New Armor Builder

Aeon

New Member
First, a quick introduction for myself... My name's Andy and I've been in the prop and collecting world for well over 9 years now. I'm a member over at the Replica Prop Forum like Adam and have been building replica lightsabers, sci-fi armor and worked on several costuming projects in the past.

This project is actually my first attempt at Halo related items. I've always had an itch to start building my own Mjolnir armor, but I never got the project off the ground until my brother and his friends shoved Halo 3 into my face with their X-Box 360... which was like 3 weeks ago. Since then, I went straight to work on making this armor realized.

Before the accuracy purists nit-pick, I would just like to mention that this project was started earlier this month and it's been about 3 weeks of work. I had to cut back on certain detailing to try and make this armor possible by Halloween. Unfortunately, due to school and work, I won't be able to finish this armor on time for this Wednesday.

As for construction details... I spent about 2 weeks working out sizing and prototyping the overall shape and dimensions of the armor using reference photos of other fan made armor and resized images of the video game stills. The measurements I used for my armor are scaled to my own dimensions by eye. I prototyped using regular corrugated cardboard and then transposed them onto tracing paper to create stencils for my molds. My intent is to vacuum form the armor from .060 and .080 high impact polystyrene plastic.

I decided to build my vac molds from mat boarding (inspired by Chris Bryan's armor on the Bungie and other Mjolnir Armor sites) and fill it with expanding foam. The pieces were cut using a box cutter and a T-square and glued together using hot glue. I plan on filling it up with X-30 expanding foam TAP Plastics to fill in the hollow void. I used expanding foam in the past and it worked terrific on test pulls I did for past projects so I know it should work great for the bucks I'm making. I also plan on making Hydrocal casts of my molds after the first couple of pulls are taken from this mat board set. That way I can have good, durable bucks to use later on down the road for future sets of armor.

Here are a few photos of the chest mold I created so far. I still plan on detailing the piece a little more before finalizing it and filling it up with expanding foam. I will have more photos of the other pieces later on into the week. Hopefully I can put together a tutorial for you guys later in November as to how you can build armor this way too. Hope you guys enjoy!








-Andy
 

Aeon

New Member
Thanks for the comments guys!

Here are new pics...

The vacuum table and chest armor:


Side view of the helmet:


Helmet size compared to the chest:


-Andy
 

Sean Bradley

Sr Member
Looks great man, good job!

Glad to see that someone here still has the patience to vacuum form.

Keep us updated.
 

falcon NL

Well-Known Member
Looks great!

I'm not sure but I'm guessing you are the first to make a quality mjolnir armor that is vacuum formed, so I'm very impressed with this. I know that westerfield also produce vacuum formed suits but they are not that accurate.

If you could pull this off (yes thats a joke ;)) this would be a great way to make a large amount of armors. Stormtrooper costumes are build this way for a long time, thats why there are so many of them.
 

Aeon

New Member
Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments.

I'm hoping this armor comes out as I hope it will. I did some work with Stormtrooper and USCM armor in past, so I got a basic idea on how to fit the armor and trim it and such.

Just in case anyone was wondering, the vacuum form setup was built specifically to accomodate this armor build. I had an older setup that is just too small for this kind of work, so I built a new table from stuff I picked up in a scrap bin at a lumber yard. The vacuum of choice is a 6.25HP shop vac, so I'm hoping I get the extra kick (or suction in this case) for the finer details to get picked up. I originally wanted to do fiberglass armor, but then I remembered that I live in a tiny cramp apartment, so vacuum forming was my next choice.

Oh yeah...

Skullcandy Girl- SKULLCANDY EARPHONES ROCK!
 

Aeon

New Member
Here's an update guys:

Shot of the shoulder armor with the chest and helmet:



Shot of the vacuum table setup:


Here's a shot of the cardboard mock ups I did for sizing reference with the mat board molds:


As some of you may have noticed... My chest armor is in pieces. Apparently one of the guys who were working on my apartment destroyed it "accidentally" so now I'm stuck rebuilding the piece again. Bleh...

Enjoy guys! :)

-Andy
 
OMG, that sucks so bad to get it destroyed like that, looks great though, the only thing I would say is that the shoulder pieces look a bit flat on the side, idk if they should be like that, but, meh.

One question, since I know nothing of vac-forming, or what your doing for that matter, how are you getting such details with those parts you will use to make the actual pieces. I know I couldn't do that unless it was with pepakura, so how?

I personaly think that if you didn't vac-form those parts, they could be resined and fiber-glassed, something I actually know how to do, and would still get one good set of strong armor, so that's why I ask. Could come in handy down the road, especually when I start on details.
 

Aeon

New Member
Yes and no...

I'm going to be filling the foam with a polyurethane expanding foam that cures into a rigid cast. The matboard will serve as an exterior to vacuum form over. Cardboard/matboard alone won't stand up to any vacuum pressure. It'll just collapse and you'll end up with a crushed piece of cardboard.
 

Aeon

New Member
PillowFire said:
OMG, that sucks so bad to get it destroyed like that, looks great though, the only thing I would say is that the shoulder pieces look a bit flat on the side, idk if they should be like that, but, meh.

One question, since I know nothing of vac-forming, or what your doing for that matter, how are you getting such details with those parts you will use to make the actual pieces. I know I couldn't do that unless it was with pepakura, so how? And what materials?

I personaly think that if you didn't vac-form those parts, they could be resined and fiber-glassed, something I actually know how to do, and would still get one good set of strong armor, so that's why I ask. Could come in handy down the road, especually when I start on details.

The shoulders aren't finalized yet so there's still a few details I still gotta add onto there.

As for your question... I wish I had used pepakura actually for scaling the armor off. I actually scaled the armor entirely by eye and I created cardboard mock-ups of the armor to make sure my pieces fit together and look proportionate. Pepakura would've saved me a lot more time honestly. You live and you learn. :p

The way I created the pieces was by breaking down the armor into several sections and building them up one at a time. As an artist would, I just had to force myself to view sections of the armor as independent shapes and draw them onto my sketchpad. Once I drew them out, I had a rough idea as to what I had to make. All you have to do is pretend that you're building cubes and boxes out of cardboard... Except theses boxes are complex shapes.

All the pieces were scored with a box cutter and an aluminum T-square for the straight cuts and trimmed with scissors for the curves. To "curl" the cardboard, you just gently roll it onto something cyclindrical shaped... Like a big PVC pipe, a jar or a can. After the pieces were cut, I taped them together using masking tape (the adhesive on it isn't abusive to the surface of the mat boards) and then I hot glued the pieces from inside.

Once all the "hollow" molds are finished, I just have to mix some expanding foam up (just like the fiberglass) and pour it in. Wait a day or so for it to fully cure and I'm ready to vacuum form. I wanted to do fiberglass, but I just don't have the space or ventilation to work with it. Hope that helps man!

-Andy
 
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Aeon

New Member
PillowFire said:
yes, it is helpful, also sounds like a lot of work.

Also, couldn't you just work outside if you have no room inside?

It's been too chilly around here to work outdoors and not much room. (I'm in NYC) I'm just hoping I can finish this up soon so I can do some painting in my friend's backyard before it becomes too cold. o_O
 
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Ironcobra3000

Well-Known Member
Where do you plan on getting your plastic? and if so, could you link me? I am very interested in making a visor myself for a certain.. "project" ;)
 
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