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MintImperial’s “Mini Imperial” WTF Kids TK Armour Build

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Hi all.


One of the happiest days of may life came recently when, on one of my own troops, my then 8yo daughter dropped in on me and, seeing other local 501st members’ children in costume, said she wanted TK armour to match mine.


She is 130cm tall, about 4'3".


This thread follows my efforts to finish the build before her birthday, which fell precisely on halloween.


Although the build is retrospective, I’ll post the actual dates to give a sense of the timeline. It took me 2 years start-to-finish to build my ANH Stunt armour. I did hers in about 2 months.


While trying to emulate Centurion-level armour wherever possible, I made a lot of special modifications myself to make it more comfortable for her and encourage her to troop.


Hope it may be useful to anyone planning a similar project.




Shortcuts to main modifications:


EVA foam codpiece & butt plate




Splitting belt into 2 mounted halves




Front-opening shins & magnetic sniper plate




EVA padding at forearm elbows




Bicep hook replaced with elastic loop




EVA foam holster for lightness & flexibility




Reshaping sniper plate




Permanently attached thermal detonator




ABS brackets for thermal detonator




Padding for comfort & spacing




Edited by MintImperial
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27th of July 2023

BBB Big Brown Box day

and proof that this kit is two toys in one.



Unfortunately the chest plate arrived cracked

with the crack reaching all the way into the usable area.

I’m currently holding it together with ABS paste, but it’s not a perfect solution and it’s already starting to give.

I’ve requested a replacement plate, but I pressed on regardless as I had a birthday deadline to meet.


Edited by MintImperial
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28th of July 2023


The kit is about 80% of the adult size and comes complete with helmet V-trim & S-trim,

3D printed, scaled down HOVI mix tips, grey-green lens strip, scaled tube stripe decals, hard hand plates

and Sandtrooper alternate parts.


Size comparison

(interestingly the kidney & butt plate is separated as per ANH style

compared to the more ROTJ-like adult size plate):



Rough-trimmed before sizing. (Excuse the messy floor.)

Edited by MintImperial
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31st of July 2023

Begin helmet painting


Am hopeless at painting the hairlines around traps & tears so I take a pragmatic approach better suited to my limited talents.

Paint fat hairy lines first then hide them with the grey after.

Then I only have to clean up the outside edge.



Vocoders I can do. Well, at least not as shabbily.


Edited by MintImperial
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26th of August 2023


First test fitting

The torso is the most forgiving in terms of leaving room for growth.

As the straps and shimming will take care of any future needs.

Except in one area:


Growth modification:

I deliberately chose to make an overlap of the back and kidney plates.

Trimming this now will be very hard to correct later once she’s taller.



Comfort modification:

I decided to separate the cod from the abdomen plate

to give a greater range of movement and allow my Mini Imperial to sit down.

(I later found out that R1 TKs are already built like this.)


Edited by MintImperial
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30th of August 2023


Thinking about upper level details as I go along.



Ab plate buttons WIP.


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31st of August 2023


Trimming limbs

And keeping the offcuts, bagged and tagged,

in case I need to reattach with ABS paste sometime in the future.



Think I went through three different rounds of trimming

before all the arm & leg parts stopped hurting my tiny trooper.
I didn’t document every cut and I’m sure you don’t need to see them.

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31st of August 2023


Helmet painting continues: tube stripes

I dreaded doing this.
Didn’t want to use decals so I had to hand paint every stripe.

Judge the results for yourself later!


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1st of September 2023


Tube stripe painting continues

Yup. Not my proudest work.

I think my paint was too thick.

Found it very hard to control the brush stroke width.



Never mind. This isn’t the last time I’ll attempt this.
Will clean this off and make another pig’s ear of it again at a later date.

Edited by MintImperial
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2nd of September 2023


Big comfort modification:

My most significant change and the one I’m most keen to share in case it’s useful.


The plan was for my Mini Imperial to wear her TK armour to school on Halloween.

It needed to be easy to put on and take off by herself.

No messing about with belts and thermal detonators and impossible arm reaches.

So I did this:

Split the belt in two

and fixed the ABS portion to the ab plate

and the canvas portion to the kidney plate.








The ABS belt uses Chicago screws in the traditional three places

but they go straight through the ab plate.

There’s no canvas in between.


Later you’ll see how I attached the ammo drop boxes directly to the back of the ABS belt.








The canvas portion was made from a cannibalised B-grade belt.

It’s actually two separate halves hot glued together

where the canvas belt ends would normally overlap on the raised back panel.

Each half has plastic support running along inside from end to end.

Using hot glue to seal the canvas ends to prevent fraying,

I cut notches to fit around the Chicago screws and hold the belt roughly in place.

The whole thing is attached with Velcro onto the kidney plate.


When it closes, it’s indistinguishable from the traditional closure method:

Edited by MintImperial
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5th of September 2023


Comparing armour: rough-cut vs radically re-sized for Mini Imp!

Helmet proportions look strange but what do you expect?!


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6th & 7th of September 2023


E-11 Holster

Comfort Modification


This needed to be as flexible as possible, so I chose to make it in EVA foam rather than leather.

I ended up using my prototype despite there being an extra mark left from penciling the measuring lines.

Hopefully it’s not too noticeable.


To create the different front & back leather effects,

I first treated the front side with a heat gun to create a shinier surface.

Then I blotted the surface sparingly with an acrylic gloss sealant.

I may still go back and add more for an increased shine.

For the rougher back side of the ‘leather’,

I used my thumb to smooth the EVA surface and it gave it a kind of suede look.


Rivets, etc. were just superglued on.
Snap closure (scaled down to ligne 20) is a dummy.

There's actually a magnet on the back with another one inside the holster itself.


Tan straps are painted strips off the same black EVA foam.


Everything is scaled to just under 80% of the accepted measurements.




Edited by MintImperial
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I know it's too late now but if you paint white first it can fill any areas of tape which may allow seepage


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8 hours ago, gmrhodes13 said:

I know it's too late now but if you paint white first it can fill any areas of tape which may allow seepage


Thanks Glen.
I used that trick when I painted my own helmet using a stencil.
Instead, for this one, I just very carefully etched back into the blue with a toothpick soaked in alcohol.
It’s by no means perfect. But match better than what you see above.
Will post more photos later.

Edited by MintImperial
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9th of September 2023


Sniper plate

Accuracy modification

Full-sized sniper plates are hard enough already.

But I was particularly disappointed with the kid sized one as it just wouldn’t sit right at all.

In the end I decided to slice and splice it to get a more user-friendly shape.





Glued it back together with a lot of ABS paste on the back.


Edited by MintImperial
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15th of September 2023


Safety modification

The cutest tiny thermal detonator you ever saw

I really wanted to avoid metal edges and anything that could hurt the Mini Imperial.

Plus, I don’t have the tools to bend and shape metal.

So for the TD brackets, I used ABS, scaled to sized and bent with a heat gun.








Then covered the surfaces with adhesive foil tape.



I cut them down to remove the portion that is normally hidden behind the belt.

These do not need to be functional as I will bolt the TD directly onto the canvas belt itself.



Edited by MintImperial
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18th to 26th of September


Comfort modification

EVA foam codpiece and butt plate


Although I’d already separated the codpiece from the ab plate for increased mobility,

it still hurt Tiny Trooper when she sat down.

So I decided to replicate the front and back in EVA foam instead.

I used the heat gun to help shape the pieces as well as treat the surface

as I wanted to paint them later with acrylic.

Used a Dremel to round off the edges.






Used 2 coats of this flexible acrylic gloss paint:


followed by 3 coats of this flexible gloss varnish:



Not the smoothest paint job ever.

But from a distance it looks good enough

and the colour match is pretty close.


After 2 coats of acrylic:




After 3 coats of varnish:



Edited by MintImperial
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4th of October 2023


Not yoghurt raisins!

Created some ABS-coated magnets to keep various armour parts together.

The poles are at 90° to the surface of the armour to create a much stronger hold.

To do this I basically created a ball with the magnets inside

with barely any ABS on the surfaces that will cling together

and another flat edge at 90° to this that will sit fixed to the armour with a tiny bit more ABS paste.

The reason I created the “raisins” separately instead of sticking the wad directly in place is to avoid excessive ABS paste warping the armour.

I’m using these on the right side of the ab-kidney join

and to hold my Mini Imperial’s shins together at the front. (Yes, you read that right).







Edited by MintImperial
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23rd of October 2023


Front-opening shins

Because my Mini Imperial needed to be able to get the armour on and off by herself

I had to rethink the tricky rear closure for the shins.

So, I deviated from the CRL and went for front-opening/-closing,

snapping shut with a magnet at the top

and hinged at the back with an EVA foam cover strip.







In order not to damage the EVA foam while glueing it to the shin

I placed the original ABS cover strip over the top to even the clamping force.




Top of left shin front with strong magnet closure 



Bottom front of shin with velcro strap inside

(hooks facing out, loops facing in!)




Creating a front opening was all well and good for the right shin

but the sniper plate on the left shin presented a complication.
I needed to make it removable but secure

Magnets were the obvious solution:




And, to make sure the plate never got knocked off during trooping,

I secured it with a strip of elastic:






Edited by MintImperial
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