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501st, Midwest Garrison

My First Troop – Force Among Us Chicago Premiere 6/12/09

Friday night was my first in armor troop at the Force Among Us Chicago Premiere at the Gene Siskle Film Center. Nothing is more fun than seeing the surprise and attention that we get when people see Star Wars characters out and about in the heart of State Street.

In all I didn’t have too many problems with my armor with the new strap setup. I have one that needs a snap reglued but in all I am much happier with the fit of the arms and especially the thighs that now rest where they are supposed to be instead of too far down. Still need to come up with a better torso option though, the top still pushes out but at least it much less noticeable with the side plates. Might need to work on trying to attach the side plates to the back plate.

Also had a problem with the electronics in the helmet. I really like the new fan placement with the fans in the frown to push air through the helmet but I think it might need to be pulled and redone. The new setup leaves no room for the mic in the frown and my attempt to use it as an earpiece failed miserably. It won’t stay in place and it likes to hit the fan, much like my nose and cheek which currently sport “fan burn”. Will probably pull the fan from the right side of the helmet and try and find a different place for it.

In all it was fun and I got to see a good portion of the film. Its weird to see people you know 30 feet tall on a movie screen.

Two troops this weekend. This should get interesting.

I’ll post pics from the FAU troop soon.

501st, Midwest Garrison, news, Star Wars

MWG on WGN Morning News

501st, Armor Work

My New Helmet Build Part 1

Check out my new acquisition, a brand new Kev ANH v2.5 Helmet. Its rotocast in rigid resin. When its done it will be a mostly symmetrical helmet that is larger than standard screen cast helmets but smaller and much more accurate in shape and dimensions than the FX helmet that I have now.

Midwest Garrison

51709 Soldier Field Autism Walk Photos

My first troop. I went as photographer and handler and it was great.



Well I will soon be giving this blog a face lift and a repurpose now that my armor is done and I failed at keeping a good diary of my progress, but  it came down to either documenting or getting done in time for Halloween and well getting done came first.

I am now a proud member of the 501st and Midwest Legion, rechristened TK-8114.

I will be rebranding and naming this site as soon as a I decide on a appropriate name and I will continue to post about my adventures in the 501st, armor, and anything Star Wars I feel like bitching about.

Hopefully there are still people willing to read my blathering.



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I am a slacker!

Well not really, but I have been slacking on reporting on this site. Work’s been insane with computer installations, website installation issues, a new server, and two virus riddled computers. I haven’t had much time to report like I should with all the OT and usual business of life.

I have some new pics to post and some progress reports to make regarding , a few new tools, strapping, a second blaster project, and my screwed up shin piece.

So stay tuned, there will be reports coming soon.

References, Tips, Tools

Tips – Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Rock!

After reading up on the FISD about what kind of cleaner that is safe to use on the ABS plastic the armor is made out of, I found a bunch of recommendations for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

I needed to clean off newsprint smudges and some tape residue, so I popped by Target and ended up getting the Target brand version because it was $1.99 on sale for a four pack which was cheaper than the 2 pack of Mr. Clean. (Make sure you get the regular sponges and not the other heavier duty ones.)

Anyways, I have to say, this thing totally worked. It cleaned everything off the armor with little work, just make sure you have a towel to dry off the pieces after you’re done.

I wholly recommend getting these and its probably a god idea to keep one in your repair kit once you’re ready for full time trooping.

Armor Work, Painting

Neckseal Came!

Yup you read it right. It came from the UK in about four days. WAY quicker than the resin Hasbro mod kit did.

Did a test fit, it fits loose but you’d never know it from looking at it. The lining is the same satin material as the bib and its comfortable. My only two gripes are that the bib is really just too long and that straps on the bib would be better replaced with elastic and Velcro. Also the satin inside the neck is a little loose like theres too much fabric and likes to poke out the top of the neckseal. Its not too bad though and it can always been tucked back in.

I forgot my camera at work last night so I’ll have to get pictures tonight so you can see the finished product.

Also I pulled the masking off my helmet last night. The paint job on the inside came out well but the outside needs to be cleaned up. It has newspaper ink smudges all over, but that should clean up rather easily.

I hope.

Armor Work, Painting

Day 4 Rundown

Received my rubber t-tracks for replacing the rails on the Hasbro blaster on Friday! YAY! These will need to be shortened to fit the shorter Hasbro barrel but they are accurate to the screen used blaster. That will happen later when I get ready to finish the blaster.

So onto the armor work. Started with doing the bracers. I followed pretty to the letter the directions from the bracer tutorial from Dave’s Garage. The two parts to that can be found here:

Part One
Part Two

Basically, I started by sanding the areas that would either have Velcro attached or glued. This takes the “shine” off the ABS plastic and makes the glue attach better.

Next, I attached the soft side of the Velcro to the outer piece of the armor. First off, you ALWAYS want the soft side pointed towards you (and your undersuit) as the plastic side will tear it up. Also doing this part first is best because having the two sides of Velcro done first can make gluing more difficult and it is easier to attach the piece of Velcro here now because its easier to access than after gluing.

After doing that, I taped the heck out of the Velcro side of the bracer to support the bracer for gluing. Then I clamped the two ends of the glue side to mesh the two sides together and then ran a piece of tape flush across the edge of the seam to mask any glue that might squeeze out once the bracer is glued and clamped.

Once that was done, I pulled out the Plastic Weld, squeezed out some into the plastic bubble from the package and mixed it quickly using a wooden dowel. Set the timer for 4 minutes and went to work and applied the plastic welder with the wooden dowel and the aligned the top edge and clamped while holding the center together with my hands for a few minutes for extra support.

Once the timer went off, I took the clamps off and removed the masking tape piece and cleaned up and excess glue with my Xacto knife.

Once that was done, I trimmed off a piece of the plastic side of the Velcro and attached it and then Velcroed the two sides together.

Repeated for the other bracer.

After that, I spray painted the insides of the bucket parts after double checking the masking tape to make sure that no gaps appeared in the masking. I used the satin black Krylon I bought for the blaster to spraypaint.

I stopped there because I started to get a lot of dandelions “cotton” seeds blowing into the garage that I didn’t want stuck in the paint.

Next up, I will probably continue onto the biceps and then move onto the leg armor. Also the gray parts are in need of another sanding and coat of paint as well as the the 02 tank still needs to be trimmed up to fit the end caps.

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