Tutorial: Simple Armor Scaling

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by Spitfire22V, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Spitfire22V

    Spitfire22V Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    Though I haven't been a member here long, I’ve already seen several new threads pop up with noobs asking how to scale their armor pieces. Sometimes, they have already read the other scaling tutorials, and still have trouble. So, I thought I’d share my method for scaling that I think is relatively simple, yet effective, and it has worked for me.

    For this tutorial, we’ll be scaling a forearm piece, specifically, the Mark VI low-definition forearm by Robogenesis. Also, we’ll be assuming some basic things, such as you having Pepakura Designer 3, having a ruler or some kind of measuring device, and basic knowledge of unit conversions.

    I won’t go over how to lay-out the pieces and rotate them once resized so that they fit on the paper correctly, as that is covered well in another scaling tutorial (or you could Google it as well).

    1. First, you need to understand how Pepakura’s dimensions are set-up. In the bottom right, there are the default dimensions of the piece. You need to determine the dominant axis of the piece. In this case, the height is the dominant axis (the largest dimension). For the forearm, this is the one we are most concerned about, and so it is the one we will use to alter the size of the piece. (Note: this method works almost perfectly for most pieces that have obvious dominant axes. Other pieces, like helmets or chests are a little more difficult, but the same method can be used).

    2. It is helpful to have some reference pictures so that you have an idea of how large/long the piece needs to be to look correct. For the forearm, we can’t simply measure from the elbow to the wrist since there is a piece that extends beyond the elbow. Visualize it, and try to imagine how long you want/need the piece. Don’t forget to leave some space near your joints to allow for free movement.

    3. Get your ruler or other measuring device, and measure your forearm! In my case, I needed the forearm to be 300 millimeters long. Note: my meter stick has millimeters on it, so no conversion was needed; I simply read the dimension it needed to be. If you are using some other units, write them down, and use Google to convert them! It’s simple: all you need to type in Google is “# in to mm” and it converts it for you! Super easy!


    4. Finally, you need to input the measurement you just made into Pepakura. I’m using Pepakura Designer 3 (the free version), so I go to “2D Menu” --> “Change scale” --> “Scale factor”.

    5. You should see this dimension window. Now, just type in your measurement into the correct dimension box! (Note: You can only change one number at a time, and the other 2 will automatically change as well. This is done to maintain the proportion of the piece). Now re-arrange the pieces to minimize the number of pages, print, and you’re ready to start making an armor piece!

    That’s pretty much it. Scaling doesn’t have to be a difficult, annoying process. What I think is good about this method is that you don’t rely on the “Scale” number in the “Change pattern size” window. If you’re using Pep armor files from different authors or armor sets, the scale numbers will be different for all of them, so you can’t rely on it. The downside is that you don’t have a universal scale number; you will have to do this process for every piece of your armor. In my opinion, a small price to pay for getting correctly sized armor on the first try, and not needing to Pep the same piece several times!

    I hope this de-mystifies armor scaling somewhat! It’s not rocket science, you just have to have a basic idea of how big your armor pieces need to be, and then measure yourself. Good luck!
  2. Darkrider9

    Darkrider9 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tut, its really annoying when you spend a day building something and find out its too small like I found out yesterday. lol
  3. HaloGoddess


    LOL I was about to start my tut. I go into WAY more detail though and everything will be throughly explained which will be great for people that are totally new to this and have a lot of problems. I will be giving all my little hints and tips on how I do things. I've never had an issue with the way I scaled my armor. :)
  4. Mensrea Prod

    Mensrea Prod Member

    Good tut. Tks.
  5. Spitfire22V

    Spitfire22V Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the comments; if this helps at least 1 person, then I'm satisfied. :)

    Great minds think alike! Looking forward to seeing your tutorial. I've only scaled an armor piece wrong twice, and both times it was because I made a stupid mistake. Once I fixed the mistake, the size of the finished piece was spot on. :)
  6. Kanniba1istic

    Kanniba1istic Member

    ha i use the exact same method! and it works out almost perfectly for me everytime. =P really good tutorial though =]]
  7. AbbyWanKenobi

    AbbyWanKenobi Jr Member

    Brilliant! I will most definitely use this method from now on. Fantastic tut, very well done! :D
  8. eternallydusk

    eternallydusk Jr Member

    Oh wow, wish I had this last summer to help me scaling my HEV Suit. Good tutorial, thanks for putting it together!
  9. HaloGoddess


    Okay, I finally got mine posted now. :p I will probably be adding more. I know it will seem long, but it's to help those that are totally new and are not fully clear on how it all works. It's even good for those that understand how some of the stuff works already and just need a better guide on how to scale. :)

    The link to the thread is in my signature. :p
  10. Jonus

    Jonus Member

    Good tut, it's pretty much how I've been doing it, but I didn't think of using ref images to compare scale. I think I'll start doing that too. I just started a forearm that I scaled based off the length of my forearm, but I think it will end up being to narrow for my arm inside. I bet I would have caught that if I had used images to visualize it.
  11. Zero 11

    Zero 11 New Member

    I've been using this method for a while, also with real pictures.

    When I build my first chest piece (last year, sad story) the scale was terribly wrong, but using this for the second one resulted in the perfect size.

    In a couple of weeks I will start building the armor legs, or at least I hope so, and I'm planning to use this method again.
  12. TD2253

    TD2253 Member

    This is a very good tutorial on scaling with easy to understand illustrations and explanations. Thanks for sharing this Spitfire!
  13. xXCrazyDingoXx

    xXCrazyDingoXx New Member

    LOVED this tutorial, very simple and easy to understand! Thanks so much!
  14. odst fng

    odst fng Jr Member

    Holy $%#^ this rocks! thanks so much man, I needed something like this! thanks again!
  15. Lockknot

    Lockknot New Member

    Damn this super helpful
  16. HallowedKhaos013

    HallowedKhaos013 New Member

    thank you for this tut it has helped me out loads.
  17. NarachaDte

    NarachaDte New Member

    Great way of scaling, i've checked out some of the others and like how you put this into perspective
  18. BlertZ

    BlertZ Member

    i just started do this, and I've tried several times to get this right and the opening keep being way to big or to small.
  19. Rex 084

    Rex 084

    Totally sticky worthy. Between this tut and HaloGoddess's, I've been able to fix my scaling issues, lol. Excellent tut, Spit.

    Rex Out.
  20. Spitfire22V

    Spitfire22V Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the kind comments everyone, I'm glad to hear that you are finding this tutorial useful.

    If you're just having trouble with the forearm, it may be several things. First of all, the Mark VI forearms are not anatomically correct. They WILL be very large towards the elbow, and will require quite a bit of foam padding to fit your arm. As for the wrist opening, it may very well be the case that you scaled the forearm correctly, but you simply have to enlarge the opening after hardening the piece. I had to do this for my forearms: after hardening, I cut/grinded out the opening to make it large enough for my hand to fit through.
  21. Yea I'm running into that issue with forearms with my Reach build. Length wise it's perfect but I can't get my hand/arms all the way through the wrist opening and I have skinny arms. Was thinking of doing exactly what you suggested -- grind down after hardening.
  22. BlertZ

    BlertZ Member

    Also forgot to ask this before. What type of glue does best? I've been using wood glue but not sure if i should keep using it. I tryed hot glue but didnt like the rush to get the piece on before it coolded to fast, and it dont work well for very small parts.
  23. BIGmac96

    BIGmac96 New Member

    Good tutorial. I'd better use this method when i try my first build in a week's time. It would probably help save material that way.
  24. Metalfire


    Very useful tutorial. Simple, fast and awesome! Thanks for posting this!
  25. Kodiak 117

    Kodiak 117 New Member

    Thanks for posting...Very helpfull...

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