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Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial

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OriKad

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Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« on: Jun 26, 2010, 02:33 PM »
It was asked in a friend's build thread that I do a tutorial on how to make these, so here one is.  First, I'll show the build, and then, sometime later, I'll put together some printable templates for you to download.  Before I begin, I want to get a caveat or two out of the way:

Armor made entirely of unaltered craft foam is not allowed as per current guidelines.  While craft foam makes a good, cheap, and workable base, it would have to be resin-coated before it would pass for approval, at which time it would be considered fiberglass armor.

However, an accent piece, like say, an ARC trooper pauldron, made of craft foam, when added to trashcan/sintra/metal plates is generally allowable, as I understand the rules.  Your mileage may vary.

You may note during the build that I'm showing two different colors.  That's because I was making two interchangeable shoulders at once.

And finally: I didn't wip the mantle.  The mantle is made by exactly the same process as the shoulder, so it would be ultimately extraneous to do both.  All necessary parts will be included in the printable templates.

Next post begins the wip, which will be split into two posts.
« Last Edit: Jun 26, 2010, 02:48 PM by OriKad » Logged

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OriKad

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26, 2010, 02:47 PM »
Starting at the end:  This is the final version of the pauldron that Shan uses for her V1 kit.  If you find pictures of her in one of our invasion reports or pic dumps in the Mav Oya'la board, you'll see that it covers the whole area that a collar would otherwise cover.  In the course of the tutorial I'll be running through the construction of a new left shoulder piece.


And these are the parts laid out flat.  The mantle is made of a separate front and rear piece, which secure on the right side.  In this case, I used hooks and eyes, but magnets, snaps, zippers, velcro, or whatever other method you'd prefer could be used.  Craft foam takes glue nicely, and can be sewn through for velcro.


The larger left side ARC/327th style base shoulder pieces.  I got two out of a single sheet of 30cm x 45cm craft foam, but that's for a slightly scaled down version for a small woman.  For a male you'd probably get 1:1 at that sheet size.


The raised, colored pieces.  These were drawn on by tracing the base shoulder piece.  Do not cut on the lines.  Also, I cut with a utility knife.  Scissors would also do the trick.


As you see here, if you draw the colored piece pattern using the base shoulder piece, you should cut about 3/16" inside the lines.


And once cut, lay them out on the base to make sure they line up correctly.  If they don't, you can still trim more.  Ultimately you should be looking to get exact symmetry.


And when all the colored pieces are cut, in comes the glue.  I used 3m Super 77 spray glue, because it's strong and goes on evenly.  You could use contact cement, wood glue, or whatever.  Superglue sets too fast and thick gel-based glues like E6000 are hard to spread evenly.


More in a minute.
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OriKad

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #2 on: Jun 26, 2010, 03:01 PM »
Doing one piece at a time, spray the glue on the back of the colored pieces.  It helps to use newspaper so whatever you spray on doesn't get sticky.  With 3m Super 77 you have to get it right the first time, because it's got that much tooth.  It helps to line up the outside edge and roll the piece down.  Craft foam is porous, so you have no worries about bubbles.  Also, use a fresh piece of newspaper for each piece so you don't get the spray overage on the front of the pieces.


When the piece is rolled on and even, apply even pressure to get it to start to set up right.  It may want to curl up on you, but the glue actually sets slowly enough that it's not a problem.


Repeat the previous step on the other side.  You do the outside pieces first so if you have them just a little off, you can use the center piece's placement to make it look more straight.


And there.  All the gluing is done.  You may note that the edges are curling a little, like I said earlier.  The glue is still tacky at this point, so they'll stick right down again.


Now, you need to apply even pressure to the whole surface.  I used a scrap piece of plastic sign and an old much-used shelf.


Clamp it, stand on it, put a weight on it, whatever.  You only need heavy pressure for a couple minutes.  After that, the weight of the board will be enough.


And we're done.  You can put the pieces together however you like.  I used chicago screws.


Final thoughts:  I find craft foam to be ideal for this because it's light, flexible, easy to work with, but still firm enough to hold its shape.  You could just as easily substitute sintra and leather.. or leather and leather.. or whatever materials you like as long as the adhesive you use is appropriate for that material.  As always, have fun building.

Templates will come sometime later or tomorrow.
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GreatSkyRiver Falco

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #3 on: Jun 26, 2010, 03:20 PM »
wow, that was quick!

thanks ori!
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OriKebiin'traYustapir
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Kora

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #4 on: Jun 27, 2010, 12:36 AM »
Oh craft foam, how awesome it is. :D That is pretty slick looking.
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Dragon Sunkiller

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #5 on: Jun 27, 2010, 01:36 AM »
Awesome! I'm incorporating this into my armor now!
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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #6 on: Jun 27, 2010, 07:16 AM »
Is this still permissible for CRLs? Or would you have to impregnate the foam with something to keep it rigid? Just last I heard craft foam alone wasn't kosher..

However, the style is pretty awesome man! Can't wait for those templates! I'll for sure be making some out of leather and sintra!
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Hondo Karr

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #7 on: Jun 27, 2010, 02:27 PM »
Well, it's a secondary accent piece... it's not the bulk of the armor... ie the torso and leg plates. It's an accet piece which is usually made from soft materials such as pleather anyway so, it shouldn't be an issue.

However, I would certainly use the craft foam as the base for ease and cost but, if I were building one, I'd use sintra or storage bin or something for the plating on it.
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OriKad

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #8 on: Jun 27, 2010, 02:37 PM »
I was just typing that answer.  Actually, I find craft foam is good for the plates too for two reasons:

1. Exact color and texture match to the more flexible base piece for where it's all black. (Right shoulder and mantle)
2. Craft foam comes in lots of colors for the left shoulder piece.  No painting needed.

Plus, once it's two layers of craft foam, it's a lot more rigid.  Shan's all craft foam pauldron has held up with no problems at all after about a year of trooping and it ending up on the bottom of the pile of armor in the trunk.

Not that I'm saying you shouldn't make the plates out of sintra, just that those are the pros of all craft foam for this particular piece. :)

Anyway, I have the templates done for the shoulder pieces:
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad120/MikeBullian/rightshoulder.jpg
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad120/MikeBullian/leftshoulder.jpg
« Last Edit: Jun 27, 2010, 03:26 PM by OriKad » Logged

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GreatSkyRiver Falco

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #9 on: Jun 27, 2010, 02:57 PM »
the second pic jumped ship!
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OriKebiin'traYustapir
Victory, not vengence.
reality is a hologram created by our minds.
M.A.J.I.C # 008

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OriKad

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #10 on: Jun 27, 2010, 03:26 PM »
It'd certainly help if I didn't typo the URL, huh? :)
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Ohl'd Vart

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #11 on: Jun 28, 2010, 04:03 PM »
Ori...did Drake bug you to make a tutorial like this? He's had me drafting pauldron patterns in AutoCad all weekend.... :D
Rob
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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #12 on: Jun 28, 2010, 04:05 PM »
Ori...did Drake bug you to make a tutorial like this? He's had me drafting pauldron patterns in AutoCad all weekend.... :D
Rob

It's good for ya! Gets the mental gears goin and clears the cobwebs outta that attic ye call a head ;)

Seriously considering trying this for an 'accent' piece to pop on and off on occasion.
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Ohl'd Vart

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #13 on: Jun 28, 2010, 04:09 PM »
It's good for ya! Gets the mental gears goin and clears the cobwebs outta that attic ye call a head ;)

That's the truth....you oughtta see all the Acad project I've got going at once...10 at last count!
Rob
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OriKad

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Re: Craft Foam ARC Trooper-style Pauldron Tutorial
« Reply #14 on: Jun 28, 2010, 06:23 PM »
Ouch... That's a lot of projects.  As for why I did the wip:  I built one for my wife a long long time ago, and recently helped a clanmate with the same, plus we were upgrading my wife's shoulder, so why not WIP it (WIP it good) in the meantime.

And now that I've thankfully NOT been selected as a juror on a triple homicide trial, I can template out the mantle.  Expect that probably tomorrow.
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