Archive for May, 2008

Setup

Long Weekend, Got Nothing Done.

Yup. Thats right, I had a long weekend and didn’t even TOUCH my armor. Oh well.

But I did at least get something done even if it wasn’t elbow grease related. I placed an order for one of the most awesome and screen accurate neckseals I have ever seen. Its expensive though, coming in at just under $100 shipped from the UK, but thats ok since thats something I can always use with any armor kit I get. Since these are only being offered for a limited time, I figured might as well splurge now rather than kick myself later for not getting it when I had the chance.

(Note: These are pictures from the actual seller and not my own)

Heres a picture of the actual product

And heres a screen grab of the actual ANH hero neckseal.

Items I still need to pick up:
Under Armour (since I live in the crazy weather capital of the world, I really need to get both Heat & Cold gear Under Armour sets) and trooper boots which I won’t bother with until I get closer to finishing my armor.

Blaster Modding

Blaster Mod Kit & Blaster Work

Well my resin Hasbro Stormtrooper Blaster Rifle mod kit came yesterday and boy is it detailed. I had a little time to kill before going to see Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls last night so I figured I’d kill it by test fitting the kit parts to the blaster and do some clean up on the blaster and kit parts.

The kit parts are very nice, but they are imperfect. If you look closely, there are noticeable seam “flange”, air bubbles, bumps, gook in cracks, etc. After test fitting everything I sanded down what I could find, or scraped out what I could with the Xacto knife. I also used the grinding bit on the Dremel a little as well to get into some smaller places.

After that, I cleaned up the gun itself. I cleaned the dirt and grime off the blaster with a cleaning wipe and went to work on removing the Imperial logo stickers from the blaster. First I scraped of lightly as much of the sticker as I could with my finger nail and used the Xacto lightly for the rest. I used lighter fluid on a paper towel to easily rub off the left over residue from the sticker glue.

After that, I sanded down some of the areas where the two halves of the blaster meet and are not smooth. I will very likely Bondo over the seems (and screw holes) on the blaster in the end, but this was mostly just a precaution.

Next I went to work on taking apart the blaster to move the red light from the nozzle where the two halves of the blaster body clamp the wires in place since those wires would be in the way of where I would be cutting the nozzle off and likely be damaged.

Unfortunately not only is the blaster screwed together it is held in place by three circle caps that are glued in place. The orange nozzle, and the two ends of the scope. Since the orange cap was the most prevalent of the problem and it was going to go anyways, I just cut it off with the cutting disc attachment on a low speed (between 2-4)of the Dremel tool. Before doing so, I removed the batteries to be cautious.

Once that was cut off, I was able to move the wires and tuck them out of the way. After rescrewing the blaster together and replacing the batteries to make sure it still works., I cut the rest of the nozzle structure off the blaster and sanded the area down and cut out any flange with with the Xacto.

Next I went to work on cutting off the rails on the blaster. These will eventually be replaced with accurate rubber t-tracks supplied by a member of the FISD forums which I hope to receive in the next week. There are five in total, two on each side and one on the top that will need to be removed. I had time to remove three of them and sand down the area. You have to be careful that you cut these on a angle with the Dremel so that the disc is parallel to the edge of the blaster barrel or you can very easily cut through the barrel as well.

Also know that when cutting through the blaster like this, it creates a LOT of plastic dust. I recommend wearing safety goggles and a face mask would likely be a good idea too. I was sneezing up a storm last night after working and I’m willing to bet thats the reason why.

Blaster Modding, Photo Gallery

Blaster Modding

Armor Work, Painting

Day 2 (Back on track)

Ugh. Running late on this update thanks to too much time spent trying to get my old Flickr plugin to work with the two new galleries I made last weekend. As you can see everything is fixed. FINALLY.

So Saturday morning I made it out to the store to buy the last of the tools I need for building the shell of the costume. A note to remember is that this does not include anything regarding putting together the support structure (webbing, etc) since I have not yet decided entirely what route I intend to take.

Unfortunately, as I was wrapping up my shopping, I was informed by my roommate that we’re having a cook out that night so any work I wanted to get done on Saturday got thrown out the window.

Woke up late Sunday morning, got dressed and set up my PS2 on the TV in the garage for watching DVDs while I work (SNL season 2!) and went to work.

I started out with taking the tool photos you see in the gallery below, and cut up the wooden dowel I bought for use applying the plastic welder. Let me tell you, trying to take pictures while you work is a bitch. Don’t expect much more in the way of action shots in the future unless its something I don’t have to worry about screwing up.

So after taking the tool pictures, I did some test fits. Let me tell you, wearing shorts when you do this is very helpful in getting a more accurate fit. The thighs are going to be tricky, especially since I would really like to avoid the “cannon thighs” (these are oversized and more tube-like thighs) that is prevalent in the FX armor kits.

So from there I went to test fit the 02 tank. Guess what? One side is apparently longer than the other and both sides are too long to fit together anyways. I did a little grinding down of the difference in sizes but the whole thing is going to need to be measured out and cut probably on both sides.

After monkeying with it for a while I put that to the side so I could try to do some research to see if I can find more information on better ways to do this later. So I started painting. Starting with painting the chin piece satin black, the two halves of the 02 tank primer, then dark gray, and the ear screw covers primer and then dark gray. The reason why the dark gray pieces got primered first is because I the satin black is a plastic paint, while the dark gray is not. The primer is to make sure the pieces are properly set up. All pieces also got a light sanding and about three coats.

After this I decided to grab the aerators and put them together. I am going to use the stock aerators temporarily until sometime after I finish the set and I will buy a set of screen accurate hovi mic tips to replace them and hopefully place speakers in them.

These are extremely simple to put together. All you do is take the main front piece apart, take the rubber stoppers out of them, pull out the restrictor disc with the small hole in it and place the screw through that. Take the screw on back part and remove the rubber stopper from that, and screw that onto the front piece. Do your best to keep that screw & restrictor plate straight and as centered as possible. One I had no problem with and the other I had to hold up while I screwed the back on. Once the back is screwed on it will hold the screws in place and you place the washer and nut on the screw and attach the aerator stickers. Done and done.

Next i decided to pull out the drill bits for the Dremel. Anything that will be riveted, and the helmet screw holes got drilled at 1/8″ drill bit and the ab button holes got drilled at 5/32″ (I need to double check that size though). I bought a Dremel drill bit set for the 1/8″ but if you get the variable chuck add on for the Dremel you can use most normal, smaller drill bits with it. Just remember when drilling plastic keep it on a lower setting so you’re not melting the plastic as you go. Depending on the part I was using between 2-5 speed. Also if you’re buying a Dremel for this project make sure its a variable speed model and not one of the cheaper one speed only ones. Its a huge help and again it will keep you from melting the plastic as you work.

At this point it was getting cold with the garage open and dark so I gave up for the night to go upstairs and upload the pictures I took and started my fight with Flickr and the plugin I was using for this blog.

Armor Work, Painting, Photo Gallery, Setup

Day 2 Photos

Photo Gallery, Setup, Tools

Tool Photos

Setup

Day One Recap – Unboxing & Preliminary Test Fittings

Well, I got my armor home and got right into unboxing (well right after I slipped into something more comfortable). As you can see in the pictures, everything is there, but it will need some polishing when its all said and done as there are already some light scratches and blemishes which I couldn’t get to come out in pictures.

I did some test fitting as you can see, some pieces will need some trimming to get them to line up better. As typical with FX type armor, the font shin tops need some trimming, as well as the back of the right shin, back bottom of the right shin, and the ends on one of the gauntlets.

Also the thighs will need a trim as well due to the extra length in the version two for larger thighs. I’m a little nervous about this trimming and getting the right size, as you want the armor to be lose for muscle expansion, but you also don’t want it too lose and once you’ve cut, you can’t go back. I’m going to do more research on how to size this better, but in the meantime, my plan is cut away a bit at a time until I get a good fit.

I have to admit, I am quite literally intimidated by the sheer scope of this project and the amount of work and planning that needs to go into it hit home once I had everything unboxed. But that is a good thing as it will help force me to take my time and work slowly and carefully to build this costume.

Tonight or more likely tomorrow I will go and buy the last of my tools and equipment for my project and make a final list of my tools and pictures for posterity, and mostly since nobody else has such a detailed list and that would be beneficial for others in the future. I know I really wish I could have found one instead of going piecemeal from different sources.

Photo Gallery, Setup

Day One Unboxing Photos

Setup

Its HERE!

My armor has been delivered to the office. I’ll have some unboxing pictures when I get it home.

Now to figure out how to get out of work early…

Setup

Starting The Round Up

Last night, I took a trip to Super Walmart to take a look at what supplies I could find and pick a few things up.

I was able to pick up three tubes of Plastic Welder, a high temp glue gun with a fine nozzle and glue sticks, and a tailor’s tape measure.

I also took a look at what Dremel tools they offer (which is not much) but they did have on display one of the newer Stylus models which feels extremely comfortable and may be what I go for. From researching, I’ve found they have a short battery life but I don’t really expect to be using a whole 2 hour battery run in one sitting. The other thing that stinks is they come with a very limited selection of tools so I will likely need to buy a tool kit for it. Gotta do more research…

Also, I bought the mod kit for the Hasbro Stormtrooper Blaster off eBay last night. $45 bones but it’ll be totally worth it when its done.

Today… MORE RESEARCH.

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