Not a full build but a rebuild of sorts. I’m hackin’ into ABS, sewing elastic straps, and measuring body parts so it’s as close to what I assume feels like starting a build. I bought this from Walt to tide me over until I get my TM kit. This is my very first experience with a TK!
It arrived last week. I couldn’t wait to get it on. It’s a glorious feeling being in TK armor. Walt does some fine work. It fits me pretty well however it does need some tweaks and trims. A Walt-to-Aaron modification, if you will.
I’m a couple of inches shorter and I’ve decided to let the crotch plate take the brunt of it. I’ll be trimming off a whopping inch and a half!
I was able to salvage some of the old snaps
I want the chest and ab relationship to retain a nice “long” fit. It bugs me to see the ab buttons come right up to the bottom of the chest plate.
Also the sniper plate catches under the thigh piece. I put the foam back in the shin to help push it away from my leg as Walt suggested but that didn’t work so I pulled the plate off (E6000 pulls off easily if you’re careful, I’ve discovered) and I’ll realign it at an angle away from my knee.
Edit: Thought the sniper plate was riveted to the shin but it’s commonly glued. Thanks guys!
Also I’m trimming out the return edge at the tops of the knees cuz they’re diggin’ in to my flesh.
More coming soon. I’m loving this armor.
Here’s a bonus cat montage. He loves the armor too:
I got the sniper plate in shape with a heat gun. Very scary as this was my first time but I read up as much as I could. I pointed the gun at the places I wanted it to bend at about an 8″ distance and every 15 seconds I would bend it to see if there was give or softness. There was a moment of cosmic understanding when I felt the plastic give for the first time. Unfortunately it made me a little too excited and I warped the bottom edge a little and melted a corner a tiny bit…
Luckily this is all on the underside of the sniper plate and not noticeable. To cool it off I ran it under cold water for a minute. I sanded the worst melty part down. Then I sanded the contact points a little with some 60 grit, washed the dust off, and got the clamps ready.
Then another first; E6000. Not unlike working with a hot glue gun. More comes out of the tip than you want (twss) and it’s super stringy. I applied tiny globs to both the sniper plate and the shin piece. Clamped the hell out of it and walked away.
Forgot to mention before, I’m glad I was able to take the sniper plate off. I noticed that the overlap of the shins pointed outward whereas I’ve read they should point inward. Luckily the RT Mod shins are identical so I swapped left for right and put the sniper plate on the proper shin piece.
A side note: some of the clamps I use have metal ends so I use a little rubber strip on the outside to protect the ABS. These Pony clamps are hardcore. Typically used for lighting and rigging, these things out clamp any magnet or plastic clamp I’ve seen.
Then I finished the cut on the crotch plate. I’ve been liking the technique of doing several calculated scoring passes with an exact-o on a pencil trace and after getting a nice trench I bend the ABS open a little, then hit it with a box cutter and a fresh blade (I haven’t tried Lexan scissors yet).
The cut created sharp points on the ends so I rounded them off with the exact-o and some sanding.
On to reapplying the snaps. I cleaned up the salvaged snaps by removing all the old E6000…
…trimming the sides down, and sanding the corners for a nice clean look…
E6000 and clamped. 4AM and time to sleep…
More snap salvaging, repositioning, gluing, and clamping:
It’s a clamp party!
The clamps came off and I wore it out on it’s maiden voyage to SF’s DNA Lounge where they were having a SW Cantina party.
But before leaving I wanted to do a few more tweaks and get the fans in the lid. First off I took a quarter inch off of the bottoms of the shins and tapered the edge and sanded them smooth so they would be more gentle on the boots. They held up pretty good. I still may put fabric on the edges to ease the boot wear even more. The armor definitely puts a crease in the leather from sheer gravity but the tapering helped from them chewing up the leather I think.
I wore my TKBoots size 11s with gel inserts for this first outing. TKBoots come about a size large with a longer, narrower cut. As a normal tennis shoe wearing size 11 I decided to buy a size 10 AND a size 11 to compare. The 10s fit pretty good but I like the 11s with the gel inserts. In the 10s I can feel that narrow cut.
The old fans were glued in originally. I bought a new set and decided to try a velcro system. I put the soft loop side on the helmet and wrapped the edges of the fans with strips of hook side. Worked out well and they’re adjustable. I can pretty much point them in any direction.
The armor bites were extremely minimal. Just an occasional pinch here and there. My friend drove us to the club and to get in the car I sort of sprawled out on the back seat. That got uncomfortable so I found another position that worked although I looked ridiculous:
As far as the undersuit I got an inexpensive black diver skin on eBay. It has stirrups on the feet, and loops on the cuff. It zips up the front and has a small mock turtleneck cut. Very nice for 30 bucks. Unfortunately there is no crotch access so I took a pair of C9 boxers (with the duo dry wick-away tech fabric) and cut out the fly section, had my girlfriend sew it on the crotch of the diver skin and then cut a hole in the diver skin after the new crotch was sewn on.
Worked great!! I was able to pee without taking anything off.
The party was a fund raiser for Burning Man’s ‘Black Rock Cantina’ camp. I don’t go to burning man but if I did it would be with them. So many cool peeps and costumers. I met a Golden Gate Garrison 501st member, TB-9349. Good times!