Don't like ads? Help support the Mercs by becoming a Supporter or Auxiliary Member today!
Official Members also get to use the forum ad-free - so kit up and join us!

 Build Log / WIP: Body Armor

  • 33 Replies
  • 1274 Views
Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« on: Jun 25, 2021, 12:30 AM »
First post for my body armor WIP/ build log:  Shoulder Plates.

I’m going with a Modern kit, so I drew up some classic Fett shoulder plates & cut them out of .04”/1mm 5052.   


First step was to roll an even curve and then put a little tighter radius in at the outside edges to close them in a bit. I may have also been working on an extra set of plates while I had the tools out.



I hammered in a subtle radius all around to give a bit of visual depth and make a ridge for light and weathering highlights to catch the eye.  I did that for the shoulder plates by hammering against a medium density wood block with the plates angled up slightly, basically using it as a sinking stump without the dish. A hard rubber mallet and slightly overlapping strikes kept the surface relatively free of hammer marks. It didn’t end up really obvious so mixed results for the effort.

Once I was happy enough with the shaping I mounted a pair of self-clinching studs for attaching to the vest (I really should make one, I’ve been working on all the armor that can be done without the soft kit fully finished).





I added a few light dents by setting the plates over the end of a pipe and sinking the ball end of my ball peen into the surface - not very deep, just enough to show. 

And then my favorite part: painting and base weathering.  I haven’t jumped into the world of washes and space grime yet. Once I’ve got beaten plates affixed to my soft goods we’ll get nuts. 











The three color blue pattern is something I came up with for the V1/H’Ween 2020 kit that got me into the Mando thing. I intend to incorporate it into any and all kits I do going forward. One thing I did not do for this paint job was lay down self-etching primer - I used rust oleum paint/primer combo products with mixed results.  I could have done better surface prep as well. Some of the masking pulled away previous layers resulting in unintended but acceptable weathering which I enhanced with abrasion and masking fluid for the next layer.





I also did a much more straightforward paint/weather job for the right shoulder while I was at it.  Top coat is flat black, the under layer is a very pale blue/grey color. I think it turned out okay but I also think I should work it a bit more with some abrasion to add direction the the wear patterns.






I’m rapidly getting to where I have to get my soft kit done to the point where I can start tuning my body plates to final fit (they are rough shaped - that is a future update to this thread).

Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #1 on: Jul 01, 2021, 02:37 PM »
Making an update to the body armor WIP. Process log below.

Got a snap with the plates against me. The bottom is about an inch above my belly button. I think I'm in good shape but I'd appreciate any feedback.
 
Looking at it objectively, as I have them taped up: chest plates are a bit off-straight, and a little close to the iron heart as a result. A tiny bit of outward rotation around the bottom corners should fix that and get the top outside corners more aligned to the collarplate. They don't feel too wide to me, but I know that's a common pitfall for applicants.


The metal armor project started with lots and lots of planning and drafting and version revisions.


And then like the rest of my parts, I outsourced some cutting.

Iron Heart, Vode.


Step one for all plates: shaping a curve with a slip roll. Certain pieces have changing angles and curves so I re-worked some areas by turning the plate or tightening the radius or both.





For the chest pieces I did a bit of additional rolling and hammering to get the bottom tabs to curl a bit more.


Mocked up the plates to see the proportions and spacing- I know it's not much use without a body behind it....but it felt good to see it.



I also kinda started a second set of plates (volume discounts on multiple parts!) that will end up having more angles to the shape.

They are intended for a relative.

Some other pieces needed some further forming as well - butt plate, cod, and back plate.

I turned the edges of my butt plate out a bit, hammering over my 1.5" steel pipe and down against a block of wood for a subtle flare. It adds strength and catches the light, and gives places for washes to work. The outward flare echoes my instep plates.




The cod presented a challenge - how to go from two simple radii at right angles and raise up a 'bump' in the front.  I cut the profile out of plywood, stuck it on with spray adhesive, and worked the edges with a hammer. Aside from getting a bit off-center, I like how well the method worked. I may go ahead and re-do this one from scratch to get it just right.




Oh, and back plates.  Back plates.
I patterned up a three piece version of a classic Fett type back plate. The primary center portion should meet the 2/3 requirement and the side plates are kind of optional.
I went through similar operations. slip roll in multiple curvatures and directions. some hammer forming around the arm openings. I used the same method as on the cod to raise the center back panel. 





Second backplate? OK! this one is a bit smaller, and has some slight angles in the back bend. I added a raised portion to match the first one.






And that's the story so far. I've got the rough shaping done. I need to do fine tuning once I've got my vest done. Yes I know I'm doing this a little backwards.

Final steps for shaping:
-hammer in radius all around the edges of front body plates for appearance of depth
-tune the back plate and decide about connecting directly to collar plate or having floating shoulder strap plates
-set self-clinching studs for mounting. planning on using grommets on my vest.
-put some 2 or 3mm foam on the back to add some bulk and keep the plates from slipping and clanking too much.

And then painting, weathering and such. The bare metal is beautiful but I don't know how to weather it convincingly.

Rilal Birom


    *
  • *
  • *
  • 139
  • Digur haar shupur, al draar digur haar bajur.
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #2 on: Jul 03, 2021, 10:13 PM »
Commenting to follow, and also to say WOW!

Logged
A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

Cabur Akaata #217

Kit Concept

Post-Imp WIP

Rilal Birom on Facebook
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #3 on: Jul 06, 2021, 08:47 PM »
Commenting to follow, and also to say WOW!
Thank you, vod. Your girth belt is next-level.
Anyone reading this WIP had better check it out before reading any further. 

Ok Vode, now for - Cod and butt plate work update!

I wasn't happy with the front and center bump on my cod, so I fixed it. I also ended up trimming the extended 'thong' portion of my cod because comfort is a thing I like. Also forming it turned out to be a nightmare.

 I re-cut the wooden buck with an extended top and carried the bump all the way to the top edge. I also flattened the original top of the bump and corrected the edges and alignment.



And like another famous wearer of the Beskar, I decided that someone in the past had tried to shoot me in an uncomfortable spot. Ball peen and a pipe connector makes this easy to do.

And then the part I really love. First round: Prime and scuff to establish wear/weather pattern and trend. Not pictured: 25 minutes of scouring bare metal with a scotch-brite and steel wool to prep the surface a little better.




I figured I'd do somewhat lighter weathering on the back side - less blaster fire, and more like rubbing from the pilot's seat of a starship or from leaning against a bulkhead looking super cool and menacing.

First layer of color, Midnight Blue


Expand the paint chipping and add the second coat, Ink Blue to match the primary color of my gauntlets:





And then peel and scuff it up a bit more.





And that's the story so far.


Cattriss Wren


    *
  • 313
  • "Vurel narir'shekemir, draar solus"
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #4 on: Jul 07, 2021, 08:21 AM »
Vode how?? :o.  THIS IS AMAZING!!!!! :porg2: your armor is so wonderful!! Your skill with metal is Astonishing ;)

« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2021, 05:36 PM by Cattriss Wren » Logged
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."

evening.echiveria


    *
  • 242
  • CEO of socks
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #5 on: Jul 07, 2021, 12:34 PM »
Looks awesome! Great job on getting the cod piece to work

Logged

they/them | mav oya'la clan | Aster WIP

Rilal Birom


    *
  • *
  • *
  • 139
  • Digur haar shupur, al draar digur haar bajur.
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #6 on: Jul 07, 2021, 02:51 PM »
Thanks for the compliment on my girth belt!

I'm loving your progress. Your metal working skills are pretty great!  Keep up the amazing work!

Logged
A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

Cabur Akaata #217

Kit Concept

Post-Imp WIP

Rilal Birom on Facebook
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #7 on: Jul 23, 2021, 05:04 PM »
Thanks vode.  Been hitting Soft Kit recently to keep momentum and to force myself to finish my vest - can't finalize the upper body plates until I have it finished and fitting properly.

I was doing some painting, and decided to get a layout shot of everything so far together to track progress.





I stacked all the pieces up and weighed them:  5 pounds, 11.3 ounces according to my kitchen scale.

About two pounds of that is gauntlets and hand plates, about two pounds for the body plates, and the rest is leg armor.
All in, not a lot of weight to haul around so that should help reduce fatigue for trooping.

Cattriss Wren


    *
  • 313
  • "Vurel narir'shekemir, draar solus"
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #8 on: Jul 25, 2021, 08:57 PM »
Stunning!!!! Truly amazing!! :like: :like:

Logged
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."

Kurshi BeJahaal


    *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • 4160
  • I don't roll on Shabbos. ב"ה
  • Awards 40+ hrs of Charity Work Award for 25 official invasions. Award for 10 official invasions.
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #9 on: Jul 25, 2021, 11:25 PM »
Incredible work here. The paint job is a thing of beauty!  :o

Logged

MMCC #1484¦¦50 Career Invasions¦¦Rancor Clan 
B.E.A.R.D.S #97 ¦ M.A.R.S. #21
Helmet Scratch Build||Beskar||Privateer||Protector
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #10 on: Jul 29, 2021, 08:17 PM »
Stunning!!!! Truly amazing!! :like: :like:

Incredible work here. The paint job is a thing of beauty!  :o

Thank you for the kind words vode.

UPDATE:
I was able to get some time between job stuff to do some work on my vest, and I got it to the point where I feel I can temporarily mount my plates to check fit and spacing, and highlight spots for final forming and shaping. 
So, working from the top down like you do, I got the front and then back set with some lock back tie pins taped to the plates (for now). I'm planning to use self-clinching studs and grommets, but we'll see how things go.





Some things that show up even before I tried it on - the extended tabs I put into my backplate and collar patterns for the shoulders are long enough to overlap, which is good.

I might clip both shorter and salvage the extra to make separate floating plates. I haven't decided yet, but I think that will improve flexibility.


I had Child #1 take some snaps with the vest and plates on - so the angle is a bit upward.  Next time I'll have them stand on a stool.

front plates look pretty ok to me. The lower corners of the chest plates pull away a little so it'll need some hammering.

back plate fits nice, but the closure flaps don't lie as flat as I'd like so they swoosh out a bit. Will solve that later - I have some optional kidney plates that might hold all that in when they are mounted.
Sides look ok. The lower back hem pulls away a bit but I'm wearing a t-shirt, not my flight suit. Will re-evaluate.



All feed back welcome, I think I'm pretty close on the shaping.

Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #11 on: Aug 05, 2021, 05:58 PM »
I got annoyed by the collar and back plate tabs so I shortened them.

I cut one, then created a template in masking tape on the inside, pealed it and stuck to the Outside on the opposite side, and cut the other tab (both plates)

We're experimenting with lock back pins and steel epoxy for mounting - I think kit #2 will use the self-clinching studs and grommets since these seem to be working so far.




I also spent some time tuning the shape now that the flak fits ok.


Put on some of the pieces that are "done" for some test pics.

Haven't gotten brave enough to mount knee plates yet, shin plates will have to do.


There's still lots of work to do, but I think the project is advancing well.  I think my plates are set for size, shape, and probably spacing - all feedback welcome. 
Getting psyched up to start painting my body plates.

Cattriss Wren


    *
  • 313
  • "Vurel narir'shekemir, draar solus"
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #12 on: Aug 05, 2021, 06:12 PM »
hey vode, the spacing is looks good to me!!! :like: over all your kit is really looking nice ;) keep up the good work. ;D

Logged
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."

Fenn Beviin


    *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • 1477
  • MMCC #: 2116
  • Awards Mandalorian Protector Brigade Member
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #13 on: Aug 09, 2021, 10:11 AM »
This is some impressive metal work. Looking forward to seeing this finished.

Random question though - if the helmet in your forum picture the one you will be using with this kit? If so, why is it red while everything else is blue?  :laugh:

Logged
"Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value."

Instagram: mythos_fenn_shysa

Mythos Fenn Arms (A Sales Thread): https://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=174182.msg2066382#new

Fenn Shysa WIP: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=80765.0

SEE-5 blaster pistol and misc blasters: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=110659.msg1820500
Re: Build Log / WIP: Body Armor
« Reply #14 on: Aug 09, 2021, 01:15 PM »
This is some impressive metal work. Looking forward to seeing this finished.

Random question though - if the helmet in your forum picture the one you will be using with this kit? If so, why is it red while everything else is blue?  :laugh:

Thanks vod, I'm really enjoying this whole process.
My profile pic is my bucket from my H'ween 2020 family Mando kit - got me hooked on the whole Thing.


It's 3D printed and I never quite got it to perfect because of time constraints so it's not going to be OM level, but I still love the paint job.


 


Don't like ads? Help support the Mercs by becoming a Supporter or Auxiliary Member today!
Official Members also get to use the forum ad-free - so kit up and join us!




Powered by EzPortal
anything