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Cali_Nole

Cali_Nole's ATA ANH Stunt First Build

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Hello Troopers,

 

First off, thanks to anyone checking out my build thread.  I'll preface this by saying this will be a marathon, not a sprint.  I'm not gonna give myself a timeframe, I'd rather take my time and see how it goes, but I do plan to build towards Centurion from the start.  As it's my first build, I'll be sure to ask plenty of questions here when I get stuck, which I'm pretty sure will be often.  I feel no matter how much research you do, it's still going to be an eye opener once you get your hands on the shiny, white armor for the first time!  

 

Here's a link to my new member intro in case anyone wants to take a look:

 

So after a few weeks of research and due diligence, I decided to go with an ATA helmet + armor kit.  Was added to the waiting list on 8/16 and got an email yesterday (coincidentally, my bday!) that my kit was next and would be finished in a few days time.  Needless to say, I was PUMPED!:jc_doublethumbup:  So BBB day should be coming in the next week or two, I'll be sure to update when that day arrives.  

 

Since I don't have my kit quite yet, I spent August pouring over build threads, tutorials, etc. and stocking up on tools & supplies and some soft goods.  I have already ordered an E-11 Blaster from Quest Design Canada on Etsy (thanks to @Firedog for feedback regarding his blaster) but that's still about 6 weeks out.  I've also purchased my holster and neck seal from DarmansProps, still waiting on those as well.

 

I believe a build thread can't have too many pictures, so below are a few I have so far.

 Imperial Boots 421's, received in early August:  :dancing-trooper:

SBRpFS7.jpg?1 

 

TD clips and Hovi Mix tips from @ukswrath's Etsy shop (thanks Tony!  these are fantastic!)

llGQNDD.jpg

 

I'm unsure if I'm going to fully handpaint my helmet or use "handpainted" look decals, so I ordered a full set of Humbrol paints AND a set of Dave M helmet decals from Trooperbay.  I figure I'll see how the helmet build goes and then decide when I get there, but both options will be available to me when the time comes.  Of course if I use the decals, I'll need the paints for frown, ears, vocoder, ab buttons, screw tops and rivet tops anyway. 

twlASbB.jpg

 

Here's some miscellaneous tools/supplies (line 24 snaps, snap setter/anvil, some blind pop rivets that came with my hand riveter, lexan scissors, utility knife, etc.):

jLmUlBD.jpg

 

And last weekend, decided to get my feet wet with snaps, since snap setting is entirely new to me.  I referenced @justjoseph63 Snaps 101 thread (many thanks already to Joseph for all the SUPER helpful newbie threads and also a shout out to @MaskedVengeancefor his Index of Resources), but I also tried a method mentioned by @gmrhodes13 of using a phillips head screwdriver prior to the snap setter to kind of score the post.  In the pic below, on the male snap plates you might be able to see I tried each method on a couple of the plates.  Not sure which I prefer yet after only a few snaps, but where scoring the post first made a HUGE difference was the female snap post.  I only attempted two, the first one without scoring the post is on the left and I completely butchered that one, post flattened out sideways.  Used the screwdriver scoring on the the one on the right and it worked almost perfectly.  I'll play around with more snaps this weekend and I'm sure I'll get the hang of it more with additional practice:

oTsE0QR.jpg

 

And lastly, for this update, since I had to drag a barstool from the kitchen into the garage for snaps practice, I realized the "need" for a garage stool.  And since I realized this "need" in the early stages of TK armor building, well then, why would I not get this one:  :laugh1::smiley-sw013:

i1jc0dc.jpg

 

Stay tuned for Episode II....BBB day, coming soon!!! 

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Super excited to see you start your build! Something I recommend doing is checking other people’s build threads. AJ’s thread is basically the go to at this point because of his very in-depth process of recording and describing things in great detail.

https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/40831-ajs-of-am-20-build/

I’m still working on my first set of armor, but something I’ve been doing as is looking at pre-approvals for all levels. That way I can more easily see where people go wrong and how to fix them.

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You are definitely starting out on the right foot, Paul.  And by that I mean being organized!  (I'm kinda' OCD when it comes to that, lol).  Great to see that you started a build thread, and the one main suggestion I can offer at this point is to ask questions if you have any doubts about a particular issue before cutting or gluing... and add photos.  Lots of em'.  No question is "too small" and there's no such thing as too many pics.  Trust me.

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One tip I learned on the snap setting was to let the weight of the hammer do the work, barely tapping them. When I started, I thought more force would be necessary, but this resulted in misaligned snaps.

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7 hours ago, TheDecisiveRaindrop said:

Super excited to see you start your build! Something I recommend doing is checking other people’s build threads. AJ’s thread is basically the go to at this point because of his very in-depth process of recording and describing things in great detail.

https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/40831-ajs-of-am-20-build/

I’m still working on my first set of armor, but something I’ve been doing as is looking at pre-approvals for all levels. That way I can more easily see where people go wrong and how to fix them.

Thanks for the advice JR.  I've already been reading up on build threads (mostly ATA builds), but I had not checked out AJ's yet.  I will definitely do so, much appreciated.

 

I've also already made a habit of viewing approval/pre-approval requests, trying to see if I can spot potential issues before seeing what the experts have to say.  Still an amateur, but definitely learning a lot from it.  Thanks again JR!  

 

4 hours ago, justjoseph63 said:

You are definitely starting out on the right foot, Paul.  And by that I mean being organized!  (I'm kinda' OCD when it comes to that, lol).  Great to see that you started a build thread, and the one main suggestion I can offer at this point is to ask questions if you have any doubts about a particular issue before cutting or gluing... and add photos.  Lots of em'.  No question is "too small" and there's no such thing as too many pics.  Trust me.

I can totally relate to the OCD, Joseph!  But I can see where that can potentially help with this hobby.  I take all the advice I can get to heart, so questions and photos will be plentiful for sure.  :duim:

 

3 hours ago, Firedog said:

One tip I learned on the snap setting was to let the weight of the hammer do the work, barely tapping them. When I started, I thought more force would be necessary, but this resulted in misaligned snaps.

Yeah, I was pounding away pretty violently with the hammer.  I was also using a 4x4 block of wood under the anvil, so with a combination of too much force and soft wood underneath, the anvil was sinking into the wood and not staying level.  I've since picked up a steel bench block to place under my anvil and will be mindful of not "jackhammering".  Much appreciated Shawn. 

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Very cool stool. I have the same one. Looking forward to seeing your armor take shape. Soon you will be part of the Central California Garrison. :smiley-sw013:

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No BBB just yet, but USPS has an ETA of this Friday for the big day! :D  So this is a less exciting update.  Round two of snap plates last weekend went much better, made 20 double snap plates in the time it took to make 4 in my initial attempt.  Biggest key was having a steel bench block with soft plastic base (circular unit with orange on bottom in photo below) to provide a solid platform, which allowed for the weight of the hammer to do all the work (thanks again for the tip on this, Shawn @Firedog).  About 4 light hammer strikes per snap and...done!  Using a soldering iron also made quick, easy work of hole punching and edge sealing.

 

Oh, and also thanks again to JR (@TheDecisiveRaindrop) for linking AJ's build thread.  Wow.  So many great nuggets to take away and possibly incorporate into my build.

 

9oUxDYr.jpg

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No BBB just yet, but USPS has an ETA of this Friday for the big day!   So this is a less exciting update.  Round two of snap plates last weekend went much better, made 20 double snap plates in the time it took to make 4 in my initial attempt.  Biggest key was having a steel bench block with soft plastic base (circular unit with orange on bottom in photo below) to provide a solid platform, which allowed for the weight of the hammer to do all the work (thanks again for the tip on this, Shawn [mention=37688]Firedog[/mention]).  About 4 light hammer strikes per snap and...done!  Using a soldering iron also made quick, easy work of hole punching and edge sealing.
 
Oh, and also thanks again to JR ([mention=36996]TheDecisiveRaindrop[/mention]) for linking AJ's build thread.  Wow.  So many great nuggets to take away and possibly incorporate into my build.
 
9oUxDYr.jpg&key=e2d9904bb6b1f907ca19ad3b7b045e6cc528ce309ffb1f635da88582f368aadb

With the strapping for my build, I doubled up on the fabric. Basically taking a 2x2 in nylon piece, glue it, fold it, and have the folded edge face the direction where it will have the most stress.d6e026a291317bc525a5aa8c3638ee6e.jpg


Also glad I could help with your build by providing the link, it is a very good thread :P
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Looking good! I ended up picking up a small anvil from Harbor Freight for around $14. It made snap setting a breeze.

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Well, today was finally BBB day!!!!  And USPS was kind enough to deliver my holster and neck seal from DarmansProps along with the BBBs, so it was Christmas in September!  Things just got VERY real, lol.  I know it's a common initial reaction, but I'll still say it...I opened things up and thought "OH MY LORD VADER, what have I gotten myself into?"  Feeling pretty intimidated right now, but I know the fantastic resources and guidance from the awesome troopers of the FISD will help me see things through.  I have a somewhat busy weekend, but I WILL find some time to dive in...and I can't wait to get things started!  All comments and advice are welcome!

 

So I've babbled enough, on with the photos!

BKF3xr9.jpgW1a1lad.jpg

 

I kind of underestimated the amount of space I would need to lay out all the pieces, lol.  I know it's a Big Brown Box and all, but it seemed bottomless as I unpacked it. :shok:

I didn't try to match up rights and lefts just yet.  I'll do that when I start working on them.  The shins were marked R and L, so at least I won't have to figure those out. :duim:  Just wanted to make sure everything was present and accounted for.  Looks like it's all there, but please let me know if it looks like anything's missing.  Thanks Troopers!

zwozKAU.jpg      TUf5Sts.jpg

 

As I said above, hopeful to get started on actual building this weekend.  I plan on starting with the TD.  Seems like fairly simple cuts to get used to working with ABS and also some glueing to get used to working with the E6000.  

 

One question in regards to the TD:

If I'm not able to source gray pipe, is there a specific shade of gray paint required?  Gloss or matte?  I think I remember reading where someone just used gray primer?  Thank you!

 

 

Edited by Cali_Nole

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Nothing more exciting as a BBB on your doorstep

 

For the TD I used some grey primer and coated with gloss clear, worked well as I had them handy. Anything similar to the grey (Humbrol No5) you use on your helmet would be fine. 

 

This thread will help with return edges:

 

https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/48166-return-edges-101-ottk/

 

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24 minutes ago, gmrhodes13 said:

Nothing more exciting as a BBB on your doorstep

 

For the TD I used some grey primer and coated with gloss clear, worked well as I had them handy. Anything similar to the grey (Humbrol No5) you use on your helmet would be fine. 

 

This thread will help with return edges:

 

https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/48166-return-edges-101-ottk/

 

 

Thanks Glen!  Since I already have some rust-oleum gray self etching primer, if I'm not able to source the gray pipe, I'll probably go this route.

 

I have read the return edges 101, along with most of the 101s to be honest.  All great info.  I've pretty much decided on removing most of the return edges, except where they are required to remain.  But I will most definitely re-read it prior to trimming.  And I'll be sure do "rough" trimming first and throw photos up here for comments before getting carried away!  :salute:

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11 minutes ago, Cali_Nole said:

 

Thanks Glen!  Since I already have some rust-oleum gray self etching primer, if I'm not able to source the gray pipe, I'll probably go this route.

 

I have read the return edges 101, along with most of the 101s to be honest.  All great info.  I've pretty much decided on removing most of the return edges, except where they are required to remain.  But I will most definitely re-read it prior to trimming.  And I'll be sure do "rough" trimming first and throw photos up here for comments before getting carried away!  :salute:

 

Nice to hear you've been doing your research, many don't unfortunately.

 

When in doubt ask or check the Gallery sections, lots of great references there.

 

Looking forward to seeing the progress, good luck

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Thermal Detonator #1

 

As always, please feel free to chime in with comments or concerns.

 

Ok, managed to find a little time today to work on the TD caps and control panel.  I realized as I was working, I was forgetting to take photos.  I'll try to take more as I continue on.  Most of you know, but I'll mention anyway, ATA caps and control panel come untrimmed and are made to fit a 2" diameter pipe (from what I understand, a little smaller than other kits).  I was able to pick up some white 2" PVC pipe, but work on that will be next weekend.  I used the reference below as a measurement guide.  I also borrowed some tricks from Caleb's (MaskedVengeance) build thread.

 

A1eizlL.jpg

 

Caps were first.  No photos, but I marked a line at 20mm with a pencil and used lexan scissors to trim away excess, a few mm short of my line.  I then added tape from the guideline to the top of the cap, leaving the few mm's I needed to trim exposed.  First I used a Dremel, with 60 grit sanding barrel to knock down the excess to 1mm or less from the edge of the tape.  I then used a 180 grit sanding sponge, followed by 220 grit paper to finish off.  

RUwzhsq.jpg JLqK3sd.jpg   

 

Control Panel came next.  First was removing the side "bulbs" (my made up name for them).  For the left side in the photo below, I cut as far as I could to the left while still clearing the raised bulb, so that the entire length of control panel is flat.  I eyeball centered the piece between lines on my cutting mat and used a piece of tape aligned with vertical lines on the mat to create a somewhat straight, perpendicular line as a cut line.  Not sure if this is the best/easiest method, but it came to me and I went with it.  I then added a few more layers of tape so my cut line had a raised edge.  Used the x-acto knife to lightly score first, two or three passes, then used the utility knife for a couple more passes and snapped away.  Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of the taping process, just the end result below.  For the other side (right side), I measured about 124mm from the left edge, marked about 4 points along the arc with pencil and then added tape to connect the dots and create the cut line.  The reference photo above shows 122mm, but I went a couple additional mm's for when I clean up the edges.  Used the same x-acto, utility knife and snap method.

 

For the top and bottom cuts, I used a tailor's tape around the arc.  At one end, I started the tape measure as far as I could go to where the curve reverses to the flat trim (hope that makes sense) and made a pencil mark, stretched the tape around arc to the top and made another mark.  Repeated for the other end.  I then clamped a metal ruler (again, no photos, sorry) connecting the marks on the right and left to use as a cut line and again, used the score and snap method.

 

The photo reference above lists 95mm from top to bottom of the arc, however with the ATA control panel, there was only 90mm, I'm assuming due to these being made for 2" diameter pipe.  I'm also assuming this will be ok for approval since it should still be proportional and the reference photo measurements are approximate.

 

AY5HMip.jpg?1

 

Today's end results.  The edges of the control panel are still very rough, I didn't have time for sanding and cleaning them up.  That will happen next time.  I didn't set it up with this in mind, but when I was taking the below photo, it looked like a face.  So...I added eyeballs.  Probably matches the look on my face working with ABS today for the first time.  :laugh1:

 

0P6OKPe.jpg

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Great to see you have done your homework, the TD is one of those things I just don't like with my ATA, a lot smaller than other makers, one day I suppose I should update and purchase from another supplier.

 

Nice work so far.

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It definitely helps knowing what to expect before getting started.  Even then, the unexpected is sure to pop up every so often.  I couldn't even imaging trying to do this without research. 

 

Thanks so much, Glen.  It was both nerve-wracking AND exciting finally putting scissors and blades to plastic!

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Only had a little bit of time to work on the kit this evening, so instead of TD work, I figured I'd do a little bit more slicing and dicing.  Decided to do the rough cuts of the ABS belt, thigh ammo belt, belt rivet covers and ab button plates.  It's not much, but at least it was another small step in the right direction.

 

So again, ATA kits come entirely untrimmed:

LNgIrIX.jpg

 

Since these were all straight line cuts, I used score and snap for all.  On the underside / inside of all the pieces, the corners are really nice and sharp (tried to capture that in the photo below).  These provided perfect grooves to guide the blades for scoring.

FWEglyL.jpg

 

Scored and snapped below.  Again these are just the initial rough trimmings to get rid of the extra pull material.  I will size and clean them up at a later time.  And yes, I will be sure not to round the corners on the ab button plates.  ;)

V4ezpaj.jpg

 

Edited by Cali_Nole
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6 minutes ago, Cali_Nole said:

And yes, I will be sure not to round the corners on the ab button plates.  ;)

Someone's done their homework ;)

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22 minutes ago, gmrhodes13 said:

Someone's done their homework ;)

Affirmative sir!  :salute:

 

If there were a top 10 of most common missed details on approvals, that would have to be near the top.  Along with fully painting ATA ab buttons to the edges.  I KNOW I'll miss my share of details, but hoping to avoid some of the common ones for sure.

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Love that eyeball face. Haha. Nice work. I plan on posting Part 2 of my TD build hopefully on Monday, as it is mostly drafted now, and I just need to finish and add in some graphics. And surprise surprise, there will actually be a Part 3 once I get feedback on a TD clip question I have.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, MaskedVengeance said:

Love that eyeball face. Haha. Nice work. I plan on posting Part 2 of my TD build hopefully on Monday, as it is mostly drafted now, and I just need to finish and add in some graphics. And surprise surprise, there will actually be a Part 3 once I get feedback on a TD clip question I have.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was hoping someone would get a little chuckle out of that. :P

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2 hours ago, Cali_Nole said:

I was hoping someone would get a little chuckle out of that.

I'm still laughing :laugh1: it looks like me when making a review.  :laugh1:  

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