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OddViking327

Oddviking's ANH Stunt build - AM 4.5

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Okay, I trimmed down the knee a little, and it feels better (not completely away from the knee, but the calf is too fitted to get it forward completely with padding). I will see how it goes with some walking once I have it all on:

C7CMY1f.jpg

 

Neck seal: I bought a nice neck seal from Imperial Boots, the ribbed section is soft leather. It looked good, but was a little loose on my neck, causing it to bow out on the sides a little. The easy fix was to hand-sew a second 1" strip of velcro next to the existing one, allowing it to close tighter. Now it fits better, yet still soft enough to easily move my head around without it feeling tight:

pnwJxpD.jpg

 

I used A.J.'s "hinge closure" method for the left side of the ab. I love learning new tricks, and clamping a block of wood behind the closure and drilling through it in-place was a great solution (main holes were pre-drilled, and then taped the two sides together lined up, drilling was just through the "hinge"). He used some caps to cover his split rivets (to keep them from possibly catching on the under suit, they are quite sharp). I didn't have those, but just did a quick sanding pass with a Dremel, and then squeezed a little white E-6000 around those sharp corners to give them a little rubbery cover:

Loy5IAw.jpg

 

I am getting closer to done, hopefully by Halloween to attend my little 6-year-old as Vader. Here is what is done on the build:

- Helmet [all but Hovi tips and sound system]

- Thighs and thigh strapping

- Shins

- Ab section

- Butt and Cod

- Belt 

- Neck seal

- Biceps

- Forearms

- Hand-painted button plates

...and lots of partially complete bits on the rest

 

Total: 45 hours so far

 

Left to do:

- helmet interior electronics (UKSwrath speaker system, SHA environmental system), USB fans I am throwing together

- Thermal Detonator

- Gloves and hand plates (both styles, regular with Nomex, and flexible with chem gloves for Centurion)

- Mount Shoulder bridges and elastic

- Shoulder bells

- Mount Holster

- Glue button plates

- Belt Boxes mounted

- Arm strapping

- Reinforce inside edges and corners (just a few places I see cracks on the originals, but open to suggestions from people as to where)

- Fill and sand, and glue, and build my blaster (ImperialArms3D new V3 E-11 blaster kit)

- Final fitting and adjustments

 

 

Edited by OddViking327
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Nice progress and excellent mod to your neck seal! I also love your imagery formatting. You have your work cut out for the next two weeks!


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Belt boxes: 

I took another tip from A.J.'s build, and cut some scraps of oak to glue inside, for weight, but also for another reason. Everyone glues these, which is what I will also eventually do once in their approved position, but for now, I wanted to have a more adjustable system until I am satisfied. So First I ground the inner box edges until it would fit nicely in the outer, and then clamped and glued the oak inside with E6000. Once cured overnight, I then glued the boxes closed with even more E6000. The oak was not as deep as the gap, which is fine, but I wanted it to be mounted to the inside face, so that I could drill into it and then mount the elastic with short fat wood screws. Because I don't want any protruding screw head bumping into the armor, or pushing them out in any way, I ground the heads more flat on a belt sander. One was ground too much, causing it to strip out when screwing it in, so you do need to leave enough of the phillips slot. Then, fit the elastic, screwed it into the backs of the boxes, and before gluing the straps to the belt, for now, they are stitched to the edge of it (a curved needle makes this easier/ possible).

xGr1TaY.jpg

 

So they hang in the "right" location, depending on your judge. Some want it flush to the outside edge, some to the cut corner, it appears. My temporary method will allow me to adjust them without pulling any glue. I can tighten them up by removing the screws, and moving the back strap holes. I can clip the threads and scoot it over. Once it is good, I will E6000 it all in place, with the screws then serving as failsafes.

Let me know if any of you have more insight as to the best spot.

Edited by OddViking327

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The drop boxes should be aligned with the very end of the plastic belt, as the CRL states (for L3):

“Drop boxes are vertically aligned with the end of the ammo belt with minimal gap between belt and box.”

Vertically, you might be within the tolerances, though your photo angle doesn’t give a head-on perspective to confirm.


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Okay, I shifted my boxes over, and then tightened the elastic to raise them to be closer to the belt:

VqcFTq8.jpg

 

On my shoulders, I am doing the slight curved edge (rather than straight), to match the originals, and to help close the black gap between the shoulder and chest & back plates:

2oTVHbZ.jpg

 

Soon I am attaching the elastic between my arm pieces, and I plan to use the more movie-accurate alignment that @CableGuy has found (based on the RS suit, and screen captures) that does not align to the cover strips as builders usually do. You can see in the RS gallery a spot where it is folded over, and clearly shows the mounting locations as not aligning those strips. He has a full video showing his findings, but this is what it looks like:

17mHhJQ.png

 

Video link:

Cable Guy's arm alignment

Edited by OddViking327
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Okay, I shifted my boxes over, and then tightened the elastic to raise them to be closer to the belt:
VqcFTq8.jpg&key=72945f241da6dc51bd193960c2bf6fe33c82e39493ec553bf07a6d2a971bf605
 
On my shoulders, I am doing the slight curved edge (rather than straight), to match the originals, and to help close the black gap between the shoulder and chest & back plates:
2oTVHbZ.jpg&key=65ab4233687b0097cf8428a486f73aaad7b4054fc2fc9edf521b95a39f1ddd4a
 
Soon I am attaching the elastic between my arm pieces, and I plan to use the more movie-accurate alignment that [mention=31976]CableGuy[/mention] has found (based on the


Drop boxes look great. As do the shoulder bells. :-)

Glad the video helped.

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Nice work you can move your outside rivets a little closer to the end if you wanted

VqcFTq8.jpg&key=72945f241da6dc51bd193960

 

Screen used are off center and closer to the ends of the plastic belt section

GjSdCiW.jpg?1&key=55a2b5725847be03db444fyp9XgX5.jpg?1&key=578484fc01ebe8db5b17c4lA0qpzp.jpg?1&key=f2a491bd31b4c10770fdbd

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@gmrhodes13 thanks, the plastic isn't as tight to the belt as I would like, so that may fix it. I drilled where there was an impression mark on the kit. I will cut the covers, and see where I can place an additional one closer to the edge, and cover both with the plastic cover.

 

I have mounted the shoulder bridges, shaped the back to fit them better, and sewn on my shoulder snap, and more work on the helmet electronics. It's all coming together.

Edited by OddViking327
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Okay, I shifted the side rivets on the belt over (actually just removed the cap on the existing ones, and then drilled one that could fit under the cover, and the cover would still conceal the previous hole). Looks great, and keeps the sides of the belt even more flush on my sides:

k0Z3m66.jpg

 

I took some time to finish the helmet, I had been waiting to remove the ears one more time, to install one of @ukswrath's SHA environmental systems (the mic goes under the ear bumps on each side), and the speaker system that comes with speaker Hovi tips, an amp, mic, and an iCOM box. I also added a pair of fans, powered off of a thin (but tall) dual USB power pack with two in-line switches that turned out to be larger than they looked. I have a larger head, and there was a LOT to fit in there. But I put a stripe of 2" white fuzzy velcro around the back, and kept re-arranging and moving things until they finally fit. An hour of cord management later, and it all works!

xLdzi05.jpg

 

Finalizing the arms. I may end up not using the bicep hooks, as they don't quite keep the bicep in the right spot. I will opt for elastic between the bicep and shoulder to keep the ridges lined up. I have longer arms, even for my height. Usually arm span and height are close, but my height is 72.5" (or 184cm), arm span is 75" (190.5cm). This is going to give me larger gaps on the arms somewhere, either at the elbow, or at the wrist. I just glued in the elastic connectors, sort of splitting the difference between the two pics here:

ScsKUoC.jpg

 

I will try it all on again tomorrow, hopefully it was glued as intended, and looks great. I also finished my thermal detonator, and mounted the holster I got from Darman's Props, so the last things are the think white elastic that keeps the shoulder bridges down (mine fit great without though!), gluing the rubber hand plates (pictured above are the plastic for basic approval and fitting), and the whole blaster project (3D printed by Imperial Arms 3D, I have lots of 3D finishing experience) that I need to start. Final stretch, as long as it all works well enough in the fitting tomorrow. I have been getting up at 5:30 am for weeks and weeks to get some shop time around my two young kids, I look forward to sleeping in soon.

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Great work on the belt, one thing you could remove some excess material from the top and bottom

k0Z3m66.jpg&key=4b23b2c8e564394bc3b1345d

Nvimd6R.jpg?1&key=696f0ee7cbb84d2249a0b8gallery_12157_59_162657.jpg

 

Normally try to get the same gap at the elbow as the wrist, gives a better appearance. I don't use bicep hooks, many screen troopers didn't either, if they are sitting just right go without ;) 

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I have been getting up at 5:30 am for weeks and weeks to get some shop time around my two young kids, I look forward to sleeping in soon.

Nice progress! I hear ya on the early mornings; I’ve been doing 5:00/5:30am rising since I had to stop with the 3:00am bedtimes. Fit the build time in where we can, especially around kids schedules; can’t compromise family time.


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@gmrhodes13 It would be tricky to trim that part of the belt now, because I had used that height to line up with the button plates. If I were to trim it, it would sit below them. In several builds they had measurements of the width, and mine seemed to be consistent with those. At this point, I would prefer it lined up with the button plates rather than drill out and move the snaps.

 

 

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Flexible hand plates: 

      I glued the flexible hand plates, and used a piece of wooden shingle inside to keep the gloves stretched for glueing. The instructions mention keeping pressure with books, but I thought a few books AND a 55 pound anvil would do the trick. It seemed to adhere well:

v6ngDev.jpg

 

Shoulder bridge Keeper loops:

These 1/4" white elastic keepers that go over the backs of the shoulder bridges seem like a thing that will need replacing at some point, so rather than glue them on, I opted to hand sew them to my shoulder elastic. First I made a complete loop, and then tacked the sides to the straps. This way, if they do end up stretching out, it will be very easy to remove and replace them:

5lNJv0O.jpg

 

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Trying it all on to test-fit:

I realized excitedly, that once I mounted one more thing, the whole set would be ready to test-fit this morning! Because of my arm length, I ended up mounting the biceps to the shoulder with elastic and velcro (adjustable), and will be removing the bicep hooks. I tried it all on, and it fits really well, and all of the gaps I was keeping tight ended up staying tight (shoulder gaps, thigh to cod gaps (Note: some Mirror photos, I flipped some of them back to correct, but ab buttons and holster might appear "backwards"):

XT4aqQM.jpg

 

The back plate lower edge had been heated and shaped so it stays close in, and the arm gaps all look good to me too:

M4qClu2.jpg

 

I am one happy trooper! I have my blaster to complete, but as it is not required for basic approval, I may be taking approval photos soon!

ZpKG42D.jpg

 

Edited by OddViking327
fixed mirror photos
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