I'm trying the leg armour patterns posted by the excellent Ryzer117. I may have to ask them to give me a clue or two about assembly - their video is top notch, but it shows the armour done, not in assembly.
I'm pretty sure this is just one shin, maybe a shin and a kneecap. I need more glue before I can start screwing it up...I mean, putting it together.
Armed with more glue, I took a run at the first shin piece tonight. I cobbled it together with my usual grace and elegance....
The front part is pretty good, and the insert for the calf at the back is also nice, but they go together like pancakes and hydrochloric acid. Looking at the chest armour, the codpiece and this, my biggest issue after just putting the things together, will be attaching straps to hold them together. The chest armour clips together nicely, except when I'm wearing it, because then I can't reach the buckles. The codpiece was attached using velcro strips that stick to each other, but not the foam. The calf piece might work with the velcro arrangement I've installed, but I can only put the velcro together when my leg ISN'T in the way. I might end up making this armour and just towing it to conventions on a little cart for people to look at.
Oh, and every time I look at this helmet, all I see is the front being too wide.
It's Saturday. After a bit of exercise and domestic whatnot, I got some real quality time in the workshop. Trouble is, it seems that time is the only quality thing that turned up.
I cut down the top of the backpack to try and make it match the reference pictures. Now the proportions match, but the lines are...a little wobbly.
I've patched all the seams and edges with paper mache, and it's... not great. (makes raspberry noise).
So, I out the backpack aside and made a sheath for the vibroblade, but I can't mount it on the bracer until the surfacing is finished. I sanded it for a while, then needed to replenish the bondo, and it wasn't going to go off for a while.
Which left the helmet.
I sanded down the bondo I'd put on there after the last attempt to smooth things out. Of course, since I'd put on three layers of Plasti-dip, that got snagged during the sanding, and by the time I got the bondo smooth, pretty much all the other areas were rubbish. The only logical thing to do was to remove any remaining plasti-dip and get the whole helmet back to a base layer.
I didn't do that. I sprayed the mess with a thick layer of white gloss.
So, to recap - I have two bracers, one of which is still too long and needs cutting down, both of which need extreme work on the surfacing.
I've got one shin piece which also needs surfacing, one thigh piece which might just be paintable as is, unless the surfacing on all the other pieces make it look too different without the same work. I've got a butt plate and a codpiece, but the connections aren't quite right yet. In that they fall off. I have a bicep piece, and one shoulder, and the chest piece. Oh, and I have the holster, but no real idea where to mount it,
Tomorrow I think I'm heading out to Home Depot to get some fine sandpaper to rub down the gloss (the rough spots and the drips) and a good solid grey primer (or maybe two) to go over the helmet and the backpack.
It kinda helps that I recently read back through this thread. The mess I made of the Deathtrooper helmet was a real low point, and every time I get a bit down about the current project, I can at least say "It's not THAT bad..."
I abandoned the Home Depot idea today (or maybe I just haven't gone YET - it's only 4.45pm...). I did get down to some more construction work, making up another shin piece and another thigh piece (though I need to heat-shape that and add the plate at the back...
You can see I also resprayed the helmet orange (again). I did rub it down a fair bit, but it'll need a bunch more coats yet.
I experimented with some fiberglass resin as a coating on one of the shins and the buttplate, which has resulted in the shiniest buttplate known to man - not great for stealth commando armour, to be honest...
I also cut down the right bracer, bringing me a step closer to having those ready.
So, two shins, two thighs, two bracers, buttplate and codpiece, temporary waist piece, chest piece, one bicep and one shoulder piece, and a helmet SOOOOOOO nearly completed (except I still have no visor material - WHY is it so hard to find?) Oh, and the wobbly backpack, which I need to surface, paint and find a way to attach to the backplate, AND rig the lights for the small section that lights up.
Thanks Snow Builder! Screaming into the void is a fun hobby, but it's nice to know someone's reading these posts from time to time!
So, yesterday's photo was taken to test how the chest plate fits over the waist armour. And the answer is...It does, I guess. The bigger issue is that I went to the trouble of fitting nice click in buckles at the sides of the chest plate, but they are too high for me to reach when I'm WEARING the chest plate, because this is kind of the crop-top of armour. Since I'm at work right now, and can't do any experimenting other than in my brain or scribbled in my notebook, I tend to mull over potential problems. One I see looming is that I know which boots I'm going to use, but they are lace-ups. I can change that, but I know that I can't put them on before the shin guards, since they enclose my lower leg entirely. But, once the shin guards are on, I can't get at the boots to do them up. I have this worrying vision of having to be strapped into my armour by a willing squire (which I haven't got. I have a wife, which is NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL!)
I have some great nylon strapping to make a harness to ensure all these pieces stay attached, but in a cruel blow, it's green. So I either have to dye or paint it so it doesn't show up and look weird. I figured that can wait until I've sewed it into the right configuration. Which mans I have to decide ont he right configuration.
It was really a relief to see the build by Ryzer117, because all the Star Wars Armour wearing-folks I've met have been sporting neat Vac-formed plastic stuff. It looks authentic because the surface is sleek and shiny (unless deliberately weathered). This stuff I'm producing is...well, the bits I painted with resin are shiny. They're not exactly sleek, because of the mache surfacing being less that flat. I dunno. Maybe another day or so of work over the weekend will lift my spirits a little.
DIY ate my whole weekend. Worse than that, though I worked really hard and produced a lot of sawdust, the cabinet I was making is still not finished. It is going to have two doors. So far I have made three, fitted and removed two of them, and have to buy new hinges for the next attempt. I own fourteen hinges, some in pairs. None allow the doors to both open and close, which is something my wife looks for in a door. Picky, picky, picky.
So I built no new armour. I did sand down the helmet again, and resprayed it, and I stuck it on my noggin while wearing waist, chest and codpiece. Needs some work.
Picked up a neat pair of Husky gloves that will do for the costume. They have plain black rubberised palms, but tough armoured backs. I sprayed the backs to cover some white lines and the Husky logo, but this morning the paint was still tacky to the touch. Probably because of Science.
I'm also reaching my limit with the "sand and primer" on the helmet. This is above and beyond what I've ever done before, but the little blemishes are getting no better, and I want to get something looking decent. One more session of sanding and I'd spray the whole thing black. Maybe two coats? Then I get to do the colour painting.
First coat of black paint goes on. Now I realise I haven't put in the brow piece. This is a weird helmet, a cross between a clone helmet with no T-slit and a Commando bucket. Still have no clue where to find reasonable cost visor material. Am considering buying a couple of faceshields ($10 each in London Drugs) and trying to dye them (no idea where to get the dye yet either...)
I wanted to write a little bit about the pros and cons of hanging out on the RPF while being a hamfisted bumbler like me.
The Pro, the major advantage is that everyone is GREAT here. I have only ever received supportive comments, and the threads, posts and opportunities to learn here are endless. If there's a method for producing a thing, someone here has done it and recorded their experiences for me to learn from. This, I cannot state enough, is beyond priceless.
The con is the level of work being produced by the majority of RPFers. This is not a criticism. The level of detail people aspire to, the efforts they go to to get the tiniest part as accurate as possible speaks volumes of the professionalism and dedication of the builders here. But here's a thing that folks like me have to remember: When we took Derek the Dalek to the 2020 Fan Expo in Vancouver, people loved him. Even though, when I look at him, all I can see is an imperfect dome, a string-operated eyestalk, a rotation system that wobbles the head when it turns...a million errors, blemishes and things I shoulda woulda coulda fixed before we rolled out.... People don't notice them, don't care. That's not to say we shouldn't strive for perfection, not at all. I'm saying that I should remain inspired by the drive of others here, and accept that my best will probably be good enough (as well as being a moving goalpost, improving with time and experience).
All this came about because I added some colour to my Bad Batch Hunter helmet last night and I really, really like it. There's a lot more painting to do, and there's still a few messy areas on the helmet itself, let alone the armour pieces, but I think I can be happy with what I have done.
Trying to get the paint right on the helmet has involved some dubious reworking. ON the other hand, I now have three slots in the side pieces too, and I have gloves with plates on. The strange rubberised armour on the gloves that rejected the paint is also having trouble with the contact cement, so I may just have gloves that are adjacent to plates. I've left them overnight to have a good think about things.
On the other leg, the shin armour looks pretty good with the initial coat of paint:
Right, here's where I risk getting kicked off the RPF for using terrible puns without a license...
I bought some dye that said it could dye plexiglass, but it was going to need heating up in a pot, and I was worried about A; Using Mrs Dim's kitchen utensils and B: wrecking Mrs Dim's kitchen utensils (Yes, I do most of the cooking, but let's not kid ourselves about who has ultimate ownership here. That's why all the useful stuff is in the low cupboards, instead of where a normal-sized person can reach it.) Anyway, today I was shopping for food and other trivialities when I dropped into my local Oomomo and found these:
Basically, coloured sheets of plexiglass. For $2 each. (Here comes the pun)
Now, as Peter Pan says, "To dye would be an awfully big adventure", but if I can avoid it, I will. Here's the shots with the first attempt visor material:
I feel that, since you can't see my eyes through the visor, but I can see out, that's a solid win.
Nobody dyes today.