Aluminum ROTJ Chest Armor

Gator Fett

Well-Known Hunter
When I painted my custom aluminum collar and backplate, I also painted my chest armor. I did not take or attempt to share any progress pics, because the masking paint technique has been discussed in various other threads. What I would like to share is my armor attachment method and my final product.

The four chest pieces (right, left, ab & diamond) and the two shoulder bells were made by Durasteel back in the summer of 2002. They are made from 1/8" thick aluminum plate, and as I have stated in other posts, are great pieces of armor. Personally, I like aluminum armor over vac'ed plastic or sintra. It just feels more real. ;)

I decided to attach my armor plates with screws and nuts rather than velcro or the magnets I used on my backplate and collar. First I cut the heads off of #8-32 x 5/8" screws. I then drilled small indentations or pits in the back side of the armor in the corners. CAUTION: do not drill through the armor. Using JB Weld, I epoxied the screws into the drill indents. Once the epoxy had dried, I used the screws to locate the grommet holes in the vest. Then I installed the grommets at the screw locations.

Prior to attaching the screws, I used my plates as a template for sintra "washers" which will hold the plates close to the vest material. I drilled holes in the sintra washers at the screw locations, and secured everything together with small metal washers and nuts.

How did I do?




Forced Trekker - Sorry, I don't do requests. ;)

raptorarts, Got Maul & hansoloway - Thanks for the comments. I was a little woried about the overall proportion of the armor, so I'm glad you guys think it looks good.

Over the last few weeks, I have received a few PM's asking about the weight of the aluminum armor. I thought I would post the info here, to share with the class.

With all eight pieces of armor (L&R Chest, Diamond, Ab Plate, L&R Shoulder, Collar & Backplate), the chest lights, collar studs, & mounting hardware attached to the vest, the entire assembly weighs about 6 - 7 lbs. When I put it all on, it is very comfortable, and does not seem very heavy. However, I have never worn the armor for more than a few minutes, so when I finally get to wear my suit at an event, I will let you know if feels heavier after a few hours of use. :)

I just noticed that I never posted the image of my attachment method. :eek:

This image shows the sintra "washers" that are on the inside of my vest, and hold the vest fabric tight to the armor.

Gator Fett said:
First I cut the heads off of #8-32 x 5/8" screws.
You could use a longer screw than 5/8", like a 3/4" or 1", but you should cut them down so that they don't stick out too far and poke you in the chest.
Very cool.. I am curious to try this on my armor... since I cant sew. I am not sure how well it will work with my plastic armor but my armor is SUPER thick... thick enough that you can hardly tell its not fiberglass. So this may be a good way to go. If I go this route I will post how it works out on ABS/Styrine armor. Thanks for sharing gator, you got a great costume there!
Gator Fett said:
You could use a longer screw than 5/8", like a 3/4" or 1", but you should cut them down so that they don't stick out too far and poke you in the chest.

I had the chance to try on Gator's armor. Even though it is aluminum, it feels like it would be very comfortable to wear. His mounting system is rock solid. (y)
deadbolt said:
Sweeeeet! So you can take a hit in the chest with a blaster and not feel it right? :lol: Sweet mounting method btw!

i've got the same stuff, and i can tell you that you can take a hit from a kid at a trooping event and giggle as he goes from bad-ass punk to yelping and holding his knuckles ;)
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