We took a short break from assembling things last week, focusing on some of the tools that you might use when you’re assembling a set of stormtrooper armor. This week, it’s back to business as we start to assemble the legs.

The legs are pretty simple, especially now that we’ve done the upper arms and forearms: they’re basically cylinders that require you to join two halves together.

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As before, let’s look to the 501st Legion’s Costume Reference Library for guidance:

Thigh Armor

For 501st approval:

  • Thigh armor shall be closed in the back.
  • The small ammo belt is installed on the bottom of the right thigh.

For level two certification (if applicable):

  • Thigh ammo belt is attached to thigh with a solid head rivet or fastener in the upper corner and fastened to the lower thigh ridge.
  • The solid head rivet attachment is painted white.
  • Standard pop rivets are not allowed
  • The bottom corners of the thigh ammo belt are rounded off.

For level three certification (if applicable):

  • Thighs are constructed using the butt joint and cover strip method.
  • Overlap construction is not allowed.

Lower Legs

For 501st approval:

  • Greaves close in the back. The trapezoid knee plate (sniper knee plate) is affixed to the left greave and may have two visible brads or rivets securing it to the greave.
  • The AM greaves (shins) shall be on the proper legs, with a new cover strip. The cover strip edge shall be facing the inside of the leg. Note: There is a manufacturer defect with the AM greaves (shins) that may cause you to wear the them improperly. Please see the Tutorial titled :”AM armor shins: the proper way to assemble and wear”, on the whitearmor.net

For level two certification (if applicable):

  • Sniper knee plate is aligned with the ridges on the shin.
  • Sniper knee plate does not have visible rivets or fasteners attaching it to the shin.

For level three certification (if applicable):

  • Lower legs are constructed using the butt joint and cover strip method.
  • Overlap construction is not allowed.

So, there’s a couple of things here. Let’s start with the thighs.

First off, I’m taking to heart some lessons when it comes to measuring. The accurate size of the front cover strips of the legs is 20mm. That means that on each half of each part, all but 10mm needs to be cut off. I’ve got a small ruler and a pencil, which helped me measure out what I needed. I don’t need to be too formal here, because these edges will be covered, but I hit it with a sander to take off any points.

With both sides trimmed down to 10mm each, the cover strip will join together both sides nicely.

With a razor, I cut out a pair of 20mm cover strips. On each half of the leg, I hit the tops of the seam with sandpaper to give it a better bonding surface.

The cover strip doesn’t extend all the way to the bottom - it just goes to the top of the ridge. Clamps hold the ends in place. If I had magnets, this would be an ideal spot for them, because the thigh parts are slightly curved - it’s hard to get an even clamping surface. In place of that, I used some masking tape, which held the parts in the right spot for the glue to firmly dry.

Because these pieces tend to flex a bit more, I reinforced the interior seam as well: an inner cover strip will help reinforce the entire piece.

With the thighs done for now, I’ll turn my attention to the shins. These to together in exactly the same way, and they have the same cover strips.

These pieces curve even more, and I’m doing slightly different this time around to make sure that we have a good seal: gluing one half to the cover strip, and making sure that it seals nicely in the middle.

With the curve retained, gluing the second half on worked out nicely: The cover strip attached right to it, and I used a bit of tape to make sure that it sealed together nicely.

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While I was doing these, I turned my attention to another part: the handplates. Earlier, I spoke about how there’s a difference between the A New Hope handplates and the Empire Strikes Back ones. I had a bit of space elastic, and some time. I trimmed them down and used hot glue to attach loops that will now go around the hands.

At the very least, I now have a back up pair that I can use in a pinch, if my ESB-style ones go missing or something.

Next week, we’ll finish up the legs: they need to be joined in back, and we need to add on the attachments!


Past installments: