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 Post subject: ~95% Scratch Built Armor (re-vitalization project page 4)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Like most of my bright ideas, “I can do it cheap!” has turned into “Oh crap, this is harder and more expensive than I planned”. But I’m too deep to quit now! So plowing forward then…

Non-scratch items include
-Steel Pot: No brainer. PITA to replicate AND when the real-deal is available, why not use it?
-Pentax Camera Lens: Ditto (see 2nd point above).
-Spat’s ab-pad: I tried sewing one myself. It was not pretty. So although I felt like I was ‘cheating’, I ordered a set of his.
-Spat’s ear defender: Another thing I made a legit attempt at, but considering the fact his was molded off an original, was very reasonably priced, and I was already ordering the ab-pad anyways…, I tacked this on to my order. It looks too good to feel bad about taking the short cut.

And that’s it. The plan is to make the rest, quite literally, from “stuff I found” mixed with “crap I have laying around”.

This is a rough group shot of things in their various 'in process' states. Not quite a checklist, as not everything I used/am using is in this pic, but it gives you the idea.

Key items mostly include:
-Various plastic bowls, pots, and scraps from cut up trashcans.
-A “pepakura” chest and back plate (hard to ‘find’ items that shape, so I will try pep for those 2 items. Never did ‘pep’ before, so may get interesting and I’ll probably attack that last)

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Bear with me as I figure out the details! :? ...


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:09 pm 
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First up, I did this a couple months ago and it sat for a while (as seen on the rpf), so thats why the instant update.

Kicking the thread off is The Helmet Camera.

Materials:
-Scrap plastic (from an small trash bin)
-PVC bits (leftover from other project)
-Glue/epoxy, Bondo

Tools: Tin snips, Dremel tool

Step one was making a template. I drew the shape in “Microsoft paint”, then printed it to some card stock. I folded it up to make sure it was the right size, tweaked proportions, then applied template to my scrap plastic
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The cut parts with the PVC pipe which has been cut down (seen here with the 1” pipe as a placeholder for the camera lens. I didn’t want to risk scratching up my real lens), then bondo’d and attached to a base (cut up plastic flower pot so the base has a natural helmet hugging curve. *More from the flower pot later!)
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Primed, Sanded and real lens 'back cap' glued to a scrap of 1” pvc pipe so it slides into the body. Ready to install, but kept separate for painting of the body (which was a disaster! Tried to mix some OD with some brown I had. Came out looking literally like dog poo, so no pic yet. ‘knobs’ are from a super glue cap I trimmed down.
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Will post 'finished pick of camera as soon as I repaint it. Overall not perfect, but no worse than a 'bad' resin cast. Aside from the lens, it literally cost me nothing. So its got that going for it, which is nice.


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Nice camera!! That came out great!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Very impressed with that camera (rest is looking great too though)!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Totally awesome man! I'm doing a similar build so I'm very excited to see how yours progresses. I guess now I'll have to start a thread of my own scratch build...

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Thanks guys. Im really moving now! I got the pics sorted out from the last week or so of progress so rapid fire updates are coming today. Im posting things as I "finish" (except for paint, which i'd do last in one big session) so there is no real method to the madness. Any ways...

Next up Shin Guards / Grieves

Materials: 6” PVC pipe (2 ft length $7 at home depot)
Tools: A saw (any will do), a heat gun, and a belt sander.

You can see the line I drew to center the pipe to cut in two halves, then I tilted the axis and drew a new line that I would cut. This was done to give the ‘top’ more material than the bottom. Its hard to describe, but it worked pretty well in that the two halves did have a narrower end (bottom) and a more hefty end (top)

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After cutting out the arches for where it contacts the boot, the rest is all about the heat gun!
Lots heat over the entire general area allowed me to both stretch it wide enough for my calves to fit at the top AND flatten out the front.

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I heated the bottom HEAVILY until it was all soft, then pressed it over a coffee mug in order to achieve the forward contour/lip effect.
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To finish off the ridge/lip look of the shin guards, I used the dremel to hack out some material to rough in the ridge that separates the top tier from the bottom lip.
Then went in with my drill and a carbide burr to remove more material and smooth it out. I also used the "rough-out-with dremel, clean-out-with-burr" method to create the recess where the webbing will be.
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Last I used the belt sander to clean up and further flatten the front of the shin guard, and I believe im done with these!

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*(back was identical to front, only no ‘flattening’ and the webbing recesses were quite a bit longer/bigger)

The knee pads im not sold on. I made them out of cardboard from eyeballing. I may fiber glass them over when I attempt the pep body pieces, but I also may go a different route all together. But here they are as of today.
(also they have been trimmed down after those pics were taken. They were a bit ‘tall’)


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Looking great. Just keep at it and eventually you will be rewarded.

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:56 pm 
THAT guy
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Lobster Plates & ribbing

Materials Used: A green plastic flower pot. Liquid nails.

Tools: Tin Snips

Hail the almighty flower pot! This guy was big and cheap. Hacked it up good to produce a finely contoured base for helmet cam, the front plate of the helmet, the top portion of the ear piece, and for both sections of lobster plate.

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I eyeballed this. Im semi-fearful its too small, but I guess lets see how it looks when its done.

To achieve the ribbed pattern, I discovered over the years that “Liquid Nails” adhesive is bulky, durable (yet somewhat flexible) and is easily trimmed with a blade. I am testing out this method, and so far I can’t complain. I laid down a bead of Liquid Nails. As it dries, it does settle (the pics are very fresh/wet, so they looked better the next day). And it can be cut/trimmed when it firms up.

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*While I could (and still may) use bondo, I think the liquid nails was easier to ‘inject’ or ‘squirt’ right where I wanted it, was ready to apply with no mixing, and at $2 a tube, the liquid nails gets the first crack at this.
I tested it on my “tail piece” (one heavy trashcan plate glued over the top of a smaller, folded trashcan chunk) first to see how well I could control it.


It went ok so I went and did the rest.


To achieve the upturned corners on the bottom plate I will use a heat gun to soften the plastic after it dries a little more. Ill post a pic of that once its cured and I clean it up.


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:00 pm 
THAT guy
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On to the shoulder covers/pads

Materials: 1 industrial grade garbage can.
Tools: Jigsaw, utility knife, heat gun.

Chop it up!
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To achieve the indentation pattern, I felt it would be simplest to cut 2 layers for each side. The top layer I would cut the grooves into. The bottom layer would be a solid piece to add rigidity.
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When laid over each other, you get the desired look.
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I used a heat gun to slightly melt and bend it a bit so it hugs the shoulder a bit more when it lays. But I think I will need a couple more heating sessions to get it to lay right. Despite the heavy duty trash can I used, when you have pieces this big, they are a bit floppy (insert crude joke here).

Glue em down with liquid nails and fill the cracks.


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:25 pm 
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WOW! This is looking awesome!! Can't wait to see more! :delta: :delta:

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Fresh out from under the spray can, update on the camera.

Dog poo custom mix has been replaced with Aervoe 999 Earth Brown. I know the 'color tests' are easily found in the search, but if anyone is curious about properties of the Aervoe color as a "Brown Bess" alternate, I have attached one shot inside under fluorescent light and one under daylight (in the shade).
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Good enough for me!


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Great Work!! Keep it up

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Bigbisont, for the shoulder pieces have you considered using some aluminum sheet to stiffen them up? It could go underneath the bottom layer, or replace the bottom layer entirely. Once it is strapped to the back and attached to the rest of the shoulder pieces though you may find that it isn't so floppy after all.
I've gone the same route with doubling up the plastic to make the indentations, and now I'm trying to decide if I want to fill the gaps in to simulate the stamped metal look, or if it is fine being obviously two seperate layers. What are you planning?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:42 pm 
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retrogarde wrote:
Bigbisont, for the shoulder pieces have you considered using some aluminum sheet to stiffen them up? It could go underneath the bottom layer, or replace the bottom layer entirely. Once it is strapped to the back and attached to the rest of the shoulder pieces though you may find that it isn't so floppy after all.
I've gone the same route with doubling up the plastic to make the indentations, and now I'm trying to decide if I want to fill the gaps in to simulate the stamped metal look, or if it is fine being obviously two seperate layers. What are you planning?


Great points/suggestions. I think you may be right that once it is all secured, it will feel better. If it doesnt, I just may insert some aluminum.

It did firm up a little simply by attaching the top and bottom properly.

As for filling the edges for a more subtle 'stamped' look as opposed to the hard edge, I agree it would be nice. I gave it a try here with liquid nails (semi flexible even when cured). Ill see how that dries up, but good call.
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Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:55 pm 
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On to the Ear defender and mic boom.
Materials: Spats Ear Piece, a small brass door hinge, a 3” wood nail, liquid nails, a 3/16 steel rod, some leftever ½” od steel tube from my Pulse Rifle project, some leftover Copper pipe from a home project, and some rubber washers (from a sink/faucet repair kit).
Tools: Hacksaw, Drill.

As mentioned, the top part of ear piece was another rectangular cut of flower pot. For the hinge, I cut down a brass door hinge to fit inside spats item. Spat’s kit needed to be drilled out and it just so happened I had a nail that damn near perfectly slides through the who lot for a nice clean connection.
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(Not picture here, but on the inside of the resin ear piece I am gluing the padded portion from the ear defender I had planned to use in the scratch build).

For the mic, these were my parts.

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I cut the washers to fit inside the copper tube so that the steel rod is centered through the tube. A nice snug fit, plus a little glue to seal the deal


Same process for the front, only added a tapered back to the mic portion by chopping down a ‘dispensor tip’ from a dried out tube of silicon gasket maker I had laying around.
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I guess the easy stuff is over. This weekend I attempt what could derail the entire project. Pepping the body armor. Never tried pepakura before. May never try it again! But it could be vital to the success of this project… Wish me luck.


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Holy cats, this is terrific! Some really creative thinking! On the bits you made out of a garbage can, how did you attach the two layers? From my own experience trying to glue that type of material together, it was impossible.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Dropshipbob wrote:
Holy cats, this is terrific! Some really creative thinking! On the bits you made out of a garbage can, how did you attach the two layers? From my own experience trying to glue that type of material together, it was impossible.


thanks,
the garbage can I thoroughly washed, roughed up with sandpaper, and used liquid nails (a "construction adhesive"). Ive discovered even on plastic that has been in use for years, I guess there are still 'releasing agents' from production that pretty much cling for dear life. So early on I actually had a lot of pieces falling off after the various epoxy/glue/adhesives. Since I started roughing things up, its been "so far so good".


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:10 pm 
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A few pop rivets strategically placed will help too. Their placement may not be SA but rivets are bad-ass. Plus the camo will obscure a lot of stuff.

Great job!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Looking great !

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:04 am 
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Dude, seriously.......you are doing an amazing job.

Scratch builds are great. What makes them amazing is when they come out as well as your. Cheers!!!

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:38 pm 
THAT guy
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These are the times when those words of encouragement are much appreciated.

Pepping the body armor...is a NIGHTMARE.

-Materials: Pepped parts, Welding Blanket (uncoated fiberglass), fiber glass resin.
-Tools: Gloves and paint brushes.

Maybe it was a case of a self fulfilling prophecy, but this did not go well.

I read on this board that its better to apply the initial resin coat to the inside of the armor (so that gravity helps keep a round shape on the body armor instead of risking it collapsing in on itself). While I have no doubt that’s true, the tip I apparently missed was that if you suspend the armor outside-down, REINFORCE those POS paper supports. I should have thought of that, but the disaster began there.

It didn’t take long for the weight of the ‘wet’ paper to cause the supports to bend, collapse, and even rip clear off. If anyone does this, be sure to reinforce the supports with either metal or plastic posts on top of the paper ones, or if you have the material, replace the supports completely. My first cup of mixed resin was wasted because it all dried while I attempted to re-establish the posts after they collapsed. Trying to tape posts back in place with hardening-by-the-second resin coated gloves on was comical. I eventually had to accept the lost session and re-group.

So here is the regroup: Parts suspended with wood and metal cross-bars. It wasn’t AS terrible after this.
Attachment:
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2nd problem was that I taped my pep pieces together (rather than glue). It didn’t take long for me to realize the fiberglass resin softened the tape and the resin didnt soak through the tape. It didn’t fall apart, but the resin that went over tape did NOT adhere to the paper underneath. It basically dried with air gaps under the tape.


It looked good on first glance.
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I haven’t decided if this next part is good or bad yet. With the first coat of resin on, next I used some spray adhesive. zapped the inside then laid out the fiberglass cloth. For the cloth, I decided to use a welding blanket, which is essentially uncoated fiberglass. Its THICK and heavy. It also slightly stretches, so it conforms to rounded edges while staying in one piece (so I thought extra strong, which actually was true). The bad part was I think I didn’t properly take into account just how thick it was, because I fear I didn’t completely “wet” the fiberglass. Again, in addition to the tape not adhering to the paper, now even the fiberglass cloth didn’t adhere to the paper in many areas!

The end result was indeed a HEAVY thick fiberglass shell, but all the paper from the pep is NOT touching it! I can literally peal it off.
Attachment:
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BUT, I have not given up. I am thinking I can still save this. I believe if I peel the rest of the paper off, I will still have the general fiberglass shell, which again, is quite strong. I will lose some fine detail, but the basic shape is very firm. I will do another coat of resin and cloth on the outside to smooth it out, then sand heavily. I believe I can salvage it, but I guess we'll see.

Im gonna move on to the shoulder bells, priming, and webbing for a little while though. I need a couple days away from fiberglass...


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:56 pm 
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frack that is a lotta fine work sir! Look forward to the updates!


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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Not much action yesterday. I mostly messed around with some of my accessory bits and I did web up the helmet so all it needs is camo paint (but no good pictures of course...). I did take the fiberglass shells with me to work to cut and grind on if/when I hit a slow stretch. Maybe ill get some real progress today a bit later. But for now...

Just a pic of some primed parts so far. I am really happy with how the lobster plate turned out, btw. Liquid nails does everything!
Attachment:
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Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:37 pm 
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I'm going to have to try Liquid Nails I guess!

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 Post subject: Re: ~95% Scratch Armor Build (WIP – sectional updates)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Some boring updates first,

-Shoulder Bells

The bowls seen in the first pic have been replaced. I found these at the dollar general for $1.50 ea and they were bigger/better
Attachment:
20120811_215249.JPG
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The ‘stamped’ look for these was made the same as the shoulder tops. (2 layers with the top one having the cut-outs. Seems filled with liquid nails (which again, remains semi-flexible after drying, unlike bondo).

more boring shots of primed parts.
Attachment:
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Now the boringest update of all: the padding I’m using. Not the SA color or square-size, but it was cheap and will do the job. It was a yoga mat. I may spray paint it the right shade of green. Whats the worst that could happen?
Attachment:
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Fiberglass update coming momentarily


Last edited by bigbisont on Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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