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Resistance Pilot - Chest Box Finishing/Wiring Guide
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:03 pm    Post subject: Resistance Pilot - Chest Box Finishing/Wiring Guide Reply with quote

All images in this guide are hosted in this album https://imgur.com/a/VfL04

Finishing a 3D printed Resistance FreiTek life support chest box with optional LED lighting.

End result should look something like this:



Here is a solid reference shot of the chest box. Please note there are no in-cannon references of the LED being lit except on the cover of Empire magazine which may have been done in Photoshop to add interest to the magazine cover. Lighting the box is an optional step but it won’t interfere with approval of the costume as it can be turned off and doesn’t affect the look of the box and button.



-----------------------

Getting the printed box:

There are several choices out there for printed boxes, I think the finest is being sold right here on the RL boards by Gerry Alden - TK6810. -- http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=71722&sid=397c9a4c72301eb76fd106cfc13b37e6
There are other 3d files floating around for this chest box but I’ve not tested them and can’t comment.

Here is a shot of Gerry’s kit as of mid 2016:


--------------------

Getting supplies…

The primers were:
Dupli-Color automotive Grey filler primer
Rust-Oleum High Heat Gray Primer

The paints:
Valspar Gloss Azure Snow
Rust-Oleum Anodized Bronze
Rust-Oleum Smoke Grey
Krylon Semi-gloss white
Krylon Cover Maxx Aluminum/Metallic
Apple Barrel Pool Blue acrylic paint (mixed down with a bit of white acrylic)

The weathering was with Citadel’s Shade Nuln Oil

For finishing the 3d parts you’ll need basic sandpaper including something coarse like 200 to 300 grit and something finer like 400 to 500 or higher. Sanding sticks (about $20 on Amazon) are a very nice to have optional buy to get down into the details of the channels of the box but you can get by fine without. You'll likely want some disposable rubber gloves for working with the bondo and I like to use kabob skewers for scraping bondo out of fine details and for pressing masking tape into corners. Some automotive masking tape or any other quality masking tape will help when you need to mask things off and some small paint brushes will let you brush on the weathering.







-------------------------------

Prepping to paint:

First start with a coarse 200-250ish grit sandpaper to get the worst print lines, irregular edges or leftover trim from the flash on the buttons. We'll be using bondo and filler primer to get smooth so that's not the purpose of this initial light sanding. Be aware these 3D parts are usually made in some kind of plastic and will melt if they are over-sanded, also, most are somewhat hollow with a sort of honeycomb interior and you can sand through if you over-do it.

It’s better to peel the flash off the edge of the buttons by hand and sand the edges instead of cutting them, as it’s very easy to cut into the button itself. You can use needle nose pliers to pinch and twist the filler in the hole on the bottom. It’s a good idea to test fit your buttons now to ensure they don’t require any more sanding.

NOTE: the ridged strip is for the center box and needs no sanding, filler primer or bondo, you’ll just spray it with regular primer later and cut it to fit the width of the center box. I’d recommend waiting to fix it in place till after your sanding is done.



Next use bondo glaze and spot putty to fill in the remaining print lines. I used disposable rubber gloves and a little squeegee tool (or credit card) to apply. Wooden kabob skewers are great to clean excess putty out of hard to reach details. You can always sand what gets in the recesses but it's easier to scrape it out of details and corners before it dries. Spread the stuff on relatively thin, it dries faster that way and you'll sand off most of your bondo, it's just meant to fill in the valleys. Give it an hour or so to dry and then sand again till fairly smooth (300 - 400 grit or higher should work) You could also apply more bondo if you see any glaring print lines and sand again till smooth. When you’re happy with the bondo just brush off any dust and you’ll be ready to spray filler primer.



Next we’ll spray filler primer to fill in any odd lines or holes. The primer is sandable and you can continue to sand with a fine sandpaper to get a smoother surface and of course brush off any dust before painting more. Remember that we’ll be weathering later and most imperfections will be hidden by that so don’t sweat it.

Now is a great time to install that ridged strip in the center box. You can hold this against the rear of the center box and estimate where to cut, I used a wire cutting tool. When it’s sized and ready, just secure it with a bit of krazy glue on either end and a couple dabs along the length from behind.



The filler primer is a light color and will not appear in the finished outcome, it’s only used to smooth things out. Next we’ll shoot our first “color”, the Rust-Oleum high heat primer. I just shot the whole box and all buttons with this but the only areas where it will remain visible is in the bottoms of the channels separating the lower portion of the box.

Now you’ll move on to the most time consuming step of the build which is masking the channels so that they stay dark grey while the rest of the box is shot Azure Snow (off-white). I used automotive masking tape, cut it to the approximate widths I wanted by using a metal ruler and an exacto. I laid that tape into the channels with a slight overlap up the vertical sides of the channels, used a wooden kabob skewer to press that tape sharply into the corners of the channels and used my exacto to cut the tape using the corner of the channel as a guide for my blade. You can run the wide end of your kabob through the channels again to press the tape firmly in place.



-----------------------------------

Now it’s time to paint:

Separate your buttons according to what colors they will get and ready your parts for painting. Test fit all your buttons again to be sure you have them sorted right. When you paint do so in light thin coats to avoid runs and gooping up details.

Here’s the color breakdown…

Main box – Azure Snow (with channels masked)

Center box – Anodized Bronze

Large Square buttons (2x) for center box – Krylon White

Rectangular buttons (4x) for upper right (2 with divets) – Smoke Grey

Medium Square buttons (2x) for upper left – Pool blue (mix pool blue with white acrylic paint till color desired and test before painting) Feel free to substitute if you find a single color you like for this.

Circular button for center box – Krylon aluminum metallic

When all paint is dry just test fit your buttons again and you should have this:



----------------------------

Finishing the center box and backing those buttons:

Now you’ll take some cardboard and create backing for the center box buttons. I just placed my center box over cardboard and used a pen to trace the shape of the inside. I used a hobby knife to cut the cardboard bits and then test fit them in the center box. I created a square backing piece for the top two buttons and a triangle for the rear to leave space for the LED.

If you do not plan to wire your box you may simply glue these cardboard bits in place and move on to weathering. If you plan to wire your LED then glue the square insert at the top of the center box but leave your triangle shape to use as a template that will help with installing your switch.



Now is a fine time to glue your buttons in place. I used a bit of krazy glue on all buttons but left the circular button off so that I could rig up my switch first. Make sure you glue the buttons with the divots into the bottom row on the right side and don’t use so much glue that it squishes out. Most of these buttons fit nicely on their own.

-----------------------------

OPTIONAL – Wiring the LED to a switch:

If you don’t plan to wire your LED to light up then skip ahead to weathering and insert your unwired LED as a final step after weathering.

Wiring the LED to a switch is a fun bit to make your costume pop. The process involves cutting some plastic to be used as spacers and some simple soldering. I did this with no electronics background. You could also wire your LED to be lit at all times and just leave a switch out of the circuit. You could turn on the light by inserting the battery and avoid messing with a switch at all. I remove the center box by hooking an Allen wrench or clothes hanger into the small hole at the bottom center of the box.

Acquiring the parts:

5mm LED

Small switch

1/8 Watt 220 Ohm Resistor

Battery holder

Battery

Wire

1.5mm thick Plastic for spacing/positioning the switch – Improvise here by stacking something thinner if you can’t find something this thickness…

Misc. Tools: electric drill, dremel & soldering iron



First we’ll want to create a spacer that will allow the switch to sit further back into the box and allow the circular button to sink down into the face of the box when pressed. I found a clear plastic box at walmart that I cut up for spacers. It happens to be approximately 1.5mm thick and provides just the right amount of travel for this particular switch I’m using.

You’ll use the triangle shaped bit of cardboard as a template to mark your plastic. I cut my plastic to rough shape with a dremel, glued it in place with krazy glue and made a pilot hole with an electric drill. After I got the hole started I went back to my dremel and shaped my plastic spacer so that it matched the size of the hole in the center box. I took off just a bit more around this opening so that my button could travel freely as I press it to activate the switch. You can also use some sandpaper glued to a pencil to widen this hole manually as that provides a bit more control and could keep you from deforming the circle with a power tool.



After finishing the spacer for the face of the box you’ll need to make one for the side. The purpose of this spacer is to help you center the switch inside the button hole on the center box so make sure to experiment and test fit first so you have a centered switch before gluing. I used two sheets of my 1.5mm plastic to get the right alignment on my switch



Experiment till you get the front of your box/switch to look centered like this:



Before you start soldering it’s good to rough up your switch face with a bit of sandpaper to help the button you glue to it stay put.



When you are ready to solder you’ll wire up your circuit like this with the battery, switch, resistor, LED and back to the battery. The resistor is optional but I think the LED is too bright without it.

Be warned that these switches are plastic and very fragile… Too much heat for too long and you’ll melt them just enough that they no longer function. I know it’s not proper soldering technique, but instead of heating the terminals on the switch and touching my solder to it I just got a glob of solder on my iron and quickly touched it to the terminal so that it could transfer over quickly and not melt the switch.



After you’ve confirmed your switch works (outside the box in case you melted the insides of your switch) you can glue things in place. I put just a bit of krazy glue on each of the corners of my switch and a bit along the side that sits against the wall of the box. After that glue set I put just a bit more glue along the perimeter of the box to keep it secure against the spacer plastic. I inserted the LED, put a bit of glue between it and the box and I left my battery holder free inside the box to make it easier to replace the battery.



I put the smallest bit of krazy glue on the tip of the switch (don’t want to gunk up your switch with glue running down!) and then sat the 3d printed circular button on top of the switch, pressed it down all the way and let it return to ensure good, free travel of the button and the switch and then held it in place a bit to let the glue set.

*Caution* using too much crazy glue can cause the switch to lightly deform and not operate properly... These micro switches are very sensitive and not a very high quality!!! Glue in moderation because I've had functioning switches fail after the gluing step.

--------------------------

Final step, weathering:

I don’t have a ton of pictures here. There are a million ways to weather but I get fine results with just a simple application of Citadel’s Shade – Nuln Oil. I like to paint it on pretty heavy but wipe it off in most places and layer up a bit like that. You could experiment with pigments and different shades of dark wash but this box was finished with Nuln Oil only. I tend to leave a bit more around the edge of buttons where it would be hard to clean in real life and places where dirt and grime would naturally accumulate. I let it pool in the button divots and down in the channel lines. This wash is easy to clean off with Windex so feel free to experiment, remove some, layer and tweak your weathering.



Happy box-making!![url][/url][url][/url]


Last edited by shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder) on Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:30 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Crake Lisgo (Kenny Crawford)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to make this guide cheerleader
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JediXXL (Gil Guemes)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs up
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Master Jeff ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is Awesome Cliff!
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AMP (Tony Perez)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing work!
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HesNoGoodToMeDead ()



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Saved me so much time trying to find matching colors.
I personally find it easier and faster to mask off the bigger parts and do the channels last. But I've also been masking and painting for over 13 years, so I've had lots of practice Pilot
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krieger ()
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! We finished painting ours, just have to glue in the switches today - this really helped and moved fast after the bondo and sanding.
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SeanTX ()



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Were did you find the Valspar Gloss Azure Snow? I can't find it anywhere nor online?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeanTX wrote:
Were did you find the Valspar Gloss Azure Snow? I can't find it anywhere nor online?


If you're still looking I found mine at Lowe's
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SeanTX ()



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did too. I'm up to the soldering. I have plenty of extra parts to make lights for others if I don't mess them up.
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Redwillow ()



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone use a different paint for the main color?

The only valspar azure snow they had at lowes was a different can and different number.

I tried a fairly thin coat of it on the back over my filler primer and it's tacky.

Im really reluctant to do the rest of the box with it.
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SeanTX ()



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valspar has recently gotten new cans but it should be the same color. It is tacky for a while but let it dry for day and it should be good. Mine eventually dried.
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, the photobucket issue has impacted all my pilot guides and someday I hope to fix that.

In the meantime please use this link to go to the album where these pictures are hosted... It will take some work mapping the instructions to the right pictures but it should help.

Chest box album - http://s1060.photobucket.com/user/shadow5606/library/Resistance%20Pilot%20-%20Box%20Tutorial
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thisiskevin ()
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mate, do you mind telling me the dimension of your box please? Smile
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there, boxes we are using are 5 and 1/2 tall, 1 and 1/2 deep and 4 and 1/4 wide.
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