Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FemTK - Legacy Era Female Stormtrooper Build #3 - Torso and Shoulder Straps

Master List of Linked Build Pages:
#1 Getting Started -sorting armor and getting supplies
#2 The Corset and Butt Plate
#3 Torso and Shoulder Pieces
#4 Upper Arm Pieces and Shoulder Bells
#5 Lower Arm Pieces and Hands
#6 Leg Pieces
#7 Belt and Ammo Boxesand detonator
#8 Helmet

Since your corset is done, its time to look at the Torso.

Materials needed:

Blue painters tape
Strong Magnets - cover them with blue tape to keep them from smudging armor!
Matches for melting edges of webbing
Lexan scissors (from amazon, both curved and straight)
Fine grit sand paper
Breathing Mask
Both Black and White 1 inch webbing (strapping)
Tandy Leather Brand snaps 24, or heavy duty snaps from JoAnn's
Snap setting tools
Previously made snap plates
Dremel and attachments
e6000 Glue
CA Glue (Zap a Gap)
CA Glue accelerator (Zap - Zip Kicker)
Scissors (regular kind)
White Velcro - industrial strength and Velcro brand name

1. Trim and sand the edges of chest plate and back plate.

Just like the others, take time to trim all the sharp edges off. I used my Dremel and fine-grit sand paper at the end. Wear your mask! Well, most of the time.

As a note on trimming and sanding: I found the top shoulder area had a small score line. I trimmed up to it. There should not be a return edge on these pieces! Or they will dig into your shoulders. The shoulder strap with ridges will cover them.

I trimmed under the arms a lot - below is how deep they were. I trimmed both sides to be a lot less than they were.

Wipe off any dust particles when finished.

I plan to have my chest plate overlap my back plate, my chest plate will be on the outside or top. It is what people will see. So, look above. See how crappy those edges look. I cleaned mine up by trimming them back and sanding a bit more.

And now they are nice and smooth looking. Don't trim too much or they won't have enough overlap.

And after putting them in place I found the return edge near the should rubbed my collar bone. Ouch! So I plan to trim those down as well, by having the edge taper there. I think I may be doing this a lot after learning what area pinch.

One piece of advise given to me: do all of this after being approved. Just in case they are picky about it. Then trim later.

I left the front piece return edge very deep. It is part of the look and I just evened it up a bit.

2. Glue on snap plates

Your chest and back plates connect via a white strap over your shoulder. Hence you need some snap plates to snap the strap too.

In Tutorial #2 you should have made 8 snap plates. Four of them will be used here.

As a warning: if your snap plates do not have the extra plate, when you glue it on it will bend out the ABS and make a bump. Follow the tutorial - I did have to three square plates when putting on my snap. My snaps were too tall, and they were lose.

I used e6000 glue here. It is very strong and adheres very well to ABS. It is very hard to remove! I placed my snaps off to the sides and away from the neck area (where I plan to trim it off)
Put glue on back side of snap and clamp down. Let cure over night.

I clamped two on chest plate, and when I put too much glue it oozed out of the snap. I took a pencil and a cut up t-shirt to dig the glue out.

Let cure over night and in the morning your plates will be permanently affixed to your back and chest plate.

3. Installing Webbing and Velcro
Ok, so now it's time to put them together. Just for reference, you will be making a strap that connects the two plates at the shoulder, as pictured below.

Only, its tape. In the picture. Duct tape, sticky side up. So, suit up, and get someone to help you tape them together and find the right length for your webbing.

Tape worked because you could lift up the plate and reposition it on the duct tape. Remember to mark the tape at edges before removing it.

When taping, note that the front must overlap the corset above the rectangle box of sorts. The back must overlap the kidney plate.

Your sides will go together, front overlapping back with velcro.

Have friend draw lines where they overlap so you can place velcro at ends. I found mine overlapped almost two inches, but you find what works for you.

Attach your velcro to back piece, and put matching velcro on other side of front piece.

I didn't take a good shot of my webbing, so here you can see it in the corner.
You will mark tape where it is, measure webbing with an extra two inches per side (4 in total).
Seal ends by melting them with match or lighter. Then overlap ends one inch. Put in snaps that match ones installed at tops of front and back plates.

I found that unsnapping the front right one allowed me to remove it easily by myself and if I have a mirror I can put it on by myself.

Might think about putting a mirror in a carrying case for suiting up.

The finished look.

The back piece didn't seem to fit my back at all, it left a gap. I then tightened the pieces together to pull it in more. Then I found that if I tightened the torso too much the sides didn't overlap well. I might have to trim the bottom of the back piece here on the side, but also just live with the extra space on the back. 

My guess is that no one will notice but me. So make the sides look nice and if you back piece seems to lift off your back, its fine.

See below, this is a bad overlap. Try again.

And this side needed more velcro, made my piece too skinny. Place velcro near end of front piece, not end of back piece because the end of the front piece lifts up and looks stupid. :)

My butt plate has a gap and I fixed it by putting an extra piece of 1 inch wide black elastic there. Now its fine.

And it looks great!

Master List of Linked Build Pages:
#1 Getting Started -sorting armor and getting supplies
#2 The Corset and Butt Plate
#3 Torso and Shoulder Pieces
#4 Upper Arm Pieces and Shoulder Bells
#5 Lower Arm Pieces and Hands
#6 Leg Pieces
#7 Belt and Ammo Boxesand detonator
#8 Helmet

No comments:

Post a Comment