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That's right, Randy! I found great looking car mats (Rubbermaid brand, of all things) for only $13 at Fred Meyer's.


Here's a shot of the mat before any modifications. (I later found them in black, but the first ones I made started out gray).


Here's the rest of the materials used:
1. Some industrial floor mat I bought at Home Depot (the black stuff with holes). This is just one square from the mat- it cuts down easily with a sharp knife.
2. Foam rubber (the dark grey stuff). I cut up an insulation pad.
3. Sheet plastic (the light grey stuff). Ideally you should try to get some black ABS plastic, but I had some of this stuff already lying around.
4. Foam knee pads (Tommyco brand). These were only $5, and they had a cool look to them.


Because the Mat I started with wasn't black already, I just used some black craft paint. It stuck to the floor mat surprisingly well!


First, I trimmed the car mat as shown above, to form a neck hole and make the shoulders bend a bit easier.


Trim down the inside edges after cutting the neck hole, so the sharp corners don't jab you in the neck, right?


And while you're at it, trim off the little poky nubs on the underside too.


For the back plate, you might want to trim off the nubs around the edges of the bottom side.


Cut a slit on either side of the bottom of the mat- this is where the belt will go. Bevel the bottom corners, and trim down the edges so they don't poke into your sides.


To attach the back plate, I made a couple plastic rectangles and ran pop rivets through them, the car mat, and through the floor mat.


Be sure to use washers on the back side so the pop rivets don't just pull through. I made these washers out of plastic, but later picked up some proper poprivet washers.


To make the chest plates, I cut the plastic sheet down to 6" squares, then beveled the corners (note I spraypainted the plastic flat black here). Then I cut the foam rubber to match- these foam rubber pieces just help give the plates some thickness.


To attach the chest plates, I used extra long pop rivets and drilled holes first. Then the rivets go through the plate, the foam pad, and into the car mat. Use washers on the back again.

The Eagle is an old 40K imperial eagle badge- I cast up some with Sculpey, spraypainted them silver, then used black craft paint to shade them.


To attach the front to the back, cut a slit in either side of the front plate (we cut slots in the back plate already, if you remember). Use a black belt and run it out from the inside, over the edges, then back in and around the inside. Buckle the belt at the other side.


To attach the shoulders, I cut some bicycle innertube into strips, cut a slot in the armor and the shoulder pad, fed the strips through, and glued them on.

Here's a view from the inside. To keep the shoulders from flipping around, I glued the straps completely over the top of the shoulders and the armor. There's probably a better way to attach these, but at least they're easy to put on this way.

End result again for reference:

Coming up: some really wicked looking Arm Guards made from cheap welding gloves, craft paint, and yet more floor matting. Stay tuned...

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That is a really inventive use of floor mats! I'm going to have to make a trip to the local car enthusiast's store for something similar.


Well-Known Member
Very nice, I like your inquisitional storm trooper armor.
You did a bang up job mashing RL items into pure sci-fi awesome.
Through some =I='s on the shoulders or the breast plate and you're there!


New Member
Thanks, Nog3! I couldn't find car mats this style at Autozone or O'Rileys, strangely they only had them at Fred Meyer for me. So fingers crossed for your search!

Finnlock, yeah, some kind of 40K stormtrooper costume will surely happen at some point, with these as the base... In the meantime, they're just fun! The key to a good 40K costume is the guns, since they're such an iconic part of the 40K look. I'll eventually get around to some Nerf 40K conversions- hotshot lasguns, Arbites shotgun, who knows. Certainly a bolt pistol, since the Recon is such a good starting point.

Oh, and now that everyone's got their Xmas presents, we did some quick photos.


I don't have the right boots in this shot...


This is a pretty good ensemble though...


This one's not wearing the armor or the right gloves, but has the right boots!

Some day, we'll get the proper group shot together. :|
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Okay, on to that GLOVES tutorial. Note that the same techniques were used to make the boots.

The base gloves are easy- I bought a 3 pack of cheap-ass leather welding gloves from Harbor Freight, painted them black with craft paint, and cut the fingers off. DONE! Well, you should superglue the seams after cutting the fingers off, so they don't fall apart.

Next, you need some old rubber floor matting, like this:

This stuff is easy to cut with a steak knife. Just follow the ridges on the bottom and you'll get a nice straight cut.

You can then bevel the edges of the ridges if you want, just by cutting them with nippers or scissors:

Okay, each glove will need a rectangle for the gauntlet and a smaller rectangle for the hand back. I made mine like this:

Then cut some strips of bicycle innertube to form straps. Then simply cut a slit inside one of the ridge squares to feed the straps through, like so:

Note the hand back only needs 1 strap, the gauntlet needs two. I fed my straps through from the outside, then superglued them to the inside.

Finally, fold the gloves lengthwise and slide the pieces on. The gauntlet should end just short of the back of the glove, and the hand back strap should go in front of the thumb and across the palm.

End result- chunky, bitchin' looking combat gauntlets, that still let you touch stuff (like your trigger!).

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New Member
Nearly a year later... But with Halloween fast approaching, it was about time I got some helmets together to go with that armor!



Well-Known Member
Awesome stuff! Love what you did with the guns.

Your 4 step weathering tutorial makes it sound like you do a Nerf gun in an hour or something. It never ceases to amaze me that something so obviously a toy, could become incredibly realistic looking just by painting it! The original bright colors somehow hide the realistic sci/fi design of these things.


New Member
Thanks, Shiny one! Yeah, the new Nerf stuff is pretty amazing. I still can't believe they developed such a robust clip fed system.

So I got the boys into their full gear and took pics (one at a time unfortunately, but we'll have group shots by Halloween for sure).

They're complaining about heat and weight (they have no idea how heavy and hot the real thing is, heh), but once they see how cool they look that should all fade away.




Active Member
I spent a few months a while back casting a dozen sheets of dyed latex off a car floor mat. Aren't there actually panels of rubber carpet underlay on the turbolift walls in some of the early Trek movies?

If you'll put up with my making a suggestion, it would be that the costume could do with a bit of light weathering. Flexible objects are a pain - I might try powder paint in latex - but I think it might give it that final polish. Or unpolish, if you see what I mean. As one of Terry Pratchett's characters once opined, armour should look like it's been doing its job!

In general I love this sort of stuff, though. Made the way the original Star Wars was, from the contents of the bits box and chunks of old washing machine, and yet nobody questions for a second the fact that it's a ray gun. Fantastic.


New Member
Took a few more shots of that Steampunk Firefly conversion...

because, sadly, it must be sold for Halloween props. I rarely sell any of my custom pieces, it's just too hard to mass produce something like this.



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Halloween, finally got some decent shots of the family!

Good thing I couldn't find a green shirt, or I wouldn't have rediscovered this Korean War era coat in my closet.

So now we just call the armor Imperial Guard armor. I think Jes Goodwin would approve.
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