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  1. ShadoKat's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2014, 8:56 PM - ShadoKat’s Master Chief (H3 MK VI) Mixed Build #1

    (There is a question at the end of this story. If you’d like to skip ahead, at least please check the question… thanks in advance )

    Our story begins at the start of this build, with the helmet, a few years ago after my first sad pathetic SD attempt. Until recently, I never got past the pep stage…



    Apparently my resin can had cured shut, but I hate fiberglass resin, and there was something else I had wanted to try, anyway. Eventually, and lackadaisically, I used some SmoothCast to harden it, and built up enough layers that I could simply shape it by sanding.



    And there it sat, year after year, waiting for something to happen. Then, something did. I got tickets to PAX in April of last year. Then, in late June/early July (or thereabouts), I got this crazy idea to challenge myself to finish up the helmet and build the rest of the suit in time for the event. I started off finishing the helmet... well, not "finishing," so much as "doing as much as I could before realizing I had spent too much time on it and had to move on to the rest of the suit."



    Tried to go the same route as the helmet for the other pep pieces, but slathered the resin on too thick and uneven. Spent two full days doing nothing but sanding, and I think I may have ended up with permanent nerve damage in my right hand from extended use of the Dremel and the power sanders. I spent two months with pepakura, getting only the upper half done before finally giving up and asking for help. Help came in the form of loads of suggestions (from my awesome friends at PDX Company Hood’s Hellions!! REPRESENT!!) to switch to foam. It’s not a bad medium, especially if you want to get something together quickly. With more time and effort it actually can be made to look incredible. Though quite skeptical at first (and I still wouldn’t exactly call myself a convert at this point), I have found that it is very fun to work with, and I have seen some great examples, including those of my foam tutor. The top half, made of pep parts, took two months... the bottom half, which are the foam parts, took two WEEKS.



    Not really any more construction photos after that, until the painting...



    ...which wrapped up at 5am the day before PAX. Worst con-crunch ever. Stayed up until 5AM for nearly two weeks straight (including in the hotel room the night before) with very little sleep in between, but at last I FINALLY had a suit! I don’t have a lot of pics, myself but here are the results I do have…



    I’ve now worn it to three conventions (four as of this weekend) and for Halloween. So, now I’m at a crossroads, of sorts… even though it's wearable, have never really been happy with how my suit turned out, quality wise. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of it, but that pride seems unfounded to me... It was rushed, and doesn’t fit well… most of the foam parts will need to be rescaled and rebuilt, and the pepped parts need a lot of filling and smoothing, and general detail work.

    Now, on to my question! (And thanks for getting this far!) So, I really don’t want to rebuild the entire thing, particularly the chest, helmet, and forearms. Are those parts still serviceable, or do I have to completely start over from scratch? If I try to use them, do I need to strip the paint or sand it down or anything? Perhaps I need only hit it with some primer? Or, do I even need primer? Can I just grab some Bondo (or other filler), and go for it? What's the best way to tackle this?

    Thanks for looking, any advice is appreciated!
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  3. 405th Midwest Regiment Member rickrtickr's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2014, 10:05 PM - #2

    ok here is what i know about this because i have had a little bit of the same experience with my armor. (wanting to improve but not wanting to rebuild)

    first as for the torso (which i have had the most experience reworking) it can be improved without being rebuilt - to an extent. if you did your scaling right and used the some-what common clip areas (which it appears that you have) leaves only 1 task (really) of marking the areas for improvement, and then improving them.

    here are some of the pictures from my rework of my torso.





    as you can see i simply marked the area that needed detail and cut out or filled in accordingly it is that simple.

    as for some of the other hard (pep) armor, you can either use this same method or do this.



    these are an example of how i made my low definition fiber-glassed thighs into high detail thighs using foam. for this method you can use either thin craft foam or the regular eva foam (depending on the depth of the required detail) to manually draw and glue on the new improved design.

    as far as improving the foam parts i don't think i can help you beyond what i have said here (for i think it should be possible to do the same things with the foam that you can with the fiber-glassed parts [minus bondo])

    well i hope this helps you on your quest to find a way to improve your armor

    good luck.
  4. Member Since
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    Jan 23, 2014, 10:46 PM - #3

    Curious, did you happen to make the thighs out of foam to?

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