AP Trooper Kit Assembly

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KevVader

Sr Member
Well, after a few false starts and some dickin' around....I've finally started my AP Trooper kit in earnest tonight. There have been other threads that are detailed assembly tutorials (thanks Clutch.)...but that is not my intention here per se.

I'd just like to show my progress as I go and post some tips/tricks that I've found along the way. Hopefully, it will assist others who are going to start their AP kits....and I know there's a few of you. ;) Also, anyone else who has assembly, finishing, painting tips....whatever, please feel free to post here as well....let's have some fun with it.

First off, I've assembled a few FX kits in the past...so I do have a bit of experience in assemling a kit. However, the FX kits were already trimmed and ready to be put together. I'd characterize the FX as akin to those Monogram Snap-Tite model kits :p ...just snap them together and you're done. In contrast the AP kit needs to be trimmed beforehand...which I'm finding out is an art in itself. The pieces come pretty much as how I'd think they'd come out of the vac table....some pieces are rough trimmed but most need to be cut out of their form. The different pieces vary in thickness.....but all are much thicker than the typical FX kit. Here's a few examples...the helmet is mostly trimmed, apart from the eye sockets, teeth, and the ear edges on the cap back. Although, you can see that the hand plates and detonator are in one sheet...



Consequently, you're going to need some heavier hardware to cut and trim. Here's some of the tools that I'm using.....other tools & materials will be needed once I get to the assembly stage...


Dremel with cut off wheels, drill bits
Stanley straight snips ( work great.)
Utility scissors
Hobby Xacto knife set
Utility knife
assorted files
emery boards
screwdriver set
goggles & mask (Safety first kids.)
Large Tim Horton's (double/double)...already ate the apple fritter...

Basically, I've been trying different tools as I trim different pieces. The Stanley snips are great for trimming the large thick pieces from the form sheets (i.e. chest/back plates, hand plates, etc...), the utility scissors work great on the thinner pieces...like trimming the outline of the ears on the cap back. The Dremel with the cut off wheel works great anywhere but you need a steady hand. I was sweating as I cut out the first eye socket....then I used a drill bit...way easier and better control. But you can use the Dremel elsewhere.......perfect for trimming large thick pieces as well........you just get a lot of debris flying everywhere. Plus you will have to de-burr the edges as the ABS melts and collects along the edge of the piece you are trimming.....I used the utility knife to trim that crud away. Not a huge fan of scoring and then breaking the excess away...but that will work as well.

After the final trimming, I then use a file to smooth out the rough edges...especially after using the Dremel...then I finish the edge with the emery boards....gives a nice smooth edge. I bought 5 packs of 50 emery boards for a buck a pack....highly recommend them for finishing sanding.

Here's the few pieces that I've trimmed, filed and sanded....



Assembled the thermal detonator.....


I then wanted to trim the helmet (couldn't wait. :p )...there's not much to trim...although you really need to take your time with the eye sockets and teeth. One slip and you can totally f*ck up your lid. Needless to say, this trimming and clean up took about an hour. Then of course, I had to test fit the parts together ;) .....



Yeah, baby. :love ...that's what I'm talkin' about. Even without lenses, decals, trim and paint...it looks mean.

Of course, I also had to try it on.....well, it fits...but my wife now calls me Scarface... (note to self: trim screws.). It is a tight fit...the old corkscrew method of putting this thing on works well.

At this point, I decided to call it a night.....and get some bactine and Band Aids for my face. :p

Stay tuned....the assembly continues.....
 

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Star Wars Man

Well-Known Member
sweet. the thermal detonator...idk...looks...lumpy.

nice though. (this thread having 3 posts, looks as though it will be like that one stormtrooper assembly start to finsih in the archives...)
 

yakcam

Sr Member
Oooohhh, thanks for this thread Kev. :)

I've got a couple of suits on their way so I'll be using this and Clutch's thread to help me get it right.

I do find though, that I have a steady hand when I hold it in front of me, but if I pick up a dremel, paintbrush or knife, the closer I get to a prop, the more "wobbly" my hand becomes. It's kind of like trying to push 2 opposing magnets together, weird :unsure

Cheers,

Kraig
 

KevVader

Sr Member
Thanks lads....DK, ya gotta love Timmy's. :p

Kraig, the Dremel is a great tool....but it can sure make a mess of things quick as well. I've been using it sparingly 'til tonight.....found a great skinny cutting bit that's perfect for cutting openings and such....and yeah, Clutch's tutorial is great...got quite a few pointers from there....more updates on the way. :)
 

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TK 4130

New Member
Looking good... I also have the AP armor. I should be done in a couple of days. I've been putting it off forever, but I finally got my @ss in gear and I'm gettin' it done. Keep up the great work. :thumbsup :cheers
 

Clutch

Master Member
Dang Kev. That looks awesome. Thanks for posting. I gots to get me one of those helmets.

P.S. Thanks for the kind words on my tutorial...
 

vaderfanforever

Active Member
I had the opportunity to see this armor up close. It is very nice armor. There is no way I could every be a Stormy with this armor. My head is too friggin big.. I think I'll stick with my Vader, thank you very much :p
 

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Brinn 71

Well-Known Member
...This Trooper Kit Assembly topic is brought to you by TIM HORTONS. Proud sponsor of the TK crew. :p


Great work man. Good luck in 'roll up the rim'.

B
 

yakcam

Sr Member
I'm nervous just looking at what's ahead of me :$



I must say that AP's service, packing and product are AWESOME... To get 2 suits in one box and have it travel from the US to Australia in one piece is one hell of an achievement.

I can't sing his praises enough :thumbsup

Cheers,

Kraig
 

KevVader

Sr Member
Brinn....won a free coffee so far......still waiting to win the truck. :p

..more updates coming...didn't have much time to work on it this week...gonna spend some quality time with my armor tonight... :D
 

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KevVader

Sr Member
....trimming like a fiend tonight...made a lot of progress...

First off, I finished cleaning up the cuts on the helmet....used a square hobby file to sharpen the frown holes...




....the lid is really starting to look mean now....especially in the right light....


Trimmed and rough filed a lot of other pieces as well....

thigh plates....

before trimming....


...after trimming and a light filing....


Most of the trim lines are very pronounced on most of the pulls. However, a few are faint......so I recommend tracing the trim lines with a Sharpie marker....easier to follow when the Dremel is spinning....


Not sure how these thigh pieces are supposed to fit together....gotta figure that out... :confused


Shoulder bell before trimming....


...the pair of bells after trimming...


....very impressed thus far with the crisp, sharp lines of this kit.

...also here's the energy sink pieces that hang off the belt...one untrimmed the other trimmed....



That's enough for tonight...sick of sucking ABS bits. :p

I think I'll finish off the helmet next...some finishing sanding, then paint, decals and lenses. also have an old football helmet that I'm going to rip apart and use the padding for the interior of this lid.
I'm thinking ESB for this one.....black frown, etc...Also going to try to find some darker green lense material....

Stay tuned. :D
 

yakcam

Sr Member
I just thought I'd suggest the best way of cutting the teeth for those that don't have an already assembled bucket to compare with. Most try and cut the teeth from the front, well one of the first things I noticed when I first got a trooper is... that isn't what the pro's do.

Check it out.......

This....


And this.....


Does this....



Then all you do is give it a clean up using a small file or something similar.

Also, just in case you're wondering, I don't draw all over my helmets. I just like to use a whiteboard marker (wipes off easily) and cut to the mark with a dremel then trim from there.

I hope this helped some :)

Cheers,

Kraig
 

KevVader

Sr Member
...interesting tip Kraig for the teeth.....So when cutting from behind using the grinding stone, do you just grind off the raised area of each tooth vs. cutting it out?
 

yakcam

Sr Member
Hi Kev, yes just take the bubble down, but leave a mm or 2 in height. It's probably safer just to flip it around and see if it looks right from the front, if not take some more off.

Both my Gino/CRProps and SDS's are done this way.

Cheers,

Kraig
 

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