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Cali_Nole's ATA ANH Stunt First Build


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Thanks Glen!  

 

The black paint in the post above was done a few days ago, so today was coat #1 of the grey (Humbrol 5 Dark Admiralty Grey Gloss).  Please let me know what y'all think.

 

My preference is the very thin black borders.  I definitely had some "Dank Farrik!!" :6: moments where the brush didn't cooperate (always blame the tools!;)) and the black was too thin, mostly on the rear traps.  I took a close look and thankfully I didn't wipe out the black line completely in any of these areas.  I think they're still ok, but I may try to fix them tomorrow.  And I went a smidge low on the middle three teeth into the lower gums, so I'll take a toothpick dipped in mineral spirits to them as well as some other areas with wobbles.  But overall, I'm pleased with how today's paint session went.

 

Sorry, the lighting isn't great in these pics.  I'll try using the flash next time to see if the colors come out better.

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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 ra

Next stop, bucket painting.  The main references I'm using as a guide are @CableGuy's ANH Stunt - helmet painting tips thread and linked YouTube vids (what a glorious helmet!) and starswarshelmets.com

Affirmative sir!     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'l

15 minutes ago, Cali_Nole said:

 I'm thinking just the rear traps are too thin though.  Tears and front traps are ok in your opinion?

Yes the fronts look much better

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On 11/21/2020 at 8:52 PM, CableGuy said:

Lovely progress so far. Good job. :-)

Thanks Dan!  I've found your tips and vids here and on YouTube very helpful. :duim:

 

Ok, so I completed Take 2 on the tears and traps pinstriping last night.  I think they came out much better this time around.  I still have to clean up some of the outside edges of the pinstripes (photos below).

 

I also countersunk the screw holes on my ears today.  I used a 7/64" drill bit for the screw holes.  And I used a 1/4" drill bit to countersink the holes, BY HAND - no drill, just manually turned the bit by hand, as I've seen advised many times for better control.  As you can see in the photo below, I used a scrap piece of ABS to drill holes and figure out the size drill bit that would work best for me.

 

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And on a side note, saw this shirt on Amazon and I had to pick one up for myself! :cantinabandf::D

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Great advice, using a test piece of plastic to prefect the countersink

 

From memory I think my right ear was the worse to fit, trying to get the "ideal" angle of the ears, ended up slotting the holes on the backplate to move around a little.

 

Paint work is looking great 

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Thanks Glen!  Now that you mention it, one of the screw holes on my right ear doesn't align perfectly with the hole in the bucket, so it gives me a little trouble fitting the screw.  Nothing major, just have to wrestle with it a bit.  I might have to explore "slotting" that hole as a possible solution when I re-assemble.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a bit since my last post, so time for a progress report.  Been working on completing the exterior of my bucket and I think it's finished for the most part.  All in all, I'm quite pleased with how it has turned out (was nervous about hand painting).  But as always, PLEASE call out anything that doesn't look right.  :salute:  

 

Eye lenses and frown mesh:

I originally intended to go with Joseph's sugru lens mounting method, so I purchased some sugru from Joseph and then picked up some more from amazon.  Had plenty on hand in case I screwed anything up.  I really liked the way A.J. mounted his lenses using JB weld epoxy putty for his screw mounts.  Since I liked the idea of being able to remove the lenses easily, I ended up making mounts similar to his, but with sugru.  I picked up some black nylon M3 standoffs & screws to use as well.  After determining where I wanted the mounts to go around the eyes, I scuffed up the sides of the standoffs, placed them in position and placed a dollop of sugru around them and molded the sugru into place.  Then let cure for a couple of days.  I then traced out a rough template for cutting my lenses to fit.

I also used sugru to mount the frown mesh, basically rolling strips to fit between each tooth gap and then pressing the mesh into it and again letting it cure for a couple days.  

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Now, back to painting:

For rear trap, tear, and tube stripes I used TB templates.  And just for clarity, when I use left and right here, I will be referring to the wearer's left and right.  

Let's start with tube stripes.  I was able to get the template to lay pretty flat on the left side, but the right side wouldn't no matter how much I wrestled with it.  Gaps aplenty.  But I went ahead and painted, using white first to try to fill in gaps (as suggested by both Joseph and Glen).  As you can see in the pictures below, the right side which was super gappy, bled pretty bad even with the white painted on first, but I expected that.  Just too much gap to fill.  But it was easily cleaned up with mineral spirit dipped toothpicks and craft sticks (credit to Joseph for the craft stick idea; I found the flatter surface worked well for larger areas, but both worked well overall).

Right side (before cleanup on left, after cleanup on right):

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As stated above, the left tube stripe template went down flat with very minimal gaps, so with the white painted on first, there was very little paint bleed.  Great, right?  Yes, except some of the stripes decided to peel up with the template!  :6:  I'm sure it was user error on my part somehow, waited too long/not long enough, or pulled template up to quickly, but either way, I had 5 stripes either completely missing or partially missing.  At this point I also noticed that the stripes on this side started further back than on the right side, and I wasn't happy with that either.  Dank Ferrik!

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Initially, I was going to just strip off this side completely and start over, since I had another set of templates.  No way was I going to be able to free hand tube stripes!  But after some back and forth in my head, I figured I would try free handing the missing and partially missing stripes (and add one more stripe toward the front to even up both sides.  This would actually put me at 15 stripes per side).  And since mineral spirit dipped toothpicks and crafts sticks had become my friends, I could clean them up that way.  After all, I could still strip them off and start over if not satisfied with the results.  I also decided to fill in some small blemishes on the right side as well.  I was NOT confident in this AT ALL and fully expected to strip the left side and start over BUT..............after cleanup and shaping with the toothpicks, in my humble opinion, I think they turned out pretty well!  Waaaaay better than I expected them to! :)  But before more pics, I wanted to quickly address....

Rear trap and tear stripes:  Rear trap templates both went down pretty flat for me, no issues, very minimal, minor paint bleed, which I just carefully painted over with gray.  Right tear template had no issues, with zero paint bleed.  I did experience issues with the left tear templates.  It would lay flat, with minimal gaps, but would slowly lift up a little while painting.  The stripes were really sloppy after the first try, so painted gray over them and used the second template, with the same results.  This time I carefully added gray just to clean up the stripes and, while they weren't as clean as the tear stripes on the right, the results were satisfactory to me.

 

Whew!!  Thanks for bearing with my long windedness, pics below are how the exterior of the bucket looks now.  To reiterate, I'm very happy with how it all turned out, but am ALWAYS open for critique and ways to improve upon what I have so far!  Thanks in advance Troopers!  :smiley-sw013:

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Oh...posting the pics reminded me of a question I had.  My Humbrol 22 gloss white looks more creamy eggshell than white (ear screws).  It also smelled horribly and needed to be mixed much more than the other colors.  Does this sound normal, or perhaps I have a bad batch?  I'm thinking I may have to pick up another tin to repaint the ear screws and for the other hardware on the armor.  :salute:

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10 minutes ago, Cali_Nole said:

Oh...posting the pics reminded me of a question I had.  My Humbrol 22 gloss white looks more creamy eggshell than white (ear screws).  It also smelled horribly and needed to be mixed much more than the other colors.  Does this sound normal, or perhaps I have a bad batch?  I'm thinking I may have to pick up another tin to repaint the ear screws and for the other hardware on the armor.  :salute:

Nice work. I found the Humbrol 22 is too cream in color compared to the helmet/armor color so I use a general white spray paint, just spray a little into the cap, wait for it to thicken a little when drying then apply.

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Thank you Glen!  And yeah, that was my thought on the Humbrol 22 as well, just wasn't sure if it was normal.  Roger that, I did the same with the spray plastic-dip on the interior...sprayed some onto a plastic tray and brushed on for a couple minor touch ups.  Thank you for the tip, I'll discontinue use of the 22.

 

And just for an additional reference for anyone interested, here's what the Humbrol 22 looked like on a larger area...definitely looks cream, custard, eggshell, etc. :blink:

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Your bucket job looks great! Great perseverance with your paint challenges as well! In case it ever becomes necessary again, Cricket uses a sponge application method with tube strips stencils, and her results have been pretty good.

As for the white screw-head paint, you may also consider trying Testors gloss white enamel paint, either in the tiny bottles or spray form.


Sent via Imperial Tapatalk Comms

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26 minutes ago, MaskedVengeance said:

Your bucket job looks great! Great perseverance with your paint challenges as well! In case it ever becomes necessary again, Cricket uses a sponge application method with tube strips stencils, and her results have been pretty good.

As for the white screw-head paint, you may also consider trying Testors gloss white enamel paint, either in the tiny bottles or spray form.

Thanks Caleb, much appreciated!  Funny you mention Cricket's sponge technique.  After reading one of her build threads, I had every intention of employing that method.  Bought a makeup sponge while compiling my supplies (and I'm sure I looked as lost as can be in the Target makeup aisle!).  Then after painting everything else, the brushes just felt more comfortable to me.  But on my next lid, I'll probably revisit the idea...and I already have the sponge! ;)  Oh and thanks for the white paint tip as well!

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1 hour ago, tat2trooper said:

Good job bro. Now I want to hand paint my stripes once I get to my helmet work.

Thanks David!  I was back and forth between hand painting and decals, I seriously doubted my ability to paint to my liking.  But I'm glad I went with hand painting for my lid, turned out much better than I expected it to.  And the imperfections add a little character, in my opinion!  :duim:

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  • 1 month later...

So I've procrastinated long enough, back to the build!  My last post was finishing off the exterior of the helmet.  This post:

1.  Helmet interior

2.  Biceps (with potential issues)

 

1.  Helmet interior

Nothing spectacular or ground breaking here, installed padding and fans.  For padding I just used a basic helmet padding set from Amazon and supplemented it with a 1" strip of "high density" foam from Joann's, as my eyelashes were hitting the eye lenses so I needed a bit thicker padding along my forehead.  Below pictures show the foam before and after wrapping it with some black cloth.  All are simply velcroed in place.  I picked up fans, fan bracket and battery pack from Ukswrath, and used velcro to mount those as well.

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2.  Biceps (uncertainties ahead :shok: Requesting opinions and advice please!)

So started off by cutting the excess flash, molding etc. using a combination of lexan and utility blade (sorry, got carried away and forgot to snap pics of the process).  As this is just a preliminary trimming, I left quite a bit of return edge on the biceps parts.  I was just aiming for enough to tape them together to get an initial fitting done.  As you'll see in the pics below, when cutting the straight edges along the butt joint surfaces (the flat surfaces the coverstrips will mount too), I only cut to 15mm on both sides.  This gave me 30mm total coverstrip surface, double the "standard" 15mm for the biceps.  As you can also see in the photos below, as has been noted in many other ATA builds, the shapes of the biceps are much different from one arm to the other at the elbow end.  The right is circular, whereas the left is oval, almost squared.  I took a rough measurement of the outside circumference and came up with about 37cm for the right, about 35cm for the left.

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And then came first fitting.  As I mentioned above, I cut to where the needed coverstrips would be 30mm, which I thought was plenty conservative.  And....that's what I get for thinking.  As you can see in the photo below, the smaller left bicep didn't even make it past my forearm.

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Below is the right bicep, the more rounded one.  At least I was able to get this one up onto my bicep, it's a snug fit.

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Here are my initial thoughts and would LOVE feedback as always:

1.  I left a good amount of return edge.  I'm thinking the first thing I need to do is go to ZERO return edge on both biceps.  This should give me a little more room.

2.  I think I may need to shorten the biceps lengthwise (top to bottom) a little bit.  Taking off ALL return edges should shorten them a couple mm's.  But I think I'll wait on any other "shortening" until later when other arms parts are fitted?

3.  The goofy left bicep will at the very least need a hot bath treatment after I remove the return edges, I believe.  Hopefully, rounding out the elbow side will help, but I'm doubtful it will help enough.  Worst case, maybe contact ATA and see if I can get another set of biceps and try going with two "right" sides?  I believe this would be acceptable, since the biceps are interchangeable from what I understand?

4.  Coverstrips.  I figured I would probably have to go with wider than 15mm coverstrips for the biceps, but did not foresee needing to double it to 30mm.  But I'm not sure I have a choice?  Will this be an approval issue for any levels?  And I'm guessing this will have a ripple effect on the rest of my coverstrip widths.  It will probably be necessary again on the forearms, but then would it look funny if the leg coverstrips are narrower than the arms?  I don't think I'll have this same issue with legs, as my legs aren't very thick.  Aaaaaaaaaaa!

 

On a less stressful note, just wanted to end this post by sharing the Imperial goods I received for Sithmas:

 

Hey Caleb (@MaskedVengeance), I got one of these too! :smiley-sw013::laugh1:

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Chrome plated plastic decals:

 

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Nice LEGO TK, Paul! And nice progress with your build. In regards to your questions, here are my thoughts, which are essentially in agreement with yours.

 

1. Definitely take the bicep return edges down. You can remove them completely on the tops since they’ll be covered by the shoulder bells, and you can shave off in increments (and retesting) on the bottoms if you really want to maintain some armor “thickness.”

 

2. Wait on shortening the biceps until you have at least all your arm pieces on, if not also your torso. You’ll want to get a sense of proportions and spacing between pieces.

 

3. A hot water bath and reforming will be most effective with all, or almost all, of the return edges removed. You should be able to form it to your liking with multiple water baths.

 

4. One way you can minimize widening cover strips is to utilize shims. They supposedly take a lot of effort, but can have excellent results. You could also try using more canon width measurements on the front-facing strips, then widen them in the rear-facing ones. I believe that the raised ridges where the cover strips are to be situated on ATA biceps can actually be removed, since screen references don’t have them, just like the ridges on the rear calves. Such removal would assist with shimming, I would think, and hopefully other ATA builders can chime in on this. As you state, you’ll want all the front-facing strips to be relatively proportional to each other. Reaching out to your GML May also provide you with insight to what he or she will be wanting to see.

 

Hope this helps. As I said, these thoughts are pretty much what you already had in mind, so hopefully this affirms your thinking.

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Your input is appreciated as always, Caleb!  Yeah, I was reeeeally hoping to avoid shims, but it might be the best way to go.  Almost seems counter intuitive to trim more off, only to add material with shims, but I do understand the concept.  It's really the only way to reduce, or eliminate, the coverstrip ridges in order to reduce the coverstrip width.  I just don't wanna!:laugh1:  But I agree, I can start with 1. and 3. and then reevaluate from there.

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I'd try to remove most of your return edge until deciding on coverstrip width, we do try to keep them standard sized on the front  as that's what is what the public sees, also would match up with your forearms so there is that to consider.

 

Note: a lot of screen armor had little to no return edge

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