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DEVOLVER

DEVOLVER's HWT Pack Build

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Hey Troopers! I'm finally getting around to building my HWT pack. From the very beginning of my ANH Stunt armor build, I have wanted to have the ability to also troop as a Heavy Weapons Trooper. I loved the original Battlefront series and there is something undeniably cool about the look of a Stormtrooper who has been through the rigor or battle and is equipped to stay in the field and provide fire support for his squad.

 

I have read through and looked at many, many pack builds at this point and I am very thankful that my fellow troopers have already researched and gone through most of the trouble to provide visual reference and figure out how this build should be done in the first place. I have to give a large amount of credit to Tony and Joseph for their pioneering into the HWT trooper and the building resources they have provided.

 

I will be using previous build threads as a basic outline to my plans, but I will be trying to match my pack as closely as I can (within my meager ability) to screen capture reference. I will be eyeballing most of the measurements and building to match what I see on screen in an attempt to put that item in hand (or on my back as it were).

 

Let's get started!

 

My first points of reference where the screen captures provided here on FISD:
IiEdTX.jpg goGhL2.jpg

 

And secondly, previously built packs which have been approved:

pdzBCI.jpg

 

I also wanted to bring in a sense of real world "used" technology, just like props from the Original Trilogy. I ended up looking at Vietnam War era radio and communications packs.:

hac7VP.jpg RC7mnP.jpg xvxM4U.jpg

 

The weathering on these radios and also the way the metal is finished and pressed gives me some inspiration on what this pack would actually look like in the real world. The screen reference can only take us so far when taken from a videogame with low res models and textures.

 

Lastly, I also wanted to use OT screen used props (and their replicas) as reference as well. Packs seen in the films such as the ones Sandtroopers wore give me ideas for weathering, scale and detail. The radio seen on the Sandtrooper's pack is a real life found object and helps give a sense of what "real" Imperial technology would look like.

MoECDa.jpg

To begin, I had to get a base for the pack. Most, if not ALL, builds use an oil drain pan and mine is no different. Why fix what isn't broken?
I toyed around with different depths and sizes in deciding which pan to get. I ended up finding one on Amazon made by Garage Boss. It is relatively thin, which will keep me from being super thick while trooping.
01qkqE.jpg

 

The first thing was to remove the center area to give my back plate room to rest. I brought out the Dremel cutting wheel.
E9rL0t.jpg

 

Mountains of black plastic dust later, the center was removed. This hole is also going to give me access to the inside of the pack for attaching the boxes, etc. in the future with bolts and/or pop rivets. I also removed the yellow plug for good measure. I will be covering that hole later:
t2ZVvA.jpg

 

I have decided to go with ALICE style backpack straps for their comfort and versatility. I bought this hooks to attach them. They are standard ceiling mount hooks:
ZZy38c.jpg

 

Measured out and placed the mounts. I tried to put them in a placement that would be similar to how they are used on an actual ALICE backpack, then I marked them for drilling:

pL8u2p.jpg

 

Moving on, I decided to use my reference pictures to freehand sketch the layout of my radio.
My plan is to use a sheet of PVC to build layers of depth and detail similar to what would be seen on screen.

 

When I look at this picture, I see what seems to be multiple levels of varying depth that create different shadows across the radio. To be completely honest, I also see screws and/or rivets that are in different spots than what the CRL shows. I don't mean to rock the boat, but I am going to place my fasteners where I see them in the screencaps. Going by the second image, I also see some patterns that have not been addressed in the previous builds. I am going to attempt to recreate all of this.

goGhL2.jpg SnNeeh.jpg

 

I used the recommended photo storage box from previous builds. The dimensions are 11.2 x 7.8 x 4.5 inches.
So I got this sketched out with a rough idea of how many layers I will need to lay down to achieve the look I want.

 

Front:
3CRJlf.jpg

 

Side:
HC9VWT.jpg

 

And that's where we're at for now. I will be out of town for the coming weekend, but I plan on getting some more work done once the Holiday Season winds down.

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What's the source for the hooks? I've looked at every hardware store around me and just can't find them. I did find some on Amazon, but I can't tell what size you are using.

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1 hour ago, Hotel said:

What's the source for the hooks? I've looked at every hardware store around me and just can't find them. I did find some on Amazon, but I can't tell what size you are using.

Here is the link to the item on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079JS86R5/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_i_3hVfCb7YNGRC4

 

I bought the 6mm 4-pack. 

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I managed to pick up some nuts and bolts for attaching the ceiling hooks for the straps. For anyone who buys these hooks, these are flat head Phillips #8-32 1/4 IN:
fPlLQb.jpg

 

I backed them with some small washers and got everything attached:
s28bTJ.jpg

 

The straps are just standard backpack straps compatible for hiking packs and ALICE packs. They're very padded and feel pretty comfortable.
Here's the part link for reference: (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078VZXDM5/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

The only problem I can see with this setup is the top hooks putting pressure against my backplate and creating dents or scratches. If it comes it that, I will pad them in some way. Otherwise, it feels good and works!

 

I will eventually paint the reflective strips black. I don't want to be spotted by Rebels.

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Looking good. You probably won't see those reflective spots being hidden by chest. 

 

Getting there:duim:

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Nice work so far, Zac!  Not sure how you would cover those brackets to prevent them from scratching your backplate, as they stick out pretty far.  I used bolts with washers to attach my straps, and used plastic screw covers to hide the exposed head.  Nice and flat, and holding up great even after 50 + troops. 

 

bLVeyp2.jpg?1    IOK6eCw.jpg?1  e22GHVf.jpg?1

 

To keep the raised O II area on my back plate from getting scratched, I installed black craft foam after cutting out the area like you have.  It "gives" just enough to allow the pack to rest against the back plate.

 

E1V90bH.jpg?1

 

You will see that I use 1 inch nylon straps for mine.  The reason being is that at first I had the wide padded ones, but found that they were adding a lot of pressure on the tops of the shoulder bells and shoulder bridges.  Even though the pack is not overly heavy, I felt that over time the added pressure could crack those areas.  Hopefully others can weigh in on this with their experiences.

Changing it to the 1 inch nylon straps allows them to slip in between the shoulder bridges/shoulder bells, adding no pressure to any piece of the armor and it is stays pretty comfortable even after 2-3 hours (even 4 in one case).

 

There are a million ways to do the strapping, and whichever works best for you is the one to go with.  Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing another HWT in the ranks!

Side note:  Please notice that antennas are no longer allowed for approval, even at basic level.

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3 hours ago, justjoseph63 said:

Nice work so far, Zac!  Not sure how you would cover those brackets to prevent them from scratching your backplate, as they stick out pretty far.  I used bolts with washers to attach my straps, and used plastic screw covers to hide the exposed head.  Nice and flat, and holding up great even after 50 + troops. 

 

bLVeyp2.jpg?1    IOK6eCw.jpg?1  e22GHVf.jpg?1

 

To keep the raised O II area on my back plate from getting scratched, I installed black craft foam after cutting out the area like you have.  It "gives" just enough to allow the pack to rest against the back plate.

 

E1V90bH.jpg?1

 

You will see that I use 1 inch nylon straps for mine.  The reason being is that at first I had the wide padded ones, but found that they were adding a lot of pressure on the tops of the shoulder bells and shoulder bridges.  Even though the pack is not overly heavy, I felt that over time the added pressure could crack those areas.  Hopefully others can weigh in on this with their experiences.

Changing it to the 1 inch nylon straps allows them to slip in between the shoulder bridges/shoulder bells, adding no pressure to any piece of the armor and it is stays pretty comfortable even after 2-3 hours (even 4 in one case).

 

There are a million ways to do the strapping, and whichever works best for you is the one to go with.  Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing another HWT in the ranks!

Side note:  Please notice that antennas are no longer allowed for approval, even at basic level.

Thanks Joseph, that is super helpful.

 

Depending on how the straps end up fitting and feeling, I may change them out. I may even change out the brackets the top straps are fitted to and leave the bottom brackets as they are. The good thing about these brackets with hooks is that if the wide backpack straps end up putting too much weight on my shoulder bridges, I can just make some thin nylon straps with hooks and change them out. We'll see how it goes. I do have a few ideas of how to cover the brackets with rubber as well, but it's really just a trial and error type thing right now.

 

I will most likely line the edge of the hole with rubber trim and may go so far as to line the area around it with a thin craft foam.

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Re pack straps, you might consider something like what I just did with mine.  Ignoring strap width questions, just regarding the attachment to the pack.  Mine is simple, awfully close to free, extremely easy, and very robust.  Good combo, if I do say myself. LOL

 

 

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5 hours ago, kman said:

Re pack straps, you might consider something like what I just did with mine.  Ignoring strap width questions, just regarding the attachment to the pack.  Mine is simple, awfully close to free, extremely easy, and very robust.  Good combo, if I do say myself. LOL

 

 

That is the best combo, lol. 

Super clean build, man. I love it. I am going to take this into consideration for sure and most likely experiment with a few methods. I still haven’t even gotten a chance to see how much contact there is to the back plate yet. 

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I got some progress done on my main "radio" box.

 

The basic shape of the box is now cut out. This is pretty much just a basic blank slate and there are still details I need to cut and sculpt in:

mlponF.jpg

 

The black sections are a layers of styrene and rigid foam core board. I am slowly building up layers to match the visual reference and give an overall sense of depth.

 

For the sides of the box, I am trying to match the details of the circled section in this reference image:

brDgDy.jpg

 

I also got the basic side details cut out and attached on one side. I will have to do this to the other side too as per reference images.
At the moment, this is purely foam core, but i will be shaping and detailing with Milliput, Green Stuff and Bondo. I will use Milliput and Bondo in areas that need to be smooth and won't need excessive flex and Green Stuff for areas that will need to have a bit of flex:

5YucoO.jpg

 

One note if you've never worked with styrene (I hadn't) is to not use the "score and snap" method that is commonly used with ABS construction. This stuff is a bit brittle, and even when scored, sometimes breaks off sections that are beyond your initial cut. I find it easier to just lightly run a shop knife across your marked cut line to get your rough cut and then slice all the way through without bending the scored section.

 

The foam core board also doesn't take kindly to CA glue, so I have been using E6000. The E6000 holds perfectly and is easy to clean up where it may run, just like ABS armor.

 

That's all for now! Happy Holidays to all of you! I will start back on the project once Christmas is over.

Edited by DEVOLVER
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Nice work on that side panel!  I've been debating adding that to mine.  I might do that, but it'll have to wait until after I hear back on approval, since it's already been submitted at this point.

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Looking good.  Are you going to be going for 501st HWT approval?  If so, I would not veer too far from the approved packs and what is shown in the CRL.  Just want to make sure you get approved when you submit.  

 

Other then that, it is looking great and keep posting.

 

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On 12/28/2018 at 2:58 PM, kman said:

Nice work on that side panel!  I've been debating adding that to mine.  I might do that, but it'll have to wait until after I hear back on approval, since it's already been submitted at this point.

Yeah, I think the panel is pretty cool. It adds some depth and detail to an otherwise plain side.

 

10 hours ago, CrookKnight said:

Looking good.  Are you going to be going for 501st HWT approval?  If so, I would not veer too far from the approved packs and what is shown in the CRL.  Just want to make sure you get approved when you submit.  

 

Other then that, it is looking great and keep posting.

 

I am going for 501st HWT approval, but if I don't get approved with this pack, I won't be too torn up about it. I can build another one sometime down the road that is CRL exact at some point. On this build, I just really wanted to challenge myself to translate what I see on screen to an actual prop. Honestly, I may have already gone just enough of the rails with my build as to not get approved. Maybe mid-build I'll 180 and just do the CRL, I don't know lol.

Edited by DEVOLVER

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Happy 2019 to all! I have a few small updates:

 

My biggest goal on this radio was to give a sense of depth. For the entire build, I have been building "up" but you can only go so far before it gets unwieldy to attach more layers. The only place left was to go down:

Jbkw9Z.jpg

 

I measured and cut the areas out of the photo box and then glued the new styrene layers on top.


I started working on the dial area recently. My goal here was to make it look akin to what the old Sonix radios look like. I notice that most of the dials on those are inset, as seen here:
0tKxzA.jpg eF8Wxr.jpg

 

I cut out two pieces of styrene and traced the shape of the dials onto one of the pieces after measuring where they should be placed. I then attached the two pieces together via E6000:

dsdleW.jpg

 

For the dials, I am using light switch dimmer knobs that can be found at Lowes or any other hardware store. I laid them in to check the fit:
TEmRlJ.jpg

 

One detail I wanted to achieve on the pack is that the dials actually turn. I just wanted to have this for the sake of "realism" :P.

 

I used to work on guitars a bit and remembered I had some left over potentiometers aka volume knobs. They looked perfect and fit the knobs exactly. These in particular are DiMarzio 250k split shaft:
xlOVMa.jpg ykIp4g.jpg

 

With the knob attached:

ACEfcJ.jpg

 

I also wanted to match the greeblies and screws to the game screen shot reference seen here:
wNlRoQ.jpg

 

When zoomed in, the greeblies circled in red are either small machine screws or pop rivets painted black. The greeblie circled with blue is a machine screw or the like painted black.

 

The CRL states:
Backpack must be styled after and closely matches the backpack seen in the Battlefront series as seen in reference photos. No video monitors, extra greeblies. lights of any sort or attachments not seen in photos can be visible.

 

Well, there it is in an actual screenshot image directly from the game. So onward!

For the big screw in the top right, I used these. Metric pan head screws in size M5-.80x25mm. You will need the corresponding nut and washer, of course:

F2nIWh.jpg

 

For the smaller greeblies, I used a hammer to remove the center section of a 1/8" pop rivet:

1yf2Qv.jpg

 

Drilled the appropriate holes and laid them in. The pop rivets will be glued in. So, roughly, here's what we have so far using rough placement:

2Tn3HD.jpg iz8gjR.jpg

 

I still need to cut and place the lower panels of course. After that, I will begin filling in gaps and smoothing out details with bondo and milliput before painting.

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So, besides paint, I have completed the radio box.

 

I got the knobs and lower panels fully installed and then used Milliput and Bondo to fill in and refine any open space and square up the box:

EubeOs.jpg 

 

CZHsat.jpg

 

gIN78a.jpg

 

I also got the other grid panel installed:

3HIXlG.jpg

 

Upon further review of the source images from the game, I noticed I had left out the ridge that separates the panel section from the dials. I used a metal ruler as a guide and cut the ridge into the face of the box with needle files.

 

So, as seen here, I have tried to make this box as "screen accurate" as possible. A large round screw in the top right of the square frame area with two pop rivets in the lower right of the frame. The lower square on the left on of the radio has a screw in each corner. I know these are not CRL accurate, but they are without a doubt seen in multiple images from the game as well as the raw textures pulled from the game's data. If my GML goes strictly by the CRL image and disallows approval as is, I will fix it. In the meantime, I really like the look of it:

 

URAZRo.jpg sBSJna.jpg

 

Edited by DEVOLVER

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Moving on to the... I'll call it "lower siphon."

 

I went parts hunting and ended up settling on these:

It's a shaker bottle from Wal-Mart. It screws loose on the bottom to make the overall shape smaller:

3jXCgD.jpg T2MLwJ.jpg

 

And this flower arranging thingy. I believe it is used for grave site decoration, but I think I can make it work:

8mfU3w.jpg

 

It came pre-filled with a very rigid green foam which I had to cut and scrape out to make it fully hollow.

 

My next step was to combine these items to resemble the siphon. I removed the lid and bottom sections from my shaker cup, and shoved it as far down into the flower arranger as possible. I then used two 1/8" pop rivets in the back to make sure it wouldn't separate and the rivets wouldn't be visible:

aroBjI.jpg o6F1L2.jpg

 

I could see that the profile for the overall siphon was far too tall and decided to cut off the grooves for the lid to give me a better shape to work with. Out came the Dremel cutting wheel, leaving me with this:

e4lxJ7.jpg

 

There were also markers on the side of the shaker cup that I had to sand away and make smooth, starting with 150 grit and moving to 400 grit:

8cSHZD.jpg

 

I made a new flat lid from styrene and attached to the top with CA glue. Unfortunately, I forgot to get any pictures.

 

So, going by reference images, there are two rows of four holes that should have a pop rivet (or similar) in each hole. I brought out the drill and got the holes spaced out and placed:

JwrApw.jpg s9OgqC.jpg

 

My next task will be to be install the pop rivets and fill all the gaps for a seamless look. I will also continue to shape the overall profile of the piece so that it better matches the source material. 

 

In the meantime...

 

I had initial worries about the mounting brackets for the backpack straps cutting into my backplate., but a quick test fit eased my concerns. The brackets don't even touch my backplate because of how the pack sits over the  O || section. I will keep them as they are.

 

I also got the initial fit for my shoulder pouch, too. It is looped on the backpack strap and will be held in place with snaps.
I will also be installing a rare earth magnet under the top portion of my back plate and in the corresponding area of my pauldron to make sure it lays down flat against my back. Images are backward because of the mirror:

VqqMYg.jpg CNloE4.jpg gkrd31.jpg VMNHwb.jpg

Edited by DEVOLVER

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Your pack is coming together nicely.  Your attention to detail is very good.

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1 hour ago, Thumpy~ said:

Your pack is coming together nicely.  Your attention to detail is very good.

That means a lot considering how awesome your jetpack turned out. Thanks man. 

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