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grimacingpeon

Grim's ANH Stunt MTK Build

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Hey all!

 

This is my first attempt at ever publicly documenting a project that I'm working on. Long story short, I have a friend in the 501st who encouraged me to build a stormtrooper kit some time ago. Eventually I purchased a (super) cheap kit on eBay. Months went by and I finally decided to put the kit together about 2 weeks ago. I had never visited white armor.net and had never done any research on the matter, so I didn't know any better than to buy what I did. As I started sinking a lot of time into the kit and as I began to read more and more posts on this forum, I realized that I was working with absolute CRAP and certainly a recast. The ABS was warped in many places and was so thin that the zip kicker I was using would cause the ABS to crack and deform (even when used at a distance). I now know how much time and energy goes into making a proper kit, so I decided to start over completely...

 

Just like the Empire had to rebuild the Death Star, here I am 2 weeks later and my NEW kit from MTK just arrived. Needless to say, I am chomping at the bit and am eager to get started. My goal is to have the kit completely finished and approved in time for Star Wars Celebration in April. I am sure I will have questions along the way and would much appreciate any advice/tips and constructive criticism. Thanks in advance!

 

TQyx6mq.jpg

 

EiJnsI8.jpg

Edited by grimacingpeon

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Hello and welcome to the forums, you are not alone a lot of people get caught with evils found on eBay, but never fear you appear to be on the right path now.

 

Research is the key so make sure you have a look through other build threads, lots of questions have been asked by others and you can find lots of helpful answers in them.

 

Good luck and looking forward to the progress.

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Lesson learned hopefully you can make sure nobody else you know gets caught in that trap. Welcome aboard.


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So tonight I began by starting with the forearms. I trimmed all return edges at the wrist and took care of most of the return edge at the upper forearm butt connections.

 

iWYyRZu.jpg

 

I used a belt sander for the upper return edges.

 

kjocbIg.jpg

 

As I used painters tape to see how things were lining up, I discovered that the left forearm has a different shape than the right (which I know is to be expected), but I'm finding it to be an altogether odd fit. It's tight at the upper forearm and large at the wrist... there doesn't seem to be much of a taper because of how the inner forearm bulges outward. (See pic)

 

mjeaO6Y.jpg

 

I'm going to need to trim more of the return edge, but can someone give me any advice here? I know there is plenty of room, but the shape just isn't natural at all on the left forearm... the right seems to be just fine. Here they are side by side...

 

mtAJT6l.jpg

 

Aside from trimming more of the return edge, what else should I consider? Heat gun or hot water bath to alter the overall shape? Any advice is apreciated!

 

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10 hours ago, grimacingpeon said:

So tonight I began by starting with the forearms. I trimmed all return edges at the wrist and took care of most of the return edge at the upper forearm butt connections.

 

iWYyRZu.jpg

 

I used a belt sander for the upper return edges.

 

kjocbIg.jpg

 

As I used painters tape to see how things were lining up, I discovered that the left forearm has a different shape than the right (which I know is to be expected), but I'm finding it to be an altogether odd fit. It's tight at the upper forearm and large at the wrist... there doesn't seem to be much of a taper because of how the inner forearm bulges outward. (See pic)

 

mjeaO6Y.jpg

 

I'm going to need to trim more of the return edge, but can someone give me any advice here? I know there is plenty of room, but the shape just isn't natural at all on the left forearm... the right seems to be just fine. Here they are side by side...

 

mtAJT6l.jpg

 

Aside from trimming more of the return edge, what else should I consider? Heat gun or hot water bath to alter the overall shape? Any advice is apreciated!

 

So my advice would be this, The only thing with the CRL that has anything to do with return edge is the wrist end of the forearms, there should not be any. Every other return edge on your costume is up to you and fitment. Take as little off as possible until you find the right fit. you can always take more off, cant always put more on (or if you can its a lot of work). Your forearm armor looks fine to me to be honest. both mine are different, on more round than the other. But if its something that really bothers you, you can do a hot water bath (I strongly advise staying away from the heat gun unless your a pro with it). One thing I would suggest before setting anything though, is that when testing for fitment, first figure out how you are going to put you gloves on. Are you going to put the arms on first, then try and slide your gloves down the armor, or are you going to put your gloves on first and squeeze them through the forearm. Are you going level 3 where the hand guard has to be affixed to the glove? all these answers will help with what you want the fit to look like. Also, when working on fitment, never try and find fitment without your body suit on (whether that be under armor or an off brand) because that will also change the sizing. 

 

Good luck, welcome again, and keep the questions coming. I have no doubt you will hit your goal. Also, you stated a friend was in the 501st, get with them and find out when the next armor party is. Take your kit with you and there should be several people that with a lot of experience that can help you with hands on stuff.

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Thanks for the feedback and encouragement! In response to what you said Gree, I am shooting for L3 (centurion) so any insight with regards to that process going forward is much appreciated!

 

I went ahead and moved onto the biceps. So far I'm really enjoying working with this kit. Once again this is an MTK kit. I've purchased several other items in advance from Trooperbay.com. I've had nothing but good experiences thus far... The ABS is much thicker than the previous eBay kit, so I've had to modify my techniques. The ABS doesn't snap off as easily, so I'm scoring, bending, then scoring the "bend" mark on the inside of the cut. It's more time consuming but my lines are coming out wonderfully. Here are a few pictures. I've decided I'm going to keep trimming pieces before starting to assemble anything. I used Zap-a-Gap and Zip Kicker on the first kit. I'm not sure if I'm going to be using E6000 on this build or not. Since I'm shooting for centurion, I'd like to make it as pristine as possible and not have any glue-runs like I have previously.

 

ARiS98D.jpg

HoZddTa.jpg

DTbbjSH.jpg

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41 minutes ago, grimacingpeon said:

Thanks for the feedback and encouragement! In response to what you said Gree, I am shooting for L3 (centurion) so any insight with regards to that process going forward is much appreciated!

 

I went ahead and moved onto the biceps. So far I'm really enjoying working with this kit. Once again this is an MTK kit. I've purchased several other items in advance from Trooperbay.com. I've had nothing but good experiences thus far... The ABS is much thicker than the previous eBay kit, so I've had to modify my techniques. The ABS doesn't snap off as easily, so I'm scoring, bending, then scoring the "bend" mark on the inside of the cut. It's more time consuming but my lines are coming out wonderfully. Here are a few pictures. I've decided I'm going to keep trimming pieces before starting to assemble anything. I used Zap-a-Gap and Zip Kicker on the first kit. I'm not sure if I'm going to be using E6000 on this build or not. Since I'm shooting for centurion, I'd like to make it as pristine as possible and not have any glue-runs like I have previously.

 

ARiS98D.jpg

HoZddTa.jpg

DTbbjSH.jpg

Well luckily you had the first kit to practice on. You already know there seems to be a technique to putting everything together, and don't have to worry about your first few pieces being odd since the learning curve has already been taken. I used Amazing Goop on my build and found it works great. Setup time is about a few hours or so to be able to work with it again, and it rubs off the exposed areas very easy. If I were you I wouldn't use an accelerator like Zip kicker on your first build, but that's just me. Take your time with this. You should feel rushed as your goal is months away. But like I said use those around you  that are 501st approved TKs. or that have approved costumes. Also, Get to know whoever your GML is, that is the person that will have final say on your approval after all. This place is so great for finding ways to fix things, or getting the "pre-approval", but that GML has the last word for basic.

Edited by Commander Gree
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Up early again this morning, doing some work on the shin guards and pre-assembled with some painter's tape. I'm going to use the belt sander for trimming up return edges on this go around. Now onto shoulder bells.....

YVCFbi9.jpg

G1ak7zo.jpg

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1 hour ago, grimacingpeon said:

Up early again this morning, doing some work on the shin guards and pre-assembled with some painter's tape. I'm going to use the belt sander for trimming up return edges on this go around. Now onto shoulder bells.....

YVCFbi9.jpg

G1ak7zo.jpg

Don't trim anymore unless you have your boots. Need to test fit these with your boots!

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I've gotten to spend a few hours over the weekend trimming more pieces. Boots are in the mail on the way from the UK. The game plan at this point is to start cutting cover strips and reshape the left forearm slightly. Hopefully I'll get to start gluing some of the pieces together during week. Here is an updated picture of what I've done over the last 4 days since receiving the kit.

 

yGzMej3.jpg

Z5Gw7M6.jpg?1

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I had a day off from work and was able to get a lot done on the kit. I spent a great deal of time using a belt sander to smooth out the edges of most all of the armor pieces in preparation for fit.

8GZbUWa.jpg

I was able to get encouragement from Xena (the puppy princess) throughout the day.

I36z71A.jpg

Then I took some time using the hot water bath trick to reshape the left forearm. It worked a lot better for me than the heat gun did on a previous attempt. No deformations occurred!

K8Tn8pI.jpg

I finally was able to get around to assembling some of the armor. I was going to use e6000 since I've had some goof-ups on my previous build attempt, but I felt that I was proficient enough to use Zap-a-Gap this time around. I started with the forearms, which just barely fit using the 15 mm cover strips as suggested in so many other build threads. Then I worked on the biceps and thighs. For the most part everything turned out the way that I wanted, however there is a lot of excess cover strip that will need to be ground down with the belt sander.

spzQqLj.jpg

So I have 2 questions...

 

- Is it possible to grind/sand a cover strip once it has been glued to have the tapered look that some people's cover strips have?

- Do most people have to trip a bit of the inner/upper forearm to be able to bend at the elbow without pinching?

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

 

Edited by grimacingpeon

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Most will trim their cover stripes before ever putting them on the armor. Those thigh overs need to be fixed. and if you are worried at all about the security of the stripe, you can place another stripe on the inside of the armor, sandwiching the two pieces together. Looking at your shins, I want to say that you have them wrong, and are not missing anything. one side of the shin should have a long swoop to the bottom, and the other a more direct swoop inward. they are side specific. so the way you have them sitting in the photo (and thinking of it as 4 pieces), take the 2 inner pieces and put them together, and take the 2 outer and put them together. That should give you 2 correct shins.

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10 minutes ago, Commander Gree said:

Most will trim their cover stripes before ever putting them on the armor. Those thigh overs need to be fixed. and if you are worried at all about the security of the stripe, you can place another stripe on the inside of the armor, sandwiching the two pieces together. Looking at your shins, I want to say that you have them wrong, and are not missing anything. one side of the shin should have a long swoop to the bottom, and the other a more direct swoop inward. they are side specific. so the way you have them sitting in the photo (and thinking of it as 4 pieces), take the 2 inner pieces and put them together, and take the 2 outer and put them together. That should give you 2 correct shins.

MTK contacted me back and told me I had oriented them incorrectly. Problem solved! Good looking out. I plan on shaving the cover strips down to the return edges of the armor and then using ABS paste to transition everything. The armor will be getting a coat of automotive paint at the very end, so hopefully it will all come together and be aesthetically pleasing!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, grimacingpeon said:

MTK contacted me back and told me I had oriented them incorrectly. Problem solved! Good looking out. I plan on shaving the cover strips down to the return edges of the armor and then using ABS paste to transition everything. The armor will be getting a coat of automotive paint at the very end, so hopefully it will all come together and be aesthetically pleasing!

 

 

Awesome, I think a lot of us have done the same thing so its an easy spot for us when someone else posts it. and im so happy I got a shiny ABS from AM armor, no painting needed

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It’s probably overkill but I think it will cover some of the blemishes that I have created and also a few pieces where the plastic was thicker than others that give the appearance of a run.


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1 minute ago, grimacingpeon said:

It’s probably overkill but I think it will cover some of the blemishes that I have created and also a few pieces where the plastic was thicker than others that give the appearance of a run.


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You have to be super careful. You could actually make a blemish more apparent by painting it. I cant remember whos kit I was looking at a few months ago that tried painting it after they used ABS plastic and it looked bad. I think they ended up ordering more parts. I cant wait to see how it turns out though. Might even be able to show us some of these issues and we can tell you if its something needing fixing. Some things just add to the character of the armor, and wont keep you from approval

 

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I ended up putting the shins together (thanks Commander Gree!) correctly and mounted the sniper knee plate...

UtS3eHb.jpg

 

jf15Ipt.jpg

 

Now I've moved onto the helmet and I need some advice here. The trim lines were followed, but it doesn't look like there is enough (or any, really) overlap between the face and back to mound the lower screw of the ear... I'm not sure if that makes sense. I've marked with a black dot where I intend to put a rivet through on each side, but I'm not sure if I'm going to hit an issue when mounting the ear. Is this gap normal (at very bottom of helmet, where face and back have their contours aligned)? Is it entirely covered up once the ears are installed?

089iPQV.jpg

pcjMh4a.jpg

BCVAKCC.jpg

 

Any feedback would be most appreciated! 

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Hey- so you’re going to want to trim your strips by your ankles on the shins if you haven’t done so.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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I'm anxiously awaiting my boots so I can start trimming those puppies, hah! If I wore them at this point I'd probably saw off chunk of skin on the top of my foot. As for the cover strips, I was just going off the 501 costuming reference library for ANH stunt. 

 

5HrTqea.png

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1 hour ago, Bud Spaklur said:

Hey- so you’re going to want to move your coverstrips on your shins down. They should end before the ridge. You’ll also want to trim your strips by your ankles on the shins if you haven’t done so.

Think you are getting mixed up with thighs ;) 

 

StormtrooperBodyArmourComparison-6.jpg DSC03199_zpsa104e585.jpg

 

 

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Tonight I just spent a little time cutting out the remaining pieces of kit. I also temporarily fastened the helmet together with a screw/washer/nut on each side. I ended by working on the ears. I can tell this is going to be challenging to get everything to fit flush, especially since there is a gap between the bottom of the face plate and the back of the lid. To be continued...

 

LkEnf0X.jpg

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I'm anxiously awaiting my boots so I can start trimming those puppies, hah! If I wore them at this point I'd probably saw off chunk of skin on the top of my foot. As for the cover strips, I was just going off the 501 costuming reference library for ANH stunt. 
 
5HrTqea.png&key=5c85e5a333781e8adcae94a3899229403b89a6b9ecbf5ff2ff89b7cefc6a9962

You’re right, my bad.


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Think you are getting mixed up with thighs  

 

gallery_12157_15_10337.jpg gallery_12157_59_56592.jpg

 

 

Yeah, apparently I’m off my game. Grim- good job with your due diligence and not listening to me. I would’ve allowed you to punch me right in the neck for that one.

Clearly I have ring rust. Gonna stick to welcoming, congratulating, and steering 28-page CRL discussions off-topic with witty jokes and discussions on ice cream.

 

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Looks like you are right on track, Josh.. great job so far!  If I may make a few suggestions, they would be:

 

1.  I'm jumping ahead of you, but since you are aiming for Centurion:duim: try not to round off the edges of the ab button plates, and make sure that the smaller one is thin enough to where the "hump" is visible on all 4 sides as seen below.

 

  Nhv4maQ.jpg?1   QMCxstI.jpg?2

 

I know a few of you following this who know me were waiting for this comment, lol, but looking at the your forearm and bicep openings,I would recommend trimming them down.

In the forearm photo below, I can see where the return edge is already digging into your arm (blue circles), and since while trooping your arms will be bent most of the time (holding your E-11) it will get uncomfortable.... quickly.  The same with the bicep openings.  Trimming these is acceptable at all levels, and is actually screen accurate.

 

5Xryq6z.jpg?1   wUKuwNP.jpg

 

NICE job on the knee plate!!

193KvL7.jpg?1

 

Keep up the fantastic work, and keep those photos coming!

 

 

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