Below is my original flak vest I made for my late crusader kit on July 30th, 2016. It was made from a leather jacket with the leather fringe/tassels. I picked this specifically because my late crusader was geared towards a beast hunter or in this case a mountain man in leather buckskin.

When I tried on my flak vest a few days ago I realized that I had gained some weight and the buttons were super hard for my wife to button up the back of the flak vest. I elected to create a larger flak vest and ended up using the one I wore in the picture below. My arms have gotten too big with muscles and my shoulders broader that I no longer fit in this jacket.

It worked perfectly because it was my mountain man leather jacket with rear fringe/tassels. I liked to keep the same theme for my beast hunter with the larger flak vest.

After the leather fringe/tassels were removed I cut off the long sleeves. Different than my previous flak vest I cut a neck curve to prevent wrinkles in the vest as seen below (2016 vs. 2023).

Seen below sleeves cut off and then neck cut out in a curve. The collar unseen was also removed.

I then lined up my chest plate and used a highlighter (instead of a sharpie as it is easier to blend with weathering to remove) to trace where the chest needs to be attached.

After placement of the chest plate, I worked on lining up where the abdominal (ab) plate would need to be properly spaced. Next were the kidney plates on either side. Since I have gained some weight the kidney plates would not line up in the same place as the smaller flak vest I was replacing. The plates go where my kidneys are situated, back of my abdomen under the lower ribs, one on each side. Then the second set go above those plates.

The photos above are from my armor placement in 2016 for the original kit. Next I worked on making my leather straps from my back apparatus attach with velcro instead of permanently attached with chicago screws. I cut down the chicago screws, so it still looks like it attaches this way. This will eliminate the chest plate from floating from pulling down with the back plate and apparatus. The helmet visor was also hot glued back into place.

Float in chest plate seen below. The new flak vest has additional velcro to make it more permanent as I will just be pulling the straps over instead of chest plate with straps.

I then went outside in full kit to get some comparison shots. Photo on the left is from March 2019 and one on the right is from March 2023.

Photos below are left (January 2017) and right (March 2023) side-by-side shots for comparison. Biggest changes were weight gain in my stomach/waist and larger muscle in my arms. This is why the shoulder bells were replaced as well as replacing the metal spikes for rubber ones once those come.

More comparison shots. Photo on the left is from January 2017 and one on the right is from March 2023.

Photos below on the left is from January 2017 and one on the right is from March 2023.

Photos below on the left is from January 2017 and one on the right is from March 2023.

Pretty excited to have a functional kit that is back in compliance with the Mandalorian Mercs CRLs. Next adjustment will be a larger flightsuit. I was a pretty stiff Mando for these pictures here in March 2023.