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 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned

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Bat Akaan


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11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned

Greetings Mercs,
Since I am now going through the approval process, I thought I would share my build. I made my armor along with a friend who is not (at this time) a member here. I had previously posted my build on RPF but I figured that something we did may help out someone here so I am posting it here. This build began in April and we literally finished the night before DragonCon.

I little background and disclaimers,
We made our kits without ever planning on becoming “approved official” members here but we did read over the CRLs and tried to stay in the guidelines as best as possible. We also had a lot of failures in the process but learned how to overcome them and I have chosen to leave these failures in this build thread so people can learn from our mistakes. Additionally, we have made several costumes over the past few years but our Mandalorian armor kits are the most ambitious costumes we have done. That said, we employed a lot of skills to accomplish our builds. So I will try to be as thorough as possible but please ask questions if you have any. Our builds are builds from the ground up, almost everything we built is made from scratch or with very little reference to existing stuff. We wanted to make everything we could from scratch. We are not professionals and we do not do any of this for profit so please understand that we were learning while we worked on this and we may not have all the answers or correct terminology. Our build employed a variety of skills including; mold making, casting, buck making, kit bashing, vacuum forming, leather work, wood work, sewing, and painting, working with a variety of mediums such as plastics, fabrics, leather, wood, plasters, and silicones.

I am fortunate that over the years we have built a vacuum forming machine, I have an industrial sewing machine, and I have a well-equipped workshop in my man cave. That being said, a lot of this stuff can still be accomplished without all the toys that I have so I hope that some of you find this helpful.

Ok well since we started this off without an intention to have these kits “approved” we did not start off with a flight suit. Instead we started off with a not so well known camouflage pattern from WWII. I wanted to make a set of armor that was camouflaged and would have a ghillie cape. So as you move through this build just overlook the pants and shirt and know that I am now adding a flight suit to make my kit approvable from the app committee.

This whole idea of building Mandalorian armor started when we met a new friend at DragonCon 2016 who was wearing a set of Boba Fett armor. We arranged to barrow this armor so that we had an example to work with. Our friend is not a member here and I do not think his Boba Fett armor would pass approval but for our purpose of building a generic modern era kit, his stuff would do just fine.
So if you are reading this I can assume you know that armor is not cheap. Since we were making two sets (and actually there were three of us until one guy dropped out of the project), simply buying the armor was not really an option. We started off with the back plate as it appeared to be fairly simple, we were sorely mistaken.

With JCs back plate we thought about making a buck out of Styrofoam but that did not work out so next we simply wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap, closed off the arms, neck and bottom. Placed the back plate inside a box and leveled it, then filled it with some Plaster of Paris.





You will notice that the buck is split down the center. JC is a very thin guy and we are not, so we needed to widen the buck for us, once it was cured, we spread the two halves about 1inch wide then masked the opening off and filled it with more plaster. Once all that was cured, we needed to re-cut the bottom “cut out”. We first tried to do this by hand with a dremel but soon decided to make a jip and use the router.





Once that was done we worked on sanding and shaping the back buck, lots of bondo was used and we learned that whoever made JCs armor had no idea what the word symmetrical meant.



Since only one of us could work on this thing at any one time, I started with the 3D printing. I downloaded several 3D models from thingiverse but none of the models were exactly what we wanted so I either edited them or made new ones for everything we printed. The link to all the models we used that I modified or built are on my thingiverse page for free download. https://www.thingiverse.com/11b30b4/designs/page:1
At this point I was printing the following stuff:
Lower Left Gauntlet and parts
Upper Left Gauntlet and parts
Lower Right Gauntlet and parts
Upper Right Gauntlet and parts
Left Ear Cap
Right Lower Ear Cap
Right Upper Ear Cap
Range Finder Cap
Range Finder Base
Range Finder Rotation Part
Range Finder Stalk
Range Finder Top
Chest Readout Mount





Next, I moved to making more bucks. For the cod piece or groin plate and back belt I used MDF. I rough cut them on a band saw then finished them with a sanding drum in a drill. Once they were finished I coated them with bondo fiberglass resin to protect them.



At some point we decided to bite the bullet and pick up some OoMoo 30. This is a two part silicone mold medium. There are a ton of videos on you tube on how to use it but basically we took some corrugated plastic sheets and made a box, we made a level layer of acid free modeling clay then placed a master on the clay. Next you use more clay to close up the gaps between the master and the bed of clay. Next you spray the master with a mold release and mix up the amount of OoMoo you want to use and pour it over the master. Once its cured, you flip it over and remove the clay and master and presto! You have a perfect mold of the part.



Next, we boxed in the mold (because its not regid) and mixed up some plaster and poured it inside the mold. Once its cured, you can remove the plaster and clean it up. Initially we were coating the plaster bucks with some resin but we later stopped doing it because it was not necessary.





We made all the armor masters from scratch, and JCs armor was of little help because his armor was so crappy it was all wrong. Nothing was symmetrical or even straight. It was just easier to make an outside box shaped like the shoulder bell and fill it with plaster. This way, we got a perfect symmetrical and straight buck that we could vacuum form and recast as needed.



Having never done this before, we needed to test out some bucks on the vacuum forming machine. Here we tested two knees.





And as you can see, we got a lot of what we called spider webbing. So we added some wooden blocks to smooth out some of the sharp edges and played around with the spacing and tried again. Here we did some shoulder bells and an abdomen plate. The results were much better.





Some of the raw cut parts.







Next I continued to work on the camouflage pants that I was using but since that has all changed now, no need to go into that. We moved on to the weapons. Both of us wanted sniper rifles and starting from scratch, although intriguing, would take a lot of time. Instead we used Nerf guns as the base and modified them significantly.

DAC started off with this Nerf gun.



And I started with this one.



The first step was to take the nerf guns apart and scrap what we were not using. DAC decided on a PVC pipe for his barrel and I found an aluminum shower rod that worked nicely. Next we hit the Home Depot to raid the PVC fitting section to make scopes. DAC added some doo-dads here and there and hard mounted his barrel with a plastic putty. My barrel was attached using screws.









So we both wanted wooden stocks for these guns. I wanted something similar to a Jezail musket stock. We considered making the stock out of foam then adding a wood grain vinyl to it but we did not think it would look good. So we first attempted to work with white pine but that proved too soft a wood and cracked often. So we ended up using poplar, it’s a low cost hard wood and once stained would look good. With two 1” thick boards we cut out a pattern and milled them down to what we need. With the stock being made in two parts we could mill each half to attach to the nerf frame. Once we had that done we glued and screwed the two halves together and began to decorate them. I printed out some vinyl graphics of our clan sigil that we developed back in January, the red footprint is a Mythosaur foot print since the skull is way overdone. Then I translated some phrases into Mando and printed out decals for the stocks to use as stencils. The Mando says “Total War”.













3D printed Flash hider/ Muzzle device, scope rings, and lenses.





Next we assembled everything and painted it all and here is the results. We added some $20.00 (Amazon.com) bipods and Wow, I can’t tell that they were ever nerf guns.















































Here are the manufacturing stencils we made for two well-known weapons manufacturers in the Star Wars universe. Each rifle is stenciled with the words in Aurebesh rather than Mando since Mandalore did not widely produce rifles. In the Star Wars universe, most all blasters, plasma, and slug throwers were manufactured by one of the many munitions and weapons manufacturers. For our rifles, I made mine manufactured by Merr-Sonn Munitions Inc. and DAC had his manufactured by Blas Tech Industries.



Next we also started on some of the soft parts, here are the Kama skirts waiting to be dyed. We found this cool upholstery fabric on the remnants rack at JoAnns Fabrics and basically made a shortened triangular shaped pocket that would have a thin piece of craft foam in it to make it somewhat rigid.



Next, I worked on my cape which will be made to look like a ghillie suite. I started out with a nylon 1”x1” square mesh net cut to the size and shape I wanted. Next I gathered some burlap and dyed it to the colors I wanted. I then stripped the burlap into single stands about 18” long then I grouped them into bundles of 9 strands. I tied them to the net with no pattern to achieve the effect I wanted. I did not want this cape to be too heavy and I wanted to only simulate the ghillie suite so I stopped once I had the look I wanted.







Next we started building our pistols. We started with two of these Nerf guns.



For graphics on the Disruptor Pistols we chose the Czerka Corporation, once again in Aurebesh.



So for the pistols, we cut them down a bit and used flat sheets of styrene to cover some of the holes and 3D printed parts for others. In this picture the butt end is 3D printed and you can see the flat styrene on the forward section of the trigger guard.



So once the pistol was done I made a leather holster for it. We used cowhide from Tandy leather and stained it once it was done. Here are the finished pictures of my pistol and holster.













Back to the back plate. We finished getting the buck as ready as it was going to be and pulled our first back plate of armor.



The squared edges around the hole cutouts for rocket packs kept braking when we pulled the HIPS from the buck so each time we had to rebuild them with bondo.


We also knocked out more armor parts, once these were pulled, we rough cut them and laid everything out.











Along the way, I ended up braking the center chest buck last night and trashed it. This buck along with several others is just too fragile being made out of plaster. I have slowly began to redo some of the bucks in MDF since they seem to hold up better. As for the center chest piece, I will just 3D print it. Here is six of them printing.



DAC has continued to work on his pistol.



We did not want to buy chest displays since the cost between 100 and 300 dollars so I purchased an LED name tag from Amazon. This one will let you display whatever font on you want. So, I added Mando and to the program and switched it to scroll the Mando. It’s a little big but I think it will work fine with our costumes. Here is a link to the name plate if anyone wants it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also finished the 3D printed center chest piece, they will need to be sanded to get them to look correctly but they came out fine.



Next we found this great gator textured faux leather from JoAnns. So we made a quick pattern and knocked out the vest. DAC’s is black but otherwise completely the same as my brown vest.



Next, we started to work on how we are going to do our legs. I have seen a ton of ideas, everything from spats to leg armor. So we wanted to go with some sort of minimalist direction on the armor. From the beginning we were trying to decide what boots to go with and we ranged our choices from desert tanker boots to hospital shoes made into boots. We needed the “right” look, but they also needed to be affordable, common, and comfortable. So we ended up going with these converse boots.



Here is a picture of one of the leg armor designs we considered but later changed. We decided to go with 4” wide ace bandages for the leg wraps. We would dye these to a color we liked but the ace bandage idea was great since they would not be falling down when we walked.



Next we finished DAC’s pistol holster. He still needs to weather the pistol but the holster came out exact as he sketched it.





We also got around to cutting and sanding the armor.



We also knocked out a simple leg armor mold in clay and made a mold of it with OOMOO 30. Then we cast the bucks with plaster and cleaned them up. Once the finish curing, I will vacuum form them and that should finish the legs.







Next I built my girth belt. Its modular and can be reconfigured as I see fit. I added the Kamas to it so that everything is attached to one belt. The pouches were a variety of leather AK47, SKS, and French ammunition pouches we ordered from sportsman’s guide. We weathered and stained them to fit the overall look we wanted.







Next we test fit the armor on the soft vest and marked where everything will be mounted.



DACs girth belt, the two front Kamas are done and just need to be mounted.











The bucks for the leg armor shin guards were cured so we vacuum formed them, then cut them out.





« Last Edit: Nov 28, 2017, 10:01 AM by 11b30b4 » Logged

Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
Main WIP|Sniper WIP|Executioner WIP nos planto faecem venio

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #1 on: Nov 22, 2017, 10:10 PM »
OK, so there is a maximum size of characters for a single post and I hit that number so I will have to break this into a few posts.
Continuing, I used moldable two part epoxy clay to mount the LED name tag in the breast armor.





After I cleaned up the cured epoxy, I sanded all the armor with 150 then 220 grit and primed everything.



Next, we did more test fitting of armor. For an actual Boba Fett armor set up the back plate and the top neck armor actually connect and there are 4 bolts that connect the two pieces. Mechanical keyboard keys were used to finish the nuts. We decided that we did not want the front armor and the back armor to connect; however using just Velcro to hold everything in place resulted in some parts coming loose when putting on and taking off the vest.



So we decided to hold the neck armor and the back armor in place we would add the bolts and key nuts. I looked at a few 3d models of mechanical keyboard keys but decided to build my own model and add a cut out on the bottom for the ¼” nut. We printed up a bunch of these. Once cleaned up we simply pressed the nuts into the recess with a nylon jawed vice.



Then I needed to make sure that the armor and the girth belt would work together and not bind up so I donned everything and took some pictures. I also knocked out some arm brassards and mounted them. I then velcroed the shoulder bells to them. We also added the bolts to the top of the neck armor and back plate.









We modified the front Kamas to allow for the leg strap of the holster but later decided to simply shorten them. Pictures of them fitting better the next time we don the outfit.

With the armor fitting and attaching well, it was time to add some damage to them. So all the armor took some trips down a gravel road. This added lots of scratches, dings, and dents which will be exploited during the painting process. While I worked on this, DAC had already dinged up his armor so he started painting his armor.







Ok so there is a whole segment on my RPF post about using craft paint to paint the armor but it was a total failure so after painting and striping the armor twice, I dug back into the wallet and got a ton of spray paint.



I made a graphic of the pattern (ignore the colors used) then sent these graphics through my Silhouette cutter and made masks for painting.



Next, I re-primed the armor and once cured, I painted the first layer of metallic silver, then the base layer of green.



After this layer cured, I masked the armor for the brown layer.



I painted the brown layer on the armor. Once it was cured, I used some single masks (top right corner) to draw out where the hunter green will be painted. After I had all of them drawn out, I masked them off with painters tape leaving the previous masks in place and then I painted the final color of hunter green. Once that cured, I removed all the masks and lightly sanded everything. The olive green and the hunter green were both satin spray paint while the brown was a flat spray paint, so sanding was needed to dull the saint colors and expose some of the metallic silver bottom coat. Once that was done everything got washed and then another layer of masking for detail graphics such as our clan sigil, mythosaur skull, and some mando phrases. Once that was done more sanding and blending and a black wash to further weather everything. Finally, two coats of flat clear was applied to protect the finish. The colors are a pretty good match for the pants that I originally planned on using, but it does not look as close in pictures. The clear coat is playing tricks with the lighting.











Next, DAC applied Velcro to his finished armor and mounted all of it. We still needed to remove the white outlines from his vest but this was just a test fit to see how everything looked. I really like his color scheme and it all looks like metal.









Next, we cleaned up some of the stuff and decided to knock out some progress pictures.





















Well I found a better model for the gauntlets from April Storm Props on thingiverse. Initially we wanted to modify the standard Death Watch gauntlet to accommodate the electronics we wanted to use but modifying the four part model you see below proved to be more difficult than I first thought.



One of the many issues was that these models were split with upper and lower sides then each side was split into front and back. This meant that each set would be 8 separate parts that would need to be glued together then the hinge used to connect the top and bottom of each gauntlet. Another issue was that the edge that sat on the printer bed in almost every case was deformed due to the heated bed and printing with ABS. We were able to mitigate some of this by enclosing the printer but there was still significant deforming and when attempting to glue the front and back parts together, there were large gaps that would need to be filled in with bondo, plasti sculpt, or fiberglass. Since the parts did not align correctly, any modification to the top side of the gauntlet was rather difficult. Then I found newer models from April that were full size, meaning that instead of 8 parts the new set was only 4 parts, a top and bottom for each arm. With these models, I placed them into Tinkercad and modified the tops of each arm to accommodate our electronics and LEDs. We could have gone overboard here with cool displays and even smart phone inserts but we decided to keep it somewhat simple. Once we had the gauntlets modeled to our liking, we began to print them. Each half of the gauntlet took about 20 hours to print. Once printed, there was some sanding and cutting to accommodate the LEDs. We built a really cool LED kit that uses a 10 rectangular LEDs arrayed to produce a “hypnotic” affect. I will provide the link for the video of this kit here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoimgyTo04M













Next I took the time to add the electronics to my rifle scope. I wanted both lenses of the scope to illuminate so I made a quick and simple 2 LED circuit and added an on/off switch. The 9 volt battery is encased inside the scope. Once it was finished, I reinstalled the scope and then the rifle was done. I like how the scope LEDs came out.









« Last Edit: Nov 28, 2017, 10:11 AM by 11b30b4 » Logged

Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
Main WIP|Sniper WIP|Executioner WIP nos planto faecem venio

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #2 on: Nov 22, 2017, 11:42 PM »
Next, while waiting for some painting to dry I decided to add more graphics to my left shoulder bell. I did a stripe pattern across the top with the brown and olive, weathered it and clear coated it. Additionally, I added a Bavarian-esque pattern to right shin guard again with the brown and olive. Again weathering it and clear coating it. Both look kinda Star Wars-ish.





Next, I cleaned up the 3D printed gauntlets with an exacto then I did a wipe down with acetone and then sanded them. I should mention some techniques I learned from that interweb thingy that really helped. First is anything 3D printed will have lines in them. If the item is printed in ABS then a wash of acetone (brushing it on then letting it dry) is a quick way to smooth some of the lines. After that you can sand till you get the finish you want. I watched numerous videos where people did acetone vapor baths to smooth the printed item and either I did it wrong or the ABS I am using is non-compatible with this process because after 20 hours of an acetone vapor bath in an air tight container never smoothed the printed item. It did make the item extremely soft and bendable and useless. The wash seemed to work well and dries quickly.





Next, superglue…. If you are as old as I am you can recall all the superglue and crazy glue commercials of the early 1980’s where a guy adds a drop of super glue to a construction helmet, attaches the helmet to an Iron “I” beam and suspends himself from the “I” beam. Well superglue never worked like that for me, in fact, I considered it one of the worst glues available. Everything I glued seemed to brake again shortly after the glue had cured. Apparently, there is thing called an activator that causes the superglue to cure nearly instantly and is rock solid. So there are a tone of videos on you tube on how to use the activator. I ordered a can of the aerosol CA glue activator from amazon and used it and hot damn! That stuff works great. Another superglue trick DAC learned on you tube is Baking Soda. Another two big thumbs up for this method. You can search it on you tube but it’s simply applying the superglue then sprinkling baking soda over it. This caused the super glue to cure nearly instantly with the added benefit of adding a plastic type mass to the glue. In other words, you can use the superglue and baking soda method to full gaps and it can be sanded and painted after the fact.

OK, back to the progress. I primed and metallic silver coated the gauntlets then I painted the first layer of olive as I had done with the armor. Next I added the masking and painted them with the brown. Lastly I masked again and painted the hunter green.









Once the wash was dry I added the electronics. For the left gauntlet we have two LED kits. The “hypnotic” 10 LED bar kit powered by one 9V and the LED flasher kit with 3 LEDs (2 rectangle and one 3mm round) on one side of the circuit and two LEDs (1 rectangle and 1 round 3mm LED) on the other side all powered by one 9V. I should explain some of the “concept” here. Every LED in the flasher kit is a 3v 20mA LED. Since there RE 5 LEDs total, that should require 15V of power; however, in this kit only one side of the circuit is power at a time and since it’s a flashing kit, it flip- flops the power from one side to the other. That means when the 3 LEDs on one side are powered, the 2 LEDs on the other side are not. But it gets better. In the picture below the circuit board showing is the LED flasher kit and you can observe the two blue rectangular things on the right side with small white circles on them. Those are trimmers witch is a kind of potentiometer. This means you can adjust the fade-in and fade-out of each side of the circuit. In other words, when the power flips from one side of the circuit to the other the LED that are no longer being powered would normally just immediately blink off but with the trimmer and the assistance of two capacitors, a residual charge can be applied to the LEDs to led them fade off and even fade on. Granted this still happens quickly but it’s a cool effect. The only non-adjustable part of this kit is that you cannot control the actual flash rate. I know that all seemed confusing. If you are truly interested, grad one of these kits from Fry’s Electronics for $2.99 and play with it. Anyway, two circuit boards, wiring, and two 9V batteries is a lot of stuff to cram inside this void in the gauntlet. A piece of craft foam was added to take up some of the gap between the gauntlets and my arm and it helps hold the batteries in place. We also added on/off switches to the outside of the gauntlets that are on the negative side of the battery line.



On the right gauntlet, there are 8 rectangle LEDS and one LED flasher kit powered by one 9V. If you understood my ramblings in the previous paragraph you should be thinking “how can you power 8 LEDs with one 9V battery? Well with all the same specifications from the previous paragraph, you cant. So two of these LEDs will not be wired or powered and are simply static. Yes we could have added another flasher kit, but we did not buy enough of them to do that and with the time crunch, we decided to move forward. There are still 6 LEDs that will flash.



And here are some pictures of the LEDs in action.









Next, I 3D printed some mechanical keys (same as the ones used to attach the back armor to the neck armor but scaled down a bit), sanded them, painted them and added the Mandalorian #1-4 on them and glued them in place on the right gauntlet. Next the gauntlets got clear coated and they were done.





So DAC still needs to work on his gauntlets so pictures are coming.

Lastly, I began work on my helmet. I cut out the T-visor hole, the key holes on the back and the two triangles on the front with a very small drill bit in a dremel. Sanded everything and moved to the ear caps.



The ear caps were 3D printed so they needed to be sanded and since my ear caps are ventilated, I had to do some cutouts in the helmet. Next, I glued the ear caps in place with superglue and the activator. I then filled any gaps I had between the rear caps and the helmet with super glue and baking soda.







The next thing I began to work on is figuring out the electronics for the helmet and range finder. That is still a work in progress at this time; however I will share something that should help a ton of yall out. Helmet fans!!!! After several years of making DeadMau5 heads for DragonCon in the August/ September heat of Georgia (we expect it to be 90+ with 100% humidity this year), having a fan to circulate the air in a helmet is a must. Well there are lots of people that sell “helmet cooling systems” on ebay, etsy, etc… for $20+ or you can buy a couple of 5V brushless fans and 3xAAA 4.5V battery holders from Amazon and make your own. DAC and I wanted two fans each and I got a 5 pack of these fans from Amazon for $7.99 then I ordered a 6 pack of the 3xAA battery holders with on/off switches for $8.99 from amazon. That’s about $3.39 for each “helmet cooling system”. Slap some Velcro on them and blam, we are in business. Since the fans are 5V I research that with good quality batteries they should run for about 10 hours. I also went the extra mile and ordered 20 pairs of 22AWG JST plug connectors and soldered them into the battery holders and fans so that we could just unplug the battery packs and remove them if we wanted.



Next, I worked on the range finder. I printed these parts about two months ago. I printed the range finder top with clear ABS and the stalk was printed with white ABS. I had planned on inserting LEDs in the top so I made it modular so that I work out all the wiring later. The stalk is two pieces with a channel inside for wiring and a cutout for a rare earth magnet. Since our builds were not cannon Mandalorians such as Boba Fett we designed our own top. My top was designed to have a small view screen on the side that faces the wearer; however, since only the wearer would see this I wanted the other side to have some illuminated areas. I made is to resemble an objective lens with several magnifications that look like they rotated to give the wearer different magnifications. I also wanted it to look cool so I added a few cutaway sections that illuminated.



I wired up two green LEDs then assembled everything and super glued it together. I sanded the assembled range finder and decided to leave some of the printer lines to give the effect of milling marks. Once that was done masked off the areas that I wanted light to pass through. Next, I primed it and painted a layer of metallic silver. After that I did a test of the LEDs and performed some additional light blocking with more metallic silver.



With most of the light blocking done, here is how it looks so far.









I still have some light blocking to do and then it will get painted. This brings up the fact that I have not completely decided how to paint my helmet. I plan on doing the same pattern on it as with most of the armor but I think there should be some solid areas as well as the pattern. That being said, I have not decided how I want to paint the range finder. I may paint the top and leave the stalk silver or paint it black. Im not really sure and until I get to the painting stage I won’t really know. I may do some concept artwork to process this.

I managed to mount the range finder. Here you see the rare earth magnets that will hold the range finder in its two positions.











That really does not sound like it took me 3 hours to do but it did.

As stated before, I had originally posted this build on RPF and it was at this point that a member there informed me that the shoulder bells and knees in our previous pictures were inverted. So, sometimes I am just chugging along, doing my own thing, not minding anyone else, thinking all is right in “my world” and I am happy with my life and where I am.

AND THEN, someone comes along and points out the fact that you are ridding to work on a bicycle and not wearing any pants. It is the most absurdly obvious things that I tend to completely f@#k-Up!

He was freaking correct that both the shoulder bells and the knees were upside down……………
I can flip the knees over since there are no graphics or text on them. The shoulder bells are a different story. I will consult with DAC and see if we want to sand and re-paint them. My feeling at this point is no, they look correct (ergonomically) as you said so unless DAC is interested in flipping them, they will stay as is. The funny thing about this is, if you notice the picture of the updated stipes on the shoulder bell, I had intended for those stripes to be on the lower outside edge of the bell and I painted them that way, but then I realized that the Mando text was upside down so I had to flip the picture I took of the bell hanging in the paint booth. When I went to put bell back on the vest I realized that the angled section was need on top because of how I had cut and sewn the Velcro. So I painted the bell correctly with the stipes but will need to wear it incorrectly due to the text.
Also, “shoulder bell”, think about a bell shape… Boba Fett wears them as if the bell is upside down. Maybe, we are correct and the rest of the damn world (to include the guys who invented this outfit) are all wrong, or perhaps not. Oh well, I am sure I will hear that our shoulder bells are wrong, inverted, upside down, etc… at least a 100 times during DragonCon from fanboys and Fett-ubernerds. Come to think about it, that is almost enough reason to make the damn correction so that we don’t have to hear all the complaints.

Well dude, thanks for pissing in my corn flakes. No seriously, thank you for pointing out this error. I wish I could say that we did do this intentionally but that would be complete and utter BS. Anyway, thanks for your comments and pointing out the error.

Ok, over the past few days I have done some more concept art and I think I have decided to go with the version marked Green 01. Here are all the concepts, it took some time to figure out where to add LEDs and how the battery packs and circuit boards would fit inside the helmet. So that it’s clear, there are two LEDs powered by one 9V battery inside the rangefinder (the battery is inside the helmet). Then there are 4 more LED inside the helmet powered by one 9V battery and a flasher circuit board. One LED is inside a channel I 3D printed and glued to left side of the helmet that is level with the visor. There is one LED inside the bottom key hole on the back, and there are two LEDs inside the ventilated section of the Left Ear cap. Behind the ventilated sections of the ear caps and the key holes there will be plastic mesh (the kind used for needlework) that will be painted a metallic gold. All the LEDs except for the LEDS in the range finder will flash. Also inside the helmet will be two cooling fans and two 3x AA battery packs for the fans and padding. The visor will be the last thing we do to the helmets. My visor will have a green metallic tint.











After I mounted the External LED and channel, I masked off the helmet and took it outside to be dragged around in the gravel. I added more cuts and dings with a dremel and sanded with 220 grit. I painted a layer of primer and then a layer of metallic silver.





Next, I painted a layer of the Olive green. Next, I will start the masking for the pattern and continue painting.



Ok, we redid the shoulder bells so that they are facing correctly, you really didn’t think we would just let that go? I was hoping we could just lightly sand them and repaint the logos but no that was not working so we had to completely sand them and repaint them then logo them, then weather them. This is how they turned out:









Next we worked on DAC’s cape. He wanted a roman look and we decided to spray paint our clan logo on it. Here is how it turned out.









Next DAC finished his gauntlets



And then tragedy hit… I was testing my range finder stalk and forgot to add the resistor and blew the LEDs inside. Since the whole thing was sealed, there was nothing to be done with it. I had to 3D print another one and build the whole thing from scratch. This was not as bad as it seemed at the time because I incorporated some of the changes I wanted after finishing the first one. Here are some pictures and a few side by side of the old one and the new one.











Next, I continued painting my helmet with the pattern.







Then some major weathering and a black wash, it was still wet in these pictures.











DAC began working on his helmet.





Next was the paint.











Next he wanted a Samurai motif so…













Next I Super glued the visor bolts in side then set them with the baking soda/ super glue method. Man that stuff is strong and easy. I then cutout and mounted the visor. Lastly I added the tint. This was a total pain in the *****. After three attempts, the last try was what we decided was good enough. I am not real happy with the end result but there seems no way to get all the bubbles out of the tint and trying to apply the tint to the visor when it’s out of the helmet and then putting it inside only made things worse. So we left the visor in the helmet and apply the tint to it inside the helmet. Anyway, you can see the bubbles in the tint. I later came up with a different approach to this and I will cover that later in this post.



Next I finished all the cooling fans and installed everything inside the helmet. On the left side is the 9V battery for the LEDs in the helmet and the 3x AA batteries for the left fan. On the right side is the 9V battery for the range finder LEDs and the 3x AA batteries for the right side fan. I ended up not putting any type of mesh over the vents in the ear caps or the rear key holes as I have a very tight fit inside the helmet already. We used Velcro and Army ACH pads for the padding.



















Next I reworked the LEDs inside my rifle and made a mount to hold them inside the scope. We also weathered my rifle since it looked like it was new and not battle worn.













Next, I built DACs reticle for his scope. It’s a piece of plexiglass that we etched with the media blaster and added a red LED. The battery case is mounted under his scope and everything got painted to match. I think it turned out well.









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Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
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Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #3 on: Nov 22, 2017, 11:44 PM »
Crap, while messing with DACs rangefinder, I did it again… I blew the fracking LED! This was Wednesday night shortly after my previous post and we were planning on heading down on Thursday afternoon. We could have pulled another all-nighter and reprinted the whole thing like I had done for my range finder when I blew the LEDs in it but, DAC was having none of that. So he grabbed the drill and drilled a whole in the side of the rangefinder. We pulled out the blown LED and replaced it and added the resistor directly to the LED so that this would not happen again. Then there was the problem of a ¼” hole in the side of the rangefinder. We shoved a piece of a window blind adjustment clear acrylic rod into the whole and called it fixed. It actually turned out kind of cool.









So after fixing the range finder and clear coating DAC helmet and adding the fans and battery boxes, we did not have time to take pictures of our full cosplay. It was, box everything up and head to the Con. Our baggage at the Hilton.



Thursday’s only plans was to get checked in at the Hilton and we had the time to take som full cosplay pictures.



























And at DragonCon…





We experienced some issues with the gauntlets not staying closed at DragonCon and the 3D printed spring clips broke several times. While I considered several options to address this, one very simple solution presented itself.

Using a small but long drill bit I drilled a hole through the wall of the gauntlet upper half and along the length of the gauntlet. I placed this hole about 3/16” from the outer lip stopped before it came through the front end of the gauntlet. I then closed the gauntlet and drilled the hole through the lower half lining it up with the upper. Next I cut another bicycle spoke to fit and inserted it through the hole and presto it holds the gauntlet closed. I left a small part of the spoke exposed so that I could extract it with gloves on. Here are some pictures.







I have read through a few threads on tinting and mirror visors. I have also researched this topic on a few other forums and I thought I would do some test and share the results with you all. I decided to do this test because of how unsatisfied I was with my mirrored green tint visor for my Mandalorian build. I did a whole write-up on the tests I did on RPF the link is here if anyone wants to see all the tests.
 https://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=282887&p=4341499#post4341499

After testing lots of materials and paints, I ordered another 12x24 sheet of the 1mm scratch resistant and I also ordered a sheet of 3mm thick 12x24 without the scratch resistance. Also knowing that I wanted a green tint, I found these 12x12 transparent color light gel filters for photography, so I ordered a set of them.







Once everything arrived, I cut out a visor from the 3mm thick acrylic and tested the Krylon tint on a scrap piece. I got the same results where the Krylon would not take to the acrylic. Once I had the visor cut out, I used the emery board nail file to smooth the cut edges of the acrylic.

The color gels allow 90% light transmission so I laid the acrylic visor on the gel and used an exacto knife to cut the gel to fil the visor. I then placed the gel inside the helmet. Here you can see a piece of gel with the acrylic and how transparent it will be.





Next, I used a heat gun and shaped the visor to the desired curve. Once it had cooled, I placed it inside the helmet and tightened it down with rubber washers and nuts. I used very little pressure to avoid cracking the visor.



This is the view from inside the helmet.



And this is the outside.



In summary, the use of the 3mm thick see through mirrored acrylic along with the color gel seems to be a relatively cheap and effective solution for me in this application. You can get both the gels and acrylic from amazon and if you think you can do all this in one attempt then the materials should cost $8.99 for 4 color gels and $22.99 for a 12 x12 3mm acrylic mirror sheet.

And that is my build so far. I have ordered a flight suit and it should arrive this week and hopefully I can get approved soon. Thanks for the interest and I welcome your questions and comments.

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Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
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Zaroc


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2017, 05:12 AM »
Just  wow vod ! Maybe there are some details to change for the app but this is a Incredible build

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Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #5 on: Nov 24, 2017, 01:19 PM »
Zaroc, thank you. Working on those details to get approved.

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Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
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Zaroc


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #6 on: Nov 24, 2017, 02:19 PM »
You very welcome ! Can t wait to see :)

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PWS #009 - New Death Watch Order #43 - O.O.P.S. ! #49
Zaroc - Brigade approved as Privateer/Gunslinger
Ogm'a - Archaelorian/Scavenger

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #7 on: Nov 29, 2017, 01:36 PM »
Ok so I ordered the flight suit and it arrived.









I added some Velcro to the wrists, knees, and waist to help hold armor and make the flight suit fit better.



I also used a heat gun and reshaped the back plate a bit to help close the gaps I had in the top shoulder area. Additionally, I cut down the shoulder length and repositioned the back plate.
Before



After



Changing to the flight suit, I realized that my girth belt has the propensity to slip down a bit so I made an internal belt to help hold it in place. First I took 2inch wide nylon webbing, folded it in hlf and added Velcro to the outside. I sewed the whole thing up and flipped it over. I masked off two ½ inch stipes along the inside and then smoothed on some silicone sealant. I removed the masking tape and let the silicone cure.





Next I added some Velcro to the inside of the girth belt.



I still need to take some pictures with the flight suit and all the alterations. I am also working on building new 3D models of the gauntlets and binoculars.

Logged

Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
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Ty'renn Argos


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #8 on: Nov 29, 2017, 04:59 PM »
Holy mother of bacon.

I am astounded. The ammount of work and detail put into this is just.... wow.

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Ni cuy' gar vod jii.



#1204

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #9 on: Dec 04, 2017, 02:12 PM »
Tyrenn Argos, thank you.
Ok so boots redux…
Yes the original boots were Converse all suede leather boots with an actual boot sole but they do look very similar to chucks.
So I got some work boots from academy sports. Keeping the original armor I then figured out how I was going to place the first armor on the boots.



After that I masked off the leather and painted the upper parts of the boots. The paint did not take like I wanted but it did change the appearance somewhat.



Next, I weathered the leather with scratches and scuffs.



Next I began to make additional armor for the boots out of HIPS.



Next I dry fit all the armor to the boots.





Lastly I painted and weathered the armor then I mounted everything to the boots with Velcro, rivets, and Chicago screws. I then added the shin guards to the boots and presto. I like how they came out and for 50.00, it was an economical solution.



I also altered the pistol in the two areas noted by the pre-app team. First I wrapped the grip with this Fiber Fix Repair Wrap stuff that gets as hard as metal once cured. Next I cut away the back side of the trigger and repainted the trigger. I hope this now meets the approval of the pre app team.





I also weathered the flight suit and gloves but neglected to take any pictures of them at this time. Currently I am working on some stuff for the rifle. Thanks for the interest.


Logged

Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
Main WIP|Sniper WIP|Executioner WIP nos planto faecem venio

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #10 on: Dec 06, 2017, 12:04 PM »
Based on feedback, added Leather to the grip and filled in the screw holes. Hopefully, this should pass app process.





After taking this kit to DragonCon, I learned that the only part of my kit that did not fit into a transport box was the sniper rifle.



So, I had been thinking about making the barrel detachable. This is somewhat complex because the bipod is connected to a faux gas rod that sits under the barrel and is mounted inside the receiver. After thinking about this issue I came up with a solution that I think will work. I will cut the barrel where it comes out of the receiver and insert a ½” PVC threaded SCH 40 coupling. Since I made the barrel from a shower curtain rod, I needed to insert a piece of ½” PVC pipe into the part of the barrel that remained inside the receiver and run screws through both rods to make them solid. I primed and painted all the exposed parts, then bolted them to the receiver and PVC glued the coupling to the protruding PVC pipe. Once all that was done, I closed up the receiver and began filling in some of the large gaps on the bottom of the receiver with some pieces of HIPS. I added a small square of HIPS to the top rear of the receiver and to cover some of the detail that was noted by the pre-app team as being “too nerf looking” then I painted this stuff. I also added a piece of wood to the top front of the receiver where there was a gap. I carved a piece of cedar to fit then stained and weathered it. I inserted it and screwed it in place.
Next I added the other end of the coupling to the remaining barrel. And began to work out how I was going to secure the gas tube where it would not interfere with the connecting and disconnecting of the barrel.









I also began to build a wooden fore-grip. I made this out of 3 boards of poplar.







And that is where I am so far.

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Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
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Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #11 on: Dec 06, 2017, 01:08 PM »
I think this may the most detailed WIP I've ever seen....the sheer amount of work here is just incredible!!  :o

It's gonna take some time to digest all this...but bravo so far man.  8)

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Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #12 on: Dec 06, 2017, 04:32 PM »
Raestin Ke’Varek, well thank you. I have done my fair share of build blogs over on Replica Prop Forum and can anticipate some of the questions that may come. This requires me to be a bit more descriptive at times but it does cut down on many of the back and forth questions and answers. Ultimately, I hope to provide enough information so that others can glean some knowledge from the write-ups and apply things they want with their builds. That is not to say that I don’t welcome questions, on the contrary, I do welcome any questions. In any case, thank you and everyone else for the kind comments.

Logged

Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
Main WIP|Sniper WIP|Executioner WIP nos planto faecem venio

Bat Akaan


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #13 on: Dec 07, 2017, 08:59 PM »
Alright gentlemen, I have made the following suggested changes and a few I came up with:
First, the flight suit has been weathered and zipper pulls removed. I have tucked it in in areas and tried to get the best fit I can for my body type.
I have heated and reshaped the back plate over the shoulder areas.
I repositioned the shoulder bells to be more centered on the arms.
I ditched the converse boots and replaced them with leather work boots that have been painted, weathered and armor attached. I also attached the shin armor to the boots for an overall better appearance.
I weathered the flight gloves.
I added an internal belt that holds the girth belt in place and prevents it from slipping down so that it now sits just under the abdomen plate.
Next, I reworked the pistol by removing the plastic behind the trigger, filling in all the screw holes, and wrapping the grip in leather that was weathered.
Lastly, I completely reworked the rifle by making the barrel removable and it is now configurable into a carbine as well as a sniper rifle. I added a wooden foregrip and added wood to a few other areas. I closed up various holes in the receiver with HIPS and painted them to match. I filled in all the screw holes and placed HIPS on the upper rear to change the appearance. I await your comments.

































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Cabur Akaata #128 | Oribru Akaata #29 | B.E.A.R.D.S. #152 | M.V.S. #69 | OM #2001 | Naast #2001 | BM #260 | OT Guard #71
Main WIP|Sniper WIP|Executioner WIP nos planto faecem venio

Baconboyrlz


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Re: 11B30B4’s Complete Modern Era Kit Build and Lessons Learned
« Reply #14 on: Dec 10, 2017, 06:50 PM »
Wow... Just wow. Your kits are AMAZING!

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Tra'cor Clan
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