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 Build log - Leg armor

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Build log - Leg armor
« on: Jun 14, 2021, 03:21 PM »
Starting a build log for my leg armor - starting with the knees.
I'm working in .040/1mm aluminum, 5052 alloy which isn't the softest but still can be worked by hand. Plus that's what I could get.
I took a few patterns from around the web and distilled them into a semi-custom pattern, and I got my pieces laser-cut - I outsourced that because I don't have the equipment to do it cleanly and neatly.
After I got the parts, I bent the side tab for mounting knee darts. Then I curved the majority of the shape with my little slip roll - I did both knees side by side at the same time to keep the curves as even as possible, and then finished the bend of the side plates with some hammer work. I hammered in a bit more of a dish shape at the bottom edge- pretty shallow, just enough to catch the eye and give a feel of more depth to the plate. 


I also hammered in an ever so slight radius to the edges I could get to, again to give a bit of visual depth and catch light where weathering strips away paint.



Next I mounted some little thickening plate greeblies to both of the side plates on each knee - gives it some dimension and opportunities for nifty paint detailing.  I countersunk my holes and used solid rivets, with the head to the outside to display the attachment, but not too much.

Also mounted some self-clinching studs for attaching to my flight suit while I was at it. They mount pretty well flush and are not too obvious when painted over.


Then, self-etching primer and fiddling with knee darts. I had some aluminum pocket air tools from Menards that I cut in half and tapped for threads (8-32) to match the screws I have on-hand and the self-clinching studs I got.
The other end of one became a zappy bit on my right gauntlet .



It didn't look quite right with two the same, so I cut some aluminum tube and packed the bottom with some JB weld steel-stik, then let that cure and tapped some holes.  I think it looks better with the two types stacked.


Then, I jumped to masking and painting:

Base coat of midnight blue (rust-oleum) showing on the side plate detail. I scuffed up the primer with scotch-brite pad and steel wool, getting down to bare aluminum in some spots (mostly at the kneecap area) and did some artsy masking with liquid latex as I added each subsequent color of paint to build up layers in the weathering.


A clan mate also working on his kit had some really nice red stripes on his shins and I thought, hey why not? but in Blue.


Comes out of the masking tape and paper layers looking fresh - and then I remove the LL masking





I didn't like the way the darts looked just tacked on to the thin tabs, so I cut some old channel I had and stuck it to the back side to add some depth - one I did with regular machine screws and for the other I realized I have the self-clinching studs and went with that (will probably re-do the other one to match). I figure I will add some sort of lightweight filler block (that can be removed if needed) to give it the right visual bulk. I like the channel left unpainted, but may still disassemble them and hit them with the midnight blue.



And that's the knees so far.


I'll need to add some strapping and such to mount to my flight suit (still working on that, I should totally finish all the soft kit first but I love making plates and weathering them).
Once I get further with shin plates I'll update the log.

Re: Build log - Leg armor
« Reply #1 on: Jun 14, 2021, 03:59 PM »
Looks great! You have some metal working skills. The rest of your armor from other posts looks great as well.

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Re: Build log - Leg armor
« Reply #2 on: Jun 15, 2021, 03:22 PM »
These knees look great.   Paint looks spot on.  I like the blow tips you used.  HF tools has some too.  Looking forward to the rest.  Keep bending, banging and shaping. 

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Jel'Driik Venn 

Star Wars fan since 1977

1st WIP.... And I DID cut myself
Re: Build log - Leg armor
« Reply #3 on: Jun 15, 2021, 06:11 PM »
Looks great! You have some metal working skills. The rest of your armor from other posts looks great as well.
These knees look great.   Paint looks spot on.  I like the blow tips you used.  HF tools has some too.  Looking forward to the rest.  Keep bending, banging and shaping.

Thanks for the feedback vode.
D/D, I'm no Welding Geek (he is a big inspiration to my approach) but with years of practice I might get half that good.
Jel'Driik,  your integration of the found objects and the air tips  into your gauntlets - very Swarzy if you ask me.

Leg armor update: I know said shins but y'all get instep plates instead.
Some of these photos happened a while back...I had a few minutes between work meetings today so I used my break time as MANDO TIME.
Hammered on some plates and thought I'd share.

Instep plates -
I modified the pattern I used for my V1 / 2020 H'Ween kit plates (which were themselves recycled from the scrap bin of a Batman H'Ween costume...) and got them cut from 5052, .04"/1mm thick.
 
V1 and V2 comparison
First step was a slight curve in the slip roll,  then some straight bends over the edge of the workbench, x2 to block out the shape. There was some hand tweaking to dial in the angles.



I hammered the edges outward over a 1.5" dia steel pipe to add some dimension, and stiffen the shape.
---Time Slip---
I was working on the shins today (post forthcoming) and decided to tweak the insteps a bit after seeing them together - I added a little bit more bend at the inside arches and tightened the ~3/4" radius I had previously put in along the edges down closer to 1/4"- the challenge was getting the metal to flow evenly around the outside corner without flattening the bends or splitting. I think I got a decent-ish result. Uneven shaping and wobbly edges is just free weathering and battle damage. The more pronounced flare makes them very sturdy and will make some great shiny highlights against the black paint I'm planning to use.





Next step with these will be a whole lot of painting and weathering  (the best part) and mounting to a canvas strap, to articulate to the shin plate and hide my bootlaces, and some black elastic to go under the boots and hold it all down tight.
I'm considering some toe caps and some Fett-ly toe spikes to really round out the Well-Armed Space Maniac look.
Shin plates post will probably have to wait, Real Life will have me out of pocket for a bit.

Cattriss Wren


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  • "Vurel narir'shekemir, draar solus"
Re: Build log - Leg armor
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17, 2021, 08:15 AM »
Wow  :o !! Your doing amazing!! Can't wait to see more :porg2:

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my armor. http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=203296.0

 "Mandalorians don't make threats. We make promises"
 
"Everyone has a struggle in life. The key is turning that struggle into your weapon."
Re: Build log - Leg armor
« Reply #5 on: Jul 25, 2021, 06:26 PM »
Painted my instep plates and shin plates. Incremental Progress!










 


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