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Sea_Marshall

Sea_Marshall: Captain Phasma TFA

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Hi Folks, 

 

I'm Chuck and am embarking on a Captain Phasma build. 

 

Well... I'm hoping to build the kit. It's a complicated situation. My wife has put me on a costume ban because, well, I didn't disclose my costume habit and flew under the radar, haha. Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission? Anyway, since I let the truth out, and I wasn't allowed to get new costumes, I funded her TFA Kylo Ren and she got approved in the 501st. Hah. So now, "Phasma would be a nice compliment to Kylo, right?" And she didn't react when I picked up a Phasma bucket by Shawn Thorrson. So I'm in the clear right?

 

I haven't pulled the trigger on the armor yet, but I'm confident I'm going with a set of Thorrson armor to compliment the helmet. I've met him several times, followed his build threads, and spoke with one of the few owners of his kits. From what I've gathered, he's begun pulling full kits as a one stop shop. I've thought about this for over a year and now that I have a helmet in hand, time to prep and paint one. If I can pull off the helmet, I can pull off the armor. 

 

I wasn't going to document the build because I don't want to lead anyone astray. I'm terrified of the chrome finish and the general upkeep and maintenance of the costume. I've decided to go TFA to compliment my wife's Kylo, but I also like the gritty look of Phasma's weathered armor. Additionally, I hope the light weathering of the kit will be more forgiving with the maintenance of the chrome. Realistically this thing is going to get trooped in and it's going to wear over time. Speaking of chrome, I'm going with Spaztix Mirror Chrome, rattle can version. I've used Rustoleum Mirror Chrome and it's not very impressive. Spaztix, in the images below, has a look I can live with. It's aerosol, so easy to apply, and it dries quickly. I guess it's the medium quality? I don't want to break the bank chroming this thing. Maybe one day if I want to liven it up.

 

Alright, so, disclaimer: This isn't a tutorial. It's my attempt at wobbling through this build. If you don't like what I'm doing, don't replicate it. Learn from my mistakes, as I will likely make lots of them. Feel free to offer suggestions, I have a million questions and will ask them as I go.

 

My first question is: What can I use to protect the chrome coat without dulling the finish?

 

On to the build notes!

 

Helmet cast by Shawn Thorsson: 

5Qp1e80l.jpg?1

 

I sanded this thing to 400 grit and put down a black gloss coat. I sanded it again, and put down a 2nd black gloss coat. I thought it looked good enough to chrome, and well, I thought I'd give it a go. 

 

MIVPQRrl.jpg

 

The chrome is so pretty. Under closer inspection, however, I noticed pitting and speckles in the finish that I hadn't noticed previously. It felt so smooth! But nope. Chrome will show you how bad the surface really looks. I stopped spraying after about 20 seconds and in that time, I learned a lot...

 

FpR08P6l.jpg3sSWne2l.jpg

 

From 5 feet away, it looks fine, even in this unfinished state. The subtle weathering would also help with the finish, but I just wasn't happy with it. Part of the problem was my dusty balcony and debris got into the finish. So that's something: Cleaner work environment. The pitting of the resin, despite the sanding, was still evident. I even filled some of the more obvious pits, but still not good enough. So I sanded off the chrome to start over. Sanding off the chrome created an inverse color effect and the pitting revealed itself. 

 

goduTEPl.jpg

 

I've 3D printed a bunch of helmets and I dump cans of filler primer into the projects to fill in the print lines to compliment the surface sanding, then sand the filler primer, coat again, sand, and repeat until I'm satisfied with the finish, then top coat the colored primer. So... that's where I'm at. I hit the helmet with filler primer so I can skip to a finer grit sand and will decide if I want to put on a black top coat before I revisit the chrome. I feel this will do the trick to address the pitting issue. 

 

Speaking of 3D printing, I picked up a file for Phasma's F11-D blaster and whipped it together. This is listed as optional, but I'm looking to keep myself busy before I commit to the buy in, and the blaster and helmet will hold me off for a little while. In either case, the helmet and blaster would be a nice display piece. 

 

zIjJspYl.jpg

 

The blaster will likely get the same 3D printing treatment: sand, filler, sand, filler, top coat, chrome. 

 

And that's where I'm going to leave my progress for this initial post! Making a WIP helps me get through the build and hopefully the feedback, encouragement, and comments will tide me over while I move forward. I'm confident I'll pick up the rest of the kit, it's just a question of "when?" I imagine the whole kit is the same process over and over. 

 

What kind of armor attachment methods are used for this costume? Does it use the TK strapping method? Is it the same as FOTKs? I've only assisted one FOTK with a series of snaps and velcro, and despite that, really have no idea. I imagine the kit will need all the attachments laid out before paint goes down. Since I don't have the armor in hand and prep will take some time, I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I get there! 


Thanks for following along. 

 

Edited by Sea_Marshall
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I sanded the latest filler primer coat to 400 grit and noticed a significant difference in pitting. Success! I laid down a second coat of Filler Primer and it's currently drying. After drying I'll get another 400 grit sand session.

 

On another note... I put in the deposit for a Thorsson set of armor. I should have it in hand in a few weeks! I'm all in.

Thorsson's buy-in also includes a helmet! So the one I'm currently working on will either prove to be a success, or test subject for the real deal. Very exciting! 

Edited by Sea_Marshall
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I feel like I've made some kind of progress. I sanded the filler primer layer to 400 and put down a layer of gloss black paint. I then found a few smudges in the layer from too much wet paint. I sanded it down then wetsanded the surface to 2000 and got a nice coat back down. Feels like I did something right. 

 

IuiVDZgl.jpg

 

Decided to gloss coat the whole thing again with the touch ups. 

 

tSP2MFql.jpg

 

Looks good from here and I will likely wet sand this surface to 2000 and then I can be happy with laying down the Spaztix Mirror Chrome. I plan to weather the surface using Elmer's Glue and some Black Acylic paint, as done in the Gordon Tarpley videos. 

 

Speaking of Gordon Tarpley. I'm thinking of getting a chemical chroming kit. I've at least priced it out. But then comes the question of just spraying a chrome and weathering it as originally planned. Does anyone know the life expectancy of a chemical chrome job vs. paint job and protect? Also wondering if the glue/acrylic weathering layer will protect the finish without need for a protected top coat. 

 

Noted that spaztix will go one in light layers, buff, then layer again. I've also conceded that this is a test helmet since the new kit will come with a fresh helmet. I'd likely need to decide the chroming process before I move on to the armor, but I'd imagine these things take time to prep and fit, so I have some time. I've never had a set of TK/FOTK armor before and it looks like a long process of fitting, trimming, and in this case, surface paint prep. 

 

To kind of rattle on the topic of chrome, I suppose if I can't stand the process or upkeep, I could change the armor to either 

 

A) Cardinal

B) FOTK

C) Pyre

 

They're generally the same I think? I've never looked at the comparisons. I recall Phasma being an FOTK with extra steps. Cardinal doesn't appear to have a CRL, but I'd imagine is a red Phasma with the cape on the other shoulder?

 

Edited by Sea_Marshall

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Cardinal has not been approved in the Legion, supposedly due to a lack of reference for the boots. Pyre is an animated-style FOTK. Haven't seen anyone making the kit, though I recall someone modding their regular FOTK to animated style, but haven't seen the results, personally.

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Alriiiiiiight. Big box of fiberglass and resin showed up! 

 

QSGe4Ebl.jpg

Hx6gpTpl.jpg

 

This is the raw kit from Shawn Thorsson. Taking inventory, I found a few things missing, but are being sorted out. I was given an extra set of fingers just in case I need replacements and a spacer for the back of the abdomen section. Lots of work to do to trim this up and clean up the parts. What a project this will be! 

 

I have Spec Ops boots coming in from Imperial Boots and once in hand can start working on the lower parts from the waist down. Exciting, but it will be a while. I still have to order a jump suit / undersuit. Any recommendations? I'll be looking into options but personal favorites are welcome. Will also need to look into a strapping system and will check out other builds and FOTK sets on how it's secured. There's no ONE way to do this right? Just black webbing/belting?

 

Also, took a crack at the chrome for the test helmet. Still learning, but it will be a good test bed. A long way to go before I decided on a method. This was just the black gloss primer/paint layer, then two coats of Spaztix spray can. Buffed between layers. But 2nd coat went down and haven't revisited this yet. Needed to get another can, rofl. One can not enough. 

 

8AvlZXll.jpg

 

Major part of the kit is here! Just need to sort out the undersuit and wait for boots to roll in, then can start prepping the fiberglass for paint. Likely dremel, sand, primer to gray for starters. Dang. Hopefully by Anaheim Celebration? Here's to square one! 

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Great news, looking forward to the progress, good luck

 

Make sure you wash all the fibreglass parts in warm soapy water, will get rid of any release agent residue 

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