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Helotech SDS Hero build


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Hello all!

I started a thread on the TK Pre-approval page just to get a general feel for what I need to do for my SDS Hero armor.


I also started something on a Garrison page (Capitol City Garrison, Canada). I kind of messed it up, because I thought I was in their region, but I will actually be in the Canadian Garrison.

Many people started asking me questions and giving me helpful comments about the SDS armour on the Pre-approval post. I started posting pics in those spots, and realized they weren't the place to do it.


Since I am fairly new to this, I didn't realize there were actual build threads on the forums. Doh!

Soooooo, long story short, I think I am supposed to post my mods and updates here.


Here is the link to the pre-approval thread:



|Just some initial pics:




First cuts to the armor. Eeeek!

It's mentally challenging to take a blade to pristine armor.

Addressing the too long covering strips on the thigh armor. I will be taking the little cut off pieces and glue them on the inside of the armour at the same spot. I will then fill in the gap with ABS paste.





I have a new thigh ammo pouch on order with ATA to address the rounded top corners of the SDS piece.

I also ordered new helmet ear pieces to address (in the future) the 4 ear bumps. With a little work, I can make it to level two at least. Centurion in the distant future.

Stay tuned !

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Looking good Dave.


Note: So long as the thigh ammo belt covers the gap there's really no need to cover and fill the hole, unless you want to. With the exception of a couple minor components the interior of your armor is not seen so it has minimal bearing at any level of approval.  

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Looking forward to the progress. As Tony said no biggy with the gap, you could add a piece behind which will make the gap less obvious and ABS paste if you really want to go that far.





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Never thought of that. I still will do it just in case the ammo belt slips down.

The SDS belt is held in place by screws which I will change for rivets. Is Velcro okay to hold the front of the belt up to keep it from rotating down?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I want to finish the armour as best as I can. Borderline OCD anyone....?

Edited by Helotech
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I'm will be waiting a couple weeks for my new ATA ammo pouches and ear pieces. No huge issue as I have lots to do.


I was looking at ways of attaching the bel to the armor once dressed. I've read lots about people using 3 snaps to attach the belt to the ab plate. There are issues with the snaps coming undone. 


Does anyone simply use strips of Velcro on the back of the belt and on the ab plate? Seems easier than adding rivets.

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I have seen some use Velcro before but it's not very accurate if dressing on your own.


I've never had any issues with my belt coming loose or undone using snaps, use a little heat on the belt to bend to conform to the ab shape and you will have no issues.






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  1.  What is the width of the tan leather straps attaching holster to the belt?
  2.  Is the a measurement for gluing the ridged shoulder straps down to the top of the chest armor? 
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Shoulder straps bridges on chest, ideally it's 1 large tab then 4 to 5 small tabs.


Holster straps 3/4" in width










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gmr to the rescue again!


Ordering hardware and leather as soon as I can nail down details. I thought my list was complete...

I'm  going more towards functional with "some" screen accuracy.  


I have been going through wingnut65's (and others) builds, and the "What we know about strapping" post in Screen Replica section.


Unfortunately, some of the hardware info is posted between several pages, with lots of back and forth. So, even though it should be simple to just make a list I'm finding it confusing.


I've ordered the Mrnostripes bracket and strap system to replace some of the current Velcro and elastic. Waiting for it to arrive. I won't need to do as many (or any...) snaps in the armor.

I'm still liking the elastic fabric with Velcro attachment that came with the SDS. It allows for some fine tuning in the fit. I'll probably make the straps shorter or add more Velcro inside the armor as the current ones are way to long. 


There is currently no fabric shoulder strap at all connecting chest and back. The SDS relies on the ABS shoulder strap velcro'd to chest and back to hold everything together. I'll probably keep it simple (no snaps...) and Velcro in a white elastic strap. Easy to replace if it stretches out over time.

The bell to white shoulder strap attachment will be switched to Velcro instead of snap.


What I have so far to order / source. Please let me know if this is right:



  • Qty 7 Split rivets 
    • 7 brass washers on inside, unknown diameter
    • 6 on kidney / ab plates, left side. These may be decorative on mine and not hold the side strapping on.
    • one on cod piece, towards the rear
    • 8mm head, 3.9mm shank, 9.2mm length 
  • Qty 6 Chicago screws
    • 3 holding ABS belt to fabric belt. Not screen accurate as original were cap rivets, but like wingnuts idea of being bale to remove the ABS portion if required for cleaning fabric.
    • 3 for the holster. 2 on the tan straps at top of holster, 1 on the holster weapon retention strap
    • Unknown size of screws
  • Qty 2 Double cap rivets. One person answered me in a post saying these were actually Single cap rivets... meh....
    • Hold thigh ammo belt to thigh
    • 7.36mm head, 8.36mm tall, unknown length, but I think I read 8mm?
  • Qty 2  Line 20 Snaps  
    • hold the belt to the ab armor.
      • male on ab, female on belt
    • 7/16”(11 mm) diameter cap, 3/16”(5 mm) long post
  • Qty 7 Line 24 Snaps
    •  4 male snaps will be attached with pop rivets to inside of belt for holster attachment (Hero build) Not screen accurate but easy to remove holster
      • Female part attached to tan leather holster strips
    • 2 male snaps on posterior tab
    • 1 male snap on upper right of ab armor
    • 9/16”(14 mm) diameter cap, 5/16”(8 mm) long post
  • Qty 8    3/16" pop rivets
    • 4 are used to secure the male portion of Line 24 snaps to the inside of the fabric belt.
    • 4 for attaching the straps to the drop boxes and the belt. one on each end of the straps.


  • Black elastic to hold thigh armour to inner belt
    • 75mm wide
    • will glue this down or Velcro to thigh. no need for snaps
    • Top will be looped around belt
  • Black elastic for bicep to forearm. 
    • 50mm wide
    • will glue this down, or use Velcro. no need for snaps
  • White elastic shoulder strap
    • 45mm wide
    • will glue down or Velcro. No need for snaps
  • White elastic for drop boxes
    • 25mm
    • Riveted to boxes and belt


Current SDS armor strap system. Simple and fairly functional:




Note the thigh armor attaches to indicated strap instead of an inner belt suspension system:



Posterior. No snaps



Cod piece. No split rivet



One of my dog's, Chester, watching me work...


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Using straps with snaps ensures you're always wearing your armour the same and should allow for a more consistent look as with velcro, you're always placing it just slightly differently. Just my opinion as to the pros. Velcro will wear out as well and I find snaps are stronger than velcro. Obviously what you mentioned will still work, but ultimately I think snaps are the best way to go. Your list looks good from what I can tell! The only thing I'm unclear on is needing four rivets for the drop boxes? I just looped the elastic over the canvas belt and riveted both the the back of the box.

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Thanks for making me waffle back and forth on this :)

I'll do the Velcro for now, as the snaps will add quite a bit of build time. I'm itching to get approved and start trooping.

Since I have a few other things to do, I figured I already had a workable strap system and would spend my limited time on something else.

I was thinking about the consistent placement of Velcro and straps. This can be made easier with reference marks on the armor and straps. I'll see how it goes.

My mods have been delayed  slightly due to confirming hardware and family / life commitments.


For the drop boxes, I wanted to be a little more screen accurate. From what I have seen the boxes are attached with a single elastic strap, not looped around the belt.  Just a preference I suppose.


keep the great help and info coming!

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Shopping spree almost complete. Wahoo!!! 


All hardware ordered:

  • Sourced snaps, Chicago screws and leather straps for holster from Ottawa store
    • I did buy extra snaps (Luc...LOL) in case I want to change from veclro to snap system
  • Ordered rubber handguards and Centurion hardware pack through Joseph on this site. 
  • Ordered new black compression undersuit
  • Ordered some magnets to help with adding missing cover strips
  • Purchased a couple tubes E6000, plus white velcro for armor closure at Canadian tire.

These items should arrive soon.


Only items left to grab are the white elastic and straps and some good clamps for cover strips.

Still waiting on the internal bracket straps from No Stripes and ear pieces / thigh ammo belt from ATA. Hopefully those will be here in about 2 + weeks.

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Oh happy days!

Parts have started rolling in, so the modding can begin.


Received snaps, Chicago screws, leather for the holster, and some rare earth magnets.

Also ordered a compression suit from Tommie Copper. It was a little more than others, but the quality and material is very nice. There are some logos I may have to get rid of.

This thing is SUPER tight and very unforgiving...



I was notified that my rubber handguards and other hardware has shipped from Joseph. Awesome customer service.


I also asked Ukswrath some questions about the armor on h=one of his builds. I'll post the info here.


The SDS uses overlap construction on the forearm and bicep front and back. Glued on front, velcro on back.

Thighs and shins are butt joined front with cover strips, and overlap with Velcro closure on back.

The pieces with overlap have the raised "simulated" cover strips.

See the attached photos of right forearm.

Glued front of forearms is at right of pic. Velcro closure to the left.

Raised front strip is pronounced top to bottom, 

The back strip is shallow at the top, pronounced at the bottom.



Front strip glued:



Back Velcro closure. Flat at top:



Wider towards bottom:



To change the forearm to butt and joint, I would have to cut off the raised "simulated" cover strip. I think I would have to slice at the red line.

Being careful not to remove too much and making the forearm too tight.



I asked Ukswrath about this. He said the forearm should be glued on both joints.

I do have some minor wrist return edge that need removing.


More to follow.

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I don't think you would need to cut the ridge section off, I'd just trim both sides then glue a cover strip over the top, be barely noticeable that one sides ridge is a little deeper than the other side







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Baby steps so far.

Removed the black loops from the holster and installed tan leather. 

I'm tearing apart (gently) the ABS belt, then I will drill the 4 holes in the tan leather for mounting once I get the proper spacing measured out.

Once I get the ABS belt apart I can use the back belt for cover strips for the rest of the armor.









I also picked up a piece of 1" aluminum strip from Canadian Tire (CT)

The SDS TD clips are only 3/4" wide, and set too far from the TD end caps

The screws will be replaced once I get my handguard and hardware order from Joseph.



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Nice work on the holster straps, just a couple of minor things:


TD clips should be straight on the TD side, yours appear to be curved, the TD screws also need to be black. 


Image result for detonator reference whitearmor


Drop boxes should align with the end of the front plastic belt. I would advise doing away with the vecro and use elastic, it allows some give otherwise they can get stuck with movement.


Image result for drop box alignment whitearmorImage result for drop box elastic whitearmor


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Hey gmr,


I should have elaborated.

The clips on my pictured TD are the SDS supplied ones. That's how it was delivered. I have an unbent piece of aluminum that will replace those





The Velcro is the SDS supplied stuff as well. That has already been taken off.


I haven't had a chance to hit the fabric store to get the white webbing for the drop boxes or shoulder strap.


To confirm:  The original drop boxes used loops that went around the belt, but then they were glued down. Right?




I've separated the two ABS belt pieces (ammo portion and the wrap around).


I now have a good piece of ABS to attempt my first cover strips.


The rivets that SDS used were a bit of a pain to drill / cut out...





The 3 tab buttons were a little rough from SDS. They had sharp corners and weren't cut very straight.

I just cleaned them up a bit.




Belt snaps


I was just looking up the measurements on another forum (Ukswaths build) before adding:

a) the female snaps on the fabric that attach belt to ab

b) The Chicago screws I am using to attach ammo belt to fabric, 



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  •  Received my 2 sets of rubber hand armor as well as the hardware set from Joseph. Awesome service, delivery and product!
    • I'll use one set on the rubber gloves, and another set on some black Nomex gloves for hot weather use.
  • Finally found some acetone, so I can do the repairs to the sniper plate screw holes
  • I've Taken apart left forearm armor. It was overlap glued on front, and overlap velcro on back. This will be my trial piece for switching the entire armor from mostly overlap construction to butt joint and cover strip. The only parts on the SDS that are not overlap are the front of the thighs and shins.
    • The glue was a real pain to separate...
  • iOkztH0.jpg


Belt is about 90% done.

  • Still have to add belt to ab armor female S-snap poppers. They are hard to find here, so I had to amazon them. Should be here on Monday
  • Attached ammo ABS belt to fabric bel with Chicago screws
    • square dimple caps not glued on. I will have to remove the fabric belt to put the 2 female popper snaps for armor attachment
  • Attached Line 24 female snaps to holster leather straps
  • Attached Line 24 male snaps to fabric belt with rivets
  • Attached 1" elastic  to drop boxes with rivets. The elastic is not glued down yet, pending the S-snap installation. They do align with ends of the belt for Centurion requirement
  • The belt is temporarily installed on my mannequin. There is allot of overlap on him as his waste is super skinny....




White elastic will be trimmed slightly



My mannequin (nicknamed Mannie for short) is way to skinny. There is quite a bit of overlap at the back. The holster sits more to the side of my leg when I wear it.




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If going for L2 or L3 I'd suggest just adding a little glue to your drop box straps just so they stay positioned on the end of the belt.


Getting there, keep up the good work.

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Thanks :)

They will be glued once the ab armor snaps are installed. Just installed loose for now so I could insure they hang just below the belt.


As a side note. I think I've decided to build straight to Centurion status. It will take me a little longer, but I didn't want to do something now, then have to adjust it later.

I know I have to go for Basic approval first, but can I skip EIB and go straight for Centurion?



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6 minutes ago, Helotech said:

I know I have to go for Basic approval first, but can I skip EIB and go straight for Centurion?

Unfortunately not, once 501st approved you have to first apply for EIB and then once approved you can apply for Centurion ;) 

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No worries. 

The hardest part right now will be changing the armor to butt joints and cover strips. Everything else is straight forward.


Thanks for the help.




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