New to TK Armor

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by WilliamsSkeletor, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Heya fellas,
    Like the title says, I'm a complete noob to the world of trooper armor, but I just finally happened upon a fantastic-looking set. Anyhow, test-fitting the GF helmet pieces is drivin' me nuts. I realize that most of the helmets in ANH had gaps between the helmet and the ear pieces, but are they supposed to be this considerable? Will more trimming/sanding remedy the gap? Will the gaps disappear once I rivet the bottom lip of the earpiece down (although I'm afraid to "force" the abs)? I wanna go for a hero helmet, and I'm pretty sure the pieces should be much more flush against the helmet (from the reference material I've gathered over the last couple of days). Here are the pics. And, by the way, I realize this might sound kinda stupid to those of you that've worked on stormy lids before, but until I laid eyes on this kit I'd NEVER seen a TK lid in person... so I'm feelin' kinda lost (although I'm positive there isn't anything I can't get around/fix).

    Gaps on the right side of the helmet...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Gaps on the left side...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Quick shot from the front...
    [​IMG]

    So many pieces to trim... I should be busy for the better part of a month on this guy...
    [​IMG]

    Any and all help is appreciated. And thanks to WC for hosting images.

    CHEERS.
    -Roger

    By the way, fellas, I already read through both Clutch's and KevVader's awesome build-up threads and I couldn't find the info I was looking for. Already tried scouring the web, and no tutorials touch exactly upon the info I'm looking for... Lemme know what you guys think.

    -Roger
     
  2. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Yeah, the gaps in the helmet ear pieces are inherent in these types of kits. That said, yours seem to be more pronounced.....you could try trimming/sanding but you may end up taking off more material than is necessary. I'd try heating slightly and reshaping to see if you can get a better fit around the tube....

    P.S. Been to Hooter's lately?.... :p
     
  3. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks KevVader,
    Think I'm gonna go to Home Depot today and pick up a heat gun. Even with the screws (and later, at the bottom of the ear piece, rivets), I'm having to force the material too much. Heating it up slightly and reshaping is gonna be the only way, I think. Shouldn't be too hard, I hope...

    Btw, yeah... We had some "representatives" come by the tv station where I work to shoot a commercial. Supposedly the most attractive "Hooters" girls in South Texas. Couldn't let 'em leave without a pic or two...

    Thanks again for your help, Kev.

    CHEERS.
    -Roger
     
  4. voice in the crowd

    voice in the crowd Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WilliamsSkeletor @ Jun 15 2006, 05:41 PM) [snapback]1262161[/snapback]</div>
    Hey Roger I bet those Hooters girls have the same photograph up in their houses and boast to their girlfriends they met you :p

    Great pic :thumbsup

    Good luck with the helmet and please post pics when you get it completed it looks a nice set of armour.

    Cheers Chris :) .
     
  5. SethB6025

    SethB6025 Well-Known Member

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    The bottom screw will remedy some of that. It's not too bad. Be careful with that heat gun.
     
  6. dirtydave

    dirtydave Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Like Seth said it looks like you didn't put the bottom screw in.other than that it looks ok,the originals are not perfect,just look at the move along troopers ears.My advice for building the rest of your armor is do one piece at a time and look at screen caps and dvd to see how the originals were built(VERY SLOPPY).Braks Buddy has a great ref cd(worth every penny).well good luck with the armor.
     
  7. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Hey fellas,

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions. Actually, I figued that the bottom screw would indeed remedy some of the gap, but the thing that's convinced me to heat it up just a touch and bend is that I REALLY have to force the plastic down to make the bottom of the earpiece even come in contact with the helmet. I'm gonna force it till I feel comfortable with it and THEN slightly heat it up so that it makes contact without requiring so much pressure. And yeah, just watched the parts of ANH with troopers and man, some of those lids have HUGE gaps in 'em. Especially when viewing some of the helmets from behind. But I failed to notice too much of a gap on the two lids that Han and Luke snag while on the Death Star, which is kinda what I'd like for this lid...

    I'm gonna give this is a try tonight and see how it turns out. I'll post pics when I'm done. Wish me luck. :thumbsup

    CHEERS.
    -Roger
     
  8. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Quick question, fellas... The black chin area (vocoder, I think it's referred to). Flat, semi, or gloss black? Satin black? What's the established/recommended, most authentic choice? Any suggestions? It's the last part of the helmet I need to paint.

    Cheers.
    -Roger
     
  9. gizmo

    gizmo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The originals were gloss black.:)

    Cheers
    Ben
     
  10. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Is that the general concensus? Gloss black? Thanks gizmo. I'm off to paint me some trooper chin.

    THANKS. :thumbsup
    -Roger
     
  11. stormtrooperguy

    stormtrooperguy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    so how did reheating the earcaps go?
     
  12. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Heya TK7602,
    I actually chickened out that night and didn't get it done, and I'm glad I didn't... the next morning I had an e-mail from GF himself telling me what an absolutely risky idea that would be. Apparently at a certain temp the abs just completely collapses (obviously irreversible). The thing to do is just force (takes a bit of force to get the earcaps to flex down) the pieces flush with each other and superglue 'em together... and THEN drill the hole for the lower earcap screw. I've test fitted the pieces with this technique in mind and the gap virtually disappears altogether. Now that I'm done painting the helmet I'll be getting on this tonight or tomorrow morning. Depending on whether or not I build up the nerve. Just cause the test-fit went well doesn't mean I can't screw this up anyway... wish me luck.

    -Roger

    <div class='quotetop'>(tk7602 @ Jun 26 2006, 04:36 PM) [snapback]1268763[/snapback]</div>
     
  13. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    I'd just like to re-pose this question to everyone on the board with experience painting these guys up... All I have left to paint on the helmet is the black grill on the "chin." Gizmo's already chimed in with an answer... gloss black. But after watching and re-watching ANH, the hero helmets' chins don't shine/glimmer as much as the regular Testors Gloss Black I've been using (which seems ultra-glossy compared to what I see on screen). Could it be that I need to switch to a semi-gloss enamel? This is the only thing nagging at me right now... All advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    -Roger
     
  14. trooper70

    trooper70 Active Member

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    Semi-gloss enamel is exactly what I use
     
  15. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    I used Testors 1147....looks great....

    [​IMG]
     
  16. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(KevVader @ Jun 27 2006, 05:46 PM) [snapback]1269548[/snapback]</div>
    That DOES look great, Kev. Gonna pick up some 1147 right now... Thanks for the advice, guys. I love the RPF.

    Cheers.
    -Roger
     
  17. shabad

    shabad Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WilliamsSkeletor @ Jun 26 2006, 06:27 PM) [snapback]1268801[/snapback]</div>
    [/b][/quote]

    Thanks for posting this I was going to try the same procedure with the heat gun but I will try to be much more careful. I just left the gaps on my first one but I was hoping to get a tighter fit on this second one. Great advice about the semi gloss too, gloss looks too shiny to me and so I went with matt, I'll remedy that now. :D
     
  18. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know of a better alternative to Devcon Plastic Welder. It just ain't cuttin' it. The epoxy supposedly sets in 3-4 min, but it just ain't workin'. Getting kind of frustrated with this stuff.

    Thanks in advance,
    -Roger
     
  19. Darksaber212

    Darksaber212 Well-Known Member

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    Roger, you can use ABS glue, which I used on my GF, or hit wallymart for the Plumbers GOOP. I have used both and they work great but do not overapply. :)

    <div class='quotetop'>(WilliamsSkeletor @ Jul 2 2006, 08:11 PM) [snapback]1272755[/snapback]</div>
     
  20. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Interesting. I had a problem with it setting up too quickly.
     
  21. tk2647

    tk2647 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ABS glue works fine and is still holding for a year and lots of events...

    Greets
    TK2647
     
  22. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    Well fellas,
    Thought it was time for a quick update. The helmet is painted, vinyl-stickered, and almost ready to go. The painting was a huge pain in my butt, but MAN did I enjoy it. This meticulous stuff zones me right out. Fun distraction. It's missing, of course, mic tips (which are currently in transit from the UK ;) ), and the rubber trim around the neck of the helmet (anybody have a source, or better yet got any leftover?). I was able to close the gaps between the earcaps and the "tubes" near as close to flush as I could get 'em. Lemme know what you fellas think. BTW, was there ever any screen/mesh behind the teeth in the movies? When Luke takes off his helmet in ANH (in the Leia's cell), you can clearly see that there's no mesh at all. You can see Mark Hamill's nose right through the teeth holes. I have molded, charcoal-colored fiberglass screen (for screen doors) in place behind the teeth, but it's held on with duct-tape (nice and temporary). AND, man, does Novus work great on this ABS. Shiny, shiny, shiny... So again, lemme know what you guys think, and thanks to Wackchimp for hosting the pics...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CHEERS.
    -Roger
     
  23. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Nice job. Great paintwork on the vocoder as well.

    I'm pretty sure there wasn't any mesh in the film used lids....but I do like the look of it and will be putting some in my helmet. However, the typical door screen doesn't look that great IMO. I like the perforated mesh used the the VD cut-away helmet. Anyone know a source?
     
  24. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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  25. WilliamsSkeletor

    WilliamsSkeletor Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(clutch @ Jul 8 2006, 09:46 PM) [snapback]1277007[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks for the kind words, fellas. Hey, clutch. I didn't realize the brow trim the kit came with was inaccurate. And as for the neck trim, I'd already taken a look at that same archived thread, but the profile of the SWR150 is an "S" curve. Is that correct? I figured it'd be more like the brow trim... a "C," or "U" I guess you could call it. I've never seen this stuff in person, so it's all new to me. Again, thanks for the kind words and many thanks for the advice, clutch.

    CHEERS. :thumbsup
    -Roger
     
  26. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    The originals had the 'S' trim. When put on properly, you can't see the extra material, but it seems like the fit is a little tighter and bunched up. I have found that if you cut the top part of the 'S' off, it fits like a glove around your helmet. You also can't see where you cut it because it will be on the inside of the helmet. They may be doing more accurate brow trim now, I know my GF trim was a little thicker than it should be.
     

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