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ATA Newbie Comprehensive Guide


ShockTrooper51
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I received my armor set 2 years ago and completed the helmet immediately but then my armor sat for 2 years.

To catch you all up so far I’ve:
A) cut forearms out and left 7.5mm on the return edge as to fit the 15mm cover strip.

B) cut biceps out which was a huge pain because I had to remove the bottom return edge completely out to fit my arm. Also I kept forgetting which one goes where.

C) roughly cut sniper knee out, and I’m gonna need help.

I’ll post photos and label each one so you all can see.




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At least you figured it out before cutting down the rear raised edges to 7.5mm. 

The broader raised edges in the back aren’t that huge of a deal in my opinion. Just keep the cover strips consistent at 15mm is what I’d do there. 

Also I’d recommend using inside cover strips. They really help to reinforce your armor. You can fully tape your pieces from the outside and not have them shift while you glue the inside pieces. Then remove the tape, and add your outside strips. 

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Thanks for the advise CoatserTK. I am planning on gluing inner covet strips for everything and that is a good idea to tape everything down then start with the inside.

 

For my first gluing I had a problem. I tried to glue the two forearm halves together and when I put the magnets on it shifted the return edges because the magnet is a little too big.

 

 

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For your tape job, 

I would recommend using a 2” painters tape, and tape it vertically along the butt joint. 1” on each side.

And as for your magnets, have you wrapped them in small pieces of cloth? Similar to a wonton. Use a Zapstrap to keep the cloth on tight. You can the slide them up and down the cover strip to exactly where you want them. Just be sure to build them in sets and be mindful of polarity. 

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Definitely tape the magnets.  I made that mistake with my ATA kit and it left scratches and marks I had to fill or paint over later.  Big hassle that could be avoided.   For the biceps and forarms, I did not use a cover strip on the inside but butted the seams and made a "weld bead" of CA then hit with accelerator.  Then I used CA and E6000 to glue the cover strips on and it worked great for me.  There are a million different ways to glue the pieces together so what works for some doesn't for others.  For instance, some make their forearms clam shell with  Velcro and others glue both seams and slide their wrist through.  Same thing with strapping, but that is a whole different story.  

 

Anyways to make a long story short, the only way to really know if a return edge fits correctly is to do multiple fits.  A kit is never truly done as there will be something to fix or upgrade to make it either work, fit, move, or look better.  Some people enjoy the look of a return edge at first as it makes the kit look more protective but can easily get in the way.  Left some edge on my biceps and forearms but had to take them down as they were giving "armor bite" when I moved my arms.

 

Feel free to ask questions.  I hope this helped.

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I have a thread here about the pro and cons of return edges, Anthony-  https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/48166-return-edges-101-ottk/?tab=comments#comment-670906

 

I also personally would not recommend using CA glue anywhere on your build.  If it runs, (even if you wipe it off quickly) it will leave marks.  Even the gel type can squeeze out from joins, and removing after it dries is not an easy task.  Over time, areas glued with this product can (and will) get brittle, causing separation.

Although it takes more time to cure, E-6000 is the way to go.  If by some chance you need to separate a join it can be removed, and any seepage/smears can be taken off by rubbing your thumb over it. 

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