First post for VERY long build...

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kangazang

New Member
Hi all, my first post on here, I hope it's in the right place.
Basically, I'm building a life size, wearable robot suit, but it's not form a movie or TV show - it's a character from my own series of sci-fi novels. (www.kangazang.co.uk)

Put simply, it's a female robot named M25 (or 'Tailback' as she's later known).
My plan is to construct a wearable suit that can be worn by promotional models to help sell my book at public appearances.

Visually, she needs to be a blend of Sorayama's 'sexy robot' drawings, Macintosh or Honda elegance and a little C3PO in places.

I've built stormtrooper armour before and some small props, but nothing of this magnitude, so I thought this place might be the best place to ask help and advice along the way....
 
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kangazang

New Member
Okay, so my first and most important step (after designing which is pretty much all done) is to work on the head/helmet.

I went and bought a great looking mannequin, but it's clear that it's too small to cup open and use as a base. It'll never fit my 10 yr old daughter, let alone an adult. So my choices are to use it as a base and build outwards and cast it up, or sculpt on top of it.

Either way it'll be tricky and what I really want to end up with are a couple of vacuum-formed sections that I can trim, connect and detail up, like a Stormtrooper helmet does.

Question: (to myself if noreplies are forthcoming...)
do I use:

a) clay, mould, cast in fastcast resin?

b )clay, papier mache, bondo, filler, vacform?

hmm.
 

kangazang

New Member
One other observation that I feel I should point out - it's a bit of a cop-out to build something of my own design. It's not like I'm building R2D2 so that people on here van see if it's any good or not - I can tweak and adjust this project to suit my skills and budget and as the creator, what I say is acceptable is ok in my eyes already.

This site is full of incredibly talented, skilled people who I can not compete with. But I'm not here to try to do that, just chronicle my project and ask those in the know for tips along the way.
 

Chrisisall

Sr Member
The absolute beauty of creating your own thing is that whatever you do, it's RIGHT! No limitations, no constraints!
GO FOR IT!!!
But keep us posted, okay?

Just for my part, when constructing armour (I did the Master Chief for my Son last Halloween), I used cardboard for the base, easy to work with, cheap, and light in weight. Later you can coat it with all manner of stuff, sand it & whatnot.
 
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kangazang

New Member
Thanks for the encouragement Chris!

Yes, I think for the arms and leg armour, I'll try to make it out of something very light like cardboard and then look at coating it in a harder resin. I've not done this before, although I've used fibreglass and fastcast before.
 

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jaybible

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Interesting project, it would be nice to see some concept art and designs to get a feel for the project and what would be the best way to approach this.

If you're planning on vac forming then medium chavant clay and filler sheeting is the way to go.

I personally would try and get a hold of a full size mannequin if these are to be worn by promo girls. It will make sizing and fitting so much more straightforward.
 

kangazang

New Member
Here are soem sketches that I did to try and decide what she should look like...


And in the pic below, some photo reference of similar things - the pics in the top centre and the colour on in the top right corner are both by me:
 

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kangazang

New Member
Some more sketching here...

Since time has passed, I realised that not everyone will be able to fit in this suit. The original intended recipient is no longer in touch with me - she was about 5'7", size 8 -10.

Since then I've met two willing victi---er models, who couldn't be more different - one is about 4'8" the other is a whopping (and VERY impressive) 6'2" !

I'm inclined to go with the taller model (lol- who isn't?) because she'd have an amazing impact on the public. The proposed boots have 3" heels, which will make the finished robot six and a half feet tall. I'm only 5'8". She'd tower over, or at least match most UKG Vaders I know!

Which is very cool.

Anyway, I've been brainstorming with a pencil and put down ideas for an adjustable system for the arms and legs - simple telescoping sections that can be pinned to be longer or shorter.

Here be the scribbles. Apologies fo rthe indecipherable writing, but I need me notes!







More to come...
 

Contec

Master Member
the suit looks pretty skinthight so maybe it would be better to make a cast of the female model to work from. Then you could maybe make the suit from foamlatex or something else that can conform to the human body a little better than any armor.
 

kangazang

New Member
In an ideal situation, yes, that would be the way to go. But I don't have a very big budget, nor a designated workspace. All I aim to do is get close to my designs, and amend/tweak all the way. It may be that she ends up looking more like a pink and white Iron Man, but if its made well enough, I'll be happy.
 

kangazang

New Member
Okay, been researching for a couple of days and I think I've decided on a method.
I'm going to do some small experiments with EVA foam and plasti-dip paint.
My first idea was to go with sculpting and vac-forming etc, but I realise that I have neither the space, money nor assistance to do all of that myself. But EVA will, I hope, prove to be lighter and more manageable in terms of weight, workability and cost.
 

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kangazang

New Member
Okay, some more sketches. (btw, I sketch as a method of brainstorming, I find I can metally go through a process and work out most of the problems this way.)
I think I know what I'm going to do regarding the torso and face.

Face will have to be vacformed. I can't foresee it being done satisfactorily in EVA, so
I'm going to sculpt a basic face shape and mould it thus:


Then cast it in fastcast and finally get it to a vacformer to make a few pulls in ABS or HIPS.

Torso - been working on ideas to match my original design as close as possible, and thinking about the shapes that will go into making it:



btw, I contracted a friend to cut up and paint up a mannequin last year:

Looks ok, but I'm kind of abandoning that as it was too small even for my (then) size 8 girlfriend and the EVA will be more comfortable, flexible and hopefully just as good to see.
 

Leander

Active Member
might be nice to make the white really clean like the faces in the reference photo and the pink shiny like it's metal-ish

can't wait to see this project grow

good luck
 

kangazang

New Member
The painted mannequin looks sweet! I'm interested as to how this will turn out.
might be nice to make the white really clean like the faces in the reference photo and the pink shiny like it's metal-ish

can't wait to see this project grow

good luck
Thanks chaps. Although the painted mannequinb looks good, it's *way* too small and would probably cost a fortune to re-do it or fix it. I'm going to try the foam route for now as it'll be lighter, more comfortable for the performer and hopefully easy to maintain. Not to mention cheaper.
 

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