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  1. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 21, 2009, 12:41 AM - Sci-Fire 7th Legion/ Commander Faie Clone Armor Build #1

    So, out of the blue, I come in to work today and there is a big box awaiting me. Had no idea what it was but was thrilled when I opened it and found it was my Sci-Fire Clone armor! Unfortunately, I left town only a few hours later and didn't get a chance to take pics but I wanted to give a brief review anyway.

    First and foremost, this is ARMOR! No, I don't mean replica armor... I mean, I think this stuff could actually deflect bullets! In all my time messing with prop replicas, I have never seen anyone use such thick base material for their armor. I am assuming the clone armor is at least .125". It feels like a tank! The armor is styrene and is very stiff and inflexible, very unlike the super thin stormtrooper armor I am used to dealing with. I am a bit apprehensive about how this stuff will go together, because there won't be much bending or flexing it to align the halves... of course, I have been told by others the halves align perfectly already, so that is good. The good thing is, unlike my stormtrooper armor, I think the clone armor will be virtually indestructible.

    The pulls are nearly perfect, with crisp lines, and fairly good sharpness, especially considering the insane thickness of the plastic. I do see some very faint horizontal lines in the plastic, but even a light sanding should take them out. Overall, the cleanness of the pulls is breathtaking. I am used to dealing with lots of wonkiness from the more organic forms of OT pieces, so this is very odd but cool to get pieces that are almost spotless in their smoothness and perfection.

    The pieces are trimmed very cleanly, leaving only a small amount of flash for me to take off of each piece and nothing was overtrimmed as is often the case with pieces I have received in the past.

    I am pretty excited about this because only a few weeks ago I got a set of stormtrooper armor and it was very interesting to match up some of the pieces side by side. I had a chance to do a quick compare and while the size of the pieces are surprisingly similar, the similarities end there. You really can't appreciate the truly rushed and poor quality of the OT costumes until you have a perfectly smooth and precise piece to compare it against.

    I am looking forward to trimming the pieces out in the next week or so and hope to show some pics of the process as well as post some comparisons to the stormtrooper armor. After that, I need to get some styrene adhesive (something that fuses the halves, not just glues them), and I will begin assembly.

    A big thanks to John and Lewis for making this happen! I had tried to put a clone together before but the timing just wasn't right, so I hope this effort comes out a bit better!

    And just for ref, I am going with the 7th Legion design and hope to eventually convert to a Commander Faie costume.
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  2. SEEKER's Avatar
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    Mar 21, 2009, 12:53 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #2

    Awesome man!

    I has to be some really good stuff! Cuz I know how hard it is to please you.

    Can't wait for the day I feel the same way about this armor.
  3. formerly shunned MORGUE's Avatar
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    Mar 21, 2009, 10:16 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #3

    Awesome Art. I know I love my Rig and "a tank" is a very accurate description. I think you will be pleasantly surpised at how easily this armor assembles, ease of wear and how the accuracy is sick! Enjoy and post your progress!
  4. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Mar 22, 2009, 10:38 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #4

    sweet... you know we want progress pics as this stuff goes together!
  5. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 22, 2009, 3:58 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #5

    Will definitely be taking progress pics. Hope to snap a few pics tonight of the raw pieces, as they were shipped so you can get an idea of where I am starting from... which is a pretty good place. There really just isn't that much I am going to have to do! My biggest question will be about whether to sharpen edges or not.
  6. mrbungle's Avatar
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    Mar 22, 2009, 4:13 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #6

    looking forward to seeing this, andrew.
  7. I helped at SDCC '08 MandalorFett's Avatar
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    Mar 22, 2009, 6:54 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #7

    Looking forward to your progress Art. You're a stickler for quality and details, so I know it'll turn out great.
  8. I helped at SDCC '08 Bountyone's Avatar
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    Mar 22, 2009, 6:58 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #8

    I had heard from Gino that you bought a set of his TK armor Art, are you converting it for another Sandy build?
  9. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 2:56 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #9

    Quote Bountyone said: View Post
    I had heard from Gino that you bought a set of his TK armor Art, are you converting it for another Sandy build?
    Yes, doing a side by side build with the sandy and the clone. Very interesting because for all the seeming similarities, these are very different builds. Guess I should be posting the sandy build here as well.
  10. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 10:47 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #10

    OK, here is a quick pic of the chest as well as the back. I am planning to start with these pieces. The pics below are the pieces as I received them.

    From what I can see, there are basically 7 steps that need to be taken to these pieces:

    1) Trim the extra material from the individual pieces.

    2) Sharpen the details.

    3) Reform pieces to fit my body.

    4) Attach pieces together with smooth seam lines.

    5) Add additional details.

    6) Paint pieces.

    7) Weather pieces.

    This is the process I will be taking with each part although for the last two steps I will probably wait until I have all the pieces complete for paint and weathering.
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  11. Admin Staff webchief's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 4:01 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #11

    Art with armor? Who'd a thunk it? Can't wait to see the progress!
  12. KaanE is offline KaanE
    Mar 23, 2009, 4:03 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #12

    Nice start man! And with the pics this is going to be awesome!

    I like the design too
  13. I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 4:09 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #13

    Can't wait to see it!! When it comes to fusing plastic, I like the plastic weld technique Just take some shards, mix it with plastic weld, and smash it the groove and you can sand it down for a flawless finish. I have done this before with my AP suit, and also filling holes in ABS Stormtrooper kits
  14. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 4:40 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #14

    OK, so started playing with the chest... I am using a dremel with a reinforced cut off wheel to trim the extra plastic. Two things immediately came to my attention:

    1) While the plastic is very rigid due to its thickness, it is VERY soft and extremely easy to cut into/through.

    2) Probably BECAUSE the plastic is soft it melts READILY and will fuse back to itself easily. I noticed this when using the cutoff wheel. Some of the little melted pieces that flew off while using the cut off wheel reattached to the plastic. While you can usually just pick these little plastic "boogers" off, some of these melted back onto the main body and had to be cut off.

    I used the cut off wheel to score the plastic (didn't cut all the way through) and then snapped the extra plastic off in large chunks.

    Once I had all the extra plastic on, I couldn't help but put the chest plate on. I am not a very big guy but the bottom of the chest plate is VERY tight under my ribs, but as it extends up under my arms, it gets more loose. There is a rather thick lip on the undeside of the chest plate. I am not sure if that lip thins out as it goes back to the sides of the body or not, but I have concerns about the fit once I have the belly plate in place under the chest.

    Once I had the chest rough trimmed I played around a bit with detailing and sharpening. On the Sci-Fire chest plate, the chest of chest division (the veritcal line between the breasts) is very shallow and dull. John recommmended I use a triangle file to enhance the line. However, for me, it was easier to start with a small square file. Looking at the reference material, I will need to finish with a triangle file, but the square file made it more easy to make a straight line and dig out an initial groove.

    After creating the midline groove I wanted to see if I could sharpen the breasts a bit. I started with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on a vibrating sander but found that the friction melted the plastic very quickly instead of grinding it away. I switched over to 100 grit and that did a much better job. Even then, you have to be careful because the plastic tends to melt if you press down too hard in a single area for a sustained amount of time.

    I sharpened the right breast and took a pic. It doesn't show up all that well in the photo, but standing in front of it, the right breast is clearly much sharper than the left! I plan to go over a few other lines with the 100 grit on the vibrating sander and then switch to 220 by hand to finish it out. I still have a ton to do and still need to clean all the egdes that I trimmed, but at least we are moving forward!
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  15. SEEKER's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 5:04 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #15

    Your not finished yet?

    Man! you been having this armor of a whole weekend already.


  16. Mar 23, 2009, 5:36 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #16

    Off to a good start Art! I have an idea on sharpening up all the edges, but it is laborious. I will posting an update hopefully before this week is out, explaining with images.

    I agree with you 100% on your statement about this armor, it's rock solid through and through. Feels like real armor, totally awesome!
  17. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 5:59 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #17

    Quote Replicant Shadow said: View Post
    Off to a good start Art! I have an idea on sharpening up all the edges, but it is laborious. I will posting an update hopefully before this week is out, explaining with images.
    HEY! Don't wait to post up ideas! I am sweating up a storm sanding the heck out of this chest plate!!! If you have an idea, lets hear it!!!!

    Here is the chest plate after another hour of the vibrating sander and some hand sanding. The sharpening is starting to take effect, but there is going to be a lot of detail and clean up work!
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  18. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 6:33 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #18

    Just talked to dgasser and he suggested using a straight razor and scraping it along the edges to sharpen them! I might just give that a try!
  19. whistle8mp's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 6:51 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #19

    Quote ART ANDREWS said: View Post
    Just talked to dgasser and he suggested using a straight razor and scraping it along the edges to sharpen them! I might just give that a try!
    Did you ever think about useing a wood plane to sharpen the edges, might just work
  20. FettFanatic's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 6:58 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #20

    Looking good so far. You are right that the bottom edge thins out as you go around to the sides. It never has looked to me that it thins out completely though. I have always thought it looked like there was a little lip there. You might also try just scoring the plastic with a metal straight edge and a razor blade to remove the excess plastic. I have gotten some nice edges like that. Keep up the good work.
  21. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 10:19 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #21

    OK guys... spent about 2 hours using dgasser's method with a straight razor and lets me tell ya... that is the ticket! Really took the sharpness to the next level! I actually went a bit farther than I expected to go but after looking at the reference, the breasts almost look like they are separate pieces from the ribcage, so I went in with the razor and small flat files and the square file and etched out the breasts in more detail. I am going to have to go back and fill a few bad spots, but overall, I am pretty pleased with the results and the progress I have made today.

    My tendinitis is killing me, but the chest is starting to shape up. Will I have this ready in time for Comic Con? I am thinking no way at the rate I am going, but at least when I am done, I will be happy.
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  22. SEEKER's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2009, 10:28 PM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #22

    Bingo!!

    That's fantastic!! There's no way any vac table will pic up that sharpness in the chest. That's what Dana & I did with ours in order to accomplish that sharpness.

    Great job man!

    I could already tell that this wont be just any other clone. It's going to be a killer clone. To bad it wont be a 41st either.
  23. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 24, 2009, 1:41 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #23

    Took a look at the thighs tonight and I am going to have to take at least 2" out of the circumference of the thighs.... which means I am going to have to do some interesting filling and patching to make the edges match back up....

    Also took a look at the biceps and well.. the biceps just baffle me.
  24. Mar 24, 2009, 9:17 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #24

    The straight razor technique is way better than what I would have suggested, looks super clean.
    Last edited by Replicant Shadow; Mar 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM.
  25. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 24, 2009, 10:35 AM - Re: Sci-Fire Clone Armor Initial Review #25

    Since I am working on a stormtrooper build alongside the clone build, I thought it might be interesting to see the crazy difference in size between a typical trooper chest plate and the clone chest plate.
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