I’ve been a little behind in actually doing anything in the last week, but this weekend we’ve got some progress!

The suit is almost done: there’s a little more to do, then adjustments. I’ve been working on finishing up the webbing (for which I need more supplies), and I need to do a proper test fit.


So far, I’ve been hard at work getting all the connections put together: the kidney abs and butt can all be connected, and I’ve put together a set of suspenders which will allow this to all be held up.

The thing that I had to do this week however, was small: adding on buttons.

Here’s the CRL for the abdominal plate:

Abdomen Armor

For 501st approval:

  • The abdomen armor has a button area that matches the color pattern shown (3 blue + 6 grey); buttons are approximately 7/16” (11mm) in diameter.

For level two certification (if applicable):

  • Any gap between the abdomen and kidney armor is no more than 1/2” (12.5mm) wide.
  • Any shims used to achieve this effect are of a similar material and color as the abdomen and kidney armor. Shims fit flush and seams are allowed.

For level three certification (if applicable):

  • Ideally there no gap between the abdomen and kidney armor.
  • A single visible seam line is present.
  • Three rivets, approximately 5/16”(8mm) diameter, are present on the left side of the abdomen armor.
  • Note: The original rivets used for the TK armor were bifurcated rivets or split rivets.
  • Rivets are equally spaced along the depth of the armor and about 10mm from the edge.
  • The heads are rounded or domed.
  • Note: Paperclip brads are not considered to have a domed head.
  • Rivets are painted white.
  • A single male snap on the top right corner of the ab plate is present.
  • A single split rivet or brad is present on the lower tab of the abdomen armor.
  • Rivet does not need to be functional.
  • Abdomen armor buttons are integrated and painted directly on the armor.
  • No separate buttons are allowed.

I don’t know if I’m going to need shims just yet, but that’s something that I’ll discover when I test this out.


To complete the basic assembly of this part, I had to glue on a couple of things: two small plates.


These are small, but important, aesthetically. My original armor had these sculpted directly to the armor, but for MTK armor, they’re separate parts. The five button part goes directly onto the center, where I’ve glued it down:


After that, I’ve glued on the four button part. That might require a little more trimming, now that I’m looking at it like that, but I think I’ve gotten it the right size.


I’m going to need to paint up the individual buttons next, which are blue and dark grey. That’s next week’s task, along with finishing up the webbing.

Next week, some paint, more webbing, and a couple of other small things.


Andrew Liptak is the former Weekend editor of io9/Gizmodo. He is the co-editor of War Stories: New Military Science Fiction and hails from Vermont.

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