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Legacy Fem, Version A Build

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The thigh armor is coming along well! I have decided to keep the return edges at 5mm on the top edge of the thigh armor, as well as 5mm around much of the bottom edge, with the exception of a little bit extra for the area behind the knee armor (about 1cm in line with the front ridge on the thigh armor). This looked best aesthetically, but I have the benefit that I can cut this area down to 5mm if need be. 


After measuring and fitting a number of times, I determined the circumference of the thigh armor pieces should be increased by 2cm (this was rounded up by a few milimeters to give me some wiggle room). As such, there will be 1cm shims on each side of the thigh armor. As this creates 2 seams on each side, one seam on each side will be covered with ABS paste and sanded smooth. All edges I have cut will be sanded smooth once the pieces are glued together


This increase in circumference is enough to allow my knees to fit through the bottom of the thigh armor, especially given the 5mm return edges at the bottom of the thigh pieces. My fitting also showed me that I can move my legs freely when wearing the thighs, so I have not concerns right now about my ability to walk in the armor!


To make sure each side is aligned properly, I am gluing one seam of each thigh piece at any time, so this will take a few days before everything is glued.




I'm happily chugging along here. It is nice to be building at a more relaxed pace than my previous builds!

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As I continue what I am now dubbing the How Many Ways Can You Modify a Stormtrooper Kit build, I move on to the chest, abdomen, back, and kidney pieces. The thighs are coming along nicely, and I should get through the gradual gluing process in the next day or so.


The return edges for the codpiece portion of the abdominal armor have been cut down to 5mm, which makes fitting much easier as I don’t have a bunch of excess material in the way. I’ve been working on getting the positioning right for all pieces around my torso (this is where I have to admit a corset is absolutely essential when I wear this armor, so I really hope that does not threaten approval - the CRL is silent on corsets as my situation was not forseen when the CRL was written), and it looks like I may need to cheat a bit when it comes to positioning the top of my chest and back pieces.


I wasn’t able to take photos this most recent round of fitting, but I do have photos from a much earlier fitting (before I cut away excess material) to demonstrate what I may be contending with (and what I am referring to when I say cheat):




As can be seen, the chest piece does not sit as high as preferred to allow what will be adequate clearance for the plastic shoulder straps to clear my shoulders. Additionally, I estimate the center of the neck opening is about 2 to 2.5 cm below my sternal notch (not that anyone says that is required, but looking at photos of approved Legacies it appears the sternal notch is the general area where the center of the neck opening lands). I don’t think I can move the chest piece any further up as it already is as high as it can go while also honoring the overlap with the abdominal piece mentioned in the CRL.


As such, I think the best solution is to retain some of the excess material on the top straps of the chest and back pieces (I left this excess material on intentionally until I figured this out) and bend them up at an angle to allow for proper positioning of the plastic shoulder straps. This means the chest and back pieces may sit a little further outward from my body than usual (in addition to a little lower from my shoulders than usual), but I think it will allow for the proper proportionality to use some of this excess material to my advantage.


I'm happy to engage with other ideas here as this is a challenging build, and right now I am certainly feeling that challenge more than I anticipated.

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The right thigh piece has turned out great! The material on the seam for the back part of the thigh piece (that is used for the overlap) was wide enough to glue on the front half, despite the 1cm channel being accommodated. The 1cm channel is clearly seen in both photos, and as discussed earlier in the thread, that will be filled in with an ABS shim on each side and accompanying ABS paste to cover over the rear seam created by the shim.






The fit is great too! I have a little bit of wiggle room, but the thigh armor does not appear to be unrealistically large for me! I especially like the built-in relief in the back of the thigh piece, as I feel I can move my leg more freely than when wearing my shock trooper, even with the relief cuts on my shock trooper (but I'll reserve full judgement until my full Legacy is complete).


The left thigh piece is currently gluing, and that will be cured in a little less than 24 hours! 


This certainly boosts my confidence in my build from where I was earlier today! I should remember than builds can feel like a roller coaster at times.

Edited by Tilheyra
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Looking good Brian, one thing when you glue your fillers is to try to keep the joins flat and as little a gap as possible, this will make using the ABS paste a lot easier, the less you have to apply the better the finish will be. Also in case I've not said it before, thin coats, allow to dry before adding another coat, if you add too thick you can get a lot of tiny air bubbles when it's drying which makes sanding and polishing a bit of a pain. Also if using scraps try to make sure there are no pen/pencil/marker marks on them as they can discolor the paste which makes life a little more difficult as you would have to try and paint to match. I'ts not impossible, I used waterbased arcylics on my TFU TK to get my U trim to match. 

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6 minutes ago, gmrhodes13 said:

Looking good Brian, one thing when you glue your fillers is to try to keep the joins flat and as little a gap as possible, this will make using the ABS paste a lot easier, the less you have to apply the better the finish will be. Also in case I've not said it before, thin coats, allow to dry before adding another coat, if you add too thick you can get a lot of tiny air bubbles when it's drying which makes sanding and polishing a bit of a pain. Also if using scraps try to make sure there are no pen/pencil/marker marks on them as they can discolor the paste which makes life a little more difficult as you would have to try and paint to match. I'ts not impossible, I used waterbased arcylics on my TFU TK to get my U trim to match. 


I'm definitely guily of having pencil marks all over my scrap pieces! Looks like washing the scrap pieces will be incorporated into my process before adding the acetone. 


I appreciate all the advice! I need it!

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The biceps and forearms are taking shape! Continuing the theme, I needed to make...modifications...(I could probably stop emphasizing that at this point)...


The biceps are glued together and now I will turn to trimming the return edges. The bottom of the bicep armor will definitely benefit from return edges being just about fully cut down, because that will allow my biceps to go through the armor much easier. The top return edges will be reduced to the extent needed to reduce armor bite, but some return edge will remain for appearance (although, part of me says that doesn't matter too much as that will not be that visible when wearing the armor). 


The image below shows the interior joint on the bicep armor. I kept 1.4cm of excess material (7mm on each side of the joint) in place to increase the circumference and accommodate my biceps. The molded-in cut lines will be covered over with ABS paste to smooth out the appearance, with the only seam remaining being that of the joint itself. I ended up leaving the excess in place (rather than putting shims in here) because the structural strength would be stronger, and because this saved me the additional time it would take to cut the excess off, add shims and interior cover strips, and then close eveything up. The benefit of having the excess material in this location is that this joint will be facing my sides most of the time and, thus, any view of this joint will usually be obscured.




The joint on the exterior side of the bicep armor was constructed as per the design.




The forearms will require additional work. I have glued the overlapping joint for each forearm piece, but the interior joint (the one that will face my sides when my arms are down) will require additional finessing to make sure the pieces join up properly. I will need to do some heat treating with boiling water to allow both sides of the joint to line up properly prior to gluing.




As can be seen, excess material was retained here as well. I left on as much as I could (about 8mm of excess for each side of the joint), but I am questioning if that is enough. I'll have to see after I shape the pieces to be able to properly line up the sides of the joint, as well as determine how much return edge needs to be removed from the wrist area (probably most of it).


The return edges in the vambrace area will be trimmed down as well, but much of it will be retained as the vambrace is a highly visible area. 

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The excess material has been removed from the inner joint of the forearm (the joint that faces my sides when my arms are down). The excess material was left at 8mm, which was the most I could leave it and the material still be smooth, but that was not enough. Turns out I need roughly 10mm to 11mm on each side of the joint, so I have bumped this up to 12mm on each side for wiggle room. This means I need to fill in a 24mm gap beyond the original design on this inner side of my forearm armor to allow for my hands to fit through the armor pieces when putting on and taking off the forearm armor. 


I decided the option providing the best strength was one wide cover strip spanning the full gap, which would then be followed by 2 strips 12mm in width laid in the gap and pasted to show only 1 seam in the middle. As such, the interior cover strip fills the full 24mm gap to provide the material to glue the 2 out strips to. I allowed a 1cm overlap on each side beyond this 24mm gap, so the interior cover strip is 44mm wide. The cover strip is also 20cm long. As I didn't want to use the extra sheet of ABS that came with my armor (and is a color match to the ABS used in my armor) for interior cover strips, I purchased extra ABS sheets from Amazon. These sheets from Amazon will be used for interior cover strips and any other material needed for places out of sight, and the extra ABS sheet that came with the kit will be used for any visible material.


Given the tension involved in gluing this cover strip to fill the gap needed in the forearm armor, I am gluing one side at a time and allowing 48 hours of drying/curing time. Here's one of the forearms just after gluing on the cover strip. My pencil lines can clearly be seen to help me know where to glue the opposing side when the time comes:



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Still messing with the forearms. The wide cover strips have cured to one side of the joint, but additional shaping will be needed to be able to effectively and properly glue the cover strip to the other side of the joint. I haven't had much time to do that shaping yet.


I have had the time to start working on the snaps! As I learned during my shock trooper build, using nylon for the snap bases works out really well, and allows the snap bases to curve with the curves of the armor!


For those reading a build thread for the first time, here's the process for the snaps: I am using nylon from a long tie-down strap, cutting the nylon into smaller pieces, and then using a lighter to melt the ends of these nylon pieces to prevent fraying. I then punch a hole approximately in the center of each nylon piece and attach the snaps accordingly. I am using heavy duty snaps I purchesed from my local Michael's craft store and used special pliers to contect the two halves of the male snaps to the nylon. E6000 is then applied to the bottom of each nylon piece (avoiding glue coming into contact with the metal of the snaps) and applied to the appropriate place on the interior of the armor. The place on the interior side of the armor where the nylon snap base is glued was scratched with sand paper to allow a better surface for the glue to adhere.


Upon gluing, rare earth magnets or clamps were applied to hold the nylon snap bases in place while the glue dries/cures for 24 hours. Here's the abdominal piece:




The kidney piece is next in line for this treatment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Life is much more hectic than anticipated, but some things have fallen into place!


The snaps have been glued to the abdominal and the kidney pieces:




My Crowprops boots also arrived!!!!!!!! Looks like I need to learn how to walk in heels...




It may be a bit before I can make further progress. I have a few really full work days and a busy week of travel ahead of me. But I really want to return to this build soon!


I can't recall if I have mentioned, but my goal is to have the armor (except the helmet) complete by a local con at the end of April. That still seems like a reasonable goal at this point. Building the helmet and seeking approval will come afterward.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress!!! I finally figured out a way to glue the wide cover strip to the inside of the forearms! 


As noted a few posts up, I decided to use wide interior cover strips to increase the circumference of the forearm armor, as well as decided to glue the cover strip to one side of the joint before gluing the other side. I then figured I could finagle things to where the other side of the cover strip would be able to be glued in prim and proper fashion. Welp...the cover strip and the other side of the joint would not line up properly in terms of their angles, so I had to think things through further.


Shaping is key in this issue, but I figured it would be easier to shape this cover strip if it were not attached to anything. I decided to cut the glue on one side of the cover strip to free it from the forearm armor. I then put on (the stove) a pot of boiling water and dropped the cover strip in the boiling water for 90 seconds. After fishing the cover strip out of the boiling water, I then put a small curve into the cover strip along the center of its length. This photo gives an idea:




Now I had a cover strip with a slight curve, but needed to now glue it to both sides of the joint, all while accounting for the increased circumference that I want in the forearm piece...


Spacers!!! I can cut spacers with a width according to the increased circumference (I remeasured and got 2cm)! But how do I keep the spacers in place to do their job? The forearm pieces are rigid enough that I only need a spacer on each end of the cover strip, and I can use the clamps to keep the edges of the spacers aligned with the edges of the forearm armor! Having the claps clamped on the spacer joints will keep everything in line! Here's what that looks like now that I have everything glued (I got a little glue on the spacer, so I'll have to cut that when I remove the spacer):




Getting it all glued was a challenge, and the photo below shows that I got glue in many areas I did not want, but I'm not going to mess with it further for fear I could undo all of my work. Only one forearm is being glued right now. I'll glue the other one when I see the results of this forearm:



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It worked!!!


It took multiple attempts and I got glue in a lot of places, but the forearm is generally put together and I can fit my hand and arm through without cutting off circulation!!!




After letting the glue dry for 48 hours I removed the clamps and magnets. I was a little concerned about how well I overlapped the cover strip with the edges of the forearms, but it appears I decently centered the cover strip across the gap!




The wrist area is wide enough to accommodate not only my wrist, but also allow me to tuck in the edges of my gloves!




I will need to do some cleanup work to remove the glue that ended up getting all over the cover strip and the edges. Removing the glue will then allow me to properly add the ABS shims to fill the current channel in the forearm armor. Some trimming is also needed for the return edges near my elbow.




The outer side looks as it should!


As I finally found a good way to construct the forearms I will construct the other forearm piece in the same way! It feels great to be making progress again!

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  • 1 month later...

Work and life have been much busier than I anticipated, so I haven't been able to make much progress on my Legacy, despite my goal of having most of the armor complete by a major convention the last weekend of April. I made the best of the situation and made the little progress I could and accepted that I would use the con to test out as much of the armor as I could. As this armor requires many alterations for me, I do not want to rush anything and make mistakes!


I was able to wear most of the armor to Indy PopCon on Saturday (April 27th), and even though I had an incomplete set of armor, I amazed and impressed my fellow members of Star Wars Indiana! I was pleasantly surprised myself as I pulled it off better than I had anticipated!


Here are a few photos! As my helmet is not complete, I went with a wig and some makeup to complete the look!








And we were able to get a photo with Xavier Jimenez (Tusken Chieftain from The Mandalorian)!




As can be seen in the photos, major things to complete are the lower leg armor, the helmet, and the belt boxes. I also wore different boots than what would be approvable (I didn't want to worry about such a tall heel during this con).


Many, many more details need to be completed as well. I need to add shims and apply ABS paste to the sides of the thighs, the forearms, and parts of the top strap of the chest armor. My biceps and shoulder bells need to overlap a bit more, so adjusting those straps will be necessary. There is a tiny bit of a visible gap between the top of the abdominal plate and the bottom of the chest plate, so more strapping needs to be secured (I had previously put 3 straps on the interior of this area, but only secured 2 of the straps as I wondered if that would be enough. Well...looks like all 3 need to be secured when I wear this). Also, as there is a visible gap between the abdominal and kidney plate I will want to extend those edges to close that gap.


Fortunately, I knew most of these issues before doing the test at the con, so few of these corrections to make were unanticipated. Work continues!



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