TK advice

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Culvan
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TK advice

Post by Culvan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:59 am

I'm strongly considering getting TK armor, but I wanted to get some advice. I'm comparing AM vs ATA armor. Anyone have personal experience with either one and have some wisdom to impart? Are there any other makes I should be considering for inexpensive armor?

I'm a little on the smaller side (are't you a little short...) at 5'8" and 170lbs. I'm concerned that AM is similar to FX armor, and that was designed to accept bigger people, it might be too big on me or require extra trimming.

ATA is offering an ABS version of his armor, but the pictures he sent look like the details aren't as sharp. Of course if this is designed off the original armor then its meant for someone 5'10 or so. So I'd still be too short for it. I'm leaning towards ABS over HIPS because it's more durable and I don't have to paint it.

Also, what is the current best place to get shoes? tkboots.com, caboots, local store boots with white shoe polish? It looks like tkboots is probably the cheapest and easiest.

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Re: TK advice

Post by Terry19d » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:40 pm

It all comes down to personal preference, really. Both ATA and AM are good armor makes, and you've already listed some of the main differences between them. I've seen both up close - ATA (HIPS) at CV, and we have a member or two here in the 70th with AM, and they both look good. If you want sharp detail and a suit that looks closer to what was seen on screen, then the HIPS ATA suit would be the one to go to. As you said, though, that requires a lot more assembly work and painting, which you don't have to worry about with ABS. HIPS is pretty durable, not really much less than ABS, and as noted it takes on sharper detail. On the other hand, ABS is also a little easier to work with in assembly than HIPS, in my experience. And they are ALL easier to build than a clone!

For the price, I'd say either one of these are good choices. There might be some trimming involved no matter which kind of TK armor you get, but probably not as much on a screen-derived suit than a fan-made that was more-or-less designed to fit most body types (FX/AM). There are other nice screen-sized suits out there, such as AP, TM, and TE2, but they are all at higher prices then the pair you are looking at. It really comes down to which one you like the looks of best, as there are people shorter than you fitting well into FX kits, and people my size (over 6') looking good in an AP or TE2.

As far as boots go, personally I like TKboots. I just replaced my old CAboots a couple months ago, and I wished I had done it sooner. They appear closer to the original type of boots used but are ready to go and definitely cheaper. Plus, if you go with the original jodhpurs, you'll have to keep applying polish as it wears off with use. TKboots look close enough and are a lot easier to maintain. ;)

Hope that all helped some.
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Re: TK advice

Post by Tyran » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:55 pm

Terry pretty much hit all the main points.

I am one of those with the AM armor. I bought mine back in October as my first set of armor. No matter what set of armor you get you'll most likely have to trim some to better fit you. I'm about 5'10", 175 and had to do considerable trimming to the AM set, especially on the thigh armor. I decided to go with the ABS simply because I plan on having this set of armor for awhile and I like the idea of it being fairly durable without the need for painting at all.
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Re: TK advice

Post by judge_hellfast » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:23 pm

If you're going to be trooping the piss out of the suit, go with ABS. It will last much longer than the HIPS in the long run. HIPS has a tendency to rip and tear when blemishes form.

I vacc'd my clone chest and back from HIPS, although it grabbed the detail I wanted...it's also a task to keep it repaired from any blemishes that can cause it to rip to shreds.

I'm a BIG fan of ABS and not so much HIPS. The choice is really yours, but my personal feelings is that HIPS = SUCKS FOR TROOPING!
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Re: TK advice

Post by cblackthorne » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:08 am

judge_hellfast wrote:If you're going to be trooping the piss out of the suit, go with ABS. It will last much longer than the HIPS in the long run. HIPS has a tendency to rip and tear when blemishes form.

I vacc'd my clone chest and back from HIPS, although it grabbed the detail I wanted...it's also a task to keep it repaired from any blemishes that can cause it to rip to shreds.

I'm a BIG fan of ABS and not so much HIPS. The choice is really yours, but my personal feelings is that HIPS = SUCKS FOR TROOPING!
I agree with Chris H.

I built a suit of clone armor out of HIPS and the pieces would tear during the construction process. Im not sure why, but they also didnt react well to a heat gun, they would warp. Perhaps it had something to do with them being re-heated after the original forming process, Im not sure.
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Re: TK advice

Post by TK-4484 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:40 pm

I have heard great responses on ATA's ABS armor and thats what I will get when I do a new TK and it is at a very reasonable price.
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Re: TK advice

Post by Terry19d » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:53 pm

cblackthorne wrote:I agree with Chris H.

I built a suit of clone armor out of HIPS and the pieces would tear during the construction process. Im not sure why, but they also didnt react well to a heat gun, they would warp. Perhaps it had something to do with them being re-heated after the original forming process, Im not sure.
What gauge of HIPS were you using? I'm almost finished with my "Aliens" Colonial Marine, and the armor I have is made in .100 HIPS and is pretty sturdy stuff. Of course, my clone is made in .100 ABS. Now that is really tough! I don't worry too much about it being damaged - my concern there is stress on the seams, as I assembled it using the "seamless" method. But as far as the suit cracking or breaking elsewhere...not so much.
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Re: TK advice

Post by Culvan » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:46 pm

Thank you all for your responses. Unfortunately it doesn't make the decision much easier. (Although it also doesn't make it a whole bunch harder which was possible). I think I'm going to sleep on it for a couple of days then make a decision.

I'm leaning towards the AM armor because it's more complete. The helmet comes with trim, lenses, aerators, decals and a hard hat liner and there's a holster with it. In addition, the lead time to get it shipped is about 3 weeks shorter (based on current estimates). I figure I'll be paying a slight premium over ATA, but not too much of one. The AM is slightly thicker ABS (.090 vs .080) so there may be enough of a durability difference to justify the cost difference.

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Re: TK advice

Post by Terry19d » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:50 am

Not meaning to make the decision any harder, but are you going for a specific type of TK (ANH, ESB, ROTJ)? I ask only because it might make a difference in the type of accessories you want, as well as the helmet. As far as I know, full AM kits still come with the old FX bucket, which could look oversized on a "shorter" trooper. It's more aesthetic than anything, though; the helmet itself is built quite well and will definitely hold up over time. I don't know the type of holster the kit currently comes with. Past experience is that often the holsters that were shipped before were of the right-hand, loop-over-the-belt type that were used in ESB. If you are interested in the ANH look (like the majority of TKs go for), then you would want a left-hand holster that is mounted behind the belt with two screws. An easy mod, even into a plastic belt, and even easier with a canvas one.

Just a few things to keep in mind to help keep you from spending money on items you could end up replacing anyway. Of course, it's all a moot point if you prefer to go for just the general TK look.

I'm not sure that you will see any appreciable difference between .090 and .080 gauge ABS as far as durability goes. My first kit was FX which is .090, and the RT-Mod I have now is .080, and they don't feel that much different. My RT suit has seen quite a bit of use and I'm not always gentle with it when tossing it about, and it hasn't yet cracked. Don't know if that will affect your contemplations any, but I thought I would throw it out there. It's good to take your time on these decisions rather than rushing out and buying something on a whim, only to find out it's not exactly what you wanted. I'm sure you did the same thing when building your clone. :)
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Re: TK advice

Post by Culvan » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:45 pm

Terry19d wrote:Not meaning to make the decision any harder, but are you going for a specific type of TK (ANH, ESB, ROTJ)? I ask only because it might make a difference in the type of accessories you want, as well as the helmet. As far as I know, full AM kits still come with the old FX bucket, which could look oversized on a "shorter" trooper. It's more aesthetic than anything, though; the helmet itself is built quite well and will definitely hold up over time. I don't know the type of holster the kit currently comes with. Past experience is that often the holsters that were shipped before were of the right-hand, loop-over-the-belt type that were used in ESB. If you are interested in the ANH look (like the majority of TKs go for), then you would want a left-hand holster that is mounted behind the belt with two screws. An easy mod, even into a plastic belt, and even easier with a canvas one.

Just a few things to keep in mind to help keep you from spending money on items you could end up replacing anyway. Of course, it's all a moot point if you prefer to go for just the general TK look.
Well now you've done it. I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I should look into CRLs. I want all the parts to match one movie, but I don't care which movie. I've now grabbed all the current movie CRLs off whitearmor.net. I've been pouring over them to understand those differences better. I'm starting to get that information overload I remember from my clone build.

It looks like the armor I'm interested in does not have the moulded lips that are recommended for ROTJ. All the other upper level requirements for ROTJ are also more specific than the ones for the other movies. The real dealbreaker though is that the Kidney and Butt plate have to be a single piece for ROTJ for expert infantryman. I really want to be able to sit down.

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Re: TK advice

Post by TK-4484 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:19 pm

Gotta have a split.... Makes trooping a lot nicer to be able to sit down.
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Re: TK advice

Post by Terry19d » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:22 pm

Culvan wrote:Well now you've done it. I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I should look into CRLs. I want all the parts to match one movie, but I don't care which movie. I've now grabbed all the current movie CRLs off whitearmor.net. I've been pouring over them to understand those differences better. I'm starting to get that information overload I remember from my clone build.

It looks like the armor I'm interested in does not have the moulded lips that are recommended for ROTJ. All the other upper level requirements for ROTJ are also more specific than the ones for the other movies. The real dealbreaker though is that the Kidney and Butt plate have to be a single piece for ROTJ for expert infantryman. I really want to be able to sit down.

Andy
Sorry!

Yes, the ROTJ suit is the most difficult of the regular film suits to build, as it does have a lot of specific alterations to the armor/helmet. I would like to build one, myself, before CVI in 2013 for the 30th anniversary of "Jedi". Did you see at the FISD that there is a group who have sold a run of ROTJ armor and helmets? They have sold out of this run, and I'm waiting to see some of the completed builds to find out how it looks. Otherwise it does take a fair amount of work to convert the other armor types, especially the helmet.
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Re: TK advice

Post by Culvan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:47 pm

I've placed my order for a set of AM armor. I'll probably never know if the thicker ABS was worth the extra cost. I purchased a helmet with it I guess it's the FX helmet with a more rounded dome (or something like that). I've also got a MRCE helmet I got a few years ago. I'm a little timid with it so far. I think I'm going to build the FX to get used to the helmet overall then if I want something more accurate I'l upgrade to the MRCE.

I've E-mailed tkboots, but they're on backorder. I'm assuming that is my best and most inexpensive option. They said it would be 2-3 weeks before they got them in stock.

I'm looking into building the holster and neckseal. Whitearmor.net has some decent information on both, although many of their links and images are dead. I was reading through tk409's description of the one he sells and indicates that it is a shiny quilting fabric that looks rubber like. Does anyone have any idea what that material is? The more important thing for me is the description of how well it breathes. I was going to use black swimsuit material with quilt stuffing inside it. I have no idea how warm that will be.

I'm going to pick up the $17 toy E-11 blaster at walmart and paint it to look more appropriate. I know it's not the best, but I can upgrade it later.

Is there anything else that I need that I'm forgetting?

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Re: TK advice

Post by Tyran » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:35 am

Be sure to get a Droopy Doo's kit for the Hasbro blaster. I bought one and it works and looks great. I wasn't fortunate enough to get the kit after he added the the additional side rails, so thats one less thing you'll need:

http://cgi.ebay.com/STORMTROOPER-E11-HA ... 35b0e852f5

If you're trooping in the summer I highly recommend getting a fan or two. I use the squirrel cage fans on whitearmor and love it:

http://forum.whitearmor.net/index.php?showtopic=10211

Hope that helps!
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Re: TK advice

Post by the dark knight » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:19 am

not to rain on your party andy, but i did have a set of AM armor. im 6' 2" and it fit me like a glove. anyone shorter, and it will require alot of trimming. personaly i would have gone with ATA's new ABS armor that is far more accurate and sadly, still around 100 bucks less than AM and comes with the helmet. sorry i made it here too late to help you out.
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