Fallout: New Vegas NCR Armor Build (Help?)

DonutTheGREAT

New Member
So I've been planning to build some sort of EVA foam armor for a while now, I have foam heat gun knives basically all of the tools I need but I've had trouble with a few things.

1. I couldn't decide on armor that I liked and would be easy 2. Templates are a pain to find (at least for me) 3. Finding some experienced foam cosplayers that could help with the little things that always pop up.

For a while I scoured the web trying to find a tutorial for the NCR armor along with templates then I realized, why not go to the best and start a thread on the 405th so that's what I did, this may eventually become a build thread assuming I get my crap together and get this going. I hope someone could help out even with templates or something, I really appreciate it.

Thanks, Donut.
 

PerniciousDuke

RXO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Hey there. I don't do foam work, so hopefully someone else can chime in on a good place specifically to start with foam. I should be able to help get you started in general.

1. The title says you're interested in doing an NCR ranger from Fallout New Vegas. That would be a perfectly great place to start. All you have to build is the helmet and chest piece and the rest is just costume.

2. The chest piece could be freehand and lucky for you we have the ranger helmet (a pretty good looking one I might add) over on the old site. You won't be able to access it and I'm not too savvy with that, but Cadet or Dirtdives might be willing to grab it for you.

3. You might be waiting awhile for someone to hold your hand. But, rest assured many people just like you started exactly where you are and they managed to build armor. Almost everything you can think of asking has been asked and answered. You'll find what you are looking for on this site and even more on YouTube. For the little things that come up post them in the Help! Thread. (the one linked to in the New Recruit stuck thread) or post your questions in this thread. While you're waiting for a response try some ideas of your own out. You never know what you can do until you do it.

If you haven't already, click through all the stuck threads in the Foam sub forum and learn all you can before putting the knife to the board. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your Ranger.
 

mblackwell1002

Well-Known Member
umm...here's a guide I made a while back for someone else. I'll add upon it as I go, too: it's really long, so brace yourself!
not all of this will apply to you, but i'll taylor it for you a little bit.

since our archive is down, you may need to wait a week or so to get the files you need, or if you were a member before our move, you can log onto the old site and get em' there. or I can get them for you, if you can't.

so, here's a list of tips from my own experience:

1: for first builds, it's best to go with EVA foam. foam is usually cleaner, and if you want hardened armor, you can still harden foam with casting resin. I would not suggest hardening for first builds, though.

2: for helmets, either 3D printing, or pepakura is best. when you use foam, since the material is thick, it can give the helmet a bobble-headed, or warped look just to make it fit properly.:unsure:

3: for foam; use thick (floormat) foam for the base. if the foam is too thin, it can cause structural integrity issues, and warp the part. for detailing, I use both a woodburner and craft foam from Hobby Lobby to get a detailed part. just remember that if you use a woodburner on EVA foam, get a respirator, and use it outside. EVA releases toxic fumes when heated.
I also detail foam by engraving the foam with a razor blade, then use a heat gun on the surface. this will open up the cut, and give some fine details.

4: when using pepakura, make sure when you use Bondo to always use a respirator. it's toxic.

5: when using pepakura and sanding, it's really nice to have a detail sander, this thing can make the sanding process much less painful, and way faster. I use a Black and Decker 'Mouse' and it works amazing, the mouse has a little extending tip to get little tiny details. (also get a dust mask, the mouse has a dust catcher, but it doesn't work very well)

6: when starting out with deciding what armor you want, start kinda simple, and start a test piece of armor. these test pieces can teach you some valuable information and techniques. experiment with your test piece, and try anything you want. you don't want to accidentally mess up a perfectly good armor part when you decide you want to try something.
I did this once, and I had a bad day...

7: when applying any type of additive (such as Bondo, Epoxy, Etc.)
apply the minimal amount. it's WAY harder to sand material than it is to apply it. I did this VERY recently, and I was sanding for hours. I'll try to save you from the same fate.:D

8: if you decide to buy an undersuit, get one with a zipper in the FRONT.
if you have to pee during a convention, you will have to take ALL your armor off before you can go pee. you might even pee in your undersuit if you wait too long...
You've been warned!:p

9: pay good attention to other people's build threads. they will usually share good Ideas about how to go about making certain parts of a build.
it could come in handy. just sayin'

10: if you need anything, just let me know. I'm here to help people get the best out of this site, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do.:)
also, if you want cool 3D models for 3D printing, tell me! I'm working on a whole arsenal of Halo 5 stuff for the community. if you'd like to suggest one, let me know!

11: ask questions, be curious on threads. If you want to know something, ask the thread owner, and you may learn something new.

12: for cutting foam, keep your knife super sharp, especially if you want to make angled edges. they will get dull fast, so keep em' sharp!

best of luck!
 

DonutTheGREAT

New Member
Thanks, I have the foam the chest template and the pepakura for the helmet, I think I'll do the helmet last as it will more that likely the most painful part. The chest is scaled already I just need to scale the helmet (if anyone needs the files I will post them here) as far as cutting the foam goes should I use a band saw? I tried a scrap piece today and found it makes pretty clean cuts.

If all goes well and I'm not busy tomorrow I might start layout and prep to begin cutting out the chest piece. Another thing if anyone has advice about strapping on the chest and foam inserts for the helmet let me know.

Thanks and can't wait to get this started, Donut.
 

nerdman234

Jr Member
I've had an NCR Ranger costume I've been working on for awhile now and came across a few of your problems.

Thanks, I have the foam the chest template and the pepakura for the helmet, I think I'll do the helmet last as it will more that likely the most painful part.
I totally agree, the helmet is definitely the hardest and I'm on my third try now. It may take a couple tries to get it where you like it, but make sure to redo parts if fudge the cutting. It will really show later. If you aren't very experienced with foam (like I was and am), I'd look up Evil Ted Smith and Punished Props on YouTube.

...as far as cutting the foam goes should I use a band saw? I tried a scrap piece today and found it makes pretty clean cuts.
Tested did a video on using a bandsaw for foam the other day. They used a fancy blade, but if it worked well with your's, use it. I've always preferred a hotknife or razor, but if I had more consistent access to a bandsaw I'd use it.
Another thing if anyone has advice about strapping on the chest and foam inserts for the helmet let me know.
Look up chest protectors for catchers (baseball). It's two straps attached to each of the four corners that meet in the middle like an "X".

Good Luck!
 
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