Pepakura Armour: A Step-by-Step Guide.

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SH Jack

Jr Member
Hey ladies and gents, this topic will document my own building of a pepakura Mjolnir armour suit with step-by-step instructions. The board already has all the information one needs to build it really, but all the information's scattered so I hope by making this thread I could compile all the information needed to make a suit. Do note that I am definitely not an authority on building these doohickeys. In fact, I'm a newbie. That said, I would really appreciate any help with tips/instructions on this thing. Just post and I'll edit info onto this top post. If you have any questions, especially if caused by this guide, feel free to ask it in this thread.

Preparation

I know you're probably roaring to get going but if prep time helps Batman (I wonder if anybody will get this joke) it will help you, I guarantee it. Here's the materials you'll need:

Essentials<ul>[*]Pepakura Designer
<blockquote>See Frizzlefry's topic "Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor"
This is the program used to view and edit .pdo files.
</blockquote>[*].pdo files (WARNING: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN)
<blockquote>See Frizzlefry's topic "Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor"
I believe the files provided in that topic are for MkV and MkVI is in the works by Slyfo.
</blockquote>[*]Cardstock
<blockquote>See Frizzlefry's topic "Tutorial: How to use Pepakura to make your Mjolnir Armor"
Try to find an un-coloured bundle, in a ream of 250 sheets. They should be available at office supply stores as well as stationary/arts/crafts stores. I get mine at Office Depot at one 110# ream for about $12.
</blockquote>[*]Printer[*]Cutting tool
<blockquote>If you work well with scissors, they will do. However, for precise cutting use a utility knife, x-acto knife (I mean the sorts that look like scalpels) or a snap-blade knife. I prefer the last because you can simply snap off the end when it becomes dull. If you're cheap like me you can prolong the sharpness of your cutter's edge by using a honer, just like you do for kitchen knives, before you begin.</blockquote>[*]Glue
<blockquote>The recommendations for types of glue is extremely varied; some like glue guns best, others use interior wood glue, some use ordinary PVA school glue. I use no-name brand school glue and have never had any problems.</blockquote>[/list]Optional<ul>[*]Self-healing cutting mat
<blockquote>Makes sure that previous cuts don't mess up the cut you're making.</blockquote>[*]Toothpicks
<blockquote>Used for applying glue; cleaner than using your fingertips unless you regularly starve yourself and wash your hands every thirty seocnds.</blockquote>[*]Two differently coloured pens
<blockquote>Used to colour-code the different crease types and for scoring lines</blockquote>[*]Metal ruler/straight-edge
<blockquote>Used to guide the pens above; needs to be metal because plastic will be worn away.</blockquote>[/list]Unless you're a well built seven foot tall super soldier, you'll need to resize the suit parts in Pepakura so that it will fit you.

Frizzlefry said:
Here we go peeps.

This should work for the most part, if you have a normal sized body like Chief it should work for sure. But if you are a bit chunky so to speak, or the oposite which would be a bit of a rail (aka, that sexy girl Sean Bradley ;-) ), you will probably want to change the sizing a bit more or less to make sure your limbs and chest fit.

I'm not getting behind the formula because it's a waste of time. It seems no one cares how the math works just as long as it works. So here's what you do.

Add up your height in inches. There is 12" to a foot. We'll use my hieght for the example. I am 5'11" which equals 71 inches.

Divide that by 86: 71/86 = .82558

Multiply that number times the scale it currently is, 30.342: 30.342*0.82558 = 25.04979

Now in Pepakura, go into 2dPatternWindow and select "Scale Up/Down by specifying value"

Under scale, put in the new scale (for this equazion its 25.04979). Do this for all of your pieces to be symmetrical.

One thing to keep in mind
The size of the scale that is in use before you edit it is from the base of the ground to the top outside of MC's helmet. You don't really want the top of your head to be touching the top of the inside of the helmet if you expect it to fit right. So you may want to add two or three inches to your actual hieght before doing the math. This may help other areas as well, where it could come through a bit tight.

Feel free to ask any questions about how it's done here. But I would appreciate it if the PM's for me to scale their armor for them would stop. If you can't do this math (we're not in school, you can use a calculator), I can't help you.
Once that's done, you're pretty much ready to start building. I made a test model of the helmet out of copy paper to make sure I used Frizzlefry's formula correctly before doing one out of card stock, which you can do as well if you're worried, but it turned out perfectly for me the first time. To check if it worked, cut out the visor; you should be able to see your eyes and nose but your mouth will be down in the jaw-chin part. Note that if you are not using a test build do not cut out the visor until you're done fiberglassing and whatnot; it's needed there for structural support.

Cutting, Scoring, and Assembling

I was going to struggle with trying to show how to work with the printed sheets one-handed but I found out that Yamaha (yes, the motorcycle manufacturer) already has an awesome tutorial. So really, all I can think of writing about in this section is the method of scoring I like to use. If you don't want to bother with this way, scoring with the back of your knife or a single pen freehand style is fine as well, but I don't recommend skipping scoring altogether. If you score, you'll have to do minimal fussing after assembly to making sure it's in the correct shape; mine just fell together as I glued thanks to the wonders of scoring. Please excuse the photo quality of the following pictures; I only had my cell phone's camera available.

Use any two colours you like but use one exclusively for the dashes and dots (- · - · - · - · -) and the other exclusively for the dashes (- - - - - -). To be safe, write which is which down somewhere so you can refresh your memory. Line up your ruler and mark along the edge using normal pressure with your pen; this step is only to ensure you'll score on the line. You can skip this step after you get a hang of how far from the ruler's edge your pen's ink will actually lay. Repeat pressing hard this time. You can do this more times if you think it's necessary but doing so too many times will weaken the card stock and leave it prone to ripping. If your ruler is smudging or otherwise leaving unwanted marks, wipe it down; it's probably residual ink or pencil graphite.

[attachment=647:DSC02779.JPG]

[attachment=648:DSC02780.JPG]

After you've done this on all your lines, fold it up. If you used the default configuration on pepakura, dashes and dots will be valley folds and dashes will be mountain folds.

Valley folds go like this;
[attachment=649:DSC02782.JPG]

and mountain folds go like this.
[attachment=650:DSC02781.JPG]

The end result will be something like this:
[attachment=651:cardstock_complete.JPG]

Although, as long you're consistent, you can use one fold for the other and build your parts "inside-out" so that grid lines and numbers will be on the inside. There's not much point to doing that in this case since you're probably painting this later on.

Assembly is explained in the Yamaha tutorial. All I can advise you to do is to work from the more complicated part to simpler ones; for example, the front (visor-side) to the back on the helmet. I didn't and ended up having to glue itty bitty tabs on the chin part while working around the rest of the helmet. I cried a little (but MANLY tears). Oh, and use the numbers to center the tabs and make sure they fit together properly; this really helps when gluing a long string of tabs.


Guide under construction; to be updated later. While you wait, here's pictures of a tiny horse and my cat ruining my test helmet.
 
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docbytes

Well-Known Member
That cracks me up!


Spase's kitten armor

 
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SH Jack

Jr Member
:lol: Glad it does. But shhh... Ignore the thread until I can work on it again. Stupid school. Like I need an education!
 

Deathwasp

Jr Member
Pretty sick tutorial. With any luck it saves the questions of "What do I do after I print?" "How Do I attach it?" And the like.
I was lucky enough to have the first 3 threads I read explain to some extent the entire process, and off I went, but that was random luck, so it's good that it's all in one place. Nice tut.
 
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