[WIP] Ant-Man, Civil War Style

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is by far the biggest project I have ever built from scratch, and I will be trying a lot of new things with it. I'll be documenting the entire process here, including successes and failures (in the hopes that others can learn from my mistakes). Here we go!

I am borrowing from one of SMP Designs' Captain America builds, by starting with a duct tape mannequin of myself. I forgot to get a picture of it before I cut up the middle, but here is a close approximation:

1.jpg

The costume itself is actually two pieces, a torso connected to the pants, and a separate undergarment from which the arms extend, to allow for mobility. So I cut the mannequin in half, one half to use for the torso, the half with the sleeve will be used for the undergarment.

Then I used reference photos from behind the scenes footage, photos of the costume on display, and photos of the Hot Toy action figure to trace my best approximation of the torso patterns, front and back. I only need half since (thank goodness) the costume is symmetrical.

2.jpg

The next step will be to do the same thing for the sleeves, and then cutting everything out and tracing them onto pattern paper to make proper patterns.
 
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Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Do you have a plan for the helmet yet, or just taking it one step at a time and doing the body first?

I couldn't pass up @TheRocketeer's helmet cast so I saved up for that and have purchased it. (I actually calculated out the cost of materials were I to attempt to do it from scratch myself and, when factoring the extra time and effort that would have taken, the price difference was negligible. So his cast is definitely worth the price.) Hopefully it will be here in early August and I can finish it before October rolls in and the weather starts misbehaving here in Chicago. I will be documenting all of the finishing process here as well.
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Vox!

I got your email and started to reply to that with the below, but thought I'd post it here in case it's a useful addition to the thread. ;)

You're definitely on the right track. My biggest recommendation is to use your duct tape model to make a basic fitting block out of muslin or Swedish tracing paper. You sew that up and make the alterations to it until you get the basic shape the way it needs to be. Then, you can begin to draw your style lines on. This helps for 2 reasons:

- You are assured that the fit is right and that you have a use able pattern block. Since you will need
to use the same block for foundation areas, padding and the undershirt, I would recommend you keep half of it in tact and use the other half to cut apart for your detail pattern

- It's a lot easier to draw on and cut your detailed pattern using a clean pattern block than wrinkly duct tape. The duct tape is really just a bacis guide to get the proportions right, not the actual pattern block (IMHO)

Cheers!
 

progolfercd

Member
I'll be watching with interest as well. My suit is getting worked on as well. Needs some adjusting here and there. Have you thought about what you're going to do for the gauntlets/belt/back piece?
 

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'll be watching with interest as well. My suit is getting worked on as well. Needs some adjusting here and there. Have you thought about what you're going to do for the gauntlets/belt/back piece?

The back piece will be made out of foam. The belt will be a combination of foam and rubber hose (to allow for flexibility). I am undecided on the gauntlets between foam or some sort of thermoplastic.
 

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I finally have progress updates!

First and foremost: After some fiddling, I determined that patterning the full suit was going to be a big jump for my existing patterning experience, and would likely take up a lot of time and little bit of money to figure out how to do it correctly. So I decided to commission the patterning from the very skilled SMP Designs. He will be handling the patterning, and then I will be actually assembling the suit myself. I have asked him to share his progress on that part of the project in this thread, so keep an eye open for posts from him in the coming week.

Meanwhile, I've been working on the helmet.

TheRocketeer's cast is beautiful, and lives up to his reputation for his attention to detail:

Helmet - Kit.jpg


The first thing I had to do was reinforce some weak points in the cast. There were very few pin hole depressions on the exterior, but when holding up the cast to the light, you could see where the resin layer was thinner (mostly around sharp crease points). Bondo Spot Putty was my weapon of choice, and it did the job well. It needed a little sanding to get rid of the sharp edges after it dried, but I'm no longer worried about accidental cracking.

IMG_20161101_175728829.jpg


Next was the always lengthy process of priming and wet sanding, but it was particularly difficult with this one given the high amount of detail. As is my habit, I alternated between 2 colors of primer (white and gray for this one), so that I know if I've started to sand one area too much. 3 coats of primer were enough for me to feel confident that everything was adequately covered and smooth, without knicks.

IMG_20161105_115323521.jpg


Finally it was time to add a base metallic color. I chose Krylon Premium Metallic Silver for this, and I think the end effect looks great. It looks metallic, without the glitter-like sparkle that sometimes comes with metallic and/or shiny spray paint. The one thing I'll have to watch for moving forward is that the paint easily buffs to dull if handled too much. I'll have to use extra care in hand-painting the rest of the details of the helmet until I can add a clear coat sealer so that the paint is protected.

IMG_20161107_175259416.jpg


Thankfully, that takes care of anything I had to spray paint outside, which means Chicago winter now has my permission to make itself at home for the next few months while I happily finish the rest of this project inside. I have done some preliminary backpack, belt, and gauntlet patterning, but I will not be fabricating that until I have at least a mock-up of the full suit, so that I can get accurate measurements for all of those.
 

progolfercd

Member
Well done! I look forward to more updates. I'm waiting for my suit to be done before i tackle the rest of the pieces. I feel that it will be better that way.
 

Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
Just in case, I would do a test with your metallic paint and sealer of choice before using it on the whole helmet. Often times, clear coats out of a can will turn that metallic finish into a dull gray. Would hate to see that happen!
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just in case, I would do a test with your metallic paint and sealer of choice before using it on the whole helmet. Often times, clear coats out of a can will turn that metallic finish into a dull gray. Would hate to see that happen!

YUP! I've had that exact thing happen in the past. I would suggest using automotive paints/coats of the same brand (usually better for compatibility).
 

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just in case, I would do a test with your metallic paint and sealer of choice before using it on the whole helmet. Often times, clear coats out of a can will turn that metallic finish into a dull gray. Would hate to see that happen!

YUP! I've had that exact thing happen in the past. I would suggest using automotive paints/coats of the same brand (usually better for compatibility).

I have to thank you both for the advice. I had a spare antenna on hand (got a replacement set when one of the originals ended up with a large invisible void in it), so I threw a quick coat of silver on it and decided to use it as a paint test.

IMG_20161112_140129196_HDR.jpg

First, I taped off sections and tested some dry brushing. From left to right: dry brushed white, none added, dry brushed silver, dry brushed black. Then I taped off the bottom section and sprayed a quick coat of Rustoleum Clear Coat Enamel (what I had on hand) on the top. As you can see, it did not go on pretty! I am very glad I tested it first.

I am not sure if it was the mixing of brands that did it, or if I sprayed it on too thick, but I need to find a better clear coat sealer/protector. I'm all ears on suggestions.

Also, I think the dry brush black had the best effect, but it came out looking more dirty/scuffed than just brushed steel. I may purchase a small bottle of gray and test that to see if it is any better, unless anyone has suggestions for that.

Thanks for tuning in, as always!
 

oblagon

Sr Member
Yup, that's what happens when you mix Krylon and Rustoleum paint. They both have something in their mixture where you can't mix.
Might want to check out Tamyia paint, it's acrylic based and can go over anything without a reaction (at least in my experience).
 

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I decided to pick up a can of Krylon Crystal Clear to see what it would do (50% off at Michael's meant it was like $4.50, and I'll use it all at some point). I sanded down the top layer of paint on the bottom part, since I was finished with those tests, and put another coat of the metallic silver on. Then I taped half of it off and sprayed the Crystal Clear so that I would have a side-by-side comparison.

IMG_20161115_214201019.jpg

The right half is the side that got the Crystal Clear. The right side is only slightly duller in real life (I think the lighting of the photo doesn't help for an even comparison), but it is not like I had a mirror surface to begin with. The only paint from which I've ever gotten that kind of candy-coated shine is Rustoleum Gloss Enamels, and to apply those I would have to sand down the entire helmet and start from Rustoleum primers, and there's no guarantee I'll get the movie-accurate polished steel look when all is said and done. I am going to do some more research over the next couple days, but it is looking like I will spray the Crystal Clear on the piece and live with the slightly-less-shiny finish with the confidence that my paint job is not in danger of smudging, scraping, or chipping.
 

Jango Wes

Sr Member
If I may make a reccomendation, try polyurethane sealer that comes in the spray can. You will be very pleased with the results.
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi everyone. So, Vox brought me on to help with his pattern development and I asked him if he wanted me to post progress on that part of the project here. He said he'd like to see it, so I'm happy to be a contributor to his build and thread.

That said, here's some info on what's been going on so far:

Vox sent me his duct tape model and I began with the side that he hadn't already cut. I first removed the arm and taped the arm back together where he cut it to take the tape model off.

ant-man-pattern 1.JPG

I then cut the rest of the tape model apart with side, side back and side front seams in order to trace out flat patterns. The arm was also cut into two pieces (cut down the front and back) to allow for the pattern to create a shaped sleeve.

Next, I traced the tape pieces onto paper, truing the curves, adding seam allowance and making sure the pieces would fit back together. After a couple of tweaks, I was able to get a paper version of the duct tape. Sorry I don't have a pic - I thought I took one but I guess not - I'll get one of it next time and update this post with it.

Since the paper pattern was taken directly from the duct tape, it would not be wearable as a mock up. First, I need to add what's called "wearing ease". This refers to the difference between the dimensions of the garment and the body so that it can be worn and moved in. Giving the pieces extra space allows for movement while cut and construction still result in a garment that is well shaped and fitted but does not have to be skin tight.

Here are images of the duct tape pieces with their mock up pattern counterparts - front, back and sleeves.

ant-man-pattern 2.JPG ant-man-pattern 3.JPG ant-man-pattern 4.JPG

A test was then made up in sew-able tracing paper.

ant-man-pattern 5.JPG ant-man-pattern 6.JPG

The next step will be a mock up of the general fitting pattern in muslin as well as a pant pattern. Those will then go out to Vox for fitting and the detailed patterns can be made based on alterations needed.

Cheers!
 
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Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
See, it is things like "wearing ease" that make me confident I made the right decision in enlisting your help! (No way would I have remembered to do that.)

On my own front, I took your advice, Jango Wes, and went out and bought a bottle of Kyrlon polyurethane sealer. Here is the result:

IMG_20161119_155604182.jpg

The polyurethane is on the left, middle is just paint, and the right is still the Crystal Clear. As you can see, the polyurethane did the same bubbly thing as the Rustoleum, except the surface is evenly smooth to the touch (where the Rustoleum has a palpable texture). I can certainly tell that the surface of the polyurethane is much more durable and protective than the Crystal Clear, but given the visual appearance and darker coloration, I'm not sure it is going to be my sealer of choice.

I have one week before it will definitely be too cold here to do any kind of spraying outside (and the stuff is too smelly to do inside) so unless I can come up with another clear coat option, Crystal Clear will have to be it :(.
 
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