My Early Disasters pt 2 - A Biker Scout Helmet - How hard can it be?

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Dtrasler

Sr Member
Spent a pleasant evening hand-sewing my green harness to go over my black bodysuit and under my dark grey/black armour. Good job I bought that black dye after all, I guess...
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Dtrasler

Sr Member
Tried changing up the snaps at the side of the armour with some velcro. That did make it easier to close up, but only when I was wearing the underarmour top. When I tried doing the same with the waist armour in place, I couldn't get the edges to meet. In response, I have bravely decided to give up for today, and I am going to eat cookies and drink beer instead. This is indomitable spirit that has brought me to where I am today.
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Dtrasler

Sr Member
OK, I haven't done any work on the armour for a while, because the next stage is fixing velcro on the harness in the right places, and I can't do that without a full rig-out, and I can't do that without assistance, and then all the shelves fell off the walls in my workshop and I had to fix them, but my workshop was a mess and I couldn't find anything.

Today's dopey question is about casting. Let's put that in a hashtag, in case that helps people find it. #Casting. I want to take the front half of my chest armour, currently made of flooring foam. I want to cover it with some kind of release agent (what kind? I don't know, that's question one, I guess), then coat it with resin and matting to make a mold. Then I want to fill that mold with resin and matting to get a fiber-glass chest armour piece. How do I stop the foam sticking to the mold, then stop the mold sticking to the new armour piece? Am I thinking about this all wrong?

On the plus side, I got my shelves back up, so I have room to make this huge mistake. Maybe even enough resin. Also, my birthday is in a fortnight, so I can get more stuff.
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Dtrasler

Sr Member
Ugh.

Just done a small test run on my casting theory. Before it's even hardened (if it's going to) I can tell the mold isn't fitting to the form. That doesn't bode well for making a cast.
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
This morning, after a whole night to cure, I peeled the mold off the form. Parts of the material were still very flexible, so maybe they didn't get any resin, or maybe the resin got diluted by the washing up liquid and didn't cure properly? As you can see from the picture, the general shape of the form is there in the mold, but it lacks the sharp edges of the form. If I did this on a larger scale with the chest piece, whatever I cast from that mold would likely be ill-defined.
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So now I'm grumpy and getting very down about the whole project. The helmet looks good, but is undeniably wrong. The individual armour pieces are flimsy or too bulky, and there's little chance of correcting them - it has to be a rebuild in each case. I've spent a lot of time, and a fair amount of money, on this, and right now it's looking bad. Truth is, I need another pair of hands to help me see what's working and what isn't, but I don't have any around. There's other stuff making me grumpy too, but a lot of it is the way this has turned out. May have to close the workshop door for the weekend and do something else.
 

Snow Builder

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Definitely take a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. Don't be too discouraged on the molding/casting -it's a screw up until you learn it process :(
 

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Dtrasler

Sr Member
No progress for the LONGEST time, and the current household need to build a giant spider for Halloween is only going to slow things down further. Then again, I have no particular deadline for this build, and no way to proceed until I can talk Mrs Dim into helping me put the whole suit on and figure out what's wrong/missing.
In the meantime, I have to tell everyone how much I LOVE working in the library. For the second time, I've picked up a hrdback book I could never have afforded to buy because it was being withdrawn from the collection. Because of COVID regs, we can't offer them on sale to the public, so it was going out. Criminal. I nabbed it, and will be using it for reference photos. Still want that pedal-powered landspeeder, and life-size battle droid. And a million dollars, since we're wishing, right?
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Dtrasler

Sr Member
Ok, we built the giant spider, and the web, and the graveyard etc etc. I also took some time to try out one of the wolder ideas my brain has been insisting could work - making some of the armour pieces out of the thin perspex I have kicking around. It's too thick to vacform, even if I had a vacform machine, which I don't. It's not easy to cut, because it splinters and cracks very easily. It can be set with a heat gun.
I tried making a version of the arm piece, and yes, it's too fragile, doesn't shape nicely, and I'm back to square one again. Shown side by side with foam piece for comparison.
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Brain is now telling me I need THICKER perspex, which is more expensive, but may be easier to work. I do not trust my brain. Anyone got any good Canadian sources for vacform sheeting?
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Happy Halloween, RPF!
 

Snow Builder

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think I've made at least three vacuforming rigs -don't let the idea scare you, simple ones are easy to construct.

You might want to give a shot...
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
I think I've made at least three vacuforming rigs -don't let the idea scare you, simple ones are easy to construct.

You might want to give a shot...
Oddly, it wasn't the construction that was bothering me - I didn't know what size to go for because I can't find a source of sheets. I'm looking for a 2ft square or similar. Where do you go for sheets?
 

Snow Builder

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
We have, or had, a local distributer (I haven't bought from them for awhile).

There's quite a few places that will ship to you. I struggled to get the thickness I wanted from the local distributer and always meant to try an online distributer to see if I had better luck.
 

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Dtrasler

Sr Member
No updates for a while. For various odd reasons, I'm 3d printing a Thor Ragnarok Helmet. Reasons that do NOT include wanting a Thor Ragnarok helmet. It's been a long tortuous process because my 3d printer has a small bed, so the pieces are small and there's lots of gluing. BUT! This has made me believe I could 3d print the parts of my Clone Trooper armour that are giving me issues (most of them). So, if I ever get this damn helmet finished, I'm going to try printing a gauntlet. If that works, I'll try printing the shin armour.
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
Making the Thor helmet has encouraged me to try 3d printing various parts of the armour. Inexperience has meant I didn't size the pieces correctly, so I've printed parts of the forearm, and parts of the shin armour, and none of them are big enough for an actual me to wear. Meanwhile, I had a thought about using magnets to attach the foam shin armour, since the fit is so snug it won't accommodate velcro. I went online and bought 200 magnets I thought would be about watch battery size.
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But it turned out they were.... not.
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I think they might still work, but obviously using several of them where I would have used one or two. The FanExpo officially cancelled the February date I was aiming at, so I don't have a firm deadline anymore, which may help or hinder. I'm going to go ahead with trying to print a forearm piece, and the vacu-form machine is all but built. Still need to source the plastic though.
 

Dtrasler

Sr Member
Ok. I've printed and glued an entire forearm piece. I say entire, but what I did was actually clip off the very end (elbow end) because the version I'm making doesn't have the nice fluted end. "Fluted" isn't the right word here, but it's Thursday and I have limited vocabulary right now. The comparison with the forearm piece I made myself using foam and too much Bondo shows that the new one might be a bit wide, but at least it looks more like actual armour. Some foam lining will make it snug, I have no doubt. Second one is just one piece away from completion. Took most of a roll of PLA, so both forearms cost a little under $30 in total. Maybe I won't print the chest armour after all?
 

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Dtrasler

Sr Member
Ok, I have TWO forearm pieces now!
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And I just saw the Black Series 6 inch figure release for the Bad Batch. I feel like I should get one of Hunter, because the figures are based on more realistic dimensions than the animated ones are. Looking at this, my paldrons are too shallow, and I need to do some surface modelling on the chest piece.
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