Monday, July 24, 2017

Building a Star Wars Stormtrooper (for the Smaller Trooper!)

Here I go with my official RS Props TK build for the Vertically Challenged (also known as This TK Comes in a Fun Size). For those of you interested, I am 5'4" and 108 lbs.  This is my very first armor build, so please feel free to jump in if you see me veering off course.  I’m setting this kit to Stunt, with my eyes on the prize of Centurion.

Since this build has many, many pages to it, I created an index so you don't have to wade through all of it if you don't want to.  If you want to see the unboxing of my RS Props kit, just keep reading . ****Let the build begin!****

But first, I'd like to share some Star Wars cookies I made with my son awhile back.  Because everyone loves cookies.  Wookiee cookies are awesome because they're chewie.  And yes, I know my TK cookies are not screen accurate.


Everyone got a cookie?  Okay, good.  To the unboxing!

I want to mention how awesome of an experience it was to purchase a kit from RS Props.  They were professional, courteous, and always highly responsive to my (many) questions.  I received my kit in just a little over two weeks after I’d placed my initial order.  And that included shipping from the UK to the US!  I’ve heard that in the past, RS wasn’t always as responsive or easy to obtain armor from.   That was not my experience at all with them.  I’d buy another kit from them in a heartbeat.
I ordered the 1.5mm ABS kit, and it’s lovely.  A nice milky creamy white, complete with all the bumps and lumps you’d expect from it.  Someone wrote that they appreciated it when armor has that 'craptastic' look, and I think now I understand what they were talking about.  A sanitized, perfectly smooth and symmetrical TK is not attractive to me at all.  Now, to open the big big box...  I felt a little dizzy with excitement at this point...


First, the scent of the contents.  An invisible wave of the smell of fresh ABS hit me as I peeled away the bubble wrap.  I have found that I enjoy the smell of ABS now after building my first helmet.  It smells like...  victory!   :peace:


Ah, this is going to take a while to unwrap it all...


Twenty minutes later....  Yay!  It's all in great shape.  You don't need to see all the close up pics of every single piece, right?


Very surprised to see that every single piece is LABELED.  I've stared at so many armor builds that I think I know what's what, but it's still nice to see labels so I don't have to think quite as much.


Also surprised to see that the ears have been pre-marked for shaping.  I wish that an additional set of ears was included with this kit though.  That's okay, though.  I've already built one lid and have overcome my issues with the ears, so I think I'll be okay (knocking furiously on wood).


Sweet swag pack inside, too.  Love the stickers!

I noticed that the color is different than my ATA lid, so here are a few side by side comparisons...


The RS is more creamy white, the ATA is brighter.  The RS is way more bumpy/lumpy than the ATA, but also has more sharp features.  The RS lid is thinner, especially around the area of the mic tips.  I will most likely reinforce the inside of this thin area with some ABS paste.  I’ll also be plasti-dipping the innards, so that should increase the heft of the bucket overall.

And I could be wrong here (because the RS lid isn't finished yet), but the RS lid seems a bit larger than the ATA.  Verdict: I really like them, despite their differences!  Very glad to own them both.

If I have one grumble- and it's a very minor one- it's with the Hovi-Mic tips.  They are kind of sloppy.  You can see the casting of these is a bit of a mess.  You can also see someone's thumb print from the CA glue and extra CA glue drips on the side.  I'll probably repaint these.


And you can see the CA glue inside the mesh screen in the middle of the tips.  I'll poke these out with a toothpick.


Again, this is a super minor grumble.  You can't really see most of the mic tips once they're installed anyhow.  These mic tips wouldn't have stopped me from buying this kit!  I'm a very happy soon-to-be trooper!

I'm going to need to do a LOT of modifications to this kit to get it to fit my 5'4", 108 lb frame.  I’m terrified of this whole process now, actually.  I’ve been re-reading Diana’s thread which has loads of info for modding an RS kit to a more petite body type.

So.  Let's do this!

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