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Wook1138

Wook's Docking Bay 94 Captain Build (AP)

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A few more things done on the build.  Pretty much all the gluing is done with a few small exceptions.  All holes are drilled and I think I'm ready for some strapping. Anyway, here is what I've been up to.


Sizing the shins and thighs.  Here is my crazy method of figuring out how much to trim off each side so that it fits and the seam will run at a nice angle down my leg.  I hope it works.
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Belt and thigh ammo belt trimmed and ready for installation. 
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Kept my trim to about 4mm - default for how Mark pulls these pieces.
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My 45° cut on the belt is 10mm to fit my canvas belt properly.  The canvas belt is sitting a bit low in the picture, but it does meet up with where the 45° cut meets the outside edge.
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I had to do a whole whack of hot bathing and heat gun.  I needed to reshape my kidney piece and make it not so wide.  I traced the original shape on to cardboard for reference and used hot baths to squish the outsides in a little.  This caused buckling of the top and bottom return edge, so I had to use a heat gun and some pieces of wood to reshape the return edge.  Sorry no after pics, but it worked out pretty good - mind you, I am terrible at hot baths and heat guns. 
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Also had to reshape how the back meets the kidney.  This is an issue with my TK as well - no amount of strapping adjustments could fix it. the back seems to pivot at the outer edges when fitted to my body.
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This is the return edge along the top of the kidney and AB.  The AB side flares up so I also had to reshape that too.  Again, no "after" pics.  But all is good now. Also shaped my shins to they close better and my posterior to avoid "butt flare".
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Marked the hole for the cod.  Measured about 1-1/8 inch from end and drilled with 1/8" bit for a split rivet.
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Posterior.  Two 5/32" drill holes for line 24 snap bases.  I think I measured about 1" from edge and then another 7/8" for second hole.
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5/32" hole for snap in right Ab connection.  The hole ended up being about 18mm from edge and top.
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1/8" holes for split rivets along left ab to kidney connection.  the holes are 10mm from seam.  20mm upper return edge and there is about 58mm between each hole. 
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So, at this point, all the arms and legs are assembled except for the 25mm back coverstrips for the shins.  I still need to drill holes on the Ab for the belt and assemble belt.  And some trimming of coverstrips here and there.  Also need to finish up the helmet.  And then... I can finally start getting dirty.:td:
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Need to trim for the three-button button plate and the sniper knee.
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Anybody know how thick this thing should be?  Time to do some research... .
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Here’s a compilation I did for knees, I hope it helps...

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4 hours ago, RoCKo said:

Here’s a compilation I did for knees, I hope it helps...

Yes it does.  They are trimmed fairly thin. Thanks!

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Sniper knee plate. A lot easier than a TK knee (for the AP kit at least). Added some pieces of plastic to the back and glued into place. I hope it is enough to hold. The shin is curved and the plate is flat, so I piled on the E6000 and will hope for the best.

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Reference - in addition to RoCko's pics.


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Also trimmed this guy.
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Reference pic
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Looking at it from the side, it seems to sit a little low, especially compared to the reference pics of the dockingbay captain. 

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Looking at it from the side, it seems to sit a little low, especially compared to the reference pics of the dockingbay captain. 

Oh yeah. Thanks! Let’s try this again.
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So, the belt looks low on the DB94 captain. Do people usually install where the belt should normally go and then move it if applying for SWAT?

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Sniper knee is looking good now:yes:

Concerning your question about the ammobelt, attach it in the regular position for basic approval and PO and then move it slightly down for SWAT. 

I suppose the chest from the picture above isn't the one you will be using for this present build? 

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Sniper knee is looking good nowdark_yes.gif
Concerning your question about the ammobelt, attach it in the regular position for basic approval and PO and then move it slightly down for SWAT. 
I suppose the chest from the picture above isn't the one you will be using for this present build? 

Thanks!

Chest is for the TK.


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On to snaps and belt.

First off - Belt: I used the standard measurements (various builds and the Billhags diagrams) for placing the snaps on the ab on my first build - the left side of the ab calls for 59mm from the return edge as shown below.  this is way too much for this armor.  I went with 40mm instead and it worked perfect.  The right side stays the same - 28mm.

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Usual measurements

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By the way, taping the anvil to the back side of the armor works great for setting these snaps.
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Also reaming out the holes helps the snaps (male base) to sit flush.
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The left belt snap (tandy line 24) and two snaps for the posterior.
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Right ab to kidney connection snap and the right belt snap.
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Once I've centered by belt to the armor, I taped it in place.  I took a sharpie marker and marked up the snaps on the armor - then I pressed the belt to the snaps to leave an impression of the marker on the belt.  The belt is level and placed just below (but touching) the center button panel.
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This leaves nice marks where the snaps should go.  I did this process twice - just to be sure.
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Belt in place.  I still need to trim and glue on the rivet covers.  I used Tandy small single cap rivets to attach canvas belt to ABS ammo pack.  The docking bay 94 captain actually has a low fitting belt - it looks like is has fallen down post-weathering.  I will need to reposition this belt for SWAT application - but I am told that I need to have the belt here for basic approval.  I find it weird that something good enough for L3 approval is not good enough for basic.  Oh well.  anyway, I was going to install another set of snaps to allow me to easily adjust this in the future - but I forgot and put on the ammo pack before adding the snaps. 
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I would recommend using the non-Tandy labeled snaps where visible. At least on the top right side. 

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2 hours ago, Airborne Trooper said:

I would recommend using the non-Tandy labeled snaps where visible. At least on the top right side. 

As much as I prefer Tandy... .  Will do.  At least for the right ab.  :salute:

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Terrible how Tandy doesn't offer (at least as far as I've seen) them anymore without their logo all over. 

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Minor progress these last few weeks. Life with young children is not conducive to building armour - plus we’ve been away on vacation for a bit. Oh well, here are some more check boxes that I’ve checked off.

I managed to get all the holes drilled for the original bracket strapping system and tested some of the connections. I also did some more minor reshaping of some return edges with the always scary heat gun.

Drilling holes.
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Glued 3 button plate.
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Glued rivet covers on belt.
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And started painting a bunch of screws and rivets white.
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Started to add the canon bracket strapping.
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I managed to get the screws counter sunk a bit.
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I have seen other people use elastic along the left kidney to abdomen connection. They also used a extra piece of ABS to support it. I tried the same method, but once I got the split rivets set, a gap formed. The elastic got stretched a little a now won’t retract due to the ABS support.
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This is a lot more gap than I want. Not too happy.
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I changed out the right ab snap for a “Tandy”-less snap.
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Added some bits of ABS to the inside of the thighs. I will ABS paste the outside. The screen used thighs appear to be filled as well - probably paint.
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Reference
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Snap bases for shoulder straps. I also added a snap base opposite the right ab snap (not shown)
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25mm coverstrips for back of shins. Adding Velcro before gluing. I’ll see how that works.
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Just waiting for one snap base to set.
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Happy belated Father’s Day. My wife ordered me a couple of helmet bags from Trooperbay. She even knew that one should be TD. Just when you think they don’t care... :)
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Very nice! I used nylon on the side with the 6 split rivets to avoid the stretch. 

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Don't worry too much about the stretch, the Ammobelt will pull it all together tightly.

:duim:Looking good

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It is funny how these things come together. After picking away at little things for what seemed like forever - I started adding some strapping and viola, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to finish some arm strapping and the basic build is done.

For various reasons I am not using the original bracket strapping system for the chest. So I glued in some snap plates about 4inches up from the lower return edge.
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Added snap bases near the top edge of the ab.
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Taped chest to ab to double check alignment.
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Realized I need to shift a snap base.
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Test fit. I’m trying to get the placement if the chest with relation to the ab to match the reference (more or less) but still fit okay. I did need to redo one chest to ab strap because the chest was slightly skewed.
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Reference
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Left side (mirror) pic. More gap than I would like, but not terrible.
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Right side mirror pic. I’m using a plastic reinforced nylon strap for the right connection. It doesn’t overlap but it does cause the two haves to offset like this. May need to revisit this.
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And back. The gap between the back plate and the kidney plate is a lot less here than on my first TK. I’ll need to hot bath the shoulder tabs at the back to bend them down a bit - they are sticking up about half an inch or more above my shoulders.
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Eh, you're a Centurion so this is a piece of cake. Looking great. Now get to the fun part and weather it! 

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Eh, you're a Centurion so this is a piece of cake. Looking great. Now get to the fun part and weather it! 


Lol. Spoken like a true sandy.


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Weathering test number one.
Although I like the look of the subtle weathering one gets with Fullers Earth, I worry about the durability and, more importantly, I need to be able to carefully control the pattern of the weathering. I feel I can do that better with paint since I have experience painting and zero experience with Fullers Earth.

Try one is using regular art acrylics and a shop towel to dab the paint for texture.

I used burnt umber, black, yellow ochre, and white.
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I started off drawing a pattern and filling it in with dark grey. Then I did a coat of brown. Then a coat of sand colour. After each layer I rubbed off most of the paint with a towel.
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Well, I wasn’t happy at all with that. Too dark. So I wiped the piece clean with some mineral spirits and tried again.
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Outline pattern.
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Paint in area.
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Dab with towel and spread some paint around.
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A layer of brown/tan colour and dab with a towel.
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Rub away some paint once dry.
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Flick some brown and yellow at it.
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Rub off some of the specks. I needed to use mineral spirits for the flecks as they were pretty stubborn.
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In sunlight at a distance.
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Sunlight, bit closer. Not terrible.
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I will try the same thing tomorrow but I’ll use an airbrush.

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From the times I've seen it, airbrushing makes it look unnatural. Apply some watered down burnt umber with a sponge. Let it begin to dry and then blot most of it off with a paper towel. You can achieve layers with this method. 

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2 hours ago, Airborne Trooper said:

From the times I've seen it, airbrushing makes it look unnatural. Apply some watered down burnt umber with a sponge. Let it begin to dry and then blot most of it off with a paper towel. You can achieve layers with this method. 

Yeah, I'll probably do that to create a darker base layer(s) when I actually do the armor.  I also want to get that dusty look that the Fullers Earth gives.  I tried the same process with the airbrush and using washes of acrylic.  I did do a quick layer of  burnt umber as you mentioned - I will do more next time.  As for the airbrush - I use the incorrect nozzle/needle combination.  This causes the paint to splatter and spit a little.  Gives a gritty texture.  Anyway, here is a test - the airbrush is on the right.  It needs a bit more contrast (darker burnt umber) in a few places. It doesn't read as strong on camera (especially in sunlight) - but it looks pretty realistic in person.

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Final push before I can start weathering.  Here are some of the things I finished up.

Tube stripes. All the painting will be done by hand. Here, I am measuring out the spacing for the stripes.
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First coat. Yuck, I hate doing these things.
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Oh, I also did the vocoder. I forgot to mention that I composited original photographs over photographs of my helmet in Photoshop to place the stripes and vocoder details.
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Had to place and drill the holes for the Hovi mics . The HOVI mics in the reference picture do not seem to match where the holes are marked for the AP helmet. So, I had to adjust. I also painted the tips of the Hovi mics white as per the reference picture.
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Taped off an area for the crack/paint run on the top of the helmet.
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The colour was supposed to match HDPE green plastic colour of the original helmets. But this is a bit dark, I will have to tone it down with some white paint.
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I also cut some tubing at some funny angle to help redirect the Hovi mics . It is difficult to get them to point in the right direction.
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Also final trimmed and sanded the legs and arms. I also added all the snap bases. For sanding, I use 220 grit, 320 grit, 400 grit, and 600 grit. All the return edges were sanded this way for comfort... especially in the upper thigh area.
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And then the next day...

Ammo pack and some final strapping. Still waiting for the tube stripes to fully dry before I can clean them up.

Ammo pack riding low.
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Single cap rivet
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Arms ready to go. Once some glue drys.

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I just noticed that the captain does not have bicep hooks.  I guess I'll have to change that sometime later.

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Come on paint... dry.
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Once I can do a full test fit and if things seem good then I can finally get dirty. Oh, and glue the silicone hand guards to the gloves - tomorrow.
 

Then tomorrow came...

So, the tube stripes were finally dry! So I clean them up a little bit and quickly assembled the helmet. I did not install the lens yet and the Hovi mics still need some adjustments. I will also also need to add the HDPE green colour to the crack on the cheek. After some research I think I found a very close colour match to use on the helmet. I will redo the crack on the top of the helmet as well.

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I cobbled together a makeshift thigh garter. 3 inch elastic and 2 inch nylon webbing and a buckle. And a bunch of tape.
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So I was finally able to do a test fit. My makeshift thigh garter system did not hold up very well and the thighs have dropped a bit in the pictures. The shins have also rotated, I will need to add some Velcro to the boots and the insides of the shins. I also noticed that I will need to hot bath the back tabs on the shoulders so they don’t stick up so much.
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I meant to add these parts as well. However, my bucket did not have any fans in it, I had forgotten how hot it gets without the fans. So this fitting was short-lived.
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Hot bathing the tab. The one on the left has been adjusted for comparison. deb64844815833d809cbc442c79d4427.jpg

Overall, the fitting seemed pretty good. The true test will be walking around for an extended amount of time to test how the return edges will feel. So, it’s finally time for the weathering. Woo hoo.

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Awesome work Greg - that helmet is a masterpiece, going to be hard even for experts to tell yours from the original:yes::duim:

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