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AP vs TM differences

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also to note that photo is from the promo suit, and the movie shot is from empire strikes back.


I guess my main point here is that the TM suit simply exaggerates some of the smoother curves on almost every part.


in a lot of ways people see it as an "improvement" on the look... but my eye can see the ridges, and the curves he

has so gracefully introduced. if you took the proper lighting and cast it onto an AP kit that was assembled the

same trimout as the promo suit then you'd get the same shadows as IN THAT PHOTO!



so overall people in this hobby have been being told that the AP kit is hard to put together, and in some ways

that might be true...


TM and AP armor are FUN to put together.


I wish people would recognize AP's contribution with banners on their Sig... and such...

are there any AP banners on anyone's profile around here?

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Vern- I'm right there with ya'.

I think TM, AP and TE2 are among the very best there is.


I think the reason you see more TM and TE2 banners and siggies around here, is because TM and TE2 themselves are around here.

While AP makes a fantastic set of armor, and is a solid, reliable producer, he doesn't have the same kind of hands-on, day to day presence in the hobby that Paul and Mr. X have.

I think the signatures and such are shown to celebrate the character and generosity of these two people just as much, if not more, than the armor they make.


That said-- I don't really look at all this like it's some sort of contest. I mean, Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors for a reason. Everyone likes somethin' different. :)

Heck, I have three sets of armor and 5 helmets in my house at the moment, and they're all from different makers.

They all have their own individual quirks and personalities, and that's what makes it fun!


I know my way around Photoshop pretty well-- if you want to send me a ri-rez pic of your AP, I'd be happy to make a signature for you. :duim:

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AP, TE2, TM - can you go wrong with any of them? I don't think so...I agree with Doug that it's the Baskin Robbins and we're sooooo lucky to have multiple, good producers of armor to choose from. It wasn't always the case.


It says a lot that we're at a place where people are comparing AP to TM, when it used to be FX vs. AP. My, how this hobby has advanced!

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this is a celebration of the differences... exactly that.


I have purchased products from both producers... and I like the differences and opinions of both makers.


it's always nice to see the ideas discussed.


and you know... if I were not so specific in my dreams of owning as close to the original as one can get:


I might have opted for the FX kit back in the day... but I never purchased it because I knew

just from my un educated eyes that the FX kit was not the exact same armor I studied

in the summer of 1977. I watched the movie about 40-45 times that summer because

I wore a series of costumes in exchange for going into the theatre.


all the theatre manager wanted was a snack bar purchase and I was good to go.


I started making my first e-11 blaster in late 1977 and when Don Post

came out with the stormtrooper helmet I was disapointed because it

was 'wrong!'


now we all know how accurate GL's licensing deals have become!


I naturally opted for the AP.


I'll most likely get a TM if he goes shadow trooper.


would be nice to sit down in a suit.


I really like this discussion and have been in talks with TM recently when I purchased ESB handplates from him.


soon I will be able to do a dual submission ANH and ESB eib and 501st all at the same time.




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Let me be clear I am not saying any armour is better than another, I appreciate they all have their merets and I am only interested in the discussion here about accuracy.


I have had a couple of pm's saying that my thighs on my tm armour are larger, or indeed wider to be precise than the picture of the real tk in the promo trooper I posted.


Please realise that the actors and extra's who where the stormtroopers over 30 years ago where a lot sliimer than I am. They seem to be of around 5'7 to 5'11 tall and about 10 stone in weight and of slim build. I on the other hand am 6 feet tall and weigh over 15 stone due to my love of food and beer. I therefor have had to build my armour bigger than the original to be able to fit in it.


I will post up some pics later of slim modern day troopers to show the visual difference.

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I do not remember the name of this trooper, he posted these pics of his TM hero on the RPF a couple of years ago and he is the perfect size to replicate the original stormtroopers. he could have been the trooper in the promo pics. So as i said previously the size of the individual armour has to be looked at, or overlooked when trying to compare fan made armour to screen used, most fans suits like mine are bigger to be able to wear them.


Pics courtesy of SW helmets :)








Edited by gmrhodes13
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Lets go back to te pinch at the top of the thigh for a minute.


Here we have a pic of the trooper in ESB, which was reused armour from SW. Its hard to find pictures of troopers showing the top of the thigh due to the positions of the drop boxes...





Now looking at a real return of the jedi suit belonging to PugMan the 'pinch' at the top is still present, ok its softer but you can evidently see it on this armour.




Edited by gmrhodes13
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All this shows is that the trimming is shorter at the top of the thighs.


it is NOT pinched...


it's just the trimming of the outer part of the thigh.


also note that in all your photos the shins don't have the curves or the ridges of the TM kit.


the lower legs clearly show from your photos that the shins are sculpted differently and the thighs

are sculpted differently on the TM kit.


in your photos

it is the trimming of the parts on the AP style kit...


it is clearly seen!


this is a great photographic example of the Ap style trimmed shorter on the outer part of each thigh.

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I'm not really sure what you mean by 'pinched' but the top of the wearers left thigh armour has a peak just as I have sculpted it. All of the original ANH and ESB armour have this and it has nothing to do with trimming, that's how they were formed. It seems that for ROTJ this peak was removed when the moulds were made resulting in one thigh notably shorter than the other.


It would be great if you could make up a comparison between LFL/AP/TM to see the differences. I really can't see what your seeing in the AP when comapring it to the LFL suits.

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The thighs "pinch" is the same issue that bothered me when trying to decide between AP and TM.




I think it's there on the originals, but not so evident. Infact I modified mine a bit with a heatgun.


I agree that on the TM some curves are stronger, but it still gives the ANH feel more than every other kit.

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Tk bondservnt said:
you can see clearly the side profile of HAN SOLO's armor... look there... no mismatched

outer thigh. thus no APPARENT PINCH.









Edited by gmrhodes13
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firebladejedi said:



That clearly shows the outside of the thigh is not matched up at the top.

it's like that on the AP kit... if you line up the bottom of the pull at the

bottom of the thigh... you get that type of trim.


but if you line up the tops of the thigh, you get to trim off the excess

at the bottom.


that is not the same scene as the control room scene.


all this is showing is the outer part of the thigh is lined up shorter at the top

on the outside of the left leg.


all you're doing is showing that John Mollow's team

assembled the armor much differently than most of us

put it together.


if you look at the shins... there are not ridges and curves like you see

on the TM kit.

Edited by gmrhodes13
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You are wrong Vern.


The tops of the thighs are assembled correctly and not mis matched. The original ANH left thigh has the peak as part of it's shape and has nothing to do with how it was trimmed. Here is a screen used left thigh top.


Edited by gmrhodes13
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I don't think I've ever seen such a closeup as that...


from that photograph it looks like the covering strip is moulded into the

front face of the armor?


you say it's a screen used thigh?


where does it come from?


ok... let's move on to some screen used Shins... can you show me

the ridges and curves?

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The joining strip is not moulded into the armour. It's the white adhesive that makes it look that way. Want to compare that pic to your AP thigh?


Screen grabs don't really show you what you need to see to make good comparisons. You say things about AP that are just not true. I know you think you see things from screen grabs that look like your AP and you make some pretty wild statements about it's accuracy, but if you had the reference material I have then you thik twice about what you are saying.


Can you get the comparisons up to show where you think AP better matches LFL than TM?


I really am interested to see where you are coming from Vern.

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well... I must admit that the masters of this craft are truly TM and AP.


I've never seen so much referance material... but I'm glad now that I've seen your photos.

in the most recent version of the TM armor, it looks like some of your curves are only

a little larger than the originals.


my only claims about the Ap kit come from my understanding up to this point.

the thighs don't have those details at all.


if the curves on the TM kit were slightly reduced in depth... then perhaps I'd see

that the TM kit is closer to the original form.


if the AP lineage was truly Screen Used, then all of these features would be evident.

if it was simply a fan sculpt as yours is... then perhaps all of the hobby has been

misled as to it's origin? if GF truly cast his bucks from an ESB suit... then it

should have had those details?


when I look at the forearms I see lot's of differences between AA TM and AP.


I don't think I've seen that detail on AA armor... of course it deserves a look

at the referance materials.


it would be good to get examples of all the armor types lined up

and have red circles pointing out the details.


as we compare the kits in this thread... I'm sure that everyone will benefit.

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AP armour is NOT cast from an ESB suit. It was made by GF who recast a TE ROTJ and converted those moulds to what he thought at the time was accurate ANH. From what I know, AP made new moulds and made some slight changes further reducing it's original screen used lineage. The moulds are like 4th generation and the original shapes and sizes have been altered. I am sure AP who is a member here will/can confirm this. I am not knocking AP at all, just saying what I know about it's history.


The forearms...again, no ANH armour to my knowledge has been recast and all replicas (except DL) have the same doubled right arm or incorrect tour suit parts.


I agree with you that it would be great if there was a way that all major replica armour could be lined up together and compared against the LFL screen used ANH armour. I've been trying for years now to get my moulds as close as possible to the original armour and that's my goal at the end of the day. My hobby is sculpting and mould making, and also finding out everything there is to know about screen used ANH armour and helmets. I try and put all these things together to make armour as accurate as possible. When I read comments like yours I hold back and wait to see what evidence is put forward, but have yet to see anything that makes AP more screen accurate than TM.

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Vern- at risk of sounding harsh you have made alot of assumptions and accusations about TM armour and when you are now being asked to back this up you skillfully move the goal-posts and change your approach slightly- call me cynical but what exactly are you trying to prove or ascertain here?

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Great reference pics in this thread guys! Fun one to read through too. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the "Baskin Robbins" analogy! Great one there doug. It's so true, no matter what armor I think best I can still look at other's and say, "Mmmmm... that looks great!" And vice versa.


It's also good to see that we all agree TE2 is the best out there. B)

haha... (sorry, had to throw that in)

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This Thread is so interesting AP owners might need to fill out this form:




Very Interesting photographic work!

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well... my goal here is to gather as much photographic comparison material

as I can... and let all the photos be the proof.


my understanding of the situation is obviously incorrect.

perhaps there are other potential owners of armor

out there who can benefit from the discussion.


the purpose here is to gather as much as can be

put together, and I'm thinking that it would be

a good idea to put AA-sds TM AP and screen capture/promo shots

all together, part by part and let the details and differences show.


like a series of overlays on top of each other...

transparent overlays if the angle's are correct enough.

I have permission from one TM owner so far

and I'm interested to gather some AP shots.


When I look at some of the information that

mark put up, I can see that the method of

assembly differs quite a bit from STUKA's

tutorials... AP is using the overlap method

of assembly... and that makes it look

quite a bit different than I assembled my kit.




The only way I could duplicate the top of the thigh

from the photos presented would be to have

a different method of assembly, and I'd have

to sculpt it and trim it, and use the dreaded

modeling iron!


I have AA-SDS shots, and could get some more.


never knew that the bucks were changed... that's kinda

weird... why would someone change it? if they had the

'real' thing?


shows how much information can be had, by asking

the right people?


Looks like I'll have to Mod my Ap Thighs.

and add the Hook on the biceps for

the shoulder bell elastic.

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