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Female Neo Crusader

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Female Neo Crusader
« on: Jul 29, 2017, 04:26 PM »
Hey friends! I'm new here, but I decided to go big out of the gate and do a Neo Crusader from the KOTOR games. That's where I really fell in love with Star Wars, so I felt it was appropriate. I know it's ambitious. Also, there are no female Mando models in the original games, so I did my best (via available reference images and the pepakura files in the library) to port the design to female. Here's what I've got:



In studying the source material closely, I determined that there's a vest on this kit. It seems to be cropped at about the bottom of the ribcage, but in the interest of a smoother silhouette I'm extending mine to the waist. I can always shorten it later once I see everything together.

I'll augment the belt as per the CRLs, and maybe add a kama, maybe not. I want to keep it recognizable. Also on that note, I thought about doing the red Rally Master armor, but I felt the blue generic was more recognizable, so I'll probably just keep it blue. Don't want to be mistaken for an Imperial Guard or something!

Helmet: As per current CRLs, the treatment seems to be three parts - dome, face, and cowl. I've got a smooth-domed hard hat that I was going to use for something else; I thought I could cut off the brim and use it for the base. The face plate I think I can make out of sintra, and attach to the dome via magnets so I can take it off easily for drinking purposes or whatever. I thought the cowl could be of some sort of fabric that's stiff/smooth but that will allow some airflow, attached to the dome securely (probably with the face plate on top), and then fastened with a few magnets around the shoulders/collar to keep its shape better. Will do some experimentation after I've gotten a better feel for the sintra.

I'm making good progress. I've got my soft parts mostly together, and will likely post pics as soon as they come together. I'm almost done with the vest, and I'm starting on the armor templates.

Any tips on stuff that looks like it'll trip me up, be it on construction or approval or general wearability? I'm in the Arizona clan, so I'm trying to make it as cool as possible.

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Naran Baatar

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #1 on: Jul 30, 2017, 08:41 AM »
I am excited to see this come together, if you do finish the the build and get it approved you will make the second approved Neo-Crusader in the whole club. So best of luck to you.

And I will keep a weather eye on your W.I.P thread and do my best to help guide you along.

Good luck! and can't what to see what you do with the build
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OriKad

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #2 on: Jul 30, 2017, 11:55 AM »
I may not have anything to add to what you've already got figured out for the build, but I just HAD to pop in and say that your concept drawing is amazingly good.
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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #3 on: Aug 03, 2017, 12:47 PM »
I may not have anything to add to what you've already got figured out for the build, but I just HAD to pop in and say that your concept drawing is amazingly good.

Thanks! I'm an illustrator by trade. Here's hoping my art training translates into 3 dimensions!

I am excited to see this come together, if you do finish the the build and get it approved you will make the second approved Neo-Crusader in the whole club. So best of luck to you.

And I will keep a weather eye on your W.I.P thread and do my best to help guide you along.

Good luck! and can't what to see what you do with the build

Awesome! That makes me even more determined to get it done!

Armor templates are going pretty well. I've got both thigh plates, both shin fronts, one gauntlet, hand armor, and am drafting the pauldrons (pics later). Any suggestions on attaching the pauldrons? The vest doesn't have shoulders that extend like the modern kit does; they kind of just float over the shoulders on the model (as video games do). I don't think my flight suit shirt would be strong enough to support its weight if it were attached directly. I thought about having a strap extend from the top of the shoulder and snap or rivet to the armor, but I don't want it flopping around as I move. Maybe if I had two straps (from the front and back of the vest) to stabilize it, and since the sides of the pauldron come pretty close to the edges of the vest, it'd be less noticeable...

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Havelock

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #4 on: Aug 04, 2017, 10:59 PM »
Just found your WiP, and I'm incredibly interested to see you bring this to life. 
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Gol Nazyne Vizsla

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #5 on: Aug 04, 2017, 11:46 PM »
This is outrageously exciting! Will be keeping a eye on it.
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Straka Zulu

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #6 on: Aug 05, 2017, 01:15 AM »
We shall be watching your build with great interest. ;D
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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #7 on: Aug 06, 2017, 03:19 PM »
This really excites me. I'm in the beginning stages of planning and had decided that I wanted to do a new crusader. Then I realized I couldn't find anything on female neo crusaders! I can't wait to see this happen and just seeing this post has given me a little more inspiration to buckle down and work on mine.
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Karl Dha'Werda

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #8 on: Aug 08, 2017, 11:23 PM »
Looking forward to you work in progress your concepts are awesome!
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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #9 on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:50 AM »
Okay! You've all been very patient. Here's some real progress! I've still got a few things to do, but most of it is there.

First, here's my vest. (I'll post pictures of me in all this stuff when I can drag somebody over to take them for me. That'll help with the tweaking.) I used an actual vest I have as a template, then made a mockup and adjusted it a couple of times before calling it good enough to use for a pattern. Princess seams are a pain, but it turned out pretty good. The zipper will be covered by the breastplate, but I could add a velcro'd placket to hide it if necessary.


For the armor, I decided to start with the easier shapes - arms, legs, shoulders. I got rough dimensions by making a diagram (see below for my messy plans) and measuring myself (width at top, width at bottom, length), then transferred the resulting measurements to the posterboard in pencil. I cut them out, curved them, tried them on, made adjustments.


Here's a bit of process for the breastplate and back plate. I didn't want to waste my posterboard with experimentation, so I taped together computer paper, taped it in place, and sort of shaped it, taped that, marked it up, cut the darts out, taped them up again, tried it on again, marked it some more, etc etc. For the back, I taped paper onto an old duct tape dummy that I made a few years ago (but couldn't use for most of this because the duct tape has pulled apart over the years and is no longer accurate - I guess you could say it's let itself go!) and drew the back plate on it. Then I cut that out and pinned it to the back of my vest, put it on, checked the reflection in my two-mirror bathroom, took it off, added more paper to where it needed adjustment, tried it on again, and decided it's pretty good. I'm not totally sure about the length on these, because it depends on how low I end up wearing the belt; I'll cut off the excess later when I figure out the belt.


Here is all the stuff I've done, transferred onto posterboard! Some of it has the detail bits marked up (generally speaking, I'm planning on 6mm sintra for the base plates, and 3mm where it has a second layer for design purposes), and some of it I didn't bother to draw on. (It's easier to draw straight lines before you shape it and tape it together, lol.)


Here's a closer-up of the pauldrons. I was really excited at how they came out! I'll probably put a bit of foam or something in the space between the plates, for support. In this case, I'm not sure which I want to be 6mm and which 3mm (upper or lower), especially for the really long plate. Is 3mm going to be sturdy enough, or will it get damaged more easily?


I still need to tweak the collar (and add the back half); after talking to Jor Kajil about his Neo plans, I decided a collar plate is a good way to go - it'll still look good when I take off the helmet, and it'll give the cowl a sturdier base to attach to when I put it on. Also, Canderous has one, so it seems logical that there's one under the cowl for this era anyway.
I still need to do the back of the shins too, as well as the soft cod and boot spats by way of soft parts. And I need to do the helmet, of course. But I'm pretty proud of how it's coming together!

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Gol Nazyne Vizsla

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #10 on: Aug 12, 2017, 05:15 PM »
I am pretty impressed. I'm especially excited to see how your helmet/cowl goes (always wanted one myself) keep at it!!
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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #11 on: Aug 15, 2017, 05:42 PM »
This is coming along amazingly!!!  I can't wait to see it when it's done! 
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Nix Vuur

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #12 on: Aug 16, 2017, 09:19 AM »
Very nicely done, vod! It will be neat to see the finished product, especially because KOTOR was one of my favs. Can't wait to see how this all comes together ;D
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Satayi'r

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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #13 on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:03 AM »
Replying to follow!
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Re: Female Neo Crusader
« Reply #14 on: Aug 19, 2017, 06:47 PM »
Alright, so I took some pics of the templates on me and sent them to my Ruus'alors for initial feedback. (Tied with old string I had on hand, because my tape wasn't strong enough, lol.) There are still several pieces missing - the helmet, obviously, as well as the back of the shins (they were tricky, so I haven't gone back and finished them yet), and the groin and boot spats (which I'm planning to do out of the duck cloth I used for the vest). Also, the belt is just a placeholder - in reality I'll trim the front and back length so that they don't extend past the belt. (I'm thinking I'll add a sash for ease of hiding the ends.)

The back does look to be too big, partly from the crappy angle of the photo, partly from it being flat instead of shaped like the other template pieces, and partly because it probably is too big.

I took the pieces I was pretty confident about, and traced them onto my sintra, then cut them out with a jigsaw yesterday. (First time using a jigsaw, go me!) Most of it is 6mil. They still need to be sanded, but it's 100 degrees outside so I haven't done it yet.


In the meantime, I've been brainstorming about the helmet too. I'm going to try a soft cowl - leather or vinyl - over a hard dome and with a hard face plate. I thought I could probably make the face plate out of sintra and use magnets to attach it to the dome. Here's a rough mockup I made out of computer paper to get a sense of the shape (with pencil for scale, though I think I want it a bit bigger).

It's two pieces (top and bottom), with a dart at the chin. If I reinforce the edge with a narrow strip (on the inside), that would give it more strength and give me something to attach the magnets.
For the dome, I had thought to use a smooth-domed hard hat I got for making a scratchbuilt modern helmet, but after cutting off the brim, I've decided that it's too big for a Neo Crusader. The NC style gives the impression of a small head, so I need a close-fitting dome. (Guess I'll have to save that hard hat and make a modern kit next!) So instead, I poked around online and found this style of helmet that I think I can use for a base:

It's a low profile, half skull cap motorcycle helmet, without a brim, for those looking for one. The novelty version, which doesn't have the padding necessary for road safety, looks like it'll be a close enough fit (and is much cheaper!). I've ordered one and should get it next week.

I also trekked across town to an upholstery warehouse this morning and found some vinyl in a blue that will match okay (though I could also potentially paint it, right?). Once I get the helmet, I'll be able to do some mockups on the cowl, and also figure out how big the face plate needs to be and whether my construction plan will work.

 


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