Home Page Home Page Home Page Home Page
AlpineGarrison.com

Official webpage for the Alpine Garrison of the 501st Legion

Serving the great state of Utah since 1999









  Register
Login 
View unanswered posts View active topics

Delete all board cookies

Time zone: America/Denver


Home Page Home Page  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page
1, 2
 >> Next 
 
Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
Offline 
 Post subject: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:08 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Greetings true believers and newcomers alike!

Just your friendly neighborhood Armorer here. I've been getting a LOT of PMs lately asking questions about Stormtrooper armor: What makes are available, what should I buy, which kind is better, etc. So I've decided to put together this post answering a lot of those questions and outline what you should consider when purchasing stormtrooper armor. So, here goes:

    REQUIREMENTS:
    To be a stormtrooper, you need to purchase these basic items:
    -ARMOR
    -UNDER-ARMOR
    -BOOTS
    -GLOVES
    -HOLSTER
    -BLASTER

    You may also want to purchase:
    -VOICE AMPLIFIER
    -HELMET FANS

UNDER-ARMOR:
This is the black suit that is worn under the armor. There are several options for this. You can use "under-armor", which athletes often wear under their uniforms. You can get both cold-weather and warm-weather under-armor. You can pick up under-armor at sporting goods stores. Others use a black dive-skin. Not a wetsuit, but a lycra-spandex type full-body dive skin. You can order one from <a href="http://www.123scuba.com/p-DS0034.html" target="_blank">Island Scuba</a>

BOOTS:
Footwear makes or breaks any Star Wars costume, and stormtroopers are no different. You can find Stormtrooper boots on ebay from time-to-time (search for the seller dan111h2o) or you can buy boots from <a href="http://www.pimpinshoes.com/product/1SCSSTORM/STORMTROOPER_ANKLE_BOOTS.html" target="_blank">CABOOTS (now pimpin shoes)</a>.

GLOVES:
The screen-used gloves were rubber chemical gloves. I don't necessarily recommend them, as they're HOT. Most troopers I know use a black baseball batting glove from a company such as Nike. You can pick them up at sporting goods stores.

HOLSTER:
Some armor kits come with a holster. You'll need to ask your armor supplier. If not, I believe Tim (Master Beorn) here on the boards makes them, or you can pick them up on ebay.

BLASTER:

What good is a stormtrooper without a trusty E-11 blaster? There are SEVERAL options for this. The on-screen blasters were built on a British Sterling L2A3 submachine gun. They added the grip strips on the barrel, a scope, scope mount, and an electronic counter (on some). For reference, here's a pic of a screen-used blaster (borrowed from partsofsw.com).
<img src="http://www.partsofsw.com/images/e11a.JPG">

The least expensive (but also least accurate) is to buy a Hasbro Stormtrooper blaster and repaint it. But it's HIGHLY inaccurate. It's too small, the scope is inaccurate, and it's missing the folding stock and magazine well. There are other inaccuracies as well. But it's cost-effective, and light.
<img src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31PvPS8NTRL._SL500_AA280_.jpg">

You can buy resin blasters on ebay.

You can build your own. Visit the <a href="http://www.imperial-fleet.com/BBC/" target="_blank">PVC blaster builder's club</a> for templates, how-to guides, etc..

And of course (shameless self-promotion) I sell a resin kit of parts cast off of a real british sterling submachine gun (which is what the blasters were built on).

Of course, Master Replicas produced a GORGEOUS replica of the E-11. But I wouldn't recommend buying it to troop with. It's expensive, but even worse for trooping, it's HEAVY (about 15 pounds).
<img src="http://www.rebelscum.com/mr/mr-anhstormblaster06.jpg" width="400">

The holy grail of Stormtrooper blasters is a Hyperfirm blaster. These are cast from a REAL modified british sterling submachine gun, and are cast in a lightweight, unbreakable rubber! They're expertly painted to look real. The downside: They're almost as expensive as your armor! If you're interested, a good place to start is http://www.sci-fire.com
<img src="http://www.sci-fire.com/Images/E11%20ANH%2001.jpg" width=400">


VOICE AMPLIFIER:
Although not necessary, it's nice to wear an amplifier so that people can hear you. AND, it makes you sound more authentic. There are a few options. Radio shack sells a portable amplifier that is powered by a 9 volt battery. It costs around $10.00. Buy a headset or throat microphone and you should be set. But the quality is what you'd expect out of a $10.00 amplifier.

I recommend <a href="http://www.hisonic.net/HS125.htm" target="_blank">this amplifier</a> from Hisonic. I've been trooping with it for over 3 years now, and not a minute's trouble.

HELMET FANS:
I highly recommend fans in your helmet. It keeps you cool(er) and keeps your lenses from fogging when trooping outside on colder days. I'll be making a separate post soon with info on some great fans I found. You can also buy pre-wired fan setups from http://www.triktoys.com and http://www.skullworx.com if you're not electronically inclined.

ARMOR:
OK, here we go. The armor. The meat and potatoes of the stormtrooper costume. There are several things you want to consider.

ARMOR QUALITY:
First and foremost, you want quality armor. You want to buy something that's going to last. To that end, I highly recommend buying armor that is made out of a heavy gauge ABS plastic. Ask the armor supplier, they should be able to tell you what gauge of plastic it's made from. For example, ".080" thick ABS plastic". Most quality armor is pulled from .080" or .090" thick ABS.

AVOID STYRENE, or HIPS plastic. It doesn't have a built-in gloss like ABS does (meaning you'll have to paint it to get it glossy) and it's much weaker than ABS and may crack. It's less expensive, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

ARMOR MAKES/STYLES:
There are two basic styles of armor available. The ever-popular "Armor FX" or "FX" armor, and screen-accurate armor. Let's talk about FX armor first.

FX ARMOR
FX armor is what (I'd guess) 80% of the 501st is currently wearing. It's a fan-originated sculpt, which means it was sculpted 100% from scratch. It's good armor. It's the most affordable QUALITY armor available. BUT, because it's fan-sculpted, there are inaccuracies.

    FX ARMOR PROS
    FX armor is nice. It's sharp, clean pulls. It's more affordable. It's glossy ABS. It will fit larger people (for example t)he calves are sculpted large, so that you can trim them down to fit your legs). It comes pre-trimmed, so assembly is pretty easy (especially if you don't do any modifications like snaps, etc). FX armor is usually made from .080" or .090" thick ABS, so it's good, sturdy armor.

    FX ARMOR CONS
    FX armor is too large compared to screen-used armor. If you're under 6'0" tall, FX armor may not look quite right on your frame, because it's oversized. The ab buttons are too large and inaccurate. The tops of the shins and bottoms of the thighs are inaccurate. The shoulder bells are inaccurate.

    FX helmets are, honestly, just horribly inaccurate. They are 10-15% too large, and the proportions are all wrong. They eyes are too big, the mandibles are too large and bulbous, the flair at the bottom of the back of the helmet is too pronounced, the brow trim is wrong, the earcaps are mis-shapen, and the list goes on. Currently, you cannot get deployment status in the MEPD or in the FISD with an FX helmet. I see the day when FX helmets will not be acceptable for 501st status (but they are currently still accepted). There has been a trend within the 501st of FX armor owners upgrading to a more-accurate helmet.

    If you choose to purchase FX armor, I highly recommend buying it without a helmet, and purchasing a Master Replicas CE Stormtrooper helmet. OR an AP helmet kit. Doing so results in a GREAT looking Trooper. Both of the troopers shown below are wearing FX armor with Master Replicas CE helmets.
<img src="http://alpinegarrison.com/albums/image-cache/2008/%21417_Free%20Comic%20Book%20Day/Free%20Comic%20Book%20Day%20-%2005-03-08%20-%20004_disp640.jpg" width="500">


SCREEN-ACCURATE ARMOR

Screen-accurate armor is just that: Screen-accurate. It has its origins based off of a set of screen-used stormtrooper armor. There are several makes of screen-accurate armor available. The most common are AP, TE (or TE2), and RH-mod. I'm going to focus on AP (Authentic Props) armor here. The photos I'm including in this section were emailed to me a while back by the maker of AP armor.


<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/AP%20Armor/Armor6.jpg" width="500">


    AP ARMOR PROS
    AP armor is VERY nice. More and more 501st members are moving to it. A few Alpine Garrison members have AP armor. If you're around 5'10" tall, AP armor looks just like movie armor. The helmet is accurate, as is every piece of armor. It's usually made from .080" thick ABS, so it's sturdy. AP armor is accurately sized.

    AP ARMOR CONS
    It's expensive (nearly twice that of FX armor). If you're taller than 5'11" or so, it might be tricky to get it to fit. AP armor comes untrimmed, so you'll have to do more work to assemble it. In addition, it's a bit more difficult to assemble.
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/AP%20Armor/Armorkituntrimmed.jpg" width="500">

Finally, here's a comparison pic of FX armor and screen-accurate armor side-by-side (I borrowed this pic from TK409's website):
<img src="http://www.tk409.com/images/anharmor/fx-anh.jpg">


Last edited by jedi5150 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:48 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
*above post edited to fix broken link to hisonic voice amp*


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: FX stormtrooper armor retired
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:28 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
The producer of FX armor has released the new "AM" armor that I posted about a few months ago (http://www.alpinegarrison.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8591) and has ceased production of FX. According to a thread on the MEPD, this renders FX armor retired, and the only sources for FX armor now are recasters on ebay and the like.

The new AM armor is MUCH improved over the previous FX armor (although he's currently still shipping an FX bucket with it). See my other thread for more info, or check out the MEPD and/or FISD boards.


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: FX stormtrooper armor retired
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:57 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Special Operations Apprentice

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 1832
Location: Salt Lake City
Maybe you should clarify the term "retired."

From what I've read, FX helmets are no longer being accepted for MEPD "Deployed" status but FX armor is still acceptable for 501st approval.

-iz

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are not shared by the 501st, Alpine Garrison, or it's command staff.
Image
2011 Spec Ops DL / First Novatrooper Elite


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: FX stormtrooper armor retired
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:08 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
izzi wrote:
Maybe you should clarify the term "retired."

From what I've read, FX helmets are no longer being accepted for MEPD "Deployed" status but FX armor is still acceptable for 501st approval.

-iz


Yep, that's 100% correct. I don't believe they're acceptable for FISD deployment or "elite" status (I think that's what they call it) either. What I mean by "retired" is that the original producers of FX armor are no longer producing it.

I wonder how long it will be before FX buckets aren't accepted for 501st at all......


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:07 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Special Operations Apprentice

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 1832
Location: Salt Lake City
From what I've read, the current LMO has no plans of ever removing FX helmets from the Legion entirely, but encourages people to suggest alternatives when you're helping build a costume that requires a TK bucket.

-iz

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are not shared by the 501st, Alpine Garrison, or it's command staff.
Image
2011 Spec Ops DL / First Novatrooper Elite


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:39 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Imperial Officer Master

Joined: April 18, 2007
Posts: 2932
Location: No.Salt Lake
Age: 78
I dont think they will ever ditch the FX there are too many guys that can't fit some of the smaller ones. Also at least half of the guys in white own one.

We will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the landing grounds, we will fight in the streets and in the fields. We will never surrender. Winston Churchill

Image


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:51 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Actually, according to THIS THREAD on the FISD boards, they have merged their "Stormtrooper Base" and "ANH Stunt" standards into one. And, according to the "ANH Stunt" requirements:

Quote:
NOTE: the FX helmet is no longer considered acceptable.


I've posted a queston on the GML forum for clarification on this. But, unless the GMO overrides this, it looks like the FX helmet may no longer be acceptable....


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:21 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Special Operations Apprentice

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 1832
Location: Salt Lake City
jedi5150 wrote:
Actually, according to THIS THREAD on the FISD boards, they have merged their "Stormtrooper Base" and "ANH Stunt" standards into one. And, according to the "ANH Stunt" requirements:

Quote:
NOTE: the FX helmet is no longer considered acceptable.


I've posted a queston on the GML forum for clarification on this. But, unless the GMO overrides this, it looks like the FX helmet may no longer be acceptable....


This is from the FISD DL. He and I have actually been discussing the confusion this may cause.

Daetrin wrote:
The CRL's are reference only and the GML has full ability to approve costumes. Detachments do not make costume standards for the Legion. This is also clearly spelled out.


In other words it's still up to the LMO and our GML to decide this. Daetrin has not "approved" this with the LMO. It's a standard that was voted on by the detachment and changed in the CRL for the Detachment only, not the 501st.

Unfortunately, their CRL is no longer a flawless resource for GMLs. GMLs now have to keep track of what the Legion allows for approval vs. what the FISD would like to see people approved with.

It also means that as armorer, I also can't use the FISD as a concrete guide and have to communicate more with the GML to keep me up with what the LMO considers acceptable.

-iz

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are not shared by the 501st, Alpine Garrison, or it's command staff.
Image
2011 Spec Ops DL / First Novatrooper Elite


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:46 pm 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
I think that's a problem, because where do we send potential/new recruits for a list of requirements? Yeesh, this CRL thing can be confusing for us, imagine how confusing it is for potential members!


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:28 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Special Operations Apprentice

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 1832
Location: Salt Lake City
jedi5150 wrote:
I think that's a problem, because where do we send potential/new recruits for a list of requirements? Yeesh, this CRL thing can be confusing for us, imagine how confusing it is for potential members!


Yeah. I really respect him, but his solution was for the GML to play a more crucial role, and he was just trying to "level the playingfield" of helmet information... I'm less than thrilled. However, I really can't tell the FISD how they should be running their detachment or writing their guidelines. That's up to the Legion. All I can do is talk to all potential clean TKs myself with an honest approach about their options, and make sure that Spec Ops doesn't repeat the same confusing folly.

Unfortunately, this does mean I can't send potential members there to get all their facts in one place. The GML and I will need to handle it ourselves.

-iz

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are not shared by the 501st, Alpine Garrison, or it's command staff.
Image
2011 Spec Ops DL / First Novatrooper Elite


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:53 am 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Yeah, and that's where the real problem lies. There needs to be a list of requirements to obtain 501st official status, that we can point new/potential members at for a comprehensive list of what they need to do to become official for any given costume.

I thought that's what the intent of the CRL was.... bummer :(


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:53 am 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sith Lord 1st Class

Joined: February 25, 2006
Posts: 959
Location: Depends when you ask.
jedi5150 wrote:
Yeah, and that's where the real problem lies. There needs to be a list of requirements to obtain 501st official status, that we can point new/potential members at for a comprehensive list of what they need to do to become official for any given costume.

I thought that's what the intent of the CRL was.... bummer :(


Agreed.

For anyone who is unaware the Legion Membership Officer, with the assistance of Mark Haskell and myself, is actually codifying the various detachments basic CRL's and getting them back onto 501st.com with the intention of having a base standard for all costumes readily available in a single location. It is being started with the Sith Lords, but should branch out to all the other detachments as well.

http://www.501st.com/crl/index.php

A full entry can be found here: http://www.501st.com/crl/SL_CRL/SL104_T ... dex104.php

I believe Darth Maul is next and will feature our own Shawn Gordon in a lot of it.

Image
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Plato


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:27 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
User avatar
Special Operations Apprentice

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 1832
Location: Salt Lake City
AAHHH!! There are legs in those pants without a torso! Scary!

I knew that project was underway, but it is going to take a while. Has the LMO mentioned the different pictures that would be needed for the Troopers yet?

I'd like to get my Detachment a jump start on the project so all we need to do is hand in the photos and description when it's our turn. I wrote up a VCRL for Spec Ops but it's an armor walk through not a descriptive overview, so it'll need to be rewritten to slim it down a bit for the Legion boards.

-iz

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are not shared by the 501st, Alpine Garrison, or it's command staff.
Image
2011 Spec Ops DL / First Novatrooper Elite


  Profile  
 
Top
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper armor buyer's guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:33 am 
Timberline Garrison
User avatar
Sith Lord 1st Class

Joined: February 25, 2006
Posts: 959
Location: Depends when you ask.
Yes, they are a bit scary aren't they. ;)

That is actually my role to assist with the various detachments in getting these streamlined and produced. I can dig out all the specs but basically we're looking for a clean clear image to represent each part of the costume, listed from head to toe and then accessories, with option items after in both a thumbnail and then a clickable more detailed version (either 640 x 480 or 480 x 640 with attribution for the costumers and photographer on it like in the examples.

Let me know if I can help with specifics or formatting, thanks.


Edited for Spelling :P

Image
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Plato


Last edited by IonicDesign on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

  Profile  
 
Top
Search for:
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Home Page Home Page  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page
1, 2
 >> Next 

Time zone: America/Denver


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum
Jump to:  

cron

The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans.
While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group.
Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm.
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.