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jinxed

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    brad
  1. A Sandtrooper in the making...my WIP.

    More updates...and questions. Taping and test fitting the thighs/shins for sizing is giving me issues. The fronts of the shins are glued and went together really nice and straight. The backs have not been so cooperative. The left one specifically. Despite trying to massage into a better fit, the two haves will not line up even close. The edges are parallel, but top to bottom it's really twisted. I've tried gentle heat, taping, clamping but no joy. There is no way hooks or velcro will hold this long term. There are pronounced return edges, so I cant just trim the seam at an angle. The cover strips would not hide it. That said, would it be horrible if I trimmed the top and bottom where marked to correct the "twist"? The bottom wouldn't be noticeable, but it would create a slight offset to the moulded edge at the top. BTW, the "notched" backs were according to the trim lines. Hopefully this shows the concern and my proposed fix: I can tell the backs of the thighs will also be giving me grief, but for now I'm more concerned with length of the front. Its tough to gauge with everything taped together, but can / should I trim some of the top front down? I know mobility is not supposed to be the first thought that pops to mind regarding armor, but I can't bent forward/down at all. The top digs in something fierce. Forget bending down to pick up something, stairs would be a no go. Thigh should sit right at the top of the knee cap yea? Thats basically where I had it taped to sit so I cant lower the whole thing. Now, I realize any semblance of return edge would be lost, which is fine. I actually wanted to create the notch on the top outside of the thigh anyway. But my concern is, will I be creating too much gap to the ab panel? Related to creating notches where previously were none...I want to make the kidney notches and trim the butt back because I think the side looks odd just dropping down right in line with the ab. My concern there lies with the kidney plate. It's flush top and bottom with the full length of the ab/cod piece. Usually when I see the notches, it's to create a transition between the lower edge of the cod to the butt piece. Meaning the kidney is longer. On mine, I could create a nice notch if I come from the seam between the ab/cod back @ 22mm and trim the butt edges to match. Here's a crude overlay with the idea. Also laid in about an inch trim off the thigh. Too much gap? Overthinking stuff that will be covered by a belt and pouch anyway??
  2. A Sandtrooper in the making...my WIP.

    Update: Finished the shoulder bells, and construction on biceps, and forearms. Mostly happy with them. Picked up snaps, webbing, and some nomex gloves. Started tweaking the ab / kidney / butt interface. Taped together to do a cursory fit and realized the return edges on the back are digging in hard. Reduced those considerably and massaged the ABS to a better shape. My kit from Moncal doesnt have kidney notches, but from my initial fit, the sides of the kidney match the abs, and the butt plate is flush with the kidney. So not sure if I should "create" notches and trim the butt plate back some? Also ran into a snag with the 3 button plate. The buttons are nearly as wide as the raised portion on the abs, so if I trim it fit without overhang, I would eat into the buttons. That said, I pulled some scrap from the bin and had a go at moulding my own. Theyre not great, but they do fit the space better. I just softened the scrap with the heat gun and pressed it down over a few of my RE magnets stuck to metal bracket. Not the sharpest detail, but it actually matches the kit. Sadly once trimmed it still is not flat along the edges. I may try again to see if I can push it down a little flatter. That or try to rig up a small vac table??? And yes, the kit supplied 3 button on the right was pulled with dimes.
  3. It's taken me nearly 9 years, but I have finally started to build my (hopeful) TD armor. Still incredibly intimidated and feeling way in over my head, but I think progress is going well? I'll let more experienced eyes be the judge of that. I cleaned off the accumulated dust, dug into the box and laid everything out to see what I was in for. After taking stock, I dug into the cobwebs of head to remember everything Moncal schooled me on when I picked up the kit about trimming it. It went like this: Look at piece for 20 minutes, run upstairs to the computer and read the forums for an hour, return and trim. Rinse, repeat. went from this: To this: Then I got to work on the arms. Cleaned, sized, and glued all the backing strips. Now I'm to the point of gluing on my first cover strips and I'm hesitant. I originally planned to do the angled "fence slat" corners, but thought it would look odd and inconsistent with not all of the strips ending straight. So I cut them to size and did a slight rounding on the corners. It looks good to me, but I dont want something like this to prevent passing a basic or higher inspection. Thoughts? Again, thank you to everyone for the immense resource and help. Brad
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