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 TK8993 WIP New TM

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firebladejedi
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PostSubject: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:11 pm

There has been an awakening, have you felt it?

2015 is my tenth year as a costumer in the Star Wars TM Galaxy, and, along time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a younger, slimmer and fitter guy named firebladejedi started on a long path looking to build an accurate as you can Stormtrooper. And here we are again, awaiting the release of Ep VII later this year in the cinema, and what better way of celebrating than starting on a seventh set of stormtrooper armour.

So over the next few weeks I will be cutting, gluing and strapping my latest set of white plastic together and will stop by here a few times on the way. I will try to keep a log of my progress, but I usually start with good intentions of taking multiple pics of everything and then after a few days work, get too involved in the build to stop and take pics.

So anyway im sure nobody has read this they will just skip to the pictures and don't want to read the boring part.. after a large disturbance in my wallet and a nice holiday in Cyprus, where it rained a lot I might add came the delivery of this wonderfully designed vessel often referred to as a big brown box..

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:12 pm

Ok so I went for a well known maker of fine stormtrooper armour from England known only by two capitol letters, T and M.

It came well packed and tidily stacked in the aforementioned big brown box, anyone would think he has had plenty of practise at this.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:13 pm

I needed pretty much everything for this build so have ordered the complete armour with hero helmet, an accurate strapping kit, leather holster, canvas belt ( I could not find any other reputable sellers of the canvas belt < can you believe when I first built armour that most people thought the belts were made from leather!!> next you'll tell me ab plate buttons are not black ) and latex gloves and natural latex hand plates.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:16 pm



During any build, reference material is very important. I don't follow the CRL, the CRL follows me. Instead of copying other builders, and web sites that have for years been out of date, I copy the real costumes that were in Star Wars. That way there is no room for error and you end up with a great looking costume first time. Well ok, maybe we sometimes need a bit more practise and it takes us more than one attempt to get it right.

I will be cross referencing pictures of the real items next to my build to show why I am doing things the way I am. High definition detailed pictures are available on many web sites these days, so there is no excuse for not seeking them out. Choosing to follow them or not is another matter.. but everyone likes to drool over pictures from the insides of the Lucas Archives, no?

This is a great picture to ponder over while I head to the man cave for my curved trimming scissors. Hands up who still has this as a standee in the corner of their room?

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:17 pm

Ok so I am going to start trimming today. There are many ways to trim armour, and you can use many tools to do it. I only use a few basic tools readily available at your local model store. I mainly use curved trimming scissors, a sharp knife, maybe a little sandpaper, a metal rule for a straight edge and a saw. And most important of all a pencil ( not illustrated ).

I will show most if not all the tools I use as and when I use them, but here are the basics I need to get me started.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:18 pm

I will start by rough trimming and then I will move onto tidying it up as I get ready to fit to size glue the various parts. Some armour will come straight from the armour maker joined such as these arm pieces. You need to be careful when separating the pieces as they are quite tightly placed together. I will just separate and rough trim these for now.


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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:19 pm

Ok so it took me around 30 minutes to separate the left arm and cut off the excess flash. I will neaten things up when I start to trim to size later. I like to trim all the armour first and then get stuck into the build.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:19 pm

It helps a lot when trimming to run a pencil around the mould or trim line. You can leave on or take off as much return edge as you like for the most part. Although I will say take it off in small amounts, because you can always take more off if you so wish - but once its gone, its gone..


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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:20 pm

Mark, cut, repeat.. mark, cut, repeat..

The other arm is now rough trimmed ready for fitting. I will make a start on the legs and torso next.


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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:20 pm

I've now trimmed all the arms, the shoulder bells and one shin and thigh, and the upper back plate. No more pics today as its getting too dark for my iPhone to cope with. I'll continue tomorrow and besides I now have armour trimmers finger, those little lexan scissors can be quite nasty..

Time for dinner, I'm thinking bacon sandwich - the food of peas.. so until next time; remember guys and girls poke, but don't smoke!

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:20 pm

Day Two

Ok my armour arrived on Saturday 20.06.2015 and I'm now going from early shifts to nights starting today. So I will have plenty of time this week to get on with my armour build. I wont be done by the weekend though as some of the armour was missing and some other things I ordered are not ready yet either. This sometime happens and you just have to be cool about it. Its only plastic and there are more important things in this world to worry about. I've been in touch with the seller and he will send out the last missing items when he can.

In the meantime I've had breakfast, boiled eggs and soldiers, and its raining here today. So instead of going for a much needed run to loose some weight so that I can eventually fit into my new armour, I'll be doing more cutting.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:22 pm

Lets take a look at what I did last night before going any further.

The good old question of the return edge. A must have in your frequently asked questions. I would say to anyone asking that how much you leave on or take off is a personal one. You can take an OCD approach and measure everything with a laser and make sure your return is mm perfect. Or you can cut it all off for a more comfortable armour. Or you can follow your best friend, the screen used armour. If you do that, as I always do you cannot go wrong.

Lets look at the shoulder bells. Here we can see that some had the return almost all removed, and then some had plenty left on. How do you like yours? Undecided, do both.. one of each!

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:24 pm

I'm not really building my armour in any particular order, its just a case of what ever comes out of the box next.

I have trimmed one half of each of my shins, as that's how they were packed.

I have taken the flashing off and trimmed the top and bottom, here's a before and after picture.

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Again take off as much as you like, I like to have very little return at the top of my shins, so that it does not cut into my leg all day when I'm at the Space Centre.

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At the ankle I take it all off. Not needed and it will sit on your boot much better.


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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:27 pm

Well it seems I trimmed more of my armour last night than I remember. I must have been distracted by Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2 on the tv last night..

So I have also trimmed an outer and inner thigh. Again at this stage all I am doing is rough trimming the parts, getting rid of the flashing that comes from the excess plastic from when it was formed. Some armour will be better trimmed than others and some may give you an option of pre trimmed or not. If you get it like this untrimmed and raw, its very easy to take off the excess. Again I am only using curved trimming scissors and this 1.5mm gloss ABS plastic is easy to cut. Don't worry about the wavy wibbly wobbly lines as I will deal with that later on.

This is what needs taking off

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And here it is after trimming

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:28 pm

All armour needs to be trimmed to fit you and depending on your body size, less or more will need to be taken away.

I know from experience that I will need to take little away from the thighs and at the moment I am taking as little off as possible. You can use a knife or your scissors. I'm using scissors. To get a guide line I simply lay the part on the table and run a pencil down the crease like this. Then I have a guide to follow. Don't worry if you do not have a steady hand and the line is not straight. The joining strips will cover all of this later and nobody will ever need to know...

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The piece in the pictures above is the last part of the legs that needs doing. After lunch I will start on the body parts.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:29 pm

All arm and leg pieces are now done. So I will tackle the torso next his avo. Time for lunch. Probably going to have a ham salad, I'll see what's in the fridge. Its still raining here, in the middle of summer. How annoying, I was hoping to hang my washing out today to get it dry. Never mind. More armour building to look forward to...

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:30 pm

Day Three

Ok so there were no updates since Monday lunchtime as I decided to take a nap before work and I had ninja classes both last night and on Monday before work. But no class today so lets go to work!

I'm now working on the torso, and have already trimmed the upper back plate, next out is the kidney plate. This set of TM has a very generous return on the body parts and, as I am going to use the original strapping system I am going to need a fairly good edge to be able to put screws through it. I will look at the strapping more in depth when I fit it, for now lets carry on cutting. What a great name for a new carry on film, Carry on Cutting..

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:30 pm

If you only buy one new tool for armour building, buy a pair of these. Lexan curved trimming scissors, worth every penny.. much more useful and controllable than a dremmel and less messy..

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:32 pm

Here is the kidney plate, loads of return edge to cut off, or not. I have left plenty for screws, but if your return is smaller and you still want to use screws just screw through the edge, or back plate, or wherever you like.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:33 pm

The butt
has a very generous return also. I usually take this down to a minimum. The upper lip will need to be bigger again to allow room for screws. I am really just cutting away not paying too much attention. I will clean up later or not.. one thing to bare in mind. The larger the return the more likely the tear, although modern armour is made from very flexible abs plastic. One thing is a must, make sure there are no small cuts anywhere in the corners, sand nice and smooth as that is where the tears or cracks will start.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:34 pm

A quick run round with the scissors, and we're all done..

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:35 pm

Did I mention the chest piece looked rough, well the proof is in the pudding so they say. Don't worry stormtrooper fans, this will have another trim and sand session, I am really just getting the armour rough trimmed ready to get on with the build proper.

I am really starting to dislike photo bucket, the annoying adverts keep flashing in my face, I can never remember my password to log in, and it keeps flipping out and cannot keep up with me... get it sorted photo bucket people!

Do I want to make this picture into a canvas print? Really I think not, I just want to show the good people of the UKG my wonky work...

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:36 pm

Ok so we just have the ab plate to trim now and we are done. Its all marked ready to cut.

This is such a lovely piece to hold and look at, subtle differences from my last kit back in 2011, here we see the sandy plate before the ab buttons are going on..

Ok so we just have the ab plate to trim now and we are done. Its all marked ready to cut.

This is such a lovely piece to hold and look at, subtle differences from my last kit back in 2011, here we see the sandy plate before the ab buttons are going on..

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:38 pm

Day Four

Ok I have finished my night shifts, I have had my Weetabix and its time for more cutting, yeah..

I trimmed this during day three but did not post pics of the kidney after trimming. It does not look like I have taken much off, and that because I haven't, not yet.

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PostSubject: Re: TK8993 WIP New TM    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:40 pm

More pictures of rough looking cuts. The Ab plate is done for now, ready for clean up and fine tuning.

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