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New to Armor Building

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New to Armor Building
« on: Jul 14, 2017, 12:03 AM »
So I'm trying to get started on my first kit (modern-style) but I've hit a few road blocks as I'm not quite sure, even after reading through many threads, exactly how to make everything. Since I'm in college and this is my first build I want to make it a little more simplistic and manageable monetarily, while still being of solid quality. I made a rough design of it through MandoMaker, which you can see here (though I was wondering, am I allowed to go without accessorized gauntlets?). Feedback on the design would be appreciated too--I really like the black and gold scheme but I'm not the best color coordinator in the world.

In particular, there are three major things that are just causing me a good deal of confusion:

  • The vest: I have some pleather material already but I really can't quite figure out how I'm supposed to put it together--what the legal way is, how to make the Jango-style shoulder caps I want, how to close it up, etc. I've heard to use side zippers but that's royally confusing me because I thought the zippers weren't supposed to show or something to that effect.
  • The helmet: This is really stressing me out, because it's the most iconic part of the armor and I do not want to screw it up. I don't want to buy and modify one because I would much rather do it by myself from scratch, so I can say I built my own helmet. I'm trying to follow a WiP that uses a Home Depot bucket and Sintra, but after the step of cutting the bucket I'm totally lost. How do you shape the dome? How do you make the cheeks? I'm not finding that made abundantly clear in any threads I've perused.  ???
  • The armor plates: Very similar situation to the helmet. How does one mold the Sintra so perfectly? I've never used this stuff before haha.

What I do have thus far are:

Boots

Flightsuit
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Sep Ho'ban

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Re: New to Armor Building
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15, 2017, 08:46 PM »
Re: Helmet -- are you using a hardhat or skate helmet for the dome, or are you making the dome out of bucket too? I wound up having to do this (because of my massive head) . The Wizard of Flight Boba templates have a pepakura template for a dome.  I printed that on card stock, traced that onto a home depot bucket, cut it out, put all the pieces together with duct tape at the center.  I hotglued all the seams on the inside, took the duct tape off the outside, then attached the lower part of the helmet, then bondo and sanding on everything. 

Does that help? If you want more specifics, let me know!
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QuinGin

Re: New to Armor Building
« Reply #2 on: Jul 15, 2017, 10:00 PM »
Re: Helmet -- are you using a hardhat or skate helmet for the dome, or are you making the dome out of bucket too? I wound up having to do this (because of my massive head) . The Wizard of Flight Boba templates have a pepakura template for a dome.  I printed that on card stock, traced that onto a home depot bucket, cut it out, put all the pieces together with duct tape at the center.  I hotglued all the seams on the inside, took the duct tape off the outside, then attached the lower part of the helmet, then bondo and sanding on everything. 

Does that help? If you want more specifics, let me know!

That definitely helps! I didn't even realize anything went below the layer of Sintra, whoops. I'll probably be using the bucket for the dome as well. But that immensely helps clarify how to do this and makes things simpler for me!

Another question, how do you do the cheeks? And how should I gauge how big to make the helmet to fit my head but not make it too small when I put the armor on?
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Sep Ho'ban

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Re: New to Armor Building
« Reply #3 on: Jul 16, 2017, 01:13 PM »
I have cut cheeks out of bucket, and out of sintra. The sintra cheeks were a little easier to wrangle. In both cases, I hot glued the outside to install them, then hot glued the inside before scraping off the hot glue on the outside with a raze to prep for bondo.

As for how big, you'll need to make the dome a little larger than you think, because the cheeks cut out fsome of the realestate once you put them in.  I don't know a great way to guage correctly from the beginning, because my method was to make 3 helmets lol -- too small, too big, and about right.  The first helmet wound up as a helmet for my friend's kid.  the second helmet never got taken all the way to finish.  The third is the one in my signature pic.
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QuinGin

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grantaire

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Re: New to Armor Building
« Reply #4 on: Jul 17, 2017, 01:45 PM »
With regards to the vest, there are several ways you can go about hiding the zippers if you install them on the sides. You can make a flap that covers up the zippers and then secure those flaps in place with velcro. Or you can use invisible or waterproof separating zippers (you can find waterproof separating zippers at Joann's). Because the "teeth" of the zipper does not show it passes the CRLs and, you will just have to hide the tab in your armpit or tucked into your vest. For the shoulders, I like getting my shoulder bell and using that as a pattern for the shoulder bell.

With sintra, it's sort of a learning process. It's why I highly suggest that you go to any armor party that is near you if there is one. My only advice is when doing something that has a complex shape like gauntlets, try and use something as a base like a vase that's roughly the diameter of your wrist and forearm to mold onto. Good luck!

Re: New to Armor Building
« Reply #5 on: Jul 17, 2017, 09:25 PM »
To shape the sintra you need a heatgun (a hair blower won't work). I suggest to use gloves or some protection(safety first).Practice with some pieces of the material before actually heating your plates, to avoid setbacks,start with the lowest setting in an even side to side motion and work from there.For help check if your area has a clan and go to one of the armor parties  they are  a great opportunity for some hands on training on armor making.
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