There is a moment at the end of "Imperial Commando: 501st" where Gilamar kills Dred Priest and, prior to dumping Priest's body, removes a logo-covered shoulder bell to use as proof of Priest's death and affiliation with Death Watch (I'm hugely paraphrasing, but I trust you'll forgive me.) This moment has stuck with me for a while, and a few weeks back I decided to use the idea of trophy taking as my in-road to my first attempt at armor building.
I scanned the Dented Helmet and the RPF, scoured YouTube, and spend a bit more money than my wife may have wanted, but when I sat down at the table to begin my project, I had the material I needed to flesh out the idea in my head:
Firstly, I wanted to do a vertical row of three different shoulder bells for my own collection: one mythosaur variant, one Death Watch (as tribute to the book), and one that would be open to whatever I felt like making. I was also going to create two additional pieces, which I would then send to friends of mine. The trials and tribulations involved are detailed in the pictures below, including the end results. I didn't photography my numerous experiences with paint peeling due to my impatience or inexperience, or any of the moments where my actual plastics separated because I failed to properly prepare them. What you see below is my recounting of the visual journey, and the chaos my wife endured on her kitchen table for more time than I'm sure she liked.
Thank you for stopping by.
I will leave you with this:
I'm active duty Army, and in my community we highly prize the giving and receiving of coins and mementos, which we often display as trophies in their own right. I think that the practice of exchanging shoulder bells as symbols of extended friendship or camaraderie is something that has brought a surprising value to my circle of friends, and highly recommend that any armor smith or aspiring Mando out there try it out. There's really nothing like giving a friend a piece of armor that represents not only your passions, but your hard work and talent.
Just a thought.