Stormtrooper start to finish

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Clutch, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I thought to get me working on this stuff, I'd document my armor building experience. Not too many photos, but enough.

    I started by collecting everything I could think of to help build it. Of course, some things won't be used because I got in a hurry buying the junk.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the upper arm/forearm pieces glued together. I've since added IS velcro to the forearms. The velcro makes the joining sides sit far apart. I don't know if I like that. i could glue them because I can barely wiggle my hand through them closed. make darned sure you sand the correct sides before starting! I picked up one and started sanding away and noticed that it was going to be the side that faced outwards!!! Now I have some fine sanding and polishing to do on that boo-boo.

    [​IMG]

    I'm using devcon plastic weld. Pretty strong stuff (fumes), but it seems to work fine. I have about 20-30 seconds of 'wiggle' time before the glue really starts to kick. If it squirts out, I can scrape it with my thumbnail. However, it will take the gloss off, so be careful!

    I found a better set of suspenders. They are from an Altus Elastic Back Support Belt that I picked up at Wal-Mart for under 20 bucks. I cut the plastic clips off and glued them to the ab and kidney plates. Now I can easily remove the suspenders if need be. They just snap on.

    [​IMG]

    Next, it was time to test fit the chest. Man, this GF is some small stuff. The dive skin I am wearing has a logo on the chest that can be seen with the chest piece in place! Luckily, I have a flat black unitard that I can use instead. There is a lot of trial and error with this stuff. I have to make sure all the plates are right before I start gluing/strapping stuff together. I have used masking tape to hold everything togehter here:

    [​IMG]

    That's it for now...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  2. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    keep it up :) im just starting myu armor as well~
    but i think ill assemble my scout armor first but i still am waiting for it in the mail :p
     
  3. Atarian

    Atarian Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hope we see more "start to finish" threads like this. I have a vader helmet thread going now.
    Cant wait to see your trooper all finished.
     
  4. Goldenrod

    Goldenrod Sr Member

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    Thats a real nice suit you got there. And your right it is alot of trial and error. You will see after wearing it out a few times what else needs to be tweaked. BTW you will most likely look like a junky from the pinching here and there,BUT its all for the cause:)
    -Goldenrod
     
  5. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....nice so far....I've put together a few FX suits...I found that taking your time is the key...how small is this suit?...will it fit 6'4" 260 lb Canadian? :p
     
  6. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Hey Kev,
    I'm 5'11" 180lbs. I think the goal is for the ab plate and the kidney plate to fasten together. I don't know if these were trimmed short, but if I hold my breath, they might touch on both sides. The way it is now, there might be an inch or two gap for me. I plan on using snaps and straps to hold them together. The shins are small too. I haven't tried yet, but it will be a very tight fit when they are velcroed together. I find that most of the barrel-shaped pieces (arms, legs) are coming up oval if you did a cross-section. I think heating them up and making more of an O-shape will make the suit more comfortable.

    So long story short, you might fit into it, but you'd probably have to shim it.

    Interesting find: very hard to look down with the helmet on. I'm sure more stormtroopers fell from tripping than laser fire. :)
     
  7. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    whered ya get the sweet GF suit?(feel free to PM me.)
    awesome looking.
    I have a question for you. I asked it on an old thread but that thread died.
    does devcon plastic welder cause any melting or warping of the plastic like abs glue does?
     
  8. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....yeah, I suspected as much....display piece only.... :$
     
  9. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    The plastic welder does melt the plastic and gives off heat when it kicks, BUT if you spread on a thin layer, you don't even feel heat when pressing the two parts together. Just make sure you rough up the sides to be joined with sandpaper. Get any glue seepage off as soon as you can because it dries to a cream color. It's also cool because I don't have to leave stuff clamped together overnight.

    You have a PM.
     
  10. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    Regarding Devcon... the stuff is a dream. I've probably gone through ten tubes of the stuff in the last sixteen months. It dries very fast, within 10 to fifteen min. But, this heat thing? I've never known Devcon to give off heat. Now Ultra Cal gypsum on the other hand... haha...
     
  11. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the devcon info guys.
    when i made my fx armor a while back i used mostly abs glue and the front of my thight piece has melty marks on it.. you cant really notice unless you look close.. but my next armor will be intended to double as display and trooping and I want it perfect.. but if i really mess it up I guess I could just downgrade to a more screen accurate look. tape.. borken pieces.. etc.
     
  12. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I found out it gets hot because I picked up the little cup I was mixing a big batch in. It was HOT. :lol
     
  13. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Well, the thigh piece was a nightmare just as I figured it would be. If you ever let the halves touch momentarily and then pull them apart, the bond will not be very good. I had to attempt to glue the piece together twice. The second time I glued in sections working my way up the thigh. This is probably a job more suited for two people. Another set of hands would have come in handy. I can see where the glue seeped all down the seam. You can't tell it from the pic, but I can. I think I'm gonna buy some white enamel paint and touch it up some.

    [​IMG]

    I forgot to mention previously that I pulled the foam out of the top of my helmet and replaced it with a headband from a five dollar hardhat. The headband is glued in with hot glue. Note: If you glue one into this particular type of asymmetrical helmet, then the connection points of the headband will not be the same for each side in the back. If you did this, the helmet would sit incorrectly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  14. trooper70

    trooper70 Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing all this clutch, at looks like you're doing a great job and I'm really watching with interest as I have the same armour coming in a month or two to replace my FX.

    I already have the same helmet which I purchased seperately some time ago but another one is coming with the new armour. Hey, you can never have too many trooper lids eh? :D I plan to do the new one Hero style.

    Will you be using Devcon on the back of the calves too, or will you be using velcro?

    Cheers, Sean
     
  15. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Clutch, you don't know how much I appreciate this thread. My armor has been sitting in it's carton for over a year awaiting this thread. Many thanks :)

    Dave
     
  16. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Thanks guys. I'm hoping it will be a two-way process because I'm learning as I go. Feel free to chime in if it looks like I'm doing anything wrong. :)

    Sean, I'm starting to think I need a stunt helmet. :) You can barely see through those bubble lenses in the hero. As for the calves, I'm not going to glue them. They are so small, I'm barely gonna fit into them as it is.

    Dave, get to gluing..
     
  17. dadvader

    dadvader New Member

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    You want the front and back to touch??? :confused WOW...

    I have an FX kit and there is a 3inch gap between the front and back..

    Of course I'm 6' and 220 lbs and have a 36" waist and a 54"chest.

    The only parts I didn't have to shim was the thighs,as I have a newer kit that came with the larger thighs,and the forearms they just barely fit.

    I also have 20" biceps so even the upper parts were to small..

    All in all it still looks good on me.. At least I think so,Maybe thats because when i saw the movie at age 13 and the troopers came through the door of the Tantaive,I wanted to enlist in the Imperial Navy...
     
  18. trooper70

    trooper70 Active Member

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    Thought they might have been a bit too small to glue together and get my big feet through :)

    I did my Authenticprops helmet as a stunt, that's the one I intend on using with the new armour, the Hero I just want mainly for display, trying to get the bubble lenses for it is proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated but I think I have a source now.

    But keep those pics coming. :thumbsup

    Cheers, Sean
     
  19. trooper70

    trooper70 Active Member

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    DOH. I only just noticed that I wrote calves in my earlier question.

    I meant THIGHS... Lol sorry bout that :lol

    Now, clutch, will you be gluing the back of the (ahem) THIGHS?

    Cheers, Sean :)
     
  20. dadvader

    dadvader New Member

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    My thighs are glued both front and back,the only problem this creates is i have to put my legs through and then put on my boots.

    My feet just barely fit through but it works out great..

    Just my $.02
     
  21. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Hehe. Yes, I'm going to glue the thigh pieces front and back. I'll be glad when I'm finished with this gluing. It's nerve-racking. Here's some shots of the ab and kidney/butt plates. I have the feeling I'm going to be using a lot of buttons and straps. Velcro and elastic have too much give for my taste. If you move a certain way, you can hear it 'crunch'. I just have a feeling that it's not going to be secure. I'll have to put more attachment points on the kidney/butt plates because if the kidney plate wraps around, the butt plate should follow. Otherwise the sides of it will be sticking out like wings. Doh!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some good news - I cut the adjustment clips off of the first pair of suspenders and they'll work with the straps for the thigh armor making them adjustable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  22. slave1pilot

    slave1pilot Sr Member

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    Dude, I would have gone insane.
    I guess I'mnot one for paitience.
     
  23. batman182

    batman182 New Member

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    This is a cool thread thanks
     
  24. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Just a quick update. I've been taking a break from the glue fumes. You should really work in a well-ventilated area. I glued the second calf together and the back of the right thigh. After a quick test fit, all I have to say is, I'M GOING ON A DIET. Keep in mind, I'm 180lbs. Definitely GF is beanpole armor. :)
     
  25. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hear ya on that one. My TE suit, and previous GF suit are built for people 170lbs and below. I can squeeze into my TE, but the back and front dont match up because of my stomach. I am 193lbs now and was 180 this time last year. I need to stop eating so much crap and get back to 175. It definitely makes costuming easier when you are skinnier. I am going to be getting my Fett done this year and a snowtrooper, so I am definitely going to slim down for sure. Good luck on your suit. It looks like its coming together nicely.
     
  26. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Thanks Josh. Expensive armor is a good motivational tool to shed some pounds. :)

    Small update. I knew I'd be reshaping some pieces so that they would feel more comfortable, so I started with the arms. When glued together, they took on an ellipse shape that felt tight and uncomfortable. To remedy this, I put on my nomex flight gloves (didn't have anything else handy at the time) and carefully started heating the plastic with a hot-air gun. I kept it moving all over and mainly concentrated on the inside of each piece. Once I could start feeling heat coming through the other side, I squeezed the piece together and 'shocked' it with running cold water so that it would retain its shape. Here is a comparison of a reshaped one to one that is not:

    [​IMG]

    I glued the right shin together. It is gonna be a much better fit than the left. I highly recommend that you get a couple of 5" deep throat u-clamps and four 2" spring clamps. They come in handy when you need a second set of hands. I took sticky-back felt pads and stuck them to the clamps so that they wouldn't damage the plastic:

    [​IMG]

    I velcroed the left calf, but before I did, I put the piece on and clamped it around my leg as far as it would go. I then marked where the piece overlapped in back, so I would know how wide to make the velcro strip. As you can see from this pic, the sides on the left calf piece don't line up very well:

    [​IMG]

    I heated it to try and straighten it up. It worked a little, but one side started to curl from the heat, so I stopped. Here is the piece velcroed together. It still needs the edges lined up (cut).

    [​IMG]

    If I get it overlapped like it should be, a ridge on the top digs into my leg. I'm thinking about cutting it off because it will be hidden by the sniper plate when I attach it:

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to get started on the buttons soon. They will be attached to squares of styrene and then glued to the armor:

    [​IMG]

    That's it for now...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  27. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    nice pics.. keep the updates coming
     
  28. Jedi-Bob

    Jedi-Bob New Member

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    What type and where did you get a Hot-Air Gun?

    I need one for my trooper armor as I have to reshape a thigh.

    Thanks and Fantastic Post...Thanks for the great info.
     
  29. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I have a two speed Wagner that I've used for years, but it is lost in my house somewhere. So, I am now using a single speed Wagner HT900 that I got a Wal-Mart for 20 dollars.

    Please be careful if you go this route especially for the larger pieces. I heated up my shin piece with no visible damage, until I started to put the velcro on. That's when I noticed that the edge had gotten too hot and started curling. Lucky for me, it is the edge that goes underneath. Take your time. It might take more than one try.

    I would be tempted to do the near-boiling water trick, where you submerge the piece to heat it, but I'm too chicken to do that. If this stuff gets too hot, that's all she wrote. :)
     
  30. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....jeez Clutch....ya got balls.. I don't know if I'd have the nerve to heat it up enough to reshape it...probably burn a hole through it or set my arm on fire. :p

    Good Job.
     
  31. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Ha. Thanks. Although you could explain the hole by telling people you took a 'blaster' hit. :lol
     
  32. Jedi-Bob

    Jedi-Bob New Member

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    This is exactly what I have been planning on doing. I need to reshape the lower part of the thigh as it is too oval. I already glues the front seem shut. The back is open.

    Anyone here try the water technique?


     
  33. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Got my RomFX in yesterday! Whoo hoo! This thing is cool. It's as simple as plugging in the speaker, mic, battery, and turning it on. Sounds very realistic and is customizable. Here's a picture of the board and speaker:

    [​IMG]

    The battery should give you an idea how small it is. The three round areas near the battery are the buttons for the settings. The black post on the left is the volume, and the black post at the bottom next to the speaker plug is the on/off switch. The black and red wires go to a 9V battery clip and the yellow/black go to a 3.5mm jack for the microphone:

    [​IMG]

    It works fine with the 9-volt battery, but the instructions say that you will get more volume and longer life with a 12-volt setup. After referring to their web page, I went to radio shack and spent a couple of bucks getting two 4AA battery boxes with the 9-volt clips and a package of heavy duty 9-volt clips. Wire the three 9-volt clips together black to red for all three and you're done. This was a quick, see-if-it-works setup. I may solder longer wires on when I get ready to install it in my helmet:

    [​IMG]

    The speaker box, believe it or not, is pretty big. It won't fit comfortably under my chest armor and I am afraid it will feedback if I install it in my helmet. I plan on taking the speaker out of the enclosure and just letting it hang underneath the chest plate. That's it for now. I'm cutting out styrene tabs for the snaps now (whoopee). :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  34. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    If it's helpful to you, I've noticed lots of troopers with the speaker velcroed onto their belt at the side. It seems to work really well.
     
  35. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

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    Moved to costuming forum at clutch's request. :)
     
  36. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I'm undecided on the chest armor shoulder straps. Watching the movie, the look to be off-white in color. Even the Gentle Giant busts have them off-colored.
    Can anybody confirm this? I plan on using some Krylon Dover White Fusion if I do go through with it. I've also noticed that the two straps do not line up perfectly in back. One hangs longer. They appear to be chopped off somewhat on Han and Luke's armor, so I plan on doing the same to mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  37. batman182

    batman182 New Member

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    Cluth the link to the latest pic seems to be down. I'm loving this thread by the way thanks
     
  38. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    It should work now. Thanks.
     
  39. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    hey i weigh about 155 and am about 5,9 (a little short for a stormtrooper?)


    so if any of you guys want to get rid of those old pesky little TE suits for cheap, i can hook you up with a guy who sells FX suits. :p

    GOD i want one SOOOOO bad. :(

    and am Soooooo poor. :(

    anyone know of anybody that has any TE or close to kits???

    especially the bucket?
     
  40. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    Hey Clutch,

    I wouldn't paint the shoulder straps a different white.I can't say that I've ever noticed them being a different shade of white and as they are vac-formed plastic,there's no reason why they would use anything different from what the rest of the armour was made from.Don't forget the white elastic 'keeper' holding the straps in place if your going for accuracy.
     
  41. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I'm still undecided. Sometimes those straps don't even look like abs. They look like they have more 'give'. The dover white is just a slight off-white anyway. The only person that would notice would probably be me. :)

    I think I've found a webbelt that I can finally settle on! It is a heavy weight elastic pro knee wrap. It is thicker and softer than the elastic I was originally going to use. Here are pics. Three inches wide. Regular elastic on left.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's 72 inches long and I have two of them (the good ones). If anybody wants to split the difference and buy the other one, pm me. If anybody wants the white elastic, pm me. I won't be needing it anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  42. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    Looks good,better than regular elastic.I'll have to look out for some of that.

    Remember the armour was an ABS copolymer,with high rubber content and nothing like replica armour,that is a lot more rigid.
     
  43. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Ah. You are right. Forgot about that. :)
     
  44. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    awesome job clutch.. im loving this thread.. especially since ill be putting together some accurate armor soon.
    WHere did you get that knee wrap?
     
  45. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey, it's not how much you weigh but how you wear the weight. I weigh 200lbs and look pretty good in my ST armor.
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/trooperhelmet014.jpg[/image],[image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/trooperhelmet015.jpg[/image]
     
  46. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Trallis, I got them at academy sports & outdoors.

    James, no doubt you're lookin' great in that armor, but there are size and weight limitations to certain types of armor. GF being one of them. :)
     
  47. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    as there are weight minimums for some armor.. and i just dont think i fill the fx like some of the bigger guys do.. i'm 145 LBs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2007
  48. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My suit is an FX, but my calves and thighs are mostly muscle (football and bike riding) and I'm SQUEEZED into them. I know exactly what you were saying about the actual shape of the thigh piece, I changed the shape and they fit much better after the first attempt.

    Your suit is looking great so far, I'm looking forward to the updates and progress.
     
  49. Jedi-Bob

    Jedi-Bob New Member

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    I was wondering, (as I am doing my FX thighs) did you have to respahe yours?

    Did you glue yours closed or velcro?

    Thanks


     
  50. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Mine are glued on the front seam with 2 rivets added, the backs have 2 snaps.

    I did the same using a heat gun, pressing down to change the shape, and then using cold water to hold the shape.
     

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