Here's my new motto...
"When your over 6'5 tall, why in the world would you want to be a Vader or wear a hot and uncomfortable Wookie costume, when you could be a perfectly good DarkTrooper?"
Discussion on Darktrooper Progress Thread 8MAR2011: Getting back to it within the Star Wars Costumes forum, part of the Star Wars Universe category; Originally Posted by Nachturnus Well, just as a side note,
Here's my new motto...
"When your over 6'5 tall, why in the world would you want to be a Vader or wear a hot and uncomfortable Wookie costume, when you could be a perfectly good DarkTrooper?"
Looking good man! Keep it up.
I will be starting on the shoulder armor this week. I think this piece may be a bit difficult because the outer lip is more rounded off and already know is gonna be a pain in the butt. Im also working on getting an oven or several heating elements from waffle irons so that I can finish the vacu-former and not have to worry about it, and because I want to start practicing the casting and so I can cast the helmet piece and finish the helmet. Also, I was wondering if anyone could measure the areators on their FX, to see how far they stick out from the helmet. I have bought areators, but I need to know how far they should be poking outwards from the faceplate.
I am currently trying to figure out something in the design of the shoulder armor. I cannot tell if on the insode piece, if it rounds off to a point, like the top of a stereotypical rain drop, or just cuts off. Below are 2 designs of what I mean. Please LMK what you guys think. Im leaning more towards the cut off look, but I prefer to be more accurate. Thanks!
Hey man here are some pics I found. I don't know if they'll help or not. I'm not sure which version you're doing so there are a couple of different ones.
Thanks Tbone, those are alot more ref pics that I could have found for the dark forces darktrooper. Where did you find them though? I am actually doing the battlefront darktrooper, but I am planning on doing a dark forces darktrooper sometime after. Thanks!
Oh okay, well I am going to still archive those pics for future reference. Thanks again t-bone.
Upon more review, the bottome one appears more accurate. I know this was really only a minor issue, but I'd prefer accuracy over looking like a dummy for asking questions like this.
Also, just want to mention, my collection of tools increased yesterday, I was finnally able to get a smaler sander, the one that looks like a iron. I needed this for more presicion sanding, like the tight and very hard to reach places, like where the gaunt boxes meet the main guant body, I have a rough area of durham's that Ive been eager to get rid of. I can now finnalize sanding once and for all. My bulky belt sander cannot do this.
I have a dilema, waffle irons are hard to find as far as thrift stores are concerned. What would I need waffle irons for you ask? I need to use the heating elements for the oven in order to heat the plastic. I checked ebay, but they for some reason have a thing for vintage waffle irons, and I need something more modern. The cheapest ones brand new are like $15 each, and I need four of them. But I may have to re-design an oven. I can build one with nichrome wire, but the supplies needed are quite expensive. Any suggestions? This will make or break the project, at least for a while.
Keep it up Chris, its looking great, and Good luck finding those waffle irons!
Have you thought about the heating elements out of electric skillets? That might be a path you could take.
Not sure if you know about this site already, but http://www.studiocreations.com/howto/index.html has a lot of great tips on how to go about this under their "vaccuforming basics" thread. They seem to use a combination of a heat gun and an oven.
Also, what I saw, was that they had single stove burners, like on top of an oven, but just one by itself. It would work out great if these would work, get 4 of those and switch them on, and there's my oven. The question is really how hot will it really get? Thanks for the help guys!
Put the plastic in the microwave and quickly drop it on the mold
It is coming along great! I cannot wait to see the finished product
Hey everyone, I think I need some more ref pictures of the shoulder armor. Its just from certai angles, it looks more bulbus than in other angles, so its a pain to design accuratly. I was wondering if I could possibly get some more screen shots for reference.
Also, the oven is gettin closer to being built. Im thinking of getting a large cooler (the kinds with metal and insulation) to hold the burners and then line it with aluminum like the kind you cook turkey's in. Thats it for now.
I have started to design the shouldr armor today, and the hardest part of this, is getting the size of it right in comparison to my size. Some things that have to be considered is the proper curvature on the top and bottom (from the front) and the length. In the reference I have, it sticks out a few inches from the end of the actual shoulder. Here is a picture of the design compared to me. I apologize, no one around to take the pic for me, but I had to improvise. Also, its hard to see te full size, because its laying slightly at an angle on my shoulder, its actually larger than it looks...I just need some feedback and recommendations. Thanks
Okay, well after much procrastination, I started the mold. I already have the first 8 layers, but it used a whole sheet of MDF (i only get to work with one sheet at a time) so I'll need to get another this week. I did do some more "research" (really just staring at the shoulder of the DT while playing the game) and did realize that it is not cut off as I one thought. It comes to a rounded point. The layer posted in the pic is what I believe the accurate shape (if looking from the top). All im going to say, this is going to be a large mold. The longest length is 1 ft, and after its done is going to be 7 1/2" tall. Very big amor piece.
Any grooves or crevices that cut back underneath another part. Like this.
I'm really enjoying your progress! Your enthusiasm is awesome!! You are showing incredible creativity and perserverance!! Right on!
Helmet's off to you!
Almost as big as my foot...
For any of you guys going to CIV, (I cant-no money/transportation ) I just found out that they are going to have a 501st panel with representatives of each class. The special ops COG will be making a presentation, and is going to include pictures of the helmet progress and will make note of it being a battle front dark trooper, also will put my full name with it for credit. Yes, I have a last name, but you'll never figure out my middle (for those that actualy see the presenation) I may not be there, but im happy that my project will be getting more attention.
Well upon further thought and planning, I have decided im going to scratch build an oven for the vac-former. I went to home depot and picked up some hardibacker 1/2" cement board, 15amp plug, switch box, 20 amp switch and only 10 ft of 10-2 G romex wire. I still need to get the nichrome wire, ceramic posts and the appropriate screw and such. I have most of it, but I need to get the last parts online.
(And I have no idea what Im getting myself into..)
Alright, took about half an hour, but the layout of the wires on the hardibaker is drawn up. Now I just need to get the drilling done and order the rest of the parts... Fortunatly, I got this drawn in one shot.
W O W! We got ourselves a picasso! Way to go dude keep em comin!
Saturday, I went with the local 501st squad to a hospital visit to help out. I had chance to look at a few of the tk parts in person, and I was able to see the hand guards. I have to re-sculpt these for the reason that mine are too small for me at least. Theres nothing wrong with the ones I have already sculpted, its just their size. They may fit someone else's hands, but not mine. Im also going to try something else that may make these easier to make. Some things I need to fiz, is making them more curved, and making the detail more clear. I have the idea that maybe using some sort of dense, but thin rubber, cut out the right size of this, and since it would be flexable, it would just easliy form to the rest of the mold. So no more having to sand a solid piece of wood hoping it has the same curve as well as not being too thin.
Also, the nichrome wire for the oven was graciously donated to me by CJanassen, a fellow member on the tk560 site. I want to make a note of his generosity for my project.
More coming soon. I plan to get this oven finished before the end of April, or mid May, so that I can start the casting. My goal right now is to finish the helmet completly no later then the first week of June.
By the end of this...you'll be a celebrity. Just don't get so far and then quit...HANG IN THERE!!!
I gotta say, finding these suckers took me awhile, and then trying to find enough for this was just as hard. I need 56 of these #10-24 1 1/2 bolts w/ screw nuts. I have all the screws with washers and wing nute for the terminal posts and those are just awaiting the ceramic posts I still need to order. Unfortunatly, while I have everything else, I still need 13 more bags of the 10-24 bolts. I am just ticked they just couldnt sell these in a box...
Not pictured is a piece of sheet metal which I will use to help attach the oven walls together.
Seeing how I was denied being able to purchase helmet decals, and I couldnt find any online (at least where I was searching) Im forced to just paint on the details. Fortunatly, when I first went paint shopping for the correct grey, I picked up the wrong shade, kept the paint though, and went out and found the right shade. Well, Ive realized that it is a good enough shade for the helmet details. Ive painted this on the helmet already, just deciding between a black marker or the auto stripping for the black lines. I'll post pics whens its completly finish.
Hey man. Have you tried the Testors decal making kit you can get at the model section at Wally World or hobby stores. I've used it for all of my decals and I've been very pleased with the results. You should be able to just buy the decal paper and the spray you coat it with, after printing, separately. All you would need to do is make the decals to scale on your computer and print them on the waterslide paper.
Hey, T-bone, I was thinking about doing that at first, but I actually started last night on this, and it looks prett sharp so far. I painted the grey on the boxes and the tear drops. Im using the left over pinstriping from my last project for this. Its 1/8 inch wide black auto-motive stripping, and Im cutting each section in half. Since Im not using the FX decals, Im making it I guess more accurate to the ANH Tk helmets. I finished the first tear drop, and I think it came out pretty well. I will post pics later tonight once I finish the other boxes and tear drop.
Also, my helmet completion date has been moved to May 1st. I know its like 14 days from now, but im sure as heck gonna try for it. The reason is that the Spec Ops. COG is going to show some pis of it at C4 during the 501st panel presentations. I want to have something more than and face plate taped to a mold. May 1st is the deadline for giving him pics.
I just ordered the ceramic posts, but I will not be able to order HIPS until thursday. I can at least finish and test the oven. Its gonna be a close one if it makes it here before May 1st. Wish me luck!
Okay, well I wasnt able to finish all of it yet, but not that much left. I figured I should start showin instead of talking, so here it is. I was using a ref pic of an actual tk helmet from the movie for the lines to make it a bit more accurate then the standard FX decals
On the dome, I left the bottom line the regular width because Im afraid that It would be too thin when I put the face and back pieces together, and possibly exposing grey underneath the line.
Last edited by tubachris85x; 04-16-2007 at 08:22 PM.
Well, the oven is starting to take more shape then it has been. Not 100% perfect but it will do. Excuse the unusual shape of the brackets, cutting the sheet metal was more of a pain in the a$$. I have a knack for buying things I think I will need, or work at the time, but it dosnt, but somehow later on down the road, it helps me finish or do something I need to. The mistake im talking about this time is the jigg saw blades pack, I got and it didnt work for me at the time, but now it does cause it has a metal cutting blade. However, accuratly cutting the metal is harder then one thinkc. Looks dosnt always matter, its how it works, and it works fine so far. The ceramic posts should be in sometime next week Im assuming, and hoping. Also, I need to re-sketch the oven coil guidlines, they are too close to the oven walls as you can propbably see.
Thats coming together really nicely! Great work!
Good news, the ceramic insulator posts came in today! So this really will help speed up the progress. Im hoping to have a fully operational oven ny Monday. Im going to try to do most of it today, re-sketch the guildlines, drill the holes, put together the post w/ bolts and in place, construct the terminal posts, wire the electronics and start the nichrome wire coiling...hmmm, I may even be able to finish it tonight even. Regardless, it will be done by monday.
Have fun with it! Sounds like you know what's going on.
Good luck! Hope everything works out well with it.
Sorry, I was working on the oven since 9 pm on Friday and went to bed at 530 this morning only having to get up for sea cadet drill at 630. Im very tired. Ive realized now that I blew a breaker after turning it on and letting it run. I then realized that I forgot a second segment of the ground wire that needs to lead to a metal piece. Today, I re-set the breaker, added the secod segment of the ground wire and stuck it temporarily between the metal bracket of the oven walls. I turned it on, only this time, the coils from E to D were orange hot. I couldnt tell is the other coils were getting hot or not. I didnt run it long, but I turned it on and off several times. From what Im seeing, it appears that all the 120 v is going through only to those coils. Another factor is probaly how I wired or wrapped the nichrom wire. It was never 100% clear to me how to properly do this, if anyone can tell me the exact method they used, it might shed some more light on how to solve this issue. I will say that it was VERY hard for me to wire tie the 4 black cables. I will get a short video to show what is happening. Thanks guys, im goin to sleep now.
Ive been doing alot of work on this oven, and its been very frustrating. I fixed the isue of blowing the breaker by adding a second switch and plug so now I can keep it on for as long as I need it to. I am still having an the issue of only the center coils heating up, and I mean it glows and is very hot. I cant seem to figure out why the other wires wont either. I am thinking that maybe the nichrome wire somewhere is just not connceting or something. I still have to run some tests to see whats wrong.
Im really hoping to figure this out soon and get it working 100%, but the dealine of May 1st is just next week!
(I can at least make some smores off of it right now)
Keep up the good work Chris!
Dude could it be the resistance of each? Maybe current does flow through each part but if it's longer it may have more of a resistance so may not appear to glow so much?
Even single element heaters look brighter one side than the other. Anode usually.
Just a wild, crazy, probably way off guess.
That could be a possibility as well. Another thing that I may have done was not evenly distribute the nichrome wire. As you said, the resistance might be preventing the wires from heating, but I have yet to see or feel anything coming from those wires. Im gonna do some more tests on it. If worst case scenario, is that I would have to get new nichrome wire and re-wire it better then it was.
Well the latest test really screwed things up. I feel like an idiot and jerk in many ways because the wire was pretty much ruined. It put too much power and it, and the wire in different areas just snapped apart from it. Now i need to get more wire. I feel like a jerk cause the wire was generously given to me and I feel like it was just a waste now because I couldnt figure out what was wrong before it was destroyed. I need to figure this out so dont keep going in a loop with this.
Some good news though, I was able to order a 4 x 8 0.80 thick sheet of HIPS today. Also, at my sea cadet unit, our navy league sponsor, who owns his own marine deisal engine/ mechanical shop company down the street from our drilling facility told me that he would let me come down and they would teach me how to weld and will let me make my own metal tubing holding frames for the vac-former. Its going to work out, just frustrating. Thanks guys.
Okay, well some good news today. That dealine of May 1st? No more dealine for completing the helmet for that CIV presentation. Also, I ordered 10 feet of the 22 guage nichrome wire. That should be here probably around friday. So thats whats going on. In the mean time, Im gonna do some voltage readings so see where all this power is going to!
Hey man! Keep it up! It's looking awesome!
Don't let this get the best of you!
I decided to go through trying to finish most of the helmet, and I think it came out pretty well. I put the red LED's into the areators and they are pretty bright. Its kind of good now that I didnt get the actual FX areators, or else I wouldnt have been able to do this. I also attached the bubble lenses and put in a metal wire grill into the grin. Take a gander and LMK what you think of the "face" of the Darktrooper.
Its been awhile since I said anything on this thread, but Ive been busy working on this. I can say I confidently figured out the problem with the oven (for sure, unlike the last 25654651 times...) Im sure its the math of it all. Its the watts and the power. In a house, there are two kinds of breakers, 15 and 20 amp breakers. Outlets in homes have a voltage of 120, sometimes 110, but usually between that. My home is consistantly 120 volts. 120 volts x 15 Amps = 1800 watts. For the this oven, will need over 2000 Watts, so I want to go for 2200 watts, thats about 18.33
amps. So I just need to find an outlet on one of the 20 amp breakers, so that I can produce the 2200 watts I need. Because of this, it affects the length of nichrome wire needed. In this case, it requires about 32.2 inches total, with 8.8 inches per segment. I didnt do this math in the begining, cause I just never realized. But I can honestly say that this is the problem and this is the solution. It will be done and I will get this working. I expect to finish the helmet sometime before or after I graduate on the 29th.
It looks GREAT!! Looking forward to seeing the finished helmet.
Ive been out for awhile, but the project is soon going to be taking off. Im graduating soon, so I'll have the whole summer for more progress. Its not over just yet!
Early congrats on Graduation man!! Can't wait to see how this comes out when you get back at it.
Your Slacking TubaC! Step it up! See it this weekend
Hey this is looking great! Focus on graduation. I graduate in two days! Woot! Will they let you march in gear? Ha ha that would be awkward. Good luck!
Congrats on the graduation! Looking forward to your summer progress.
Thanks guys for staying patient with me on this, Im trying to do as much as I can to get further and further. Ive been really trying to form a team or a group of people to help me out, but I cant find anyone really reliable, or even able to come down to help out. I got my brother interested, but hes not really a star wars fan, let alone prop building/costuming, but he said he might help out during the summer. ThisisMyWorld im trying to have him help me out, but hes busy this summer, but I think I can run a good operation once I move up to tallahasse for college.
I think if I had somethin like that going, we could really speed up the project. The team working idea was motivated after learning how the RC armor was made. I honestly can say its very ovewhelming doing this, and I would prefer help on this. I cant really pay anyone for any work or help, but it may payoff in the longrun if I can do this right.
Anyways, thanks for keeping me motivated for this project, its like runnign a really long mile, it sucks running it, but once you cross that finish line, you feel better then anything.
Find a good outlet yet? most garages have bigger breakers if you have one I'd be all about taking it over. When I get home I'll be taking my moms over till I get my own
I havent gotten around yet to trying to find the outlet. I can say for a fact that there are several 20 amp breakers in my house. Tomorrow is my last day of high school for good, and on thursday, my plans are to first sleep in until noon, eat at chipolte, and then work on the oven. I still need to get a 20 amp plug before I can attempt pluggin it in. Me and m bro are also in the works of planning a huge 4th of july party, I.E. revamping our backyard, with new light fixtures, put tile on the patio, fix up the grass, build a bar and even a tiki hut! My only concern is where will I be able to work after all that is done?
My only advise for the patio is to check the weather before hand. I told that to my mom before she went ahead and started and half way thru she got rained out, and yeah the tile job was ruined
Thanks for the advise, kinda funny, we just had our roof re-done, and as soon as they finished, it started pouring, and hasnt stop since, for a few days now.
Anyways, Im sooooooo close, the only thing thats keeping me from finishing this oven is an extension cord, I cant reach the proper outlet yet lol. As soon as its up and running, Im casting that sucker!!
Also, Im gonna try to get some more work done on the jet pack as well.
AH HA! IT WORKS!!!!
Its actually working, all the coils getting hot, but not glowing, or over heating. I did some voltage readings, and power is going through everything.
Im in shock really, lol, its hard to believe I can actually move on now
You are the man.
Well, today was a very good day. The oven works after all this trial and error. I really appreciate everyones help and most of all, being patient after all this time.
Tonight, just to have a "micronic" celebration and to test it, me and my g/f decided to make some smores..I think they came out pretty good in my oppinion...
They were mighty fine.
Something I was concerned with though, is that the center coils were glowing a bit, cant see in the pic. Not all of the coil in the center segment were glowing however. One thing I noticed is that the sections of the coil that were glowing, were not "flashing," but it would glow semi-bright orange, cool down to regular color, and glow again. I was worried because last time, the coils that lit bright orange melted lol. But this seems to stay steady. The trial run lasted about an hour or a little over and reamained constant. It got VERY hot, and the extra cement board cover helped contain it.
Once again, thanks guys for your help. Next step is makin a holding frame and casting!
Great news, Im half-way done with the plastic holding frame, and I purchased a 6.5 HP shop vac. The platen is done, and I tested the suction using a plastic sheet and theres no leaks. Once the frame is done, I can test out the casting!
First casting is tonight, I'll post pics of the results
Bah, so I tested it out tonight, and the machine and everything works great. The only problem is that its my first time doing this EVER. I tried the helmet mold first, but the plastic wasnt evenly heated enough, but got most of the shape. The bottom areas are not formed. Another thing for this mold, im gonna have to use ABS or thicker HIPS. The top of the formed piece was thin enough to squeeze and even crush. So i decided to hold off of the helmet mold until I can figure what to use for it. I put in another sheet, and this time, I learned how to heat the plastic better, by rotating it over a period of time, until the sides and such were soft. This time I wanted to try out the Guant top half and the two hand pieces. BUT due to my stupidity, I never put the larger mold over the vaccum hole, resulting in the center of the plastic to be sucked right into it.
My brother and his friends from college decided to watch me do all this, they thought it was pretty cool, despite the bad casts. lmao, they had a field day with the two bad casts. They thought the helmet cast looked likes Big Foot's head, and wore it. Pics to follow.
I know that people dont like to show their "faliures," but I have to so that everyone knows im workin to get better then before.
Here they are. I apologize that I wasnt able to produce something quality enough the first time. I just need to keep practicing until I get it right.
Well, today was better. Practicing is slowly paying off, but I still need some more, and also some more plastic, but I still have one sheet left over, and Im not going to use it until I order more.
Some better results, but I need to improve. First off, the helmet mold. I have gotten better at learning when the plastic is hot enough, but Im still having issues getting these corners soft enough. For the helmet mold, the second time casting it, it came out more sturdy and the plastic stretched enough to allow the top to be thicker, but it cooled a bit before the bottom could form properly. Second time, it actually formed completly, and was the first time it has formed completly, but the plastic is just too thin. I know that the HIPS can stretch enought to keep it firm, but I need to get thicker plastic, because I cant keep wasting good sheets until I get it just right for one mold. Here is the first formed piece:
Next up, I decided to give the guant and hand guards a try. Im a bit happier this time, becuase it formed somewhat, and almost all the boxes formed great as well. Pictured below, is the better of the ones. This cast however, the end boxes didnt form completly due the plastic not stretching enough.
This is probly my first good cast, small, but Im happy about it. This is the left hand guard which formed with the guant above. The detail appeared and no defects. I just roughly cut it out, and I need to cut and sand the edges and its a keeper. Now I just need to do this with everything else.
Note, the detail on the surface, the line on the strip closer to my thumb is hard to make out in these pics, its there, just the flash makes it dissappear.
More practice needed, but I think I have improved a smidget.
wow!!! more please...
Wow that looks great! I'm surprised you don't have that many replies since you posted your work. For the helmet, maybe you need to cut the mold in half going down so you have 2 symmetrical halves. I think since it's so tall, the plastic has to stretch so much, but if you cut it, you could lay the pieces down with the fresh cut to the table, and have two halves to the helmet back. Just my 2 cents. Those look like some good smores.
Good luck! How did your graduation go?
It went very well, 3 hours long but it was a good night, thanks for asking!
I had actualy thought about possibly cutting the helmet mold in two, but Im afraid of how it would look having seam running down the center of it. Im just going to use thicker plastic, maybe even try to use ABS so that it will match the rest of the helmet pieces. Jus to throw out this question, does anyone know the type of ABS or even what source they use for the FX TK suits? Thanks guys!
Whew thats a long graduation!
If you cut it in two, can't you re attach the pieces then use a filler? I'm not sure how much bondo likes plastic, so you'd have to ask someone else about that.
I guess I could try it, but I wouldnt want to risk it. I took the better formed cast (although thin) and cut some of it and just wanted to test fit it. Im gonna have to make a few adjustments to the mold. I also took the guant half and the hand guard, and cleaned them up and I may even keep the guant half until I cast the bottom half. The hand guard is definatly a keeper, so Im just gonna have to cast the right hand now.
I decided to use the last sheet today, Im gonna order more on thursday, so I formed the other half of the forearms. I think it came out well. I just need to do some more cleaning and fitting, and im gonna paint them up, and it will be the first piece of the armor!
Looks awesome. Can't wait to see more. Just out of curiosity. Have you thought about putting a sheet of pegboard over the vacuum base? You would have to build a sealed box with the vacuum attachment on bottom and pegboard on top. You wouldn't have to worry about the plastic sucking down into the large opening that way.
Hey those look great! Keep up the good work!
Here's a quick color test, need to fix some areas, need more paint.
This one looks awesome!
Keep it up!
This is really starting to take shape! Really looking forward to seeing the finished Darktrooper =D
I just want to see the helmet put together already
That looks sharp! Sorry about Vista.
Dont worry, Im working on it!
Hey, whats wrong with Vista? lol, I got the Inspiron 11E05 laptop for a grad gift, and I love the thing.askywalker98:
That looks sharp! Sorry about Vista.
Ordering more plastic this weekend, a sheet of .080 and a sheet of either .093 or .125 thick for the helmet casting.
Sooooooo....Are those smores screen accurate? It's lookin' better and better evry time I see it!
Great progress so far. I did have a thought about your electrical issues being an electrician myself. Depending on the age of your house and local codes, the best place to find a dependable 20 amp circuit (2400 watts at 120v) would be in your kitchen. Another option would be your laundry room. Where do you live at exactly? If you're somewhat nearby, I might be able to help out in the electrical department.