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Darth Emphatics Blackhole Trooper

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I am going to be bring my build thread over from the old board and from its original home on starwarsaddiction.com.


I am one) aiming to preserve it

two) Hopefully help another trooper out with this info

Three) have a place to post existing projects on my armor as well and questions and progress.


So it begins. This will probably take me little time. I will put new comments from me in bold

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Original pic I worked off of when I started:



The box






The Instructions - This thing is printed double sided with two pages per one sided sheet...equaling 50+ pages  :(




The main pieces of the helmet




And the rest of the armor laid out




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Some Pictures of initial fitting of the helmet with the ear pieces partially screwed in. I am  lining up the dome, then I will secure the ear caps all the way.  I have included two side pictures and one from above.  I will have some gaps to fill between the mask and the ear caps even once they are glued in place.







Top - The dark spot you see where the mask meets the dome is gap. Just from feeling it out, I believe I will be able to get rid of all gaps by sealing the dome to the mask with the ABS glue.  My only concern is that I have multiple areas to do that in, primarily the front and right by both ear caps.  I should be able to glue the other areas and then put some paste in the gaps and hold themtight. I am still trying to make sure this will work.



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Now after this initial fitting I have determined I want to trim off some edges between the  front and back of the bucket.  You can see my rough outline here that I did we crayon. I am not too concerned with it being exact because the ear pieces cover this area anyway, I just want to get rid of the overlap that is currently pushing mask into a weird angle.





Here you can see the gap that the ear covers are making.  The rounded edge in them were just cut too far back to fit. Both sides are this way. Its unfortunate.  So, as a solution I have been talking about with CAndy, I am just going to assemble the bucket and then use an epoxy in the gaps, sand them down appropriately and paint them a gloss black.





I have velcro'd the shoulder pieces and the upper fron and back armor



And here I have inserted the snaps into the front abdomen piece. Though it said they would stay firmly in place, I glued them anyway and placed some tape over them to hold them in place.



Finally, I have began gluing the dome to the front and back mask pieces.  I have gently placed some clamps, not to hard, as I dont want it to melt the plastic too much.  I am actually trying my own method on this.  Due to the shape the front and back pieces made, the dome did not like to fit nicely into it, the mask was just a little too round and the dome a little too oblong.  It would fit snugly, once I force it, but it did not like to stay in place.  As such, it makes it difficult to cement around the whole dome and then fit it in place without getting the cement all over the mask pieces...and even if I could get in in, there are just too many areas that wedge just a bit and need to be set with some clamps. As such, I have devised my own method that I am going to employ for the bucket. Whether it will work or not, time will tell, but once I am done, I will take pics and show everyone.


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Here are some pictures of the many mis-alignments (thought that was expected).  Some I will be able to sand even, others I will actually have to trim




I noticed this overlap on the upper and lower thighs and I wasnt sure if I was doing something from. Candy, your opinion on this would be appreciated.






Well, I have made some progress, not a lot since last weekend, but I have gotten most of my limb armor trimmed accordingly so all the side line up.  It took some time and the help of my neighbor, but my forearms, biceps, thighs, and shin armor is now all even.  I have now taking any pieces that dont easily fit into each other and clamping them in place.  Then I am taking the hairdryer to them to heat them up in that position and then let them cool in that position so that they hold more.  After that, I will velcro them up and they will be done. Next up is back to work on the bucket.  I received my lenses in the mail today, but I still need to finish gluing the dome in place.




FYI - I went to Macys this weekend and they had one pair of good quality boots that I think are Legion approved - looked very similar to everything else. Now I usually wear an 11 1/2 to a 12. These were an 11 for 60 bucks on clearance.  I am thinking, "Sweet!" but what happens? I try them on and they are way too small. I couldn't believe it. I would probably need a 10 in these.  So unfortunately, it was the only pair they had. Its boots are seasonal items so I can only hope to find them at another Macys.





So after receiving the incorrect lenses (Green instead of smoked) I am waiting on the replacement.  


Also, I have started working on velcro'ing up my limbs, Biceps, forearms, thighs, and shins (I feel like I have said this already) and I am actually amazed at how time consuming this has been to do.  Since I am cutting strips to lay inside and actually gluing them in place instead of relying on the sticky back, I have only gotten through the forearms and shins so far.





Well I cut all my strips to a standard size for each piece the formarms use 3 strips on each side, while the bicep is only two and the shins were something like 5.  I probably wont have time again to work on it until sunday, if at all this weekend. I am going to be out of town tonight and tomorrow. I will have 2 weeks off of grad school in about 2 1/2 weeks so I plan on spending a good many evenings working on this.


Things I still need:






suspenders for the ab plate




So, I finished the thighs tonight.  I was previously about halfway through velcoring up everything and i finished tonight.  Now I need to get back to the bucket, get some paint for the detonator and bucket, and I still need to find suspender straps, aside from needing to order the boots and gloves.




On a side note, I got all my limbs complete and velcro'd...except for one thigh that I stupidly did backward. I smartly placed the velcro on the outside of both pieces.  So now I need to rip it off of the side that should be facing out, sand off the glue and try and polish it up. I am not really sure how this is going to work from me, so it will be my test for the area of the bucket I need to do the same thing to.

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Discussion about Detonator:


My understanding was that black have been painted, but I will ask over that the Spec Op forum.


As for residue I have some already because I am not jut using the sticky back of the velcro, but I am using Gorilla type glue when I put them on. I have residue from that glue.  I used some abs glue for the bucket and I have some residue from that.




So, let me tell you, if you are going to screw up on your armor, don't make it gluing velcro to the wrong side of your armor, because it is a royal pain in your rump to get off.  I spent all the time I worked on my armor last night get the velcro off, get the residue off as much as I could with rubbing alcohol and goo-gone, then i went to sanding from low to high and I still need to polish it up, but the sandy worked pretty well, it was just very time consuming, but my limbs are all done except for connecting them to the body suit, which I still havent gotten. My next thing for tonight is to try and polish the sanded spots on the one thigh and then work on reworking the ear caps on the bucket.





Here are some update photos:


All my limbs together



Here you can see how scratched up the edge is even after the sanding. I need a finer sandpaper then what I have. Maybe a wet sandpaper.  



By comparison, this is the other thigh piece. The marks you see here are just dust



And, all this talk about magnets got me thinking...if i had a strong enough one, I could put pressure where I needed on the bucket to glue.  Works pretty well.





Okay, so I need some advice. I am trying to figure out how I can do my earcaps. I have two pictures here.  The first one is the earcap I unscrewed and then held in place at its lowest point.  Even with it edge against the tube, I have major gaps. The second photo is below.





The second photo is of the earcap I left screwed in the original dimples.  I also held down the edge on on the bottom side of the tube to show how the gap would look if I glued that area down.  



So, either way, I have major gaps and I cant see any reasonable way to improve this. Even if I sand it wouldn't improve things. Suggestions?

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I considered the sanding, but it doesn't seem like it would make much of a difference.


I also thought of the boiling tactic, I just didnt think I could get the gap where I needed it.




Well thing seem to be working out okay. I have sanded the corners down and down the boiling strategy.  It seems to be working out.  I have done one earcap. Next I need to do the other.  Once that is down, I need to do some sanding on the bucket glue. Then I can do the Aerators. And it will be time to paint.




So this weekend, I got my earcaps straightened out.  They are much better now. I also sanding down some gluey areas on the bucket as far as I could, while I wait for my wet sand paper to arrive from Rockler.com.  This stuff will actually make the plastic shine like it does out of the mold.


I also did most of my detonator this weekend. I thought I had elastic in the house, but couldn't find any, so I need to get some before I finish the Detonator.  It is complete except for that one end cap.


I also drilled out my grill. I don't have a dremel, but my neighbor does and he was in vegas this weekend so I am will have to wait until tonight to actually trim out those spots in the frown and then I can paint.




okay, so I used my art exacto knife last night to cut out the grill. It went fairly well except that I will still need to sand down the edges.  Also, I did make a couple scratch boo boos that I don't know if I can get out without sanding which disappoints me.




Body Suit:


Reebok Compression Long Sleeve Top Mens

Size: Medium

Color: Black

Ref.#: S1807970

Item # 1916001



1 ASICS Myles Tight Mens

Size: Medium

Color: Black

Ref.#: S2567816

Item # 2216289




I am glad I spent the money on the under armor. It is really nice, comfortable, and breathes extremely well.


As for other parts of my project, I received the sand paper I was waiting for from Rockler.  This stuff is awesome and actually brings the armor back to its original shine. It is a set of ten sanding pads that go all the way up to 6000 grit and make the armor shine like new. The only problem I am having is getting an even sand on the areas I need it.  for example, since you aren't sanding the entire bucket, just one little area, it is easy to go over your designated area on a few strokes.  As you go up in grit a lot of times you will have these outer rogue scratches leftover and as you get up to your 6000 grit, while it is smooth and shiny, at the right angle you can see the little scratches underneath. I am trying to figure out a way around this.  I don't want to have to go back and sand down too much or I will end up with a flat spot.




Once I do all the sanding I can actually put the lenses in, paint, and do the aerators. I am receiving a helmet liner tonight from my Firefighter neighbor.  Cannot wait.  I still don't have the paint though. Can't find Rustoleum Hard Hat Gray (for grill) though, so I will have to go with another color. I would prefer to get the brand or number that is for sure acceptable as opposed to doing a color match, but it looks like color match might be my only route.




Rockler Sand Paper Pads


And here are the pics of work on my bucket.  Remember this image, the one with all the crap on my bucket.  The stuff that I was going to have to sand clear off...



And now, thanks to the awesome Rockler stuff, here is the result (though this isn't the same side, you can still see the result).  Keep in mind, most of the front my bucket was sanded rough.




If you ever need to do some sanding on any of your armor, I highly suggest this stuff. I will try and track down the direct link and post it.



Also, my Firefighter friend was able to get me a helmet liner from his work.  It is much nicer and much more comfortable then the one that comes with the bucket (though that one isnt bad).  Its also fire proof, so while the bucket will melt to my face, the liner will be just fine.



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More sanding completed last night. Going over all the other spots with 100 grit then I will do 150, 320, 1000 and then use the rockler stuff. Trying to make sure I don't have rogue scratches from the sanding. if I get them after, so be it.




Also, for some of the glue areas that are are harder to sand (because of the angle) I have found it handy to chip away with an exacto and then sand the area.  I have better luck using the exacto then the 60 grit paper.  60 is tough rough and creates too many scratches, while the 100 isn't good at actually getting residue off, just scratches, so the exacto is a good middle ground.




Update:  All spots on the outside of the bucket have been completely sanded out.  That should have been the toughest part for me (until I try and put the liner in).  Next I need to sand the gaps in the teeth so they arent so rough and paint.



Yes, I did this the hard way, but it worked


Hey Guys,


Got grill all sanded out and then taped it all up.  I sort of want to leave it that way. :D





Here is a picture of my bucket painted.  My question is, before I remove the tape, is there any kind of sealer I should paint over the gray?







Well, the tape went fairly well.  There were a few leakage spots even though I taped really well. I used an exacto to get a straight line, but there are some light spots you can see around the frown.  I need to get some black gloss paint and hand paint around the frown.  Don't have the paint now, so out to the store.



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Been really busy looking for a job lately, but my bucket is looking pretty good.  The grill is painted, the screen is on, the lenses are in.  I am ready to put on the trim, but I want to get the forward decals on first. Using Windex to get the decals straight before they stick. Works great! Used a Q-tip and some paint remover to clean up the spots on the grill where the gray ran a little.




I've mainly used CPU fans, rewired, to provide cooling in my bucket


Well, luckily I have CPU fans sitting around (and one rigged system in my Vader helmet) that I can use, it will just not be as clean as I wanted, but it will do for now.   




Alright. Here is a picture of the boots I found. What do you think? I got them on Clearance at a Shoe Pavilion that is closing. They were just for temporary use, but do you think they would pass?




And this is my first test fitting. I have pointed out the things I need to do and the areas I am not sure what to do. Any advise would be helpful in any of these areas.






Well, my first trims have gone well.  The forearms are done and much more comfortable.  I was able to trim at the end by the wrist between the first and second dimple.  I didn't want to trim at the elbow because of the curvature of that end.  Here is an image of the first one complete next to the untrimmed one.




Next I will be moving on to the biceps which need to be trimmed just a little, not as much as the forearm.  Then its time for the calf and thighs.  What fun!!!




Here are some images of the fans setup in my bucket. I completed this tonight. Two fan setup (for now).


Picture of the battery back setup at the back of the bucket.  Also, there is a fan here that hits the base of my skull




Tubing I used for the wiring



Front fan for the mouth




Fans are a little loud from the outside, but with some ambient noise, I don't think it is that noticeable.  In the bucket, There is a little more noise. One of the fans is rattling just a little, but I will deal with that later.

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Test fitting number 2!



I think things look a lot better. The torso armor needs to be centered.  I need to cover the label on the pants. Other then that, some minor things I see







Anyway. My blaster mod kit is ordered so I am just waiting for it (ordered from ebay). All that is left is to purchase the right boots. The main problem is the calf armor ends up sitting on the tops of the boots and looking funny, so maybe I can mod them a little so they stay lower.  If I can, it should be problem solved.






Haven't figured out what I am going to do for the Ammo clip yet, but I did saw off the blaster tip and I am going to glue the tip piece on, though I am currently trying to figure which way it goes (grooves horizontal or vertical)




All pieces but the little butt piece have been added.  I have also started sealing edges for the attached pieces and now i am waiting for that to dry (using dyrwall fill that can be sanded and painted).  Next I am going to sand down the sealed edges and then primer the gun.   I am going to look for a ring I can attach to the butt piece.  Just drill a couple of small dimples in it and use tension to hold it in place. This is all based on the assumption I will be able to find the right ring.:D





I was curious about if there were specific standards for the wires and the magazine cylinder.  I see a lot of blaster with out them....






Any suggestion on how to connect the wires.  The connection to the gun (counter) is easy.  The issue I am seeing is the wires seem like they connect to the cylinder (theoretically) by being screwed into the little end caps (similar to a speaker).  However, since this is resin I cannot unscrew it, so what is the best way to connect the wire. I don't want to drill a whole down the center of it because I think it will look funny.  I could drill a small one at the edge where the cap meets the base, but I dont' know how that would look...




So, I promised blaster pics and I might be just a few weeks late, but here they are. Enjoy.


Blaster tip cut off...



Some attachment. Waiting for the glue to dry


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More attachments..



Getting the stock arm to stay in place



Little grooves I cut into the cap ends on the stock arm to look like a flat head screw



The end cap of the stock with the made from hanger link



Gun all nice and painted with the primer



The finished product








The wire job


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Ordered BORELLI boots today (No longer up on Rack Room Shoes website)


Going to take two or 3 days to get them  :(






Got the boots. They are fairly comfortable. My left does feel a little off, not because my toes hit the end of the boot toe, but the top of it. It's tight on that side for some reason. I am still having a bit of issues with my calf armor riding up when I walk and eventually making the tab on the back pop out so the calf armor ends up resting on the top of the boot. I don't know if its the tightness of the calf armor, if I trimmed them too much, or I just need higher boots.






Too dark?

Bobble head!









ID number

I am looking at numbers right now. Really annoying you can't convert the current list into excel, then I could use a formula and see all the numbers that have not been chosen. Currently its a needle in a haystack...and I can't just burn the haystack...


Existing Roster




lol. Well, then I wouldn't have the option to not choose it on purpose...

Just submitted my paperwork






Whats the typical turn around for initial submission? Also, was I supposed to receive a confirmation email?

All depends on your GML





Just received feedback on the photos sent over.  She is just waiting on my official ID.  Glad I took care of that in advance.





well guess what. as i cbecked my mail today i had a pm from the garrison XO.  she confirmed that my application was received. so i am just waiting on approval. she said m pics looked good.

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TX 5755 Reporting for duty!!!!


Yes, it finally happened.  I didn't get a response that it was going through and if a friend on the SCG board hadn't sent me a PM congrats I might not have known for a week, lol.  Anyway, the wait is over...






My advice to you. Start talking to your GML right now. About anything. Pick a common topic and get some contact. Hopefully it will help speed things up.




Update for a trooper asking about my blaster ring





Boot Solution

As for boots, I repurchased those Borelli's and went with the velcro-hold-down method and it works really well so I think I am all set.




Bucket Needs

Also, I still haven't wired a switch to the fans in my bucket. Now, is there any thing specific I need to do to wire a switch in aside from breaking one out from the battery box and putting the switch between them or do I need to wire it in a certain place in a certain way?




Wired in the switches. Attached them on the side, I think I might try and move them forward some more because they are a little awkward to hit, but they work just fine.




Purchased a new bucket. One of Scootch's runs





And the comparison. FX is on the right. The approved Nova Trooper used this bucket.


width=800 height=471http://i815.photobucket.com/albums/zz73/janous/Nova%20Guard/DSCF1183.jpg?t=1263681077[/img]




Bucket after sanding Primer. Haven't taken a pic after the black paint sanded



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Alright, so I have been working on painting my bucket from scootch's run. I have sanded, painted, resanded because it sucked, painted again, and sanded. I tried something knew this time, a rollbar gloss black spray paint. It actually went on pretty well, but it still isn't perfectly smooth. I just can't seem to get this to where I want it.










Finally got my bucket painted. What do you think? I think it came out quite well. The back of the bucket in the side pictures looks funny, but that's actually from the reflection, this think is nice and shiny.


Now I have to do the rest. Not sure how I am going to do the teeth yet. Painted them last time, which I can probably do again. the lenses will come out of my old bucket, as will the interior fans. I have aerators, they just need to be painted. Looks like I have a weekend project planned. Can't wait to get out of my giant TX bucket which I will probably end up selling.












So, guess what. This nice new bucket I have been trying to complete, the one I paid to get its nice new paint job, I have all but ruined.


Apparently, my glue gun was hotter then I thought and it had a weird reaction with the plastic, actually sucking it in. I don't know if its the plastic, or the surface coat/sealer, but I essentially have divots all around the dome. They are very easy to see in person, but do not photograph well. I did the best I could in this pics:







The worst thing is I had already pulled a lot of items out of my other bucket so it is out of commission right now and would be difficult to get back up as well. I could sand down the bucket all over again, fill, and sand, and then get it repainted, but I would then have to pay for it all over again. I really should have fiberglassed the whole thing inside, I knew it was thin.



:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(






Im gonna need like 3 sets of lenses, or items I can use at lenses. 1 mirrored, 2 smoke. Any thoughts?


Izzi, your dome all fiberglassed up for strength



The old painted dome, testing the hot glue on a fiberglassed spot



Yet, you can see hear, it still pulled in the dome. I couldn't believe it. I really have no explanation





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  • 1 month later...

Pad the thighs with one-side adhesive door-sill foam in the thickest you can get it (1 inch?) I did that for my TX after I trimmed the thighs down till they rested nearer to my legs. This prevented them from flopping around or moving (at all) when I walked. Plus they were fairly comfortable! :woot:

I did this for all of my armor parts, It locked everything down nicely and kept the "pinching" to a minimum! :thumbsup:


Hope it helps. . .

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  • 2 months later...

I was considering just doubling it up, but honestly, I have to see if you can even see it when my head is in it. The head takes up so much space it blocks out almost all light from entering.The one thing I am for sure going to do is trim the lenses. They come below the actual holes way too much that it actually hits my nose. A little trimming with the dremmel should easily take care of it.

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  • 6 months later...

Update time. I have been working on my new bucket that I got from Arakyel. Overall, I am very happy with this bucket, but the padding, while very nice, needs some reworking. Just too think to get proper eye alignment. So, I have been working on it, removing pieces, trying different combinations to get the right fit. I have also started in on getting the fans from my old bucket wired into it. I am currently waiting for the chin fan to dry and then it will be to find a place in the rear for the next one. Love this bucket, but it is tougher working with a smaller non-bobble head bucket :D. Oh, you might notice some poke holes in the foam, my cat decided she wanted to play in my bucket. The other think I have done is trim down the lense visor. The one included comes down to far so I pulled it out and trimmed it so it doesn't take up so much room. More updates to come now that I am working on my armor again.





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