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tsongololo

ANH armor build - RS

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Hello everyone,

 

I finally am getting started on my armor build. I don’t have a matching helmet (yet) but have reached  the “close enough to call it done” stage on my R1 helmet (Black Series). Seeing as I’ve had this post in the works for 3 days, it may take a while before I update that project.

 

So now it’s time to get started on my RS armor kit -

 

I decided to fit the abdomen / kidney first. As I’m on the small side (5”3” and 135#), I did trim the cod. I also used a heat gun (Wagner set at 300F works fairly well) to shape the sides.

XPsTXzz.jpg

 

Scp4uE5.jpg

 

Seo13Pr.jpg

 

One thing I’m not too sure about is the fact that the seam on the right side between the kidney and an just doesn’t want to sit square. Is this normal, and will the belt will take care of it? The left side is held together with tape, in the locations where the elastic will go.

lilfwBU.jpg

 

More to come, hopefully soon!

 

ETA: Also missed putting this in the build subfourum. Sorry! Can/should it be moved or reposted?

Edited by tsongololo
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Hi Jennifer, good choice on the RS kit they are a good looking kit once finished. What I would do is restart your build thread on the ANH build thread section, if you haven’t done so already look up Crickets build thread or franks or reach out to them for help as there is a Facebook group for you are too short for a stormtrooper. Also stay away from the heat gun, use boiling hot water method it’s safer for your armour and it heats the ABS evenly. 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mworm1974 said:

What I would do is restart your build thread on the ANH build thread section, ...

 

 

 


I will take care of that and move the thread into the right subforum ;)
 

Great choice on the RS kit! it's probably the most accurate option on the market. Looking forward to see more. I also recommend to have look on the build threads Matthew provided!

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:29 PM, tsongololo said:

One thing I’m not too sure about is the fact that the seam on the right side between the kidney and an just doesn’t want to sit square. Is this normal, and will the belt will take care of it? The left side is held together with tape, in the locations where the elastic will go.

lilfwBU.jpg

 

 

Hey Jennifer, 

 

Welcome to the world of white armor!  Can't wait to see how you rock that RS kit!   :)

About that kidney/ab closure...  your seam line where they meet on the right should close straight.  Like this (using my pics from my EIB application in my RS kit):
33092136422_b158fd1d7a_b.jpg&key=20f83d833224515826_eaeee89b90_b.jpg&key=9000f19

I've always been told that the belt isn't structural; you shouldn't necessarily rely on the belt to pull things together.  I mean, you can, but this symptom simply means that your kit isn't built properly for your body (yet!   :)  ).  

From the pic you posted, it looks like your ab/kidney are sitting high on your torso.  The top of the ab button box ideally should be positioned at roughly the bottom of your sternum.  Maybe share an additional pic or two showing the front?  This can alter how the kidney/ab meet up.  To be honest, the best way to see how everything fits is to tape the parts together from the inside (back/kidney/butt, chest/ab), then tape the front and back halves together, and try it all on.  You will quickly see what needs trimming/shaping, and in what areas.

And your kidney still needs to have flashing trimmed from it.  That will also help reduce that gap you're seeing.  :)

Many thanks to @Mworm1974 for sharing one of my build threads with you!  However, the one he shared focused mostly on my ATA Hero lid.  Take a look at my RS build thread here for much more info about how I assembled my RS kit.  I also documented my second build here, but it's a WTF kit (overall, much smaller than the RS suit).

Keep in mind that since you've trimmed the cod, for best fit, you will need to either shorten your kidney or shorten your back plate (or, like I did, shorten a little of both to keep things in good proportion).  Looking forward to watching your progress!:popcorn:

 

 

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Oh, where to start! First, thank you Christoph, for moving the thread.

 

I’ve looked at Cricket’s thread, but I don’t think I’ve seen fragarock’s yet. Thanks Matthew!

On 4/15/2019 at 9:23 AM, Cricket said:

To be honest, the best way to see how everything fits is to tape the parts together from the inside (back/kidney/butt, chest/ab), then tape the front and back halves together, and try it all on. 

....now you tell me! I didn’t really do it that way, and I think I now have some regrets. :) I was counting on notifications and I must not have them set up correctly. I only just now realized I had replies.

 

I did solve the mystery of why the kidney was crooked - it just wasn’t shaped enough. 

 

This is is the repository for all my pictures. Captioning them is on my to-do list, but there aren’t any as of yet. It has my ROTK helmet as well.

http://imgur.com/a/a5TD8u3

 

So, let me start from the beginning. The highlights of this project are basically -

1. Cut cod from abdomen, trimmed about 1.25” from the top of the cod, then secured it with elastic. Shaped the abdomen to my form a little bit with a heat gun (sorry Matthew! But it has a digital temperature control so I haven’t screwed it up. Yet). Trimmed return edges.

o3NvNZH.jpg

XPsTXzz.jpg

 

2. Trimmed return edges on the kidney, and found my first mistake - I didn’t contour the cod, and now the kidney is much larger. The horror! If the belt doesn’t hide it, my plan is to shim it. Hopefully I’ll have enough new material left over after I make my cover strips. Yeah, the material I removed...isn’t going to make a comeback. RIP.  The blue tape isn’t hiding it either.

Seo13Pr.jpg

 

3. The ab/kidney seam wasn’t flush. See the pic above. That was just a matter of not having shaped the kidney enough. It’s much better now, but don’t have a picture yet. Looks like I may need to trim the edges so they meet up more flush per Cricket’s advice.

After shaping, I got those dimples on the return edges, so I cut them out, and built them up with fiberglass and ABS paste. I really just wanted to see how that would work. It actually works quite well, and is slightly easier to work with than resin.

qRdh6vk.jpg

qrhKl47.jpg

mjejhEh.jpg

sDQAJza.jpg

0Pu0F8Y.jpg

I also made a nifty tab to help secure the lower section of the ab/kidney (elastic with shaped ABS hook):

RGaujEQ.jpg

m8kCfpy.jpg

 

4. Attaching the chest plate.

I don’t seem to have any pictures of this. I did trim maybe 5/8” from the neck, and 1/4” from each arm hole. It was almost impossible to reach in front of me. Now it’s merely a challenge.

ykOTiq1.jpg

I took two cuts, the pic is of the second pass.

yMEcAvR.jpg

More pics later...

 

5. Attaching the back

I should’ve trimmed the bottom of the back piece. But I didn’t. I shaped the shoulders a bit, thinking that would be all I needed for my frame. It’s close, and I think workable, but the shoulder straps hit the square “O ll” section. Is it ok to trim the rear, slightly larger tab off? Will that affect EIB/Centurion eligibility?

oIzdhoT.jpg

 

That’s where I’m at right now. I wanted to get the shoulders sorted out before attaching the butt. Started trimming the biceps. Noticed that the shoulder bells look like they’ll need a fair amount trimmed. The aspect ratio is nearly square, and they should be more rectangular, correct? I have not been able to find a post detailing trimming them yet.

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Making great progress, Jennifer!  Keep it up!  :) 

There are a few things I am noticing that you may want to address as you fit your kit...

The area in green should ideally be trimmed from the kidney.  It will make the kidney fit better on you if you remove it.
46720760015_e4d1cd3c0e.jpg47636433741_79608d5d5c.jpg

Same thing with the extra flashing on the ab plate.
46912125974_a9da199ca2.jpg

 

Which brings me to your Han snap.  That's the little snap in the top right of the ab plate.  Sorry to inform you, but it's in the wrong spot.  :(   Photos below show where you have it currently vs. where it should approximately be.  A good guideline is to make the hole 15mm in from the plastic edge both horizontally and vertically.
46912126074_49dda6b2a9.jpg46912126034_2bbd483417.jpg

 

Screen kit for reference:
male snap location.jpg

There was a really good discussion about this issue (Han snap and kidney/ab rivet placement) on the RS kit here.  Don't panic about the hole leftover once you move the snap!  Use a little bit of ABS paste to fill it in, polish up, and you'll be good to go.  :) 

Shoulder bells: I made the big mistake of initially trimming mine down just based on a straight measurement.  The screen used bells are curved, not straight.  See pic (screen bells are the slightly yellowed ones):

40454873263_a9803173dc_n.jpg40454873283_280f59dec8_n.jpg

That said, try to hold off trimming your shoulder bells until your torso is fully adjusted!  If your chest/back are 100% perfect how you want them to fit, then that's the time to get those shoulder bells tackled.  Shoulder bells should follow the contour of your chest and back plates.  Think of the bells and chest/back as puzzle pieces that should meet together as seamlessly as possible while still retaining movement.  There is no exact measurement for this because each suit is shaped differently.  Rely on screen captures to emulate what you want the bells to look like. 
32693904797_264139a675_o.jpg47583598002_c6ce5306e1_o.jpg

 

How to do this?  Once your torso is fully dialed in, then tape your shoulder bell to your shoulder strap.  You want to sort of wedge the bell on your shoulder, and under the chest/back plates.  Take a pencil and trace where the chest and back overlap.  Be conservative with this so you don't over trim.  Then remove the bell, trim, and try the bell on again.  Move your arm around and take note of where the bell catches on the chest/back.  Conservatively mark those areas on the bell, remove the bell, conservatively trim, and try on again.  Also don't be afraid to hot water bath some additional curve to those bells (you'll see that the screen bells kind of 'pinch' in at the bottoms).  I think you get the idea.  This requires a lot of try-on-take-off, but the effort will result in some super sweet-fitting shoulder bells!

Now about the butt...  I know you don't have it on now, but with as much as you've shortened the front of the suit, you will need to shorten the back as well in order for the back to fit you properly.  Your kit is fitting you like mine did before I shortened the back.  Take a good look at where the bottom of the cod is and where the bottom of the butt plate is.  While I can't find a good screen shot of this, you'll have to rely on the illustration for the time being.  Focus where the butt plate and cod line up.
31316913735_de92efe908.jpg&key=f38db380f47583701852_e2596f32b8_o.jpg

Those areas should meet approximately on the same plane.  Basically, before I trimmed the kidney and back plates for height, the back was too long for the front.  The elastic you will be installing to secure the cod/butt plates should not be a structural element (as noted in the CRL, it needs to be there, but does not to be functional).  

I hope I haven't been too confusing on these things!  Sizing down the RS kit is no easy challenge.  Again, you're making great progress!


 

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I just taped my butt on, and...wow. I see what must be done. Everything Christine said makes sense now. I have my work cut out for me, it should’t be too bad other than lost time. I’m going to have to redo the rivets on the kidney once I trim it. So, I’m guessing the kidney/ab rivets don’t take too kindly to being reused. And the Han snap - I have a package from Michael’s with no identifying brand other than “Loops & Threads”.  It’s close, but not quite the same visually.  Are they an acceptable Han snap replacement? Are the Tandy line 24 rivets the same thing?

 

Where is your favorite place to buy hardware? I see Trooperbay has kits, though at this point I only need to replace 3 of the kidney rivets and the Han snap. Obviously RS will have them, but I suspect shipping will take a wee bit longer.

 

Good info! Thank you!

 

 

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PM me your address and I can mail some snaps and rivets to you.  ;)

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PM sent. Thank you!!

 

I can’t really pay you back, but I can pay it forward. I have 3 green acrylic lenses that fits a Black Series TK, free to anyone that needs one. I can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of my completed helmet, but I’ll get some up soon. I don’t know if they’ll work in other helmets. It’s the standard translucent green from TAP Plastics, much darker than the original lens. It will need to be shaped, and the softening temp seems to be a bit higher than ABS. I shaped it around a large glass container (think cookie jar). When you drill the holes, drill at an angle, matching the original. I was pleased with the way it fit.

15A2Kvd.jpg

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15 hours ago, tsongololo said:

Are the Tandy line 24 rivets the same thing?

 

Yep!  I just sent you some to get you going along with rivets and some washers.  Out in the mail today!  :) 

I tend to find my supplies at Amazon and buy in bulk.  I'm always in process of building some kind of costume for either myself or my family, so keeping snaps/rivets/glue on hand is a requirement in this household.

I just noticed your pic and figured out why it seemed so familiar to me!  This was taken of me last year at DragonCon... haha... (and yes, I also brought my TK)
47591592562_ff3e56d996.jpg

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I like it! The plague doctor was my first “real” costume. Most, but not quite all was scratch built....thrift store leather pants, boots and some weird shirt with ruffled sleeves. Not the visible parts. Your steam punk dude is a bit classier.

 

 

 

So... I removed and cut the kidney. I won’t know how I feel about that until tomorrow, when the glue is dry.

8kYCkQE.jpg

 

Hmmm...maybe I can use the piece I cut off as a form to make a new return edge...

WHV3sfj.jpg

Note to self: NOPE DO NOT PROCEED ABORT ABORT

No damage done! *NOT* a good idea, though

 

 

I know! I’ll just use the piece I cut off as a new return edge.

rwBoGlh.jpg

 

Filled in the holes - ABS/fiberglass backing, ABS goo pressed into the front. Will definitely need to sand and polish.

 

And this is how it matches up with the ab.

8fAPDMT.jpg

 

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I'm looking forward to seeing how your new kidney return turns out!  I've always been advised to trim the kidney from the bottom only because that end isn't visible (i.e., in the event that the new returns don't turn out perfect, no worries!), and it's easy to recreate a new kidney notch.  But I really like how you were able to just move the entire original return down (I've done a similar trick with hemming jeans to keep the original edges intact).  I suppose the work will be in hiding the seam lines where the return and kidney meet.    

I want to see close up pics of this when you're done.  Very clever!!!

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Here is the kidney after being trimmed:

bvFm1Rm.jpg

 

And here is the butt taped on to make the proper length - almost 3/4” overlap. Yes I did trim that much off! My hips aren’t too even because of scoliosis, so I hung the butt so it looked straight.

dFziMW7.jpg

 

I did the same return edge trick with the butt. I haven’t pulled the tape off yet to fill in what’s under it and smooth the rest.

TDuIZJw.jpg

5tVKs2H.jpg

 

I trimmed the buttons waaaay too close! This is my salvage result.

WTO4Bst.jpg

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Here are a few pics of the butt return edge. Sorry about the quality, I am *not* a photographer!

sIGKPcZ.jpg

AYzmGDb.jpg

 

I attached it with straps last night. The gap is small enough you can’t see the rough edges - it’s good enough for film, at any rate.:) Hopefully I can have enough completed tonight to make another update.

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No pics yet of the torso, but the kidney / ab has been re-secured with the split rivets. Installed the new Han snap, and filled the hole from the original.  Butt is attached and formed.

 

Biceps are pretty much finished, need to fine-tune them. Here are some pics of one trimmed to fit and the other rough trimmed:

8vgahoU.jpg

00fnI7u.jpg

sauMHa2.jpg

VzvR1eb.jpg

fxS3Reb.jpg

 

Help needed! I can’t seem to find any threads discussing which end of the forearms to trim, though I know I’ve read a few. I’m going to guess it would be the elbow end, but as you can see, I definitely need to trim the length. The blue tape marks where my wrist is.

PZNhl2K.jpg

Edited by tsongololo

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Always trim forearms from the wrist end for length.  You need to remove those returns anyhow!  And if you lose a divot or two, it's perfectly fine.  There is detail at the elbow end of the forearm that you don't want to lose. :)

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I'll add that before you trim those forearms for length, you may want to strap the bicep and forearm together first.  Allow for about 1/4" gap between bicep and forearm.  Try it on, putting the bicep where it's comfortable on your arm.  Bend your arm to a 90° angle.  Now move your hand and note where your wrist needs clearance. Mark and trim conservatively.  You will probably need to trim again once you get your gloves/handguards on, but that's an issue you will encounter at final fitting stages. 

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Let’s see... I have the torso assembled!!  First big milestone. I decided to hang it so I can fit the bells.

ZlmTNws.jpg

KBgesPR.jpg

 

I cleaned up the butt joint on the left forearm, then got to trimming. I traced the edge and moved it down...three times. Here’s  a picture of how much I took off the upper half. I repeated tracing the edge and trimmed the length match the upper.

ojiVf5z.jpg

JREvqU4.jpg

kv0t3tA.jpg

PClbZLt.jpg

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Update!

 

I had surgery a little over two weeks ago, and while I’ve had plenty of free time, surprisingly I did not feel like doing all the things my brain was envisioning. But I have made progress on my armor, even counting for my oops... I think I can salvage it, but this poor trooper is definitely going to be a battle damaged unit.

 

 I’ll just blame it on the meds. I cut a super wonky line on the rear calf halves. The fix is to glue it together with ABS paste, sand, fill, and repeat as necessary. Then cut a straight line if needed. I have discovered that I can get my foot through it. So... the CRLs do not mention anything about closure method in the back. Can I get away with none, put a cover strip on and call it good?

 

2HoEWKM.jpg

That cover strip isn’t held straight either. I was having a day.

 

cvFLFO5.jpg

 

Ctqtvih.jpg

Second coat of ABS. Taking it down with 150 grit sandpaper was a little heartbreaking. Looks like I get to find out what 5000 grit can do! (Thanks, Amazon for your all-inclusive multi pack)

 

I still need to get my hands on a helmet, and follow up with WTF. Would anyone here know if their child’s helmet will fit a small adult? I hesitate to call myself a pinhead, but I once got a $180 motorcycle helmet for $39 because apparently nobody actually can fit into an XS.

 

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Sorry to read that you've had surgery, but really glad you're doing better now!  :) 

Just a suggestion, but you might have found it a little easier to send Andrea at RS an email and request a new shin.  (*ask me how I know*  ;) )  Kudos to you for the ABS surgery work, though!

And I don't know if anyone has mentioned this to you yet or not, but the white color of the RS kit is quite different than the WTF kit.  If you're considering a WTF lid, you should know that the ABS is very white.   In contrast, the RS white of your kit is more off-white.  Don't be surprised when you notice that they don't match.  That said, people mix and match all the time, so if you don't care about that kind of thing, then you'll be fine!  :)   

This might help you see how different the whites are a little bit better... 

TK on the left holding a blaster is Anovos (I'm pretty sure, but not 100%). 

"Thumbs Up" TK is me in my RS kit. 

Hero TK on the right (short TK) is wearing a WTF kit and an ATA lid.  
48025249201_058568c93e_o.jpg

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Oh. My. Those colors are a bit different, aren’t they? I’ll have to think about that, if I would paint it, live with it, or just get one that matches. Is the ATA the same scale as the RS? It looks smaller in the pic, but maybe it’s just the photo. Full scale doesn’t look odd either.

 

I might end up painting at least a few things, anyway. I got the shin repaired, and it turned out OK, but the butt joint gap shows, and at the bottom there’s a little pencil showing through too. It polished up acceptably well, this was just 5000 grit paper. Some wax or Novus should help. Hopefully the cover strip will cover some of it, and I can touch up the rest.

 

gzb4xUp.jpg

 

IctTO7U.jpg

 

yRmL4FW.jpg

 

I looked in the BBB, and there’s just a kneeplate, some gloves and extra hand guards, and cover strip material. The other shin is taped together and needs trimming to match the first. Then I can move on to the last 10%, which is the other half of the job :P

- it still needs strapping, boots, holster and neck seal. And a helmet, unless a R1 can somehow be made to pass basic...

 

DnaKglq.jpg

FrJlfJu.jpg

 

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3 minutes ago, tsongololo said:

Is the ATA the same scale as the RS? It looks smaller in the pic, but maybe it’s just the photo. Full scale doesn’t look odd either.


The ATA helmet is smaller than the RS.  Here are some comparison pics I took of both before I began assembly on the RS lid.
28613886165_50ac37ca36_c.jpg&key=6e65229
28613886695_11083ee1a9.jpg&key=c814d05ce28534859861_4febf0dfb6.jpg&key=6b548165e

 

But even after assembly, the RS was still noticeably larger.  The ATA coloring is closer to the RS ABS than the WTF.  Ooooh!  I just made an acronym salad!  :D 

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Of course the last piece to assemble is the one I screwed up bad enough that I might need to bite the bullet and replace - left shin and kneeplate. I got carried away with the ABS paste. I don’t know if it’s salvageable, but putting on a filler layer of paste made it look better, so maybe I can fix it. I have hope, but no confidence...

 

So that being said, is it ok to mix armor? ATA is having a 10th anniversary sale, so might as well buy from them along with the helmet.

 

One more thing, do the shins *have* to open in the back? I have been able to get the thighs on, and slip my foot through the shin, and put the boot on (with a hook), but not both at the same time yet.

 

LjACfKW.jpg

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