Construction thread

Boomer

Jr Member
I first want to send out a big THANK YOU to the owners of this site and everybody here who contributes in one way or another. The ideas and pointers shared here are invaluable and have saved me hours of work. I was initially considering building stormtrooper armor, but MJOLNIR armor looks cooler, imo (and I don't have to build a vacuform machine). Anyway, I've assembled all the parts and finished the initial coat of resin, this week I'll be fiberglassing. Here's some photos of how I'm doing:

[attachment=480:helm1.jpg]

I'm really happy that I got a hot glue gun before building the helmet (been using glue sticks). It went a lot faster and I was able to make better seals. The visor wanted to pop up a bit (bowing from anomalies elsewhere in the helmet), but I was able to bring it back down by gluing a support from the top of the faceplate section to the helmet crown. I haven't cut out the faceplate section because I'm still waiting for my replacement gold ones to arrive, and I don't want to remove too much material.

The next couple of pictures have a legend to let you know what's what:

[attachment=483:group2.jpg]
A: The thigh pieces wanted to flare out and I was afraid of them drying like that, so I attached a couple of strips of cardstock from either side to hold the curve. It also helped to balance the piece while it was drying.
B: The debris on the side of this shin/calf section is what happens when you drop your newly-resined piece on your back step - which sits directly beneath a pine tree. Ah, well, something to sand off.
C: Cans do a great job of holding your pieces upright! I thought about unbending some coat hangers, but all I had were the plastic ones. Luckily, I didn't need to WD40 anything that day...
D: Plastic sheeting from Lowe's - about $5 for a 9'x12' roll. Easy to cut, great for covering your work table, protecting your carpet from curing resin, etc. Yes, the resin sticks to it, but not as much as it sticks to the cardstock, so your piece pops right off.
E: Didn't have to use this can of Lysol, but I included it because it looks older than a lot of the younger folks browsing these forums, haha. Ahhhh...I'm old...<sigh>
F: Expanded butt plate - because the orignal one would look like a poptart on a barn door...
G: Resin - the stuff nightmares are made of - be careful, this crap gets EVERYWHERE.
H: Fan for blowing resin fumes out the back door, because my condo doesn't have a garage, and drying outside beneath above-mentioned pine tree is out of the question.


This is what my kitchen table looks like. Good thing I'm single, no woman would put up with this crap for more than, say, twenty minutes.
[attachment=485:table.jpg]
A: Bag full of stuff to attach LEDs to the helmet.
B: Dremel kit borrowed from a friend.
C: Trusty pair of scissors.
D: Throwaway paint brushes for resin work.
E: Bag 'o Gloves
F: There's some black wire mesh in here I plan to use for the vents along with some PVC I haven't picked up yet.
G: Table salt. Hey, this is my kitchen table, remember?
H: There's a mouse sander in this bag.
I: Hot glue sticks. I think there's a bill under that.
J: Trusty masking tape for reinforcing pepakura, taping plastic to worktable, etc.
K: A big bin full of fiberglassing supplies.
L: More plastic sheeting
M: Hot Fuzz DVD. A must have.
N: Flashlight. 'Cuz you never know when the power is goint to go out, and you don't want to be stepping on your armor curing in the corner!
O: Pliers. For plying...something


Anyway, I'll post more pictures this weekend after I'm done fiberglassing!

Cheers!
 

Boomer

Jr Member
Update: I started fiberglassing, doing the helmet after work earlier this week during failing daylight, and I decided to hold off until Sunday when I can do everything else at the same time. Fiberglass is not something you want to have to clean up more than once! No matter how careful you think you are, you'll keep finding little glass threads all over the place, for days afterwards...

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of the fiberglassed helmet with the visor cut out:

[attachment=537:helm2.jpg][attachment=538:helm3.jpg]

Speaking of visors, I got mine in the mail yesterday and attempted to follow this pinned tutorial. Here's the result, not bad for a dremel-noob (Though the pictures make it look otherwise, the full visor is behind the cutout one):

[attachment=539:visor1.jpg][attachment=540:visor2.jpg]

A couple of the cuts aren't the straightest in the world, but it's good enough for my purposes - most won't even be able to tell unless they're standing right in front of me. I had hoped for better edges, but I found it really tricky to keep the dremel from wandering. And even though I was wearing safety goggles I still flinched at a flying piece of plastic, and so now there's a monster scratch near the bottom (battle damage). After I was done mauling the visor, I trimmed the excess, sanded/filed the edges, and then taped it to my other visor. That part was easy, just the dremel-ing ended up being a bitch.

Production Notes:
Prior to laying the fiberglass in the helmet, I used Krylon Spray Adhesive instead of resin (or hot glue) to hold the cloth in place, and put all of the fiberglass in before even mixing the resin. If a piece was drooping, just a bit more Spray Adhesive, and I was good to go. That way, I could make sure every part was covered without worrying that my resin was hardening on me...

Also, for S&G's I tried the muslin and glue/water technique on a forearm part, to see if it was comparable to fiberglass. I used regular wood glue in a 1:1 water mixture. When it cures (a full 36 hours), it's pretty strong, even just one layer. My only issue with it is that it's still a little flexible. I do plan to use it on portions of the armor that need to be flexible (i.e., the belt portion), but everything else will get fiberglass. Just thought I'd include that for anybody who's thinking of the muslin route - you CAN do it that way, just your armor won't be as rigid.
 

Boomer

Jr Member
An update:

I finished fiberglassing all the parts today (minus the helmet, did that earlier). Spent 3 hours yesterday laying the fiberglass cloth in, via the spray adhesive method mentioned above. It took 4 hours today to coat everything in resin, so if anybody's looking for time to complete that leg of the journey, I figure about 9-10 hours total for the entire armor, fiberglass cloth to resin.

Also, for S&G's I added up the cost of this project to date. I almost peed my pants. Here's the list, in no particular order:
<ul>[*]Mouse Sander, $35[*]extra sandpaper for sander, $3[*]Fiberglass Resin, 3 Qts, $42[*](4) 3x3 Fiberglass Cloth, $24[*]Plastic Sheeting, $5[*](4) Latex Gloves, Pkg. of 10, $12[*](2) Pkgs. of cardstock, $22[*](10) Glue Sticks, $15[*]Hot Glue Gun, $2[*]Hot Glue Sticks, $4[*](2) Gold Mirrored faceplates, $66[*]Helmet padding insert, $30[*]Spandex bodysuit for underarmor base, $60[*](10) Paint Brushes, $10[*](4) Measuring cups destroyed while resining, $4[*]tools for wiring LEDs, $60[*]Muslin, bolt, $24[*]wood glue, $8[*]Protective goggles, $8[*]Spray Adhesive, $8[*]Sealant, $5[*](2) Super Glue, $6[*]Black wire mesh, $10[*]Bondo, $18[*]respirator, $30[*]trash bags for resin debris, $4[*]Other crap I know I've forgotten about, $30[/list]
Grand Total to Date: $545

I still need paint, under-padding foam (will probably use craft foam for that), straps, fans for the helmet, whatever I end up using for the assault rifle portion of the build, and a whole pile of stuff I haven't even thought of yet.

;) Now I know why I've been eating cheap food for the past couple of weeks, lol.
 

cys920622

Member
where did you get the helmet padding inserts? i was going to use a bunch of sponges to make the armor fit to my body
because i can't think of anything better.
 

Boomer

Jr Member
I got this helmet liner from Scorpion Sports (followed a link from somewhere else in this forum, can't remember where it was). It was $29.95 not including shipping. It's due to arrive tomorrow, so I'll post again after I determine how much more work is involved with getting it to fit comfortably in the helmet.
 

Chaosslave12

New Member
I would just like to ask one thing about the visors, seeing as how I will be starting my own project soon. You have two visors, are they supposed to overlap one another and can you see into the helmet? Personally I would prefer to be able to see out and no one else to see in. Thanks in advance.
 

Boomer

Jr Member
The visors are gold mirrored replacement lenses I got off of Ebay here. So long as you don't have a light source behind the lens, people won't be able to see into the helmet.

The lens do overlap - the cutout one sits right on top of the full lens quite nicely. The tutorial for cutting the lens is here. He makes it look easier than it really is, though, haha - the dremal does like to wander around if you're not careful!
 

Boomer

Jr Member
I know I haven't updated in awhile, pretty busy. Anyways, wanted to share a couple of pics and a warning about installing the visor.

First, here's a few pictures of my helmet sans visor:

[attachment=1029:$k1.jpg][attachment=1030:$k2.jpg]

So I go to install the visor (trimming off the ends first) - first I get it into the position I want, then I apply the black silicone around the edges. Everything's going fine, seems like it's going to be a breeze. I set the helmet down to cure and go about my evening (watching Red Sox game). So I'm about to go to bed, check the helmet, and discover the visor has pulled away from the edges!

GAH!

I rip off as much of the old silicone as I can, then reapply. But I need to clamp the visor to keep it from happening again. No clamps, looking for something heavy but won't scratch the visor...hmm...

[attachment=1032:view2.jpg][attachment=1033:view3.jpg]

Yes, that is a bag of flour. I think it'll be okay now. I've got a lot of extra silicone on there, so I'll have to CAREFULLY trim it off once it's cured, I don't dare move the helmet again until then.
 

Boomer

Jr Member
Yah, I got the paint cues from you and tried it because I was so thoroughly impressed (I'm really rusty with a brush and it shows), but had a real, real hard time trying to get the lines straight/uniform. How do you do that? And how do you paint on a curve and make it look so smooth? Mine turned out all wobbly...

However, the helmet has some flaws in it and I plan to redo it at a later date, so I'm probably going to leave the paint job as is. You can't see it, but there's a massive warp in the back near the collar, my dremel job on the visor is not the greatest, and the silicone fiasco will not be completely recoverable.

But I would still welcome any suggestions you might have!
 

rishonritter

New Member
Boomer said:
Yah, I got the paint cues from you and tried it because I was so thoroughly impressed (I'm really rusty with a brush and it shows), but had a real, real hard time trying to get the lines straight/uniform. How do you do that? And how do you paint on a curve and make it look so smooth? Mine turned out all wobbly...

However, the helmet has some flaws in it and I plan to redo it at a later date, so I'm probably going to leave the paint job as is. You can't see it, but there's a massive warp in the back near the collar, my dremel job on the visor is not the greatest, and the silicone fiasco will not be completely recoverable.

But I would still welcome any suggestions you might have!
i would use different spray paints, primers, ect. instead of a brush. and mask off some of the lines you want with tape that wont mess up the helmet in any way. (not the best painter in the world, but works good in my opinion)

as for the warp, visor, and the whole silicone thing, i dont know of anything that might help.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top