METAL (aluminum & steel) Colonial Marine armor (aliens-USCM) DONE!

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by bigbisont, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Decided I had outgrown my scratch built plastic/fibrerglass USCM armor and was ready for something metal. Not having a spare car to sell in order to get the man himself to make it, I decided to tackle the project on my own.

    I will be using:
    -2x vintage sleds (not actaully that much more expensive that new sheet 16G aluminum, and already 'dished')
    -A mostly generic pre-made breastplate (will need chopped up to accurize)
    -Mostly generic greaves (needs work to accurize)
    -Real M1 Steel pot helmet
    -Finest quality greeblies and bits I can find (real HM560 mic, lots of 'Noble' products, etc)



    Started with paper templates
    20150903_162045.jpg

    Traced them on to sled
    20150905_194549.jpg

    cut them out
    20150906_195250 (1).jpg

    And got to hammering!
    20150907_170553.jpg

    20150907_155322.jpg 20150907_190802.jpg


    I think I am off to a good start, but tons and tons of work still to do....I will update as things progress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  2. Gee2

    Gee2 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Love it!
     
  3. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Awesome!
     
  4. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Thanks guys.

    More progress. Got a 2nd sled to chop up and made these.

    20150911_204808.jpg
    20150913_192419.jpg



    I am using a mostly generic set of steel greaves and a steel breastplate as the foundation for the main body part. This is the 'plan' for it...
    Real to Generic Comp.jpg


    The problem with this plan is that ridge on the steel breastplate running right down the middle was not hammered in from the factory. It was created by welding the two halves at an angle then blending. As such, the instant I took a hammer to it, the original weld split. I will have to cut out the excess and weld in new plate to create the iconic look of the colonial marine armor. Oh well. More work, but it was expected.

    Sometimes you have to tear things down before you can build up! This is as torn down as it gets I think!
    20150910_202432.jpg
     
  5. Judge Spartan

    Judge Spartan Sr Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Outstanding work! And to think, made from sleds! Awesome idea.. Keep up the great work!!
     
  6. Pharmer Ray

    Pharmer Ray New Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Awesome! Coaxing those pieces and shapes out of those sleds, that's real craftsmanship dude! Are you expecting this set to be very heavy and will you be able to handle wearing it a whole day at a con?
     
  7. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Thanks!

    I do expect it to be quite light. The aluminum is very light as it stands. Once I add the padding it may get bit heavier but shouldn't be much worse than my current plastic scratch built set. The breastplate will of course be heavier than the aluminum, however I don't think it will be much heavier than the fiberglass breastplate I was currently using (its quite thick).

    Plus, my current setup is a a bit ill-fitting. I hope this will be much more tailored to 'me'. So even if weight does not go down from my current setup, I fully expect improved comfort from a proper 'fit' to go a long way toward making all-day wear pleasant.

    In other news, I finished my shoulder 'bells'.

    20150915_200129.jpg
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    20150915_200328.jpg


    Almost done with the aluminum and I like how it is coming together. I won't be able to avoid the steel parts much longer!

    In fact, my wife is likely to give birth any day (any minute really), so I have gone and taken the day off work tomorrow to hang with her in case she needs me. Of course... if she doesnt need me and the baby wants to wait, I'll just see how much of this armor I can finish! Hope to get some serious hammer time tomorrow all day.
     
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  8. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Looooots of progress this past weekend.

    Finished the 'bump plate' (an underrated piece for difficulty. Maybe the hardest one actually)
    20150918_122627.jpg


    Greaves
    20150920_175954.jpg

    Back
    20150920_180041.jpg 20150920_180058.jpg
    20150920_180051.jpg


    And breastplate
    *(remember the 'ridge' in the stock piece could not be hammered and had to be cut out. As such I will have to weld it all back together)

    20150920_180146.jpg
    20150920_180318.jpg
    20150920_180304.jpg

    Hope to weld it up today. Guess we will see how time permits.

    Getting dangerously close to be done with the hard part over here! Strapping it up and painting will be a breeze compared to the last few weeks!
     
  9. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Welding went OK. Nothing to brag about... (in fact closer inspection might bring ridicule!)

    But I am well on my way to being ready to strap it allup.

    20150926_131724.jpg
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    Started cutting out the padding as well (not secured. won't glue it down until i have strapped and riveted everything up)
    20150930_201518_HDR.jpg
    20150930_194048_HDR.jpg
     
  10. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Outstanding. Way to think out of the box. How flexible/stiff are they?
     
  11. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    The plates or the padding? Padding is just a surplus sleep mat. The plates are pretty strong. Hammering the edges like they are not only makes the plates look better but adds a ton of strength. I won't say it won't bend/flex ever, but if it does then something painful probably happened to my body as well!
     
  12. Captain April

    Captain April Sr Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Looks fantastic but what does it weigh?
     
  13. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Hard to say for sure, but def not heavier than my plastic and fiber glass set I have now.

    Got all the bits 100% fabricated and cleaned up.

    Slots for webbing are cut. Holes for rivets are drilled. Time to strap the sucker up!!!

    20151009_122526_HDR.jpg
     
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  14. gyoung2993

    gyoung2993 Sr Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Holy Batcrap Batman !!! Wow...amazing..now that's just pure cool as ice !!! :D.......you could always use Vasquez's welder to connect everything....It welds really fast !!! ;) :p :lol
     
  15. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Ha. Yeah I imagine the work I could get done with one of those puppies! Weld and cut all day, never need fuel or filler metal. The perfect tool.


    So I FINALLY got a good update. I just slapped a base coat and strapped it all up!
    *(And yes, I know that green is incredibly bright, but bear with me here. I have a plan and it will work out. Trust me ;))

    20151020_065707.jpg
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    Complete "cuirass" (body armor assembly) weighs in at just 8-3/4 lbs and is comfortable as hell!

    (although it would be even more comfortable if I lost 20 lbs!:lol)


    I was just about finished with the helmet, but then I managed to source a 'Mars Attacks' IR sight. That thing is sweet. Time to pull the helmet apart and chop some more!
     
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  16. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    It must be so pleasing to hear the metal clinks when you move rather than the plastic rattle or foam squeaks you usually hear... :$
     
  17. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    That and also pleasing to know every time I reshape something, it stays in that shape! And of course cool to know no matter how rough I am with it, it will just look better and better. Exposed metal when the paint chips off is way better than worrying about the plastic/fiberglass showing through. But...not finished painting so don't want to start tossing things around too much just yet.


    Working on the helmet. Managed to acquire one of MarsAttacks legendary IR sights. Unfortunately there wasnt room in the helmet for both the sight and my big head, so some fairly extreme chopping of both the liner and the steel pot was in order.

    20151020_155718.jpg
    20151020_155649.jpg
    20151020_155703.jpg

    Once I riveted the bump plate back on, it was all good.

    20151020_164549.jpg
     
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  18. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Now some fun stuff. Painting! Not as fun as weathering...but hey it has to get done, right?

    There is a TON of info out there are what the "correct" paints are and much of it is hotly debated. Personally, it is paint. I don't get too bent out of shape so long as it passes the eye test and these common "arts and crafts" acrylics did me just fine I think (with the exception of that apple brand dolphin gray. That stuff sucks. Never buy paint that costs less than $1!!!! EVER!!!) But yeah, mixing of these paints is what I used.
    20151030_131150.jpg

    Base coat I used was a generic rattle can of "Kelly Green". Also it should be noted, the look I was going for was more of the "production"/actual prop look. Like these screen used images (as opposed to the 'how it looks on screen with the darkness and blue filter" look)
    Hudson Set 2 back.jpg Wierzbowski Back.jpg Crow Set 1 pre-production.jpg


    So I got started.
    20151031_155626.jpg

    20151031_161231.jpg

    All Came out WAY too bright even after a charcoal wash. I had to tweak my yellow/sand mixture to use less "yellow Ochre" and trace everything. Pretty tedious but got a bit closer.

    20151105_132748.jpg

    After a boot polish wash it got closer still.
    20151105_152616.jpg

    Closer...but not there yet.

    I should probably have done my personalizations before I did the boot polish. How does the wax base hold up to paint on top?! Anyone know if a dull coat on top of boot polish will wear off? These are questions I probably should have asked long ago...:lol


    Anyways. This how my old paint job on my plastic armor compares to this latest one. As I mentioned before, I wanted a more productions look while my previous set I went with the darker screen look (at least how it looked to me at the time!).
    20151031_161346.jpg .

    Almost there, though.

    I still need to do my personalizations and kick the hell out of it!!! No point in having metal armor if you dont have metal poking through the worn spots, right?!!?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
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  19. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Think I am done with the helmet. Went "lightly weathered" hoping natural wear and tear will take it the rest of the way.

    20151106_203329.jpg
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    20151106_203319.jpg
    20151106_203243.jpg
     
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  20. gyoung2993

    gyoung2993 Sr Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Sweet !!!
     
  21. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Re: Building some METAL Colonial Marine armor (aliens)

    Thanks! I am pretty pleased with it all.

    I haven't done anything crazy drastic since the last update, but I'm going to call it done for now. I went very lightly weathered instead of kicking the crap out of it. I hope eventually I have some events to wear this thing and hope actual use will break it in.

    I suspect it will never be truly "done" and I will try to improve upon various parts and paint as time goes on, but for now I'm gonna take a little break and focus on the next project.

    My 'finished' armor:
    20151116_190338.jpg
    20151116_190244.jpg
    20151116_190344.jpg
    20151116_190143.jpg
    20151116_190131.jpg
    20151116_190253.jpg
     
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  22. gyoung2993

    gyoung2993 Sr Member

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    ME WANT !!!.... Hehehe ....extraordinary work you did..bravo sir !!!
     
  23. Gee2

    Gee2 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fantastic work on this, really well done!
     
  24. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: METAL (aluminum & steel) Colonial Marine armor (aliens-USCM) DONE!

    Looks great. I went though the same 'looks to bright' phase. Then hit it with charcoal and it toned it down perfect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Looks great. I went though the same 'looks to bright' phase. Then hit it with charcoal and it toned it down perfect.
     
  25. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    A little over 2 years later, I decided this guy needed a repaint (and a little sprucing up prior to potentially selling it). For the repaint I wanted the colors to be more accurate and decided to go with a Hudson theme. Pretty pleased with the results.
    20180303_115258.jpg
    20180303_115356.jpg
    20180303_115328.jpg
     
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  26. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    All wrapped up. (pardon the crudeness of the display. Screen accuracy of the clothing on the mannequin wasn't the goal as it won't be on display long)

    20180305_194645.jpg
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  27. AndoShinobi

    AndoShinobi Member

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    Amazing work and great update. Truly well done and I hope that whoever is buying it appreciates your craftsmanship!
     

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