I WANT YOU! ...To lend me your opinions!

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murishani047

Member
Hey guys!

First off, this is not a "Should I...?" thread. I'm not asking how to make armor (I think I've got that part down, mostly :D), I'm asking you guys to weigh in on what your personal opinions are based on a few criteria I'm going to list. (I hope that didn't sound rude :$) Also I don't intend this to become a feuding thread either (foam is better, no pep is! etc) We're all just having a friendly discussion.

The armor in question would be made for filming. So here are the criteria I can think of (if you think of something else please add it to the list along with your opinions!)

  • The armor in question must retain an accuracy and attention to detail suitable for wide angle and close up shots
  • The armor in question must hold up to the wear and tear of standard everyday movement (basically all armors do this)
  • The armor in question must also be able to hold up to the strain and stress of physical stunts involved with filmmaking (Running, Jumping, Crouching on knees, Sitting, Falling/Rolling, Laying prone)
  • The armor in question must be able to perform with these ratings and require minimal repair between shoots

I think that's all I've got right now. So. What do you guys think? I'm anxious to hear you guys weigh in!
 

peterthethinker

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S386
Print or machine molds to cast in various kinds of plastic . some are flexible some are rigid.
Fiberglass back the parts that are non flex.

The shore hardness and other factors can be used to help this.
downside is budget.... casting a full armor set is gonna be bad!


peter
 

murishani047

Member
Thanks for the input!
downside is budget.... casting a full armor set is gonna be bad!

It wouldn't be so bad for me, being 5'5"and a twig, I wouldn't need a big set of armor, but when the main cast consists of 3 Spartans, one of which the actor is over 6'3" before any armor, that ends up being a costly option!

**EDIT**
I was thinking about making the armor pieces with insulation foam then casting them in aluminum (I have TONS of cans lying around) in a similar fashion to Sandbagger's Iron Man build. It would be heavy, but at the same time be more realistic.
 

peterthethinker

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S386
OH baby! METAL ARMOR!

Heavy is right!. too bad its very hard to foam Aluminum .

If you want tough fiberglass is great and If you make the molds right it can be cheap to make more parts.

Heck use Kevlar! as the glass ( more flex ) or carbon fiber ( brittle but super hard ) .

use pre preg and vac bag it in a oven . ... again its more work but this is how they make CarbonFiber car parts for F1 .
 

murishani047

Member
OH baby! METAL ARMOR!

Heavy is right!. too bad its very hard to foam Aluminum .

If you want tough fiberglass is great and If you make the molds right it can be cheap to make more parts.

Heck use Kevlar! as the glass ( more flex ) or carbon fiber ( brittle but super hard ) .

use pre preg and vac bag it in a oven . ... again its more work but this is how they make CarbonFiber car parts for F1 .

Kevlar armor. Look out, Army! The Spartans are going in! Haha, I thought about also maybe doing metal only on strategic parts, such as the boots, shins/knees, and other points of contact/rough treatment. One of my friends is a sniper, and he wants to make the Reach sniper out of solid aluminum because he WANTS it to be heavy and realistic.
 

AI Blue Fox

Well-Known Member
For the sniper, I recommend checking out the kits available in the marketplace. Expensive, but great detail.

For armor, you are most likely going to have to make two suits.

Pepakura/ fiberglass/bondo will give you the best detail, great for close up shots, but isn't the best for running and jumping. For lots of movement you will want foam, which is hard to damage and great for moving. The only option I can give you other than that is to do it Blue Realm Studios style and make it from scratch out of wood or something.
 

AI Blue Fox

Well-Known Member
If you use plastidip, then the paint should look well. The scenes you use the foam suits would most likely be to fast or far for anyone to notice the small differences.
 

murishani047

Member
If you use plastidip, then the paint should look well. The scenes you use the foam suits would most likely be to fast or far for anyone to notice the small differences.

That is a good point that I didn't think of until after I posted that comment haha.
 

RobTC

Member
This is why they have crowd costumes and hero costumes. The crowd costumes are mostly small and/or out of focus, so you can just do those as nicely-painted simple foam builds- all the detail is in the paint job. Anyone who isn't in the foreground of the current scene wears this. Hero costumes, when talking about shooting, are going to be a mix of materials.

Parts that aren't going to see much action may well be foam. Unfortunately for MJOLNIR armour under battle conditions, that's probably not gonna happen except maybe codpieces if you're lucky.

Helmets should probably be sculpted, moulded and rotocast with chopped fiberglass reinforcement if possible. Probably even using TASK 15 rather than SC 65D, since they'll potentially be getting thrown around a lot more. Transparent styrene vacuformed visors, if possible- I forget if styrene blushes under heat. Otherwise, just PETG- either way, have an easy way to switch out broken visors.

Chest, probably back too, I'd do as a negative sculpt and make fiberglass layups (assuming all the chests are the same) or impregs (with access to vagbagging gear). If you have different ones for each actor, I'd make low-def simple fiberglass reinforced plates and then add sculpted-and-cast details on top. Easy to dump replacement parts for bits that get knocked off.

Shoulders, arms and legs I'd sculpt negatives and vacuform (inherently impact resistant) ABS sheet. Cheap and easy to pull replacements for the parts that'll most likely get damaged.

Boots, probably sculpted and solid cast. Maybe some alu/steel plates.

Undersuit, probably a mix of printed latex and silicone relief.

It should go without saying that finer details are done in metal by default, no dicking about with clay or foam to try and get clasps and interface rings.

TL;DR: Use multiple materials, in accordance with how much abuse a given part has to take and the properties of a given material to form a given shape to begin with. There's a reason that props shops are effectively machine shops/general purpose fab shops. Don't worry about "pep vs foam", that's a smokescreen for armchair quarterbacks.
 

murishani047

Member
This is why they have crowd costumes and hero costumes. The crowd costumes are mostly small and/or out of focus, so you can just do those as nicely-painted simple foam builds- all the detail is in the paint job. Anyone who isn't in the foreground of the current scene wears this. Hero costumes, when talking about shooting, are going to be a mix of materials.

Parts that aren't going to see much action may well be foam. Unfortunately for MJOLNIR armour under battle conditions, that's probably not gonna happen except maybe codpieces if you're lucky.

Helmets should probably be sculpted, moulded and rotocast with chopped fiberglass reinforcement if possible. Probably even using TASK 15 rather than SC 65D, since they'll potentially be getting thrown around a lot more. Transparent styrene vacuformed visors, if possible- I forget if styrene blushes under heat. Otherwise, just PETG- either way, have an easy way to switch out broken visors.

Chest, probably back too, I'd do as a negative sculpt and make fiberglass layups (assuming all the chests are the same) or impregs (with access to vagbagging gear). If you have different ones for each actor, I'd make low-def simple fiberglass reinforced plates and then add sculpted-and-cast details on top. Easy to dump replacement parts for bits that get knocked off.

Shoulders, arms and legs I'd sculpt negatives and vacuform (inherently impact resistant) ABS sheet. Cheap and easy to pull replacements for the parts that'll most likely get damaged.

Boots, probably sculpted and solid cast. Maybe some alu/steel plates.

Undersuit, probably a mix of printed latex and silicone relief.

It should go without saying that finer details are done in metal by default, no dicking about with clay or foam to try and get clasps and interface rings.

TL;DR: Use multiple materials, in accordance with how much abuse a given part has to take and the properties of a given material to form a given shape to begin with. There's a reason that props shops are effectively machine shops/general purpose fab shops. Don't worry about "pep vs foam", that's a smokescreen for armchair quarterbacks.

I really have no idea what the differences are for those materials, but it's nothing a Google search can't fix :) We're still very early in the planning process and we want to take our time and do it right, so there's plenty of time to look into these kinds of things. I can't say I've ever molded/casted before either, so I've got research to do anyway!
 

Thugzz Deluxxxe

Active Member
I would go with L-200 foam. It's like EVA, but it sands way better and it's easier to find in various thicknesses. Plastic is decent for durability, but it gets so much heavier than foam and it rarely ever sits on the actor's body right. It tends to sag and jostle easily when moving. I'm a member of Squidbot Cosplay and we use L-200 for pretty much everything. It's easy to work with, it's hella-durable, but the best part (and I'm speaking from a filmmaking perspective) is that it is so light, it rarely moves around. That's usually one of my biggest peeves about Halo fan films is the fact that the armor just never sits right. The L-200 is so light, it rests where you put it and it's easy to secure using the right harnesses and straps. Also, if you paint it with plastidip, it becomes pretty much waterproof. Here's the RPF thread for my buddy, Sebastein's, Tier 12 Warrior from WOW. He just took it to Blizzcon and was even featured on a Kotaku article. you can do really cool stuff paint-wise by mixing metal flake into the plasti-dip. But most of that build is L-200 foam. He used Worbla as well, but it was mainly to experiment as he'd never used Worbla before.. It's pretty rigid in the sense that it doesn't deform, but it has enough give that it's really easy to move around in. He's extremely mobile while wearing it.
 

murishani047

Member
I would go with L-200 foam. It's like EVA, but it sands way better and it's easier to find in various thicknesses. Plastic is decent for durability, but it gets so much heavier than foam and it rarely ever sits on the actor's body right. It tends to sag and jostle easily when moving. I'm a member of Squidbot Cosplay and we use L-200 for pretty much everything. It's easy to work with, it's hella-durable, but the best part (and I'm speaking from a filmmaking perspective) is that it is so light, it rarely moves around. That's usually one of my biggest peeves about Halo fan films is the fact that the armor just never sits right. The L-200 is so light, it rests where you put it and it's easy to secure using the right harnesses and straps. Also, if you paint it with plastidip, it becomes pretty much waterproof. Here's the RPF thread for my buddy, Sebastein's, Tier 12 Warrior from WOW. He just took it to Blizzcon and was even featured on a Kotaku article. you can do really cool stuff paint-wise by mixing metal flake into the plasti-dip. But most of that build is L-200 foam. He used Worbla as well, but it was mainly to experiment as he'd never used Worbla before.. It's pretty rigid in the sense that it doesn't deform, but it has enough give that it's really easy to move around in. He's extremely mobile while wearing it.

Huh, never heard of that before. Has anyone else tried using it? Just the couple minutes of research I did just now, it seems to be an interesting material to say the least. Pictures of it almost look too flexible, but that's coming from someone who has never even seen it before
 

Thugzz Deluxxxe

Active Member
Huh, never heard of that before. Has anyone else tried using it? Just the couple minutes of research I did just now, it seems to be an interesting material to say the least. Pictures of it almost look too flexible, but that's coming from someone who has never even seen it before

The L-200 can be pretty rigid, if you get it thick enough. However, if you're concerned, you can get L-300 or 400. The higher the number, the denser it is. It's really nice stuff. We have a few weapon/armor tutorials using it on our YouTube Channel. I just think for what you want the armor to do, you want a bit of flex. The Mk IV armor Legacy made for the Forward Unto Dawn web series was, with the exception of the helmet, not rigid at all. It was Poly-Foam cast in Silicone Molds of 3D printed positives. So even though that suit looks like it's rigid, it wasn't at all. Also, if it was, it would be ungodly heavy, and make it very difficult for an actor to do any convincing stunts.
 
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