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MV's ANH TK Stunt [ATA] 1st Build Thread for Centurion

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As for the biceps, in the grand scheme of things there are no hard and fast rules, especially since you have the "thumbprint" on both.  What I would suggest is to use G for the left side.  I really like the way ATA designed this (super practical) and the reason being is that it has more of an rounded shape.  You will be spending a LOT of time with your arms bent (carrying your E-11), and your right arm will be bent at more of an angle than your left.  Having that extra curvature may make it more comfortable.  You are correct about the swoop on the bell being on the left.

 

dvj1h1b.jpg?2    AP02gKh.jpg?2      hyj1PVC.jpg

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OP (MV) Post #18

 

"The first cut is the deepest"

 

Maybe not the deepest, Cheryl, but definitely the scariest, at least thus far. That status may soon be supplanted when I start on my bucket and work on the ears, frown, and eyes. Armed with Joseph's Return Edges 101 thread, at the crack of dawn this morning I began on my forearms, and some of you L3 folks will be excited to hear that my very first cuts were to remove the return edge on the wrist-side (bottom?) inner forearms. I figured there would be plenty of room for error in that area and I played it conservatively and didn't go all the way to a complete flat surface. In the photos below, do you guys think I took off enough, keeping in mind that I still have sanding to do? I suspect more needs to be shaved.

 

Bottom Inner Forearms

 

49913469943_ac97a3c296_o.jpg     49913469683_2ce492b285_o.jpg

 

49913982226_c9b461a277_o.jpg     49914281437_75fca90ec8_o.jpg

 

 

Here are some before and after shots of the arm pieces I hit today. In my eagerness panic to make my first cut I failed to photograph the front edges of half the forearm pieces (shown above), so I set the cutouts in their respective spaces for reference. I tried to capture it all for all the following cuts. Does it look like I'm near where I'll need to be for Centurion status, or must a lot more plastic be removed?

 

Bottom Outer Forearms

 

49913469898_2925e872aa_o.jpg     49913468703_c2e4c1d317_o.jpg

 

49913469953_e6dd531c17_o.jpg     49914281282_ee0a5ac61d_o.jpg

 

Top Inner Forearms

 

49914281537_aea9b8d084_o.jpg     49913468908_38859d406b_o.jpg

 

49914282237_cf0a0ef42a_o.jpg     49914282022_11bc08761a_o.jpg

 

Top Outer Forearms

 

49913473378_07409feff2_o.jpg     49913987261_9d42f3e0fc_o.jpg

 

49914285977_339f0274c8_o.jpg     49913473393_a63609f694_o.jpg

 

Top Inner Bicep

 

49913992661_61c264183d_o.jpg     49913992621_0f04e068d6_o.jpg

 

49913478723_917f883d84_o.jpg     49913478803_f9726b21cf_o.jpg

 

49915009276_9dc8b1104b_o.jpg

 

49914291572_f3b6c76594_o.jpg     49913992931_6619fc758d_o.jpg

 

 

Just a couple more observations and pre-cut questions. In general, it seems that ATA designs their arm return edges pretty minimal, as shown in the photos below. I guess that doesn't leave me much choice with the forearms and the shoulder bells, does it? Can't argue with strong-arming (haha) builders into higher levels of accuracy. Any reason I shouldn't cut all the way to the main surface edge and remove the returns completely on these next pieces, or should just a tiny bit be left? Also interesting that one of the raw ATA shoulder bells has much more excess than the other. Chop chop.

 

49915009786_353e8ef56b_o.jpg

 

49915015671_3d17269c60_o.jpg     49915015691_dcbe04e893_o.jpg

 

49914498768_a1907bcf64_o.jpg     49914498763_384fc4cd46_o.jpg

 

 

Trimming will continue for days, if not weeks, as I squeeze in time after putting my 13-month old to bed and spending some evening time with my wife. Basically my window for building is after 11:00pm, and before 7:00am, and any late-night work tends to limit me the next evening due to needing rest. It's a good thing I'm still working from home (started March 23, nearly two months ago) so at least I don't need to account for commute time (or dressing time, haha) into my daily schedule. For those of you who remember, when I officially began this journey my daughter was only seven months old, and I estimated the long road to the Death Star would take me 6-9 months to negotiate. Yeah, my hyperdrive motivator is faulty. That means I have three months left to meet my estimate, and roughly seven months for my stretch goal for EIB (1,000) and Centurion (500), based on roughly five approvals per month. Time to bypass the compressor and make the jump.

 

Quote Response:

On 5/18/2020 at 5:34 AM, justjoseph63 said:

As for the biceps, in the grand scheme of things there are no hard and fast rules, especially since you have the "thumbprint" on both.  What I would suggest is to use G for the left side.  I really like the way ATA designed this (super practical) and the reason being is that it has more of an rounded shape.  You will be spending a LOT of time with your arms bent (carrying your E-11), and your right arm will be bent at more of an angle than your left.  Having that extra curvature may make it more comfortable.

Joseph - That's an excellent point about bent arms while trooping with an E-11. Question though, would using the more squared-off G piece on the left side be assuming a right-handed or left-handed carrying of the blaster? I am personally right handed, but had planned on carrying my E-11 left handed, with the magazine pointed forward away from my torso, as is most common in ANH. To me, it would seem this would result in more bend in my left elbow, but I'm not sure how my left shoulder would be impacted. Would you still suggest the squared-off G piece be on my left bicep with that carry orientation?

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You are super close on the forearms, but still a bit to go.  100% of the return edge will need to be removed for Centurion, so it's best to do it at this stage before final fitting/gluing.

 

 

rRpFWhT.jpg      qLQeJku.jpg?1    WjlZMNc.jpg?1

 

 "Any reason I shouldn't cut all the way to the main surface edge and remove the returns completely on these next pieces, or should just a tiny bit be left"?  My feelings on return edges are well known, lol.  The examples below show that there were none (or very minimal) on the arm pieces.

 

 

ROnuICG.jpg?1   7gruOHg.jpg?1

 

 "I am personally right handed, but had planned on carrying my E-11 left handed, with the magazine pointed forward away from my torso, as is most common in ANH".

 

That is an entirely personal preference, and since both biceps have dimples, are interchangeable and the tops are usually covered by the shoulder bells, do whatever works better for you!

 

Odd Fact:

The original Sterling machine guns had crazy long magazines on the left hand side, as they assumed most soldiers were right handed.  When modifying them the prop makers cut down the magazine significantly, but the actors found that the magazine/power pack was still to long and awkward, causing it to constantly hit the chest piece when gripping it with the right hand.  It was then decided that they should grip the blasters with the left hand for comfort reasons, thus, most of the TKs were "left handed" in the film(s).

 

Since we don't do a lot of stunts, (well, not intentionally, lol) I carry mine right handed.  It also helps me to keep my dominant hand free for adjustments, etc.

 

 

 

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Do your fore arms have a different dimple count?

Left arm has 11 dimples the right arm has 12. as the fore arms might be a slightly different size the inner parts may also to suit.

This may impact your Biceps and degree of movement or bend so my advice it tape them together and try them on to see which is more comfortable.

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OP (MV) Post #19

 

40 years ago today was the premiere of my favorite Star Wars film, so I guess I know what I'll be watching during my build session(s) today. Thus far I've had How I Met Your Mother on in the background while I work, but once I finish ESB tonight or tomorrow I may need to transition to my collection of Star Wars soundtracks, as @Blast 'Em! has been doing during his build. That or just play the films themselves. Harmy or Adywan, anybody? =)

 

Do or do not. There is no try. Today is arm day:

 

49920201063_8de4bdac49_o.jpg

 

 

Haha, jk. To continue my uptempo progress, I've removed even more of the returns on the bottom of my forearms as well as continued trimming the forming excess on various pieces. I've been taking lots of photos for documentation purposes, but I'm starting to wonder if I should continue posting all of them, or simply keep them archived for future review if necessary. My recent posts have been quite photo heavy, and I don't want to overload any of those of you following along; your continued insight is invaluable, and I don't want to burn anybody out. Here are some samples of my progress on all the arm pieces; first up, the forearm bottoms.

 

49920714976_4ebff4dff1_o.jpg

 

 

With my trimming I continued to remove return edges, but haven't gone all the way yet. I figured I'll have more to take off once I get to the fitting process; I just didn't want to hastily shave off too much. Best to leave a margin for error or adjustment in the future.

 

49920715556_36b3769d25_o.jpg

 

49920200238_0ec1a249be_o.jpg

 

49921014527_d102f4a061_o.jpg     49921014757_93428387fb_o.jpg

 

 

While revisiting saved forum threads and various resources I came across this nugget below, from @pandatrooper on MEPD. This screenshot from his ATA TD build thread confirms that my identification of the forearms was correct, and at least tells me how the biceps were intended to be worn. Since both biceps have a thumbprint, per Joseph, I could decide to interchange them depending on how I elect to carry my blaster (and bend my elbows). I'm including my own armor parts in the second photo below for comparison.

 

49918632598_8c926b15d2_o.png

 

49921014197_46966bb317_o.jpg

 

 

I've also begun the holster stretching process, per the guidance of Christine (Cricket). Here are the steps I'm taking:

  1. Remove the blaster strap secured by a Chicago screw
  2. Fill a 5-gallon or similar bucket (or your sink) with hot water
  3. Place the holster in the water allowing the water level to reach all the areas which need to be stretched
  4. Let the holster soak for 10-15 minutes, or however long it takes for the leather to be soaked through. I have Darman's 8oz version.
  5. Remove the holster and set aside and empty the bucket
  6. Wrap blaster, in my case a Hellhounds E-11, in two grocery bags and two large ziplock bags
  7. Squeeze the blaster into the soaked holster to stretch it out while drying. I'm leaving mine in the bucket and expect it to take a couple days.
  8. Repeat the process, adding more bags for extra stretching if necessary, until the blaster is easily removable
  9. Once a properly-stretched fit has been achieved, consider adding holster lubricant to the leather

 

49920625946_8921ddd65e_o.jpg     49920110063_62519ce252_o.jpg     49920625916_0c77c4d8a8_o.jpg

 

 

Quote Responses:

On 5/20/2020 at 6:13 AM, justjoseph63 said:

You are super close on the forearms, but still a bit to go.  100% of the return edge will need to be removed for Centurion, so it's best to do it at this stage before final fitting/gluing.

 

That is an entirely personal preference, and since both biceps have dimples, are interchangeable and the tops are usually covered by the shoulder bells, do whatever works better for you!

 

Odd Fact:

The original Sterling machine guns had crazy long magazines on the left hand side, as they assumed most soldiers were right handed.  When modifying them the prop makers cut down the magazine significantly, but the actors found that the magazine/power pack was still to long and awkward, causing it to constantly hit the chest piece when gripping it with the right hand.  It was then decided that they should grip the blasters with the left hand for comfort reasons, thus, most of the TKs were "left handed" in the film(s).

Joseph - Hopefully I took enough off on my second go, with images shown above. I still have sanding to do, so that will likely shave a tiny bit more too. I'm definitely going to make sure everything fits well with the appropriate returns (or lack thereof) prior to gluing, since I want to minimize deconstructing pieces. I always assumed the reason for southpaw TKs was due to the E-11 protruding magazines on the left side, as you state, so I figured I'd avoid the rubbing myself and carry left handed. This will also leave my dominant right hand free to wave passers by [move] along and cuff rebel scum.

 

On 5/20/2020 at 6:13 AM, Sly11 said:

Do your fore arms have a different dimple count?

Left arm has 11 dimples the right arm has 12. as the fore arms might be a slightly different size the inner parts may also to suit.

This may impact your Biceps and degree of movement or bend so my advice it tape them together and try them on to see which is more comfortable.

Andrew - I'm so glad you mentioned the forearm dimple counts, as I had saved that distinction in my research notes from 4-6 months ago, but had forgotten about it while trimming this past week. As is seen in Terry's arm piece photos above, and mine below, my bicep outers have 11 dimples each, which I take it is common in some derivations of TE armor

 

49920595848_97ce4d9ebc_o.jpg

 

 

To close, today my wife, who is a kindergarten teacher, received a shipment of books she bought her students, and Scholastic gifted a sheet of these cards as well. Baby "Leia," meet Baby Yoda.

 

49921151852_18ba706070_o.jpg

 

Edited by MaskedVengeance
Rephrasing
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Looking great, Caleb!  Don't forget that the areas inside the "humps" need to come out as well. ;)

 

dsYO3ha.jpg

 

Before final fitting/gluing, make sure that the scoops at the top of the forearms are deep enough.  This is the main area that "armor bite" happens in due to the arms being constantly bent.  You should be able to wear them for extended periods without that small bit of return edge cutting into you.

 

kFBcjXB.jpg

 

"My recent posts have been quite photo heavy, and I don't want to overload any of those of you following along..."  There is no such thing as too many photos, lol, so bring em' on!  :jc_doublethumbup:

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OP (MV) Post #20

 

So they don't get buried after all my photos, I'm starting out with some QUESTIONS I have: 

  • I never rinsed my armor pieces after receiving them, so would it be helpful for me to do that now, to remove any lingering release agents, or after all cutting and sanding is done but before gluing? Water with mild soap of some kind?
  • Rinsing after rough-sanding, on cover strip adhesive surfaces for example, is probably a good idea too, correct? To remove ABS dust?
  • I'm planning on reinforcing many, if not all, of the edges on my chest, ab, back, kidney, and butt pieces, since most of them won't have return edges. My concern is that such extensive reinforcement may completely restrict the flexibility of the ABS and actually result in stress creases and cracks. Are there certain areas which I should leave UN-reinforced in order to provide stress relief? Below are the pieces with edges numbered for identification; which areas should be:
    • Reinforced with ABS strips?
    • NOT reinforced, but instead left flat?
    • Left with a return edge, but still L3 approvable?

[Note: the piece below are all exterior facing down, but the perspective may give the illusion of being face up]

49924303593_7549a5732b_o.jpg

 

49925299787_796e6e5ed7_o.jpg     49924998041_cf830714b2_o.jpg

 

49924474473_8cc387c830_o.jpg     49925299807_2d23cb532d_o.jpg

 

 

Actually I do have another question. Yesterday I noticed that part of my ab piece appears to be warped, and I'm not sure if that's normal with the molding process, or if it was a defective pull. Notice that the button box angles downwards toward the top, and also isn't level with the other ab protrusions. Thoughts?

 

49925833076_ca563a38a3_o.jpg     49925833061_444ec41b80_o.jpg

 

49925313543_64a3bc5123_o.jpg

 

 

 

Save your ABS trimmings I keep reading, so save them I have. These pieces shown thus far may come in handy if I need to make ABS paste, and I also intend to keep the excess from the butt-joint portions of the arm and leg pieces to hopefully use as inner cover strips. As long as I don't make too many outer cover strip cutting mistakes, I should also have extra ABS material from the two sheets I received with my ATA armor.

 

49925308698_0038322992_o.jpg

 

 

So two days ago was arm day, and then yesterday I was on leg duty. Boy were my fingers hurting at 2:30am after hours wielding lexan scissors, and the tops of the shin pieces were definitely the most difficult due to the angles. As with the arm pieces, I trimmed the leg parts close (actually not really close, just closER) to where the final cuts will be, with the exception of where the butt-joints areas, where I left a lot of material. I will soon begin rough sizing and then determine exactly where return edges should be adjusted to and also cut the long edges down for the joints. The bells have a TON more material that needs to be removed. Everything is finally beginning to look like real armor components, rather than blobs of white plastic.

 

Right Thighs

49925307748_34525ac5b2_o.jpg     49926126827_d9dd2493f9_o.jpg     49926126797_36346e1de2_o.jpg

 

Left Thighs

49925829416_d05a05e4df_o.jpg     49925310073_ea0c074be8_o.jpg     49926128697_141bebff8a_o.jpg

 

Calves (duh)

49925311578_eb7fd397fe_o.jpg

 

49925311953_3faffd01a5_o.jpg     49926130737_17864457aa_o.jpg

 

49926130747_5f7ea1a1f5_o.jpg     49925831541_1a6edff4f2_o.jpg

 

Bells (double duh)

49925832136_793ca126df_o.jpg

 

I suppose that's it for my photo dump. Hopefully future builders will find all this documentation helpful. =)

 

Quote Responses:

8 hours ago, justjoseph63 said:

Looking great, Caleb!  Don't forget that the areas inside the "humps" need to come out as well. ;)

 

Before final fitting/gluing, make sure that the scoops at the top of the forearms are deep enough.  This is the main area that "armor bite" happens in due to the arms being constantly bent.  You should be able to wear them for extended periods without that small bit of return edge cutting into you.

Joseph - I will definitely make sure to take off the edges of the humps either with my lexan scissors or while sanding. I wanted to initially play it safe and plan on sanding them rather than cutting too far, since there's not much material between the edge and the first dimple. I'll also plan on taking more off on both the forearms and bicep scoops. Ain't nobody got time for armor bite. lol.

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12 hours ago, MaskedVengeance said:

OP (MV) Post #20

 

So they don't get buried after all my photos, I'm starting out with some QUESTIONS I have: 

  • I never rinsed my armor pieces after receiving them, so would it be helpful for me to do that now, to remove any lingering release agents, or after all cutting and sanding is done but before gluing? Water with mild soap of some kind? This is really more for fiberglass armor than ABS, to remove mold release and any stray fiberglass hairs that may be itchy. ABS forming doesn't use a true negative "mold" (like fiberglass) but rather positive "bucks" that the warm ABS sheet is pulled down on top of. It wouldn't hurt to rinse it after trimming, but no big deal.
  • Rinsing after rough-sanding, on cover strip adhesive surfaces for example, is probably a good idea too, correct? To remove ABS dust? Eh, at least blow em off or maybe wipe with a microfiber towel.
  • I'm planning on reinforcing many, if not all, of the edges on my chest, ab, back, kidney, and butt pieces, since most of them won't have return edges. My concern is that such extensive reinforcement may completely restrict the flexibility of the ABS and actually result in stress creases and cracks. Are there certain areas which I should leave UN-reinforced in order to provide stress relief? Below are the pieces with edges numbered for identification; which areas should be:
    • Reinforced with ABS strips?
    • NOT reinforced, but instead left flat?
    • Left with a return edge, but still L3 approvable?
  • Personally, I like return edges and feel that they give the suit some 'depth' to where it really looks like armor. I tried to balance comfort, accuracy, and appearance as best I could. The main places that I consistently see armor cracking is around the neckline, under the arms, and along the edges of the kidney plate. Return edges are tricky because they add rigidity and strength to the armor, but also create stress points. I would leave as much as you can at first, then continue removing it if you find areas that bind or rub. Can always sand more, can't make return edges grow back. I've seen guys reinforce with little ABS tabs, superglue and cloth, fiberglass resin/mattting, ABS slurry... you've got options for repairs, but I've never preemptively reinforced panels, just fixed existing cracks. Maybe I should start haha
  • The other big thing is if you haven't heard it yet - REINFORCE YOUR SHOULDER BRIDGES. I wanna shout this from a mountain. I just run a strip of ABS that I heated and bent to shape from the end, all the way down into the chest pieces, so it reinforces the tabs as well. 
  • All that being said, the only place to my knowledge that return edges are mentioned in the CRL is at the wrist. Definitely remove it there, but otherwise it's mostly up to you.

 

Actually I do have another question. Yesterday I noticed that part of my ab piece appears to be warped, and I'm not sure if that's normal with the molding process, or if it was a defective pull. Notice that the button box angles downwards toward the top, and also isn't level with the other ab protrusions. Thoughts? Weird and honestly unsure. ATA is "affordable" for a reason and not perfect (nor are ANH suits in general), but I'm not sure if that's standard to his armor or not. If the whole panel is wonky, you can always heat bath and try to tweak it back a bit.

 

Save your ABS trimmings I keep reading, so save them I have. These pieces shown thus far may come in handy if I need to make ABS paste, and I also intend to keep the excess from the butt-joint portions of the arm and leg pieces to hopefully use as inner cover strips. As long as I don't make too many outer cover strip cutting mistakes, I should also have extra ABS material from the two sheets I received with my ATA armor. Nice! I highly recommend using inner cover strips - both for strength, and because they make assembly easier (though longer with E6000) by creating a little "shelf" to glue the next piece onto. It's also way easier to glue outer cover strips on straight and clean when you're not trying to hold the whole piece together simultaneously. Hopefully the only slurry you may need to make is for filling in the bottom front of the left thigh, but even that's optional. Good to have on hand though!

 

So two days ago was arm day, and then yesterday I was on leg duty. Boy were my fingers hurting at 2:30am after hours wielding lexan scissors, and the tops of the shin pieces were definitely the most difficult due to the angles. As with the arm pieces, I trimmed the leg parts close (actually not really close, just closER) to where the final cuts will be, with the exception of where the butt-joints areas, where I left a lot of material. I will soon begin rough sizing and then determine exactly where return edges should be adjusted to and also cut the long edges down for the joints. The bells have a TON more material that needs to be removed. Everything is finally beginning to look like real armor components, rather than blobs of white plastic. Yeabuddy. If you have access to a belt sander (or $80 at Harbor Freight! Look for coupons!), that's 100% now my preferred way to trim - rough hack off the sheet with snips, smooth the lines out and bring them almost all the way to the final cut line on the belt, deburring tool around the edges, then dremel/sanding blocks to smooth them out and final shape. 

 

On the thighs, I left return edge on the OUTSIDE for appearance, but removed it flush on the INSIDE so it doesn't rub. Sand the cod and posterior connector area edges well too, trust. On the shins and forearms, I left a little return edge at the top, and removed it almost flush at the ankle/wrist. Again, that's just me. And of course, I'd advise cutting up into the thigh ridge at the back of the knee, as well as either flush or down into the ridge at the top of the shin, back of the knee. Armor bite back there HURTS. It helps to secure your thighs snug when you first put them on so that they don't sag as you troop - I wear my garter belt up high and tight at my actual waist.

 

I suppose that's it for my photo dump. Hopefully future builders will find all this documentation helpful. =) Very thorough and I'm sure people will appreciate it! Keep up the great work and keep asking questions! Always better to ask a dumb question than make a dumb mistake! Yours have been excellent so far and again, I appreciate the research you've already done!

 

Here are some words about some things.

Edited by TheRascalKing
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