would like to have a ton of them on hand, so cheap would be nice :)

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