TROOPER PAGE TWO
To begin, you need to understand that the kit I used - and that 99% of other people use - is NOT a licensed piece of STAR WARS merchandise. It is not authorized by Lucas in any way whatsoever. In fact, George has shut down people dealing in fan-made merchandise like the white armor, arguing it is in violation of copyright, etc. Why would a bazillionaire like Lucas bother to pick on small-time hobbyists and hassle the very fans who made him a gajillionaire? Beats me...
Okay, George doesn't like what you're doing, and you have to decide for yourself if you think it infringes on his rights. So, once you've overcome your moral dilemma, where do you get a kit? They are frequently available on ebay, but you're likely to pay too much there. If you can't find a source for an armor kit on your own, email me and ask me where I got mine (I think it's great and the dealer was first-rate). They run about $600 USD. Watch out for inferior knock-offs! Some unscrupulous dealers have made castings from other people's suits, and they are decidedly second-rate. Be sure to get pictures of the suit you're getting ahead of time to make sure the detail is good and that it's not a copy of a copy. There are two suits that are the most readily available: what used to be known as the Armor F/X suit, and the newer Movie F/X suit from Germany. Each has it's merits and drawbacks - here's a quick comparison, based on the info I've gathered, my experience with the Armor F/X version, pictures I've seen, and a letter I received from someone in Spain who bought a Movie F/X suit:
|Less true in dimension and shape to what was used in the films, particularly the helmet.||Truer to the real thing. Supposedly based on a cast of a real film-used helmet.|
|Comes in one multi-fit size, but not very suitable for the heavy-set, or above-average tall. Best for a thin physique, 5' 8" - 6' 1" tall.||Comes in two different sizes - Medium and Large (but still best suited for thin physiques).|
|Vacuum-formed from very thick, shiny white ABS plastic. Reasonably stable, but will yellow over time from UV exposure. Durable. Pieces come pretty well trimmed. Good sharp detail.||Formerly vacuum-formed from white styrene plastic, I am told it is now made of UV resistant ABS.|
|Instructions that come with the suit are well-intentioned, but adequate only at best, misconceived at worst. For example, they don't tell you to put on the velcro "hook" side away from you to keep you from tearing yourself to shreds.||I am told the instructions are fairly incomplete. For example, there are no directions at all for assembling the helmet. And the kit now comes with ABS cement, but no directions for using it, just instructions for the rivets.|
|Comes with a nice leather right-handed holster (but the real holsters were left-handed because of the design of the blasters).||Does not come with a holster.|
|Comes with ABS cement, lots of pre-made black elastic/velcro straps, yards of white sticky-back velcro WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT USE (see modifications section), a hard hat liner for the helmet, and necessary helmet accessories including bubble lenses for the eyes, aerators, brow trim, edge trim, and decals.||I am told it does not comes with helmet neck edge trim or brow trim or a helmet liner (!). Does include white rivets, velcro, ABS cement, black elastic strapping, lenses, and helmet decals (which apparently don't fit very well).|
|This is the suit almost EVERYBODY has. It's been around for over twenty years. There are multiple dealers of this suit in the USA.||Thanks to a weak dollar, now more expensive than the Armor F/X suit. More unique, as fewer people have these. A relative newcomer, who keeps making improvements. Seems to be only one dealer for this suit.|
Once you've ordered the armor kit, don't think you've got everything you need. There are many parts of the traditional stormtrooper costume that do NOT come with the armor, and many others you'll want to get to make it more functional. A list of some of those items is on the next page. Be prepared that beyond the initial cost of the armor kit, you're probably looking at a couple hundred dollars (or more) of extra expenses.
Trooper Page Three -->
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