Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Mandalorian Armor => Armor Construction => Topic started by: z2the4 on Sep 10, 2021, 01:02 AM

Title: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Sep 10, 2021, 01:02 AM
Greetings future fellow Mandalorians.

I'm Josh from western NC(Talon Clan).

Very select of you may recall me, started a build back in 2013/14 and even met some of you in person at a Asheville convention in 14'.

Anyhow, I'm back in 2021 to finally legitimately finish my kit lol

This is versions 1 and 2(1 on right, 2 on left).
(https://i.imgur.com/QxsOdsK.jpeg)
Yeah they were rough.


Fast forward to today and I feel my skill set has vastly improved over the years that I might be able to pull it off lol
Having a decent income now helps too!


This time my armor plates will be metal, 16gauge to be exact.

Here's the initial cut out armor, need to get shin templates as I literally lost my previous sintra shins *sigh*
(https://i.imgur.com/8aoMgqa.jpeg)
I just flattened the sintra plates and traced them onto the sheet metal I bought from work.


Sadly the traditional bucket didn't survive our move to our house 4 years ago, and I decided to use the IronForge Renegade I won back in 2014 for my bucket, reshaped a few pieces of armor to "fit" the straight lines of the Renegade.
(https://i.imgur.com/Uh9PvWP.jpeg)

I decided on a squared off look to the shoulder armor, where as my previous kit was a round curve.
(https://i.imgur.com/4RtdKmU.jpeg)

The cod plate stayed the same.
(https://i.imgur.com/RaeifNt.jpeg)

Big change came with the chest plates.
As you can see even in my old builds, they were way too wide.
So I slimmed them down and tried to make the curved profile more straight, one day I'd like to replace these completely - but they will work for now.
(https://i.imgur.com/7yHsHZP.jpeg)
Old on left, new on right.

That's pretty much where I am right now.
Have no soft parts, still working on cleaning up my armor, have Thigh plates to reshape and trim out and I made some custom shaped knee armor, that hopefully will translate into reality how I imagine them in my head lol
(https://i.imgur.com/kmjeroI.jpeg)



Really excited to get back into this, and looking forward to meeting mercs once again!
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Sep 22, 2021, 01:42 PM
Well, Well, Well.

We have a few updates.
I have cleaned up and painted the shoulder plates.
Wanted to try a weathering technique I've seen others use(similar at least).
You mask off "damage", paint it black then re-mask the damage and add your color.
Well I greatly over-estimated how large the damage would be, as the color coat would have to be larger than the black coat.
But I think they look OK.
I will do better with the other armor pieces.
(https://i.imgur.com/8sNWP7j.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/cN2Ongs.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/U9fNOSM.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/nDzQXJO.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/CE7i2Gk.jpeg)

I think after a black/brown wash it'll look alright.

The codplate... eh.. I over weathered it for sure.
But once I paint the raised portion(paint is like sold out everywhere around me) gunmetal, I can fix some of the weathering.
(https://i.imgur.com/sHVm54D.jpeg)
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Sep 22, 2021, 01:55 PM
The helmet.
Well, honestly this was very bittersweet for me.
I won this helmet originally in 2014 from IronForge themselves.

Then it ended up getting broke, and several friends who knew what happened got together and bought me another.
So, after 8 years it was very hard to repaint this, but I feel like finish this kit would be what they want me to do.
Before;
(https://i.imgur.com/ejfAnzv.jpeg)
After silver coat, I decided to try and keep the weathering somewhat similar - so I kept the previous areas rough so I could find them when I masked off the silver.
(https://i.imgur.com/Qsm3Xu2.jpeg)

Then I masked it off(Mustard, if anyone is wondering) and painted on the black coat.
(https://i.imgur.com/kIkBAv7.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/dfEHC5m.jpeg)

And here is where things went a little south.
(https://i.imgur.com/eVHwE85.jpeg)
When I started rubbing off the masking over the damage - more then intended came off, and some spots that I didn't intend to be weathered came off(all the solid black spots).
So I'll have to touch it up before I'm finished.
Still need to add Gunmetal to the three sunken areas on the dome, so that'll fix alot of the over-weathering there.
I believe I have a color in my Battletech miniatures paint supply thats almost an exact match for the gray to cover some of the unwanted black.

But I continued on, added the color to the helmet.
(https://i.imgur.com/OlPYDRg.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/w1zyh7B.jpeg)

So I should be able to fix the over weathering here soon.


Oh, forgot to mention I do have my flightsuit, but I'll wait till my soft parts post to show it.
But here is a color contrast between the FS and Primary color.
(https://i.imgur.com/8Mbba8U.jpeg)
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Second Son on Sep 22, 2021, 03:07 PM
Another Metal Mando! I'm building my first OM (aspiring) kit in metal too and it's an experience, for sure.
For the helmet, I think that a repaint to honor friends by finishing your kit is exactly right. Looking forward to seeing your kit fully realized.

 If you're worried about the paint layers not feeling quite right anywhere, working the weathering edges with scotchbrite and fine steel wool can make the transitions between your undercoat(s) and top color feel more natural than just peeling the masking medium, and help dull the freshness of your paint to look more lived in. And if that doesn't get it the way you want it, with metal you can always sand down to substrate and start over without destroying the work of getting a good silver layer.

Don't be afraid to do additional physical weathering on your metal plates - the paint can be scratched and scuffed and damage can be beaten into metal plates in ways that Sintra can't take without the risk of exposing bare plastic. I've found that blaster dents can be done before or after paint layering for different degrees of 'ouch' - deeper dents that go down to bare metal(make the dent before painting and do progressive masking) look extra hurty, while a light whack with a hammer after the top color will catch light but looks more like a grazing shot to my eye.

One more thing with metal that silver-painted Sintra can't do: paint your primer coat or black layer first, and then run sandpaper along outside edges and across bends, scuff the flats of the plates down to bare metal in some spots, do some dents. Then mask that damage and feather the masking medium out from the edges before adding a top color. You can combine that with any other painting techniques for different degrees and layers of wear.

Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Jazer on Sep 22, 2021, 08:26 PM
Great progress! Keep it up!
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Sep 23, 2021, 12:38 PM
Well, since my sintra shins were melted(left them in my car - oops) I didn't have a template to transfer to steel.
So I'm gonna design my own.

Here is version 1.
(https://i.imgur.com/9UY2yUT.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/gB72zGg.jpeg)

Feels like it might be a little short, and I want to have the front more narrow at the ankle, then at the top.
Right now its 3" top to bottom, i'm gonna try 2.5" at the ankle and 3" at the top.


And here's what I've got so far;
(https://i.imgur.com/Pc3fcJ2.jpeg)

Thigh plates will be reshaped a little bit on the final piece.

That knee is a prototype, its not the right metal - was just using it to test angles.
But, that will be close to the final knee design, although I will be adding some greeble/weapons to the sides.

Gonna use a tac vest for a flak vest, have a few ideas to make it pass as a OM vest one day - but even if it doesnt, it'll suffice for my first build.
Going to use Chicago Screws for mounting the chest/shoulder and cod plates.
Everything else is most likely going to use metal snaps(Such as thigh plates, knees).
I believe the shins will use straps to mount them, although I may use snaps as well, time will tell.

Have some PVC pipe cut for my Gauntlets, but I need a dremel first so I can cut the wedges out of them to fit right.
I'll make a dedicated thread to those in the Gauntlet forum when that time comes.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Vercopaanir on Sep 24, 2021, 09:04 AM
Looks like itís coming along nicely  :like:
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 05, 2021, 08:25 AM
Alright, we have some decent progress.

Decided the chest plates were wonky and misshapen, so I redid them.
(https://i.imgur.com/p8KRtRp.jpeg)
This was the cardboard template I made.
Later I decided to taper the sides of the Ab plate so it has a more natural flow(you can see in the finished plates).

Finished my knee plates;
(https://i.imgur.com/meiskxK.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/pdd22Pm.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/GKUZBzy.jpeg)

So, here are all the plates in their unbent form(besides the knees, which are bent).
(https://i.imgur.com/UbOrMhT.jpeg)
Top left - Thigh
Bottom left - Shin
Middle - Chest(still have to cut Diamond)
Top right - Knee
Middle right - Bicep
Bottom right - material to cut chest diamond with

And, after everything was bent.
(https://i.imgur.com/TJcxKN6.jpeg)


Started to mount the chest plates to my FV.
(https://i.imgur.com/BVXpay3.jpeg)

After some discussion with two other people building their kits alongside mine, I trimmed the collar width and edge of the middle chest plates by a 1/4" each side.
(https://i.imgur.com/aweK2Av.jpeg)
(also, I've since noticed the uneven ab plate and trimmed it).


Also realized I made the collar plate neck opening way too large, so I'm gonna add a second smaller plate to fill in the neck - somewhat like this;
(https://i.imgur.com/4MvCL5v.jpeg)

Currently working on the PVC pipe gauntlets, I'll post pics when I have progress made.
This is all I have, I feel they may be a little too short - only time will tell.
(https://i.imgur.com/uPQmJaE.jpeg)

Some notes;
*All the plates still need some cleaning up on the edges
*Yes I know the vest will have to be modified to cover all the velcro - I already have plans for this :)
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 05, 2021, 08:31 AM
On a less happy side note, sadly my Renegade shattered.

So I'm gonna have to save up for a new bucket, have a good idea what I want so stay tuned.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Second Son on Oct 05, 2021, 02:10 PM
Sorry to hear about your helmet, I know it had special significance to you.

That aside, heckin' progress, vod. Finding issues and resolving them is half the fun of the process from what I've experienced in my build so far.
I'm digging those knees, shoulders and leg plates, it's like origami (war-igami?). Those crisp corners are going to be awesome for weathering.
Looking forward to seeing the final shape you put into your torso plates.

If you are worried your gauntlets are too short you can always put on additional pieces to lengthen them, either in Sintra sheet or in PVC pipe. Since it is basically the same material whatever works on one should work on the other to attach it. I've had some success with general purpose PVC pipe cement while experimenting on prop pieces but I can't speak to long term durability for trooping yet.

It could look really cool to actually use and celebrate the joint as part of the design (more opportunities for paint work and washes to highlight) 

If you're piecing more pipe segments on(probably need a patch plate inside to stabilize) having joint with chamfered edges on the pieces on either side of the seam could look slick and technical. Extending the inner and outer pieces by the same amount - slightly more than the step distance-  the squared step in the inner and outer pieces would express as a crisp little detail in the middle of the gauntlet (chamfer the step at the connection between inner and outer to really sell it).

Or you can lean into the difference in thickness between pipe and sheet PVC by stacking an additional layer (maybe a second detail layer at the back edge?) of material to the outside, extending back towards your elbow. That can help provide shaping around the muscle in your forearm without getting nuts with a heat gun on the pipe (or trying to mess about with angled cuts along the length).  Most human limbs are built from tapered tube and cone shapes so straight cylinders are either too tight or too loose along forearms.
 (Of course the simplest solution is to cut new ones the length you want them but that's less fun)

Both of those approaches could coordinate with your geometric flair pretty well while keeping the gauntlets as a distinct design element.

Looking forward to seeing your build, it's really shaping up.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 09, 2021, 09:36 AM
Test fitting the chest plates, not perfect but getting there.
Also, one side isnt secured as I can't do it by myself lol

(https://i.imgur.com/fwcvIGq.jpeg)

Think once the collar is secured it'll space out correctly.

Does the neck opening look too large?

Personally I like the look of a large gap between plates so I went with slightly less than 1" spacing.

While I do like the shape of the plates, feel like that they compliment my body size - I may add a downward taper eventually.


I'll work on modifying the vest after I survive my works Halloween costume contest.


On a side note, I believe I can salvage the helmet, but still gonna upgrade to this new one lol
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Second Son on Oct 09, 2021, 06:14 PM
Shiny!
One feedback item, the parts over your shoulders on your collar plate will look and fit better if they are rolled a bit more to the angle of your shoulders. Right now they float at the outside edges.

I think that having your plates fitted to your shape is more important than making the downward taper more pronounced.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 12, 2021, 01:48 AM
Shiny!
One feedback item, the parts over your shoulders on your collar plate will look and fit better if they are rolled a bit more to the angle of your shoulders. Right now they float at the outside edges.

I think that having your plates fitted to your shape is more important than making the downward taper more pronounced.

They were actually, I straightened them back out as I plan on trimming the edges ever so slightly, so it's not such a sharp angle on the edges.

Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 12, 2021, 01:54 AM
Saturday night we had a family Halloween party and it was the first time I tried on what I had (mostly) finished.
(https://i.imgur.com/gpsQQc7.jpeg)

Still a lot of work ahead of me yet.

The chest plates seem to be sized decent enough, need to work on Bending them to fit a little more snuggly now.

Cod plate and 'girth' belt were just thrown together so there wasnt a empty space right there, feel the girth belt is a little too narrow, but might work if I added a wider cloth sash or something behind it perhaps?

Will definitely need a "Boba thong" to keep my cod plate pulled down.


But overall it all held up great, had no issues with movement (well besides sitting down, as my collar plate tried to decapitate me lol
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Aster Veris on Oct 12, 2021, 02:13 AM
As you said, plates look like a good size! Really great work here, vod  :like:
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 12, 2021, 07:57 AM
Decided to start work on my gauntlets.

The plan is a 4" PVC pipe for the base, then a metal "platform" for mounting weapons and/or accessories.

The cardboard will be the template for the metal platform.

I will add a little 1/4" spacer to make the platform straight, as the PVC is slopped.

I'm planning on making the front edges of the metal smooth so it sits flush with the PVC, so there aren't gaps to fill in.

(https://i.imgur.com/9W2DL4W.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/kmKmOPw.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/nF6gbz2.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/6E85Taq.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/BOM2A6k.jpeg)
(https://i.imgur.com/dmU4GjM.jpeg)
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Second Son on Oct 12, 2021, 09:49 AM
Taking the gauntlets to 11, vod. This is better than my earlier thoughts on the gauntlets so you can safely ignore what I said before!  Once again, digging the geometric flair, lots of edges and creases to catch that weathering.
I'm seeing this and thinking about modular attachment points for varying greeblies and zappy things. You could start basic and make upgrades on the same type mounting plate for later on. Food for thought.
I gotta say, I feel like you could make the bases in metal as well, using the outside of the pipe to size it. You'd get another ~1/4" of space for padding and I bet it would turn out lighter - the ones I've made (https://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=203277.msg2227536#msg2227536) are metal and feel like they weigh less than the 3D printed ones I made for H'ween last year.  Just remember to flare or roll the edges to protect your soft goods and the skin beneath. Armor bites SUCK. 

The little gaps on the hand end, where your round base meets the angled platform will want something, I'm thinking a pair of exposed dart launcher looking things?  Lots of other vode have used pocket air tools from Menard's or similar to make things like that. It could also be a pair of tubes sticking out.  But it needs something other than being filled in with a  blank panel. If you haven't already, check out The Welding Geeks (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGherOT3MUxMF8ImhzYcAQw/featured) you tube videos about making gauntlets, there's lots to be gleaned from his work.

Calling back to your collar plate - once you have the raw shaping and forming dialed in, at the neck opening consider a gentle roll/flare of the edge up and away from your neck. Option two would be to roll the edge over completely, but if you do that I'd say roll it over to the underside. It'll reinforce the shape a bit, and more importantly direct the edge of your metal away from your neckmeat.  A more solid neckseal will help with this as well.

Chest plates you're right on, the lower extensions will need to come inward a bit to prevent floating.

I think the width of your girth belt is fine, and adding a second belt over it for pouches and maybe a holstered sidearm would create a nice layering effect. Your waist items shouldn't be overlapping the bottom edge of your vest, going wider on the girth might cause them to touch.  You can alleviate some of the 'flip' that the cod wants to do by dishing in the...functional area of the plate. Moving material in the center outward will cause the edges to pull in and back a bit, which will draw the bottom edge more towards the rear and provide better fit and protection. The creasing operation you did for your knees would provide a similar result if you want to do more orthogonal shaping.

And beyond hemming and tailoring the legs in a bit, your flight suit looks good to my (admittedly not expert) eye.

Strong work, looking forward to more (and getting motivated to buckle down and finish my own stuff and get my app in...).
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Oct 13, 2021, 09:33 AM
Taking the gauntlets to 11, vod...

Calling back to your collar plate...

Chest plates you're right on, the lower extensions will need to come inward a bit to prevent floating...

I think the width of your girth belt is fine...

And beyond hemming and tailoring the legs in a bit, your flight suit looks good to my (admittedly not expert) eye...

Strong work, looking forward to more (and getting motivated to buckle down and finish my own stuff and get my app in...).

Thank you!
I broke down your reply so I can reply easier to each comment.

Gauntlets;
I have considered using the PVC to form some metal 'clamshells', I probably will later down the road.
But for now, I'm content enough to move on to other projects *stares at you knee armor*.
I've got the shapes traced onto some metal, hoping to cut it out today and work on it tomorrow.

Collar Plate:
I'm most likely gonna re-cut the whole plate, with a better sized neck opening, and problem even longer ... uhh.. "shoulder straps"? so they cover more of my shoulders, so the back plate wont have so far to reach(May reuse the front plate for the back armor).

Chest plates:
I have been studying Jango's chest armor and I feel like I have a few ideas now for bending it better.

Girth belt/Cod
Thats really good to hear, cos I love the brown/leather color as it matches my gloves and shoes,
Hoping to order a belt and some pouches in the next week or two.
As for the Cod, I believe I am going to do a "Boba Thong" of sorts, have a few plans to try...

Flightsuit:
I'm gonna try to hand sew some to take up some of the slack, as it's already proved to cause issues with placing my knee armor(when I bend over to mark where the knees sit, the pants go slack and when I stand up the knees dont sit where I intended them too *sigh*).




Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Dec 04, 2021, 08:07 PM
well, lets skip several updates and go right to my first 'full' kit up on halloween night.

(https://i.imgur.com/1ozja1w.jpeg)

it was mostly a success, however obvious issues, have do I lol

my waist items was way too low, easy fix.

my 'schnees' suck, so they need replacing.

flightsuit? way too baggy, fix eventually,

my gauntlets? no good, need replacing.

torso armor? some tweaks but okay for building on.

helmet also a no go as it broke and i had to glue it together for Halloween night.



how am I gonna remedy these issues?
stay tuned.


but a teaser  involves a printer and a lone wolf.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: z2the4 on Dec 04, 2021, 09:36 PM
So lets start with the biggest.. "upgrade", I guess?

I got a Ender 3 V2 3D printer.
So I plan on making 3D printer gauntlets and eventually new Schnees, and of course my weapons - which I have decided on(but that will be a future post).

I decided to use the wonderful Deathwartch files April Storm so graciously donated for all of us to use as a start.
Not a fan of the Right side, so I will use the left(mirrored of course) as my right as well.
(https://i.imgur.com/4zlKqXn.jpeg)
Right now, its an issue of sizing it up so it fits my gorilla like arms.
105% was a little better, 110% was even closer, I'm hoping 115% will be just right.
Will print the matching right Gauntlet for both the 100%, 105% and 110% and help someone else out for a few dollars to cover shipping and material(not gonna sell a "free" print), give someone else a nice base to start some gauntlets with.

If it still wont fit right at 115%, I guess I will look for a different Gauntlet style to print.


On a side note, decided in the long run I want to go for the Droid hunter Brigade.
So I have a few ideas of things to incorporate into my build now.




Now, Lone Wolf Customs had a black Friday sale AND a birthday code on the same day, so I absolutely could not pass it up.
I bought his "Rebels "male" Grunt helmet" in the large size.
And boy is this thing beautiful.
(https://i.imgur.com/yyn6jJ3.jpeg)
Couldn't wait and got the visor slot cut out, still need to go back tomorrow and clean up whats left that the cut off wheel on my Dremel missed.
I had one little slip on the mandible, but hey "Battle damage".
(https://i.imgur.com/waICzM5.jpeg)

Gotta figure out how I'm gonna secure the visor inside, I definitely wanna be able to remove it for cleaning or working on it in the future.

But I finally have room inside a helmet I own lol
Got lots of ideas for electronics and proper padding.

Stay tuned!

I'm excited to start making steps towards a kit that's worthy of OM status.
Title: Re: Kae D'Mori metal armor Mando build!
Post by: Second Son on Dec 04, 2021, 10:14 PM
Heck yeah, incidental weathering! I got a LoneWolf too - Blank Mando, and I love it.  Sounds like you're finding your work points and hitting them, getting tools to help yourself succeed. Keep it up vod, looking forward to another update.