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  1. Xephyr's Avatar
    Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 3, 2017, 1:49 PM - How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #1

    Hello everyone!

    Longtime reader of the RPF, just now made an account because I've run into a particular structural problem that I just can't find a good solution for.


    Background:

    I'm building Samus Aran's Varia Suit (reference below). I've finished a good portion of the suit - see my instagram (@xephyrcosplay) if you'd like more progress pics.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The base materials are Sintra plastic, with Apoxie Sculpt for all the finishing details and cleaning up wobbly curves from forming the plastic.


    The present problem, is how exactly to mount the shoulders. Reference photos attached at the bottom, with and without lights so you can see the available area I have to work with and what parts to be avoided (i.e. the lights). They each weigh about 3 lbs. When attached, I want them to be able to move with the rotation of my shoulder.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas!


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  2. RockitScience's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2015
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 4, 2017, 6:11 PM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #2

    Wow! First off, impressive work. Those shoulders look fantastic.
    Secondly, perhaps you could make a small shoulder piece (that mounts to your actual shoulder) with a rod - let's say PVC pipe - sticking up from it and attaching to the inside of the big varia suit shoulders. That way however you rotate your shoulders, the armour will move with it as it is connected to a fixed point on your joint rather than to any other armour piece, and you'll never see the smaller shoulder attachment or the rod on the inside. Hope this makes sense.
  3. JPH's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 5, 2017, 10:41 AM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #3

    the circular indentations on the front, and I guess they are on the back would make a good axis to rotate the pauldrons towards you or away from you. The proportions are probably not going to work for most humans, so the pauldrons and the chest are probably going to have to give on the exact dimensions.

    Something springy inside the pauldrons so that they do not rotate into your lower arm or neck.Click image for larger version. 

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  4. Xephyr's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 5, 2017, 8:32 PM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #4

    First off, thanks for the ideas!

    RockitScience - There definitely does have to be a portion that is attached directly to my shoulder. Two points of concern with your thought centered on the following fact - the way the weight is distributed on the shoulder, and given the way it would sit, it wants to "roll away" off the shoulder (as opposed to simply going straight down). So there's a fair amount of torque applied to the shoulder. The first issue would be how to attach the small piece on my actual shoulder to counteract the roll. The second issue is that the full weight of the torque would be on the points at which the rod attaches to the small shoulder piece and the pauldron. So whatever is joining those two would have to be quite strong and reliable. I wouldn't trust a super-glued joint (as is used with most of the sintra), since it is prone to snapping when pulled the wrong way.

    JPH - The shoulder actually sits higher and to the left (because Samus's proportions are ridiculous). More like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The pauldrons are aligned at the bottom with the shape of the upper arm pieces, and must sit high enough to align with the strap of the chest piece.
    So if there is an axis of rotation it would be way at the bottom corner of the thing. But I actually want the pauldron to be locked to the position of my shoulder and move -with- my shoulder movement. Having an axis like you describe would facilitate rotation -around- my shoulder. But your idea of just using filler material until it hits my shoulder might work, but it would make the LEDs inaccessible. Good backup plan if I can't find a better solution.
  5. RockitScience's Avatar
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    Jul 2015
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    6 Days Ago  Dec 6, 2017, 6:56 PM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #5

    Good point about the weight and torque Xephyr. A joint strong enough shouldn't be an issue - I would tend towards an EVA foam shoulder pad, a layer or two of 10mm foam with the PVC support rod or dowel actually embedded into the foam rather than just mounted on top, e.g. Sunk 10mm into the pad if it is 20mm thick, fixed in there with contact cement (provided the surface of the support rod is roughed up for good adhesion) and/or superglue. I doubt that would budge, although without feeling the weight of the shoulders I can't be sure.
    As for the pad rolling off your shoulders, that is more tricky. I'm not really sure about that one... My initial thought is to velcro/snap the shoulder pad to your undersuit and attach an elastic cord connecting it to your torso armour. That way the elastic strap to the torso actually holds the weight of the pad and prevents it from pulling your undersuit material down to your elbows, while the velcro/snap keeps the shoulders to a static place on your undersuit.
    That may not work at all, but I'll come back if I have a lightbulb moment!
  6. RPF Premium Member tubachris85x's Avatar
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    NOVA/Washington DC
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    4 Days Ago  Dec 8, 2017, 5:12 PM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #6

    So, gave it much thought. I originally had a much more convoluted idea, but came up with this, being much more mechanically simpler. It may look off putting, but I think something like this is what you may need to achieve in solving the issues. This design would put the entirety of the weight/support of the mount on either the torso armor itself or in concert w/ a custom under-rig, but I think keeping it on the armor is the best method for a secure connection. Oh well, just a concept. I based it off the idea of how the Human arm works from the elbow down. The only difference is that instead of a ball-joint at the end that would connect to the shoulder armor (i.e. the human wrist), I feel restricting it to a single-direction joint was best instead, as putting a ball joint at that end would/could defeat the purpose of the bumper for the support arm, by allowing the shoulder armor to sag in an unwanted manner.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by tubachris85x; 4 Days Ago at 5:19 PM.
  7. Xephyr's Avatar
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    Houston
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 9, 2017, 12:50 PM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #7

    I think combining both of your thoughts would be ideal. Tubachris85x takes care of all the range of motion and support I need and RockitScience provides a good way to connect it directly to the shoulder.

    I'll need some time to think on how exactly to implement it, and to actually build the chest piece so I can test it. Might be a few months (stupid real life responsibilities). But I'll post back with results eventually! Thanks again!
  8. RPF Premium Member tubachris85x's Avatar
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    1 Day Ago  Dec 11, 2017, 7:53 AM - Re: How to attach "floating" pauldrons? (Samus Varia Suit) #8

    I'm honestly not to knowledged on the finer details of the samus suit, but noticed in some reference that where the arms come out from the torso piece, it's clearly like a "rubberized" sleeve like shown on the SideShow statue:





    While I know the proportions of the figure VS real Human is clearly not translatable, what this says to me is that you're now able to have more "flexibility" in hiding/implementing a more robust shoulder rigging system. This is of course if you're doing this particular version of Samus

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