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AP vs TM differences

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But they didn't have the 'real thing'. They had 3rd generation modified recasts.


The AP arms have the overlap because they are ROTJ, same as the rest of it, just some parts have been modified to look like ANH. I have comparison shots of an early TM vs SDS. Any particular piece of armour you'd like to see?

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well... this is all here for the benefit of the hobby itself.


I'm kinda thinking that a flash application might be in order on a detailed basis

to give fan's and newbies... and incorrectly informed people such as myself

to see a really amazing and detailed comparison in a graphic format.


it would do the hobby a great service to organize this effort.


if you would PM me... I shall engage the details.


paul, your work is being praised here, along with mark's...

transparency and understanding is somthing everyone gains here.


if it were not for the UKG where would we all be?

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All the infomation you seek can be found here Vern, along with another half a dozen other prop forums. And as for comparison photos the same can be said just by looking at all the build threads already written.


I think a good place to start any research for info on stormtrooper armour, the difference in appearance and assembly is starwarshelmets dot com.


If there is any purpose to this thread it shows without a doubt that TM armour is shapped correctly and that it has a closer resemblance to the AHN armour than any 'cast from screen used' available.

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well, from what I see on many of the build threads, and from

the photos on site... many people Including myself are assembling the

AP kit FAR FAR differently than it most likely should be.


The Stuka tutorials show a butt end build, but the maker of AP

armor himself seems to be showing an overlap method.


part of the problem with all these different "build threads"

is that some of the people honored for doing a great job

of misleading some of us on exactly how to

build up a kit.


after looking around on this site there isn't really a single

accurate build being praised as the "right" method.

if there is an overlap tutorial then we should be

directing people to THAT thread... not the stuka



if you cut like stuka, and he says that he cut it smaller

to personally fit him. so a lot of people think that

they have to use a modeling iron to finish up the AP kit.

putting a "return" on parts that don't even need one

according to what I see on screen.


I mean really, can anyone see a return on the shins?

can you? can anyone really see a return on the biceps?

all of those 'returns' aren't even on ANH style armor.


I left a return on the forearms because I wanted

it to be a cross between ANH and ESB style trims.


and a lot of people are being told incorrectly that they

should butt end join... instead of overlap.


so the purpose of this thread, and others... should be to

gather the CORRECT information on EXACTLY how to

properly build the kit.


so we've got stuka, and panda trooper, and even me

representing the incorrect method of assembling a kit.

butted ends with an inner strip and finally the outer

finishing strip.


the overall purpose of a build thread would be to

do it right! now we're telling almost everyone

to look at Stuka's excellent work.

but most likely that work is not correct for the 80%

of AP builders out there!


sometimes this site does it's job correctly, and sometimes

the site shares slightly incorrect information.


there are great examples of TM build threads, but there

even is one example of a TM build where the person didn't

keep the proper Return when cut out... so now this person

has basically ruined their kit in some small way...


partly because they didn't read correctly... partly because

there is not always the best information out there.


pushing other build threads to be isn't the answer...

there should be a photographic comparison of

all the kit's in current use... to help everyone choose

the armor that's right for them.


and Even if I'm wrong... and have been mis-informed...

then this thread is doing a great job of letting people

who don't know as much as you FBJ, and TM...


I've even heard people that thought that AP legs are exactly the same

pieces. and that's part of why I started this thread in the first

place. each part of the legs, are different parts. none of

the leg parts fit inside each other like the forearms, and biceps.


pointing people to "just wade through" all of this information

would be great, if all the information was correct.


as you can see... even thinking that AP was from an ESB kit

is not correct... and I've been talking, and reading, and looking

at the INCORRECT information for building up a $1000 kit.


and now... my kit is just OK. instead of "spot on"

because I followed Stuka's method because I thought

he was right.


each time I test fitted the parts in the overlap, I was really tempted to

just follow the overlap method... and now I know I should have

read more, and perhaps even contacted AP and discussed it with him.


but I trusted, and I was sadly mistaken... and I followed stuka

pretty closely.


so now I'm really tempted to get a TM TX kit... just to see it



a photo workup with permission takes a bit of time

the hobby needs a good central place for everyone to look

at photos, and be properly directed to build up their kits

by people using the correct methods.

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www.starwarshelmets.com has a great section on helmets...


The Armor section has been updated...

looks like this might be the place to

get most of the details everyone wants.


and if SWH.com is correct... then ROTJ style troopers were

produced DURING ESB's production.


even see John mollow's notes about

Plastic trim around edges... all from ESB production notes.


I've even been told that I should use Green Flat lenses for

an ESB helmet... but I clearly see all-


Bubbled green lenses in ESB helmets.


when I build up my ESB it's going to have the

squared frown, and bubbled green lenses.


oh... and by the way... I'm going to purchase them from



actually getting parts from someone who uses more than a spoon and

a heat gun... as has been suggested to me in the past.


troopers helping troopers

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I've even been told that I should use Green Flat lenses for

an ESB helmet... but I clearly see all-


Bubbled green lenses in ESB helmets.


so that's another misconception that's shared pretty commonly

around here. flat green lens on an ESB lid?


when I build up my ESB it's going to have the

squared frown, and bubbled green lenses.


oh... and by the way... I'm going to purchase them from



somthing that is also not very well liked around here.


I'm pretty sure most, if not ALL ESB stormtroopers had flat lenses based on screenshots and actually watching the movie. Do you mean squared off frown as in ending before the 5th tooth? Or are you mixing up ROTJ with ESB now?


Buy from where you want. Yeah, you can find a great item every once and a while on eBay but more often than not you'll get s***.


The "tone" that you're using right now seems very snide and rude right now. While you're trying to help everyone gather more information you seem to have more of the "I'M RIGHT YOU'RE WRONG" attitude until proven otherwise.

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I think that star wars helmets does a great job of showcasing

the differences, and history of the white armor.


it looks like all you'd need to show in those photos

would be the tops of the thigh without the

drop boxes covering them up.


in many many photos the tops cannot be

seen. so it looks like if the AP kit

were properly assembled


all we'd get is the prop dept. version of the

armor that THEY recast.


so it looks like they started with an

ANH set... and then they

recast that for the ESB "extra sets"


so if the set they cast from that

series was even more changed by AP himself.

then we can clearly see that there are lot's of

details lost in this process.


it looks to me like paul's TM kit

is actually establishing lost details

being recaptured by his sculpting work.


much of the work being done by members of this forum

is very very good.


that's why I'm building armor kits by the great people here.


this is not about me being right... it's more about my being wrong.


and sometimes even the best tutorials are wrong.

we should all take great care to transmit the correct



I built my AP kit according to the assumption that the parts

were trimmed to fit flush against each other.

but if the proper way is to assemble it with an overlap...

then I'm missing about 5mm of curves and differences

in dimension...


somthing I'd have to fix by completely starting over

on the whole kit, to get the same results...


not only is a return not needed on an AP kit's assembly

but from what I'm reading from AP himself...

we're supposed to overlap and then trim the finishing strip

over that.


AP owners should consider the overlap method of assembly

as moulded into the design?


it will be nice to find a AP tutorial with the overlap method.

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Vern -- the overlap is a strictly ROTJ feature, if I'm not mistaken.


The AP kit has the overlap moulded into the parts, because the armor was cast from an ROTJ suit.


To emulate the ANH/ESB suits, you should trim AWAY the overlap seams, leaving only enough edge to accommodate the finishing strips.


I made the same mistake when I put together my first GF -- I went for an ANH look, but I used the overlap. To my knowledge, this was incorrect.

It won't keep you out of the 501st, or preclude you from EIB status at present, but it's not esthetically consistent with the suits in the first two movies.

As I learned more, I came to understand that if I wanted to duplicate the construction method in ANH, I should have ditched the overlap altogether.


Also, every reference photo I've ever seen shows the ANH and ESB stunt helmets with flat green acetate lenses.

Only the hero helmets had the bubble lenses.


Not to be contentious, but it does seem as though you're confusing ESB details with ROTJ details.

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I am almost beyond words, by the audacity you have by saying here that by following StukaTrooper tutorial on armour building you have ruined your kit by means of wrongfull assembly. He is one of the most skillful and articulate armour builders I have seen in a long time.


Basic armour assembly and whether to use the overlap or butt jointed method is something that should be researched before you start to build a kit, not to be questioned afterwards. We all know the AP armour is cast from a Rotj suit and the armour of that style was assembled by overlapping the seams. But most people will modify and build their armour to be like ANH which was put together using butt seams and the added strip.


I would suggest taking a little more notice from those good enough to offer sound advice before making any major changes to your own armour. You are welcome to do what you please with your own suit, but you still seem very confused by the variations in the movie armour.


Painting the frown outside of the teeth, using green bubble lenses on a ANH style helmet such as yours along with butt jointed seams on the body armour is not going to potray any armour from the films.


I wish you the best of luck in your quest to own a set of black TM armour, there have only ever been three produced worldwide.

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...you still seem very confused by the variations in the movie armour.





If you want the best reference for a nice AP assembly look at Stukatrooper and Pandatrooper builds,


they both did an incredible job, especially with the thighs. Thanks to the heatgun and modeling iron.

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Vern, the AP is designed to be overlapped since it is essentially ROTJ armour. Most people choose to butt seam the arms and legs to resemble ANH or ESB, though they are designed to be overlapped originally (since that is how the original it was cast from was).


I think you need to sit back and relax mate. Sounds like you have a bee in your bonnet about your AP kit. If you were unsure about any part of the assembly then you should have just asked on here. Everyone has different ways of assembling their kit. No-one to my knowledge has built their armour exactly like the original ANH so don't beat yourself up if you think some parts on your kit are not perfect.


It sounds as though you have got the wrong end of the stick here with some info that is not correct from whoever. Just remember that the AP is not a 100% direct recast from an original armour, so don't expect to see the same lines on it as an original LFL suit because they just ain't there. The AP is someones interpritation of an ANH suit and by no means screen accurate, just a 4th gen screen cast derivative. Please take this as an FYI, not a bash :)


Stukatroopers tutorial is fantastic and his armour is the best AP I have seen, so it seems strange to me that you would think otherwise :blink: Each to their own I guess.


Show us some photos of your kit and tell us where you think you went wrong. Maybe it isn't as bad as you think?

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information is the key to the process of complete understanding. my goal here is to have the discussion openly so that

people can see my apparent lack of understanding, and gain some perspective on the whole situation.


while stuka's tutorial is a great addition to the concepts of putting armor together, your photographic evidence

leads me to want to mod the armor I personally have, to include elements like the tops of the thighs.

not to mention the hook on the bicep, and other "hero" style modifications.


so now I'm lead to want to mod my own kit, to properly show the details that you have corrected on the TM kit.


it's going to be a lot of fun to get the proper form on the top's of my thigh parts with dare I say it??



"a modeling iron" oh no! I've become one with the 'dark side'


and I really must say that without stuka's tutorials and without your knowledge and understanding I'd

most likely still be pondering the exact method of assembly.


I have no bee in my bonnet... I'm just a total armor fanatic...

and I wanted to share my experience in this great hobby


because I loved it when I was 17... and now I have it when I'm 48.


I have to say my "hat's off to all of you..."


oh and by the way paul... thanks for the great work on the parts I just

purchased from you. I'm very happy with the results of my received parts.


below is an excerpt from a letter PM I recently have:



I've been trying to research armor sets, and I've been leaning toward AP over TM. Do you know where I can find a good AP build other than stuka's to reference and compare before deciding? I'm not sure which side of the AP vs. TM debate your on, it kinda seems like your against both... do you have any suggestion for what I should do? (I'm sorry if this sounds bad - just trying to do more research before spending lots of money)



Actually I'm for BOTH of them...


the thread I've been posting in... is a result of purchasing the AP kit because I was told it was "cast from the originals" but from what I've seen by purchasing the kit... is that I've been misled on exactly how to assemble the arms, and leg parts.

Stuka's tutorial, while interesting... is not the correct way to assemble it according to the maker.


even though I'm done assembling the kit according to stuka's concepts, without the modeling iron...


I've been doing research on exactly how to assemble the AP style kit, and will do my best to try to show in photos how to assemble

the arms and legs according to the maker of the armor in question.


Most likely AP will have to supply photos of the correct arm and leg photos.

so far we have the forearms and biceps with some basic photographs.


If you cut exactly on the cut lines enscribed in the AP kit you can get the overlap aspect

of the kit to fit almost exact.


the method of cutting out the armor is easy to describe but sometimes tough to do.


first I scribe with a box cutter on the cut line 2x then I use a pair of regular pliars

to bend and flex the cut line until it snaps. when following the cut lines

you need to be smooth, firm and flowing in your cuts. take it slow, and don't

work too quickly. start out by cutting out the AB plate, and back plates.

move on to the legs and arms last... because you're going to need

a bit of practice before you tackle the smaller more important parts.


it's best to remember that if you cut it out a little larger... you can

then sand it by hand to the correct shape and line.


if you're really good at cutting, then sanding is just the finishing



I would never use a dremel to cut out armor... far too easy to mess

it up.


if you're really not comfortable cutting freehand, you can always build up a few layers of

black electrical tape for the blade to follow. just make sure that you scribe lightly at first

then firmer on the 2nd pass.


save all your trimmed parts and you can make some "armor repair paste" by dissolving

the plastic in a small amount of evaporative solvent... acetone is a type to use, but

you have to remember that it's toxic and prone to fire when wet. you get

the paste to the proper consistency a little at a time, and you can keep it

in a sealed glass container.


I always use E6000 glue. and clamp with screw clamps... not spring clamps.

this type of glue takes about 20 hours to set fully. you don't want any parts

moving during the setting phase.


I save all the trimmed parts in as large a shape as I can, so to use them for

inside strips, and use the larger parts of the trimout for the

side gap shims around the waist.


I then use 60 grit sandpaper placed on a flat surface and rubb the armor across the

paper until I get a perfectly straight line. shoulder bells for example...


then I sand the edge so that it's round, and has no burrs.

it's best to use screen captures and photos when trimming out the

chest plate and the back plate.


you don't want to model a return where there was none.


the chest plate needs a lip across the bottom, but on the sides

there is almost no return on the parts.


you need to spend a lot of time looking at side view photos

to get the feel for the proper amount of "return" to leave

on the parts. especially on the back plate and chest plates

where you're going to see those elements where you cut.


basically I left about 3-5mm of angle on all the edges.

on some of the parts you can still see a very faint

line where I've left the cut lines barely intact.

this aspect made me very happy with the result.


a modeling iron, and such are not needed when you apply the proper

torque, and with the overlap method you're going to get a lot stronger

of a build than using the butt end method.


I would Email both makers and get a price quote from them.


Since TM is in england, and AP is in canada it's usually best to expect to pay for about 25 lbs for shipping.

and you're gonna want that INSURED.


AP: edited contact info out.

TM: edited contact info out.


I purchased the AP kit last year... and it cost me over $ total removed.

un trimmed.


with boots, blaster, belt and undersuit I'm guessing that my overall kit has

cost about $ total removed I would purchase a resin blaster, and it's always good

to purchase your own dyed through leather for a holster.


Ca boots $80 (you might want to look into TKboots... some say those are better? )

blaster $75 (maker of things from ebay... really looks good! )

Belt $45 canvas, needed for EIB not supplied with kit.

Stomper Hovies $30 ( I bought 2 sets, one for my MRCE and one for the AP helmet )

new rubber trim $20 ( incorrect trim supplied with kit )

green bubbled lenses from ebay $35

ESB stickers from mike $22

Undersuit $70

Leather, snaps and strapping, $45


it has taken me over a year to source the hardest parts

especially the hovies and rubber parts...



I have a holster pattern, and lot's of suggestions.

let me know if you need any advice.


I have purchased AP armor, and TM parts for my ESB build.


I'm finally going to go for all 3 types of builds... ANH ESB and the expanded universe TX


most likely I'll purchase a TX from paul if he'd offer me one...


END OF letter...


so I guess you can see that people really want the best advice... and that's why

all of these posts are here...


troopers helping troopers!


by the way... I love my AP kit... and now that I'm going to model in the correct details

as TM has clearly shown... I know I've done my best... and that's the happy part!

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Can we please see pics of your assenbly?


When I get done with the mods... and assemble my helmet in ESB style... I'll be posting my

acceptance photos... might be a few more weeks... maybe longer.


I'm waiting for some more ESB parts.


and I need to mod my MRCE some more...

ears, painting and decals for that.


and the full ESB build on a belt and blaster.


The blaster ESB 'may have section' is really cool.


so far the TM handplates I have, and the neck and brow trim look


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Measure twice, cut once... is good advice.

Measure twice, ask questions here, measure again, ask again, measure, ask, measure, ask, cut once... is even better advice. B)

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Ok I'm gonna be an an impolite person here..I see you ranting about accuracy and saying how Stuka's build is wrong and TM armor is incorrect but you are using a MRCE as your bucket.... :huh: um yeah


A completely modded MRCE looks pretty "hero" in a stylized way one for the hero version ANH...

especially with filed teeth, and modded ears.


THE AP helmet for the ESB stunt version. so actually the "accuracy" is just about as speculative as

any other when it comes to what we have.


so actually I have 2 helmets as of this point... yet soon I will have 3

and they're all going to be 2 AP and 1 modded MRCE...


there are only 2 helmets out there that I know of that were ever cast... and star wars helmets pretty much

covers the differences in helmet comparisons.


I felt that it would make the imperfections stand out on the AP kit when they sit next to each other.

it pretty much showcases the differences between styles.


when the MRCE mod is finished it's going to be a completely new bucket.


totally new ears, rubber, lenses, painted... with new decals.


that's part of the fun of modding an MRCE... to get it to look right is fun.


the AP ESB will be with mike's decals too...

does anyone think I should make a chipped stunt AP ESB?


or should I just make it a ESB hero... since it's ABS?



and I'm a purchaser of TM's products... so the thread is there for people to look at

and will be clearly showing the detailed differences in each set.


I am most likely going to look directly into the black hole and instead of getting a

SDS blackhole trooper... I'm probably going to GO TM.


he's a little less costly than sds...

but having a blackhole trooper by 2011 would be fun


if anyone wants to look over at the shepperton site

you'll see that he has "agents" who can purchase kits and send them out.

the kit versions of the sds armor are really looking tempting?

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You missed the "stand back, drink a beer" part in there somewhere...



my kit seems to be properly cut out, and assembled according to the ANH style in the Stuka

advised method.


I just don't think that if you cut it out on the lines that you need a modeling iron.

if you cut it out smaller to fit a smaller person... then you'd get

a different result. and also might need a modeling iron.


there is a little bit of a confusion about which way to assemble a kit for AP.

some prefer the overlap, which would be for a whole different type

of assembly. while others use the more cut out way.


but TM pretty well has cleared that up in earlier posts.


I'm looking into putting the details back into the tops of the thighs..

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wouldn't it be great if LFL put out a great new set of armor.. and it

actually would have all 3 original trilogy variations


and then they'd do clones?


and then dorothy would finally get to the end of the rainbow

and the tin man and the lion would...


oh... wait.. I drifted off there for a second... we all know how it's been in the past...

someday we'll be talking about the differences between TM and the new

armor coming out.


we can always dream the impossible dream...


would really be interesting if the inside of the helmet is shown

and the uniform of the trooper when he's not in armor.

now those are interesting additions to the lore...

live action television...


"Lucas has stated that the series will not feature Darth Vader, Palpatine, or any Jedi characters, stating that "The Emperor and Darth Vader are heard about — people talk about them — but you never see them because it doesn't take place where they actually are. There are storm troopers and all that, but there are no Jedis

quoted from wookiepedia"



this is going to really update our events calendar


that's what's fun about this hobby.


and what happens to us when the live action series comes out?

and then perhaps we'll be seeing a lot more events to troop at.


and some troopers will say... hey... nice ATA kit... or hey... nice SDS kit...


does anyone out there have an AP kit that they have used the overlap

method on?

would be cool to have closeups of all the arms and leg's parts.

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"Lucas has stated that the series will not feature Darth Vader, Palpatine, or any Jedi characters, stating that "The Emperor and Darth Vader are heard about — people talk about them — but you never see them because it doesn't take place where they actually are. There are storm troopers and all that, but there are no Jedis

quoted from wookiepedia"


Oh I really really hope they would use guys in nice wonky stormtrooper costumes and not go the CGI route! I wouldnt put my money on it though. :(

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