So, it's finally come to pass. My clone trooper is now, officially done. Earlier today, I found that the suit is 501st approved, almost a full year in the making.
This has been a far more troublesome, difficult and rewarding project over the past 12 months. A year ago next week, I decided to purchase an armor kit, with the intent to finish up a workable Clone Trooper by the time that the movie came out. Obviously, the project has been far more time consuming than I thought, and over the build period, I've gained a far different appreciation for armor and the 501st.
Armor making is hard stuff. I didn't even make the armor, I just got a rough kit. But even there, there was a lot of things that went into this. The armor needed to be trimmed. A helmet was built, then rejected and replaced. There was much gluing, then painting. Deadlines were pushed back, and I've shaved years off of my life, no doubt, because of the paint, glue and bondo fumes. Then the approval process, where numerous tweaks were needed, and the regular maintainence and improvements will undoubtably continue for some time.
Still, it was a worthwhile project. It kept my mind off of things when I had a rough year, and I'm ultimately very proud of the thing that I've put together, and I'm grateful at the praise that I've recieved for it at troops from other troopers, but also from the people who see me in the street with it on. The next step will most likely be converting the entire guy over to Commander Bly, but I don't know when that will happen.
See the entire progress here.