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LEGOeatPokemon's SDS Hero build

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So here we go, I am finally going (try) to build (rebuild?) my SDS armor that I got half a year ago to centurion level.


Background: I don't think the stormtroopers were the first Star Wars character I saw, nor were they the first of my favorites. That would go to a certain Solo...

However, that didn't stop them to be my favorites the first time I saw of them, and seeing that you could acquire of their armors in real life gave me a bit of a dream.

Then found out about the 501st and the dream got a bit bigger, walking around in that pure armor together with other likeminded people, sign me up!

So after being aware of the minimal age to enter, I waited till I was 18 (last spring) and got myself an armor.


The problem is that I maybe was a bit too quick to decide where to buy from, I didn't research enough through my rashness and and bought an armor I thought looked good.

And so the day comes and I receive the box and are were happy with the contents.


Me, the day of arrival.



And as such I knew I would have to add some things to make it better, so I turned to the internet for help and came opon this forum.

Then I discovered the problems with SDS...


I felt pretty bummed, I could have had a better and cheaper suit had I not been in such a hurry.

So this got me wanting for another suit, such as a snowtrooper or scout, I felt like I really couldn't do anything about this armor yet in my life other than wear it around at home or have it sitting on my mannequin.



But recently I decided to make an account here after half a year of having it just standing around and I thought an introduction would benefit me as I am training to be better socially.



And I got some replies telling me to fix up my armor before buying a new one, then got in contact with Helotech (Dave) who has been a really nice guy and have had the same problem as me.


He has been nothing but great and generous to me and has given me a bunch of tips and info on how he did it.:th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:


So today I am making the start of a build thread and while Dave gave me much needed info, I would like to hear from others too about what to buy (preferably around Sweden) and needs.



So with that out of the way I can list what I need to do (what Dave did, I go mostly after his example):




  1.  Spray paint the inside of the helmet black
  2. Added Velcro in various spots so I can add padding and attach electronics.
  3. Changed the SDS ears for ATA Hero ears. Not much money and a much better upgrade.
  4. Add fans
  5. Added mesh inside the mouth area to block people seeing me.
  6. Remove all the stickers, and purchased stencils. Hand painted new details.
  7. Change out ear screws
  8. Add additional rivets under the ears. This helps the two pieces of the helmet fit more flush under the ears.


  1. Remove all sticky Velcro attached to armour
  2. Remove all the snaps and little white plates they are attached to
  3. Glue ribbed shoulder straps to the chest piece
  4. Add wide elastic white shoulder straps and snaps
  5. Add thin white elastic to hold shoulder straps down
  6. Add snaps and white velcro to Ab armour to hold belt
  7. Add snaps and rivets to right and left ab
  8. Add snaps to cod piece
  9. Add Velcro in chest for electronics
  10. Add Mr. No stripes bracket and strap system
  11. Work on the Ab blue / grey button plates. The SDS plates have separate metal buttons.


  1. Replace ABS wrap around belt with fabric one from Trooperbay. Keep this long piece of ABS for your cover strips
  2. Purchase tan leather to replace the black loop of the holster
  3. Add 4  screws to attach holster to belt
  4. Add snaps to fabric belt to attach to ab armour
  5. Change out the white Velcro of drop down boxes for white elastic. Attach elastic with rivets.


  1.  Trimm all return edges
  2. Add snaps system for bells to bicep, and bells to shoulder attachment
  3. Glue straps for bicep to forearm
  4. Remove Velcro overlap closures from bicep and forearm armor.
  5. Reshape the bells for better fit.


  1. Purchase rubber hand armour to replace the plastic SDS ones.


  1. Purchase a metal loop for the back of the blaster


  1.  Trimm existing cover strips on thighs and lower legs above the raised areas.
  2. Add cover strips to back of thighs
  3. Add wide black elastic to top of thighs that got to my inner black belt
  4. Change overlap on lower legs to cover strips with velcro
  5. Add velcro to my boots and the bottom of lower legs so the shins don't ride up. This prevents boots coming untcuked
  6. Remove screw and nut from sniper knee plate. Attache with rivet and glue.
  7. Replace the right thigh ammo pouch.
  8. Cleane up the rough seams from the left and right armour pieces.


  1. Replace the aluminum strips
  2. Replace hardware.
  3. Cut apart the TD to make it the proper length.


Anything else I should be thinking about?


Also today I bought some tools to help:


Sandpaper, clamps an files



I've heard Trooperbay.com was a good site to find supplies so i've made a list on what I am planning to buy from there:


1. Three tubes E6000

2. Brushes and paint (might need more help with this one)

3. Chicago screws (Don't know how many)

4. Rivets (How many?)

5. Magnets

6. Helmet frown screen

7. Snap fastener kit (How many?)

8. Nylon strapping? Elastic strapping?

9. Flexible handguards?

10. Helmet bag?

11. Velcro?

12. Blaster ring

13. Helmet masking templates


Is there something that needs change/missing?


I don't really know what sort of internal strapping I should use, ideas?


I plan on buying the cloth belt from imperialissue.com


Dave also mentioned ATA from FB for buying replacements for:


1. New ears

2. Thigh ammo belt

3. Sheets of plastic for making more cover strips


And I think that's it, have I missed anything?




Whew! That took some time to write. I will hopefully be able to start working soon.

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21 minutes ago, LEGOeatPokemon said:

8. Nylon strapping? Elastic strapping?

Hi Jonas, there's a lot of work ahead for you but I'm pretty sure you are in the best place to acomplish your project.


About the strapping, I personally use a mix of both, Nylon and elastic, depending of wich armor section I need to be more fixed and wich one I need it to be more flexible. Example, I placed Nylon into the Ab-But connection, but use Elastic in the Chest- Ab connection to avoid any crack if I bend to give a hand to a child.




I have learned this by reading the forum threads and by test and fails :D.


good luck with your build and as you already know, there's a lot of experienced troopers here to help you.









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Looks like you are off to a GREAT start!

Ok, more long posts from me. Sorry....


I know we talked about it offline, but I want to make sure I emphasize that allot of the things I did are not required for Centurion. Just me, my OCD and extreme Star Wars geekiness that made me do it  :)


I only make the following suggestions to ease building. It all depends on your financial situation and how much you want to invest. Not needed at all:

  • The clamps are good. You MAY want or need 2 to 4 more. I started off with 4 clamps, then quickly bought 4 more. It just speeds up the clamping and gluing process and minimizes wait times.  I.e. Instead of only being able to work on one side of the bicep armour, clamping and gluing for 24 hours, then doin the same to other side (now a 2 day process) I could clamp and glue both sides at once. Down to one day of wait time.
  • Sandpaper is good. I can't tell if your sandpaper is wet, butI made sure mine was wet sandpaper. This really aids in the sanding process. I started with 400 grit, and made it up to 1600 I think? If you buy a car headlight polishing kit they can go up to 3000 or 4000, and it gives you a very nice smooth finish. The kits can be pricey though
  • I also found that sanding sponges (just google it) came in handy. I got them at a hardware store in 2 or 3 grits. They were handy to sand some bigger areas or spots that were rounded.
  • I sent you a list of the model paints you will need. Various Trooper companies sell them on their websites, or you can go to a plastic model store. For the brushes, I used a flat brush, maybe 1/4" wide and a #6 or # 8 round  brush for the details. Trooperbay does have video links on their website on how to use their stencils. When you order they send you 2 sets in case you mess up :)
  • For the hardware (rivets, screws etc) some TK parts companies sell everything in ready-to-go packs with just the right amount of each item to do the job (plus 1 or 2 extra).
    • If you go on Trooperbay and look under the Costuming Supplies / Hardware dropdown tabs, they sell kits of hardware. They even have snaps and strap combo sets ready made for $42. You can probably make them for cheaper on your own, but this is ready convenience.
  • Even though I've done building my armor, I have to look at it to do an accurate screw and rivet count. LOL. I can let you know once I get home from work
  • I have allot of extra helmet screen I can pass to you. I think I used a double layer of good tent repair screen. You can use spare window screen.

For the strapping it is kind of hit and miss. It is hard to know until you actually make it and put the stuff on. The good thing is, you can always swap out the strapping if it doesn't work for you.


Mr No stripes brackets:

  • Screen accurate
  • Armour fits exactly the same way every time you put on and take off (after adjusting for your body type)
  • Can be fiddly or difficult to install due to minimal return edge on SDS
  • May need additional strapping to make everything sit right. I had issues with my chest and ab spacing and used 3' wide velcro
  • May need to shorten / re-sew some or all of the provided elastic straps to close gaps in the armor

Snap plates and straps:

  • When you put on and take off the armour, it goes back together the same way and in same position.
  • Easy to replace straps when they become worn
  • SDS provide more than enough elastic strap to repurpose it
  • Have to either make or purchase snap plates. Making them is fairly easy.
  • You can re-use some of the snaps ( like the crotch / cod snap plates) that you will remove for the Centurion upgrades.
  • I can send you maybe 15 to 20 SDS snap plates I am not using in the care package :)
  • Have to make or sew your own elastic or regular straps with snaps. Very easy to do, just takes time.
  • In case you want to change things later, it is easy to remove the snap plates after gluing with E6000

Velcro system

  • very easy to install and adjust.
  • Armour does NOT fit the same way every time you put it on.
  • Velcro wears down relatively quickly

Hopefully this helps


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30 minutes ago, LEGOeatPokemon said:

Looks good? Have I missed something?

Have you ordered the split rivets  for ab?

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It is done... I have now ordered from trooperbay, imperialissue (belt) and Mrnostripes (brackets) :mellow:






My poor wallet...

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Wow. Big progress!

Let us know if you need any help and good luck! :)

I’ll be packaging up the extra bits I have and shipping them next week.


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Great news, I pointed out a few things to Helotech and he really took to the feedback and within no time was approved and then applying for EIB. 


There is a bit of work but nothing that can't be achieved, yell out if you get stuck. Good luck.

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Update, my package from Trooperbay has arrived!


With it includes:

-3 tubes of E6000 glue

-Humbrol paint


-Snap fastener (with snaps)

-20 magnets

-4 clamps

-Black nylon strapping

-White elastic band

-Flexible hand guards

-D-ring for blaster

-Helmet masking templates

-A helmet bag


Unfortunally they were out of brushes, oh well. I can buy those somewhere else.


I am still waiting for

-Brackets from MrNoStripes

-Cloth belt from ImperialIssue


Planning on starting tomorrow with what I have, wish me luck! :lol:

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Looking forward to the updates, good luck

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Sooo, update.

First real one, I guess.


I have started with pulling of all the velcro that came with the armor, it was a lot!



My thumbs really got a beating



Anyway, I think I need something to remove the glue residue, will look into that.


I think the next thing to do will be looking into removing the plastic wrap around from the belt



Does anyone have a good idea for taking of the screws that is holding it together?

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Locally we have a product called Goo Remover, it dissolves glue residue without affecting the plastic (but can damage other plastic) always best to try on a test piece first. You may be able to find something similar at your end.


Screws shouldn't be too tight I would think and would have nuts behind, just a case of using a socket or spanner behind and apply pressure to the screw head while turning.


Here's a handy image of snap placement, many of us use the double snap method, can save you at a troop if one snap fails



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Baby steps...



Planning of making the wrap to covering strips, won't work with the belt until the cloth belt has arrived.


So now the next thing I guess is pulling off the poppers that exists on nearly all pieces



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Ouch, now those are armor bites, it's a right of passage so wear them with honor ;) 

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15 hours ago, gmrhodes13 said:

Ouch, now those are armor bites, it's a right of passage so wear them with honor ;) 

I guess I will get a cool scar :sith:

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7 hours ago, LEGOeatPokemon said:

I guess I will get a cool scar :sith:

I have one on top of my knee, built my Anovos FOTK in 10 days from start to painted and approval, was just before the premier of TFA, was in such a rush trimming I dropped the Dremel with cutting disc going full speed on top of my thigh, no time to bleed so it was out with a rag and the superglue, I have a nice scar there and it reminds me each time I see it about the build, I don't regret doing it at all but boy it was annoying for a week or so ;) 

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Finally done with that!




How big should the covering strips be as SDS only does overlap on everything except the front of the leg pieces?

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