Still, Prime and Zero Mission were developed at almost the same time by different developers; hence the different appearances. In Echoes they obviously went for a more cohesive look to unify the character, but when she got really cartoony for Brawl, they tried to match that look in Corruption. It wasn't their best idea if you ask me.
I finished the hip ribbing! Cue pictures of creepy duct tape amputee:
This is a larger gauge surgical tubing than the kind I used for the arm before. To reiterate, in order to make these I cut a length of tubing in half lengthwise so the back side could lay flat on my body, and glued them together with superglue. Even though superglue is a brittle glue it works wonderfully for this; it seems to melt both sides of the rubber and weld them together, forming a very strong bond. Afterward the rubber is still very flexible. I'm going to be attaching these to the torso armor.
These were not as easy to make as they look. The angular loops require the surgical tubing to warp in such a way that they start to pucker on the inside of the curve if you're not careful. I had to do a lot of gluing the tubing down to the mannequin to keep everything in place. Luckily superglue pops right off duct tape so I could easily get it off when I was done!
Other than that I've been smoothing out the unfinished worbla pieces. Gesso and I have made up and we're friends again. I finally figured out the best way to get a smooth finish on worbla is a layer of gesso and then a coat of bondo with spot putty to fix small imperfections. You may recall this was the way I did it previously with the first bicep, except back then I was using bondo to repair the failure of the gesso. Turns out I was right the first time! It was still good to learn how these mediums interact with each other though:
Wood glue is nice for small things like the fingers of the glove, but it's such a hard medium that it takes forever to sand and layering a hard medium under bondo is just asking for trouble because bondo sands much faster (you'll get lumps if you sand past the bondo). It's also great if you don't intend to sand at all.
Gesso on its own takes way too long to layer up enough to sand smooth since it takes ages to dry and is not self leveling.
Bondo alone on worbla will peel off. Roughing it up with sandpaper does work but the worbla fur that's created sticks up too far and just becomes a hassle when sanding.
Gesso before bondo allows the bondo to adhere properly and it sands at the same speed as bondo. Gesso can be applied very thick without cracking so I pile on as much as I can to make it easier in the bondo stage. Conveniently, the white gesso also acts as a warning layer so I can tell when I've sanded past the pink bondo.
Last edited by Talaaya; May 25, 2014 at 10:22 PM.
Updates are looking good. You are doing some great work. The attention to detail and patience that is going into this is stunning. I can see how it those tubes would be a rough project, but they look great, so keep it up.
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It's heeeeeeere!!
and with the light turned off:
It's PERFECT!! Man this stuff is hard to get a good picture of. No matter what I do it just ends up looking white when the light is turned on. In person the entire thing is a solid, vibrant, green when lit up.
This sample I got is 1/2"x4' and it runs off a 9v battery via an included driver box.
I think I've figured out what lengths and widths I need to buy. I made a diagram to help me visualize and keep track of everything:
(Measurements are all in inches.)
The dash mark lines at the top are the non-center curves on the shoulder bells. Since it's a curve along the off center surface of a sphere I can't have a singular strip because the strip would have to curve and light tape doesn't curve. So it'll be one big strip down the center and 5 small strips along each side. I'll be using my sample piece for the small strips.
Hopefully it's not too hard to connect everything together, but if anything it won't be harder than doing LEDs, so there's that.
The tape doesn't work for lighting the visor so I'll have to figure something else out for that - maybe just a couple LEDs.
Yay! I am SO glad this is working out.
Been watching this thread for a while now and I've got to say your work is great and the progress has been a joy to watch. Amazing job!
Out of curiosity, where did you get your EL tape?
The lights look great! Nice alternative to classic LEDs.
This all looks amazing! Those EL strips look similar to what they used for the suits in TRON. Those had extremly short battery life though. Any plans for a power source yet?
to add in for power source. If you have the space look at adding a nice rechargeable battery and a Boost converter. that way you can use almost any power source (cough USB backup end cough) and have it deliver the power you need
I got my tape here: Light TapeŽ
Bleh. Well, for some reason even the gesso is able to be peeled off my thigh armor. I don't know what the deal is. It's possible that gesso is always able to be peeled off but I never saw it happen previously. The thigh had a little bondo on it when I applied the gesso over the entire thing. When the gesso started peeling off the bondo, as I discovered it does, it created edges for the gesso to continue peeling off the worbla as well (even with the thigh roughed up for adhesion). The bicep and shoe tongues had no issue with gesso. So I guess maybe you just absolutely have to have a coat of gesso over the entire thing all at once and be careful not to sand through it.
A coworker/friend of mine suggested I try Apoxie Sculpt. I've read it's a fair bit heavier than bondo (although it doesn't seem that much different to me) but on the other hand this stuff sticks to damn near anything and is rock hard when cured (bondo tends to stay a bit rubbery or sticky even when fully, properly cured). I tried it out on one side of one of the shoe tongues and I really like working with it. No fumes, 2-3 hour working time, is clay-like so it's easy to build up corners and make it very smooth even before sanding. I'm hesitant to apply it to the larger pieces like the thigh and shins though.
Anyone have experience working with this stuff?
The inside of the tongue before and after sanding:
Now that I know the EL tape is going to work, I began work on the shins again. I was concerned that they were going to end up being too tight so I did some surgery on the inside and removed the layer of worbla and the inner foam, then reinforced it with a layer of worbla and angled the cut edges so it would be comfortable. So far it seems to help a lot.
I also finished cleaning up the edges from where I had cut the shin apart, and started adding the flange along the seams where the two pieces will fit together.
Last edited by Talaaya; May 31, 2014 at 10:42 PM.
LED's use very little power, if these things are anything like the ones from TRON a larger power source will be needed. Their suits lasted 12 minutes and used rechargeable lithium ion batteries on their back and in the identity disks. I can see you having plenty of room for batteries in that suit though I would definitely have a switch to turn them on and off to conserve power..
The problem with store bought rectangle 9V batteries is the runtime, it's terrible. Lithium would run much longer and brighter, but you'd need 3 cells as each power source.
I would think that Apoxie would get expensive and heavy really quick. When it comes to armor, the less weight, the better, as heavy armor gets really hard to wear in a hurry. Maybe you might want to look into a better brand of body filler instead of Bondo. Evercoat's Zgrip is comparable in price to Bondo, but much nicer to work with and has really good adhesion. Stuff gets hard a s a rock, too, but is still easy to sand.
I use Evercoat SMC and that stuff is awesome. Great adhesion, super strong, easy to sand, etc. /sales pitch
Thank you so much you guys for all the suggestions. I've given this some more thought and I think before I do anything else I'm going to revisit the wood glue and bondo thing again. I'll do a test to see if bondo truly doesn't peel off the glue, and if so I should be able to apply the bondo thick enough that I never sand through it, thus avoiding the different sanding speeds of the two materials. Part of the problem was I had applied the wood glue quite thick and I was going to use it as part of the sanding process. If I instead treat it like a thin adhesion layer alone I should be able to simply use bondo to smooth out my pieces. This way I'm also definitely sure that the two thighs weigh the same since this is how the first one was done (just not very well - had to fix it up a lot). But first thing's first: gotta test it to be sure.
Oops. I meant to say I use Evercoat Easy Sand. I use SMC as well, but that definitely won't do what bondo does.
Not a lot to post about recently; my sister came up to visit me for a week and we mostly just got a lot of sanding done...oh and we made another creepy duct tape body part - this time, a disembodied arm! :Ū
The other thing I've been doing is attempting to fix the stupid shin armor. You may recall that I removed the foam from some areas to create more space on the inside. Well, it wasn't enough. No matter what I did I couldn't get the shin to fit - even worse, every time I have to heat it up to fix an area I risk warping the entire thing. So frustrating. With no other options left, I chose to slice the shin down the back and add a spacer. Now, this may seem like, "duh, just add more to it and it'll fit". Oh, but it is not that simple. Because of the way the grooves are positioned, adding a spacer to the front, for example, would mean that the knee spike would no longer match up with the other half it's not connected to, not to mention there would be a gaping groove down the front center which would look dumb.
The back, however, is a slightly different story. The top center groove would get super wide but since its angles are 90 degrees (the front is a V shape, not a rectangular groove) that means I can easily expand it, then fill it back in with Apoxie Sculpt or even just leave it as is. Since the seam for the two halves already runs along that top groove I only had to cut the bottom section. Down there it splits into two grooves which angle apart from each other. This makes things a bit tricky. I can't just cut down one groove and add the spacer on that one side; things would no longer match up, same as the front knee spike. So instead I cut straight through the center. This destroys the point at the top of that section, but I can easily rebuild it with Apoxie just like the top groove.
The back before cutting, line showing where I will cut:
After the cut:
Spacer added in:
It still looks a little wonky because I have to go in and fix warped areas.
And finally, IT FITS!!
I guess that's my first official "I'm wearing multiple pieces of my costume" picture! Yay!
It's still quite painful since the inside bits haven't been fully smoothed out, but it's the right size now.
Obviously that's not the Samus shoe. I couldn't put on the real one since it's currently filled with tin foil to protect from painting (never ended up putting the clear coat on it last summer so it's still all masked off). That thigh is the problematic/peeling second thigh. My sister sanded all the bondo off of it and applied a new coat of gesso. I'll be bondo'ing it soon.
I'll be using Apoxie on at least some of the shin, but I haven't decided if I want to do the entire thing with it. The shin isn't really the strongest, even with double layered worbla. I may try to just strengthen it in key areas and bondo the rest (unless bondo also peels off of Apoxie, ugh).
Last edited by Talaaya; Jun 19, 2014 at 3:38 AM.
If that spacer ends up being the biggest "defect" in your suit, you've done an immaculate job. Again, awesome work so far. The spacer looks pretty good. Keep up the good work, Talaaya!
I've been watching this from afar for a while now, but I'm really excited to see the progress! Great work Talaaya!
I'll start working on Ridley later this year, and he's going to be coming for you! >
I decided to just go ahead and cover the entire shin with Apoxie Sculpt. I applied it as thin as I could without it being too thin, so about 1 to 2mm thick. Even spread that thin it adds a surprising amount of strength to it. I'm working with a 1 lb container of Apoxie so even if I used the entire thing to cover it, which I'm not, it would only weigh 1 lb more which is inconsequential.
I gotta say again, I freakin love this stuff. <3
Look at those wonderfully crisp, smooth edges! ...Before sanding!!
I've gotten much better at applying it. There are still blobby seams all over the place, but those are unavoidable and won't be a problem after sanding. They're there because I had to keep waiting for areas to cure in order to continue with other areas, so I couldn't blend the new soft areas into the hard areas.
The shoulder has been mostly sanded and has had its test coat of primer applied. Another sanding pass and it's ready for molding and casting!
Those bumps and grooves at the bottom are annoying as hell to sand.