What do you want in a tutorial?

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Sean Bradley

Sr Member
I broke down tonight and started writing my full tutorial on making Master Chief Armor. I'm about 10 pages into it, and I thought that before I go any further I'd ask everybody what they'd want in a full tutorial.

So far as chapters go I have:

Preface: Disclaimers and notes to the Armor Making Community
Chapter 1. Discussion of methods
A. Casting
B. Vacuum formed
C. Fabricated Plastic
D. Manufacturing

Chapter 2. Getting started
A. Gathering your resources
B. Tools and equipment
C. Materials for making armor
D. Saftey issues.

Chapter 3. Patterning the Armor
A. Helmet
B. Chest and Back
C. Belt and Codpiece
D. Upper Arms
E. Forearms
F. Gloves
G. Thighs
H. Knees/Calves
I. Shoes

Chapter 4. Fabricating the Plastic
A. Pattern preparation
B. Cutting plastic
C. Bending and shaping
D. Gluing

Chapter 5. Reinforcing the Plastic
A. Polyester resin and Fiberglass Overview
B. Method Overview
C. Tips and tricks

Chapter 6. Post-Fabrication
A. Trimming and Shaping
B. Sanding
C. Detailing and Fastening

Chapter 7. Paintshop
A. Preparation and Primer
B. Paint Layering
C. The Final Coat
D. Battle Damage and Weathering

Chapter 8. Fitting the Suit
A. Fasteners, Buckles and Straps
B. Padding
C. Assembly

Chapter 9. Under Armor
A. The Basics and Options
B. Neckseals and Gloves
C. Boot Camp

Chapter 10. The Extras
A. Visor Options
B. Lights
C. Helmet cooling system
D. Wireless mic system
E. Weapon Mounting
F. Other possible features

Chapter 11. The Supplier Lists
A. Plastics and resins
B. Paint and putty
C. Under armors and extras

Keep in mind that I am ONLY focusing on the ARMOR at this point, no discussion of weapons, etc. Also I am only covering the process I used to make my armor: Fabrication. I'll let someone else cover the other methods.

Another question, should I plan on posting this to a website in pages or would it be better as a single Word document that you could download all together?

Any suggestions? Did I forget anything? Specific requests?
Very cool!

I'd suggest website pages, though I could take a word document and turn it into webpages, and a PDF too at the click of a button.

I guess I'd recommend doing it whatever way is easiest for you. Word won't work for some folks, but we can put it out in different formats from there.
Seems like a great idea, props to you man. :p

like FightStar said i think picture would be of great help.
n00b thoughts

You could use MS Word then export or "save as" HTML from MS Word for web pages. Either way I think lots of pictures for n00bies like me helps.

Also a you could put something about attaching armor to different materials. Materials like cloth for example. Poking around on the forums on thedentedhelmet.com and found this site that talks about attaching armor to cloth (search the page for "Snap Tutorial").

Not sure what your opinion is on painting, but you could talk about the difference in using spray paint verses airbrush and air compressor combo. Paint codes for each, base coats, etc.

That's all I got. Hope it helps you out.
:shock: wow. sounds like it will be amazing. maybe if a couple of us write tutorials we could eventually have the ULTIMATE tutorial as a combined effort posted on this site.

cant wait. :D
I could help you with the "extras" chapter if ya want. although I bought my suit as a basic kit, i still have put a lot of work into the electronics for it. 8)
Well lets start small and grow BIG. Little steps to get some progress going because all of us working together we can build something massive. This is a VERY ambitious project and I think we all appreciate you for taking the lead on this. After all you never really know anything unless you can teach it to someone else.
Is there a tutorial for writing tutorials?

Thanks for the input everybody. I'll make sure that it is photo heavy, and available in multiple formats on the web.

Would it be better to combine our efforts into one grand master tutorial? Or would it be better for each of us to write about our own areas of expertise? I mean I just started with the intention of passing on what I learned, but an all encompassing tutorial would be a far more ambitious project involving alot of correspondence and cooperation. Everyone would need to have excellent resource photos for everything too. I'm a good jack of all trades, but not an expert, I mean I'd really want the people who are masters at this to write for themselves. Who's to say that they aren't already?

The other thing that I have thought about is that as soon as I have my rough draft together I could post it, and then you guys could critique and add to what is already there and I could incorporate your changes and give credit where it is due. That could be a less forced way for everyone to collaborate.

What do you think? Should everybody fly solo? Would everybody contribute, or are there too many 'trade secrets' involved?
I don't know about doing a community book.. It seems like he should focus on his stuff by itself, and then the rest of us start trying to follow suit.

There are a couple of sections listed that COULD be community projects, like the suppliers section, Painting stuff, underarmor, Extra equipment, etc.

The rest is kinda' specific. I'd hate to try and write a Vacuumform tutorial to fit that chapter layout.. it's an entirely different road.

Our "off the shelf" thread could be a good starting point for a supplier section.

We haven'ty gotten too in-depth about painting or the other specific stuff, but we could start a thread on it and go from there.
I think a paperback book would be epic like his could be a cover of his suit and title "Sean Bradleys how to be a spartan" :D
if you made detailed tutorials, you could even sell them on CD.

Or, make a login type of place for the site and have a members section for it. you could make a couple of extra bucks for making good tutorials.
Tutorials made to order

I've been thinking about this seriously over the weekend, and I've come to a few conclusions.

I am going to go ahead and just complete and host an abbreviated version of the tutorial myself. I trust that once I have completed this and made it available that some of you may follow suit. I think that after I have put it out there that it might be easier for some of you to write your own tutorials about whatever your area of expertise is. Then afterward if we all decide to package our efforts together ...so be it. Sounds like a good idea to me.

After considering Adam's suggestion I think I might make a more deluxe version too. I'll just take my un-abbreviated tutorial and package it on a CD to sell with a full set of armor in flat 'template' form that people could assemble themselves like a model kit. I still have all my templates from when I fabricated my suit, I could just cut them out of sheet styrene and ship them with a CD full of instructions for the do-it-yourself Armor maker. I could make them pretty affordable for people who don't have the money to buy a suit.

What do you all think about this?
Would be a amazing idea and i have a friend who would like to get on your shipping list when he gets the money
brilliant idea. I'd support that on this site.

could you describe more about what would be in the kit? I don't quite understand. Paper templates that you'd cut out of plastic? or...
Theoretically, you could do that either way, Paper Templates, or actual pre-shaped plastic pieces.

Takes more time to do the plastic ones, but the effort makes it worth more.
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