Thorssoli's T-60 Power Armor Build from Fallout 4

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thorssoli

Sr Member
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Ever since I saw the box art from the original Fallout game, I've been resisting the ongoing urge to build a set of power armor. With the release of the trailer for Fallout 4, the new design is finally awesome enough that I can't help myself any longer.

So I partnered up with a 3D modelling friend of mine named Joost (check out www.facebook.com/prodofdes for some of his other work) and he took the in-game models and smoothed them out a bit to make something I could actually justify using in my CNC machines and 3D printers. Here's the first renders he sent me:




So I started going through the tedious process of making sure the pieces were all completely watertight and CNC or print ready while establishing a scale:

The gray dude to the right in the pic above is set up with proportions similar to my 5'7" frame.

Once I was satisfied that the whole thing was going to be suitably massive, I set to work slicing up the bigger pieces so that they could be carved out. If you've followed my builds before, you may be familiar with Lopez the Robot Whittler, my Carvewright CNC machine. But what you might have missed is that I've picked up more of them. Now I've also got Lopez Dos Point Oh, Maria the robot, and and as yet unnamed fourth Carvewright. By running at least two of them at a time, I figured I'd be able to crank out big parts for this build pretty quickly.

For example, here's all of the slices for the helmet carved out of 3/4" MDF:


From left to right, those each took 6, 7, and 8 hours of carving time for one machine. By running three machines, they were done simultaneously and at the end of the first day of physical work on this project, I popped all of the waste off of the parts:


A few minutes later, the main body of the helmet was assembled:


Smaller detail bits were 3D printed on my Zortrax M200 and added onto the assembled helmet:


The next step is a bunch of filler and sanding and associated bodyshop work:


While I was tinkering with that I had the Zortrax twins (I have two, they're named "Johnny Five" and "Seven of Nine" since I now have nine workshop robots) print out the rest of the helmet greeblies:


At that point I ended up getting distracted with real work and this project was boxed and put on the backburner where it collected dust for a while:


On rare occasion, the backburner is where projects go to die. Most of the time though, they're just lying dormant. Staring silently over the goings-on in the workshop. Taunting my with their ever-present unfinished-ness. When I finally get a gap in my project schedule, I'm thrilled to have a chance to exorcise these demons, blow off the dust, and breathe life back into these creations.

So over the past few months, whenever I don't have any work lined up for the robots, I have them carve armor parts while I focus on other projects. Before too long, the stack of power armor parts in progress was getting respectable:


Every once in a while I'd get sick of the stacks of these carved planks sitting around and I'd snap off all of the pieces and start gluing up parts:


Assembled rough parts have started piling up:


Occasional test fitting revealed that the parts were adequately HUGE:


HUGE:


Seriously. Huge:


Still, while I've occasionally found a few minutes here and there to goof around with this project, until I came up with a notional deadline, the whole thing hasn't gotten much serious effort:


Now I've got the Bay Area Maker Faire coming up in late May (details here: http://makerfaire.com/bay-area/) and I usually tend to set up a pretty large display of my various built projects:




I usually like to debut something big and new every year and, since I missed last year, I'm really looking forward to being able to show off something new this year. So guess that's as good a reason as any to kick this build into high gear and make something happen.

So I've been doing a lot of cleanup and prep work on the prototype parts lately. I've also designated one of the girls in my shop to do nothing but sand all of the pieces smooth whenever she's around:


Which means things are really starting to take shape:


At this point I've already started making molds for some of the smaller armor pieces. Most of the larger parts still need a bit more bodyshop work:


Construction will be primarily fiberglass parts built around an ALICE pack frame and a pair of drywall stilts to make this beast functionally wearable. Time permitting, I'll even work in articulated hands and hopefully put together a few videos about the build so I can talk through the making of fiberglass molds, silicone molds, stone molds, rubber parts, and so on.

Done right, this thing will be awesome:


Stay tuned...
 

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thorssoli

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What's the cost difference between using the CNC router vs. a 3D printer?


It's not just a question of money. There's a huge time factor.


Using the helmet as an example, you're looking at a total of 21 hours to carve out the main body on a very large helmet. Some time later, I downloaded Daniel Lilygreen's gorgeous T-45 model (which is significantly smaller than my version of the T-60) and printed the whole thing. My two printers worked on that thing non-stop for over a week. Both pieces need a degree of processing when the machines are done with them. The printed parts require a little bit less elbow grease, but when you consider how much sooner I can have parts from the Carvewrights, I can get started on the prep work and have a mold-ready part a lot faster than if I waited for the same thing to be printed.


Of course, every part has it's own challenges, so there's no hard and fast rule. I tend to use the CNC machines for anything bigger than a shoebox unless I've got nothing for the 3D printers to do and I don't mind burning through a bunch of filament in a hurry.


Money-wise, all of the MDF that I'll burn through in the course of this project will only cost me about $250. If I'd had to print all of these pieces at around $20/kg worth of filament, I shudder to imagine what the total cost would have turned into. I'm thinking it'd be a hell of a lot more than $250 though.

PROGRESS UPDATE!
We've gotten to the point where we're waxing parts:
33482498736_c14249dddf_c.jpg


I've actually managed to make the first 2-1/3 molds:
32679622654_40ebcb9b68_c.jpg


So tomorrow I should actually have the first fiberglass part(s) of this project ready to show. It'll be the collar section.

All we need to do is stay focused and not goof around too much:
33482498386_708f37e704_c.jpg


Stay tuned...
 

MemorY

New Member
Looks awesome!! So jealous as this has been something I've wanted to build ever since Fallout 4 as well!!

What CNCs do you have? Is Carvewrights the machine? I've never heard of them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

thorssoli

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What CNCs do you have? Is Carvewrights the machine? I've never heard of them.

Carvewright, yes.

They're intended to do relief carvings for woodworking projects, but the design software they run on has an STL importer add-on that makes it possible to do this sort of thing.

Here's one of them in action from another project:
14364945920_24bbe58d57_c.jpg


They're limited to 14.5" wide stock, but the x-axis is notionally unlimited as long as you support the material coming out of the machine.
 

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Staar Lord Maan

Well-Known Member
Yo. Staar Lord Maan, here...
I have enjoyed sanding carving and otherwise making smooth all the rough bits and look forward to continue my T-60 upper body workout in the weeks to come.
The gym on Xandar kinda banned me and shredded my membership after an 'incident' involving a tiny explosion and a loud mouthed Raccoon....
 

Mockle

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
impressive as all your builds have been..Is this a private build? will there be a public option (JY). ID love to build one and your not kidding on the Filament cost.. :D
 

thorssoli

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cutting up that model into CNC-able parts must have taken forever.

That part wasn't really all that bad. You've got to take it all one piece at a time. It's made a lot easier by virtue of the fact that the arms and legs are mirror images of each other. So once one side is sliced, it's just a question of flipping all of the slices on one axis. The back plate was a bit of a challenge though.

will there be a public option (JY). ID love to build one

I'm sure something will come up. I need to get a bit farther into this first.

UPDATE!

The first two molds were a success. The first one I completed was the front of the collar:
33482498236_6e38d05db6_c.jpg


The back of the collar was finished a moment later. I laid up a copy of each part, trimmed out the edges, and tried it on with some masking tape, but I neglected to take any photos of the actual part.

I was hoping to pull a copy of the butt first. In the future I'm thinking I'll build all of my projects butt first, but in this case, it'll be a 3-part mold and I still need to make the side parts. Right now it looks about like so:
33582744325_51874cf2ef_c.jpg


I've also got the handplates and shoulder in the process of being molded:
33542316016_abd82a35f1_c.jpg


The thighs too:
33582743535_45da17b3e6_c.jpg


Right now I've got the gelcoat laid up on the first parts of the smaller shoulder piece, the front of the right thigh, and the handplates:
33542311686_0ed598f734_c.jpg


My friend Lewis (@staar lord maan up there) spent some quality time grinding down the edge of the watering trough on the front of the chest so it now has a proper radius:
33453758701_1087f532f5_c.jpg


So this whole build is moving right along:
32776933273_da784b0ec7_c.jpg


Stay tuned...
 

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ed209

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One look at who started this thread and I knew it would be awesome. As always, impressive work. Look forward to seeing the final results.
 

thorssoli

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One look at who started this thread and I knew it would be awesome. As always, impressive work. Look forward to seeing the final results.

Thank you, sir. I'm out of the shop for a couple of days, but this build is about to become very rushed. As usual, thread comments make great motivation. They're like project fuel.

1 Word i want to say...! HEAVY!

Not if I lay up the parts correctly. I'm not sure why everyone seems to think that fiberglass costume parts are automatically going to weigh a ton. I'm thinking there's just been a lot of folks making fiberglass parts that don't know what they're doing. Done right, this suit will weigh about the same as one of my Space Marines:


Since the T-60 chest is a lot narrower, it'll move easier than the Space Marines did too. And they got around alright:


So I'm not worried.
 

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Iggy

Sr Member
Looking good. Are you going to have certain parts exposed? Like a leg armor missing and it is just the frame left?

Playing Fallout, I always liked the look of the raider power armor (extra piping, wire, plates, etc.). What is your end goal in styling?
 

thorssoli

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's amazing :0

Thank you. Just wait until I start actually stacking up wearable parts. That's when things really get amazing.

Looking good. Are you going to have certain parts exposed? Like a leg armor missing and it is just the frame left?

Playing Fallout, I always liked the look of the raider power armor (extra piping, wire, plates, etc.). What is your end goal in styling?

It depends on how many suits I end up having time to make. The first one will be the plain steel finish with a lot of rust and grime and weathering.

This one is also tempting:
latest


The third or fourth one I'm thinking I'll make to look like it's been scavenged from mismatched parts of different suits and found items. There will be at least a couple of pieces of the frame exposed and scattered bullet holes patched with sheet metal and odds and ends. But that's only if there's luxury time at the end of the current rush and I have a few reject parts that I can use.
 

Cstandi1

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What an impressive build.

So how difficult is it to break down the different components in the 3D modeling program in order to make them into pieces that the CNC can mill?

That is also an interesting CNC machine. It looks like the MDF feeds through the machine similar to a surface planer, is that how it works?
 

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