COMPLETE! "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Jim Raynor Armor *PIC HEAVY*

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by MWiggs, May 13, 2015.

  1. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Hi All! I've finally scrounged up the courage to post my first build! :D Hopefully the geniuses here can help me in a few spots as i'm completely new to making.. well anything really. In a freak tornado of circumstances my love of movies and video games crossed my creative and innovative side and the chain reaction sent me down a path that ultimately led me here, to what I have learned is an epicenter of talent, knowledge and comradery. I'm happy to be a part of the RPF and i hope i can add some of my own experience and insight to an already overflowing stockpile!

    OK mushy stuff out of the way, I've started with an ambitious build, the CMC Marine Armor as featured in Starcraft II, worn by Jim Raynor, Tychus Findlay, General Warfield and every other Terran marine, medic and expendable cannon fodder in the fight against the Zerg. I loved this suit since the first suit-up cut-scene in the game where Tychus walks out onto a platform and the suit is bolted, welded, and assembled around him. Such brilliant engineering! Never crossed my mind i could actually build one of my own until I ran across Syligian's 40K Space Marine build. Needless to say, i was enormously impressed and instantly inspired to attempt such a thing myself.

    Thus, the design phase started. I stock piled every useable photo, rendering, painting, screenshot, and reference material i could get my hands on (if anyone out there needs a quick stepping stone just let me know!) and, since I'm a designer and certified Solidworks professional, i used the (limited) tools at my disposal to start modeling the suit. Namely, Solidworks and Photochop. I will not post any reference pictures on here unless requested as I don't want to impose on copyrights etc. Therefor, all pictures shown are my own design, never before seen by the public! Behold! :cool

    I started with a poseable mannequin model that I found on GrabCAD, and scaled it to match my exact height (6'1"). I lined up the reference pictures i had and started at the feet, modeling upwards. The gun i had done previously and had to scale it to match the reference photos as well. Here it is for scale. I'll have a write-up on building that thing too. Stay tuned!
    1progress feet.PNG 2progress feet and legs.PNG 3progress arms and partial chest.PNG 4progress shoulders.PNG 5progress chest and hands.PNG

    I was trying to hurry through because at this point, I didn't really have a direction to go after modeling. I figured I'd find a way to turn the model file into a 3-Dimensional part later on down the road. Only once i got to this point, when i was nearly done with the preliminary design, did I realize how awful it really looked. the perfectionist in me was screaming at me that it was all wrong. I decided to listen and try something else. That's when I found the RPF and started reading up on pepakura, extracting game files, and papercraft. Intrigue! So I ran down that road a bit. I extracted the game models, downloaded the pep viewer, and attempted to unfold the geometry.

    stl export.PNG

    I kept running down this road for a while, doing research about unfolding and printing and cutting and gluing and getting the 3D shape, but then I hit a snag. What to do after it was built?? Everything I was finding said fiberglass, sanding, bondo, etc. Sounded like a lot more time and expense than I was willing to throw at it at that point. Also, I wanted the smoother more organic look as opposed to the blocky angles pep would give me. HOWEVER! I was not deterred and started looking into other mediums for building. EVA foam caught my eye and I started reading up like mad. As I said before, Sylgian was a HUGE inspiration and ultimately ended up being my go-to for information on this type of build. I took the fork in the road and plowed ahead.

    I imported the extracted geometry into my Solidworks model, scaled it up, and started over using those as a template. About 60 hours later, this is what I had come up with:

    6progress MK2.PNG

    Aaahhhh much better! And keeping in mind that my primary material would be 1/2" thick foam sheets, I modeled it the same way I'd build it for real. It's not just a shell, but has accomodations for strapping, mounting, pivots, supports, electronics, lights, etc! :D Glamour shot!

    TM 5.JPG

    At this point, I ran to the hardware store and started stocking up on supplies.
    Thanks for watching! :popcorn (sorry I tend to rant)
    More to come! Stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  2. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Ok if you haven't noticed i've been using past tense on everything. I forgot to mention I started this whole process last September and haven't gotten around to writing about it til just now. Rest assured, this is still a work in progress and I have a tentative finish date before September 24th when our Comic Con comes to town. If i miss that deadline maybe I can shoot for Halloween.

    Anyway, On with the show!
    I built this handy dandy workbench in the garage so I'd have a place to set all this up. Like I said, never done any of this before so i didn't even have a place to work on it!

    20140825_182643.jpg

    Ooo Ahh pretty... Anyway with that out of the way it was time to start putting together a list of needed supplies. First up, 1/2" plywood, PVC pipe and appropriate fittings, screws, buckle straps, and of course, a couple packs of 1/2" EVA foam floor mats available at your local Lowes or Home Depot. I also use hot glue, only later discovering contact cement. There's pros and cons to each which i plan to go over later on.

    20140907_143908.jpg

    First up, the feet! I used my SW model as a template and cut out the pieces of wood for the bottoms of the feet and platforms. These things are huge! So i wanted the toe to be flexible and move out of the way a bit to make walking a tad easier. I cut a hinge to the correct length, attached it, then ran a small piece of pipe from the heel to the toe to give it a little spring. I took a page out of Sylgian's book and 3d printed some feet to mount the PVC to the wood. They look similar to his but i assure you I made my own so as not to rip off anyone's designs.

    20140907_143004.jpg

    Then I pieced together more pipe for the lifts to set me up to the appropriate height, which ended up around 8". Yep, that's shorter than the 40k Space Marines we've all seen walking around! But no matter. I'll be wider! :p More on that later.

    20140829_070442.jpg

    I traced the same pattern as the plywood onto a sheet of the foam for padding on the bottom of the foot. Took a large drill bit and slowly dug small pockets into the back side of the foam for screw head clearance, and glued them on.

    20140907_143013.jpg 20140907_143856.jpg 20140907_143849.jpg 20140907_143034.jpg

    I assembled the pipe and the foot base and couldn't resist getting a feel for em! Yeah, they're big. Before foam, they measure about 24" long and 13" wide! hence the toe pivot.

    20140907_162239.jpg 20140907_162251.jpg 20140907_162252.jpg

    That's what I've got time for today, next time more 3D printing stuff and foam work begins!
    Any thoughts or opinions up to this point are always welcome! Thanks for stopping by.
     
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  3. Hoplitespear

    Hoplitespear Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Hey,

    As a huge starcraft II Fan. I am definitely going to follow this thread! Your start is looking great!
     
  4. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Very interested!
     
  5. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Hi guys nice to see you here! Huge fan of both your work :D Hope I don't disappoint!

    Next step! (pun intended)
    I needed a way to mount the straps to the feet, as well as positioning for my shoe. I chose straps and buckles that I found on Strapworks.com in various lengths. Awesome deal BTW! I designed and printed a heel stop/strap holder to lock in my foot as well as position the strap comfortably across the top of my shoe. I made one for the toe as well, even tho looking back now i probably could have just nailed the strap to the bottom of the platform and been done with it. Oh well! Looks cool anyway :cool I added some scrap foam as extra padding under my feet, man did that make a difference! They don't call these things anti-fatigue for nothing! I wore these around for a bit to make sure all was in order. I was a little concerned with the strength of the heel piece, but so far so good. I'll carry around some acetone in case it needs fixing.

    20140911_071513.jpg 20140911_071530.jpg 20140912_070151.jpg 20140912_070219.jpg 20140912_070249.jpg

    So finally, at long last, foam work begins! I started with the heel as it seemed the most straight forward. I had the correct shape already, just had to heat up the foam and bend it around the shape of the heel. Cut reliefs to fit around the frame and voila! single seam down the back to button it up, a little trimming up the back for style, and work on the front section could start.

    20140918_071724.jpg 20140918_071804.jpg 20140918_071829.jpg 20140918_071834.jpg

    Wrapped another section around the back side of the front half, following the contour just as before with the heel. then I could get going on the toe. Anyone who's seen the feet of this armor knows they're practically spherical. This was my first attempt at creating a compund curve in the foam, but i'd seen it done before on other builds so i knew it could be done. Heat, stretch, heat, stretch, cut, trim, heat, stretch, etc. Turned out fairly well considering. If I had time at this point I'd redo the toes but at the time i figured it was good enough and moved on. Wrap a few more layers around he front and take a dremel with a sanding bit to all the corners to round it out, smooth the seams, and add details. I added the inner layer above the toe to close the gap that would occur between the foot and the future calf piece. Added the wrap around the back of the foot and filled in the gaps in the heel with more foam. More dremeling and more foam around the lower frame, and they're looking pretty good!

    20140929_073207.jpg 20140929_073230.jpg 20141029_064549.jpg 20141029_064530.jpg

    I even started cutting details for the nubs around the outside, but excitement got the better of me and I started going full tilt on the hands! And let me tell you, most work intensive part of the whole thing so far!

    More another day! Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions! Thanks y'all! :D
     
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  6. zorprime

    zorprime Active Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Following this as well, I've always wanted to make a Terran Marine... I just need some where to store it when I build it :).
     
  7. Killtime

    Killtime Active Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Always wanted to make one myself, never had the time :( Thus I live through you! :D Subbed.
     
  8. Der Hofnarr

    Der Hofnarr New Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    There's just the feet but I already like what you did there. The movability of these will be great by the looks of 'em. Defenitly a thread worth subscribing
     
  9. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    zorprime - Definitely something I didn't take into account when I started this whole thing... lol. I've already had to resort to parking one of my cars outside.

    I'm jumping ahead in the timeline a bit but this week my goal is to build some sort of stand to hold all the pieces I've built so far. I'm thinking PVC frame that sits up on the boots. I've seen the duct tape body doubles but I'm thinking with PVC if I build it right I can make it somewhat poseable. Any input on this would be awesome!

    LAYOUT has been an issue from the very beginning. Many a logical mind has questioned how a regular sized human can fit in such a huge set of armor with gorilla arms. People have even photoshopped what they imagine the layout would have to be to make a man fit correctly. Some of them are pretty funny! However, as I'm about to divulge one of my secrets to designing this thing, I believe I've come up with a quite elegant solution:

    7progress MK2 cut.PNG 8progress MK2 2.PNG

    My elbows act as the shoulders, wrists act as the elbows! Ta-da! No articulation in the suit wrists but for now i don't think that's a huge deal. :) I already know I'll have rather limited movement in this thing, but I'm hoping I have enough that I can still hold the rifle and pose for pictures and stuff.

    SO this brings me to my next big step: HANDS! I researched the best way to go about making a fully articulated hand that I can control by pulling strings from a distance. I've never seen this done quite to this scale, save the Powerfist built by Sylgian. (always in awe of that build BTW) I took what I could learn from that build and re-applied it to my own design. I started with a rough layout of the size I would need each joint to be, as well as the overall envelope and distance from the fingers I'd have to mount my own hand. This was great because it gave me dimensions for the frame, angle of the thumb, repeatable digit length and mount points for strings etc. On to the inner details!

    rough hand layout.PNG

    MK I of the fingers was an attempt to play within a budget, keep things lightweight but strong, and make repairs relatively easy. Inner frames 3D printed, rubber bands and strings applied, and spray over the whole thing with expanding foam which could then be carved to the correct shape. Sure that would take a little extra time, but at that point I had all the time I'd need! (Thanks to a friend and coworker of mine for printing these things for me on his own personal printer! Couldn't have done this without ya! Really need to invest in a printer of my own one of these days....) So here's what I came up with first:

    mk1 finger section.PNG mk1 finger assembly.PNG mk1 hand assembly.PNG mk1 hand with foam.PNG

    Design worked well on the computer, carving seemed quick and easy enough, materials were cheap and I had most of them already... things were looking great! Until..... we printed them out, I assembled the first knuckle, and stared at what I'd done in what can only be described as disgust. :facepalm

    20141029_064435.jpg 20141029_064424.jpg

    Oh it moved well and it was definitely strong, but prep took ages and assembly was a nightmare. this one joint took about three hours to clean up and put together, then several more to clean it up enough that they could actually pivot correctly. After breaking the frame several times during the re-assembly I finally threw in the white towel and went back to the drawing board. I had a lightbulb moment that I wish I'd have thought of before: why not just print the exact shape that I need in a thin shell and not worry about filling in? It'd be stronger, lighter, and far easier to assemble! Major DUH moment... :rolleyes

    Next up: MK II fingers!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  10. Hoplitespear

    Hoplitespear Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Nice going on the boot man. I like the detail work on the toes.

    I think you should look into the fact that the armpits are really close to the elbow joint. If you can get your arms in there low enough, the elbow's should match up in the suit and in real life. Making it possible to articulate. You still need hand extensions though but at least you can bend your arms.

    Look at this 3D rendering. The connection between the chest piece and the arms are really wide and big. (left arm) If your arm goes in just at the bottom you should be able to match the elbows. The shoulders will be high off course and full of ... air. But that isn't visible from the outside anyway. This is just an idea though. I don't know how wide the chest will be, and if it will allow your arms to go in and sit comfortable.

    [​IMG]

    I like your hand idea (wishing for a 3D printer). And yeah room is a must :p. I'm waiting to start my next project until i have more space dedicated to making stuff.

    Keep up the awesome work!
     
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  11. Sylgian

    Sylgian Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    LOVE this build so far. I have been wanting to do a Terran Marine for a while now. Great job.

    I have a suggestion though. You may have already thought about this. I have logged a few hours wearing a large costume, and have some thoughts about your arm positioning. Comfort is paramount in costumes this large. Your design looks solid. However, your shoulders are going to fatigue very quickly in that position. If you intend on wearing the suit for any amount of time I would suggest you add an arm brace of some kind, or make the torso section robust enough to support the weight of your arms. The ability to relax your arms will make you a much happier person while you're inside the costume.

    Keep up the amazing work. I'm subbed.
     
  12. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym New Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    This is going to be awesome! Looks like you're off to a great start :)!
     
  13. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Point well taken! I'd love to have use of my elbows... I've seen several suits that have done exactly as you describe and it seems like it'd be an odd location for a joint. However! that being said I'm not so far down the road that i can't modify it to make that work :) Just not sure my upper arms are long enough. I'm a stickler to keeping the correct proportions so if I can make that work and keep the look I definitely will. I'll keep this is mind as I get closer to that step! Thanks!


    Yep I thought about that. I've got an idea for a rig that mounts inside the torso and holds my arms up for me but also won't cut off circulation (handy that!) It also doubles as a mount and joint for the shoulder bell so if all goes well i should be able to raise my arms over my head! Here's hoping anyway. More to come on that! And as I said above, if I can make it work for elbows to be elbows etc that would be by far the most comfortable. I guess we'll see! Thanks for the input! I'm honored that you'd check out my build - your 40k was by far my biggest inspiration!

    Appreciate the input guys, keep it coming!
     
  14. sirspifalot

    sirspifalot Active Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Hot *! Glad to see another Terran Marine in the works. Finished mine last year. A lot of fun. Learned much. I will also second the concern for arm joint placement and such. That was the biggest problem for me on my build. The torso ended up too wide and couldn't put my arms down. So I had to cut out a chunk of the arm pit to make it work. Range of motion was still sucked. Anyways, I like what you have going for your feets. I may try that out as mine need a rebuild. Great start. Gonna keep and eye on dis.
     
  15. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Thanks! Right back at ya on the Samus armor - that's a great looking suit! Best of luck with it!

    Yep I agree. As I get closer to that point I'll be making changes as necessary. Thanks for the insight! I thought your suit looked amazing - what did you use for the nubs around the base of the boot? I can't seem to get the right shape.


    MKII of the fingers! I hit the drawing board pretty hard and came up with a hollow two-piece design for each finger section that would maximize strength and articulation but minimize finish work and final weight. Each half would be bonded together with its mate, then an ABS dowel pin would attach each section together.

    mk2 finger tip2.PNG mk2 finger tip.PNG mk2 finger assembly2.PNG mk2 finger assembly.PNG

    The index and ring fingers would be the exact same size so that was another moment of relief, however I couldn't just scale it up and down for the middle and pinkie fingers because the joint sections would be out of proportion. Design continued long into the night....
    Next I had to build the mount that would tie the whole thing in together. Each finger was set at a slight angle so they wouldn't rub on each other throughout the full range of movement. the pinning was going to interfere in the middle two fingers so I chopped the whole thing in half and decided to assemble it that way. Made things that much easier down the road. As a bonus, the shape of the mount would form the contour I needed for the foam on the palm so win-win!

    finger mount.PNG mk2 fingers mounted.PNG hand mk2 1.PNG

    Next I needed to design the mount that would attatch the entire monstrosity to my own hand. My original thought was a joint at my wrist with two supports, one strapping onto my forearm and the other onto the back of my hand. I wanted to build the entire thing at an angle too so I could flex my wrist down and straighten the arm, or flex it up and get much closer to 90° at the elbow. (sorry if that's confusing, my brain was a bag of cats at this point). I even planned a spring system that would help bend the joint due to the weight.

    mounted hand mk2 back.PNG mounted hand mk2.PNG

    Enough planning, get to printing already!
    Ok so I had my buddy print all the pieces out over the course of a couple months. As they'd finish I'd clean em up, sand em down, drill the dowel pin hole to the correct size and make sure they had enough clearance together so they could rotate smoothly. I will say, first off, thank you to my friend who did the printing, I tied up his printer for countless hours and many headaches. Couldn't have pulled this off without him! However, if I ever decide to do something to this extent again, I will be buying my own. Biggest drawback: weight vs strength. I shelled out all the pieces to 1/16". After a couple trial prints, the printed layers to finish off the upper shell of the part was so thin it would flex and break if I applied any kind of force on them. the mounts weren't holding up with the stress of the dowel pins and the part was warping on the table as it was printing so the two halves wouldnt line up at all. I ended up thickening the walls to 1/8" and the results were much better. Double the weight, but also more than double the durability, so trade-off I guess. I later found out that his printed is a home built, contantly evolving, problematic printer with rather large printing layers and heating problems that create weak spots between layers. A higher quality printer would definitely result in finer details and thinner walls with better strength, but these worked for my needs and I had neither the time or money to do it any other way. So again, thanks! Still turned out great and I can move on!

    20141029_064449.jpg 20141029_064509.jpg 20141124_071303.jpg 20141126_072229.jpg

    This part has been by far the most time intensive part of the entire process. And no, for the record, I don't smoke - the lighter is for sealing the ends of cut paracord so they don't fray :D More on that and assemly next time!
     
  16. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Let me give you a tip from my Vi build - put the fingers on a slight curve to make them appear more natural.

    VI_PowerGlove.png

    If they are straight flat across it won't look right.

    Your fingers look great though, I'd love to see them in motion.
     
  17. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Good call! I did add a slight curve to them, but I couldn't add too much or they'd hit each other when they are fully curled. I've got a video a coworker shot of me wearing these things but i haven't had time to upload it yet. Promise i will tho! :D That Vi build is looking incredible! Can't believe I missed that when I started these things. Mine are big, but yours by far dwarf them all! I've subbed to your thread and will be following your progress closely!! I'm curious how heavy yours end up. Thanks for the tip :)

    hand assembly1.PNG
     
  18. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Yeah, those things sort of defy reason. I don't think anyone around here has made articulated hands that big, I'm pretty sure Sylgian 's were smaller as well, and for good reason. Weight is a HUGE concern and I am trying to make everything as light weight as possible so I don't get exhausted after 15 minutes. I'm probably going to vacform the bigger pieces to cut weight there as well, and the only place I am using EVA in the entire build is on parts of the hands because of weight concerns. I've done several scale tests so far, the fingers are 3" wide each.

    I didn't think about your fingers having less gap between them so they won't be able to curve as much. You may be able to have them pivot if you have whatever is attaching them to the palm be a bit loose. Like if you are using 3mm bolts, but have 5mm holes, there will be some play which will allow them to wiggle and bump into each other while still closing. I could be wrong though, definitely something you'd want to test before committing.

    I'll be curious to see how you wind up attaching yours to your arm and hand, I'm still trying to problem solve that aspect.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  19. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Printing, cleanup, and assembly continued long into the dark and stormy night....

    20141124_071456.jpg 20141124_071433.jpg 20141124_071408.jpg

    So to clarify a few things, testing on the joints was done with rubber bands and twine just to prove to myself that the things worked the way I was hoping. Once I started assembling the parts for real I bought 1/8" paracord and 1/4" wide cloth elastics. Picked these both up from my local Joann's fabrics store. I tied the paracord onto the anchor at the tip of the finger and ran it thru the inside of the finger and out the back. I then glued one end of the elastic to the top of the inside of the finger tip, maximizing the pull it could produce after it was attached at the other end. One wasn't enough for the weight of the fingers but two held fairly well. Looking back now I'd probably change things up completely and do a single 3/4" wide elastic, but these work for now. Repeat that nine more times, testing each one to make sure movement was good before moving on to the next, and I was finally ready to mount them to the base pieces.

    20141126_072349.jpg 20141126_072257.jpg

    Progress slowly grinding on...
    PS Just for a sense of scale, these things are huge!

    20141124_071544.jpg 20141205_070231.jpg

    I printed out my arm mount template and cut it out of cardboard to mock up the angles of the thumb and my hand in relation to the fingers. After a few minor adjustments, I cut the pieces out of 1/4" ABS sheet plastic. FYI, get a nice sharp saw blade for that and take it slow. The plastic heats up very quickly and melts then gums up the blade. Next I took my heat gun to the supports and bent them around to contour my arm and wrist. pretty comfy fit if I do say so myself! I tied loops in the cords to be able to test out the pull of the fingers, mounted the elastics on the back, and gave it a test!

    20141207_194330.jpg
     
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  20. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Ok last post on the hands and I'll be up-to-date on their progress. Then I can move on to the really juicy stuff!

    Two words on the mount/wrist design: EPIC FAIL! I completely built the arm mount for the hand out of ABS sheet, bent the tabs, drilled the holes, mounted the fingers, ran the cord and elastics, rigged the spring-assisted return, and tried em on for size. Can't tell you what a bummer it was that the design crashed and burned miserably. the angle I had set up for the pivot made for a more difficult finger pull as well as being rather painful. I didn't even take any pictures of the final result because I was so disappointed by it. wasted time and materials plus now I had to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. Oh well, part of prototyping I guess. Moving on! I redesigned the mount to be a single piece, no hinge, no angle, just simple. Oh and added some padding cuz the old one got painful really quick. TA-DA!

    20150205_062234.jpg vid cap1.JPG

    Also decided the cords needed a solid anchor to attach to my fingers so I made tabbed sleeves that I could just slide my fingers into making putting these things on that much easier. I can actually get into the pair of these with no help but after I attach them to the forearms that probably won't be an option anymore. I've got a video of me testing these that a coworker shot but he keeps tilting the camera and it kinda makes me sick to watch. I'll work on getting another one put together soon, but until then if there's enough demand I'll post the original.

    The redesign works really well, fingers pull strong and move pretty convincingly. the thumb is tricky but I think I've ironed that out as well. Just a strange angle compared to the rest so it doesn't pull in the same direction. in the future I might upgrade these with pullies to cut down on friction, but I'm happy for now. :) I've added my first layer of primer and I'm working on the foam palm cover.

    Next up (finally) foam work!
     
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  21. Hoplitespear

    Hoplitespear Well-Known Member

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    That looks so freaking amazing. I really like the look of the fingers.
    Can't wait for more foam work XD
     
  22. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Finally back to foam work! Yipee! Now how to go about doing that... I was honestly stuck. I did some searching and couldn't find a complete/accurate enough pep file. However, looking at the armor sets people have done using pep I could tell it wasn't the tactic I wanted to use. They typically end up very angular which works great for Halo MC's, stormtroopers and of course Iron Men. However, as you can see, This set is very fluid and organic. Lots of curves, not many hard angles at all. I had even extraced the game files and planned on using Pepakura Designer made by Tamasoft and combining that with XRobots' video on converting to foam templates. I spent a while trying to successfully unfold my model but the extracted version wasn't enough detail and mine was WAY to hi-res to work well.

    TM 1 jpg.JPG

    Therefore! I had to come up with another way to shape my foam into such rounded pieces. Yes, at this point I had decided that EVA foam floor mats would be the way to go. They are cheap(ish) and very readily available when I need more. They run $20 for a set of four 2'x2' puzzle pieces at your local Lowe's. I say cheapish because I had no idea how far or, in this case, how NOT far one pack will go. I'll keep you tallied on the number of sets I've had to buy so far :wacko

    Other materials and tools you will need are a heat gun of some sort, a hot glue gun and hi-temp glue sticks, contact cement, a dremel or file, duct tape, cardboard (lots) and a nice sharp razor blade and sharpener. As you know, foam dulls razors really quickly. You could just stock up on loads of blades and swap them out every so often, but I prefer a sharpener because it's quicker, makes the blade sharper than new, and of course only a one-time expense so way cheaper. Also, a breathing mask, safety glasses, and rubber gloves are nice to have. Using a dremel with a sanding bit on foam produces a fine dust that gets everywhere and probably shouldn't be breathed. That goes for the contact cement as well; use it in a well-ventilated area as the fumes can be toxic. Go safety!

    20150521_061152.jpg

    OK with that out of the way, I'm starting at the bottom of the suit and working my way up so I don't miss anything and have to come back later. I wasted one square of foam on my first attempt at simply trying to heat and form it into something close to the lower leg. I used a basketball and a football to try and stretch the stuff into shape. NOTE: EVA foam will form very well, but there is a limit on how far it will stretch. either it's not as tight of radius as you'd like or it tears. Rolling foam into a tube is one thing, but trying to get a nice domed surface is much more difficult. I was getting frustrated.

    I decided the best way to get the shape I wanted was to have a mold of some sort I could wrap the foam around. I needed something cheap to create my positive from and remembered those wooden dinosaur puzzles that are wood sheet that's cut to slide together perpendicularly. (If that wasn't already a word, by golly it is now!) So I used my Solidworks model to mock up a cross section I could cut out in cardboard. I offset the outer surface a half inch and used that as the boundary for the edges of the frame so that the end product would have the same physical size as the model. I printed off the sections, cut them out, glued them onto the cardboard, cut those out and glued them together.

    calf prep.PNG 20150306_065157.jpg

    I thought I'd try to be clever and just heat up the foam and stretch it over my frame to get the right shape. Save some time right? Not so much.. the cardboard wasn't hefty enough to press against to stretch the foam, so I beefed it up with spray insulation foam and duct tape to try again. Again, not much luck. It was impossible to get a consistant shape and I was terrified to try three more times. Another sheet of foam wasted. (I did end up using those sheets later on for smaller areas so it wasn't a complete loss). Back to the drawing board.

    I scoured all my sources for a better way to get the shape I was after and finally stumbled on Evil Ted's YouTube video about how to make a helmet. Check it out HERE. In simple terms, he uses a base that's the shape he wants the inside of the foam to take. A buck simliar to what you'd make for vacuum forming, if you will. Sounds familiar! Then he covers the shape in a couple layers of aluminum foil or plastic wrap and duct tape, scribes cut lines at key areas, then cuts the flat pattern. Transfer the pattern to the foam and "Voila!" Brilliant! Much thanks to Ted for sharing this method!

    I removed the duct tape from the cardboard, filled in the gaps on one side with an open-cell mattress pad and carved it to shape. The calves are symmetric so I really only needed one half then flip it over. Next, I wrapped that half in aluminum foil, then went over that with a thin layer of duct tape.

    20150316_063455.jpg 20150316_064621.jpg 20150316_071417.jpg

    I cut it along the cardboard outlines because they'd already been so strategically placed, seperated the pieces, flattened them out, cut a few reliefs and traced the pattern onto the foam.

    20150317_064251.jpg 20150318_062455.jpg

    I cut the pieces out very carefully, heated and bent them each individually so they'd contour nicely around the fram in the appropriate spot, and used contact cement to glue them together. Let me just say, I'm totally sold on the contact cement! Much finer seams than with hot glue and the pieces hold much stronger. I did the boots completely with hot glue and it worked, but if I were to redo them I'd go the latter route. Eventually I got this:

    20150320_224459.jpg

    That's more like it! Never let it be said that you can't get complex curves out of foam! I did it again, flipping the templates over to get the mirror image, cut, bent and glued that half, then stuck em both together.

    20150326_063354.jpg 20150326_063410.jpg

    At that moment, and only just then, I knew I could do this and I'd see it thru to the end. Up until then I still wasn't so sure. but it came out so beautifully i had no doubt after that. Onward and upward!
     
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  23. dedguy

    dedguy Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    This is super impressive so far. I look forward to seeing more progress. The way you're forming all the subtle curves of the armor is really clever.
     
  24. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks dedguy! Much more to come as I get more time to post.
     
  25. Hoplitespear

    Hoplitespear Well-Known Member

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    Those calves are looking amazing MWiggs. The steps you take to get the perfect patterns really show your skill. Can't wait to see more. And especially how you will handle the knees and elbows.
     
  26. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Hop! Loving your HEV suit by the way, you've got some mad painting skills! I may ask for some tips on weathering when I get to that point.

    Completed the other calf and used permanent marker to scribe out the lines I'd be going over later with my soldering iron. In case anyone doesn't know, dragging the iron across the foam melts a nice groove into the surface. Depending on how long you hold it in place you can make shallow detail cuts with light pressure or deep melted gross looking holes if you leave it too long. Pic on the left shows what happens when the iron isn't hot enough, pic on the right is just right! (also a sneak peak of what's to come!)

    20150609_060411.jpg 20150609_060947.jpg

    Speaking of which, following the same method as the calves, I've build the palms of the hands and the forearms. the palms were tricky because I alterred the hand mounts just a bit to adjust the thumb for different positions. I moved the thumb more opposed on the right hand to it could grip a rifle handle better. However this meant the palms were no longer symmetric, which means my form wouldn't work, thus my first free-hand template design was created! I'm still on the fence about how they look but I think they'll do fine. You can see how much lower the hole for the thumb is on the actual piece than what I had planned for the template.

    20150320_224432.jpg 20150610_070655.jpg 20150610_070913.jpg

    For the forearms I was able to use my pattern technique again and rushed a pair of these out in surprisingly little time.

    20150414_071201.jpg

    At this point I couldn't resist and threw a few of the pieces together to see what they'd look like assembled. These things are huge!

    20150414_072052.jpg

    I added a new layer and some embelishments made of 2mm foamies on the forarms to finish them off. What i wouldn't give for a laser cutter right now... xacto knives work well to cut the foamies but it's impossible to make perfectly clean cuts and consistancy is nonexistant. they're close enough tho and I'm hoping that whatever coating I put on this before painting will help hide any weirdness in the edges.

    20150504_072916.jpg 20150504_073002.jpg 20150519_063928.jpg 20150519_063946.jpg 20150519_064545.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  27. dedguy

    dedguy Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    *, seeing that arm all together is really impressive. Good work dude.
     
  28. Zwilliamo

    Zwilliamo Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Those gauntlets look so awesome!
    I can't wait to see more, your progress looks really clean (loving the pictures).
     
  29. Belgen

    Belgen New Member

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    Awesome work, now i'm waiting for the connection between the pieces :)
     
  30. Dancin_Fool

    Dancin_Fool Well-Known Member

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    Love how this build is shaping up. Thanks for the detailed posts too, they're great to read.
     
  31. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words all! I'm doing my best to be thorough and hopefully help someone out there with a build of their own. If at any point you'd like more information on a specific technique or step I'm more than happy to go deeper into it! Just let me know.

    After the forearm I realized I was deviating from my plan of going ground up so I backtracked to the thigh piece. Same method, build the cardboard frame, wrap, scribe, cut, flatten, trace, slice, heat, curve, glue. I got so wrapped up in these I forgot to take intermediate pictures so here they are almost done:

    20150504_072830.jpg 20150504_072845.jpg

    The hip cover piece was slightly tricky because it was done seperately due to the squares of foam not being large enough, so they don't fit quite as well as I would like. Luckily they're slightly too big so later I can go back and trim them down to size. Also, for extra reinforcement I added a strip of foam all around the perimeter of the top and bottom. The packs of foam come with edge pieces that, when you cut off the puzzle-piece tabs become a beautiful 1/2" square strip that's very bendy. perfect for edging or ribbing!

    In my original design (that matches the game screenshots), the hip cover has a second layer that tapers as it goes down toward the knee as shown:

    hiptaper.PNG

    Not the easiest thing do do with foam, but i definitely wanted that look and not just a block glued on the outside. However I wasn't about to sand a whole sheet of foam to a taper, so I came up with another way. I cut out the basic shape I needed and sanded the bevel into the outer edge. Then I traced the approximate shape into the hip cover and sliced a tapered flap about 3/4 of the way around the bottom of the new piece. Push the cut flap in to countersink the new piece, glue in place and BAM! Taper out of foam! I was really surprised it worked so well.

    20150515_070139.jpg 20150515_070153.jpg

    I sanded the taper around the top a little more and added the screw holes with my dremel.
    Next up (as you may have noticed) I skipped around a little more and went back to the top half.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
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  32. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    MWiggs The photos in your most recent post aren't showing up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  33. Hoplitespear

    Hoplitespear Well-Known Member

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    Nice work again man! And i know, sanding dense foam results in .... lots and lots of probably not so healthy dusts :). Noticed that when sanding out a channel in my HEV belt. Really clean foamwork btw, your skill for curved pieces is amazing. I never did so many curves in armor with foam before, it doesn't look easy.

    Keep up the good work!

    -Hopli-
     
  34. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all! You guys' comments are making me even more excited about this thing. Hope I don't disappoint!

    So my first decision of working from the bottom up was been thrown out the window completely. I've modified it to: Major components first, smaller pieces and details later. I bounced back up to the shoulder bells. These turned out a lot bigger than I thought. Impressive to say the least. They took another pack of foam just for these! Followed the same method of course, and the result speaks for itself:

    20150504_073028.jpg 20150504_073048.jpg

    The little flap thing in the second pic will be mounted with some sort of hinge so it can rotate out of the way as I raise my arm. Also, as you can see I've scribed all the lines on the foam where I plan to use my soldering iron to melt little grooves for detail. Haven't done that step yet, but as soon as I get some ventilation going that's up next. The shape of the shoulders isn't perfect yet, I need to do a little more heat forming to get them just right. Before that happened tho, I moved on to the upper arms. The base shapes were quite simple and I got both of em done in about an hour. Next I cut out the armor plates for the front and did a little detail work on those.

    20150515_070043.jpg 20150515_070057.jpg 20150518_063456.jpg

    My workbench is becoming crowded.... I had to clear out even more of my garage so I'd have a spot to stand what I've got done so far.

    20150504_073128.jpg

    Now that's a collection!
     
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  35. Blackout

    Blackout Active Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Time to build another workbench it seems! fantastic work, by the way :)
     
  36. TomVDJ

    TomVDJ Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Incredible build! I'll following this thread with great interest!
     
  37. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Blackout & TomVDJ!

    On that note, I've rearranged my workspace a bit and cleared off most of the pieces. I managed to make a space to set the whole thing up as it comes together off to the side away from where the actual work is taking place. I'm pretty excited about how it's looking! Never thought I'd get this far but SO glad I have! For any of you trying to decide if this is a hobby you want to get into, it's worth the effort people, believe me. :)

    I used a sheet of 2mm Foamies foam to add some detailing and kind of cover on the calves and thighs. This made for an awesome rounded transition on the thigh! I'll take a closer picture soon but I'm really proud about how it turned out! High-tack industrial spray adhesive works pretty good for this but you've really got to know where the piece is going before you try to stick it on because it's not coming off after that. Lesson learned the hard way... But I got the right parts cut out and covered and stacked em all up for dramatic effect:

    20150523_151202.jpg

    Kind of tricky with no joints yet but I'm stoked about the results so far! Speaking of tricky, up until now I've built everything with my cardboard frame/duct tape method. Next up were the knee caps and I didn't really think the same method was going to work, so I gave it a stab doing everything freehand. I'll tell ya, I was nervous. However, I told myself if I messed it up I still had plenty of extra materials to try again. Don't be afraid to experiment! So far I've found the more creative you get the better the results can be. I started slicing and trimming and in a bit I had this: Then a bit of 1/4" Foamies for the outer trim, again approximated into place. A couple more layers later and I was thinking they're the best looking parts so far.

    20150523_150631.jpg 20150523_150738.jpg 20150529_205751.jpg

    For the holes I used Evil Ted's dremel-sanding-rivet method but swapped the bit with a small grinding cylinder where the top is the same grit as the sides. You get a nice clean hole straight thru the foam. I built up the mounts the the caps as well (again freehand, yay) but those required a TON of snading and shaping in order to get them to contour to the calf correctly. After many mock-ups I figured out the mount was way too tall so I cut two inches off the bottom and tried again. Something like this requires much trial and error, and of course patience. Take your time on every little detail because any part you rush will stand out. I believe anyway. I didn't want to glue them to the legs yet because the knee joints had to go in first. Needed the clearance. Next time! Thanks for watching!
     
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  38. dedguy

    dedguy Member

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    I agree with you, those knee pads are the best piece yet. They look amazing. Your work is so clean and you're getting some amazing shapes out of the foam. Much like Sandbagger's steel Iron Man build I came into this thread dubious that it was even possible, but you make it look like it's not only very possible but also very easy.
     
  39. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Anything but easy, my friend! But practice makes perfect. I had my doubts too about EVA but it seems to be working pretty close to plan. Thanks for that.

    I thought this morning I'd share a fun render I made in my down time. I did it as kind of a geek-tastic tribute to the talent and fandom here on the RPF, and as a small thanks to all the help and guidance I've recieved. I know it's not much, but I hope someone enjoys it. Collective of many of the fan bases here including StafCraft (obvisously) Star Wars, Terminator, Halo, Fifth Element, Aliens, and District 9. I'm working on a second that includes Portal, Warhammer, Megaman, Hellboy, Hitman, and others. Enjoy!

    Warzone1.JPG

    This should be big enough to span 2 monitors @ 1980x1200 rez. If it's not, PM me and I'll send you the full rez version. I'm not sure how attachments are formatted here.

    More to come soon!
     
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  40. CLOTHAR

    CLOTHAR Active Member

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    DUDE get out of my head! I have been dreaming of this costume for years, and watching your build is like seeing it come to life. Your foam work is looking great so far. All the curves and details are really good. Keep at it, I can't wait to see how it all comes together.
     
  41. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Clothar!

    Knee joints were kind of tricky, but like so many things the solution turned out to be far more simple than I was making it out to be. I added supports to the thighs, double thick for extra strength. Let me tell you, using contact cement to glue two half inch thick pieces of foam together makes it UBER rigid! Worked like a charm. Then I added the lower support and mount to the top of the calf piece which was tricky because it had to mount on the inside of the thing. Lots and lots of trial and error trying to get these to fit just right BTW. Never give up, never surrender! My plan was simply a cylinder mounted between two thicker discs, similar to a simple hinge. I checked out how people were doing thier Iron Man joints and debated using a chicago bolt to sandwhich the pieces together, but I wanted them to be able to come back apart easily. I heard of people using magnets and after some trial and error found I can't (cost effectively) get a magnet to hold any kind of shear weight while still being able to pivot around the center point. Then I thought of those magnetic purse clasp type magnets with the nub in the middle, but they don't make those strong enough. Then I thought, oh, what about just regular snaps? nope. No way to mount them secure enough to the foam that you could unsnap them without tearing them out. But then it hit me, PVC. A 3/4" sch40 PVC pipe fits nicely inside a 1" sch40! still a little play but enough clearance there's almost no friction between the two! I countersank the 3/4" into the thigh supports and cut holes thru the thigh supports for the 1" and BAM! instant joint that's simple, lightweight, cheap, and repeatedly removable with no wear as well as being invisible. I went back and added the ribs for a bit of support as well as a little extra styling. Rotates perfectly, hides my leg pretty well, and now it's also free-standing! Woot!

    20150609_061126.jpg 20150601_213330.jpg 20150601_213312.jpg

    Helpful hint: if you take a dremel or knife and sand/carve the inside edge of the inner diameter of a pvc pipe it becomes sharp. This makes a great tool to punch perfect holes in your foam! Just position and start spinning the pipe to bore a hole as deep as you want. Thanks Evil Ted once again!

    After more trial and error, sanding to shape over and over, and cutting about half the height out of the mount, I finally got the knee caps attached! These seriously were by far the most difficult and most rewarding to accomplish! I think they completely finish off the legs! Got the little detail tabs assembled, sanded to shape and attached as well. Those are just 1/4" foamies glued together and dremeled to shape.

    20150610_070440.jpg 20150610_205403.jpg

    Next up, the knee "hydraulics"! After those I should finally be caught up to my current progress and updates may take a tad longer, but rest assured I'm seeing this thru to the end! Thanks for the support, comments, and any advice you may have. I'm a perfectionist so if you see something that's not just right please don't let me finish this off without fixing it! The final result is only as great as it's weakest part. TTFN
     
  42. dedguy

    dedguy Member

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    The completed legs look amazing and I really both the mechanical and visual design of your knee joint. From the outside it almost looks like it's impossible for a leg to be inside it.
     
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  43. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    @dedguy - Thanks! that was actually one of my goals. Glad I've hit it! They're actually quite comfy and they flex farther than I would have expected. There's still room behind my knee as well for the "rubber" hoses that will go in next. If I'm careful I can still get my foot thru the opening in the calf while still wearing my shoe. And that's an accomplishment 'cuz I wear 13's. :D
     
  44. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Update to knee "hydraulics"

    I cut lengths of PVC (3/4" and 1") for the bodies of the hydraulics and connected them with T-adapter fittings. These are for two smaller sized pipes feeding into one larger one, with kind of a cool taper in the middle. I spaced them to be in line because the 1/2" to 3/4" is shorter than the 3/4" to 1".

    20150610_210438.jpg 20150618_064009.jpg

    quick assemble and test fit! the movement felt too loose so i added some felt my wife had from a previous sewing project to the inside of the larger tube to pad the smaller one. Little resistance but feels like just the right amount!

    20150617_065840.jpg 20150617_065845.jpg 20150617_065856.jpg 20150618_064044.jpg

    I threw a quick coat of primer and paint on. Satin nickel for the body and "chrome" for the piston. subtle difference in shade but I think after the weathering it'll look much better. Speaking of which, weathering and clear coat will take place a bit later once I figure that out... Any weathering tips? what kind of paint (spray/brush, laquer/acrylic, black/brown etc) for the color wash??

    20150626_062938.jpg

    Reassembled with the legs and they move beautifully! I'm kind of a perfectionist so it will always bother me just a little that the mounts ended up in slightly different spots making the lengths of the cylinders different and one leg flex farther foward than the other, but for now (since my deadline is quickly approaching) it'll do just fine. I also added the hoses on the back of the knee joint but haven't got a picture of it yet. I'll upload those when i get one.

    20150627_070330.jpg 20150627_070343.jpg

    Also this past weekend I got a little work done on the gun! Head over here to check it out! Thanks for watching!
     
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  45. msleeper

    msleeper Sr Member

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    [​IMG]

    For a gun of that size, doing it out of foam is probably your best bet. EVA would work, you could even do insulation board. You'll spend a small fortune in silicone if you mold it to rotocast, but that's definitely an option. If you can find someone who has a vacuum forming machine big enough to handle it, that would be an option too.
     
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  46. dedguy

    dedguy Member

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    This thing is beautiful. I thought it was impressive seeing someone attempt scratch building a Starcraft Marine in 1/6 scale.
     
  47. Override

    Override Active Member

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    I have to say that the PVC pneumatic cylinders are a great touch. It makes it feel more "could be real" than costume
     
  48. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Thanks again guys!

    Quick update for today and i'm finally up to date with my progress! I made up some duct tape templates for the codpiece, freehand this time because the frame I had discovered was way too small. Trial and error, test fittings and modifications finally got me there. I only created half the pattern then just flipped them on the foam and traced out the other side as well. Nice symmetry! Glued the whole thing together then added more flexible tubing with t-fittings as a frame to add stiffness as well as anchor points to hang the thighs off of. I've ordered all the strapping for the legs and i'll be putting those together next week and hopefully get a video of the first test fit and walk-around! Exciting! Anyway, I threw the cod up on the legs as a mockup just like everything else and I can finally see this thing taking shape! and yes, before you ask, the kink in that pipe is intentional. It's filling in a bump in the back side that appeared as I was gluing the thing together.

    FYI, this type of pipe is very thin wall and rather flexible. however, the smaller the radius you try to bend it into the flatter the pipe will get until the walls give up and fold. at that point, you can never straighten that bit again. the bend will always be a weak spot in the tube and will forever more want to bend there and nowhere else. There are other types of pipe that are probably equally flexible but stronger than this, but I got a roll of 100 feet for $10. Can't beat that!

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    Also just this morning I built the armor plate for the front of the cod. I've added another layer of foam since the picture but this is mostly done.

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    I'm out of town for a few days but by then the rest of my supplies should arrive and I can hit the rigging pretty hard and hopefully (finally) move on to the chest piece! (scared) Thanks for watching.
     
  49. CLOTHAR

    CLOTHAR Active Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    The legs are looking really great. The pistons, and all the little details are very well done. I look forward to seeing how you rig it all up!
     
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  50. MWiggs

    MWiggs Well-Known Member

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    Re: "It's About Time!" Starcraft II Terran Marine CMC Armor WIP *PIC HEAVY*

    Thanks Clothar! As always the comments are greatly appreciated and keep my motivation up!

    BIG UPDATE! Strapping came in and I rigged up the cod and the thighs. two shoulder straps to suspend the cod, connected in front with a sternum strap and crossing in the back to minimize rotational swing. 'Course the thing fits tight enough that's not a prblem anyway but just in case. I used two straps for each thigh mounted in the same place but each wrapping around my leg a different direction, then both buckling into a single buckle at the hip. That gives me stability in the leg itself, (minimal wobbling) the ability to adjust height and rotation of the leg, and a central pivot point from the hip for flexibility! If anyone wants more detailed pics on the rest of the rigging I can post a few more. I also added buckled straps to the inside of the knees to lock the joint to my own, but the buckles don't seem to like to stay tight enough. I will revisit this soon, possibly with a velco solution. Other than that, my wife helped me strap everything up and I took a test drive around my garage to see how it all fit and if I had issues I need to address. And can I just say, a huge hand of applause to my wife who's been such a trooper thru this whole [insanity] project! Wouldn't be anywhere near this far without her!

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    So, after the initial suit-up I found a few issues. I will say, there are definitely more friction points than I would have liked, but far fewer than I was expecting. I had to adjust the straps on the thighs to rotate them further out, the knee strap issue which made it slightly more cumbersome to walk, I still have to finish the nubs on the outer edges of the boots for a little added stability, the shoulder pads need more padding (of course) and I'll have to find a way to attach the calf pieces to the boots because they tend not to want to rotate at the knee quite as I'd planned. Other than that, the whole thing is suprisingly easy to move around in and there seems to be no crazy stresses going on that would cause flexing of the foam. I'm quite happy with the initial run! On that note, it was about 95° in my garage that day and MAN that thing was hot! EVA foam does not breathe, people! even as big as it is and as far away from my body as most of it sits, it traps in heat really well! Hopefully come Con time it will have cooled down a bit.

    After that I got quite a bit done on the details for the cod. Not sure exactly what to call them but there's a big recirc/pump?? thing at the front with a bunch of hoses coming out of it, covered with the armor plate I posted previously, as well as the back-side armor which I'm lovingly calling the butt-plate. Figure it'll be able to withstand all the Space Marines kicks back there. ;) I prettly much had to design the front piece by eye and trial and error because it's not a simple shape. I started with a center rib of the contour I wanted with EVA, added some camping mat foam to each side and carved to shape, then added a couple more layers of EVA on the outside to give it some strength, sanded that to shape, then wrapped the whole thing in 2mm foamie to make a nice smooth surface. Then I added the tubes top and bottom which are rolled 1/2" EVA capped off with 1/4" foamies. Finally, the most time consuming part, I had to shape the entire back of the piece to match the contour of the cod in order to get it to mount correctly. Huge pain, but it turned out quite nice, I thought! Anyway, enough blabbing, on the the pics!

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    I'm currently working on the butt-plate and exhaust vents on the back of the cod and should be finished up with those soon. Thanks for watching!
     
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