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TeaJay's Armored Soft Cap Build


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Hi all! My name is T.J. Jones, I've been a member of the legion since 2016 with a handful of approved costumes.

I helped revise/update the KOTOR II Darth Nihilus CRL and many of the current photos are from my build. Check out my crazy comparison build thread about Nihilus if you're interested: https://www.theflagshipeclipse.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3175-kotor-ii-nihilus-build-and-game-vs-current-092019-crl-comparison/ 

I have since sold that costume due to how I recently started wearing prescription glasses and that didn't make it easy to wear the Nihilus.

A handful of folks probably recognize my username from helping with building out the CRL for the Imperial Army Trooper from Andor. I wanted to post a build thread; not overly detailed as the majority of the build is complete. I have captured some progress photos, but didn't want to go into a ton of details as we cover lots of those details in the CRL discussion thread.

The plan for this build like many of my other builds is to obtain a higher tier approval, in this case everything is being built with L2 in mind.

High level here's the list of parts needed for the costume and where I'm sourcing parts:

 

  • Armor - Imperial Surplus
  • Soft parts (also hat w/Rogue One greeblie) - ImperialBoots
  • Rogue One style belt boxes - PhiloProps
  • Rogue One style code disks - PhiloProps
  • Officer belt with top and bottom lines (more common in HD era films [Rogue One, Mando, Andor, etc.] - WampaWear
  • Mid-calf Jack Boots - Already owned from Military surplus
  • Gloves (smooth; no details) -- Actual brand used onscreen -- Dent's Gloves - Daniel 

 

If you haven't checked out my Rit Dye testing thread check that out here: https://forum.specops501st.com/topic/8801-dye-testing-rit-brand-aldhani-soft-goods/

 

For the time being I do not plan on adding the black and white stripe to the left shoulder bell. Once completed, I can post up photos for feedback and can also provide individual photos of armor parts, etc. as needed for CRL purposes if the detachment staff wishes. I know that a few others are actively building this costume as well, but there are 4 variations, so I think there will be the need for plenty of us to get involved with CRL photos.

 

 Here's a dump of progress photos:

 

Imperial Surplus Inventory Check Photo -- I definitely love Kevin's new kits and strapping system

 

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The custom paint that I had ordered from MyPerfectColor.com -- I ordered custom Greenblack SW6994 spray paint to color match what we believe in the CRL development thread should work for the armor -- "...shall be painted a very dark grey. Greenish undertones in certain lighting conditions is acceptable. An acceptable range of colors include RLM 70 to Sherwin Williams SW6994 Greenblack"

 

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Dyeing process:

 

Pre-Dye

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Dyeing Action Shot

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Soaked and hang drying

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Soaked and hang drying up close

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After drying and after running it through a hot wash and hot dry cycle

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 I haven't been documenting this build as much as I normally do. I've been juggling this as well as home repairs, so I haven't been taking a ton of progress photos.

The bulk of the armor is completed, the backplate being the most tedious of the process. Here's a couple progress shots. I've prepped everything for paint... gluing is about wrapped up. Have biceps and greeblies to glue... still have some minor strapping work to do.

Sprayed a metallic silver on the greeblies... the color from the spray can has some metal flecks in it that I do not like. I will be hand painting with a metallic silver enamel model paint to make the finish more accurate to the extras, not the main cast.
 

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Yucky Silver color that is incorrect. This was redone with a different Metallic silver. 

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Left side is the bad color silver, right is the color we are looking for. A line a black will be added into the upper thin recessed area to add a bit more depth to the buckle as noted in the CRL writeup. I wanted to see how much of it is truly visible once attached the the chest, then fine tune it.
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Did some accent painting first because I spilled the majority of my silver paint right before bed last night so I had to use it immediately. I will tape it off when painting the rest of the costume and will likely have to go back and touch up the silver again after the bulk is painted.

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Gotta have a dirty mirror to take your build thread photos, right? haha

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Just a photo of things coming along, aluminum components just finished gluing on the underside of the shoulder straps. Again, highly recommend Imperial Surplus' kit.

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More to come!

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The weather was just warm enough for me to spray paint outside. Here's is the dark metallic gunmetal gray added to Philo aluminum boxes:

Still drying... but here's the contrast to the shininess of the belt buckle. Much better than without paint.

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I was also able to put a primer coat on some of the armor. I decided to put a separate primer on since the custom paint that I ordered had no mention of primer mixed with the paint.

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Thanks for posting this. Im real curious about the strapping and how it works. I am printing my own armor to fit me, there is no way Kevins kit will fit. And of course since Im printing everything, there are no instructions. 

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1 hour ago, Blackwatch said:

Thanks for posting this. Im real curious about the strapping and how it works. I am printing my own armor to fit me, there is no way Kevins kit will fit. And of course since Im printing everything, there are no instructions. 

I'll make a video at some point discussing Kevin's strapping system for this kit and what I did with his older kit and other kits.

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Everything is still drying, so this isn't the final color; but I have to say SW6994 is looking great. This is two/three-ish coats on the exterior and one coat on the interior of the armor, which took almost 2 of my 4 cans.

I will have to go back and repaint all the silver components except for the the two panels on the backplate (which will likely need just a few minor touch ups. I'll also need to paint the red on the indented elongated oval on the lower portion of the chestplate. 

Strapping is also near completion, adjustments have been made for fitting purposes.

Should hopefully have photos within the next couple days.

For the already painted back panels, I taped them off using thin painters tape to get the corners nice and even... then layered larger tape over it.

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Here's everything sprawled out drying and pushing the fumes out of our basement.

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I'll get some additional photos once everything is dry and can do a quick video of the strapping setup Kevin has created for this Imperial Surplus kit.

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Cleaned up the edges of the backplate back panels. In the show, the edges are not perfectly square and they need to stay below the highest recess. This looks much better than earlier...

 

Got the other silver details painted.

 

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Chest plate greeblies now painted. Silver and Humbrol #19 red.

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Time to finish up strapping and snapping.

Feeling that finishline.

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Didn't do any photoshopping to remove backgrounds yet, in case we want to use them for the CRL; I don't want to get too ahead of myself without getting some initial feedback...  I've lost the tunic hooks in my frantic migration of costumes to another room where our flood damage didn't occur... I will eventually find them and add them to this costume, but since they are not required, I'm not beating myself up about it.

I'm a fairly thin guy, so I had to make some modifications to the stock Imperial Surplus shoulder straps, simply trimming down the rear of the straps to reduce the overall length so that they didn't bulge upwards above the armor... it was significant for me initially... 

I still have plans to use a flat clear coat on all of the armor to keep the SW6994 paint from chipping away. I started having minor chipping during suit-up where the tops of the biceps were rubbing the bottoms of the shoulder bells, thankfully not noticeable in these photos but when suiting down notice some minor scuffing. Going to be cleaning those up the next day it isn't slated to rain...

My front belt buckle is a tad crooked in these shots if you want to get picky... I noticed it after my wife was done taking photos.

Here's how things turned out, had take these in the basement with ceiling lighting; I'd prefer to take some outside with natural light at some point. 

Full Album: https://imgur.com/a/CxmbHjQ

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42 minutes ago, Vanedor said:

Nice! Very nice!

One thing I wonder, it's the paint of the armor. Is it not a bit too shiny? But perhaps it's the lighting.

Likely the lighting, this is the low luster option, so the shine is low. Lower than Satin, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss. 🤷‍♂️ 

I'm going to be spraying everything down with a flat clear coat to protect everything. That may also dull things more.

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I was standing under direct ceiling lighting, not the best lighting to compare to the natural light scenes throughout the episode.

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Some of the indoor lighting has an extremely similar effect to the reflection: 

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7 minutes ago, Wasrovv Slociw said:

This is amazing! How comfortable is it to put it on? Also do the straps you have keep it together or is there anything else you also do.

It's comfortable to wear and its about as tedious to lock yourself in as a tank trooper...  or anything with that collar style. I will do a video of the strapping system and discuss some modifications that I'll likely change to make it more comfortable to troop in.

The straps do hold everything together for the upper portion of the back and front. I do have velcro on the lower portion to keep the bottom of the chest and backplate flush with one another.

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Just now, TeaJay said:

It's comfortable to wear and its about as tedious to lock yourself in as a tank trooper...  or anything with that collar style. I will do a video of the strapping system and discuss some modifications that I'll likely change to make it more comfortable to troop in.

The straps do hold everything together for the upper portion of the back and front. I do have velcro on the lower portion to keep the bottom of the chest and backplate flush with one another.

Also wanted to ask, the uniform itself. Does it trap heat or is it pretty comfy to wear? Do you wear any specific trouser belt?

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23 minutes ago, Wasrovv Slociw said:

Also wanted to ask, the uniform itself. Does it trap heat or is it pretty comfy to wear? Do you wear any specific trouser belt?

It's denim, so it's heavier than a traditional cotton shirts. It seems to breathe well. I haven't trooped in it yet, so time will tell... I do not need to wear an additional belt to hold up my trousers even though the ImperialBoots trousers do have belt loops in case people need it.

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