My first outing was downtown San Jose on the Saturday night before Halloween and it was a great time! We didn’t really get any pictures of it, but the group (see photoshoot below) had fun going out and bar hopping downtown San Jose. It was crazy packed out there. We got into a really small bar for free and chilled there for a bit had a drink and walked around just to find everywhere had a giant line and none of us felt too up to waiting to get in.
The Stormtrooper costume was definitely a hit! A lot of people were commenting or shouting out “Stormtrooper!” or “Star Wars!” I even had my first ass slap (by a guy passing by). There were a lot of people that stopped to take pictures and would realize we were all Star Wars so I definitely brought the group some love too. I felt bad though, the last thing I wanted to do was upstage anyone, everybody worked hard on their costumes!
Giving people joy, high fives and smiles on their faces and getting praise while expressing their appreciation was my favorite part! I was even dancing a bit in the club which was a lot of fun. I dance better when I’m a trooper than not, I felt like, well, I’m a Stormtrooper so no matter what I do, it will probably look cool. Haha, so I had more confidence and was an okay dancer not all awkward like usual.
On the drive over, I practically laid across the back bench seat of my buddy’s Jeep and at one point heard and felt a MASSIVE crackle in my ass! I was FREAKING OUT, was like, oh no! I just broke my $$$ ass! I reached under to find it was a little bag of potato chips…. and exhale <whew>! That was a close one!
Me and the wifey, she’s Mara Jade from Star Wars novels and comic books:
Next stop: Bars downtown San Jose!
We had a Star Wars Halloween party and here’s the pics I’m submitting to the 501st Legion for (hopeful) approval.
And an action shot for good measure:
There are lots of little things that I’m picky about. I don’t feel like it’s 100% there yet, and I wonder if I ever will. Either way, I am happy and proud of this version and can’t wait to take it outside and do some trooping!!!
OMG, it really feels like it’s here, I really am a Stormtrooper! It took me about 20 minutes to get into full costume. There are still a few little things I need to finish up. I need to install the caps over the screws in my belt, adjust the shoulders so they sit forward a little bit more and glue the snap plates down to the insides of the thighs. I judged about a thumbs worth of a gap between the bottom of my torso and the top of the highest points of my thighs. Oh and my shin with the sniper knee plate tends to swivel outward. I was advised to put some foam in there to help it from moving around. It looks like I’m going to make it in time for tomorrow’s Halloween party!!
Thanks to TK-4702 from the 501st Legion via the First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment AKA FISD I now have all the pieces I need for my TK. Later I will be getting an amplified communications system (mic and speaker) and may consider binders(handcuffs) but for now this makes me a complete and hopefully 501st approvable TK (Stormtrooper).
Well, time is really flying by!! I need to stop procrastinating and get things done in time for Halloween!!! Unfortunately in my haste, I only got this one picture to share of assembly of the legs. As you can see here, I’ll need to cut the bottoms so they line-up later, but my next move is to try everything on and see if there is still anything else I need to do.
As far as assembly goes, I basically taped the leg armor to my legs and figured what excess needed to be trimmed and trimmed (just like the arms and torso). Then, I sand the overlapping bits in the front and velcro the backs (of the shins). As for the thighs, they are a lot harder because I really have to have all the other pieces on to know how and where on my leg they will exactly fit.
Slowly chipping away at it. Trimming, re-applying the velcro and straps underneath, trying it on, rinse and repeat over and over. It’s coming along, but my main issues with this configuration are:
1. I have a bubble-butt. My butt piece won’t sit flush with my kidney piece. Most troops in the movies don’t have this problem, they are so skinny. Some do though after further analysis of the screenshots.
2. Now that my chest straps up top have been trimmed, it doesn’t stick off my body anymore which is good but bad for the lower side of the chest, it was sticking out a lot due to my belly. So I’ve velcro’d the underside of the chest to the outside of the ab where they overlap. The bad thing is it limits my maneuverability considerably. I can’t really sit down.
3. It’s better, but I still have major overlap of my back over my kidney. It’s acceptable according to the documents at 501st, but I think it’s less than favorable.
4. Still lots to do, ribbed shoulder straps, re-do shoulder bells, re-evaluate biceps and forearms, have to start the legs, hands, thermal detonator (the cylindrical thingy-ma-bob that hangs off of the back of the belt and so much more.
I Put on a bunch of my Stormtrooper armor along with my helmet for the first time today. It was fun, but after looking at the pictures, I can see where I need to make A LOT of modifications.
First up, the chest. I think I may get around to this later in the build, but it looks like I should trim the collar so I can get it further up. Also, the bottom could be trimmed up a bit. For now I definitely need to cut more of the straps at the shoulders and the sides under the arms, see next pic…
You see below from the side, that the straps that go over the shoulder (no, I know I still need to attach the ribbed shoulder piece) are much too long and the back and chest parts that curl around the shoulder and sit under the arms are too long, I’ll be trimming those too. See how much the back piece sticks off of my back? This is because the length of the straps up top.
And me just having some fun (I’ve learned not to stick my elbows out, it makes the armor bunch up all funny).
For assembling the chest, back and shoulder bells, the manual that came with my AM Lite Kit courtesy of TrooperGear, says to apply industrial strength velcro on the inside of the top straps of the chest and back. So here they are. (Velcro applied to shoulder bells too, not pictured)
Next, we take the provided elastic straps with velcro sewn in and strap the chest and back together.
Then, attach the shoulder bells via the provided straps.
Finally, let’s throw it on and see how it fits!!
I threw my biceps in for fit. So far it looks cool, I’m so super excited. I will definitely be doing some trimming on the top straps and the sides of the chest and back pieces, there is a lot of extra plastic there.
TK is the first part of the code given to Stormtroopers as their ID numbers. Like, “TK-421 why aren’t you at your post? TK-421 do you copy?” From Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope when Han Solo and Luke Skywalker ambush the two Stormtroopers in the Millennium Falcon to steal their uniforms as a disguise.
Pictured above is the result of cut to size forearms. I had to cut off a couple of inches from the forearms as they were much too large for me, then I sanded the area where I would have overlap and applied my E-6000 glue, clamped, magnet-ed and let sit for 24 hours. I also cut off the return edge from the wrist end to be more movie accurate. The return edge is the 90 degree or so edge that is shaped to go inward towards the body. For now at least, I’m gluing the length of one side and velcro-ing the other side. Of course before applying the industrial strength velcro, I will mark with a pencil and sand the area so that it has something to grip onto. After a while once I know that the fit is perfect, I will go in and remove the velcro and glue that side permanently too so that I can just slip them off and on without worry of the velcro ever showing.
The biceps did not need trimming for the diameter but I think I will be trimming the return edge as they dig into my arms and are very uncomfortable. I guess I have chunky biceps because it’s really hard scooting them all the way up my arm. It’s also confusing to me where they sit in rotation to my arm, the shape doesn’t seem to be as ergonomic as I thought. I’m using the same method of gluing one side and temporarily velcro-ing the other side.
Just when I thought I had just about everything, I found that there was more to be had, using FISD as my prime pool of resources for the build to start very soon. I went to my local D&J Hobby Store and was lucky enough to find these (pictured above): Heat Gun, Lexar Scissors, Black Primer, Novus clean & polish kit, Paints and Enamels for the ab plate buttons.
I could not help myself… Everytime someone comes over I do this, it looks like a Stormtrooper just laying there, I love it! It’s duality, It makes me so eager, to want to do the rest of the build right now so I can actually wear it, but it also reminds me that I have SOOOO much work to do and makes me feel like putting it off another day! I know that it will take many hours and many weeks. But I do have a goal of getting it at the very least ready for Halloween and hopefully even get 501st approved before the end of October. We shall see.
Feeling so inspired from getting my helmet today, I decided to head over to Wal-mart and get some tools I’ve been needing for my build. Pictured above are:
Clamps: For holding glued armor parts together.
Painter’s Tape: For taping the parts together to fit before I glue.
Black Industrial Strength Velcro: To stick to the insides of the armor to attach to the straps that came with it.
White Industrial Strength Velcro: To stick to the insides of the armor, mostly the legs and arms.
Jumbo Craft Sticks: For applying glue and spreading cover when gluing long strips of armor together, and pinching with clamps or holding down with magnets.
This is not a tool, it’s actually part of the costume. Believe it or not after some research the 501st community have found that the rubbery black chemical gloves are what they used in the movies.
My MTK Helmet is here!! I am so so very excited about this piece of my costume! I mean, c’mon it’s the face! I wanted this to be as perfect as I could get it. So I paid a little extra to have it assembled (instead of getting the kit and saving money by assembling it myself). I got this amazing helmet from TrooperBay at FISD. TrooperBay was excellent in communication with me and turned around the assembly and shipping very fast and as promised “before the end of the month”. Of course I had to try it on! A little scary and weird the first time you put your bucket on, no? Also, the sculpt on the top of the dome was a bit bumpy. For a few seconds I was disappointed, but then I remembered reading on FISD that the “bumpy cap” is so because it is the direct replica of the real stormtrooper helmets which increases the authenticity. In the end, I’m happy and proud to have a bumpy cap. It’s the craziest thing, I never noticed how asymmetrical the helmet was until I had it in my posession. It’s just harder to tell in pictures. But anyway, the helmet fits great, looks great and I have a couple of guests who just had to try it on too.
MTK Stormtrooper Helmet = highly recommended.
I received my canvas belt today from a great belt maker, TKittell on the First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment. He has them available in white, off white and black and will make the custom length. I was very pleased to deal with him and I felt like his belt was the absolute best that I could find. There is even a band of plastic running through it to hold it’s shape and be durable (just don’t bend it — it’ll snap!) It has the velcro already sewn in for attaching over your armor.