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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering building myself a set of Power Armour, but I don't know what sort of materials would be best used.
I have considered both Fibreglass and Vac-Formed Plastic for the pieces, but I don't think the vac-formed plastic would work too well for most parts (Especially the helmet).
Does anyone have any experience doing things like this? If you do could you give me some advice on how to make the formers, plugs, moulds, etc.

Please note, I do NOT want to know about Nimba Creations, or anywhere else proffessional that sells armour, I want to build it from basic materials myself.
I do have experience building large scale costumes, but not humanoid ones that recquire joints.
 

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One option, and I admit this is some serious bargain basement stuff here, is to use the heavy plastic used in barrels. You may want to check out some SCA groups and ask if they have ideas. There's usually quite a few people that know what they're talking about it. You'll probably get bounced around a bit before you find someone who can really help (depending on how detailed you want to be,) but it shouldn't take too many hops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The problem with recycling barrels (As I guess you are talking about), is that the plastic, combined with the thickness, weighs a ton. I don't imagine it would be very comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.
Also, it would probably be cheaper and stronger to buy sheet plastic, as injection moulded plastic will not be as easy to form, and leave weak spots.
 

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Melkor,

I will have to admit that I had to look up the words formers, plugs and moulds in the context that you used them despite what I suspected they meant.

Based merely on clicking the first Google hit I saw I ran across this:
Plastics moulding in technology classes

It mentions a source for free plans for home made equipment. It continues to discuss hints and how to make Plug Moulds etc.

Have you done any preliminary thought or planning? I only ask because if I were to start this type of project tonight I would want a lot of things figured out before I concerned myself with production materials and techniques.

I had not heard of Nimba Creations either so I paid them a visit. Very interesting. Mr. Ultramarine doesn't look very thrilled to be all dressed up.

The first problem I see is the proportion and scale of it all. Close inspection of a Space Marine miniature reveals how out of proportion the marine is inside his armor.

Ignoring that for a moment, I would probably start by photographing Space Marine model parts (front view, top view, side view, etc.) and enlarging them to be life size on a photocopier. Then, using some sort of foam blocks begin carving solids of each element: helmet, torso, shoulder pads, etc. to the basic level of detail you want.

Somewhere along the line you will have to compromise the design to take into account the proportion/scale issue I mentioned above.

Hopefully the vacuum forming link I listed above will contain the information to then use the above foam to form your pieces.

Thanks. Now my mind is all a-buzz as to how to do this myself. Like I don't already have enough projects going and things to do. <grin>

Good luck,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good idea with the photocopier, I hadn't thought of that. I was planning on taking a few photos of parts, but then working it out without a life-size representation, but its much easier to do with a guide.
The proportions will probably give the most difficulty, as you said, but I'm sure that with a bit of effort I can make a costume that LOOKS accurate. One thing you have to remember when making this sort of thing is that provided it looks accurate, it doesn't have to BE accurate.
Thats a nice link for some basic information, I didn't check out the self-built equipment though, as I have a friend with a vac-former.
I've been looking around, and there are some good instruction things if you search for Storm Trooper construction (Star wars).

I think to start with I'll just make a helmet, and work from there, as its something nice and small.
Once I get started I will be posting complete stage-by-stage photo guides in this thread, just so that anyone else who fancies making their own has something to go off.
 

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Fiber glass. I use it to build boats and I think it would work well here.

I'd start with the shoulder pads though. Get yourself a block of wood and have it shaped like the inside of the shoulder pad. Add layers of fiber glass, then pop it off, cut and sand the rough edges. Do the same with a chest plate and helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, thats exactly the site I was looking for.
I'm starting the planning stages now, so lots of photo taking of sprues, etc.
 
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