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Complete, utter noob / Helmet Questions


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Okay! I feel like an exasperated Rapunzel trying to explain her situation to the ruffians at the Snuggly Duckling. Sorry if the analogy is lost with my fellow Star Wars fans. Haha!

 

I’m brand new to all of this. I’ve never built a costume and not even close for 501st Legion approval. I’ve been diving into the 501st website, this forum and my Garrison websites and this is a lot to take in. Very cool and I want to get involved, but so much. With that said, I’m feeling pretty confident in navigating my way around. And most people I’ve come in contact with all circle back to this forum. 

 
I’m on a mission to get my Dad started on his TK costume making (why is it called TK? What does it stand for?) and 501st Legion approval. I thought it would be a nice gesture to get him started with a helmet for Christmas. I’m happy to build one, but I would love for someone to explain to me why this helmet on Amazon is not approved:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D1GR1B0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_8TJRCVMRC8KTS284VV9S

 

I’m a very visual person so comparison diagrams and photos help a ton. To me this helmet looks a lot like the ones I’m seeing built here (sorry if that’s insulting I don’t mean to insult. Again, noob here just wanting to learn from the pros).

 

What’s the price range for a basic helmet kit? Vs a pre-made/commissioned one? I’m hoping to keep it under $130. My siblings and I want to pitch in together.


And are all the helmet accessories mandatory (ie bucket fan, voice altering system, etc)? again sorry for my lack of vocabulary/knowledge on the subject. 

 

If any of you are in the Golden Gate Garrison or the Central California Garrison I’d love to chat some more. 
 

I have more questions, but I’d like to just start with the helmet to get things rolling. 

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Hello and welcome, there is A LOT of info on all the forums and it can be quite daunting, the Getting Started Area is the best place to start. Finding out what version of Stormtrooper your Dad would like to be as there are a few different ones, here are a list of the CRL's (costume reference library) which are the base requirements for legion approval  https://databank.501st.com/databank/Costuming:FISD_CRL

 

The helmet you have shown is a Black Series which is not approvable for the original trilogy costumes, and would need a lot of work to get it up to approval for Rogue One version, here is a conversion build 

 

 

Always best to purchase from the vetted sellers list, you can be assured of quality and not being ripped off on ebay or esty, maker contact info can be found here

 

Best practice is have a look at some of the build threads, most have the makers initials in the headings, there you can see what you are buying, Another great idea is see local members in person, many have armor workshops and it's a great way to get hands on products and info.

 

You can add as much as you want or as little into the interior of the helmet, as long as it's not seen on the outside.

 

Here is an all in one resource thread for anything else you may need.

Why are they called TK's, well nobody really knows the exact answer but:

 

Research is the key to this hobby and it's not a cheap hobby.

 

Hope that has help answer some of your questions, good luck with the research and hope to see a build thread form you soon.

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Hi Nichole, and welcome to the FISD!   You are definitely in the right place for all things TK related.  What I would suggest is that before purchasing anything, have a chat with your father about exactly what type of armor he is interested in (i.e. which film) as there are a lot to choose from as seen in the CRL Glen gave you a link to.  Many may look similar, but there are distinct differences.  Even in the first film there are 2 types, "Stunt" as worn by most TKs (the most popular costume in the Legion) and "Hero" as worn by Han and Luke.   

 

Once the particular costume is decided on, we have a ton of references, build threads and hundreds of fine folks to help you and/or your dad every step of the way on your white armor journey.  

 

Choosing the right armorer is very important.  The vast majority of the costumes you find online (like ebay) are not 501st approvable, sad to say, so the vetted seller's list is your best bet.  Since you may be purchasing the helmet first, I suggest using the same armorer for the rest of the costume as many times the color of the ABS plastic used may vary slightly from maker to maker.

 

Know that we are here to answer any questions you may have, no matter how small... all ya' have to do is ask!

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Thank you so sooo much for your replies. Incredibly helpful. I will definitely look more into these links. To be honest I think my Dad really wants to wear the armor and just be part of the charitable events. He’s excited to see the joy and thrill on the kids faces. And live that childhood dream of being a trooper. If anything I’m more into the nitty gritty details of which TK. But I’m thinking TK ANH Stunt. This a project we want to work on together after being apart for so long with the pandemic.
 

It seems like there is a lot of emphasis on selecting the vetted vendors. Is it because they use a direct lineage of molds that come from the armor from the films? Or is it simply a matter good quality and materials? 
 

is EVA foam an approved material? And what does HIPS and ABS stand for? I know it’s the type of material. I’m familiar with PVC but not the other two. 
 

Or maybe point me to a glossary for all the abbreviations

 

Thanks again for the tips and help. Looking forward to this project and bonding with my Dad. 

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1 hour ago, AhsokaMace said:

It seems like there is a lot of emphasis on selecting the vetted vendors. Is it because they use a direct lineage of molds that come from the armor from the films? Or is it simply a matter good quality and materials? 

 

is EVA foam an approved material? And what does HIPS and ABS stand for? I know it’s the type of material. I’m familiar with PVC but not the other two. 
 

Or maybe point me to a glossary for all the abbreviations

 

Thanks again for the tips and help. Looking forward to this project and bonding with my Dad. 


You nailed it on the vendors; in addition, their reputation is also important for delivery of goods, communication and support for your product. The lineage of the product affects its accuracy. Some molds are direct from the original movie pieces, while others may be fan casts and slowly modified to become more accurate with each iteration. I would take a look down the build forum to see which you prefer. There's also vendor sizing, some vendors like AM offer larger versions for bigger people.

 

EVA foam I do not believe is approved, can't get the sharpness or level of detail from it, plus its thickness affects how it's worn. Most of us on here deal with ABS; lots of good support for that material. HIPS I believe is the denser of the materials, but most vendors will mostly offer ABS as well.

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4 hours ago, AhsokaMace said:

It seems like there is a lot of emphasis on selecting the vetted vendors. Is it because they use a direct lineage of molds that come from the armor from the films? Or is it simply a matter good quality and materials? 

We are here to help :D

 

Many makers have not had the opportunity to take molds from original helmets but have spent a lot of time researching and making their own. It's more about vetted sellers using their own work, not directly copying someone else and selling on their own, as well as what material plastic used, what thickens, size and location, lots of things to consider when purchasing. As well as you are assured of receiving what you have purchased, there are a lot of other makers out there on other platforms that will take money and ether supply very late or not supply at all.

 

I have quite a few different makes, RS, ATA, Anovos, Jim's, all are different for my original trilogy I prefer ATA, it's thicker and stronger, less likely to get cracks over time BUT RS is more accurate, thinner and does tend to crack easily. For first order I like Anovos over Jim's, different material and Anovos is so much lighter, but prone to cracking, there are pro's and con's for most.

 

Then you have to consider shipping, can be considerable depending on which country you are from and purchasing from, recently USPS stopped sending international packages to Australia and Pacific areas, even with packages in the air, they sent them all back, they did however say they would send express at considerably more, funny express took twice as long standard shipping as I just received a parcel too 6 weeks, must have come by turtle and kangaroo.

 

But as we have said make sure you know exactly what your Dad will like, there are quite big differences between the movies and particular styles of armor.

 

 

 

 

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