Building the Avonos Classic Stormtrooper Kit [Part 2]

In this installment, I thought I would highlight some of my methods for to allow easier snapping of the parts that have bends and curves.

For items like the arm and leg pieces, there are large curved areas that are tough to get bends started on the score lines. For these areas, as well as corners, I use the snips to create long flat areas that are free for bending and snapping.

Most parts have areas where two edges come together to form a square corner. I like to use the snips to make a cut from the bottom of the formed part right up to the score line. When we do this to both sides, we are left with a straight snap line for easy removal of the excess ABS.

Here I have made two vertical cuts up from the bottom and to the score line at a corner.  This allows for an easier bending of the long strip on the right.

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For parts that have multiple angular shifts along a single side, make a cut up from the bottom towards the horizontal score line at each vertical angle line.  Then simply bend and snap each small piece.

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On some of the larger pieces, it helps to clear away some of the material from the center to create several separately bendable sections.  You’ll notice on this part of the thigh piece I’ve added additional scoring that will allow me to make very accurate cuts with the snips.

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After snipping and removing the corners, use the snips to cut up and near the score lines.  Now you should be able to easily split the sectional score lines up to the horizontal score lines with a light touch of the snips.  Then you can access each new section independently to snap out the excess!

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And today I finally finished trimming all the parts!  If you’re observant you’ll notice that I didn’t realize one of the inner upper arm halves was stuck under another piece and didn’t get pictured…
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Coming in my next post, I’ll cover test fitting and glueing the arm and leg pieces….

Building the Avonos Classic Stormtrooper kit [Part 1]

So I got my Anovos Classic Stormtrooper kit on Friday.

I’m so happy the helmet was a completed part, as that would most certainly be the most challenging part of the costume to build. The painted details are excellent and I’m quite glad I didn’t have to do it myself.

IMG_1454 helmet approval!

 

Trimming the parts:

The parts came fresh off the vacuu-form and need to be trimmed and sanded.  With the rare exception, the cut guides were sufficiently  impressed in the part.  Because the parts are covered with a clear protective film, I decided to use a sharpie instead of a pencil to mark the lines that I would be scoring with a utility knife.  This allowed me to easily see that I was scoring accurately, as the cut would expose the white beneath the black line.

IMG_1473  tracing the score path

Using a utility knife (I happen to have this one and I am quite happy with it) I scored the cut line 2-3 times – be extra careful to make sure your repeat cuts are on the same groove of the first score cut.  If not, your parts may not snap as expected.  On the thinner pieces, 2-3 scores,  would sometimes achieve a cut through the entirety of the material.  On the thicker pieces (like the thigh and calf parts), I would recommend 4-5 score runs.  These parts wouldn’t snap and free themselves as nicely at the others without the additional score depth.

IMG_1469 scoring the material

After scoring, I decided some parts with more solid corners need some help before I could bend them enough to let them snap free.  I used a small pair of metal shears to remove the tough corners.

If you’ve properly scored your cut lines, you should be able to bend the material at your cut line, bend both ways a couple times and the parts should snap free.

IMG_1474  bendingIMG_1476 and snap!

Sanding the part edges:

I happened to have some 230 grit GP sandpaper on hand and decided to give it a shot.  It works quickly to smooth the ABS and it turned out to be a good balance between the amount of material it is able to remove and still leave a smooth finish.

If you don’t have any on hand, a pack of assorted grit sandpapers may be a good idea to get you started.  That will give you the options of quick material removal and the ability for a fine grained smoother finish.

Hold the sandpaper in your hand and run then against the cut edge to smooth the edge down to remove any material left on the underside of the score line.  The instruction manual has an excellent illustration of how it should look before and after.

Fastening the parts:

I’m using the fantastic Gorilla Glue CA Gel as my bonding material.  The gel stays put and allows plenty of time to work the parts before the glue sets up.

That’s all I have for this installment.  I still have a few more parts to trim and sand… then I’ll follow up a segment about how I attached all the parts to make the final costume…

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what I’ve done to my five year old son’s mind. a snapshot. (thanks, George)

His depiction, in LEGO, of the “fire planet where Anakin gets burned up” from Star Wars, The Revenge of the Sith.

Yeah, I should have paused before that scene.  Apparently its viewing has made quite the impression.  I’ll rationalize it as a lesson to him about what happens if you do things that hurt others…