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TX-82214 Approved/build thread

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I was just approved in the last couple of weeks as a Death Trooper! I don't get a ton of free time, so any time I could get for the last few months went into actually building the armor rather than typing about it lol. I am going to retrospectively create my build thread now that everything is done, hopefully some part of it might give some insight to the build. It might take me a little while to get everything up and organized, but here we go:

My vendor list:

  • Helmet: ArmoryShop MK4
  • Armor: Plastic Arms Dealer
  • Belt, buckle, hard belt boxes: Plastic Arms Dealer
  • Soft belt pouches: Trooperbay
  • Holster/leather belt box: Kerry Alan Rowntree (Facebook, though I don't think he makes them anymore)
  • Gloves: Endor Finders
  • Boots: Doc Marten Talib
  • Undersuit: Dark Side Closet (Facebook)
  • Shoulder straps/buckles: Paul Prentice (Facebook)
  • Buckle v-rings & arm impellers: Christopher Fieldmarshal Vandenberghe (Facebook)
  • Side buckles: Plastic Arms Dealer
  • Arm bands: Plastic Arms Dealer
  • E-11D and SE-14r: Jerry Budde (Facebook) with metal parts from Christopher Fieldmarshal Vandenberghe (Facebook)
  • E-11D sling & pinstripes: Amazon

Paints used:

  • Rustoleum Camo super matte black
  • Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane (gloss clearcoat)
  • Tamiya Metallic Black
  • Tamiya Matte Black
  • Tamiya Aluminum Metallic
  • Tamiya Weathering Master
  • Duplicolor Automotive Filler Primer

Other supplies:

  • E-6000
  • Zap-A-Gap
  • Zip Kicker
  • Dremel
  • 1" nylon webbing
  • 2" nylon webbing
  • Tandy line-24 snaps
  • Industrial Vecro (black 2")
  • Sandpaper (80, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 2000, 3000 grit)
  • Meguiar's Ultimate Polish
  • Meguiar's Liquid Wax
  • Orbital polisher
  • Covergirl metallic eye shadow (for the blaster!)

My approval photos:
pz4eNF.jpg xpGtTf.jpg Zz1ngK.jpg vKZtVg.jpg


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The first thing I built for this project was the blasters. I ordered both the E-11D and SE-14r from Jerry Budde on Facebook. His kits are a good price and ship quickly, although the E-11D does have some areas that need more work to look accurate. I wish I had more images of the process, but I didn't spend a lot of time taking photos.

I sanded each piece starting with 80 grit sandpaper to remove any obvious print lines or excess filament. I slowly worked my way up to 200 grit before a final sanding at 400 grit. The overall look was very smooth. I built up some spots with Bondo to make all surfaces level and fill in any area that was rougher than others.

SE-14r under construction:

Jerry's SE-14r kit includes the real metal scope which is a nice touch. It is also made to accept electronics, but I skipped on that. It will probably never leave my holster and I didn't want to add the weight or spend the extra cash on something that will never be seen.

To get every part of the blaster super smooth, I used a few coats of Duplicolor Filler Primer. It is an excellent primer. It goes on evenly, dries quickly and sands well.

After the primer dried, I wet sanded the primer to 1200 grit. It was a near perfect surface at this point.

The center chamber was filled with a PVC pipe to emulate the movie prop and the grip covers had screws added.

The first coat of paint was actually Tamiya Aluminum Metallic lacquer. It's one of the best paints I have ever used. Smooth application and fast dry time, the only downside is the price. I would say it was worth it, though.

After letting the metallic silver cure for a couple of days, I hit the blaster with Tamiya Matte Black. After letting the black cure over a two day span, I gently rubbed areas of the blaster that would get natural wear with 1500 grit sandpaper just enough to show some of the silver base coat. I also applied Tamiya Weather Master dust (steel color) to some areas to add highlights and subtle weathering. The final coat was Tamiya Matte Clear to seal the paint and weathering.

The final product:

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E-11D under construction:
The process for the E-11D was almost exactly the same as the SE-14r build.

I decided to go with more weathering on the E-11D to emulate some of the blasters seen in the Battle of Scarif scene. They look a bit more roughed up and battle worn.

I sanded from 80 grit in increasing increments up to 400 grit at which point I sprayed the base Duplicolor filler primer. I applied the Tamiya Aluminum Metallic and then the Tamiya Matte Black after a few days of curing.

Where the process differs is the way I weathered the blaster. I used the "tape pull" weathering technique I learned from my prop building friend Simon. The idea is to allow your top black coat to dry for a few minutes before using packing tape to strategically stick to the paint and pull the top coat away. The look is very random and emulates the type of wear you would see on painted and heavily worn metal surfaces. The trick is to learn how long you have before "sticking" the paint with the tape. Tamiya paints dry quickly, so I had to "stick" the paint within a few minutes of application.

Using this technique, you can build up layers of randomly worn grimy paint:


To enhance the look and accuracy of the Budde kit, I ordered real machined metal parts from Warmachine Paintball on eBay, the power cylinders and flashlight rail specifically. The sling mounts are a real rifle two-point sling kit from Amazon, as well the sling itself. I also replaced the 3D printed adjustable stock rails with carbon fiber crossbow bolts for durability.


The pinstriping and details were completed with a few car pinstriping kits ordered from eBay for around $4. The flashlight is a Chinese knockoff of the real flashlight used for the film. It's fully functional!

A small detail I added was the weld seam seen on the real Sterling machine guns. It is found between the receiver and the magazine well.

The barrel scorching was done with a Covergirl eye shadow kit. I just tried to match up the colors seen in reference images. Luckily, the eye shadow kit I found had the exact colors I needed. It was also entertaining when a Walmart employee asked me if I needed help finding anything in the makeup aisle. "Yeah Death Trooper blaster weathering." It was applied with a large fan brush and the entire blaster was clear coated and sealed with Tamiya Matte Clear.

Blasters complete:
After all was said and done, both blasters completed and ready to troop set me back about $170.

Not bad.

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Trimming the Armor:

The Plastic Arms Dealer kit is definitely a sturdy kit. It's made for a wearer between 5'10" and 6'2" or so I believe which means, me being at the bottom of the spectrum, had to do quite a bit of trimming for a good fit. To ensure a proper fit also required a lot of reshaping to certain pieces, namely the ab, chest and back plates.

Out of the box, the kit was very wide. That was easily remedied by using a heat gun to heat the fiberglass plates from the back (as to not damage the outside surface gelcoat) and bend them to the desired shape. I kept a bucket of water handy to dunk the heated and reshaped piece and rapidly cool it to hold the adjustment. After these pieces were reshaped, I added more fiberglass to the stress areas where they were bent to reinforce them. During this process, I also fiberglassed most of my snap plates (Tandy Line 24 snaps through 2" nylon webbing) directly into my armor. They aren't going anywhere!

Heating and bending the ab plate to my body's contour:

After this process was completed, I had to cut quite a few areas to fit my body. The back plate, chest plate, kidney plate, butt plate and thighs all needed trimming. They all required close to 2" taken off from the top to fit me. I also removed a few areas from the thighs that poked into my calf when fitted and, luckily, are not seen on the screen-used suits. All the cutting was done was a standard Dremel and cutting wheel.

Thigh cut lines:
n62u9f.jpg fYLMtf.jpg

Back plate cut lines:

It was around this time I also began to attach the external strapping, at least the snaps and/or anchors for such parts. I decided to thread the shoulder straps from Paul Prentice through the back plate and hold them to the chest with snaps that are punched through the chest plate. This actually worked very well and keeps them in place reliably.

Female line-24 snap placed through the chest plate and fiberglassed for extra support:

Male line-24 snap epoxied to the back of the strap:

Velcro holds the straps in place just inside the cut points:

Everything lines up and snaps together:

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The great thing about the Plastic Arms Dealer kit is the gelcoat. It is incredibly easy to get a great looking gloss black on this kit.

It's recommended in the PAD kit painting video tutorial to use Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane as a gloss coat over the gelcoat. Out of the box the black was not completely uniform, so I decided to paint the entire kit with matte black to get a good base coat. Rustoleum Camo Matte Black is perfect for this task. It dries extremely matte, even more so than any other matte I've seen so far.

The raw gelcoat vs gelcoat with matte base coat:

After the entire kit had a base coat of matte black, I applied the polyurethane clear coat. It goes on pretty thick and looks lumpy until it dries. A lot of the lumpiness will level out, but I wanted the finish to be a smooth black glass look.

Polyurethane just after drying:


To achieve a completely smooth finish you have to wet sand the surface up to a very fine grit sandpaper, but first you must let the polyurethane cure for at least three days. I let mine cure for over a week just to be safe. At that point, you can begin sanding.

I wet sanded the gloss coat starting at 800 grit to remove any imperfections. This generally removes any hairs, gnats or otherwise from the surface of the clear coat. I moved on to 1500 grit, then 2000 grit and ended up at 3000 grit. I would say this was the most tedious part of the entire build.

After 3000 grit wet sanding:

At this stage you are left with a very smooth surface, but one that is not all that shiny. That's where polish and waxing comes in.

Meguiar's Ultimate Polish and Liquid Wax are great on car paint jobs and they are equally good here. I polished the entire kit with an orbital polisher several times and finished by hand waxing the kit. This will give you an incredibly shiny finish that isn't even done justice in these images.

And next to my DT helmet. The helmet has a automotive grade paint and clear coat. I would dare to say the home job I did is just as shiny:


After all the paint was applied and polished, I began my inner strapping.

There are a lot of different ways to approach this and they all depend heavily on personal preference. I have seen quite a few Death Troopers use the "clamshell" method where the armor is essentially built into a front and back half like standard Stormtrooper strapping. When dressing, the two halves are attached over the shoulders with each half holding it's respective sides together ie the chest plate is connected to the ab and cod while the back plate is connected to the kidney and butt. The big advantage to this method is that it is much easier to dress yourself while completely alone. The downside is that you have less flexibility.

I had already used clamshell strapping method when I built my TK, and I know that my mobility is highly compromised in that suit. I didn't want to do that again.

I decided this time to go with the suspender method where the bottom half of the armor is held up by suspenders and the chest and back are free floating from the bottom half.

My final strapping:

Both front and back held together with suspenders:

The internal connections of my ab plate:

Internal connections of the back plate:

Internal connections of my belt:

The bottom half of the torso worn:


The chest and back connected to complete the torso. Their lack of connection to the bottom half of my torso armor allows me to bend forward and back as well as twist my torso in a larger range of motion:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Last night, I finished a small addition to my helmet. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures during the process but I'll try to give a decent description. ?

The ArmoryShop MK4 helmet comes with a Neuro-Saav Macro Motion Monitor aka "the thing on the side of the helmet", but it has no green light installed as is seen in some of the Death Trooper promotional material. I decided, although it's never seen illuminated in the movie, I'd like to have a usable green LED installed for the cool factor. And at any rate, the screen used helmets still had a visible bulb. The best part? It set me back about $7 for a pack of green LEDs.


I had to carefully drill out the inside of the scanner with a Dremel engraving bit to build a small pocket for the electronics. I also had to measure the circumference of the LED and drill a hole into the front of the scanner.

The scanner itself  is made of resin, so it makes quite a mess when it is drilled or cut. I would highly recommend doing this part outside or in a place you can clean easily. Also, make sure to wear and mask and googles. You definitely don't want this junk in your lungs. 


After carving adequate space into the scanner, I scavenged a small battery compartment and an on/off switch from a portable reading light. I removed the white LED that was already soldered into the circuit and soldered my own green LED in its place. The scavenged battery compartment holds 3 LR41 batteries (1.5 volts each), but the LED is 3.2 volts max. Using small pliers, I managed to extend the spring inside the battery holder to only hold 2 batteries, so it’s running a total of 3-ish volts. I’m not an electrician by any means, but i believe that should allow me to run the current without a capacitor in the circuit... I think. I’ll know soon if it explodes. ?

It ain't pretty, but it works:


Everything fits down in the pocket I made.


The LED is maybe a little too bright!
The finished product:

GSjY7Y.jpg v4LJ6V.jpg

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