- Vintage Stormtrooper head and belly piece
- POTF2 Luke head, upper torso, and shoulder armor
- Commtech Stormtrooper arms (minus shoulder pads) and everything from belt on down
- 2 small 1/2 inch flat-head nails
This figure began its life as my Not-Too-Buff Stormtrooper, whose limbs needed some improvement. Seeing the excellent limbs on the Commtech Stormtrooper, I knew what I had to do. Thus the ANH Stormtrooper was born. In case you never noticed, the Stormtroopers in Star Wars: A New Hope have slightly larger armor (especially shoulder armor and helmets) than their Return of the Jedi counterparts. (Check out TK103's Homebase if you're interested in learning more about the differences of ANH, ESB, and ROTJ stormtrooper armor).
The helmet is from the vintage stormtrooper; it was cut off and sanded on the edges. The helmet sits atop a Luke Stormtrooper head, which was cut down in order to get the helmet on it. The helmet does not come off. The eye-holes were filled in with black sculpey and painted gloss black. Lots of little grey and black details were painted on as well.
The top half of the torso is a POTF2 Luke Stormtrooper's, and the belly piece is from a vintage stormtrooper. The belt, pelvis, and legs are from a Commtech Stormtrooper. I imagine you could also use the belly piece from a Commtech Stormtrooper if you wanted to have some waist articulation. I already had the vintage belly piece from my Not-Too-Buff Stormtrooper, so it was just quicker for me to use that.
In order to get the torso pieces together, I had to do some accurate cutting and laborious sanding. The POTF2 Luke Stormtrooper was first cut right below the belt (ouch!). Then I cut below the bottom of the chest piece, and filed the edge VERY smooth. On the vintage Stormtrooper, I cut around the belly piece; I had to take special care with the top of the belly piece, because it had to be able to fit into the hole in the Luke Stormtrooper chest. To achieve that, a little extra filing was needed on the back of the vintage piece. I think the way that I have two separate pieces of plastic really improves the look of the figure, like they are two separate pieces of armor.
In order to make it look like the chest piece was a separate piece of armor even more, I filed around the arms and painted a black bodyglove. I split the chest piece in half to get in really close around the arms. It was very easy to split since it was only half the top half of a torso. Directly under each arm, I filed away some of the plastic to make the armor look as if it were removable. The arms were not at all lowered. I widened the bodyglove area near the neck and painted that black as well.
The arms are a combination of POTF2 Luke Stormtrooper arms and Commtech Stormtrooper arms. In order to get him to hold the blaster with both hands, I had to cut a small piece out of the right elbow, reglue it, and add some sculpey.
More importantly, wrist articulation was added using the flat-head nail technique I developed for Kir Kanos. Basically, you need to start by cutting the arm about halfway down the forearm, then cutting it again at the wrist. Now the arm should be in three pieces: the hand, the lower forearm, and the top part of the arm with the shoulder peg. Drill a skinny hole through the lower forearm. Place a nail through the hole in the forearm, with the pointy end coming out at the wrist. Then push the hand into the pointy end of the nail and glue it in place. (Before you glue, you might want to paint the cut ends of the hand and forearm black.) Lastly, hollow out a small space at the top part of the arm, so that there's just enough room for the nail's head. Then glue the top part and the lower forearm together, not getting any glue on the nail.
And not to worry. This is NOT the last stormtrooper I'll customize. I'm sure I'll find some way to improve on this figure again. I've considered using the entire Commtech Stormtrooper except for the chest piece of the POTF2 Luke Stormtrooper, plus some wrist articulation. Maybe you can try it out and let me know how it goes.