When comparing Sandtroopers and Stormtroopers, there are a few subtle differences that help distinguish between the two. Starting at the top of the armor and working our way down:
Mask Vents: Sandtroopers do not have vent lines painted on their helmets, while Stormtroopers do
Lenses: Throughout the films, Stormtroopers can be seen with flat (stunt) lenses and bubble (hero) lenses. Sandtroopers always use green stunt lenses
Shoulder straps: Stormtroopers have shoulder strap coverings, while Sandtroopers do not. The 2″ width canvas or elastic strips are seen connecting the chest and back armor plates
Ab buttons: Stormtroopers have a painted ab plate & ab buttons (totalling 4). Sandtroopers do not have an ab plate, the ab buttons are unpainted and total 3
Sniper knee plate: The Sandtrooper sniper knee plate is in the shape of a diamond
Other minor differences may include:
Shoulder Pauldron: In the films, Sandtroopers are seen with colored shoulder pauldrons, indicating rank. In the Star Wars Rebels TV series, Stormtroopers can be seen with shoulder pauldrons too.
Ammo packs: Some Sandtroopers have various ammo backs on their utility belt, and also on their left shoulder.
Field Pack: My personal favorite piece of equipment on the Sandtrooper. I like the field pack because, it adds a little more color to our favorite monochrome soldiers. It makes them look a little tougher with that big pack. I also admire it as a prop. As you will see, some of the most random equipment was used to construct this pack. From plant seed trays, to a toilet cistern, and other strange parts…they were all assembled into a work of art.
I wanted to share my pack build in hopes that it may help others. Some of the ideas are from other Sandtroopers, however, I did incorporate a few of my own during the build. So, this post is a how-to and where-to get your parts for a Sandy field backpack. If you like scavenger hunts, you will love this build. You will pull parts from around the world (literally).
For the frame, I emulated fellow Sandtrooper, Scootch’s build found here.
I used the same type of 1/2″ PVC pipe, elbows, and metal rod. For the bend, I didn’t have a heat gun. I put on a respirator that I use for spray painting and carefully rotated the pipe over my gas stove. It eventually started to bend. I had a protractor and was able to get the angles that I wanted. Once I had the cuts and bends, I secured the frame.
Here’s the metal bar I used from Home Depot:
I rounded off the sharp edges using some emery cloth:
And there was great joy across the land:
Again, I simply used Scootch’s measurements and ideas in the link above, it was spot on.
I purchased my seed trays from Parks Seeds, also an idea from Scootch:
These are great trays, however, if you are going for screen accuracy, the seed trays have 5 “speedbumps” instead of 3 on these. You can put your own speedbumps on the tray using 1mm sheet plastic, leave them be, or, search for “crashmann” over on the Mos Eisley Police Department forums. He sells authentic 5 bump seed trays.
For mounting the trays to the steel bar, and for mounting the accessories to the front of the trays, I continued using Scootch’s method by hot-gluing some oak to reinforce everything.
TUPPERWARE STUFF AND CUPS
For the 2 cups, I went to Target and bought 2 packs of Wet Ones. Yep, another Scootch idea. For the radar dish, I purchased a replacement tupperware pitcher lid from eBay. The 2 “bells” on top of the wet ones were tupperware pudding cups also purchased on eBay.
I picked up a cistern from a Mos Eisley Police Department member: Gordonator, couldn’t be happier 🙂 I told him that I’ve never been happier to receive a part from a toilet. Remember I mentioned obtaining parts from around the world? This piece is from Singapore.
For securing the cistern and mounting the bell/cup, I used Jancelot’s method found here (awesome idea with the magnets to get that mounting screw in):
I picked up a project enclosure at Radio Shack for the tool box. I actually picked up 2 of these…one for the tool box and one for the Sonix Radio.
I picked up the Sonix from TrooperBay. I only used the faceplate and knobs. I attached the faceplate to the Radio Shack Project enclosure. The enclosure comes with a metal lid, I used it underneath of TrooperBay’s faceplate to make it look a little more metallic underneath. I drilled out the speaker area and also the little screw holes around the frame.
Put some screen behind the speaker area and secured it with hot glue.
To secure the faceplate and keep it removeable, I cut off these “nubs” inside of the enclosure with a Dremel cutting bit.
I cut them down enough to secure a few leftover rare-earth magnets from my TD armor build and secured them with epoxy putty. I secured the toggle switches with epoxy putty.
Switches from Radio Shack:
I plan on putting some kind of speaker system in there one day. For now, its just my iPhone with one of those rubber speaker stands.
Got the canteen from Crashmann on MEPD. He was lightning fast with shipping, and extremely helpful. He answered lots of rookie questions and really helped me out.
This was a hodge podge of stuff. Again, I used a project enclosure from Radio Shack:
The other stuff was purchased at Home Depot:
I cut a 1 inch hole in the enclosure so that the PVC could fit in. I sliced off some of that hose with a razor blade and painted it with Duplicolor for vinyl. Regular spray paint and even Plastidip had a tough time biting into this hose.
For the securing brackets on the bottom of the exhaust port, I just cut some left over plastic into strips and triangles, then painted it black.
I used 2″ PVC pipe, some 2 inch PVC couplings cut in half, and some 2 inch PVC test caps to close the top of the couplings. I had a leftover thermal detonator “plate” from my TK kit and just glued it on the side with E6000.
For the shells, I used 3/4″ PVC pipe. I spray painted 5 pennies flat black, cut a few squares of screen and pushed the penny and screen through the shell. Once the penny/screen was where I wanted it, I sloshed some E6000 in the bottom which hopefully secured it.
SECURING THE TOP TRAYS TO THE BOTTOM TRAYS
I used Pandatrooper’s method using zip ties and “L” brackets:
I found this 2″ wide tape at Amazon for securing the bottom blue trays. I used regular electrical tape for the thin strips.
I picked up these alice pack straps on Amazon for $15 bucks.
It didn’t require any drilling to secure the straps. I wrapped the loop end of the strap around the bottom of the back at the side frame and metal bar, then fed the upper strap through it.
Just pulled the top of the strap through the bottom loop to secure it against the side/bottom of the pack frame
To secure the top of the straps, just wrap the top of the strap around the top of the frame.
Feed the end of the top strap into the first hole in the buckle.
Bring the strap back up through the 2nd hole and tighten. To prevent this strap from slipping off, tie a small knot in the end of the strap.
I used some Testors Acryl silver on the Sonix radio. Just dry-brushed some here and there along the edges and places that may get worn. For dirt, I used “Folk Art” brand acrylic paint from Michael’s. I used: Ash (gray color) and Country Twill (tan). I applied it using a folded wet paper towel. I would dab some on scrap plastic until just a little was left on the paper towel and I applied on the gear.
Here’s an easy way to secure your MP40 ammo pouch to your field backpack shoulder strap. Take a 1″ width strap, put some snaps on it, and hand sew it to the inside of your pack strap. It doesn’t need to be neat, the stitching will not be seen. Just make it secure. No more slipping!
Last but not least, I found a light travel duffel at Amazon.com that fits the pack nicely. Obviously not much in the way of protection, but it definitely aids in transporting the pack.