Tutorials

In this area, you will find tutorials on how to build the various kits that TMA has to offer. They are as extensive as I can make them, but I understand that you will still have some questions about some steps. Please thoroughly read through the tutorial for the piece you purchased before submitting an email for questions. If you find yourself still having questions, I will do my best to answer in a timely fassion. To get a better look, click the pictures for high rezolution images.

Please also understand that as the customer, you assume all risks and necessary safety precautions when constructing these pieces.

1) DW Gauntlet kits
2) DW Toppers
3) Jango Fett Knees
4) Death Watch Thigh Holsters
5) Helmet Construction
6) Videos

1) CWDW GAUNTLETS V1 BASE


A new tutorial is being worked on and this will be updated soon!


Here is what you will receive in your kit:


(pictured is the V1 Gauntlet set. V2 gauntlets sets are put together the same as follows.)
1 ea. left upper and lower shell
1 ea. right upper and lower shell
2 inset flats

STEP 1:



Trim the flashing off the pieces and smooth as desired for the flats can sit flush. If you so choose, cut out the insets on the upper and lower shells now. PICTURED: Gauntlet parts, clamps, and adhesive.

STEP 2:




I use E6000 glue for all my projects, but you can use whatever is available or whatever you prefer. Follow the directions for the adhesive and glue the flats inside the bottom halves. Leave for the recommended time.


STEP 3:



For this tutorial, I'm constructing gauntlets for a customer with the measurements of 7" at the wrist and 11" at the forearm (7" up from the wrist). For comfort, I increase the measurement by 1", translate to mm, divide by pi (3.14) and use this top make and print round templates to cut out of 3mm styrene. You don;t have to do this unless you have scraps and want to... :)


Line up the centerline with the inside edge at the flats and mark the other side. Do this for all 4 halves of the gauntlets on the front...


...and the back. This is your cut line.


Make your line...


...cut and trim flat. In this pic, Iused smaller clamps to glue the velcro to the flats for the closure method.


This is only one of many methode for closing your gauntlets. You can use magnets or snaps as well. Again, follow the adhesive directions and make sure they line up when clamping together.

STEP 4:



Even after the recommended time for the adhesive to cure has passed, leave them clamped for the next step.


Use a heat gun to GENTLY heat up the flats to make them soft enought to shape the gauntlets closed. Use tape to hold them together until the plastic cools and sets up.

STEP 5:



For this build, I used piano hinges. In my previous tutorial, I simply glued the top to the bottom, and that is still a valid method... however, I personally feel that this is much cleaner looking. Notice the scratch marks on the hinges. This is to allow the adhesive something to grab onto. Use a rotary tool or heavy grit sandpaper to do this to both hinges and the inside edges of the gauntlets.

Apply your adhesive and clamp them to the gauntlet halves. Allow this to set up for the full recommended time.

STEP 6:


And here's the completed basic set with the resin box on the side. For this build, I placed the hinges with the pivot between the 2 halves. It can also be placed to where the two halves are flush with the hinge hidden on the inside, but from experience, this would be better on the Classic gauntlets where one hinge has a removable pin to open that side.


You are now ready to greeblie, paint, and weather your gaunts!

2)TOPPERS


Start with determining which side the toppers will go on. For this build, I'm using the #1 on the right and the #4 on the left.


To attach your toppers, simply lay the topper on the gauntlet and draw an outline. Make a line about 1/4" in for your glue line. Rough that up so the adhesive will hold better...


You have the choice of either simply gluing it on with something like E6000 adhesive, or if you plan on putting in lighting or other additions, you can cut out the inner lined area as I did for a different build.


Apply your adhesive to the gauntlet...


And to the topper...


And clamp together for t a few hours until the glue is fully set.


Personally, I like to add a line of hot glue to fill in the remaining gap, but you are free to use bondo or other filler of your choice. After that...paint and add in the greeblies.

Classic Mando KNEES


This kit includes 8 pieces:
2 main knee bodies
2 inner "F" pieces
2 outer greeblie mounts
2 1" bracers

This picture represents the finished trimmed kit you will receive. Production webbing can occour in areas that will be covered by the plates. This is normal and will in no way affect your build.

STEP 1:




Lay the "F" pieces on the inner flat side of the main bodies and trace where the "F" lays flat. These are your sanding and adhesive guidelines.



Whatever adhesive you chose to use, it is always a wise step to lightly sand where the glue will be. This allows for better adhesion. Sand, apply the glue, and...



...clamp together.




Do the same for the other side.



Allow the sides to dry for at least 8 hours (overnight is the best). Now, in some cases, the greeblie mount will need a bit of "extra bonding help." If this happens, don't be afraid to dab a bit of hot glue inside the area sticking out.

STEP 2:



After the glue has set up overnight, remove the clamps and lay the bracers insid the main body.



They are left long on purpose to ensure proper seating, so mark what needs to be trimmed and...



...trim to fit. Glue and clamp the bracers in place and again, allow to dry over night.

STEP 3:


Here's what your kit should look like when finished!


Enjoy your Classic Mando knees!

Death Watch Thigh Holsters


This tutorial has been upgraded! These new pictures and new instructions reflect the changes made to the molds to make it easier for the customer to construct these thigh holsters.

To start, here is the holster box. Both boxes will be done the same. As you can see, there are molded tabs in the boxes.


Cut the inset tabs out using a sharp knife or a rotary tool with a cutting disk.


On the thigh plates, you can see the new inset slots. Cut these out also with a rotary tool with a cutting disk, or with a sharp knife. They will need to be 3mm wide to allow the tabs from the box to slide in.


Here is what the thighs will look like when the slots are cut out correctly.


Place the tabs from the box into the slots of the thigh plate. As you can see, the bottom will need some extra cutting to form to the curve...


Again with a sharp knife or rotary tool and sanding drum (or ripper bit), cut out just enough to allow it to sit almost flush.


When you have both thighs and boxes cut out, here is how it should look from underneath.


I use a heat gun to gently heat the tabs to press them flat against the thigh. DON'T HEAT IT TOO MUCH!!! The thigh could warp...so use low speed and only heat until the tab starts to curl. That will be plenty to get the tab to bend flat.


All tabs are done!


And here are the thighs from the top. As you can see, the holster boxes should lay flush against the thigh plates with very small gaps...and speaking of...


...just like the old tutorial, I use hot glue to "weld" my parts together. The bottom corners should have a small gap to allow water to drain should you be caught in inclement weather. Also, you can use epoxy or Bondo if you wish, just be sure to follow the directions to ensure a proper result.


Another way of "welding" the two parts together is by making a "styrene slurry." This is done by melting styrene scraps in a jar of solvent. I use Weld-On 3, which is perfect for styrene.


Tape off the areas where you want to apply the slurry.


Apply the slurry with a hobby brush to fill in the gaps.


Don't worry about overage on the tape. This is just a guideline to help avoid gettin gtoo much outside of your desired area. Any accidental glops on other areas of the plastic can be sanded off, but give it about 24 hours to fully dry.


Sand down the plastic smooth and your holsters are complete!

At this point, you may see some small spots that weren't filled properly, but this is easily fixable, so be sure to take your time and have fun!

Enjoy your Death Watch thighs!

Helmet Construction


To start off, your helmet kit will come with all the pieces you need to complet it, with some exceptions. Follow these steps for ALL TMA helmets (DW, NiO, Sabine, and Rebels Male not shown).

HAZARD WARNING: The resin for these helmets is a fiberglass hybrid. PLEASE take all necessary precautions to protect your health, such as wearing protective clothing, eyeware, a mask or respirator, and PLEASE be careful when using any tools (belt sander, rotary tool, knives, etc.)

This first tutorial is for the Classic helmet.

Here are all the parts as you will receive them (ear caps will have integrated magnets and RF bolt is included but not shown)


The first thing you will do is use a cutting wheel to remove the visor area. Because I do this all the time, I invested in a diamond blade, but a standard cutting wheel will work fine. FOR ANY HELMET THAT YOU GET FROM TMA - this will need to be done.


Before or after (it doesn;t matter) the visor is cut out, you will notice that the bottom ring needs trimming.


Make a mark about 3-4mm around the edge as a reference.


Sand down the edge to the line you made. Again, because this is what I do all the time, I have a belt sander, but a rotary tool with a sanding drum works fine as well.


Use the rotary tool with the sanding drum to make all the edges 3-4mm thick. This includes finishing up on the bottom ring (if you use a belt sander) and inside the visor area.


Now, again, your helmet will come raw. As such, it may still have a two-part mold seam along the dome and the sides of the helmet.


Use a light grit sand paper to sand this down. I used a palm sander, but it can be done by hand.


Now you are ready to start assembly of the helmet. I use and recommend E6000 adhesive, but any industrial contact cement, super glue (the gel kind), or two-part epoxy will work as well. Allow the adhesive to set the recommended time before attaching the ears.


I made the investment in these DeWalt C-clamps from Home Depot because they get in the visor area perfectly. If you don't have these, you will need to find something that can apply pressure to the ears as the adhesive sets.


After setting the ears in place, clamp the top and bottom. Don't worry if a little bit of the adhesive squishes out. It's better to hace too much and have to clean it off, than have not enough and the ear not set right.



Repeat for the other side of the helmet and let it sit for around 24 hours for full curing of the adhesive.


After leaving the helmet for a day, use a knive to cut off any excess, drill the hinge bolt hole, and iInsert the bolt... (OLD PIC - magnets are included)


...and washer/nut on the inside. This step can be done at any time, even after painting, so it's not critical at this point and is here to show the process.


And finally (pre-painting) this is what you should end up with...A fully constructed Classic Mandalorian helmet. (The line in the stalk is the metal rib cast into it for strength.)


For the RFs on the DW, NiO, and Sabine, this is as simple as using hot glue in the RF top hole and pressing the stalk into it. It should set up quickly, and any glue that squeezes out can be trimmed off with a knife. You can use epoxy if desired, but hot glue will work just fine.


VISORS:
For all helmets, the visor will come precut but will need some final trim to fit. It is also left a little long to give a little "wiggle room" and will need to be trimmed off after installing. Replacement visore can be found at HomElectric.com.

Use a sheet of blank paper to mark out an outline of the visor area. This can be done by putting the paper inside (shown) or taping it to the outside of the helmet and marking from the inside.


Lay out the template and add some extra space to glue it inside the helmet.


Cut out the template, lay it on the visor sheet, mark with a sharpie, and cut it out.


Lay the cut visor in the helmet and make any marks to do a final trim/fit in the helmet.


I HIGHLY recommend waiting until after the helmet is painted before installing the visor, but this is the process. (Sabine helmet shown)
Lay the visor inside and make sure it sets flush with the helmet. BE SURE TO REMOVE THE PROTECTIVE FILM BEFORE PERMANENT INSTALLATION!


Dab a bit of hot glue (or epoxy) at the bottom. Hold in place and let this set before proceeding.


Dab a bit of glue in the center of the top.


Secure the sides with glue and again, hold in place and allow to set before proceeding.



Once the "tabs" are set, glue around the edges of the visor. You don't need to do the top edge, and it should allow for some air flow while wearing it.


After the glue sets, You should be good to go!


SABINE RF INSTALLATION !

NEW PICS COMMING! The Sabine ears, RF, and Stalk were completely redesigned and new pics of them and their installation are coming soon.


Do you wear glasses?

Try this helmet hack!

Remove the arms from an old pair, bend them to shape inside the helmet, and use a scrap piece of plastic to glue them in place. This way, you won't have to worry about being able to see while trooping!

VIDEOS

Making a Rebels Back Plate mold
Sorry it's a bit out of focus until around 8 mintues.