Having lots of trouble with gaps

RubbishBin

New Member
Hi everyone,
I'm having lots of trouble with my first build. I'm going for a Reach Spartan with a few different armour types. I've completed the construction stage of the first pair of pieces being the thighs but my armour has HUGE gaps between every piece. Its seriously terrible and unfixable. I feel like the origin of the issue is my cuts. I have lots of trouble making clean cuts. Has anyone else had this problem when they were starting and if so how did they get around it? I try to follow my templates as close as I can but my parts never seem to come together neatly, always with huge seams/spaces. Pics attached.

1523287107042139280991.jpg
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Hi everyone,
I'm having lots of trouble with my first build. I'm going for a Reach Spartan with a few different armour types. I've completed the construction stage of the first pair of pieces being the thighs but my armour has HUGE gaps between every piece. Its seriously terrible and unfixable. I feel like the origin of the issue is my cuts. I have lots of trouble making clean cuts. Has anyone else had this problem when they were starting and if so how did they get around it? I try to follow my templates as close as I can but my parts never seem to come together neatly, always with huge seams/spaces. Pics attached.

View attachment 254685
I'm currently working through a foam Reach Spartan as well so have a little insight into this pain. Your biggest consideration is that the pep file is the surface of the piece and it's generating something of zero thickness which doesn't translate well to foam. You're going to have to look at the assembled model in pep designer, approximate the surface angles so that you can bevel the foam to make flush mating surfaces, not everything is a butt joint face to face.

On the shins there's a tonne of 15° and 30° bevels between parts to make 15°, 30°, 45° and 60° transitions between faces so it's best to work in increments and test fit along the way. I've started annotating my patterns in a different colour along the edges for cut angles and might put something together to make the lives of people following in my tracks a little bit easier. Would that be something folks are interested in?
 

RubbishBin

New Member
On the shins there's a tonne of 15° and 30° bevels between parts to make 15°, 30°, 45° and 60° transitions between faces so it's best to work in increments and test fit along the way. I've started annotating my patterns in a different colour along the edges for cut angles and might put something together to make the lives of people following in my tracks a little bit easier. Would that be something folks are interested in?
That calf/shin piece and the boot look good, the seams looks much tighter and they look to be what I'm aiming for. As for the annotations, that would be immense help, thank you so much, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep aiming for better angles and smoother cuts, thank you!
 

PaiganBoi

Sr Member
For the thighs that you have already built, are you going to try and salvage them? It will be a lot of work, but there is the possibility it can be saved. You would need to use a filler i.e. painters caulk (one that can be sanded) to fill in the gaps, smooth it out as best you can then go over the area with a Dremel or sand paper to smooth out any uneven surfaces.
If you feel that its much quicker to just rebuild the parts and include the proper bevels then you can go with that option as well.
When you find that your cuts aren't as clean as you would like it to be that means your blade has become dull. Foam eats sharp blades like no tomorrow. In that case you have to swap out for a fresh blade. To save money on blades I would suggest investing in a knife sharpener.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
That calf/shin piece and the boot look good, the seams looks much tighter and they look to be what I'm aiming for. As for the annotations, that would be immense help, thank you so much, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep aiming for better angles and smoother cuts, thank you!
I'll do a scan of the labelled pieces later on this week, you might have to decipher my chicken scratch for the first bit until I do a cleaned up vector version further down the road.

For smoother cuts all you need is a steel to keep your blade sharp, I use a cheapo one from a thrift store knife block, and a ruler to keep your cuts straight. If you're doing that you'll notice pieces fitting together easier which is awesome because you'll also need less adhesive. Saving money and everything looking better, it's a win win.
 

Asgardianhammer

Identity Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
1. sharpen your blade between each cut.
2. DO not use Hot glue for your seams. Get some contact cement or Barge. Brush each half and let dry. Once dry then assemble.
3. use high temp hot glue to back fill seams from the reverse side.

These quick tips will help your gap problem exponentially. Also you may do any cleanup using DAP latex acrylic caulk and a wet finger to smooth. This however should be used on a minimal basis as even wide cracks will cause problems in the future.

I recommend watching Evil Ted and Punished Props on Youtube as well for further tips. Both Great videos.
 

Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Just a suggestion if you use tip #3: put some tape on the outside of the foam before you backfill. This way the glue will pool up at the edge and give you a somewhat smoother surface. Painters tape would be best. If you use masking tape it you risk tearing the edges of the foam of pulling the foam from the glue when removing. Same goes for duct tape. Scotch tape won’t work either. It will melt.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Just a suggestion if you use tip #3: put some tape on the outside of the foam before you backfill. This way the glue will pool up at the edge and give you a somewhat smoother surface. Painters tape would be best. If you use masking tape it you risk tearing the edges of the foam of pulling the foam from the glue when removing. Same goes for duct tape. Scotch tape won’t work either. It will melt.
Always test the tape on your foam too! Definitely try it on a scrap first, not all foams are made equal and adhesives on tape come at different strengths which can pull up the top layer of the foam skin and create a whole new fun problem to fix!
 

Drsalmon616

New Member
if you have some gaps that just won't go away i suggest you try bumper filler epoxy to fill it up. it bonds well and is sandable.
 

RubbishBin

New Member
For the thighs that you have already built, are you going to try and salvage them? It will be a lot of work, but there is the possibility it can be saved. You would need to use a filler i.e. painters caulk (one that can be sanded) to fill in the gaps, smooth it out as best you can then go over the area with a Dremel or sand paper to smooth out any uneven surfaces.
If you feel that its much quicker to just rebuild the parts and include the proper bevels then you can go with that option as well.
When you find that your cuts aren't as clean as you would like it to be that means your blade has become dull. Foam eats sharp blades like no tomorrow. In that case you have to swap out for a fresh blade. To save money on blades I would suggest investing in a knife sharpener.
Thanks man, I did end up making another set just because I needed the practice anyway if I'm gonna be making a full armour set. Not sure what I'm gonna do with the old ones, might try to salvage them after I finish this suit. I took your tips on refreshing the blades more often and it definitely helped, I didn't realise that it would make such a difference, so thank you!

1. sharpen your blade between each cut.
2. DO not use Hot glue for your seams. Get some contact cement or Barge. Brush each half and let dry. Once dry then assemble.
3. use high temp hot glue to back fill seams from the reverse side.

These quick tips will help your gap problem exponentially. Also you may do any cleanup using DAP latex acrylic caulk and a wet finger to smooth. This however should be used on a minimal basis as even wide cracks will cause problems in the future.

I recommend watching Evil Ted and Punished Props on Youtube as well for further tips. Both Great videos.
I've watched lots of Punished Props for help, not any Evil Ted yet, so I'll definitely check them out. I've tried to stay away from hot glue or at least minimise it's usage for better seams but I'm definitely gonna be investing in some contact adhesive. Thanks!

if you have some gaps that just won't go away i suggest you try bumper filler epoxy to fill it up. it bonds well and is sandable.
I ended up investing in Selley's Spakfilla which is a weird cream type filler, which tries hard and is easy to sand, so hopefully that should be a help in the long term, thanks for the suggestion!
 

GMer56

Well-Known Member
Flex Seal is good for small surface imperfections. Only problem is getting a nice, even coat.

Could also turn a screen door into a boat if it took your fancy.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
if you have some gaps that just won't go away i suggest you try bumper filler epoxy to fill it up. it bonds well and is sandable.
Bondo is okay if the foam part doesn't flex at all. It works better on things like 3D printed parts and pepakura builds that are fibreglassed than a foam piece.
 

Drsalmon616

New Member
Bondo is okay if the foam part doesn't flex at all. It works better on things like 3D printed parts and pepakura builds that are fibreglassed than a foam piece.
I wasn't referring to Bondo. There is an actual two part epoxy specifically made for plastic car bumpers that is less harsh and wont eat up the foam. It also is slightly flexible.
 

Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
There are other 2 part epoxy brands out there for plastics. Loctite, Devcon and yes Bondo does make a 2 part epoxy. You could also check out JB Weld.....1 part, but still works.
 
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