Jump to content

Work in Progress: Adding a kidney armor shim


Recommended Posts

Greetings Troopers,

 

I decided to go ahead and document my process closing the gap between my ab and kidney armor. For my project, my right side had a gap that was about 3” wide at the top and 1.5” wide at the bottom. This was acceptable to be approved as a 501st TK, but in order to achieve level 2 (Expert Infantry), the gap needs to be closed.


(Disclaimer: This project is currently a work in progress, I’ll continue to update this thread as I progress through the process. Be sure to read through the tutorial, start to finish, before beginning work on your own armor.)

 

The supplies I used were as follows:

 

1. ABS plastic

2. Exacto knife

3. 6” ruler/ Measuring tape

4. Small clamps

5. Small super strength magnets

6. E600 glue

 

This project is a work in progress, so if I end up using any other supplies I’ll be sure to annotate them below. With my supplies gathered, I began working.

 

k95IGZi.jpg

 

First measure the working edge( the edge you’ll be attaching the shim to) of the kidney armor to prepare to make the first cut. And always remember, measure twice, cut once.

 

vzgdThd.jpg
 

Using the Exacto knife, cut a piece of ABS to fit the length of the working edge of the kidney armor. I left a little length on the bottom to be trimmed later. Better too much than not enough.

 

B5K262z.jpg
 

Next, prepare your kidney armor for the shim. You may not need to, but I trimmed away the return edge and removed the nylon strap and snap used to attach the kidney to the ab. I then went over the edge a few times with the exacto knife to ensure the edge was as straight as possible.

 

JMuHGqb.jpg
 

Prepare your shim and a connecting strip of ABS that will be used to attach the two pieces together. My shim is 7” by 4”, and my strip is 1” by 5”. Yours will be different depending on your kidney armor working edge length and the width of the gap you’re closing.

 

XqSKQqu.jpg
 

 Before gluing, using the clamps, position the shim and the connecting strip on your armor to ensure that:

 

1. Edges are straight

2. Lengths are correct

3: shim will hold position on its own

 

E6000 glue needs to be left for 24 hours to dry, so you’ll want to ensure your shim will not move during that period. This step is important, ensure the shim will fit exactly how you want it before applying any glue.

 

S05g8yX.jpg

IZYpseW.jpg

 

Apply glue to one side of the the connecting strip. Holding your shim butted against your kidney armor, apply the connecting strip to the inside of your armor. Ensure the connecting strip  is evenly placed half on the working edge of your kidney armor and half on the edge of the shim.

 

once I had the shim held in place by the clamps, I used the super strength magnets to keep the shim held tightly during the drying period.

 

NrAb7RI.jpg
 

tR0AIfB.jpg
 

And now we play the waiting game. It’s recommended that E6000 be given 24 hours to dry, so make sure your armor is positioned somewhere it will not be disturbed.

 

(As stated above, this is a work in progress, so I’ll provide updates to this project as I continue working. In the mean time, any and all input is very much welcome, I’m by no means an expert and any tips or advice will benefit not only me, but anyone else this tutorial may help in the future. Thanks in advance!)

 

to be continued...

Edited by Order and Justice
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moving forward,

 

Once the E6000 had fully dried, I went ahead and did a test wear to ensure that the gap was closed and the lines were correctly, well, aligned.

 

There are different requirements for shims depending on whether you are seeking  EIB (Level 2) or Centurion (Level 3) approval, but moving forward, what remains is to create return edges on the top and bottom of the shim to match the kidney armor, and to conceal with ABS paste the line where the working edge of the kidney armor meets the shim. (And that canvas belt could use a little love too.)

 

eXySFxw.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work Trooper , if i can give a suggestion, this is the moment (working with ABS paste) when you could consider to move the Han Snap as per the CRL states fo level 3

 

CRL: A single male snap on the top right corner of the ab plate is present.

 

KJelXM2.jpg?1     DqZpPam.jpg?1

 

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent question, my armor is made by RS Prop Masters in the UK. I was very much concerned with making sure the additional ABS was the right color and the right thickness, so I went directly to the source, contacted RS, explained my situation, and asked if they would sell me a couple cards of ABS. They were kind enough to send them to me free of charge, their customer service is excellent.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I’m reactivating this thread with some newbie questions regarding Level 3 CRL specs for the ab plate. Can someone post some photos of the 3 rivets & 1 male snap placements.

Also the gap between my ab & kidney pieces is just under 1/2”. Is this OK?

  • Three rivets, approximately 5/16"(8mm) diameter, are present on the left side of the abdomen armor.
    • Note: The original rivets used for the TK armor were bifurcated rivets or split rivets.
  • Rivets are equally spaced along the depth of the armor and about 10mm from the edge.
    • The heads are rounded or domed. Note: Paperclip brads are not considered to have a domed head.
    • Rivets are painted white.
  • A single male snap on the top right corner of the ab plate is present.
Edited by Oldracer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hace 12 minutos, Oldracer dijo:

I’m reactivating this thread with some newbie questions regarding Level 3 CRL specs for the ab plate. Can someone post some photos of these details.

Also the gap between my ab & kidney pieces is just under 1/2”. Is this OK?

  • Three rivets, approximately 5/16"(8mm) diameter, are present on the left side of the abdomen armor.
    • Note: The original rivets used for the TK armor were bifurcated rivets or split rivets.
  • Rivets are equally spaced along the depth of the armor and about 10mm from the edge.
    • The heads are rounded or domed. Note: Paperclip brads are not considered to have a domed head.
    • Rivets are painted white.
  • A single male snap on the top right corner of the ab plate is present.

 

I hope this helps;)

 

4Le4CZc.png                   GrJ3mhS.png             IB7RIil.jpg

 

 

 

 

You can find more reference images in the thread below.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hace 21 minutos, Oldracer dijo:

 

Also the gap between my ab & kidney pieces is just under 1/2”. Is this OK?

 

 

Regarding the GAP:

 

-Correct for basic and L2(EI)...:duim:

 

-For L3(Centurion): Ideally there no gap between the abdomen and kidney armor. ;)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outstanding!

Do you have similar measurements for the upper right corner male snap?

Should  it be low enough to not be covered by the overlapping chest piece?

Also, measurements/location of the 2 male snaps on the bottom of the posterior armor and rivet on the bottom of the cod piece.

Referencing your top 2 photos, shouldn’t the top edges of the ab and kidney plates be aligned?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Chemi said:

 

Regarding the GAP:

 

-Correct for basic and L2(EI)...:duim:

 

-For L3(Centurion): Ideally there no gap between the abdomen and kidney armor. ;)

 

OK, I think I can achieve that. I’ve replaced all the Velcro & elastic straps with solid 1” straps & snaps. If I shorten the 4 straps at that joint from 2” to 1-1/2” and suck my gut in a bit more, I can achieve no gap.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Oldracer said:

Outstanding!

Do you have similar measurements for the upper right corner male snap?

Should  it be low enough to not be covered by the overlapping chest piece?

Also, measurements/location of the 2 male snaps on the bottom of the posterior armor and rivet on the bottom of the cod piece.

Referencing your top 2 photos, shouldn’t the top edges of the ab and kidney plates be aligned? 

@15mm-20mm 

lA0qpzp.jpg?1K473Osx.jpg?1

gallery_12157_16_24471.jpg

 

sides2.jpg.1a5a2898f5692426e22891d829fcbad7.jpg

 

 

Chest piece may cover the "Han" snap depending on your armor and size

QUDQqUx.jpg

 

 5QkSTLJ.jpg?1   gallery_12157_16_50082-cropb.jpg

Using a two snap system, starting with the posterior measure in @1-3/8" and 5/8" or so from the tip of the cod.

 

Yes ab/kidney should meet at the top

20160719125857-a1719a76-la.jpg

 

sides.jpg.73b33e639540c827ed079f14c7222159.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...