Pepakura Stormtrooper suits - files and pitfalls

Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I thought it was about time I assembled my files and shared some progress pics and problems I had to overcome.

Here's a photo of my Gravel Trooper suit at my mum's 90th birthday last year. It's still a work in progress and I the arms and thighs are vacformed plastic, but I've glassed all the remainder - just needs finishing and strapping.
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Not nearly screen accurate, I know, but my version is that it's for the taller and more bulky trooper... Actually, I never really expected to get it to this stage - it's a lot of work, with pieces being pepped and re-pepped up to a dozen times each.

I have done over twenty troops now, and completed two 11 km walks. The fibreglass is a lot heavier than plastic, and as I'll be 65 next month, I'll be doing shorter stints from now on.
My suit is partly based on a mix of my files and some heavily modified dung0beetle files. I found that I needed to lengthen the calves and thighs, and widen the torso pieces. The shoulders and arms also needed tweaking. Pretty much every piece is made overly long so it can be trimmed to length to suit.
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Fibreglass suits are totally inflexible, and armour bite is a lot worse than with vacformed plastic. The calves were a real problem until I cut out a panel in the lower inner calf and secured it with small zip ties. They tend not to be noticed. Also, the lower sides help the calf become self-aligning. The knee plate had to be supported out in front of the knee on a piece of thick rubber, because it was seriously painful on the kneecap otherwise.

The thighs are going to be fun... The db files are too slim fitting and I pepped several versions before I got close. Even then they will need some padding and also some of the back of the knee removed.
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The butt plate is made super thick, in one continuous layout of cloth, so there is no chance of it breaking when you sit down. Six hours standing is no joke any more and it's nice to be able to take the weight off.

What else? I'll make the new torso separate from the thighs. I'll hang the thighs off a belt and braces. This will let me get the torso and chest/back plates on and off quickly. The forearm halves mate together snugly and will hold together with a magnet. The shoulders in the picture are purposely made far too long, but it's easy to trim them to length as required.

The coil of auto trim is glued and wired onto the edges of the chest and back plates. It gives a more finished look, especially where the chest plate rides over the ab plate.

The flat base surrounds in the pics are so that the pieces can be stiffened with resin and glass before being trimmed off the base. This prevents any distortion and is well worth the extra effort. I ruined a few pieces before I thought of this method.

All of my pep files are unlocked and you are free to modify them to suit yourselves. It'd be cool if they didn't end up being sold though. Files are in my DropBox, with links at bottom of this post or the one following.

More to come.
 

d503364

New Member
Hey Blaxymth.

Since you have shared your pep files with me over a year ago, I have since pepp'ed all the armor pieces, put fiberglass resin on all except for 1 shin, and started bondo. I aim to have the entire set complete by Halloween this year!

Here are some pics of my current progress.
 

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Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yay! Excellent! I can see there's been a lot of work gone into this. Keep it up - not far to go now!
 

Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I just used some MDF and angled the edges with a belt sander. I laminated the 'O' with a piece cut out of the top layer, and carved in some details with a file. Totally non-standard, but it works for me.

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Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's automotive edge trim, used for making a decorative edge around panels and doors. I got it from a motor trimmer - not sure of terms overseas, but anyone who upholsters cars should have some. It has a flexible steel strip with little fingers that grip the panel edge. I used superglue to fix it in place.Edge trim.JPG
 

ABE

Well-Known Member
Amazing work, about the edge trim, here in my city only find on black color
 

Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Amazing work, about the edge trim, here in my city only find on black color
It might be worth talking to someone in the hot rod or custom car community. They have all sorts of contacts for materials and trims.
 

d503364

New Member
Hey Blaxmyth,

How did you connect your pieces on the armor?
Like how do the shoulder pieces connect to the suit, then the bicep and forearm pieces?
 

Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey Blaxmyth,

How did you connect your pieces on the armor?
Like how do the shoulder pieces connect to the suit, then the bicep and forearm pieces?
The shoulder bells have black nylon webbing glued inside, and I use a dome fastener to connect these to the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps connect the chest plate to the back plate.

The bicep piece has a long bootlace on the inside top, and I have a helper (my wife) pass them either side of my shoulder and tie them around the shoulder straps. (I am still amazed at the time I asked a young colleague to knot the laces, only to find she did not know how to tie shoelaces!)

The forearm piece is vacformed styrene, bolted together, but with a clip arrangement at the wrist. This lets me pull the wrist apart far enough to slip my gloved hand through. I also glued some foam in by the wrist to prevent armour bite.

The torso pieces are strapped together and held up with nylon braces over each shoulder. The drawback is that it rests a lot of weight on your shoulders. The thigh pieces also hang from the torso armour. The belt is made from heavy duty pvc/canvas - the sort they use for track trailer curtains. It is fastened with double domes at the back. It holds everything together nicely, but does restrict movement a lot.

Somedays I wish I had bought a set of ABS armour, but mostly I'm pleased with my suit. It has a very solid look to it. Now that I'm 65, with a few twinges in the knees, etc, I'm not sure how many troops I've got left and it'll probably end up as a display piece in the corner of the living room.
 
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d503364

New Member
holy moley. That is pretty overwhelming!
I watched a youtube video on how someone put their own armor on and even though it appears to be abs, it involved elastic straps, buttons and velcro.
It sounds like 99% of this is just trial and error so I have to give myself space to keep that in mind while working on this.

Thank you for your quick response and detailed help!
 

d503364

New Member
I have made some significant progress on the helmet. Almost ready for painting!
The mouthpiece grill is giving me fits so that will take some work to get it straightened out and the earpieces caved in so I had to cut a hole and stuff bondo inside them to give them more support.
I watched a video on how to apply bondo to pep'd files and it really helped speed things up for me. Basically I now just focus on one particular section at a time and just hand sand it instead of using a sanding block and dremel tool.
 

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Blaxmyth

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow, coming along very nicely! I can see there has been a huge amount of work done, and it's looking great. Keep posting your progress pics as they are well worth it. (y)
 

d503364

New Member
Thanks! It has been hard work.
My goal is to get the entire upper body complete by end of this month but not feeling like that will happen; may have to push to mid-Aug.
I want to finish entire set before Halloween.
Hoping the remaining pieces will go quicker since there is not so many intricate details on them compared to the helmet.
 
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