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TFU TK Build 85421


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With the warmer weather coming up and cabin fever well set in I thought it was time to break open a box and get to work cutting up some ABS.


This build was going to be a TFU Commander but since there has been work on the CRL for a standard TFU Stormtrooper I thought I'd start here then convert it to a Commander later.


I've had a couple of ATA helmets sitting around for some time so I'll use one of those and also have a set of RS armor which was part payment of a commission build.


First up tape the outside ready for some satin black, I like the interior dark, helps stop light reflections inside the helmet so  people have no chance seeing your eyes.




Now let's see if I remember how to do this, let's tackle the helmet first, everyone loves ears ;) 


Get the basic trimming out of the way and start aligning.



ATA helmets are a bit of work to get sitting just right, the right side is a little shorter and the backplate higher so it takes some wiggling.


I normally throw a couple of screws in to get everything sitting right.



On to everyone's favorites, ears. Rough trim done and adjusting to suit.





Getting the angle just right, we know how these DO's love their angled ears ;) 



Happy with that, time for some screws



I won't bore you with the other side, brow trim fitted.



I like to run a pencil inside the lenses and teeth, helps as a guide when trimming.



Small file bit on the dremel, then files and sandpaper 




First light coat of paint on the teeth, I find if you go too thick it can craze.



Mic tips are painted, forgot to take a photo of those and that's about it for today, I'm just easing into this build, still getting over some medical issues and ongoing problems but should get there in the end.



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A little more paint today, another coat of grey on the teeth, then some black on the ears



On to the vocoder



Paint those screws before I forget again



Left for a few hours then on to the grey on the ears



Once the grey has dried I'll be able to finish the black strip across the ear (TFU detail)


Will leave to dry today then I will apply the decals, I would love to paint but my hands are still not that good, was hard enough doing the ears.

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Final paint detail to the ears



Making mesh piece for behind the teeth



Mic tips painted and once dry mesh added



Have most of the pieces for the TD so will start on that.


Trial fit end caps, need a little heat



Getting size right



Going for the "game version" TD so cut a piece of poly pipe.



Adding some tape to get sizing right



Then trim



Just adding some glue to the panel and then wait for screws to arrive then can fit the brackets I made earlier.




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Back to cold wet weather again :( so not much more achieved.


Had some old yellowed hand plates so applied some screen printing ink, have used before and it works well, just need to put in the over around 60C for a short time to help set the ink



I put pieces of cardboard inside so the gloves lay flat, applied black silicon as I find that works best and is easy to peel any excess away.

0WKsZWE.jpg mX1ina8.jpg


Basic fan setup, elastic looped and velcro added to hold battery box, velcro added to blower fan so you can adjust direction, also added some screen mesh on the open fan side, nothing worse than getting a goatee hair stuck in the fan, on/off switch bracket made, will just E6000 in place when I add the internal velcro.



I'm cheap with helmet padding, just use soft yellow foam, round thin piece for the top of the head and 2 blocks of foam which go either side of the head, adding velcro allows you to remove them for cleaning.



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Thought I'd tackle the smaller ab button plate as there needs to be 5 buttons not 4 like most other versions of armor.


So first work out the length of plate, then button spacing and drill



Drill wood with larger holes than needed



Make a plate identical to the first plate, this will house the rivets (which happen to be the right size). Added a washer behind to help hold them out a little more.



Test the two pieces fit



Heat up your ABS sheet



Align and press together



Let cool down then separate



Trim to size



Check for fit



5th button is now one button higher than larger ab button plate.


Next to fill the area behind, may do the same method, use blocks of wood the same size as the original molded area, heat some ABS, mold then trim to match and add some ABS paste to fill any seams then sand and polish.

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Ok this one was a little easier, cut wood to size needed



Heat plastic and push down



Trim to match curve of ab and molded area



Happy with how it's looking



Next glue then add the ABS paste


Did someone say TFU upgrade kits :laugh1:

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Thanks Andrew.


All the velcro inside is dry so fitted the fan and foam, also made a template for the lenses, marked and cut out, I use a little hot glue just to hold them in place than apply some black silicon around the edges, I like the darker look inside.






And fitted. Don't be too concerned if you have small gaps, does help with air flow



Time to add the decals, yes I'm going to cheat and not paint, my hands are no longer up to painting fine lines after 2 finger operations and arthritis in a few knuckles.


Dave M decals, a little expensive with shipping but a must if you can't paint and want to go L3. 



Make sure you have the correct tubes stripes on the right side (or left :D) You want the tube stripes falling forward at the front.


If you look at the image bellow you can see the front leans forward ie: front \\\\\\\\\\\ back



Should be a pencil width from the cheek.



As I guide I like to use a piece of masking tape the same size as a pencil



Trim to size and apply



I like to pull away from the decal as I find it doesn't pull the decals off while removing the top sheet. Repeat on the opposite side.



On to the tears and traps, I find it easier to trim the decals down to size and test fit, adding a little tape in places is a good guide. The decals don't fit all helmets perfectly so you may need to trim down slightly, using a permanent marker is a good way to restore any missing black lines you may have to trim off.



Any air bubbles just a very impolite person with a pin and push the air out.





No this is not how the brow trim looks finished, it was pulled down to apply the decal ;) 



And helmet is done for the time being, I'll apply some light battle damage/weathering once the armor is complete, I like to do it all at the same time so you get a consistent look.



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Well time for trimming the armor, I did get a little carried away, I know what a mess but you can't stop production to  tidy up :laugh1:.



Ok may be I should,  it's a little more tidy now



I normally try to keep some of the offcuts from any different armor I work with, never know when you are going to need some ABS paste. I'll cut up into smaller pieces later and keep in zip lock bag and label like others I have saved.


Working out trim lines, a ruler with clamps works for me



I like to use a cutting disk on the Dremel to trim, I can get pretty straight lines.



Use a long sanding block to finish



Some 240 grit to smooth any sharp edges, also sand a small area where the E6000 will go, helps adherence 



Add some painters tape to bother sides to check for sizing



Measure, divide by 2 and trim excess from both pieces



Large tabs from shoulder straps removed



Make sure all the return edges from the front of the forearms is removed



Shins ready for a trial fit for sizing





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Armor trimming all sanded and ready to proceed.


First trim and check alignment for kidney and butt plate which need to appear as one piece



Inside looks good.



Apply some superglue gel and kicker which helps quicken the drying and also expands the glue



Waiting for the ABS paste to soften then applying along the join seam


Next on to the belt, going to leave this longer than a standard OTTK, the TFU has a longer belt





Cover button close to the end as well



Measure for snap hole



And drill



Now to bend, I usually just clamp two metal rulers either side and then apply a little pressure on either side and bend



Worked well



On to some cover strips, remember one side of the ABS sheet is usually gloss, the other not

Score and snap works the best



In no time your done



Use some coarse sandpaper on the back to roughen, will help the glue adhere to it


Using velcro on the back of the shins, draw a line slightly off center as a guide, measure the velcro and carefully cut



Apply glue to the velcro side



Apply the velcro



Then clamp down upside on board to dry



Now we fast forward, I got a little carried away and didn't stop to take photos, but you all know how it goes


You can never have enough magnets or clamps, painters tape helps too ;) 



Hopefully be dry tomorrow to finish the other sides


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Too cold overnight so I will leave all that was glued yesterday another 24hours


ABS slurry melting



Add the rear velcro cover plates to shins







Snap plates made



Add snap plates, left over strips of ABS help to clamp more area of the snap plates and use less clamps and magnets



Apply to rest of the armor pieces. Can't add to sides as yet until I work out side rivet placement once the belt is on



And also the arms




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Wow... as a new member and only built one set of armor, I’m blown away by the efficiency and precision that is documented here. Nice chronicle.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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8 hours ago, TKSpartan said:

Amazing Glen ! :jc_doublethumbup:


6 hours ago, ForeverFan said:

Wow... as a new member and only built one set of armor, I’m blown away by the efficiency and precision that is documented here. Nice chronicle.

Thanks guys, I should really try to document more but I get carried away building, sometimes you just get into a groove and there's no stopping you ;)

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ABS paste ready to go, apply along the seam, will see how it dries as it may need another coat






Try to get your trim lines as straight as you can, very important on ends that cover strips won't cover



Add some painters tape inside to hold together



Measure cover strip









Glue, clamp and apply magnets



Clamps and magnets are usually enough but for difficult areas add more magnets and wrap tape around tightly, should bend the cover strip enough






Opposite side velcro for the shins, trim the edges as they don't have any hook on them, measure and cut in half




Apply glue and add to shin



Clamps and magnets once again



On to some strapping, don't ever throw out wrong sized or worn elastic straps which have snaps on them, they come in handy to use as a guide for test fitting



I like to use adjusters on the strapping from chest to ab section, some times you need to tweak the gap a little



I have a template I use to mark the holes, they are the same size on any armor I put together, can always swap out with others elastic straps if you have a failure. Soldering iron works best to make the holes, helps to prevent the snap pulling through



Time travel happened once again and strapping was finished before I knew it no photos for that part.

Test fit of belt and measured the sides for the rives and snaps and added behind



Side elastic measured and snaps added



Snap plates also added inside top of thighs and arm pieces



Time to wait for everything to dry again, I guess I best clean up again ;) 






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Great progress Glen, i'm looking forward to seeing this finished and at the rate you are going, that wont be in the too distant future.

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21 hours ago, Sly11 said:

Great progress Glen, i'm looking forward to seeing this finished and at the rate you are going, that wont be in the too distant future.

Thanks Andrew



Snaps added to belt, also added one to the center with nylon since there is no middle button cover



Button covers applied



Drop boxes trimmed, backs and elastic added and glued to belt



Shoulder straps test fitted, tape guide to follow and glued in place



Strapping applied and tested



AB buttons before and after




WOW these RS sniper plates are annoying, hopefully the clamps work



Harness strapping finished, has home made adjusters on the belt, can be moved along the belt as long as adjust height







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Boring stuff, cleaning off excess E6000



Angle cut belt corners 



AB button plates glued


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Sanded the ABS paste on the AB join but needs another coat, will let that set for another day or two.



Working on adding the U channel 



This took a while but finally done




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At the slow stage now, little tweaks with strapping and fitment.


While test fitting I managed to measure the belt so I could finally add rivets and paint them



Sanded the kidney / butt plate seam, had a few small holes in the ABS paste so added a little filler, will fine sand tomorrow and add some touch up paint.



Speaking of touch up paint, one thing that is really annoying me is how cream the RS armor is compared to other armor, oh and compared to the U trim



Let's see if I can eye color match with some water based acrylics.  Looks good to me, will leave to dry to see how sturdy it will be before applying to the rest of the trim 




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Well tired of waiting for post to arrive, yet again the slotted screws are a no show, so I think I'll convert some.


Closest we have at local hardware are slotted Phillips



Apply some filler



Sand and file the slot



Add primer



Then paint




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