Tips & Tricks More trooper mods

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

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  1. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Ahh, thank you very much for the c-section description and the trimming info!
  2. Gecko_Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2003
    star 4
    OK Guys....I got my armor today....read thru the book once........took a big leap and assembled the aerorators...I am to scared to do anything else.....getting ready to read the book again! The instructions are kinda vague....I am hoping to go slow on this and ask a ton of questions.....if anyone has some words of advice....shoot it my way!!!

    Thanks in advance!
  3. StormLeader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2002
    star 1
    Gecko_Fett, congrats on getting the armor. First off be patient and take your time during assembly. About the only thing I found the manual good for (besides kindling) were certain sections on helmet assembly - however I chose not to use ABS cement but hot glue for assembling the helmet. At this point I'ld suggest what John has touted - using Plumber's Goop (the magic stuff of armor assembly), as it won't destroy the ABS by melting and burning it the way ABS cement can. Plus if you need to readjust something you can separate the parts - not an easy process but it can be done....just ask John. However the Plumber's Goop needs time to set and cure and its most important to allow it this much needed time. Also an area of good ventalation is a great idea. In the end your patience will be rewarded.

    As John has described in this forum thread we took our time and planned out each individual armor piece for assembly and trial fit. My suggestion is to begin with the helmet - bucket - as it will give you the motivation to get the rest of the armor assembled. I also strongly suggest that prior to full assembly you cut the frown teeth out and back the open areas with screen mesh material. Its a lot easier to do this mod prior to full assembly - again just be patient. We used the Dremel tool with a small size drill bit to drill numerous holes in the frown teeth area and then routed them out with the same drill bit in a kind of connect the dots approach. This allowed us greater control of the cut area and we later shaped the resulting holes with a small flat file set. Use the decal as a template for the cuts in the frown area making sure to cut into only the black sections of the frown as indicated on the decal. The next important helmet mod is to forget using the included bubble lenses - they are only decorative. If you want to see you need to go with a set of flat dark tinted lenses. About the most difficult part of helmet assembly is the helmet liner - I'ld suggest you work with at least another person to help in this area. I found it helpful to use small clamps to clamp the helmet liner to the dome prior to assembly and place it upon your head as your co-worker places the faceplate into position to see how it will fit. Make any adjustments and mark those well. Once satisfied with the placement of the helmet liner you can glue the liner in place. After that go on to assemble the rest of the helmet sections. Drill out the dimples on the ear pieces and then place them against the taped together face, dome and backplate of the helmet. Mark the hole area on the front and back helmet sections as they may not exactly line up with the molded dimples on these pieces. Then drill where marked. Assembly of the helmet shouldn't be too bad at this point.

    Jim Marshall
    501st Stormtrooper TK-6411
    Star Garrison
    San Antonio, Tx
  4. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Greetings Friends, your Monster Cloning Facilitator has returned with PICS !!! - Thank you Brother Jim for taking them :)

    Also, GF: Head over to our Monster Cloning Facility thread for some rules to live by on assembling your armor buddy :) - I'll have more to post in the future but since I had another 12hr workday today my brain is focused on Tree=Pretty / Fire=Bad . . .

    Ok - Now on to the pics >>

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec1.jpg]

    The First one is of the Codpiece so you can see where we cut and how much we left of the codpiece, we glued elastic straps at waist and groin level to the butt plate (heh heh heh - he said buttplate - sorry the Beavis and Butthead in me comes out once in awhile) - So the entire codpiece slips on like a pair of chonies (underwear for you non-spanish speakers out there :) ) with the flexibility of the elastic.

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec2.jpg]

    The Second pic is ofcourse the Butt Plate (holding back on the Beavis and Butthead laugh . . .)

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec3.jpg]

    In this third pic, you see how the back pieces look after the cuts were made.

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec4.jpg]

    Number 4 is a look at the front pieces, the Ab plate and the codpiece, you guys who said the belt would conceal the cuts are CORRECT :) - we have a bikini cut :)

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec5.jpg]

    Number 5 is a closeup of the Ab plate in which we added some velcro to some areas (as you've noticed on some of Jim's parts) to reduce slippage.

    [image=http://members.aol.com/ObiJuan70/impcsec6.jpg]

    Finally Number 6 shows you the Kidney plate or lower back piece. If you noticed, the ab plate and kidney plate are hooked up to a set of suspenders in which I think it shows that on some instructions somewhere, but the best ones to get are in the tools section at Walmart, DO NOT get the fancy fashion ones cause they don't use metal teeth but these cruddy plastic teeth that won't clamp well on to the armor when you cut the holes for them.

    If you NEED any more pics or have any questions, comments, or concerns, don't hesitate to contact myself or Jim, we've had alot of fun working on ours and we really like to help :)

    Take Care Friends :)

    TD7012 - OUT !!!
    John Laurel

  5. queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff

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    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    For those of you that are a little more "scared" with the mouth mod...I just dremeled a teeny hole in the center of each black square of the mouth and then totally used the file to file it all out-rather than doing a few holes...it only took about 1 1/2 hours for me to carefully file them all out...and I had the piece of mind of not slipping and drilling any part that I shouldn't...I just aimed for dead center and figured I couldn't go wrong! ha ha ha
    QS
  6. Jade_Phoenix Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2003
    I have a question, where do you guys get the armor from ?[face_plain]
  7. StormLeader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2002
    star 1
    queenseamstress, glad to hear that your method would work as well. The reason we drilled multiple holes was for saving time as it ended up being only a few minutes to finish filing/sanding the edges of the holes cut in the frown.


    Jim Marshall
    501st Stormtrooper TK-6411
    Star Garrison
    San Antonio, Tx
  8. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Jade_Phoenix, I would suggest looking on ebay or contact your local 501st.

    Those pictures are awesome! And I am loving the Monster Cloning facility thread ObiJuan :)
  9. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Glad to help out Mirax and I'm glad you like the MCF thread (we may have gear made soon :) ) - As for WHERE to get armor - Mirax gave ya the places to go for purchasing.

    Take Care Friends and again if ya need any more help, let us know :)

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John Laurel
  10. iycis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2002
    star 3
    Thanks guys for the helpful pictures and explanations. I just got my armor last Thursday. My helmet is about 90% finished at the moment, but I'm going to get someone to give me a hand modifying everything since its all waaaaaay too big on me. :D
  11. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Well, I finally managed to score a voice amplifier. Now.... any suggestions on where to hang this thing? I was thinking about under the chest plate, but I'm not sure how to best secure it.
  12. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Yeah, I just got mine as well the other day and they work great! Other than making the sound yourself, is there a way to get the static sound each time you speak?
  13. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Natasha: Awesome pic of you and Ewan, since you are small in size, your trooper armor should clamshell to ya alot better.

    Chris: Under the chest armor is the way to go buddy, I have a velcro piece on the inside of my chest armor and still need to put a piece on my voice amp.

    And Mirax, as far as the static burst goes, some voice amps do come with the sound, and there is also a chip out there that someone sells with authentic Trooper static bursts from the movie but the price is right up there with the cost of armor. So I am waiting to see if someone will make a more affordable Trooper Voice Amp . . .

    Take Care Friends

    TD7012 - OUT !!!
    John Laurel
  14. Gecko_Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2003
    star 4
    By chance where did you guys get the amplifiers? I have called every Radio Shack here in New Mexico and they are all out of them since it is a discontinued item :( I have seen a few on Ebay...but they are a little pricey....I also need a set of flat lens for my bucket...any help would be appreciated!!
  15. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Hey there GF, for an amp, I am gonna try out those cheapy voice amps from Walmart that you can get in the Halloween section. I know that there may be some radio shacks here that still offer the amp you seek and I am able to find a couple, I shall let ya know. As for flat lenses, there are the dark lenses and the green lenses. I went with the green ones since the Sandtroopers in the movie have them in their helmets.

    Ebay's the place to find your lenses buddy :)

    Take Care

    TD7012 - OUT !!!
    John Laurel
  16. Gecko_Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2003
    star 4
    Your the man John...I did my Imperial C-section yesterday....per your tutorial....came out awesome!!!

    Thanks again
    -Jess
  17. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    I just got lucky. I called 3 within an hour of here and only one place had any and they only had 2 so I got them both.
  18. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Hey Jess, good to hear it worked out for ya buddy :)

    Take Care

    TD7012 - OUT !!!
    John Laurel
  19. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    Obijuan, will one peice of velcro hold the amp in place? it seems a bit heavy. I was thinking of maybe doing two strips to hold it in.
  20. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Chris, you can use two strips or one big piece ( 1 1/2in high by 3in wide ) if it is the super velcro . . .

    Hope that helps buddy :)

    Take Care

    TD7012 - OUT !!!

    John Laurel
  21. iycis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2002
    star 3
    Alright so who out there has chosen to go the snaps route over velcro on their armor? I want to know the pros and cons.
  22. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

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    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    I will probably do snaps- worked great for my Jango Armor.
  23. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    John, thanks. I totally forgot when I posted that question how wide the industrial velcro is. D'oh! I braved the craft section of walmart today and picked up some snaps. But, not being very "crafty" myself, I'm not sure what the heck to to do with the things! the instructions on the package are a little "light".
  24. ObiJuan70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2001
    star 3
    Greetings my Friends, your Monster Cloning Facilitator is back :)

    Ok, to snap or not to snap . . .

    I used snaps on mine, reason ? Cause I have seen velcro adhesive give up on someone at a convention and for someone to be fully armored and then once we get out of the Texas heat and in to the convention center we have a person who is now a nekkid bodysuit Trooper - utterly armorless !!

    I have plenty of tips on where the snaps are good to use, the main area ? Your Shoulder Bells. Now if you're gonna go with snaps you need to get some plastic that you are gonna use as your anchor to attach to your armor (cause you're not gonna run the snap through your armor), the best thing I recommend is at Home Depot. It is a big plastic Reserved Parking Sign for Handicapped people. It's a good gauge for you to drill a hole in to for your snap and it's thick enough to hold to your armor. Another thing to get is ofcourse PLUMBER'S GOOP !!!! (BTW I should call them for some royalty money or somethin :) ) and the last thing CLAMPS (Big bag of 16 various sized clamps at Walmart $4 - you cant beat that !!!) - those are the tools you need to attach the pieces with the snaps to your armor. Now, as far as assembly for the snaps, it's not that much of hassle, you definitely need a mallet or soft ended hammer. The inner parts of the snaps (the ones that you snap the capped part on to) should be the ones you glue in to your armor. Save the capped ended parts for your elastic straps.

    If you need more details, please let me know :)

    Take Care my friends :)

    TD7012 - OUT !!!
    John Laurel
  25. christoff88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 1
    John, once again, you rock. I could use more details on the snaps, only because I'm an idiot. Also, the Goop... how lond do you let it cure, and how thick are you going. I used the narrowest tip of the applicator, and let it cure about 5 minutes when i glued my bicep pieces. one of them held pretty well, the other seperated. the one that held i actually let cure more like 10 minutes. any suggested refinements? i'm guessing i can probably use a thicker layer of glue for a better hold.
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