TE Armor assembly

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by AnsonJames, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    Hello All,

    I've just managed to pick up a manequin and I'm starting to assemble my TE Sandtrooper armor.
    First of all does anyone have copies of any TK armor instructions (for placement of the straps,velco,etc) and secondly I've noticed that once cut the strips on the biceps are different widths - would it be accurate to shim these with the extra Styrene I got with the Armor?
    What width is accurate (if at all) for the bicep shim?
    Thanks in advance for your help folks.

    Anson
     
  2. Trooper TK409

    Trooper TK409 Well-Known Member

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  3. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    Thanks for the link to your site - it's excellent.
    Did you shim the arms and the bicep parts when you built your TE?
     
  4. hansoloway

    hansoloway New Member

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    The biceps are supposed to be different sizes, so don't do any modification unless you can't get it to fit otherwise. Same thing with the forarms. Also, my suggestion is not to use velcro, but strap it using black elastic straps and snaps, if you plan on wearing it. Good luck with a great set of armor.
     
  5. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    Check my banner as well.
    I'll be doing a massive update in the next two months as I complete my second TE Sandtrooper, but for now there's more info than you'll ever need.
     
  6. CMANavy

    CMANavy Sr Member

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    Well the two best guys with sites about TE armor have checked in. Just about every thing you need on on ther sites. Now when you need ot make parts fit something bigger than they were intended, I am the person to talk to.

    For the biceps I know your problem, the left one (small) one was not going to fit me. So what I did Is I swaped the front parts. Large front to small back and large back to small front and then trim them to make them look uniform.

    Here is an old pic of when I had just put them together.

    http://www.hunt101.com/img/316018.JPG
     
  7. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    Thanks for the help so far folks - the insane thing is that the smaller bicep won't fit me properly unless it's shimmed but I'm concerned with accuaracy. I don't want to put a shim on unless that actually shimmed the real biceps.
    Does anyone know if they did?
    Am I mad?
     
  8. JBReplicas

    JBReplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Im having the exact same problem, ideally I want it to look as accurate as possible, the way the armour fits my build seems spot on to me, but I would like to know where was shimmed on the real suits, or more details on other peoples armour and where they shimmed.
     
  9. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    Hey if the armour doesn't fit you right then by all means shim it as much as you need.Don't worry about being 100% accurate.You have nice armour and should wear it whatever it takes,unless it's to be displayed of cource.

    The ANH suit's didn't need shimming as most of the guys were very skinny.Also,the real suit's didn't have the overlap on the arms and legs so they could be trimmed to fit and then a strip was glued over the joints.

    -Paul.
     
  10. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    can anyone show me a close up of the side joint on a forearm, shin, etc. that they did on a TE
     
  11. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    Sure, I'll take some pictures this evening of my recent build. Stay tuned.
     
  12. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    awesome, i'm having a tough time deciding how i want the plastic strips to look
     
  13. hansicle

    hansicle Sr Member

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    When I built mine, I shimmed the thigh pieces together side by side, to give it the same look as the movie version, but before I glued the front strip in place, I cut a few short pieces and was able to tac them on the inside and try it on. Once I had the width correct, I tacked on a few more pieces on the inside to hold it, so I wasn't trying to glue an 18" strip down the front all at once with the thighs splitting open and making a big mess.
     
  14. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Clutch has a great armor assembly tutorial that's been archived....
     
  15. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    yah.. but clutch decided not to do the plastic strips i believe.
    I really want to see how people do those
     
  16. dirtydave

    dirtydave Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    the biceps on my GINO armor are a little tight so i shimed the back seem and left the front without a shim so from the front it looks accurate.
     
  17. TK1536

    TK1536 Sr Member

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    These are some recent pics i took for a buddy of mine looking to weather his armor.

    You should be able to see some of the construction. There is no over-laping, and all pieces are attached using additional HIPS. I wouldn't take this as 'bible', because I took into consideration that there is no perfect Stormtrooper. They were all quickly assembled and vary from each other to great degrees.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    Thanks.
    Great photos and jolly nice weathering.
     
  19. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    thanks buddy.
     
  20. JBReplicas

    JBReplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great photos, just what I needed to see, thanks...
     
  21. JBReplicas

    JBReplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ok, got my forearms trimmed to size, am I right in thinking the extra strips of Styrene go on BOTH sides of each part, i.e. 2 strips per forearm, 2 strips per thigh etc?
     
  22. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    You are correct :)

    Basically the strip is what holds the two halves together...easy as that.You can put a strip on the inside too for extra strength.
     
  23. DW Design Studios

    DW Design Studios Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thanks so much for the photos, I am starting to put mine together also.
    Darren :D
     
  24. JBReplicas

    JBReplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good luck Darren, mind if I post some of my progess photos here Anson? Dont want to hijack your thread but if its ok with you?
     
  25. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    Please do mate.
     
  26. DW Design Studios

    DW Design Studios Well-Known Member

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    OK everyone, I did some work this weekend. I trimmed out all the parts for the arms. I glued the biceps together but I am not sure how to put the forearms together. They fit okay with the bottom half shoved under the top half. Should I just glue it together this way or should I do the same thing I did with the biceps?
    Thanks, Darren
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  27. CMANavy

    CMANavy Sr Member

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    Thats good, with the side that faces out on the top. You will not need to add a strip over that, if you do I will look way to tall.
     
  28. DW Design Studios

    DW Design Studios Well-Known Member

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    So my real question is, have some people built their suits this way?
    Thanks, Darren
     
  29. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    Darren,

    If I was you I'd build up the forearms just like you have the biceps.Just cut the overlap width in half on both sides and add the strip.I usually put a 15mm strip on the arms but go for whatever is best for you.

    Do the same with the legs too.Butt the two halves together and join with a 20mm strip,front and back,leaving the calves open at the back.
     
  30. DW Design Studios

    DW Design Studios Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I will post some more photos this weekend.
    Darren
     
  31. Dark One

    Dark One Well-Known Member

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    The biggest complaint I have heard about styrene is that it yellows. Once it is painted, does the yellowing of plastic/styrene cause the paint to yellow as well??? I am assembling a TE as well and was wondering about the whole yellowing process.
     
  32. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    ABS yellows too,at least the AA/SDS helmets do :p

    I'm pretty sure that the yellowing will show through the paint eventually?


    -Paul.
     
  33. SethB6025

    SethB6025 Well-Known Member

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    I've never had trouble with yellowing showing through paint (keeping in mind the piece was painted before any yellowing would have occured). The yellowing is a characteristic of the plastic. I have seen people re-paint gloss HIPS that had yellowed, and it looked great when it was done. So, unless the paint you use is prone to yellowing, you shouldn't have a problem.
     
  34. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert on ABS but I remember a TE ROTJ suit in the junkyard recently that was badly yellowing and beleive it was painted ABS.I don't know the history of that exact suit so maybe it was painted after the yellowing occured?

    I do know that I have gloss HIPS suit's for over 4 years now with no sign of yellowing what so ever.
     
  35. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have owned a GF ABS suit and 3 TE painted styrene suits. I didnt have the GF long enough to see it do any yellowing, but none of my TE suits had yellowed either. Actually the paint had changed a bit to look a little more tan or something. When it chipped in a few parts the plastic underneath looked bright white next to my paint. I think the paint did a bit of yellowing, but I think that will happen to anything.
     
  36. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Did anyone mention heating the left bicep? It is not smaller but rather eliptical shaped and thus harder to slip on your arm. I heated mine with a torch and reshaped it. Dont try this if you arent familiar with heating sty or ABS.
     
  37. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Well-Known Member

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    I think know the TE ROTJ suit you're referring to, Paul... it was owned by Joe (The Dark Side) and I believe only the helmet had been repainted... the armour was still bare styrene and had yellowed significantly.

    In fact it looked considerably worse than my 24-year old ROTJ armour. :p

    Cheers,
    John


     
  38. judz dwedd

    judz dwedd New Member

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    Most white plastics and paints yellow over time, unless they have a UV inhibitor added during manufacture. Automotive paint should be the answer here.
     
  39. troopermaster

    troopermaster Well-Known Member

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    Hiya John,

    I've asked Joe to see if he knows what the material was on his suit,and if it was painted or not.I was under the assumption that TE's ROTJ suits were all ABS due to the lack of detail on them?I believe TE had problems pulling the ABS or something.

    Paul.
     
  40. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    supposedly TE let someone else "try" to make ABS with his moulds way back, cause they were certain they could do it with the same ammount of detail... from what ive heard he was displeased and very few actually got out there.

    correct me if im wrong. :D
     
  41. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....apparently 10 or so of the TE ABS suits got out there...according to Jumpin' Jax....

    Although from what AP has told me, ABS can be pulled with just as much detail as styrene...as long as you know what you're doing....quote from AP below....

    "...From experience I can assure that styrene is the easiest plastic to form, a
    JOKE compared to forming ABS and the main reason TE used styrene and not
    because of sharper details. Whoever TE hired to form ABS didn't know how to
    form ABS or didn't have the proper machine with a strong enough vaccupump.
    Proof? You can form styrene with a homemade vaccuforming machine and home
    oven, will not happen with ABS I guarantee.

    I guaranteed that I can use same thickness ABS and Styrene and get exact
    same sharpness results with both plastics in same thickness. With styrene I
    can start forming within 2 test pulls max, with ABS it might take up to 8-10
    test pulls before getting the machine settings just perfect and start
    producing. Basically theres alot more waist using ABS because the slightest
    offset the part is ruined, with styrene you don't have to worry, we make
    test pulls all the time using styrene we adjust settings at a approx. temp
    and the peices come out almost perfect. with ABS there's almost no room for
    mistakes it has to be spot on, It's all about knowledge and using the
    proper settings for each type of plastic and thickness, people saying you
    get sharper pulls with styrene is BS.

    Authenticprops"
     
  42. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Interesting.

    And I can kind of see that. I have a TE and a GF helmet side by side and the details look to be almost the same.
     
  43. Jumpin Jax

    Jumpin Jax Sr Member

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    Of course they are the same. The GF/AP helmet are the same as the TE.

    Sad that AP thinks they can get the same details. Just wont happen. Sad to say. That is someone saying they want your business to detract from the truth. TE used .093, SP uses .080. Same detail same thickness? impossible. If TE used .080, it would be BETTER than the AP, as it already is.

    So, do the math folks. Same BS GT tried to pull over with saying styerene is an inferior plastic. the "S" in ABS is styrene.

    Nice try, keep going.

    JJ
     
  44. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I meant the sharpness of the pull was almost the same. The cuts in the GF are just a tad softer.
     
  45. CWR

    CWR Active Member

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    Jumpin Jax is right. I have had both suits and the TE is sharper. I do Like the AP armor but that is also because it stems from TE's original moulds. The new faceplate looks very familiar too. It looks very similar to my TE helmets (not sure where they got it but it definately helps). Now that TE is not making suits I suppose they are planning on carrying the torch. They have definately made improvements but it is still not as good as a TE suit.

    -CWR
     
  46. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    I have an AP helmet also and I can testify although it's pretty darn sharp it's definately not as sharp as my TE
    I don't seem to remember this thread being called ABS vs Styrene...

    Back to TE Armor assembly now?
     
  47. AnsonJames

    AnsonJames Sr Member

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    And incidently...
    ABS is harder to form than Styrene because of it's rubber content. It's also Hygroscopic which means it attracts atmospheric moisture.
    This means it has to be lightly heated to remove any moisture in it before it's formed.
    Depending on the thickness of the ABS and the type of machine used, it should be possible in theory to vacform something with as much detail as Sytrene, although due to the nature of ABS and things like air humidity it's a lot harder to do properly.
    I also remember reading that the Troopers in ROTJ were made using ABS called UVEX which is more resistant to yellowing which would explain the original ROTJ not being completely yellow yet.
    All ABS and Styrene goes yellow over time.
    A painted set of Armor shouldn't go yellow (unless it's in a room with a person that smokes like a trooper - no pun intended) and the process of yellowing on the under surface shouldn't effect the paint on it.
    Now back to TE Armor assembly...
     
  48. HDPE

    HDPE Well-Known Member

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    Hi John.

    I think I know the new owner of the yellowed TE ROTJ suit ;)
     
  49. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Well-Known Member

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    Cool... well without taking the thread off-topic completely, can you verify if the armour is unpainted and if it is made from styrene or ABS?

    Cheers,
    John
     
  50. HDPE

    HDPE Well-Known Member

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    Sure.... the armor is unpainted and made from ABS.

    The right calve is made from styrene for some reason and hasn't yellowed.

    (BTW the shoulder bells will be for sale soon, anyone interested in parts coming from a $5 k suit? :lol )
     

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