Aluminum Backplate Progress


Gator Fett

Active Hunter
As I mentioned in this thread http://forums.thedentedhelmet.com/showthread.php?t=6107 I have started working on my aluminum backplate, which will mate up with my resized collar armor.

I customized my template, starting with a couple of the templates available on this site, adding in some details from the MOM & ASW reference photos. I then fit the size of the armor to my back, and finnaly tweeked it to match up with my collar armor.

Using the template I cut a 24"x24" piece of .090 aluminum to the pattern with a metal blade in my jig saw. I then used a bench grinder and my dremel to clean up the edges.

Next steps are to shape the armor to my back.

Gator

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Jangos kid

Well-Known Hunter
pretty cool so far. How are you planning to do the shaping??? I don't know if its still up, but one of our members, Megalomanicalmandalore ,had a great tutoril on how to shape metal armour using a ball pean hammer and other tools. I think he had links to his own site. Might want to check that out if you get a chance. Keep us posted;)

Damian
 

Gator Fett

Active Hunter
I made some progress on shaping my back armor. I used my pannel beater bag and teardrop hammer to shape the plate. It was alot harder than my collar armor. The combination curves along the collar portion of the back plate, across the shoulders and down under the arms we tough. :facepalm

I also had to put a slight crease down the center of the plate, and add some curve through the shoulder blade area to get it to fit correctly. I still have some tweeking to do, but I am happy with how it is comming along.

My next step is to smooth out the hammer blows with a planishing hammer and steel die. Then cut the JP harnes holes, sand, tweek, and paint.

Gator

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Gator Fett

Active Hunter
I started to smooth out the shaping hammer blows with my new fender hammer and dolly set. The set is made for working on auto body fenders, but works just as well on mandalorian armor. ;)

The steel dolly is held on one side of the plate, while you hammer the bumps from the other side. You then switch from side to side to even out the high and low spots on each side of the plate. An english wheel would have worked great, but I could not get ahold of Jessie James at West Coast Choppers. :lol:

I sanded the outside of the backplate to reveal the high and low spots, then used the hammer and dolly to smooth them down. I think I will repeat the hammer / sanding process a couple more times on the left side, then move to the right.

Gator

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propsculptor

Active Hunter
Gator Fett said:
I started to smooth out the shaping hammer blows with my new fender hammer and dolly set. The set is made for working on auto body fenders, but works just as well on mandalorian armor. ;)

The steel dolly is held on one side of the plate, while you hammer the bumps from the other side. You then switch from side to side to even out the high and low spots on each side of the plate. An english wheel would have worked great, but I could not get ahold of Jessie James at West Coast Choppers. :lol:

I sanded the outside of the backplate to reveal the high and low spots, then used the hammer and dolly to smooth them down. I think I will repeat the hammer / sanding process a couple more times on the left side, then move to the right.

Gator

Great job on the smoothing of the metal,
where can I pick up a fender hammer and dolly set?
 

Gator Fett

Active Hunter

Gator Fett

Active Hunter
BobaFettSlave_1 said:
where did you get a sheat of aluminum that thick?

I went to a local metal distributor in my area. Look in the Yellow Pages under Aluminum or Metal or Steel to find a distributor in your area.

For my collar armor, I bought a scrap piece of 1/8" (.125") thick aluminum for about $12. For my backplate I wanted it a little thinner, so I got the next size smaller .090" thick aluminum. They had to cut a 2'x2' pice from a full sheet, so the price was a little more. It came to about $27.

Gator
 

Gator Fett

Active Hunter
Well, I finished the smoothing and sanding. I'll consider any left over rough spots battle damage. ;)

I stuck the colar armor on with some duct tape, and put both pieces on over my vest, to test the fit. While I had the backplate on, I had my wife mark the location of the JP slots from my vest on the armor. I then consulted the MoM reference photos to get the final location for the slots. I marked the backplate where I need to cut the slots, add a dent, and trim the neck line collar area. But that's tomorrow's project.

Gator

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Gator Fett

Active Hunter
I got the Jet Pack slots cut and formed, the neck and shoulder area trimmed and the collar plate attached. I gave both pieces a final sanding, so they should be ready for paint. (y)

Any feedback or suggestions for changes or improvements? All comments and constructive criticisim is welcome.

Gator

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Gator Fett

Active Hunter
shortimer52 - Thanks.

stormtrooper - I don't know. I don't have a jet pack yet. My MLC is on the way, so I will let you know in a few weeks. However, my plan is to secure the JP at the top with the two shoulder straps and at the bottom with a waist strap. Similar to the way the real deal is supported. This should take some of the weight of the JP off the shoulder area and move it down to the bottom of the pack. Besides, the MLC is only 5 lbs. so it should not pull to much.

EDIT: :eek: Sorry stormtrooper, I should have paid attention to your question. No, the backplate does not pull on the collar. The way I formed the two pieces all the weight is directly on my shoulders.

cal196 - The collar and backplate together weigh 1.5 - 2 lbs. My scale sucks so I can't be too sure.
 
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Gator Fett

Active Hunter
I painted the collar and backplate over the past few days. I still have some topical damage to apply and I have to weather all of my armor pieces, but here are a few shots.

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