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From Pilot to FOTK - TFA KB Props build


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So, thigh update. Got the left thigh measured and fit and such, making sure I have decent space and movement to actually bend my knee. I think I have a little work to do still on the shaping of the bottom on the sides of the knee. I'm slightly concerned I cut the arc of the outer seam a little bit too... arc-y. Some shots make it look fairly significant, where others make it look like it barely arcs at all. To make sure each thigh matched in shape, I used the scrap from the pieces cut on the first thigh, then inverted them to make the lines for the other thigh so they have the same shape.


Outer thigh (left):



Front thigh (left):


Back and inner thigh (left):


Edited by jaxninja
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  • 1 year later...

Wow, so this has been a long time. I'm not quite dead yet! Sadly, if things could have gone wrong, they have...


So, where to begin...


Shortly after my last update, I was working on the back/yoke seam when disaster struck. Trying to sand the seam smooth, it was getting to a point where the plastic was thinning on that back ridge so much it was nearly see-through. Before I went any further and potentially sanded a hole through the armor, I decided to reinforce it with some ABS sludge. I inverted the back piece and filled that ridge with the sludge, then left it overnight to cure. Unfortunately, I guess it was still reacting, and melted the entire ridge, essentially destroying the back plate..


I contacted KB for a replacement, but before they were able to get to making one, I found someone selling an already finished KB kit that just needed some paint. Huzzah! But wait, it's not over...

I got the kit, everything pretty much looked okay, so I went right to paint. I built a makeshift paint booth in my garage, using 1/2" pvc pipe and plastic sheeting to make both a booth, and something to hang the armor off of while I painted. After much trial and error I finally got all the white laid down perfectly, using the Rustoleum Professional series of spray. Next step was the clearcoat, which I was going to use the 2k spray clearcoat with the activator and such. Wanting to make sure I didn't waste any, I wiped down all of the armor with a tack cloth. Unfortunately, that seemed to have left a sticky residue on the armor, because every single particle of dust seemed to magnetically draw to the armor from out of nowhere. I didn't think to check before I started applying the clear, as when I left it everything was spotless. As I go part by part, I realize the debris is there, but silly me figured I can't stop because I've already popped the can and don't want to waste it (note to self... stop what you're doing next time). Once the clearcoat dried and I could see what I did, I proceeded to cry myself to sleep and ponder my life decisions.


At this point, other life events take over (pandemic and all), so I have to put things to the side for a while. Unsure of wanting to try and sand down the clearcoat and re-do it myself due to time and such, I happened to find a prop making company that was taking new orders, and they had apparently done a number of FOTK commissions before. Great! I can have someone else finish the armor while I work on other things and hopefully get it back all painted, then I can work on strapping and all those fun things. Long story short, I send them every part I have, from both my original kit and the "already done" kit, with the agreement for them fix/repaint the clear, and if there are any parts that have issues they can use my "original kit" parts to do whatever is needed. They offer to fully complete both kits, which wasn't needed but hey, figure if something breaks I'll have a spare ready. I asked them to take their time and do it right. Four months later... they tell me its nearing completion, so I ask if it'd be possible to have it for my birthday this year (August 1st). Not to derail this with ranting about other peoples work, but they tell me a date it'll be ready, go to meet to pick it up, and like 1/3 of the parts are missing. I look over the work, and the paint is awful - it's full of debris, severe orange peel in some places, paint runs, paint filling seams that are not supposed to be seamless, chips in the paint, odd stains and marks. I tell them to stop working on whatever else they were doing with my armor and send it back. Two weeks later, I finally have my parts. While the paintjob wasn't great, I could get away with approval because it's likely things that can't be seen from a distance... basically like vanilla bean ice cream - looks solid white, till you get up close and notice all the flecks in it. That was until I got the helmet, which was just... bad. They completely painted over the black stripe that goes around the bottom area of the helmet, plus a massive paint run that is chipping off on the left cheek. Ugh. Now I can't even get approved till I fix at least the helmet.


So, now I'm back to roughly where I was at the time of my last post. Luckily after working with some squadmates, I we picked the best bits of armor that should be approvable, and painted in the missing stripe along the bottom of the helmet. I'll probably strip it later and re-do it, but for now I just want this done. Working on the belt and strapping now, so hopefully later this week...


One bit of good news, I got a fancy undersuit for it! I'll avoid vendor names to protect the innocent, but it's basically an integrated undersuit, with the gaskets part of the pants and shirt, with all the mounting and velcro built in. Also has a pouch for an amp which is what you see on the "suspenders" there. Took under a minute to put on

 May be an image of standing


Moral of the story - take your time and do it yourself, you can do it!

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Wow Kevin, sorry to read of your woes.

Looks like you are recovering from all this and heading towards the finish line.

Best of luck with your approval sir.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, took forever to figure out the best way to do all the strapping/suspension. I tried using the fancy top from Sheev's I had bought, posted above, but found I couldn't get the bicep armor far enough up my arm to be in the right spot, as the material would bunch up too much and keep me from getting it into the right position. Ended up using Ukswrath suspension kit, shoulder and elbow gaskets from Geeky Pink's, and with the pants from Sheev's for a test fit. Worked well enough, except that I didn't put a belt through the pants, and as the suspension for the thighs and such hangs from it, after walking around for a bit they all started to slide down. Easily fixed with a belt later on. I'd really like to get the Sheev's top to fit, as it would make suiting up immensely easier compared to having suspension both from the shoulder gaskets and Uks kit, but we'll see.

Oh, also got the belt sorted out. Used a kit from Belts of the First Order. Nothing too fancy about assembly, just following the assembly directions, although I am still fidgeting with how to wear it exactly. I installed a pair of snaps on the front of the ab plate for it to snap on to, and then velcro across the posterior plate where it rests against to make sure it's secure and doesn't droop. The only problem I have is that I had already assembled the belt before the velcro, so the velcro is only adhered with the mounting adhesive to the belt, so whenever I take the belt off the velcro seems to go with it. Once everything is on it seems to be secured well enough, but I'd like to figure out something a little more secure.


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1 hour ago, jaxninja said:

The only problem I have is that I had already assembled the belt before the velcro, so the velcro is only adhered with the mounting adhesive to the belt, so whenever I take the belt off the velcro seems to go with it. Once everything is on it seems to be secured well enough, but I'd like to figure out something a little more secure.

 What could work to avoid the Velcro to go with the belt could be Glue it with E6000 or AC glue . I'm having a similar issue and plan to use AC or E6000 to fix it.



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aaaaand approved! TK-20247 :smiley-sw013:


I still have some things to tinker with to make it a bit easier to deal with for suiting up and such. Right now my main issue I think is having the suspension harness attached to the abdomen and slipping into it, or suiting up in the harness first and then attaching the armor with the help of a handler. As it sits right now, I suit up in the shoulder gaskets first, with the biceps attached (myself). Then slip into the abdomen with harness attached, including posterior and cod piece (myself, with handler making sure it's all secure). Then connect the thighs myself, then back/yoke with a handler, chest myself, thermal det myself or handler, forearms myself, shins and spats with handler, then helmet.


The problem I keep running into is keeping the harness straight when I slip into it if it's attached to the abdomen. Went for my first troop in it, and I somehow had one of the clasps for the back connected to the front. I still don't understand how I managed to wear it :laugh1:. The suit from Sheev's would solve that, as again it's a shirt with a basic shoulder suspension system that only needs to clasp onto the front and rear of the abdomen and then done. I just need to figure out my issue with getting the biceps to sit right so I can actually move my arms properly. The only think I don't like is that it's not adjustable, so I have to figure out the exact mounting point on the abdomen. Not a big deal, just more to tinker with. I'll post some updates once I get it to a point I'm satisfied.

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Congratulations trooper and welcome to the TK ranks. You can request higher access here 


I use a separate harness system, arms are free for most of the kit up, start with legs, shins, spats and boots then work way up, everything attaches to the harness, even at the back, snaps there for the back of the ab and TD. Shoulders, biceps and forearms all get connected last.



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