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Adianu

Adianu's WTF shorty build

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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 :)

 

 

The diagrams you found are what a lot of troopers followed. However, when it comes to the interior of how you want your armor to be held together, it is all preference. I recommend having more snaps. You can never have "too many" snaps. I believe your 2'' nylon and 2 snaps method is pretty standard. So a great choice. 

 

Rare Earth Magnets. Again, up to you, but as long as they hold things down in place! Here is a great tutorial on which ones are recommended, and how to use them! Hope it helps. 

 

 

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TK Boots is indeed closing up but they had some "less than perfect" stock on hand in small sizes a few months ago - did you happen to ask about those, or just the perfect ones? I have the imperfect ones and they're hardly (and I mean hardly) wrinkled. It does seem a shame to spend so much on boots you'll have to paint... sorry to hear the first try didn't fit, too.

 

If you decide to go the Testor's route and find (like me) that you can get your hands on semi-gloss black, gloss grey, and gloss white easily in stores but have the dickens of a time finding French Blue, do let me know. Our Rust-oleum sales rep gave me a case of the stuff and I'd happily mail you a bottle. Troopers helping troopers etc. :)

 

Go for it on snap plate pre-assembly! And if you get worried about using too many snaps that you may wish to reallocate later, just pre-make the nylon bits with holes in them. It's SO nice to have extras of those cut and sealed so you can throw in snaps (which, with our snap presses, takes mere moments ;)) as you need them. Double snaps most everywhere is the secure way to go. Not overkill, and not more of a pain than single snaps since you're doing all the same steps for singles anyway (cutting, mounting). I'm using single snaps down my arms because there's not much space there, not much weight there, and the biceps and forearms will be mostly staying in place on their own. Nylon vs elastic for strapping (not plates, but the long bits) is always a discussion but seems to come down to whether you consider nylon being *not* stretchy a benefit (keeps your armor where you put it) or a detriment (when flex is required, it won't be the one giving way so your armor may develop cracks).

 

Pretzel's link on the rare earth magnets is good. Price-wise you'll likely find Ebay best - just beware the listings that ship from China, as I'm guessing you'll want them in less than a few weeks.

 

There, now I've added my novel to your thread. ;) Your BBB day approaches! I'm excited for you!

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@Pretzelthanks for the feedback, and the magnets link is very helpful! Going in on an order with a friend to get more bang for our buck on bulk discounts with the Total Element link in that thread. 

 

1 hour ago, TheLorelei said:

TK Boots is indeed closing up but they had some "less than perfect" stock on hand in small sizes a few months ago - did you happen to ask about those, or just the perfect ones? I have the imperfect ones and they're hardly (and I mean hardly) wrinkled. It does seem a shame to spend so much on boots you'll have to paint... sorry to hear the first try didn't fit, too.

When I emailed asking about some shipping details the response was basically just that they are closing, so I did not pursue further... Luckily it looks like I do get a full refund on my cheapies that were too small, and the new pair is about $60 so not too bad. It seems like people have had really good luck with painting boots, so hopefully it will work well! Just have to wait for them to arrive (probably end of the month).

 

1 hour ago, TheLorelei said:

If you decide to go the Testor's route and find (like me) that you can get your hands on semi-gloss black, gloss grey, and gloss white easily in stores but have the dickens of a time finding French Blue, do let me know. Our Rust-oleum sales rep gave me a case of the stuff and I'd happily mail you a bottle. Troopers helping troopers etc. :)

Awesome, I may end up taking you up on this! I tried Hobby Lobby (I think they just had the black though selection was pretty picked over), and Michael's (their colors seemed to be a totally separate coding scheme). I'm planning to check a model shop tomorrow to see if I have better luck (I've been surprised that I can't even seem to find this stuff online).

 

1 hour ago, TheLorelei said:

Go for it on snap plate pre-assembly! And if you get worried about using too many snaps that you may wish to reallocate later, just pre-make the nylon bits with holes in them. It's SO nice to have extras of those cut and sealed so you can throw in snaps (which, with our snap presses, takes mere moments ;)) as you need them.

OMG yes I played with the press and I honestly thought I must have done it wrong because it seemed way too easy, but then I looked and it was a PERFECTLY SET SNAP! I am already in love with it.

 

1 hour ago, TheLorelei said:

Nylon vs elastic for strapping (not plates, but the long bits) is always a discussion but seems to come down to whether you consider nylon being *not* stretchy a benefit (keeps your armor where you put it) or a detriment (when flex is required, it won't be the one giving way so your armor may develop cracks).

Good to know- there were some strong pro-nylon opinions at the armor party I attended, so it's good to hear the pro-elastic rationale too.

 

Oh, I also realized that I got over-excited on holster leather purchasing and got some black leather that is not going to be heavy enough to be functional. Fortunately I have a ton of veg-tan leather leftover from Rey stuff, so once I pick up some black dye and the snaps/rivets for the holster I should be able to start working on that. I don't yet have an E11 but I'm not sure if I will prior to basic approval, so...

 

 

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More power to ya on the painting! And sad to hear about TK Boots being officially done. :/

 

Sure thing about the paint, let me know. Michael's selection is a little weird, agreed. I imagine part of the difficulty with buying them online is the shipping restriction since they're flammable. Worry not, I made my local postal people dig out their big book o' mailing rules and know how to get it done legally. ;) Also a local chain has the other colors, too, so if you want me to send you the blue I could send any others you can't get a hold of.

 

The press is nothing short of magical. I have to lean into mine decently hard to get that last bit of tightness on thinner materials (like one layer of nylon) but for a perfect set every time... yes, so good. I also enjoy how you set the top part of the snap into the upper die before pressing - no room for error at all!

 

Seems like the screen-used holsters were pretty thin too, but thicker is better for getting your blaster back in there on the run (or so I hear). I'm sure you'll have it all together in no time. :) (PS, using the press to put the snap onto the holster perfectly was so so gratifying.)

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OK. Hit Tandy, a model shop, and back to Hobby Lobby today. New questions!

 

First, I made a foam template to mark hole locations for snap plates. I did 1.5" length on 2" strap, evenly spacing the hole locations for the snaps. Does this look OK? I don't want to make a huge pile of these things and realize there was a stupid mistake!

dlQTd71.jpg

 

Next, I keep going back and forth on what leather to use for the holster. I have this calf skin that is super soft and would be relatively easy to work with. It is all black so I would probably end up doing a frankenstein and doing straps out of other leather that I would dye black on only one side. But my concern is if it's going to actually function well given it doesn't have much structure. Here's my kid sort of cooperating in demonstrating holding up my husband's DH-17 as an example with the soft leather. Yay or nay? I do have veggie tan leather and black dye so not a huge deal either way.

gN3ljoY.jpg

 

Finally, the paints. I have myself confused, I think. I got what I'm pretty sure is the correct gray:

KWZVc4t.jpg

 

And I got Model Master gloss black, which has the same Testor part number as the template I saw (1747). Is this the right thing?

8ompD70.jpg UO6OJyS.jpg

 

And then I got what I swear was labeled as "Gloss white" on the shelf, but upon examination it says "classic white" on the bottle. Again, is this the right thing? Should I return it? (I never saw a specific part number called out for the gloss white to compare to either).

mPfCf26.jpg CJLfOuT.jpg

 

And French Blue. Ha! I called I think every model shop in Houston. One train shop employee tried convincing me that Testors as a brand no longer exists. Found a place on the other side of town (1 hr if there's not traffic... but there's always traffic) that says they have French blue in stock. And then tonight it so happened someone else in my garrison was asking about where to find it, and a local TK said he found it at the Michael's 10 minutes from my house. So, I think I will check Michael's one more time to see if I'm crazy, then see if I have any other reason to the west side Hobby Town. I don't really need the paints immediately, just trying to gather what I can early.

 

As the furlough continues my plan for tomorrow is laundry, holster work, and snap plates :)

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I made my snaps sit a little closer together so there was more spare webbing at the edges to hold them down. I'm sure it varies for everyone, though, and it's highly unlikely small spacing differences will kill your armor.

 

Not sure on the leather - will wait for brighter minds to answer that one.

 

Many travels for the paints! The things we do for our TKs. ;) Grey looks good, but I think you'll want semi-gloss black (1139) as opposed to gloss. This was the most recent chart I saw, perhaps yours differs?

P5wvdEx.jpg

:) The white seems tricky. Is it off-white?

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Eek, not sure where I got the colors I was looking for but my notes do not match that one- which is what I think I thought I was following :) Thanks, updating my notes now and trading in my black and white while I check again for the blue.

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5 hours ago, Adianu said:

Eek, not sure where I got the colors I was looking for but my notes do not match that one- which is what I think I thought I was following :) Thanks, updating my notes now and trading in my black and white while I check again for the blue.

I had the exact same issue.  There seem to be two pages floating around with paint colors and they reference different colors.  I had the wrong one at first too, but realized before actually starting any work.

 

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6 hours ago, Suspend said:

I had the exact same issue.  There seem to be two pages floating around with paint colors and they reference different colors.  I had the wrong one at first too, but realized before actually starting any work.

 

Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one! More paint errands today resulted in proper black and white, and a French blue in Model Masters brand. When I have my kit I plan to paint a little test circle and compare against colors of those with the “real” color.

 

And then I had a productive afternoon!

 

kCgg6fq.jpg

 

I LOOOOOOVE the snap press. I knocked out this big pile (cutting, burning, snapping) in about 2 hours. I only messed up 1 snap, and it was the one my 4 yr old “helped” with. 

 

And in in the meantime my BBB still shows as “label printed” for 6 days :unsure:

 

 

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Omg omg omg! BBB is on the move. In Dallas! Having a glass of champagne with the husband to celebrate 15 yr anniversary and just spilled it all over myself in excitement :smiley-sw013:

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:59 PM, Adianu said:

Next, I keep going back and forth on what leather to use for the holster. I have this calf skin that is super soft and would be relatively easy to work with. It is all black so I would probably end up doing a frankenstein and doing straps out of other leather that I would dye black on only one side. But my concern is if it's going to actually function well given it doesn't have much structure. Here's my kid sort of cooperating in demonstrating holding up my husband's DH-17 as an example with the soft leather. Yay or nay? I do have veggie tan leather and black dye so not a huge deal either way.

gN3ljoY.jpg

 

 

Hey Sherry, 

 

Congrats on your 15 year milestone!!!  And to get notification that your BBB is on the move is quite the bonus.  :)  Sweet!

 

About that leather...  for me, that leather would be much too thin for a holster.  I had a 4oz leather holster and didn't like it at all because it was too soft.  I upgraded to an 8oz holster, and it's perfect.  

 

Reason:  I like to be able to holster and deholster my blaster on my own while in kit.  While it may not seem like a challenge to get your blaster in and out of a soft holster while wearing civvies, when you're completely kitted up, it's an entirely different game.  The 4oz leather would flex on my blaster and get hung up on it when trying to get it out, so I always had to ask for help from a handler for it.  Your arm will get tired when holding a blaster on extended troops! 

 

A holster with substantial, rigid leather weight keeps its shape nicely.  My 8oz holster had to be stretched out to fit:  I had to soak it in water, and let it dry with my blaster wrapped in several plastic bags shoved in there.  Once dry, I zapped the inside with holster lubricant, and voila!  I can holster and deholster the blaster in kit quickly and easily now... but the holster isn't so loose that some rogue rebel scum could pull it out without me noticing, either.  :)  

 

Oh!  Forgot to mention about support!  As a smaller trooper, your holster will most likely sit more on your posterior than your hip.  A softer leather holster allows for sagging, and your blaster will do this wonky thing where it shifts outwards at an angle.  Thicker, more rigid leather gives more support and keeps your blaster upright when in the holster.  Pic on the left is when I was wearing my 4oz  holster.  Pic on the right is when I was wearing the 8oz holster.

39736048753_38312c46c7.jpg31759630337_bd6b7ba9ed.jpg

Edited by Cricket

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6 hours ago, Cricket said:

About that leather...  for me, that leather would be much too thin for a holster.  I had a 4oz leather holster and didn't like it at all because it was too soft.  I upgraded to an 8oz holster, and it's perfect.  

Thanks for all of the info on this. I will move forward with the heavier duty leather.

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So, first the very disappointing thing to get it out of the way.

 

Was out in the garage working on leather stuff when I got a text notification- omg, my BBB was just left on the front porch! I didn't think it would be here until Monday!

 

Beautiful BBB:

4BlbaBY.jpg

 

Inspection by Padme and Finn:

8F117Ie.jpg

 

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN:

lf7OhUe.jpg

 

That's right. There's a mix-up. Instead of a TIE and TK (TIE is for hubby), we have 2 TIEs. Oh, the humanity! I have messaged WTF and am hoping this can get straightened out soon :( Sooo disappointing. I had prepared myself for the possibility that it would just be a dumb TIE kit and mine would be coming later, but 2 TIE- salt in the wound! I know in reality this just buys me more time to get organized on my notes, read through more build threads, etc. and it will be ok... but bleh.

 

And then back to less depressing things. I made a bit of holster progress before the delivery.

 

Template made based off of a template in this thread.

9hysdsN.jpg

 

One tip I would add in addition to the thread above- I used an awl punch to help mark the snap/rivet placements. Punch through the template, then use a marker through the hole to capture the location on the leather.

de0HCNT.jpg

 

I tried using my rotary cutter, and it didn't result in lines that were clean or straight enough for my satisfaction. I ended up cleaning them all up with Exacto and metal ruler (and cut-resistant gloves). 

 

I used my handy leather punch for some of the holes. I have used this for many projects and love it, but found a fatal flaw here- it can't reach far enough interior for one of the rivets. I improvised and used an awl to punch in the proper location, wiggling it around a bit to widen the hole to fit a rivet.

Wo5nEUn.jpg

 

To mark where I want the stitches I placed painter's tape along a ruler, so I could just stay along that line as I went to keep it straight and consistent.

cgNbbFZ.jpg

 

Then punching along the line. The previous owners of our house left several nice little slabs of granite left over from kitchen remodels, so that works nicely for pounding holes in leather. That being said, I don't feel like this little tool created a big enough hole to nicely get a needle through, so I may use an awl to poke it a bit more.

vfpjSSl.jpg

 

Next up: Dye the leather black! And go into a corner and cry until I get a new shipping notification :unsure: 

 

 

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You need to sue! There has been extensive pain and suffering, two ties? Who do they think they’re dealing with. Lol other than that at least your getting stuff done.


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13 minutes ago, Frank75139 said:

You need to sue! There has been extensive pain and suffering, two ties? Who do they think they’re dealing with. Lol other than that at least your getting stuff done.

Yes, definite psychological trauma!

 

To add to the comedy of errors that is me getting pieces for this build... The paints for my boots came, and so did the paints for my boots that got lost in the mail a couple of weeks ago! So, Angelus Direct was very good about sending out a new set when they saw the first one was lost... will call them up on Monday to let them know I did end up with both shipments.

KGdgEi4.jpg

 

Now I'm really hoping the next order of boots I have en route fit :)

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Well, I was feeling quite pleased with my holster progress until I put the wrong half of the snap on the main body, and subsequently realized that I've cut the whole thing out backwards. I thought I was being careful, but while I double checked what side was out when I folded it over, I had in my head that it was worn on the right side, with the seam facing the back- and I've got that reversed.  

 

tp5nuqb.jpg

 

The CRL doesn't specify which direction the stitching is, but I assume it matters... but that is a question I have. Does that detail matter for basic approval? I do plan to build to Centurion level if I can, but I'm not sure when I'll get a blaster, so if it would work for basic approval I could always update the holster later.

 

Regardless, I think I will stitch this one up for practice and at a minimum it could serve to upgrade my truly slapped together holster for my non-canon Twi'lek X-wing pilot costume. 

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5 minutes ago, Adianu said:

The CRL doesn't specify which direction the stitching is, but I assume it matters... but that is a question I have. Does that detail matter for basic approval? I do plan to build to Centurion level if I can, but I'm not sure when I'll get a blaster, so if it would work for basic approval I could always update the holster later.

 

Regardless, I think I will stitch this one up for practice and at a minimum it could serve to upgrade my truly slapped together holster for my non-canon Twi'lek X-wing pilot costume. 

Done this myself when I cut out my first DL-44 holster.

 

The CRL doesn't state which side the stitching is on but does have an image, which shows what side it is on.

 

File:TK anh stunt holster.jpeg

 

As a GML I would pick it for basic but you can reach out the your GML (garrison membership liaison) to see if he/she will let it pass.

 

You could always swap over to an ESB build or keep it for converting to one later, just need black loops added  ;)

For ESB

  • Holster is worn on right side of belt.
  • Holster is affixed via two black loops over the belt (no fasteners).

 

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1 hour ago, gmrhodes13 said:

As a GML I would pick it for basic but you can reach out the your GML (garrison membership liaison) to see if he/she will let it pass.

 

You could always swap over to an ESB build or keep it for converting to one later, just need black loops added  ;)

For ESB

  • Holster is worn on right side of belt.
  • Holster is affixed via two black loops over the belt (no fasteners).

Thanks for the feedback! 

 

I went ahead and stitched it up and was pleasantly surprised at how painless it really was. I think it will only take me about 2 hours to recreate the holster in the correct configuration, so I will do that and consider the first one to be a good practice run :)

Edited by Adianu
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20 minutes ago, Adianu said:

Thanks for the feedback! 

 

I went ahead and stitched it up and was pleasantly surprised at how painless it really was. I think it will only take me about 2 hours to recreate the holster in the correct configuration, so I will do that and consider the first one to be a good practice run :)

If you decide not to go ESB later on you could always sell off that holster, there's always people out there looking for a good holster ;) 

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And done. I'll attach the straps later, I do have them cut and dyed as appropriate.

 

ESB and ANH ;)

MsOlqGR.jpg

 

One note that differs from above- I thought the holes were not going to be large enough to sew through easily, but they were pretty decent. I kept some pliers on hand to pull the needle but for the most part it wasn't even needed. However, the tool did get a bit bent up, so I had to be really careful to make sure my stitching holes still looked like a straight line as I punched them. I got the cheapest one at Tandy- perhaps it's worth it to get the more expensive option?

 

Heard back from Walt's today and my armor will be on its way as soon as possible. So in the meantime, I'll be perusing build threads and grabbing tips/tricks in my notes, planning out what to do when real BBB arrives :)

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9 hours ago, Adianu said:

One note that differs from above- I thought the holes were not going to be large enough to sew through easily, but they were pretty decent. I kept some pliers on hand to pull the needle but for the most part it wasn't even needed. However, the tool did get a bit bent up, so I had to be really careful to make sure my stitching holes still looked like a straight line as I punched them. I got the cheapest one at Tandy- perhaps it's worth it to get the more expensive option?

Great progress despite setbacks! Go you!

The punch may have gotten bent due to hammering on the granite slab if you didn't put a buffer behind the leather would be my guess. @Grihm is our resident leatherworker and can likely weigh in on punch quality questions. :)

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6 hours ago, TheLorelei said:

 

Great progress despite setbacks! Go you!

The punch may have gotten bent due to hammering on the granite slab if you didn't put a buffer behind the leather would be my guess. @Grihm is our resident leatherworker and can likely weigh in on punch quality questions. :)

Why thank you TheLorelei ^^
As for the tools getting bent, indeed this can come from a number of reasons.

1: Hammering to hard on a hard surface. 
I would recommend having a cutting mat on a table you are not afraid of scratching. Also, see to it that it´s sturdy. Now.. with sturdy, i am not meaning something " good enough " I am talking " you cannot move the table but by force " sturdy. Any and all vibrations while hammering will affect the quality of the holes or how straight it is.

2: Using the correct tool and size.
Make sure you have the correct tool. In short, there are Pricking irons and there are Stitching Chisels. If you are trying to punch all the way through with a Pricking iron, you set yourself up for more work.

3: Quality VS Quantity.

Quality cost, as with anything, but Tandy sells quite good items, so i am not concerned that you are ending up with an Asian replica that bends after three slams. However, make sure you keep the tool sharp, oiled and clean and never use it in an angle ( aka hammer it from the top, not an angle.

 

If i can help in any leather related questions, anyone feel free to ask away =)

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