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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Lee_C_77 wrote:
Mobility is fine. A lot more movement than a tk.

I just think that snaps are more sturdy than paracord knotted. Jimmi put holes in the arm sections to allow for snaps to be fitted. Same on the screen used.

Kind of seems a shame not to use them.


Huh, I didn't know that! Awesome, thank you for the info. Any pictures and guidance on strapping that you're willing to provide would be most welcome. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:36 am 
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Entry #2.1

Minor update today! The 3D printing has started on the electro-bisento. As stated in Entry #1, .stl files were purchased from Empire3D (https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/Empire3Dau).

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Printer is an Ultimaker 2+, with 15%-20% infill. 0.2mm Layer. Since I'm using a university makerspace (which means I have to share space and print time), I have to do everything in piecemeal. I estimate printing to be complete sometime next week (barring any alterations to the .stl files for print space reasons), and then we move on to finishing and assembly. A fellow garrison-member has kindly volunteered to help me with that. :D

Still waiting on the hard parts from Jimmi! Once those come in the real fun begins :)

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:17 am 
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Entry #2.2

Another minor update, since nothing significant has happened as I've been quite busy with work and troops.

Electro-Bisento
As of this entry, 10 of 13 components have been successfully 3D printed, one is in-progress, one is being edited to fit into the print space, and another is being re-printed due to an error in production.

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To provide stability, there is a 21mm/4/5" diameter space for a pipe or a dowel to be put in the middle of the polearm. However, locally available dowels only come in 1/2" or 1" diameters, so I had to take the 1" diameter and sand it down for a good fit.

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and it all comes together like so:

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The blade itself comes in 3 pieces, with connector pieces to act as joinery biscuits of sorts to keep the individual pieces aligned and together. Even when split, the top part of the blade is too big for the available print area so we have to slice the original .stl file and create a slot for a 3d-printed connector.

Even so, when partially assembled I start getting a sense of the scale of this weapon. Its going to be large. (12" ruler for scale)

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Hopefully by the end of the week everything will be 3D printed and I can move on to finishing the 3D prints and assembly of Bisento Version 1. Planned improvements for future iterations include 3D-printing the blade in one piece and casting in resin/rubber for durability, creating the "texture wrap" effect in the handles, and attaching an electro-filament effect as per the movie.

Armour/Carapace and Skirt

Some good news treated me this morning! The esteemed Jimmiroquai let me know that our kits and skirts are on the way from the Philippines. One of the things that make me really excited for this build is that my armour kit will be from my homeland.... it just makes me really happy to know that I'll be wearing armour made by Filipinos, in the Philippines. It might be a bit silly, I'll admit, but I think I can be allowed a little bit of Pinoy Pride. Armour ETA Friday, if fate smiles. :)

[Edit: next Tuesday now! Hope it doesn't take too much longer than that... the anticipation is killing me. ^^;]

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:11 am 
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Entry #3

So much has happened this week, both costume-wise and work-wise, that I haven't really had the chance to update this WIP until now! In fact, so much has happened on the costuming front that I have to split this particular entry into two parts!

Electro-Bisento

All parts to the bisento have been printed and the dowel has been fitted into the handle and spacers. A problem was encountered wherein the amount of dowel support that the hilt gets is not enough, considering the blade + hilt is around 2/3 the length of the handle with only an inch or so of internal dowel to grip onto.

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This was solved by using a drill press to core out part of the internal dowel so I could glue in a second dowel, and modify the hilt .stl file with another hole going up the centre of the part that the 2nd dowel will go into, essentially increasing the available support. It looks a bit like this:

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After reprinting the hilt and some work with the sander and drill press, I glued everything together with e6000 and let dry for 72hrs.

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It looked really good, until I tried to take it out for a little spin (literally!)

https://youtu.be/ZfvLYd0MPsc

Unfortunately, the adhesive failed and this caused the hilt and blade to start sliding up due to centrifugal motion. Eventually it slid up far enough that the only thing connecting it to the handle was the thin dowel, which failed during the final cut in the video. Note that the 3D print itself didn't fail- it was my support structure that did!

I fixed this problem by drilling out the broken dowel and replacing it with 3/8ths threaded steel rod that I cut to size.

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Unfortunately, all this manipulation has caused my hilt to crack, so I superglued the crack and clamped it down after using 2-part epoxy to put everything together.
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I'm leaving it in my workshop for a few days to be sure and if nothing explodes/disintegrates, I'm calling assembly done, and can move it along to surface finishing with XTC and priming/painting.

Undershirt
I finally got off my butt and finished the undershirt with pieces of treated spandex from Stenbrecher Designs. It fits, and more importantly with the breastplate on the armpit gap is right over the areas of textured fabric. (Excuse the confused look I have. I was very tired.)

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That's it for soft parts! Bring on the armour!

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Last edited by Shikkakku on Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:34 am 
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Entry #4

The armour arrived from Jimmi on Monday, November 12. The box was quite heavy since two kits are shipped in the box.
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Unpacking took a decent amount of time (I livestreamed it on Facebook for the heck of it, even!) but after all was set and done everything was there and mostly intact. There was some shipping damage (which I'll detail later) but nothing too bad.

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Also note that if you order two kits together, the ab girdles will probably be shipped inside one another- it'll take some struggling and some scary pushing around of the girdles, but they do eventually come loose!

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Also note that the armour is made of fiberglass, and in its raw state will be giving off fiberglass threads. If you or anyone around you has a fiberglass sensitivity, please take proper precautions and use appropriate PPE (Personal protective equipment) like gloves and a mask if you're doing any sanding. Also suggest getting the internal surfaces sealed ASAP if there are any fiberglass sensitivity issues.

Bucket

As stated previously, I chose Variant 1 (Mando-style) as my bucket. The bucket itself is huge on the inside and will necessitate a harness system for my head. The detail is amazing and CRL compliant. Vision is also great- imagine looking through a woven basket of sorts. Will probably have to plastidip the inside black and install a mesh to make sure my face is hidden.

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Sadly some shipping damage meant some of the front mesh got snapped off. Though some CA glue with a backing of painter's tape fixed that problem right quick.
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Breastplate and Backplate

The breastplate and backplate comes in 4 pieces in total- the upper chest plate, the lower chest plate, the upper back plate and lower back plate.
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Standard method is to slot them together like so, and use snap plates and webbing to keep them together and allow for some mobility.

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Also one will note that there is a lot of excess material around where the parts curve around the chest and shoulders- this is so it can be trimmed to fit. An untrimmed backplate will be prone to having massive armholes (especially near the back) that don't look great in my opinion and isn't screen-accurate.

On that note, when trimming this kit Jimmi recommends using standard aircraft shears:
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They cut right through and don't crack or delaminate the material, though go slow as to avoid a rough cut. Any rough edges can then be sanded smooth.

Ab Girdle

There's really no other way to describe this other than a girdle. Probably the most restrictive piece in this kit, if you're considering building one be prepared to fit in one of these or be comfortable with shimming it (and the corresponding torso plates above it). Be sure to read Jimmi's guide to sizing before you order! I've also noted that I cannot gain any more weight if I want to keep wearing this costume :lol:

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I'm quite happy to report that it just barely fits me...maybe with a 0.10" worth of clearance, if that. I was kind of worried there for a sec!

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(Yes I know the ab girdle is upside down. The more flared end is supposed to be at the bottom. And that I'm using the wrong lower torso piece....that's supposed to be the back one. Guess I was super excited to try things on that I wasn't paying attention, oops!)

Shoulder and arms

Probably the most distinctive feature of this kit are the arms, and are what make us very lobster-like too! The arms come in 10 sections per arm; 1x top shoulder plate, 1x shoulder bell, and 8x nested arm segments.

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The top shoulder plate attaches to the backplate via these two arms, as shown:
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The shoulder bells then attach to the shoulder straps that keep chestplate and backplate together (much like a TK) and should slot right over the deltoid. The arm segments are then secured in sequence to the shoulder bell, either via snaps and webbing, or paracorded knots.

Which arm segment goes in what order is determined both by the size (Biggest one near the shoulder and it gets smaller as we go down the arm), and by CRL. I recommend getting a copy of the CRL and noting the features of each arm section and labelling them Left or Right, from 1-8. What's on one side is usually mirrored on the other (except Segment #3 from top) but keep track of which details are in front and which are in the back. Again the CRL is your friend here.

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I encountered my 2nd instance of shipping damage here- a mounting tab got wrenched off a top shoulder plate. Again an easy fix, some e6000 and weights will take care of that.

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Shin plates and Spats

The shin plates come in two pieces per leg, and they enclose one's lower leg. The spats are those circular things that go over the bottom part of the shin armour and over your ankles and boots.

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Also note these two bars, which are outer-left leg rectangular details as per CRL.

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What we don't get with the kit are the flat masking seams that go over those indents on the side. But any rigid material should do, just cut to size, glue on one end and velcro on the other. Everything slots in like so:

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Now, I have thunder-shins. A lifetime of moving my large mass around means I have large calves. It makes buying boots difficult, and made me worry that the shin armour won't make it all the way around. Sadly, I was correct.

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This is an unacceptable seam, so I have decided to shim the back of the calf plate (no details and will be the most hidden part) using a combination of ABS, fiberglass matting and resin, and bondo. This will be my next task! Not going to lie, the prospect of taking a knife and shears to my not-cheap armour terrifies the heck out of me! :shock: :shock:

Overall I'm super happy with the kit. Its lightweight and fits well. Shipping took around a week from the Philippines to Ontario, Canada. Thank you again Jim for the wonderful kit!

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:22 pm 
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My word , I’ve been putting this off. I blame laziness and an allergy to paperwork, but I haven’t been slacking off in the workshop! At this time, I’m on the cusp of starting the paint job, so I thought I should actually update this WIP.

Entry # 5
This section will be devoted to the shin-shim project. To recap, the shin plates in their factory form did not fit my large shins, so I made the decision to split the back shins right in the middle and install a shim. This was the easiest way to do it as shimming the front will be difficult due to detail, and using multiple shins would take time.

An idea I thought of with the help of my build partners was to use a plate of resin and fiberglass mat as the foundation of the shim, then build up with resin and bondo. To do this, the intact shins would be used as a mold, layered with aluminum foil for removal, and strips of fiberglass mat would be laid down and saturated with resin. If going this route, I recommend getting as much of the back shin as possible so one can have as much material to work with later.

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This was a very messy procedure and required PPE as the fumes were pretty strong.

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After letting cure for a day or so, I removed the shim plates relatively easily.

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I then did my cut in the middle of the shins using a hobby knife, as I didn’t want to risk the snips doing damage to the material due to the curves. I also laid down some painter’s tape to attempt to not scratch the surface. I also recommend cutting through both inner and outer surfaces using repeated light cuts of shallow depth- you avoid having to power through and potentially damaging the material.

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Annoyingly enough my cuts weren’t super clean, but with the filling of the shim I thought it would be okay. The next step would be to do a dry-fit of the shins to see how much of the shim plate will have to be trimmed. To do this I installed the velcro that would hold the shin together. There are many ways to do this, my plan was simply to use e6000 to throw strips of heavy-duty velcro onto the overlaps and clap the heck out of them while drying.

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Note that I advise always placing the soft half of velcro (the “loop” side) on any surface that could come into contact with the outside of the armour, to prevent potential scratching of the painted surface. So in this case, the soft side would be on the front shin plate, since it goes over the back shin plate.

Once this is done, I put the shins on and had my wife Marina help me by using a piece of paper between my leg and armour to mark the width of the shim. I then trimmed the resin shim plate to that width plus 0.5”-1.0” for overlap with the shins. I then used 2-part epoxy to install them onto the shins and hoped to heaven it worked. (Those red bags are rare earth magnets I used as clamps.)

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After letting dry for a few days, I tried them on and my shins fit! Mind you they’re not perfect, and the left shin has a tendency to get caught on my knee and pop out, so I’ll be doing more work later (like adding more strapping to my legs) to get them secure. But for now they fit and I can move around in them.

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Next major step is building up the surface layer and getting everything as even as I can make it. This was done using a base layer of fiberglass resin and some more fiberglass going over the junction between the shim plate and armour plate, just for reinforcement. Thinking about it now, this really wasn’t needed as this plate isn’t structural anyways, but I wanted to hedge my bets. This procedure uses a lot of resin, and I practically slathered it on since I knew I was going to be taking down the high points and using bondo to fill the gaps.

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After letting the resin cure, I sanded down the material using an orbital sander (such a good investment).

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I then applied bondo to the entire thing, allowed it to cure for a day, and then sanded down. And repeated this process multiple times.

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I think I must’ve done at least 3 cycles of bondo-dry-sand until I could be happy with my surface, and then more spot fills. Even so, I still think I will have to do some spot filling with putty during the priming stage. Thankfully the shins will be hidden by my skirt so they won’t be under normal scrutiny, but I still want them to look as good as possible.

I was hoping to avoid having to modify the spats as well, but after trying things on I realize that the shins were enlarged enough to require a modification as well. I made 2 cuts to the spats, one in the middle of the front aspect as the shin area (the simplest area with minimal detail) and one along the circular line to serve as a way to get the spat on in the first place.

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I used some plastic plate (high impact polystyrene) to serve as the foundation of the shim as I had some lying around and they can be shaped with a heat gun pretty easily.

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I then used the same procedure of resin/shim/bondo to build the surface up after attaching the shim using epoxy.

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As for the attachment point, I used more polystyrene to create an overlap where I can install some velcro to keep things closed.

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Upon dry-fitting, there’s a chance the spat is a bit too big, meaning I’ll have to do some creative strapping to keep it on the shin.

After all this was done, and after some more spot-filling cracks and repairs, I added the two rectangle greeblies on the left leg, and the finishing strips on the inside and outside of the shins. The finishing strips were made from ABS, cut to fit and glued to the front plate and velcro-ed to the back plate.

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Next, the upper torso, arms, and helmet!

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Entry #6

Bucket
This was definitely the easiest thing to work with assembly-wise. After the repairs were made to the face grill, I used a helmet suspension system donated by @ebga and velcro to secure it at roughly the height and orientation I wanted my bucket to be. I definitely needed one since it was big enough that I could turn my head freely around in it, and the helmet should sit high enough that enough of the neck seal should show.

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I should note that I only used hot glue for the velcro, so I can remove easily for adjustments and use more permanent adhesive once that’s done.

Breast and Back Plates
This part took some fiddling around with, as proper fit and alignment is incredibly important with the breastplate.

Jim’s kit has a lot of extra material around the shoulders, so in order to have everything fit properly they need to be trimmed. First step was getting a friend (in this case John) to hold everything tight to the body and mark where trimming needs to happen and how much overlap there should be between every plate.

Ideally the cut ends for the top of the breastplate should meet where the top of the shoulder is. Note that any fitting has to happen with the girdle/ab armour on as it sits really high on the torso (the bottom edge of my girdle is right above my navel) and will affect the fit of the upper and lower plates.

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We did have a bit of a Praetorian party that weekend and got most of our initial fitting done.

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Also use this time to mark off the overlap on the sides of the armour, as they have to fit a certain way per movie stills.

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In essence, the front upper plate has to overlap the back upper plate, which overlaps the front lower plate, which then overlaps the back lower plate, as seen in this image:

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End goal is to have the “collar” area of the armour as close to the neck as possible, or else there will be massive gaps and the armour will just look off, and to have the breastplate as close to the body as possible. It should be as tight as possible, and in the end one will definitely need assistance in putting everything on. After I trimmed the top of the shoulders (Terrifying prospect, I triple-checked my marks and fit and ended up removing almost 2”-3” per side, per plate) this is what I ended up with.

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I also ended up doing some trimming on the side. I recommend taking a dremel/sandpaper to the cut edges and smoothing them down for a better look, especially for visible areas.

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Once I was satisfied with the fit (and after positive feedback from Detachment and other guards) I made snap plates out of line 24 snaps and ABS strips, attached them to the breastplates with 2-part epoxy, clamped for a day or two, and snapped them together with webbing.
In total, I used 4 snap plates (Back left, back right, front left, front right) for the top of the shoulders, and 6 pairs (3 pairs for front and back) to link the upper and lower plate.
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Protip: use an old soldering iron to easily melt through multiple layers of webbing. Don’t breathe the fumes (use ventilation) and for all that’s holy be careful of the hot soldering iron tip.
Protip: Make 100% sure your alignment (based off the dry-fit) is good before adding the snap plates.

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Once all the snaps, fitting and trimming is done, you should have a very nicely put together upper torso.

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Ab Girdle/Armour
Finally, the ab armour had very little modification needed as everything did fit. All I did was add single-snap plates to set up a suspender system as the armour tends to slide down.
On a funny note, I expected my belly to be what makes it difficult to wear the ab armour, but I was quite wrong- it was my posterior that the armour needed to squeeze past to get to my torso.
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Suspenders were created with 1” wide red webbing, snaps and some notions from Fabricland. I used webbing sliders to allow for some adjustments.

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Entry # 7

Arm segments

After determining the order of the segments, next step is to determine spacing. Ideally the segments should be as even as possible (with the exception of the segment right beneath the shoulder bell).
An idea my build buddies came up with (thanks John and Jenny) was to get an arm length measurement from the shoulder down to the proximal thumb joint, put that down on a piece of paper and lay out the arm segments such that they cover said length, and then make gross adjustments.

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With an arm measurement of around 22.5”, my segment spacing came out to around 2” between the smaller segments (Segment 8-5 per CRL) and 3” for segments 4-1.

I elected to use paracord to attach segments together, others used webbing and snaps so the decision comes down to the costumer. Instead of using knots, I also used a pass-through loop (another idea from my build buddies, and which necessitated some hole widening), which worked quite well. (I’ll add pictures to illustrate what I’m saying later.)

I did some dry fitting to see how it would look.

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If the costumer elects to go the paracord route, make sure one has enough paracord to go through all segments and the shoulder bell. In my case, per side (there are two paracord “chains” per arm) the paracord was around 45” long, safety margin included.

Shoulder Bells

I thought I was just supposed to add the strapping to this component, but I was informed that with Jim’s kit, the medial aspect (closer to the torso) of the bells were not rounded. Per CRL “There are shoulder bells at the top of each arm, these are flat on the bottom and rounded on the sides.” To fix this, I ended up doing some trimming on that aspect using a dremel, my snips and sandpaper to smooth. How to do this is up to the costumer, but to ensure good cuts and minimal damage to the bells I took a page from tiling and did multiple cuts to break up the waste piece before taking a dremel cutting wheel to it.

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In comparison to an unmodified bell:
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And final result:
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Note that its advisable to use a template once the desired curve is drawn out so one can replicate it for each side of the bell and keep things consistent.

Also do this before you throw on the strapping on the top of the bells… this was my mistake so I had to remove the connecting strap since I had to remove material.

Speaking of connecting straps, I used 2” wide red elastic (again from Fabricland) and glued them directly onto the top aspect of the shoulder bells, using magnets and clamps to ensure good adhesion. Be sure to leave a lot of extra as the elastic will go under the shoulder webbing connecting the front and back torso plates and snap into place.
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In the end, this is what one wants things to look like.
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Top shoulder plates

I didn’t really modify anything on the top plates, other than filling in some surface cracks. The pegs holding them to the back plate was a different matter, however.
Given that I trimmed the top back plate significantly, I realized that I had to do the same to the shoulder pegs. To this end I dry-fit them to the back plate to determine where to cut, then used a bandsaw to cut the component.

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I found out that the things were hollow, and so had to use bondo to fill and smooth out the cut.

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I then used e6000 to attach them to the backplate. It is important that the “wing” where the top plate will attach to is right at the top of the shoulder, as the top plate needs to be right above the shoulder bell.

End-stage Dry Fit

Once I had everything together, I decided to do an interim, end-stage dry fit to see how everything looked. I laid everything out and took some time developing how and in what order to put the armour together.
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With the help of my wife, I put everything on, minus spats (they were still drying), skirt and top bells.

ImageImageImageImage
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Some observations:
1.) I’m not 100% satisfied with how the back looks, as the bottom of the backplate doesn’t exactly match up width-wise to the ab girdle. I don’t think I can because the bottom back plate is right on the top aspect of the ab girdle so to fix this would necessitate some girdle modifications. Looking at the CRL photos, this seems to be a consistent issue. (ref: http://databank.501st.com/databank/File ... dbackc.jpg)

2.) My shoulders seem to be misaligned. It can also be seen in some of my previous dry-fit photos that my right shoulder is higher than my left. Looks like I need a massage or some physiotherapy to correct that.

3.) Oh man I look awesome. I need to finish this kit.

Skirts

I got my skirt from Jim, and while they were already great I decided to do some work on them to improve their fit and make them more compliant to CRL.
Modifications include:
1) Taking them apart and making the waistline smaller as I overestimated my size and underestimated my weight loss when I made the order.
2) Adding a 2nd layer of fabric as per CRL, the skirts “are double-sided.”
3) Adding appropriate stitching per CRL. (“The sides of the skirts are top stitched near the sides of the skirt. The bottom of the skirts have no top stitching. The rear panel is wider and has a center seam.”)

As I could not source the same fabric from Jim as they switched to a new fabric, I went in search for a colour and texture match. Luckily, I found a very close match at Fabricland. While not exactly the same, I rationalized that since the 2nd layer is facing inside, the important part is that it matched the colour.

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Note that the topstitch is 100% necessary to keep the skirt panels from being too poofy.
I’m quite satisfied with the end result.

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With this, I am officially at painting stage. This could either go well in which case I will be ready to submit by end of month, or it could go poorly. Wish me luck, troops. :)

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"Tag and Bink are my ideal Royal Guards"

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:53 pm 
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This is a great build thread and definitely able to help other prospective Praetorian Guard builds. I look forward to how it comes together with a buffed shiny red paint job in the coming weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Joining the Praetorians- Shikkakku's Praetorian WIP
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:07 am 
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CrimsonGuard wrote:
This is a great build thread and definitely able to help other prospective Praetorian Guard builds. I look forward to how it comes together with a buffed shiny red paint job in the coming weeks.


Thank you! That's why I try to detail as much as I can in my WIPs- not only will it help my GML during the submission process, but I really want to help prospective PGs in their own builds.

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TR-ROTS Build Status
--Complete and Approved--

TR-Praetorian Guard Build Status
--Complete and Approved--


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