Little overwhelmed, need some advice...

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by KnavishPlum, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    The summer is almost over and I am about to go to my first year of college, With that, not much has happened with my hopes of working on a Halo suit. Either from bad weather or just a lack of motivation, not much has happened with it. Now towards the end I have motivation again but don't know where to begin.

    I have some foam pieces cut (Reach Thigh) but they just don't seem "good". The cuts are messy, especially the cut in darts. and pieces don't fit together. For others who made foam armor where did you start? And in general since I am going off to college is it even worth starting? One idea is to use the 3d modeled Reach stuff and print parts (my college as 3d printers all over the place, but this isn't a small thing and I already have another project that may be 3d printer heavy as well.)

    I don't know... I want to do this, but I am kinda lost right now as I want to match the quality of the ODST helmet I got nearly a year ago now. This thing has been pushed back for almost a year...
     
    Dirtdives likes this.
  2. PerniciousDuke

    PerniciousDuke RXO 405th Regiment Officer

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    It's doable. Take your time cutting out the templates and tracing them. They will fit (once you cut the edges to be the correct angles) after that it is just a matter of keeping your knife sharp. I sharpen mine with a self healing cutting mat every 12 inches or so. There will still be small gaps and knife snags so you'll need some sparkle or foam putty.

    What are you using for glue?
     
  3. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    Trophy Points:
    935
    Considering you're going to college I'd recommend thinking about this project as a hobby or time filler if you have free time. That way it doesn't kill your motivation if you don't finish it quickly.
     
    PaiganBoi and Dirtdives like this.
  4. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,285
    KnavishPlum, I know how you feel......and I'm going to guess so has almost everybody in the 405th.......Motivation is very hard when you see progress is so slow. You just want to bang out piece after piece and get it done in a week!!!!!.......Not going to happen. You need to pace yourself. Think of this as a marathon rather than a sprint race. Look at the longer view. Take time out of the equation.......work at it from a piece by piece time frame. Take a month or so per piece or pairs of pieces like the boots, shins...ect...ect. are do the best you can w/ each of those. People can take up to a year or even 2 to complete a suit.....foam build even.

    As for "GOOD" cuts, those come w/ time and experience. You definitely want to get a cutting mat like PerniciousDuke said. and a knife sharpener. Get a kitchen one not a stone. those won't get the same edge as a kitchen one. Do you have all the necessary tools and equipment? Have you read through some of the foam-smithing tuts and watched a few You-Tube videos? These may seem like small things....but the information within them are invaluable. Information that you will realize you need as you continue w/ your build......and that is the key....."continue"......take a brake, rethink your plans....hell sometimes you even have to redo a piece, but the main thing is to continue.....don't stop. And you can always come here for advise and inspiration. Knowing that you aren't alone and are facing something that others have faced already, is kind of comforting. Sean Anwalt notion of "Time filling" is a great way to view this as well. It compliments the piece by piece build as you can compartmentalize you build. It will not not seem so overwhelming that way. If you do get in to a rut.....it's ok. Plenty of people here to lend a hand and help w/ motivation and talk you off the ledge.
     
    Elcorio, PaiganBoi and Sean Anwalt like this.
  5. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    I do have a healing cutting mat, didn't know you could sharpen the knife on it. As for glue, I got a 16oz can of weldwood contact cement like two days ago along with some sheets of thinner foam. I think I have most of the tools, since the only other thing can think of is a heat gun, maybe I gotta get some plasti-dip. I do have a question, when it comes to cutting the small darts on pieces, what do you guys do? do you cut the whole thing out or just cut a trench from behind?

    Thanks for the advice, going to college is a main reason in my lack of motivation per say, but I could do some stuff during the brakes we get through out the year since some are like a month long.
     
  6. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,285
    Uhhhhh no....you can't sharpen your knife on a cutting mat....that I know of.......Heat gun is a must. You need to seal the foam prior to painting. Otherwise the foam will suck up the paint and you will be painting over and over a few extra times. As for the "small darts" not sure what you are referring to but a picture might help.
     
  7. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    oh.. maybe I misinterpreted what PerniciousDuke said then since that is what it seemed like to me, any ways.

    The small darts are these things
    dart pic
    I have trouble cutting them out due to how small they can be, so I am curious if it would be better to instead make the angled trenches on the inner side of the foam.
     
  8. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,285
    Ok got ya. So, working with foam gives you a larger amount of leeway when it comes to some cuts.......sometimes you don't have to make them. It is a matter or experience and how the piece looks w/o the cut. Does it make the shape correct or does it keep it from conforming to the proper look of the piece. Sometimes the cuts are there in order to indicate a curvature in the piece that could only be translated by Pep....as a cut. It forces the paper to be pulled, thus giving it a curved shape.....With foam and these small degrees of cuts to create a curve isn't always needed as the foam can be heated and shaped accordingly. Bottom line, the smaller the gap of the cut, the less you need to cut it out and reattach. I know that a bunch of non-cut sections adds to the overall side length of the piece, and may not fit correctly when attaching to other pieces....but that is easily adjustable w/ foam....just sand or cut away a little at a time until it does fit properly. Undercuts.....the angled trenches you mentioned, is another way of getting angles or curves in your foam.....but when it comes to slight curves, you just need to heat it a bit. For harder curves....even 90 degree angels, undercuts are a perfect method to achieve that look.
     
  9. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    ok, I think what Ill do is try a different approach and make the second thigh piece. Ill leave the pieces I have made and use them to kinda figure out the best course of action. Thankfully eva foam is pretty cheap!
     
    Dirtdives and Sean Anwalt like this.
  10. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    Ok, I need some opinions on how I have decided to tackle the thigh and other pieces if this works. The normal Reach foam pep has multiple pieces which I assume are supposed to be cut from floor mat or whatever main foam you're using. It tried this originally with meh results along with having all of the thin darts for curving pieces, it was a mess as you all know.

    Instead I have tried to simplify them, knowing the foam with curve with heat, I have removed all of the darts from the pieces (some darts were cut in the templates to give the right shape before cutting). The first piece to be cut was the front pieces:
    20180804 152202

    A undercut (trench as I call it) may be made to curve the bottom of the inner thigh but this piece will be mostly shaped with heat and from being glued to the other pieces... hopefully... it could warp back...

    The biggest piece is the back/outer side piece as I basically combined the large and smaller ones into a large base pieces that then gets thinner foam layered on top.
    20180804 152155
    This piece may get a trench running along the middle thing on right side of the picture as their is a bit of an angle their.
    20180804 152259

    I think this could work, but I just want some opinions as I am worried about the pieces staying curved.
     
    Dirtdives and Sean Anwalt like this.
  11. Sean Anwalt

    Sean Anwalt RCO 405th Regiment Officer

    Trophy Points:
    935
    Three are a few things to consider about the curves.

    1: you will need to heat it up and bend it, as you've already described. But when you do, bend it way MORE than you need, so the piece will relax into the shape you're looking for. It won't be perfect, and that's ok.

    2: the other pieces attached to the bent one will help keep it in place once they're all cemented together, so be careful in how you attach them.

    3: be very careful to get your seams as neat as possible your first try. Takes a lot of practice, but eventually it becomes easy.

    4: curved hips sink ships. (I read that on a poster on the wall of a naval vessel in a cartoon once.)
     
    Dirtdives likes this.
  12. IPv6 Subnet

    IPv6 Subnet Member

    Trophy Points:
    110
    I would recommend you just put in a few sessions and spread it out over time. Even 15 minutes a day can lead up to hours a week! Good luck on the build!
     
  13. KnavishPlum

    KnavishPlum Member

    Trophy Points:
    100
    Ok, so I finally put the thigh together (was doing stuff with friends before we all leave and its being raining heavily for the past 4 days) and I decided this will be a practice piece, it didn't go together as smoothly as I hoped and some stuff is a little off (mainly the bevels). I think as a first try on a piece that I heavily modified, its a pretty good start. I can see "Reach Thigh" when looking at it. Here are some pictures of it, though I think its a little big even though armorsmith shows differently. Since I couldn't get the contact cement open partly due to laziness and this being a practice, I just used some left over super glue, which held kinda ok, better in some areas. I also deiced to not add the inner undersuit parts because I want to save them for later.
    (Front) 20180815 134954
    (Back) 20180815 134959
    (Side) 20180815 135004
    (Test Fit) 20180815 135103

    I have some ideas on what I want to try based on this piece and looking my spartan model in theater mode. Some stuff is different than the pep. If you guys have any opinions or ideas, please share them.
     
    Lieutenant Jaku likes this.

Share This Page