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 UM to OM

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Havelock


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UM to OM
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:06 PM »
UM to OM
Lead Author: Havelock
Contributing Authors: Kris Jasra, Slade Kel, Malakier Vhett, Sep Ho'ban, Hik'aari Kelborn
Edited by: MMCC Education Team


Welcome to the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club.  We're hoping this write-up will be a great map for you on your journey to Official Membership with us.  Our desire is to be as detailed as possible, and answer as many questions as you may have.  We realize, however, that we can't anticipate every question, so we'd like to emphasize that we welcome questions at any time; we're here to help.

Additionally, this guide will serve as a road map, a basic breakdown of the whole process.  You'll find links in this guide to other guides, tutorials, and picture references that will give you more detailed information and instructions.

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Welcome to the MMCC

If you're reading this, you've obviously completed the first step in your journey by joining the forum.  Your next step should be to read the FORUM RULES.  In fact, by creating an account here, you've agreed to abide by the rules of the Club, including the rules for the forum, so please ensure you read them over. 

The rule that's probably the easiest to break, and broken most often, is the rule prohibiting double-(and more)posting. Double-posting means that if you make a post in any given thread, you're not supposed to reply to your own post.  For example, you're working on your WiP (Work in Progress) thread, and make a post with a couple of pictures showing your latest progress.  Ten minutes after you make that post, you realize you forgot to add something, so you reply to your own post, instead of using the "Modify" button to edit the post you just made ten minutes ago.  Posting immediately after yourself, in any given thread, isn't allowed.  Instead, just modify your post.  That'll give our hard working forum moderators a break, and save them having to chide you for breaking the rules.  If, however, at least a day has gone by with no responses to your post, you are then free to respond to your own post.

Once you've read the forum rules, you'll really want to read the Comprehensive Forum Guide.  This post has a lot of amazing and useful information for getting the most out of your posts, and the functionality of the forum itself.  We don't suggest you try and memorize the whole guide in one go, but you'll definitely want to bookmark it so you can refer back to it from time to time.

Getting Started

Since you're here, you clearly like Mandalorians, and are excited about looking amazing in your “kit,” which is club shorthand for your Mandalorian Armor costume.  But what era will your armor belong to?  In the Star Wars Expanded Universe (which currently falls under the "Legends" category in Star Wars Canon) Mandalorian history spans thousands of years, and we welcome members to put together kits from that broad range of history. 

The CRLs, or Costume Requirement List, can be found here.  This is the guiding document for your kit.  These contain the "must-haves" and the "definitely-don’ts" when it comes to what you need for your costume.

The CRLs are broken down into the Early Crusader, Crusader, Neo-Crusader, Late Crusader (which uses the Crusader CRLs), and Modern Eras.  The Modern era also contains the "Legacy" subset.  What this means is that, to a certain extent, you can mix and match between Legacy and Modern.  You can use a Legacy torso with more typical Modern Era knees, shoulders, thighs, etc.  What makes Legacy different is that the plates on the front torso - the Collar, Chest, and Ab plates - all overlap or abut.  There aren't any spaces between them.  For examples of Legacy kits in progress (and approved) check out the Legacy Era construction forum.  And for a basic overview of the aesthetics of the different eras, check out this video.

Once you know in which era you want to build your kit, you'll probably want to start thinking about how much armor you're going to want.  At a minimum, to qualify for Official Membership, the armor plates you'll have to incorporate into your kit for the modern era is:

  • A helmet - commonly referred to on the forum as a bucket (which is an anglicized version of the Mandalorian word buy'ce meaning "helmet")
  • Collar plate
  • Chest plates
  • An ab plate
  • Shoulder bells
  • A cod plate, soft cod, or loin cloth
  • Knee plates
  • A backplate or cape or duster or something that disguises the fact that you don't have a backplate.
  • Kidney armor - if you're working on a Canon Boba Fett, you'll need kidney (also called butt) armor; no need for this piece if you're doing a custom kit

This is also referred to as "Light armor."  It's the amount of armor Boba Fett wears. There are additional pieces of armor you can include on your kit, and you'll see mention in WiPs to light, medium, and heavy armor.

Medium armor is the amount of armor Jango Fett wears.  In addition to the pieces included in light armor, medium armor has:

  • Thigh plates
  • Shin plates
  • Boot plates

Two thigh plates count as one leg item, as do shin and boot plates.

Heavy armor is Jango level coverage with even more armor added.

  • Pauldrons - The shoulder pauldrons that some clone troopers and stormtroopers wear is acceptable in addition to a collar plate and shoulder bells
  • Neck (or throat) armor - Some sort of armor for your neck, to protect against decapitation (usually by those pesky Jedi and their glowsticks)
  • Heavier shoulder armor - Instead of staying with the standard Boba/Jango style shoulder bells, you can put additional coverage on your shoulders
  • Bicep armor - Armor that specifically covers the bicep, or heavier shoulder armor coupled with elbow armor that together cover the bicep/tricep area
  • Flank plates - Armor that covers your sides.  Specifically the gap between your front torso plates and your back plate (or cape, duster, whatever)

And if you're not familiar with all the terminology of Mandalorian armor, and would like to see the pieces themselves, feel free to check out this Visual References Guide.

The MMCC is a living, growing, constantly evolving club.  Which means that the CRLs grow and evolve as well.  We try to announce when changes are made to the CRLs, but you'll want to check them yourself from time to time, even after you've become an Official Member, to keep abreast of any changes as we continue to grow and incorporate all the amazing additions LucasFilm is releasing.

Getting to know other Mercs

At some point, while you're reading through the Forum Guide, or browsing the CRLs, you might want to Introduce Yourself.  You might also like to see if there's a Clan in your area, which you can do by visiting the Clan Locator, or simply scrolling down to the Clan and Stronghold Regions section of the forum.  Each Clan has an Alor'ad.  The Alor'ad is the leader of your Clan, elected by the Clan Members.  The Alor'ad may choose to appoint a Ver'alor (a Lieutentant, or second-in-command).  The Alor'ad will also appoint a Ruus'alor, functionally the Sergeant.  It's the Ruus'alor's job to make sure all the kits in the Clan comply with the CRLs, and is typically the most active Clan Officer in helping new recruits get their armor put together and ready for application. 

You may find that you're in an area that has a Stronghold instead of a Clan.  What does that mean?  It means there aren't enough Official Members in your area - yet - to form a Clan.  Strongholds are under the direct supervision of the Regional Commander, the Regional Ver'sol, and the Regional Ruu'sol.  If you're in a Stronghold, or even in a region or country where you're the only person working on a kit for the MMCC, the person you'll probably be talking to the most is your Regional Ruus'sol.  They handle the job of a Clan Ruus'alor in their region when a Ruus'alor isn't available.  If you need to know who to contact, you can visit the Staff Page to see who your RC, RV,and RR are.

Designing your kit

The first, and most important, step in designing your kit is research.  The more research you do, the more realistic your plans will be, and the better your kit will turn out, and research will vastly help reduce frustration from trying avenues of building that just don't work out. 

After you've reviewed the Costume Requirements, you might want to take a look at the various tutorials available.  There's a wealth of information available there, as well as addition tutorials available in the Costume Templates and Tutorials section.  There is a broad selection of Boba and Jango templates there, as well as Star Wars Galaxies style templates and Legacy templates, too.  And if anyone is willing to make other Mandalorian armor style templates available, we'd be happy to share them, as well.

Once you've browsed, and bookmarked, some of the tutorials, you'll probably want to go and start checking out some Work in Progress, or WIP, threads.  If you visit the Mandalorian Armor section of the forum, you'll see a number of sub-forums.  The first is the Mandalorian Q&A.  In here, you'll find a vast array of questions our members - from Unofficial Members to members of the Brigades - have asked the App Team regarding what is and isn't able to be approved.  You'll also find a link to the Ask the App Team Question Form, allowing you to ask your own question.  The App Team attempts to answer any and all questions as rapidly and thoroughly as possible; sometimes, though, questions require a bit of research and discussion before an answer can be given, so responses may sometimes take a bit.

Next you'll find the Costume Tutorials, followed by the Female Armor section.  Next up is the overwhelmingly most common first step in the WiP process for most people, the Armor Concepts section. 

In here, you'll see the design phase of kits.  You'll see people posting very descriptive, detailed plans for their build, including original artwork.  You'll also see more brief plans, including just a short description of where they want to go.  In your own thread, you're welcome to be as detailed or brief as you'd like. 

You'll also see a lot of folks posting colored versions of this picture:



That's from the MandoMaker. There are a couple of different versions available.  You can find the original MandoMaker here.  There's a newer version available here.  Unfortunately, both of those are Shockwave Flash applications, which apparently are no longer supported by most browsers. You can download those files, but you'll need something that runs Shockwave Flash to make them work.  There's a newer version of Mando Maker available here.  This one is still under development, but it will get you started.  Feel free to play around with any version to try to narrow down what you'd like for your color scheme.  One important note about the oldest MandoMakers (both versions) - neither one had ever been updated to reflect that lightsabers are not valid weapons in the MMCC, with the exception of very specific Canon builds.  Also, neither version of the MandoMaker have a save feature, so you'll need to manually capture your finished image if you want to include it in your own WiP. 

Alternately, thanks to the efforts and kindness of some Unofficial Members, feel free to grab either of these images to play with colors and paint schemes.



Which leads us to including images in any given post you'd like to make.  Linking images from Google or Facebook doesn't work either reliably or for very long with our forum, so you'll want to use an image hosting site such as imgur or flickr.  And if you're not familiar with posting images from an image hosting site, check out this thread for a great step-by-step guide.

As you start planning the nuts and bolts of your kit build, you'll have some decisions to make.  One of the most important is what material you use to make your armor.  The materials you can choose from are:

  • Sintra - Sintra is a flat sheet - available in various thicknesses - of a moderately expanded closed-cell polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  Sintra is the brand name, and known by other names in regions other than the US.  For example, in the UK sintra is mostly commonly known as foamex.  Sintra is very easy to cut, heat, and shape.  It does not, however, handle complex curves very well.  It's very durable.  It's also probably the most common material used for mandalorian kits.  The minimum thickness that we approve is 3mm.  On the upper end, 6mm is the thickest that's easily cut by hand and shaped with a heat gun or even a hair dryer.*
  • Kydex - Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride, very similar in nature to Sintra.*
  • PVC
  • ABS - This is the plasic used to make Legos. A bit more durable than Sintra or Kydex, it also doesn't shape well when trying to shape a pre-cut piece via a heat gun or something similar.  ABS is best used to vacu-form, or in 3D printing. Has a higher heat tolerance than sintra.*
  • Styrene - Somewhat similar to Sintra and ABS plastic, it's neither as durable, nor as easy to work with.  Melts easily, so unless care is taken with your heat gun, you could wind up with an awful mess.  The end results, though, if care is taken during construction, are wearable, approvable plates.*
  • Fiberglass
  • Metal - Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, bronze, etc. 
  • Fiberglassed/resined paper board, also sometimes referred to as “Pepakura”
  • Worbla (not strong enough for armor plates in a single layer, but great for sculpted detail)

You'll also need to decide if you're going to use a single-piece garment, or two piece.  A popular option is medical scrubs.  Many members buy two pair of scrub pants and use the legs to make a second, long sleeve, for their arms. Other people combine work shirt and pants.  With almost any two-piece solution, as long as the fabric and color of the shirt and sleeves match, and is a solid color (no plaid or paisley, for example), you'll most likely be able to use it.  If you have any question about whether or not you can use a particular shirt and pants combo, or any single piece garment, contact your Ruus'alor; they're in place to guide and help you.  In fact, any questions you have regarding your kit, you can ask your Ruus'alor.  And if they don't know the answer, they'll be happy to find it, or point you in the right direction.

*When heating any thermoplastics, make sure you're doing it outside or in a well-ventilated area.  Most thermoplastics give off toxic fumes when heated.  Additionally, make sure that when sanding or cutting thermoplastics you wear a breath mask of some kind to prevent plastic dust from infiltrating your lungs.  In fact, before working on any aspect of your kit, please read the Armor Parties: Safety First guide.  We want to make sure all our members are being as safe as possible.

Preparing to build

There are many other options to decide as you're planning, such as: Girth belt or sash?  Plain gauntlets or weaponized?  What style helmet do you want to use?  Scratch-build or purchase?  But by this point in your planning, you're probably ready to start making some forward progress. 

Before you start purchasing any bits and bobs for your kit, though, you'll want to make sure you've got some basic tools with which to actually work.  If you're going with Sintra or some other thermoplastic, you'll need to ensure you've got a box cutter and/or an exacto knife, a good cutting head for your dremel, or a saw.  And, if you don't have a dremel - or other rotary cutting tool - we cannot strongly enough advise that you acquire one. 



With the vast array of attachments available, it's perhaps the single most useful tool you can purchase for working on your Mandalorian costume.  And, from experience, we recommend you get a corded dremel - otherwise you'll spend more time charging your tool than you will using it.

Another useful tool - particularly if you're going to be scratch-building a bucket - is a hand sander.



Another highly useful tool when working with thermoplastics is a heat gun.



These can typically be purchased for around $20 at your hardware store. 

You'll also need some sandpaper.  You'll want different grits, too.  60 grit is commonly used for rough sanding your plates and ensuring your primer sticks properly.  Higher grade sandpaper is used for polishing.  Many members use 400 grit or higher to polish their fully-painted kits.

If you're not familiar with how to shape Sintra (or other thermoplastics) check out the  Sintra 101 guide.

When it comes to working with metal, there's an additional suite of tools you'll need.  The bare minimum tools required:

  • Tin snips rated for the thickness metal you are working with (this info will be noted on the packaging or in the description online.)



  • Ball peen hammer, 12, 14 or 16 ounces



  • Dishing stump:
    There are numerous ways to create a dishing stump, or modify something to use for dishing.



    In a pinch, a shirtsleeve filled with sand or birdshot will suffice for dishing

  • Planishing item:
    This can be any smooth, curved metal surface. Cheap options include half-football automotive dolly or a ball trailer hitch ground and sanded smooth.



  • Sandpaper

Optional tools for metal working include:
  • Dremel Rotary tool
  • Cutting discs, grinding bits and sanding bits
  • Electric metal shear



  • Anvil(s)



  • Additional ball peen hammers
  • Rubber mallet



  • Metal files



  • Electric mouse or rotary sander

For more detailed information on putting together a metal kit, check out the Metalworking Overview.

« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2020, 05:02 PM by Havelock » Logged
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness."  - Terry Pratchett
Have you explored all that the Royal War College of Mandalore has to offer?

Havelock


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  • I probably have a link for that.
  • Awards Award for 10 official invasions. Order of the Ori'Ramikad Celebration Orlando 2017
Re: UM to OM Guide
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 06:13 PM »
Purchasing items for your kit

At some point during your planning process, and even after you start building your kit, you'll probably give serious consideration to purchasing at least a few items for your kit.  When you start shopping, we strongly recommend that you start in the Supply Depot.  Many of the vendors are Official Members of the Club, and we can attest to the quality of the merchandise offered.  Additionally, if you purchase from one of the vendors on the forum, if anything goes wrong, by going through our forum the Club is in a position to help. 

A good place to start your search is with the Who Sells What thread.  This gives a brief rundown of the currently active vendors and what they offer.  You should also make it a point to read the posts in the Trading Station Rules & Announcements section.  These are highly informative and very important reads for you. 

If you decide to look outside the forums for items for your kit, before making any purchases, please check the Recaster and Bad Vendor Alert thread.  The vendors listed in this thread are not approved with the MMCC, and we'd purely hate to see you spend your hard earned money on things for your kit that won't pass muster.

If you find an item or two outside the forum, and the vendor isn't listed as a banned vendor, before you click the "Buy" button, it's always a good idea to check with your Ruus'alor if the seller provides quality merchandise.  There are many vendors on the internet that sell quality products and provide great customer service, but they haven't come to us for approval; with a Club that contains over 2000 Official Members, chances are pretty good that someone has purchased something from the seller you're checking out and will be able to offer you some good information and advice.  So please, check with your Ruus'alor or Ask the App Team before spending any money.  There's no rush in getting your kit put together, so waiting a few days to make sure you have all the information you need before making a purchase is a wise investment.

Starting your build

So you've gathered some tools, gotten some materials, and you want to get to work on your armor.  When you're ready to start your actual build, you should use the information you've gathered, and come up with a rough plan of how you want your kit to work.  Print or draft templates of your armor. If you're using Boba Fett, Jango Fett, or Legacy armor designs there are templates you can print. Modify them as you see fit to match your vision, being sure to refer back to the CRLs regularly.

Something important to keep in mind when working with Jango and Boba style plates - the armored portion of the kit actually covers a pretty small area of the body. 



As you can see, while the plates cover a good percentage of the torso, they're still a bit on the small side.  This allows for greater mobility than more extensive coverage would, as well as helping give Classic Mandalorian Armor its distinctive look.

Once you've got your templates printed, cut them out, tape them on, and get some pictures. If at all possible, you'll want someone to take the picture for you, as taking selfies with paper armor taped to you isn't the easiest thing to accomplish, and it's harder for viewers of your WiP to judge the sizing and placement of your templates.  For your sizing check, you'll want to get a straight-on shot, facing directly toward the camera.



It's quite likely that your initial templates will need to be trimmed or enlarged to fit your frame, as you can see in the picture above. Be patient and take the time to get your templates sized properly. Printing, cutting, and taping on your templates a few times at this stage will save you a lot of work - and possibly material - later.

When taping your templates to you, something you should keep in mind is to work from the top down.  Start with your collar.  It should be sitting right at the base of your throat.  The most common descriptive phrase for collar placement is that it should almost be choking you.  When placing your chest pieces, you'll want them about a thumb's width apart.  Literally.  Use your thumb to determine where to place the chest piece.  The actual measurement should be no less than half an inch, and no more than one inch.  If you use your thumb for placement, that will keep it proportionate to your frame.  You'll also want to ensure that the inside protrusions - the bits that outline the diamond shape - are no less than one quarter inch apart, and no more than half an inch.

Again using your thumb, place your ab plate. Important note: If you're using one of the Jango or Boba templates, you'll probably find that the shape of the chest plates and the ab plate don't quite match up.  Some additional trimming of the ab plate is probably the easiest way to deal with that, but for this stage of things, we're mainly concerned about the sizing.

The bottom of the ab plate should ideally be sitting no lower than your navel, and no higher than about an inch above it.  Granted, everyone is shaped differently; some people have longer torsos, some have shorter, and each application is looked at as a whole, in addition to its individual parts.

Another point to keep in mind - if you don't have your flight suit and flak vest sorted out yet - is that those garments will bulk you up a little, so having your paper templates slightly large is a good thing.  It gives you room to trim down your actual armor material to ensure that everything looks and fits properly.

Once you've gotten these pictures, post it in your WiP.  Then give a little time for folks to take a look and advise you on how appropriate to your physiology your templates are.  Some people find that their plates are properly sized across the width of the torso, but too short.  Some find that they're perfect vertically, but too thin across the torso. There's a vast array of combinations for how the intial templates will fit you.  Read people's comments, take their advice, and adjust the templates as needed.  And again, having to redo the paper templates multiple times is a bit of a pain, but it'll be worth it to get it nailed down now, before moving on to whatever material you're using for the armor itself.

We strongly advise that you be sure to keep your WIP up to date, every step of the way.  This will help to avoid issues down the line if, for example, you'd like to use a Crusader Era helmet such as the Ramikadyc on a Modern Era kit.  Since using that helmet with a Modern kit isn't approveable, posting that in your WiP will save you the frustration of buying, building, and painting a kit, only to find out right before you're ready to submit an application that the CRLs preclude that particular combination.   And, at any time, if you have any questions, don't be shy - ask your Ruus'alor.  If you're in a Stronghold, ask your Regional Ruus'sol.  Just keep your WiP updated.  By and large, the more eyes you have on your build, the better direction and advice you'll receive, and the better your kit will be.

Soft parts

During the course of your build, you'll need to focus some attention on your soft parts.  Whether you chose a single-piece garment for your flight suit or a two-piece, it will almost certainly need a bit of tailoring to fit you properly. 

Overwhelmingly, the aesthetic presented on-screen for Mandalorian flight suits is that they're form-fitting.  In some cases they're skin-tight, but at the least, they fit snugly to the body.



For almost every single member, store-bought flight suits are excessively baggy and require tailoring to ensure they more properly fit your own form.

This is most noticeable - and critical - if you're not wearing boots that you can tuck the legs of your flight suit into to reduce bagginess.  With the sleeves, the fabric around your arms will be secured fairly well by the gauntlets, reducing bagginess there, although tailoring the upper arms a bit might be required depending on the original fit of the garment. 

There are many options for your flak vest.  You can have a Boba style flak vest - which ends right below your ab plate, a Jango style flak vest - which ends beneath your girth belt (or sash if you'd prefer one of those).  You can have your flak vest zip up the back, or the side (as long as the zippers are hidden), laces up the side, with or without a neck seal, etc., etc.  And just like your flight suit, your flak vest will need to be fitted snugly to you.

For any Modern Era kit you'll need a flak vest on which to place your torso plates, and you have the option to include a flak vest on an earlier Era kit.  If your flak vest doesn't have a neck seal, you'll need something in place to ensure there's no skin showing between your shoulders and helmet, unless you're doing a Canon Sabine costume.  For your neck seal, you're welcome to go with something like a neck seal for a Canon Boba Fett build, or something as simple as a balaclava.  The options are pretty broad; just make sure you have something to cover your neck; preferably something that matches the color and style of either your flight suit or flak vest. 

It's also important to note that with the exception of shoulder bells and knees, the armor that mandalorians wear is very form fitting.  It's all snug to the body.  The Jango and Boba style back plates have areas that are raised up off the body, but the edges are all snugged down tight.  Keep this in mind when forming your armor.

No matter for which era you're building your kit, you'll need a pair of gloves.  The options for what kind of gloves you wear are pretty wide open; for the Early, Crusader, and Neo-Crusader Eras, your gloves will need to be full fingered and fully enclose your hand.  In the Modern Era you have the option of using fingerless gloves.  But for all eras, you must remove or cover any labels or logos.

As far as your footwear is concerned, like gloves, the options are pretty broad.  Combat boots, work boots, Chelsea-style boots are all very popular choices for mandalorian kits.  As with gloves, any labels must be covered or removed.  Any laces on the shoes must be covered with armor, wraps, or gaiters/spats.  Any zippers must be hidden, unless the zipper is on the inside of the boot, and matches in color.  High heels and stiletto heels are not allowed, although platform boots are.  Tennis shoes/sneakers/trainers are not allowed, either. 

Around your waist you'll need at least two items.  Allowable items are girth belts, sashes, ammo/pouch belts, and holster belts. 

And as with any element of your build, if there's an item you want to use on your kit but aren't sure if it's acceptable, post it in your WiP, or ask your Ruus'alor.

Additionally, for further information about soft parts, check out our Soft Goods 101.

Your bucket and you

Let's take a few moments to discuss the single most iconic element of any Mandalorian kit - the helmet.

There are many, many, many helmets available for purchase that can be used for your kit.  There are helmet vendors for every era, from Early to Legacy.  Each is slightly different, but within each era there are certain similarities. 

For visual examples of helmets from different eras, visit our And for an excellent helmet guide by era, visit our Helmet Reference Images and Era Guide.

We'll take a moment to more fully explain the differences in helmets by era.

  • Early
    • The most overwhelmingly recognizable characteristic of helmets (and armor) from this era is how organic they are.  Chiefly of bone, sometimes of chitin, they're often rough and intimidating in appearance, often times with recessed cheeks, and always with a T or Y visor.  Some helmets in this era are actually masks on tight-fitting leather hoods, incorporating T visors and mandibles, but not cheeks.

  • Crusader/Late Crusader:
    • The helmets in this ear have perhaps the most customizability.  They're often more angular than modern helmets, and typically lack ear caps, brow ridges, and key slots.  They're usually built with attachments for hoses, and the visors can be Ts, TTs, or even + shaped.

  • Neo Crusader:
    • This era's helmets allow for the least amount of variation.  They're a full  helmet, with a pointed T visor, no recessed cheeks, and a cowling that comes down to cover a large portion of the collar-bone area.

  • Modern:
    • Boba Fett.  Jango Fett.  Sabine Wren. Bo Katan. Pre-visla.  These are all helmets in the Modern era, and while there are some decided variations to them, there are common traits that define Modern Era helmets.  Typically, Modern buckets possess at least three of the following: T-visor (or a more triangular visor for Legacy helmets), a brow ridge, ear caps, key slots, recessed cheeks, and a range finder.
Painting your kit

So now you're moving on to what most people consider the most fun part of the build - painting!  If you haven't decided on a color scheme or pattern, you might want to take a look at our Paint scheme guide.  And if you've never painted a kit, or a model, or used spray paint at all, you might want to read through the Painting 101 guide.  And if you want to have any sort of visible damage or weathering on your kit, you'll definitely want to take a look at our Armor Plate Weathering tutorial, Soft Goods Weathering tutorial, and a Weathering Tutorial video.

Putting it all together

So you've got your bucket, your soft parts have been gathered, tailored and fitted, you've cut and shaped your armor, and it's all painted.  What now?  Hopefully you've been updating your WiP all along, and have received and followed feedback, and at this point you need to attach your armor plates to your flight suit and flak vest.

There are a number of different options for attaching your armor.  The most popular choices include:

  • Velcro - For best results, you'll want industrial strength velcro.  And while it might cost a little extra, if you can, get velcro that has adhesive on one side for placement on your armor plates, and no adhesive on the other side; sewing your velcro to your soft parts usually offers the best results, and many basic sewing machines can't sew through the adhesive without at least breaking needles.
  • Rare earth magnets - Also know as Neodymium magnets.  They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, thicknesses, and strengths.  Make sure you're getting the strongest magnets you can.  And for attaching your magnets to your soft parts, some members sew little pockets for the magnets to sit in; other members use duct tape to hold the magnets in place. You can get as elaborate or as simple as you choose.  Bear in mind that you'll want to get your placement as exact as possible if you're going to sew pockets for your magnets - having to re-sew a bunch of pockets will lead to a lot of frustration.
  • Snaps - Snaps are a fairly simple method of attaching your plates, although it does require a great deal of placement trial-and-error before affixing the snaps to your soft parts, much like magnets.  Snaps are readily available on-line and from fabric stores, and most come with the tools you need to install your snaps in your soft parts.  Attaching the snaps to your plates just requires a strong glue.
  • Chicago screws - These are a 2 part screw/bolt.  One side has a head and a hollow post with internal threads.  The other looks like a traditional screw.  Drill/punch a hole in whatever you need to sandwich between the two pieces -- sintra, strapping, vest, etc., and screw them together to pinch.  Think of them as removable, reusable, replaceable rivets.  For 1 layer of 3mm sintra and some cloth, 1/8th inch long chicago screws work great.  For 1 layer 6mm (or 2 layers 3mm) - 1/4 inch.  For 6mm with 3mm trauma plateing - 3/8 inch.  For double 6mm - 1/2 inch.  You will likely struggle to find them at big box hardware stores, but specialty stores will carry them and they can also be found for sale on many websites.

When you set out to get your plates placed properly, you'll want to keep in mind that it's a finnicky, painstaking, often irritating process. The end result, though, is a kit that looks phenomenal, so when you're getting frustrated, just take a deep breath or walk away for a few minutes and come back to it.

Also, this part of your build process - if you're doing it alone - can be a bit lengthy, as you go through the process of placing your collar, then adding your chest plates at a uniform distance beneath it.  Some people take a ruler, measure out and mark one inch as a guide to help them with their placement.  The CRLs specify that torso plate spacing should be at least half an inch, and no more than one inch.  For the spacing around the chest diamond, it should be between one-quarter and one-half inch. 

If you can make it to an armor party, or at least get one or two other people to help, it will make this portion of your build much easier, and much more bearable. 

When you've gotten your plates placed correctly, get some pictures - hopefully you can get someone to take them for you, rather than taking selfies - post them to your WiP, and see what people think.  If all goes well, you'll nail your placement and spacing on the first try. Realistically, though, it'll take a bit of trial-and-error to get it squared away.

Once you do have your placement and spacing situated properly, it's time to take some Application style photos.

« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2020, 05:03 PM by Havelock » Logged
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness."  - Terry Pratchett
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Havelock


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  • Awards Award for 10 official invasions. Order of the Ori'Ramikad Celebration Orlando 2017
Re: UM to OM Guide
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 06:28 PM »
App style photos

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your application is processed as efficiently as possible is ensuring that the photos you submit are the best they can be.  They need to be at least 600x800 resolution; the more resolution you can provide, the better.

When submitting your photos for pre-app, or your OM application, you need to submit photos of you in your kit, without weapons in your hands.  You need a photo from the front, the back, facing right, facing left, and one again from the front with your helmet off and your face fully uncovered.

The absolute best way to get the most out of your app photos is to take them outside in full daylight against a neutral background.  You do not want your photos to be angled up or down, or for you to be angled slightly in relation to the camera.  You'll want to ensure your photographer has you filling the frame as much as possible, from top to bottom.  You don't want to be turned slightly to one side or the other.  For your profile photos, the Applicant Approval Team will want to see you facing 90 degrees away from the camera.

Front

Ideally, the background for these photos would be a blank wall, but this fence is neutral enough - the picture kit doesn't blend into it at all - that the App Team would be able to see all the details on this kit and be able to process this application without any difficulty arising from less-than-clear photos.

Back


Right


Left


Bucket off


We realize that for a variety of reasons you might not be comfortable submitting a picture of your un-obscured face.  Your bucket off photo will never be released or posted outside of your application, but it is essential that you include a bucket off photo with your face completely uncovered.

Additionally, you need to submit a sixth picture - a picture of your weapon or weapons.  This picture needs to be of the weapon itself, and not of you holding the weapon. You're also welcome to submit photos of your weapons individually and from multiple angles.







 
Here are some examples of what not to submit in your application:

No action poses

No blurry photos

No strange filters

No angles other than straight on


Other things to look for before submitting photos:

Make sure your neck isn't visible.  (Also called "No neckmeat.")

No

Yes


If you have shin plates in addition to your knee plates, ensure there's proper spacing between them.

No

Yes



If you're wearing thigh plates, often they tend to try and float away.  Using additional of your preferred attachment material - or adding strapping - should fix this issue.

No

Yes


You need to make sure that there aren't any visible laces on your boots.

No

Yes


Make sure your waist items are squared away.  You need at least two waist items, in any combination:  Girth belt, Ammo/Pouch belt, Holster/Sheath belt, Sash.  The top of your cod plate needs to be covered by the waist items, and if your waist items are high enough on your waist to interact with your ab plate, the waist item must be on top of the ab plate, not covered by it.

No

Yes

No

Yes


Also please be aware that no matter how good your photographs, and how well you've composed them, sometimes the App Team might need additional photos.  Close ups of your weathering, perhaps.  Or another shot of your weapon from a slightly different angle.  However, in general, the more like the good pictures you can make yours, the more efficiently your application will be processed.

Once you've got your app style photos taken care of, add the photos to your WiP, ask your Ruus'alor to look it over, and if they agree that you're ready, it's time to start the application process.

What's next?

When your application has been processed and your kit approved, you'll receive an e-mail welcoming you as an Official Member of the MMCC.  A few days after you receive your approval e-mail, you'll receive a PM from Kaden'Dha Runi, the Clan Admin Officer.  One of the pieces of information it will include is your MMCC Catalogue Number, also known as your Cat #, or your OM number.  The catalogue number is for internal club use, and while many members include their OM number in their forum signature, or on their kit storage box, it can't be included on shirts, hats, trading cards, or anything else. 

Right around the time you get your PM from the CAO, you should also see kill stripes appear on your forum name, and you'll see some new areas of the forum open up, such as the OM section and the Brigades, as well as the Social Society section.  Some of these areas might be open to you already if you're an Auxiliary Member or Supporter.  The OM section will definitely be new to you.

Once you have your OM number and your new forum permissions, you're a full OM, and a full member of your local Clan or Stronghold.   You can troop with any Clan, any time, subject to any rules or attendance caps set forth by the even originator.   As long as you attend at least one invasion per year in your kit, you maintain your OM status.  You receive credit for trooping, can vote in Clan Elections, apply for open positions on Club teams, or submit your name for Clan Alor'ad, and serve as Ver'alor or Ruus'alor at your Alor'ad's discretion.

In summary

We hope you've found this guide to be a helpful tool in your journey to Official Membership with the MMCC.  We know there's a ton of information in this guide, and far more that isn't.  So we encourage you to dig into the forum, read WiP threads, ask questions, and get as involved as you'd like.  You'll quickly find that the Club and forum are full of very knowledgeable, very helpful people, so never be shy about asking questions; we're here to help.

--MMCC Education Team--

« Last Edit: Oct 22, 2018, 06:07 PM by Havelock » Logged
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