Master Chief Progress, Thanks


VoidRunner

New Member
Not a question but a thank you to those who've helped me and given great advice.

I wanted to share my progress as although it is slow, it is visible and feels good to get this far. At the moment it is just the base completed, with the details yet to be added and etched in. The helmet is still just an assembled pepakura piece as I'm deciding between making it from foam, or going the longer, stronger molding and casting route.

I should probably have a long hard think about how it's all going to attach together too...
Plus some pieces are a little flimsy, so I might have to remake them with thicker foam...

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VoidRunner

New Member
I'm sorry I don't have more pics to share at the moment of major progress. Time and drive is never around when I need it.
It's not much but here are some quick shots of how the torso is being held together.

I'm using Velcro/Magic Tape to strap it all together. Since the torso is using the pepakura model, it has some extra sections which made it slightly bulkier, but let's me cut through to add stronger connections (completely unintentional). The jets don't sit completely solidly so I put in little hooks on top, and velcro on the back to hold them in place and allow me to remove them.

You can see I've started to pen in some details to get a sense of what to etch and add. There are a lot of little details to etch, or just cut down, which I might try and fake with a mix of foam layers.

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VoidRunner

New Member
A little progress on other parts. I am actually prioritising the wearing of each piece before I go and add lots of details and find they aren't quite the right size, or I can't attach them properly.

That said I have had to cut away a little from the shin guards as they were still rather large. I invested in a cheap pair of rough, black construction trousers to use as the attachment base for the lower armour pieces. Also I figured any alterations I made could be used with future outfits.

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Working on the thigh guards there is a bit of velcro on the top edge inside the foam, and I sewed a ring tag onto the trousers so the guards can be attached to the trousers and there is less worry about them falling down as I walk around. I considered velcro for this, but this seemed the neatest option.

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So the thigh guards are now wearable. I have found that since I used 5mm foam, it is rather flexible and I need to reinforce the seams a bit, though the flexibility works a little in my favour as it means I can get my hands underneath to attach the velcro straps. I might add extra foam details to cover seams on the outside just in case.

I do have a question to pose. From the picture you should be able to see that the thigh guard goes around the whole leg, I'm stepping into these and pulling them up into place. Is this a good way to do this, or would you use another method, maybe switches the inner thigh foam for an elastic strap?
 

FalseShepherd

Active Member
So the thigh guards are now wearable. I have found that since I used 5mm foam, it is rather flexible and I need to reinforce the seams a bit, though the flexibility works a little in my favour as it means I can get my hands underneath to attach the velcro straps. I might add extra foam details to cover seams on the outside just in case.

I do have a question to pose. From the picture you should be able to see that the thigh guard goes around the whole leg, I'm stepping into these and pulling them up into place. Is this a good way to do this, or would you use another method, maybe switches the inner thigh foam for an elastic strap?
It seems like the d ring you have in place to secure the thighs to your belt would be enough securing for the thighs. It doesn't seem like you would need to replace the inner foam with elastic unless you felt like it was flopping around. You could probably pad the inner thigh area with foam or something to make it tighter around your leg of you want. It looks pretty good tho so you might not need to do that.

Also, disclaimer I have not made thighs yet so I don't know from experience just a suggestion.
 

Omega Weapon 7

New Member
It seems like the d ring you have in place to secure the thighs to your belt would be enough securing for the thighs. It doesn't seem like you would need to replace the inner foam with elastic unless you felt like it was flopping around. You could probably pad the inner thigh area with foam or something to make it tighter around your leg of you want. It looks pretty good tho so you might not need to do that.

Also, disclaimer I have not made thighs yet so I don't know from experience just a suggestion.
True, I have done the foam thing on my ODST knees via the Andy DFT tutorial, and they stayed on pretty well, but my weight changed around the pandemic so I almost need less foam in a sense.

Though the knees are a little easier overall, I feel like.
 

VoidRunner

New Member
Apologies for such a gap between posts. I kind of got focused on completing the next step before posting anything.

So right now I haven't adjusted the thigh pieces yet, I'm going to try a full wearing test to see how it all moves and holds together, which I'm actually rather nervous about, I'm hoping it doesn't fall to pieces or tear itself apart.

In the time since the last post I've been adding details to each piece, apart from the shoe covers as I'm not happy with the appearance/scale, and I haven't made the helmet yet, but the template is ready to assemble.

I actually bought some motorcross body armour as I thought it would make a suitable underlayer, with some slight alterations, or wearing a black top underneath...

So here are some progress pictures, first are the shin guards, before and after applying the additions
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Then the knee covers, I'm still considering how to attach these in place. Maybe elastic around the knee joint and a piece attaching them to the shin guards so it's partially connected to stop them wandering.
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I'm really pleased with how the thigh guards came out.
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Here is the butt flap, and stomach plates(?). The plates are certainly more warped than I'd like and either need remaking, or heat gun shaping.
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The arm guards, and pauldron pieces which will be glued together.
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The jets, another piece I'm more happy with
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The back of the chest armour, which really annoyingly, if you follow the 3d model exactly, the top and bottom pieces don't fit together smoothly. In the 3d model they merge through each other. I had to cut away and foam clay quite a bit to slot them together.
And how did I only notice towards the end there is a little pig face and snout :D
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And finally the torso front.
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And if you value clean foam work and tidy seams, no mess. Do not open the spoiler, it's just shows how messed up my technique is inside the chest piece. :oops:
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All the details were either etched in using a cheap soldering iron, or assembled from craft foam, the finer details were stuck together with super glue before contact adhesive was used to attach them to the main pieces.

At this point I'm honestly afraid of hitting anything with a heat gun to seal the foam. The base pieces were done previously, but none of the new pieces. I know I need to do it before painting, but the worry is the unheated pieces will warp. Realistically it shouldn't, but paranoia at this stage.

Also before painting I have to go over each piece and apply some sealent to the gaps in the foam seam lines. I did buy a suitable product this time meant for exactly that, so hopefully everything will look a little smoother and tidier afterwards.

I would be interested to hear thoughts on applying some fibreglass/resin inside the body front & back, and possibly other pieces, for rigidity and durability.

Woo progress!
 

VoidRunner

New Member
So, I'd say that, bar the shoes, the lower body is ready for painting.

I realised that I can attach the hip guards and the butt flap before I put the trousers on, which makes things so much easier.

The butt flap is attached to additional D-rings on the trousers at belt height, with velcro/magic tape, and still lets me access the back trouser pockets.
The shin guards and knee guards are attached together with some velcro/magic tape and elastic, with elastic looped on the knee guards so one holds the other up a bit, without shoes on.

I am very surprised and happy that it's looking as good as it is, though I'm definitely going to need to get a decent belt and braces/suspenders to hold the trousers up against the weight.
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And I'll certainly need some different shoes/boots, no way am I going to be able to tie laces or do anything complicated once the lower half is on. :D





The mains tasks to take on now are:
  • Connect the torso front to the first/upper stomach plate. The 3d model, annoyingly, overlaps the two pieces, so maybe they can be glued together, or attached together with straps, but one will need to have some material carved away to make space.
  • Figure out how to attach the second/lower stomach plate to the motorcross body armour. Velcro/magic tape is an option.
  • Figure out how to secure the shoulder pads/pauldrons to the motorcross body armour. I could glue velcro/magic tape to one of the existing armour plates, or use snap fasterners. The shape isn't easy to work with.
  • Attach the elbow guard to the arm guard, probably with elastic or straps.
If anyone has experience with any of that, I would really appreciate your advice.

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Dirtdives2424

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
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S2424
You could try the old style phone clips.....remove the spring and lock part so it could come off easily.....or you could go with a twist lock with the same button and hook like a carpet mat clip........This way would need a second person to help you get suited up.......but then again most people have a helper already.

And as a side note, your suit looks fantastic so far.....attention to detail is amazballs!!!! Great job. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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VoidRunner

New Member
Ok, so I've progress with attaching pieces of armour to the motorcross body armour. I am using a lot of velcro/magic tape for this build.
The shoulder guards and arm guards are held in place by bits of velcro/magic tape stuck to solid armour pieces. They were fairly snug without however this provides some stability. Especially when the shoulder guards will probably rub/knock against the chest piece a lot.

I spent an awful long time on the boots. My idea was to sew some black boot covers for my bright yellow work boots, but although the sewing went well, it didn't turn out great, at all. So I'm ignoring the boots for the moment and will probably find some cheap second hand/thrift shop black boots and stick stuff to them. Gloves too.

I recently finished assembling a second pepakura helmet to get a sense of shape and cut out for foam patterns.
In the following picture below, number 1 was the first one I made without any changes to the pepakura file apart from a slight scale reduction. The number 2 picture I put through the 3D software Blender to simplify some of the 3d mesh to make it easier to assemble, and also I tried to scale it properly to my head.

Here you can see both assembled card helmets on top of the front armour piece, and I'm not sure which I should proceed with first.
• 1 feels more secure on my head, but that might mean less room inside once I remake it from foam.
• 2 looks more the right size, but feels more spacious inside and loose.
Don't mind the red lines, those are the intended cut lines to break it down for foam patterns.

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Thoughts?
 

FalseShepherd

Active Member
I have never worked with foam but I would say go with the larger one. It doesn't look bobble heady with the rest of the armor and you can always add additional padding inside to make it more snug. By contrast of you make it too small there's nothing you can really do to make it work.
 

VoidRunner

New Member
The helmet has been going well, the entire base is finished with just a few smaller sections to add. This was quite a trial working with foam as it regularly flexed back into it's previous shape, and it was easy to mess up the angles to attach each section, though fortunately as it followed the original pepakura pattern it slowly fortified itself against the bending.

The larger helmet was used as the template and while it does look rather large on the torso it fits my head quite well with just a little loose space. I definitely wouldn't have been able to get the smaller one on. Obviously using 10mm foam removes a fair amount of space inside.

Annoyingly though, because of the flexibility of the foam it isn't completely symmetrical which does bug me. So my thought is, before I start adding and etching small details I can seal all the smaller holes and then apply a few coats of Epoxy Resin to solidify in inside of the helmet and hold it in the correct shape while it sets.

Has anyone tried this?

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And at this stage I have to start thinking about the visor but I have no idea where to start.
 

PlanetAlexander

Well-Known Member
Generally hard coatings (like resin) and soft materials (like foam) don't go together - when the foam flexes, the hard material starts to crack. There's still a couple of things you can do to fix the symmetry:
1. Heat form it. Taking a heat gun, heat up the entire helmet and while the foam is still warm, stretch and compress it to shape to balance out the sides.
2. Take some armature wire (or similar, even a coathanger), and bend it to a shape so that when you put it in the helmet and glue it on, it'll hold the helmet in shape.
 

VoidRunner

New Member
Generally hard coatings (like resin) and soft materials (like foam) don't go together - when the foam flexes, the hard material starts to crack. There's still a couple of things you can do to fix the symmetry:
1. Heat form it. Taking a heat gun, heat up the entire helmet and while the foam is still warm, stretch and compress it to shape to balance out the sides.
2. Take some armature wire (or similar, even a coathanger), and bend it to a shape so that when you put it in the helmet and glue it on, it'll hold the helmet in shape.
That's a good point. I was thinking along the lines that the helmet shouldn't need to flex at all, so coating the inside of the helmet would reduce the chance of cracks in the resin.
I have tried heating it though the results are varied and I'm worried about undoing any hot glue sections if I use too much heat to enable more flexibility before cooling.
The wire idea sounds pretty good, I'll look into that too, hopefully the adjustment isn't too small to be unaffected.
 

VoidRunner

New Member
In the end I did follow through with using some epoxy resin to strengthen in the interior of the helmet, though I tried to only apply it to sections which shouldn't see any bending or flex, so around the neck can still be adjusted a little to allow my head in without trimming away more material. I did tempt fate by hitting the bent jaw line with a heat gun and it worked fine, though the resin helped fix it in place.

Currently at the planning stage for adding details to the helmet now that I've sanded down resin drips and rough edges. I do intend to smooth out gaps with some filler but that is a whole outfit task once I'm happy with the details and fit.

From the pics you can see all the pen marks for details, some I'll use a previous technique of using thin craft foam to fake some depth.

At the back of the helmet the dimension and folding of the foam didn't work properly so I've been left with a rather large gap between pieces. At the moment I'm not too worried as I intend to fill the gap with a small foam sheet, and there's stuff going on around it to distract from the gap. This gap also makes it so I can put the helmet on, and use either velcro/magic tape or magnets to hold the back piece on.

If all goes well I'll try and get a test fitting pic to share, but then it's onto the cleaning up of the foam work, painting, and trying to figure out how to do the visor. Not in that order.

Any tips on the visor?

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VoidRunner

New Member
Well here we are. Finally got a mate over to help me get everything on and it is alright.
Went on fairly well with help, though I've found that movements are rather restricted, downside of using a video game template that can clip through itself.

The main things I need to address are:
• Getting some soft foam into the helmet to brace it against my head, otherwise I'm turning and the helmet isn't.
• Putting some soft foam into the chest and back pieces to hold it more central on my body, it occasionally starts tipping to one side.
• Adjust the shoulder pads, they aren't as high as they should be, but will probably knock into the shuolder section of the chest piece. I might remove part of the foam on the shoulder pad and replace it with either basic or elastic straps and hopefully shimmy it up further.
• Going to need braces/suspenders on the trousers to hold everything up
• Smaller butt flap?

I still need to get some gloves and black boots to complete everything, as well as create the visor.

Once everything is on I'll be relying on other people to tell me if something is off as I can't see or reach around the chest piece :D

I'd appreciate thoughts and advice on this when looking at the pictures. I actually feel like a child in oversized clothes XD

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