Tips & Tricks More trooper mods

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by christoff88, Sep 11, 2003.

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  1. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    I've just started working on putting the velcro on my armor pieces. I'm going to use rivets for some pieces as well, and this makes me wonder.. anyone use snaps? I've seen a few pics, and I don't like the look of snaps on the outside of the armor. what I was thinking of doing was putting snaps into small squares cut from the extra ABS and then glueing them inside and using this system instead of the velcro. I'm thinking it's a good idea. Any thoughts?
  2. Lord_Gita Former TFN FanFilms Staff

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    Oct 5, 2000
    star 4
    I did a snap conversion about 2 years ago. It is much better than velcro or rivets! The only parts that are still rivets are my shoulder to chest/back plate and I have been planing to get new ones and just glue them. I still use velcro for the forearm and calf pieces, but that's all. Do it, it's worth it.
  3. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Any suggestions on where to get a snap maker and replacements for the black stretchy material? I think I will go this way. I only want to use rivets for the knee pieces, and was planning on glueing the shoulder straps as well.
  4. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    I've used VERY LITTLE Velcro on my armor and went straight to snaps, granted there are some areas in which velcro can be good but with me being in the South Texas humidity, the adhesive to the velcro erodes away from the heat leaving you to be a naked body suit man.

    As for where to get snaps and elastic straps, head on over to your nearest Walmart and go in to the Craft and Fabrics section. They have packs of snaps there with the anvils and bits included in the packs and they're cheap !!!

    You can also find elastic straps there as well, my buddy and I just finished our armor and have pics posted in the San Antonio FanForce forum area.

    If you need ANY help at all, don't hesitate to ask :)

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John
  5. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Thanks John, you're awesome. I'll be on my way to Walmart shortly. maybe i'll even get a zipper so i can add some easy access to the crotch of my body suit. I'm not looking forward to having to take a leak with no way out!
  6. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Heheheheh !!! - I hear ya about the Body suit Mod my friend :)

    I still have the dive skin option but my "Monster Cloning Facility" co-worker went with something similar to the Under Armor suits that are out there where it comes in two pieces.

    I may be re-thinking that and buying my an Under Armor suit for me since the dive skin has the zipper on the back.

    I did forget to mention a couple of things for the snaps, you need either a hammer with a hard rubber head to it, or a mallet for hammering the snaps. I think if you went with the traditional hammer you might warp the snap a bit, unless you use a bit of caution. Also, if you need extra plastic but not sure where to get it, if you have a Home Depot near ya, buy one of those Handicapped Only - No Parking signs. It'll cost you about $4 but it is thick enough to accomodate your snaps and you can cut it to size. And finally, I wouldn't recommend using the Abs cement they gave ya for the snaps but Plumber's Goop, it's used for joining Abs pipes together, so it is durable, waterproof, and once it bonds, it's tough as nails, plus it won't eat through your armor if you overdo it, but make sure you that you have some plastic clamps to clamp the snap pieces onto your armor, again, you can find those at Walmart, they have a bag of 16 various sizes for $3-$4, if you can't find these materials at your location and need help, please let me know and I will be glad to help out. We just finished my buddies kit so we know where to find everything here in our town :)

    Take Care Chris

    TD7012 - OUT !!!!

    John Laurel
    ObiJuan70@aol.com
  7. _Mike_ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2002
    star 2
    Under Armor might work very good for a Trooper... they need all the armor they can get :p

    Serioulsy though, I've heard that Under Armor is really cool. That it keeps you warm in the cold, and cold in the warm. *nods*
  8. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    I was going to get the under armor, and ended up buying the dive skin cuz it's cheaper. I have a feeling I'll be slowly upgrading as I wear it more and more. I've also heard the under armor doesn't pull when the velcro touches it like the lycra does.
    Thanks again for all the advise. does that plumbers goop work on the armor pieces too? I've decided to glue the front seams on the arms and legs, and was planning on using the abs. but, if the goops better, I may rethink that.
  9. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Plumber's goop works on armor man, it won't eat the plastic and it won't stain it either since it dries clear.

    I've used it on my Sandtrooper armor >

    [image=http://members.aol.com/TD7012/john4.jpg]

    And we've used it on my friend's Stormie armor >

    [image=http://members.aol.com/TD7012/jim4.jpg]

    Just make sure you work with it in a room with ALOT of ventilation or else you get dain bramage :)

    TD7012 - OUT !!!!

    John Laurel
  10. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Awesome, sounds like the way to go. You're armor looks great... I see you modified the belt, too. I've been thinking of doing this too. I've heard pros and cons of cutting the badominal piece... some say it let's you bend, others say it doesn't really. haven't made up my mind yet. I am going to cut the butt piece in two, as looking at stills from ANH I see that the troopers have 2 pieces in the back. So far the only real problem I ran into was the frown, got some paint globs, but Goo Gone did a pretty good job of clearing it up.
    Man, I can't wait to wear this stuff
  11. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Thanks for the kind words Chris, we both did do the Imperial C-section to our ab and back pieces from the cod piece cause I do recall from a convention I went to in Plano Texas yrs ago when a buddy of mine had his Trooper armor on (w/o the ab plate cuts) and when he dropped his glove on the ground . . . It was a really bad Kodak opportunity for him since he couldn't bend forward to pick up the glove. And I too was incapacitated with this Darth Maul kidney belt that I had on, so if anyone had a camera at that time, it would have an embarrassing moment . . .

    Once you get your armor done - POST PICS !!!

    Take Care Friend

    TD7012 - OUT !!!!

    John Laurel
  12. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Hey, is that plumber's goo work on the eye lenses too? i've tried hot gluing the lenses (i have the flat ones), and the glue won't hold, they keep popping off.
  13. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Hot Glue is still the best option for the lenses my friend. What you'll want to do is glue one drop on your helmet then hold the lens down on the drop til it cools. The best thing to do and I learned this from my MCF co-worker is glue three drops in anchoring areas for your lens, kind of in the areas of where your lens points would be. Once you get those areas to cool then you can go in with more glue to make sure that it won't go anywhere . . .

    We did this with my new green lenses and it worked !!!

    Hope that helps a bit . . .

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John
  14. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    I'll give it a shot. One of the lenses stayed in nice and tight. the other one looked good, then just pulled away a couple of hours later. i have some industrial strength glue (it's yellow), so i may try that. the glue i used was so hot in melted the lens, but it still pulled off. I'm guessing it's because the lens is flat and takes a little pressure to hold in place. It's been a real pain so far. but the rest of the helmet went well, and it's almost done.
  15. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    The Bucket IS the most time consuming part of the armor my friend and you really WANT for it to be time consuming cause that's the first thing people will see when you walk up to them . . .

    Try not to use any adhesives that may stain your bucket. Hot glue will work you just gotta start small with a drop or two to anchor your lens then fill in the rest. And make sure you apply pressure with your fingers, if you have a fan around you, use it to help the glue to dry.

    Just use caution when gluing cause your glue gun may also warp or melt areas of your helmet . . .

    Take Care Friend and Keep in touch

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John
  16. queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff

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    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    Hey everyone, I am finishing up my husband's armor now...I bought a leotard bodysuit with thumb loops and stirrups to keep it in place, and it has a crotch zipper mod...I have heard they are great for keeping your body temperature at a good place as well. I am a dancer and I know that material works well for that.
    His armor also has the Imperial C-Section, the knee piece riveted on, flat lenses, straps and other stuff replacing most of the velcro, and I have filed holes in the moutpiece area for better breathability/less fogged lenses, put mesh screen behind it, and hand painted the mouth, rather than using the decals in that area.
    QS
  17. mvaughn25 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    I love the tips in here, very helpful. Can anyone add to my posting at http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=13163135&replies=2. I need some tips on trimming a few armor peices.

    BTW-What does Under Armor run. I live in Texas and have heard good things about it.
  18. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    the warping is what i most concerned about. the lens edge melted and warped when i was using the glue the first time. just to make sure i'm not shooting myself in the foot here... the flat lenses i have are from a welder's mask. they're larger than the eye holes, maybe 1/2 inch larger. i ws advised not to trim them, but instead to glue around the edges, laving the possibility of removing them at some point. maybe i should trim? i'd think i would get a tighter fit if there wasn't so much over hang. some other advice i got was to leave a gap for ventilation. on the one lens that stayed in, i glued the top and the left the bottom part loose. looking at the ,ask, it looks good, and the gap isn't noticable. not sure though if this is really neccessary or not.
  19. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    QS - Thank you for posting in here and welcome to the discussion :)

    MVaughn - What part of Texas are ya in buddy - I'm in San Antonio but have a bunch of buddies here in Texas - maybe we can do some Troopin at convention soon :) - And I shall check out your thread buddy :)

    Chris - Ventilation is Definitely a good thing - and Not trimming the lenses is also a good thing Bro - mainly cause you want to be able to remove them with ease should you decide to get another set. I just recently took out the dark flat lenses I had replaced them with the Dark Green lenses to give it that authentic Sandtrooper look - so don't trim em - but do leave some open area so your lenses won't fog up. Another good thing about not trimming them is the warping you talked about - it's less noticable should that situation occur.

    If yall haven't checked out my Monster Cloning Facility thread I have on the SA Fanforce area - click on the link in my signature :)

    Take Care Friends and Chris - Keep Me Posted buddy !!!

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John Laurel
  20. queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff

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    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    Hey-thanks for welcoming me into the discussion!
    There is a wonderful woman in Indiana here who makes custom made leotard bodysuits (called a unitard) and will do any or none of the following-thumb loops, stirrups, crotch zipper, etc.-She makes them to your size and inseam, and the price is according to what all you want or don't want. Her business is called Renaissance Dancewear, and she has a website. Her turnaround time is pretty quick-you get your suit in about 2 weeks from the time you place the order-and she is very friendly as well.
    We are currently in the last stages of the "bucket" as well...and then Jason plans on joining the 501st. I plan on working up some sort of Imperial to join as well...but I have an itching feeling that I will be getting the white suit sometime in the future as well...;)
    QS
  21. mvaughn25 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Can we talk boots? That is the last peice of my uniform, and I really do not have any money left. I was given these links, but they are expensive:
    http://caboots.zoovy.com/product/STORM
    http://www.mariachiconnection.com/prodWshoes.php?prodID=68

    I was wondering about somehting like this:
    http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/whiteboot.htm
    http://www.hubert.com/store/p-detail.asp?c=82&s=941&ss=11990&p=3389

    With the rubber boots, I would only paint the brown soles black on the edges, and not worry about paint cracking on the uppers. I would also cut the boot off about 3 inches above my ankle, cut a slit down the inside and use some white velcro to tighten the top of the boot.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Will painting black shoes (much easier to find) really stay on? I do not want to be touching up the paint on a daily basis.
  22. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    I just want to say this thread is great. I'm going to be getting some armor for hubby and for a friend and I will be doing most of the work. Thanks for the info!
  23. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    MVaughn, I bought some boots from Walmart that have a zipper up the side. They are black and I bought some leather spray dye to dye em white. Since I was going with Sandtrooper anyway, I don't mind if the paint comes off and I have to reapply it from time to time . . .

    But I have seen the boots from caboots firsthand and believe that they are a good set to go with . . .

    Welcome MiraxH !!! - Gotta say awesome job on your Jango outfit :)

    Take Care Friends

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John Laurel
  24. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    I'll have to agree with ObiJuan on the boots, I'm buying a pair of caboots myself. in the meantime, i'm cutting costs with minor details, like cutting up an old black turtle neck to use for the neckseal, and a cheaper pair of gloves. the great thing is you can always upgrade. i'd say if your in a hurry to get trooping, buy the cheap boots and work you're way up to the good ones. it's an expensive hobby for sure. my wife and i just had our first baby, and the only way i talked er into letting me by my armor was by rolling change! i actually managed to save up almost $400 in dimes, nickles and pennies. Now, it's a lot easier to convince her i "need" all the extras ;-)
  25. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Aug 16, 1999
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