Gray Fox MGS1 Build

Mach1matt

Member
Good morning. Got a small update on the project. The helmet has been curing a few days, so I haven’t messed with it, but I did work on the suit some more. I had almost of the chest plates cut out already, so I started rounding off the edges and tried out some heat shaping.
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After that, I decided to try and start attaching the plates to the suit. I believe that I’m approaching attaching these things a little differently than the Gray Fox suits that I’ve seen before. I didn’t want the whole torso to be like a vest. I want this suit to move. The reason is, the Metal Gear series has always made metal things move so organically. Gray Fox, the Gekkos from MGS4, etc. So, I made the chest and ab plates attach with Velcro directly to the suit independent from one another.
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I then had to try it on, and the range of motion is awesome. The fact that I can easily remove everything will make it possible to wash the suit. One thing that I will definitely have to do is make the suit into two halves. I don’t want to have to take most of the plates off just to put it on, and the zipper on the back doesn’t go nearly low enough. I literally had to shoehorn myself into it.
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Yesterday I didn’t have a lot of time, so I started Plasti-dipping the plates I have done so far.
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The helmet should be dry enough this weekend to resume working on it. I still need to make the decals and I’ll need to clear it one or two more times after applying them, so I’m not going to start reassembly yet. I think I’ll move on to the back plates next. If anyone spots potential issues I may run into, or if something I’m doing is unsatisfactory, don’t hesitate to chime in. This is my first build using EVA foam so any tips or tricks are welcomed. I’ll give another update as soon as I can. Thanks everyone!
 

joberg

Master Member
Good idea affixing the EVA foam to that full suit! For a first try working with that kind of material the result is very good!
Eager to see your next update and the shot of the mannequin + helmet is very cool :cool: :cool: (y)(y)
 

Mach1matt

Member
Hey guys. I got a small amount of progress made. It was actually more like R&D. I was browsing the aisles at Walmart the other day and saw a shade of blue on a spray can cap that looked similar to my reference photos, so I bought it for testing. I primed my pec and ab foam pieces with some light gray, and then sprayed the “Ink Blue” satin paint. These pics are from when it was still pretty wet but I had to check out the color contrast of the blue, orange, and white.
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The paint dried a little darker, but it’s definitely not as dark as the cap suggested (surprise surprise).
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I know the finish is a little grainy too, but I’ll sand all of that out. I just wanted to try out some color. I’ll probably do a watered down black wash on the pieces before I clear them too. I also wanted to see how durable spray paint was with flexing the plates. So far it’s holding up great. No cracking or flaking. Oh, and because y’all liked the shot of the lid on the mannequin, here’s another with the painted pieces
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I didn’t have much time in the past few evenings, but I started making the neck piece.
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I didn’t get much farther than this, because after 2 years, the ole’ Rona finally infiltrated my household. I’ve been taking care of my wife the past 2 days, so I’ve been helping her as much as I can. She napped pretty much all day today, so I finally bit the bullet and started working on the decals. It’s a stage of the build I’ve been dreading for some reason, but I got it ironed out I think. I made some examples on my MacBook using the image from Diegator’s thread, and found a stock font in Pages that’s close enough. I printed out a few on regular printer paper and tried them out using some painters tape.
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I then committed to printing on the transparent water slide paper and giving it 3 coats of clear.
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Tomorrow, granted I don’t get sick overnight, I’ll apply these bad boys and maybe get around to spraying the last coats of clear on the helmet. Then, comes finally assembling this thing for the LAST time. Thanks for the continuous encouragement and kind words everyone. I’ll update again soon!
 

Mach1matt

Member
Hey everyone. Well, my decals I made yesterday cured up nicely, so while I’m stuck in the house I decided to go ahead and apply them, and I AM STOKED! Amazing how a few little bits of text can amp up something
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This is the paper I used in case anyone wants to try this process out. I bought it at Michael’s. Worked great with my inkjet printer.
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I cleared the decals with 3 heavy coats of this and it cured maybe 12 hours or so. Was completely dry this morning.
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I’ve made a decision though. I’m not going to be clearing over the decals right now. I have been fighting with finishes for 2 months with this thing. I’m going to wait until fall to do so. The edges of the decals are visible, but not too bad from say 5 feet away. I made 1 extra set of decals for the helmet to account for error, but I can always print more. It was a super simple process. Being I’m stuck in the house, I’m gonna start finalizing the electronics and reassemble this thing. I’ve got plenty to do to keep me occupied. Hopefully the next update will have a clip of the thing on my head. I still need to pick up some upholstery foam so I can make it fit snugly on my head, but that can wait. Thanks guys!
 

Mach1matt

Member
Love the blue & gold on that suit ~ dang !
I pray your wife will recover fully and soon.
Man so do I. I was trying to make a foam piece of the suit that’s orange so I can see them together on the mannequin. I think it’s gonna look fine. I was trying to use a blue that’s readily available. The orange was kinda tough to nail down. It’s VHT engine enamel from the auto parts store. Kinda pricy, but the color is pretty specific too. Lol. I appreciate the kind words for my wife. She’s been miserable the past 2 days. Today is better than yesterday so far.
 

joberg

Master Member
Hopefully, your wife will be is ship shape soon(y) As for the foam; a light prep of diluted white glue would've sealed the foam.
Easier to paint and sand(y) Eager to see your next update!
 

Mach1matt

Member
Hopefully, your wife will be is ship shape soon(y) As for the foam; a light prep of diluted white glue would've sealed the foam.
Easier to paint and sand(y) Eager to see your next update!
I appreciate it! I’ve seen that method too. Do you know if the glue method has any kind of flexibility to it? Reason I ask, a few of the pieces of the suit will definitely have some movement applied to them. For example, the spine and thigh plates. I’m not talking a crazy amount, but I am curious as to how much abuse the glue will take before it starts cracking.
 

joberg

Master Member
I appreciate it! I’ve seen that method too. Do you know if the glue method has any kind of flexibility to it? Reason I ask, a few of the pieces of the suit will definitely have some movement applied to them. For example, the spine and thigh plates. I’m not talking a crazy amount, but I am curious as to how much abuse the glue will take before it starts cracking.
I haven't seen/heard any problem with seams and the glues used on the EVA Foam...some are using contact cement and other hot glue gun...get a test piece with both and see which one lasts longer;)
 

Mach1matt

Member
Hey guys. Sorry it’s been a little while. As I had mentioned, my wife had covid, which she is all well and good. I ended up catching it too, so the build was put off for about 5 days. I got some good stuff done though before and after.

I made some liners for the faceplates and forehead using some thin Eva foam.
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Then I moved on to wiring. I still have some tidying up to do.
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I ended up having to buy new Arduino Nanos, because I couldn’t get the Elegoo clones to connect to my iMac. I went with an Arduino Nano Every. Connected perfectly. I noticed that the forehead servo was kind of lazy, so I ordered a bigger one. I honestly wish I could replace the faceplate servos with these. There’s just no room unfortunately.
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The helmet is now fully wired up and standalone. I had to try it on. I’ll upload a video later of it. I’ve gotta do a bit more tweaking to get everything perfectly aligned. It’s so cool wearing it and making it open and close. That’s all for now guys. Thanks!
 

Mach1matt

Member
Here’s a small video clip I made the other day when I first tried it on. Sorry for it being a side shot. The gap at the front when it’s closed is really crappy. This is also before I replaced the forehead servo. You can see how lazy it is. I wired up two buttons for the helmet. The first one I integrated into the “sensor” in the back-top-left. Turned out awesome in my opinion. The second uses a pin connector that I plug a 3ft wired button into that I’ll run down the left arm of the suit. I’m still trying to hunt down what’s causing the interference preventing the faceplates from closing all the way. I’m gonna figure it out this evening.
 

Mach1matt

Member
DUDE! That is legit! WELL DONE!
Thanks man! This has been such an infuriating build, somewhat. A lot of my issues would be solved if the helmet was about 1/2”-3/4” bigger overall. I’m fighting these small servos. The weight of the fiberglass faceplates are causing issues. I honestly wish I’d cast the helmet. Thanks for the kind words!
 

George

Master Member
It's so cool to watch. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us !
I hope to learn about servos some time in the future as well
 
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Mach1matt

Member
It's so cool to watch. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us !
I hope to learn about servos some time on the future as well
I appreciate y’all tagging along with me. I’ll be honest, the servos weren’t that hard to figure out. It was figuring out the dang button cycling that made me almost pull my hair out.
 

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