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Helotech SDS Hero build

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Troopers helping troopers, we're here to help.

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Good luck with your modifications Dave.

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Minor updates.

 

Received my S-snaps for the belt, so those will be installed soon.

 

Both shoulder bells stand out from my bicep armor, so they won't sit flush with the chest armor.

Before doing the hot water and bend method, on the advice of Joseph I removed as much of the return along the bottom edge of the bell. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try everything on, but I think I will have to still bend the shoulders. The opening may still be too narrow. It needs to be more rounded to wrap around the

biceps.

Before:

8a2ON2O.jpg

 

After. Still needs some minor sanding to clean up the edges:

SotK3hr.jpg

 

dXpcyiZ.jpg

 

ggwJazl.jpg

 

I also installed both latex hand guards from Joseph. Excellent products. I used E6000 to attach them to the rubber. They stick very well along the main part of the latex as they have a rough material. But along the edges there is 1/4 inch 'ish  smooth latex border. The E6000 won't stick to this. I may have to try CA or something else for the edges.

Not sure if it screen accurate to have to edges stick out slightly?

 

awXQ2FA.jpg

 

I had some glue seep out, but this is easy to clean up.

PbKOwUE.jpg

 

I also ground down the return edge on the left forearm in preparation for fitting, cutting and installation of cover strip. Does this need to be ground down more, especially in the corrugated area corners at the top?

 

Pvthen0.jpg

 

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Hi Dave, yes, you'll need to remove all return edge including in the bump area of the forearm. Take a look at some approved Centurion applications to see some better photos. You shouldn't feel any rolling from return edge when you pass your fingers over the edge, so I'd say you need to shave off a little more.

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Ya. I tried on the forearm last night and it could use a little more shaving.

 

I also did my first trims to the forearm fronts to remove the overlap joints to create a butt joint.

It is pretty hart to try and scribe / score the armor to trim off about 10mm of overlap. Took me quite a while as the forearm won't stay still on my desk....

That is why my mods have slowed down and I am behind schedule.

I think the new method will be using a Dremel and cutter wheel to speed up the process since I have so many butt joints (12 total) to get rid of.

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Update:

 

Oh happy days!!! I finally received my brackets from Mrnostripes. There was a minor shipping issue with USPS which delayed things slightly. A good thing to note is that the small plain nuts pictured on his website and some threads have been replaced by lock nuts. No need to buy them yourself or use lock washers. Excellent idea!

 

Lots of little things done tonight. 

Sniper Plate:

  • Removed plate from left shin and filled screw holes. Still need to sand them smooth
  • I compared my sniper plate to one ukswraths showed in his two builds. I noted mine has a different side profile where it sweeps up to the top point. The side arms are taller and they are more rounded in the top curve and at the ends (near the old screw hole). Not sure if this is an issue?
  • I also noted the sniper plate "arms", the parts that wrap around the top of the shin, are longer. In his build on the left side they measure about 3/4" from the little square bumps to the end. Mine is about 2 1/4"
  • JYBezk9.jpg

3cleuUG.jpg

 

Removed original snap from cod and posterior pieces. The snaps were on little ABS plates that were easy to pop off. I may keep these to use elsewhere. I may have about 8 or 10 when I'm done removing them from the rest of the armor. I also noticed SDS added an additional reinforcement piece of ABS in the cod area. It is molded perfectly in the cod area.

 

Reinforcement plate

 

5X5XZha.jpg

Cod snap

mfaXBEA.jpg

 

Easy peasy...

0Yk1Umh.jpg

 

Split rivet and original strap installed

IwgdwZm.jpg

vYrwiAP.jpg

 

Posterior had one plate / snap

tuTSfxk.jpg

 

Two s-snaps installed. The sharp corners were  rounded slightly

pTZ0oLV.jpg

EBy6u9R.jpg

 

If you compare the following ab and kidney pics with my original photos at the start of thread, you'll note there were several strips of hook Velcro stuck on the inside. These were a PAIN to pull off. Very strong stuff. The Velcro is okay to use for wearing, but I'm not sure why SDS decided to use the hook on the armor instead of the softer pile. The hook constantly snags and pulls on the undersuit. All of it will be removed going forward.

 

There are two snap plates on the inside that were removed. I was going to leave them but they interfered with the belt snaps. These original snaps are used to attach the ab armor to the thigh armor. I will be using the original film method of a belt / garter system. Not sure if I'll keep the top suspenders or  not. Probably won't need it.

ZVK31Rv.jpg

 

Ab armor. Velcro removed and holes drilled for split rivets

dfCZp6u.jpg

 

This is the Velcro glue residue. I will do a test of Googone (awesome product to remove sticky residue) on a small spot. It shouldn't react with the ABS, but you never know.

gGCu0Rb.jpg

RlC6CmH.jpg

 

Belt snap added and rivet holes drilled

HCjN0QK.jpg

Right side belt snap and top snap

GZ4X4Qd.jpg

 

 

Cover strips cut from the original SDS wrap around belt.

Once I got the hang of it they are easy to do. The rest of the strips should be even quicker to do.

zEZ0KnM.jpg

 

I've also glued on the first cover strips on the left forearm. The magnets are a little big, but they were the smallest I could find.

3Rmrcz2.jpg

 

 

That's it for tonight!  Happy Canada day (belated) and 4th of July everyone!

 

 

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Great progress!

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Thanks! Wanna get at least Basic approval in a couple weeks.

 

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More progress.

 

  • All Bracket screws holes drilled. Won't post pics of it all. It took a while to measure everything and ensure it was done right.
    • There is very little return on most of the armor parts, so I will be installing backing platers as per ukswraths suggestions in his post.
    • I was waiting for final install of the lest ab/kidney split rivets and straps, plus the brackets and screws until all the hardware was painted.

QrPyycO.jpg

aGm9SYe.jpg

FHAFa3b.jpg

qswkgV5.jpg

w2NuGeF.jpg

WYJWM9F.jpg

 

  • All velcro removed and sticky residue wiped off with Googone

 

  • Bracket screws and split rivets painted. I used an old model building trick by sticking the screws and rivets into paper, priming with grey primer (2 coats), then spraying with rattle can white paint. 3-4 coats. Screws and rivets were then brush painted with a high gloss clear coat. This is much easier than painting the screws after they are installed on the armor,

pWDr00k.jpg

Q2lr7QT.jpg

 

K0Svafp.jpg

 

  • White shoulder straps and black straps for bell attachment made. The black straps were recycled from original SDS provided straps.
  • Left ab / kidney straps also made using stretch straps. Iknow they are supposed to be simple straps and not stretchy, but I wanted to give myself some stretching room...
  •  

oRfDhjR.jpg

ddfkRJx.jpg

vh5eVgb.jpg

 

  • Left forearm finally finished. Took me a long time as I wanted  to make sure it was done right

UpMhPde.jpg

 

eMUG2ph.jpg

 

Does anyone have any recommendations about trimming the cover strips? Should I trim them at an angle to blend with the angle of the armor, or should they be cut at a 90 degree somewhere near the edge?

V2AM4D6.jpg

BJhGo2y.jpg

 

And strangely, the happiest part for me is the belt is complete! It turned out really well, in my opinion anyways. :)

 

r7hEvKS.jpg

oF2vmE5.jpg

gNjfEUE.jpg

0j8DmcU.jpg

Dw0bOXg.jpg

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RE: forearm cover strip - it's pretty much personal preference. I like to trim with the shape of the pieces. Some keep them pretty square.

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Here’s some nice screen used examples for inspiration. :-)

b34aa3c6858d525b5e79c9da165a143a.jpg

5658783cfbed31f011ad5621900ccf3a.jpg

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I heard from ATA today. My new Hero ear pieces, thigh ammo pack and an additional plain ABS sheet (for internal reinforcing strips) will be shipping soon. Excellent service. The thigh piece is the only thing holding me back from applying for Basic level.

 

The Hero ear pieces will let me step towards Centurion level (when I get to it).

Once I'm done everything to the SDS armor the only thing holding me back will be the gap between the Ab and kidney armor.

I have about 1" to 1 1/4" space.

I am hesitant to put in a spacer piece. We'll see.

 

SO, the latest update is:

Bracket system and left side strapping installed. I am gluing the single right strap right now, as well as the S snap on the right shoulder.

a3CjWy7.jpg

 

Left forearm finished.

Nr7rajl.jpg

w6sfAs2.jpg

 

 

rnErU6V.jpg

 

 

These are some comparisons with the basic right one (overlap joints front and back)

Some minor glue cleanup to be done.

9CoN8Wu.jpg

 

zBSLPPJ.jpg

 

 

It may look like it cause of the flash, but there is no return edge on the left finished forearm

HauFs4P.jpg

 

DPccK1H.jpg

 

 

 

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Looking good

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Ok. 

Here is the initial fitting with just the torso pieces. Not too happy, but it is acceptable for first time on with the brackets and straps.

There are no white elastic shoulder straps installed yet as I wanted to see how everything fit. This probably will change the way the armor hangs on me.

 

Questions / findings:

  • This may be a silly question, but how much is the cod piece supposed to "coddle" you? :) 
    • If I pull the armor up so I am, ahem... "supported" the chest piece raises up about 2 or 3 inches and floats above my shoulders. 
    • It is comfortable as is right now.
  • The shoulder and back tabs are almost touching. Should I trim?
  • One of my belt snaps easily pops off the ab snap. I think I can remedy this.
  • I used elastic to join the left and right Ab to kidney. I may have to rethink this as the Ab armor sags down slightly, pulling everything out of alignment a bit. I made the elastics a little long just to give me some room. 
  • I could shorten the elastics (or replace with webbing) a bit to give a more snug look.
  • The shoulder straps are just held / taped in place. Good angle and such?

 

 

M28Vq2G.jpg

 

Damn trooper butt...

dfHXdp3.jpg

 

8qclm8r.jpg

rSfL40b.jpg

HMpXxen.jpg

khiBWBK.jpg

hJFABVP.jpg

 

The shoulder straps will sit flat and even to armor sides when glued.

ElmKSHx.jpg

 

BVVh0Fz.jpg

P2mMjVS.jpg

JTdTm5s.jpg

qTuFcS1.jpg

AtHFcX5.jpg

iaWkls7.jpg

K7YgMkh.jpg

Edited by Helotech
Did not finish post.
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Really depends on your height but the chest shouldn't float above your shoulders, you may find the bracket system may be too tight and won't allow the pieces to sit where they should, you may have to leave the brackets as non functioning and add additional strapping behind? From your ab/chest image it appears your chest should come down some.

 

Images would help ;) 

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What images would help? :)

 

I'm just over 5' 10"

About 185lbs and slowly losing weight. That is why I opted for elastic on the sides. 

I can reduce the side gap by at least 1/2" or more.

I may know why the pics look off. When I was wearing the armor I don't have the white shoulder straps installed. I had to use tape to hold the chest and back together. This pivoted the top of the chest armor tight against my chest, thereby making the bottom of the chest rise up. That's why there is allot of ab armor showing.

 

Chest armor laying flat, with straps at full extension.

 

cvrHlPV.jpg

 

I can easily extend the bracket straps if needed. Just a bit of sewing. I like the originality of them and want to use them if possible.

gfWJKRO.jpg

 

Wife's gone to bed so I can't put on the armor and get good shots....

Sorry for the poor pic. This is the armor laying on the floor. The top of the chest is sagging downward, increasing the amount of the ab plate showing. This approximates how the armor sat against my chest. It is about 3". 

bSKy0HO.jpg

 

If I lift the top of the chest up, approximating a more vertical wearing, the gap drops to 2"

TD4arON.jpg

 

So, how to proceed? I know the following depends on body type, but is there an ideal?

  1.  Is there a recommended gap at the top of the chest and back armor, where the shoulder strap goes? It's hard to see this in photos. There is a about 1/2 to 3/4 gap in my photos, but if I squeeze the chest and back together they almost touch.
  2. Should the chest sit very snuggly against my chest? By installing my white shoulder straps, it may allow the top of the chest to pivot outward.
  3. I just noticed my ABS belt ends are kind of flying outwards. I may have to bend them in a bit

 

 

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For some reason your images weren't showing up earlier.

 

I would attach your shoulder straps before going any further, it can make a difference and then worry about gaps. Ideally they are glued on the front with the large ridge and 4 to 5 smaller ridges.

 

You may very well need your ab to come up a little more and sit better under the chest plate (or chest to come down) may be your bracket system pushing the chest up, I don't use the bracket system I have adjustable elastic straps from the ab to the chest so I can adjust so it sits better. 

 

 

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I would suggest that your cod should be worn as high as is comfortable as you'll need the space to accommodate the thighs when you're wearing them. Seems like more ab showing than most right now. Don't forget to take care of that logo on your undersuit top and also trim off that excess flashing on the sides of the shoulder bridges.

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lucnak,

check, check and check :)

I was waiting for the fittings to see if the logos were covered or not. Easy to remove.

I'm just finishing the cover strips on the back of the thighs, then will do another fitting to see how they fit with the ab armor and cod area.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks! 

One shoulder strap is installed. The second one and internal white elastic straps will be installed tonight. Progress is slow as I only have so many clamps.

I have to balance them with doing all the cover strips. I can then do another fitment check with the thigh armor to look at spacing

 

You know what, screw it. I'm going shopping for more clamps tonight!

 

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Looking forward to seeing the progress pics

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I wasn't able to hit Canadian Tire for the clamps due to family commitments, but I managed to due a little bit more gluing.

Shoulder strap edges trimmed slightly as per lucnak's suggestion (forgot about this, so BIG thank you). I couldn't find a definitive measurement for the edging, so I eye balled it.

 

U8wXZGg.jpg

Second strap being installed

S7JORQK.jpg

 

I did a little bit of aggressive trimming on the left calf armor, so I have to glue this bit by bit, then install an internal backing plate. Small oopsy

hkVwzLL.jpg

 

Right forearm almost done

dCfENPm.jpg

 

Armour pieces waiting to be worked on. Thighs only need the back overlap trimmed, then cover strips installed.

The bottom front of the thighs had a largish gap that I filled with ABS putty. It needs to be sanded smooth.

Gloves are finished with silicone armour.

TD is slightly long, according to the CRL. I will cut it down. then install new aluminum strapping of proper width.

Shoulder bells will need to be given a hot bath for better fit over the bicep armour.

 

iyOiltE.jpg

 

And for some fun and perspective, this is my office, model workshop and armour modding center.

KPCBJ6F.jpg

 

And since I have to wait for glue to dry, this is some other armour I am working on...

 

TZ4Aedo.jpg

 

These kits are by BAn Dai. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to build (snap together) and look great once done.

 

XiUEQ16.jpg

BjldAV9.jpg

I bought this kit since I am building Hero armour, and am waiting for my  DLT-19 to basically make a version of me as Solo.

Pretty good detail.

xTfs8TG.jpg

 

HZRuz8F.jpg

 

Cheers!

 

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Well, working through the heat wave of Southern Ontario is easier when you have a nice cool basement to work in...

 

Lots has been completed, so this post will be image heavy.

I'll have to wait to get shots of me in the armor when the wife is available.

Sorry for the shots in the bathroom, only place to hang this up...

Torso is complete, but I have some minor adjustments to make. The chest piece is riding high here, but it sits more than an inch lower when I wear it.

I still might cut the original black bracket elastics and put in a small 1/2" extension to make it sit better.

ZYKbrb3.jpg

 

Pz4SWM1.jpg

 

Shoulders glued in front, floating in back.

mhnpjLx.jpg

 

The left shoulder elastic won't stay on the back armor shoulder extension, and it slides forward. I'm thinking I will glue it on the underside of the back armor to make it stay in place.

T4OcbUH.jpg

 

 

ER0jdba.jpg

 

Right shoulder doesn't have any issues. I did have to use a double loop of elastic as I couldn't find thicker pieces anywhere.:

842wbR0.jpg

 

Interior:

I will be switching out the 3 left elastics and the right elastic with snap for webbing or tighten them a bit.. When I wear the armor it is fairly loose. I can tighten the gaps on the left and right. I left myself a little too much room :)

b4XSgAR.jpg

 

5XQ6NqS.jpg

 

dDdQzu8.jpg

 

ehBRbDX.jpg

 

L and R calf have had overlap removed and cover strips installed.

VWPzmez.jpg

 

Thigh overlaps are removed. Waiting for glue on one to dry.

Before:

SGhgQ3p.jpg

 

After:

IbI99K2.jpg

 

The original calf and thigh armor had sharp peaks on the front, and I didn't want that look. I wanted them more flat as per screen references. 

q90OOnw.jpg

 

I cut the peaked cover strip on all 4 leg pieces and a small bit of the peaked armor underneath. This was not required but I think it will give a more "finished" look to the armor. I know screen shots show left and right pieces are misaligned (one side higher than the other) or gaping holes between the parts. I just don't like it.

CaoIIwG.jpg

88fvzL5.jpg

yYZzkuq.jpg

I backfilled the opening with ABS strip:

uMMVy8z.jpg

 

Then filled with layers of ABS paste. All pieces still needs final sanding.

zYX5shN.jpgcSa2nH6.jpgEaNPYC9.jpg

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