Sandtrooper TD-2441 Rachel Smith

"I want to buy armour and start Trooping, give me some advice!"

Since Celebration Europe 2007 the UK Garrison has been inundated with queries from the public asking "where can I buy armour, I want to join you guys!!!"

Well my first bit of advice is to JOIN THE UK GARRISON FORUM. But PLEASE do not go on the forum asking "where can I buy armour". We are not allowed to discuss armour manufacturers and sellers on our forums, as they are all unlicensed and our relationship with Lucasfilm stipulates we do not publicly discuss these manufacturers. We can send you PMs if you ask for advice though, or go to the REPLICA PROP FORUM.

For info on all the different armours out there, check out Types of armour and where to find them. This gives you a run down of all the different kits available. If you buy armour in kit form it's cheaper than buying it complete and pre-built, but the advantage of buying kits is that you can build the suit to fit YOU properly, and trim and adjust it to sit on your body nicely. Pre-built kits sometimes are a poo fit.

Use the "Useful armour links" on the left to help you with your build. Ask as many questions to these guys as you like, don't be afraid, they'll all help!!

DO NOT rush onto eBay and buy the first set of armour you see, no matter what the price! Take your time, do your research, and choose carefully - it's a lot of money to spend and you don't want to buy something crap.

If you have seen the Shepperton Design Studios armour (SDS or AA it's called), be aware that this is quite thin and is prone to cracking, so it may not be too robust for carrying around in a suitcase and trooping in. A few people who I know have suffered cracked helmets, chest pieces, and crotch pieces. It's expensive stuff too.

AP armour (Authenticprops) is what I wear. It's super-tough, great looking armour and if you are thinking of converting to a Sandtrooper, the abplate buttons come seperately so you can easily remove them at a later date. Other armours have an abplate buttons as PART of the abplate, which means dremelling them out and glueing in a new abplate section for a Sandy converstion - a messy hassle-tastic job. Below is the AP armour as it comes to you in kit form.

Also beware FX armour, which can be quite big for a lot of people. If you buy FX armour, DO NOT BUY THE HELMET!!! It's huge, oversized and a hideous shape. See pics below for comparison, click to enlarge.

My AP lid is on the left, FX is on the right - look at the shape difference....

FX helmet is furthest from the camera, non-FX lids are mine and the other TDs. Note the huge FX cheek pieces and the bulbous front brow

The Trooper in the front row nearest the wall has an FX lid - note how straight the back of the lid is, compared to my lid which is nicely rounded.

FX lid on far left, other two lids are non-FX - see the difference?

Finally, DO YOUR RESEARCH - learn about all aspects of the armour and fitting/building it. DON'T RUSH into buying it...I know that you will want to start trooping immediately, but if you end up with a set of crap armour that gives you nothing but hassle, you won't be happy and it'll cost you more in the long run.