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Amethyst Angel
12-14-2002, 04:43 PM
Hiya. For those of you keeping up with my progress with the Lady Chris Armor over in the general Suikoden III thread, I thought I might start my own independent thread concerning my progress on the work. That way I can listen to any comments and answer any questions y'all might have.

Those of you who have been tuning in to my initial thread know that I had initially attempted to make this armor out of fiberglass. Fiberglass is, of course, a durable enough material for armor, but an extreme pain to work with, even when the weather is NICE outside. (And you can't work with it INSIDE without the aid of a vent hood because of the dangerous fumes it gives off while setting.) My initial attempt at the armor failed because part of the mold I was using to form the fiberglass around collapsed before it set, and thus, the armor would no longer fit me. (Unless I cracked a few of my ribs, and, as much as I love cosplay, it's not a hobby I'm willing to sacrifice THAT much for.) So at that moment I swore off fiberglass forever and thus found myself resolved to try to find a different (and safer) method for creating my armor.

So then, after much experimentation, this is eventually what I came up with:

ArmorMaking 101 for the Fiberglass Phobic...

First, you have to make a pattern for the armor. I recommend using newspaper and shaping it around yourself. If you're a woman, you have to make allowances for your...um... chestological area. (To do this, I simply made a hump where the armor meets in front to allow for my girls and then carved inwards as the armor sloped down towards the waist.) The next step after making the newspaper pattern is to make another pattern using the stiff plastic sheeting which will form the surface of your armor. The sheeting I used was polythylene (or is it polystyrene? Something with a "poly-" in front of it) sheeting. Where do you find this? I'm not sure. I found it at my workplace by rummaging through the garbage can next to the drafter's table. It's a thin, pliable plastic used to act as guides for cutting out granite in the factory where I work (and I suspect it's also used in roofing and construction. Ask around at your local hardware store. I'm sure they could help you find some.) The plastic lends itself to being cut with a scissors quite readily. Just tape it together and shape it around you until you get a final idea of what you want your armor to look like.

The next thing to do is use your new plastic pattern to make a pattern out of even thicker foam. (Which is what will provide the proper undersupport for your armor.) I used sheets of 1/4" craft foam to make the foam underpattern. Unfortunately, Michaels only sells the 1/4" thick foam in 8-1/2" x 11" sheets, meaning, to make your final pattern, you'll have to hot glue several sheets together edge to edge. ( I ultimately used about 20 of these sheets.) After cutting out the underpattern, I hot-glued all the seams together. (Don't worry about how you'll get into the armor yet. You can cut the opening later. What you're going to do is stiffen the foam. At this point, the plastic oversheeting has not yet been attached to it.

Here's a picture of what you should have at this stage of the process. (http://amethyst-angel.com/chrisarmorfoam.jpg)


Yeah. I know. It looks funny. Anyhoo, what you need to do now is coat the armor inside and out with a stiffener of some sort. I used leather glue, but I suppose tacky glue or mod podge or acrylic paint or something of that nature would work. Just something to help it hold it's shape after you've cut it. (Don't cut it yet, though. )

After it dries, hot glue the plastic sheeting over the surface of the foam. Once this is done, cut the armor at the sides and shoulders into a front half and a back half. Put the armor over your torso and make sure it fits before proceeding. (You'll find it extremely lightweight and easy to cut. Sure can't say that about fiberglass, can we?) Give yourself lots of room at the neck (enough to get your head through) and make sure the shoulderholes are big enough so that your arms have full range of movement. (This is important, especially when it comes to putting on the armor by yourself. You need to have it so your arms can cross over your chest and reach under the opposite armpits where the armor closures will be.) Once you have the final fit established, it's time to decorate the armor. I made the rims and raised areas of the armor using thin craft foam which I hotglued to the surface of the armor.

After I was finished, this was what I had. (http://amethyst-angel.com/chrisarmorunpainted.jpg )

Next you have to run a few discreet stitches through the armor in spots in order to sew the foam to the plastic sheeting. Because we all know the First Cardinal Rule of cosplay: Never ever trust glue. Any sort of glue. Ever. Especially hot glue. All it takes is a warm room (or a warm corridor packed with bodies standing in line for a cosplay contest) to loosen it, and then stuff starts to fall off your costume. By stitching all layers of the armor together you can hopefully prevent this from occuring.

Another word about this armor (And for all armor in general no matter what it's made out of: It's going to be hot. If you're going to be standing for long periods under a blazing sun or in a warm, confined space somewhere, you might want to choose to cosplay as a character who DOESN'T wear armor. That is, if you want to make it through the convention alive. )

The closures on the side of the armor I made using craft foam and huge, oversized snaps. (You can try velcro if you like, but I personally don't think it would be strong enough to hold the front and back sections together.) Armor fastenings must always be strapped over the outside, as he armor seams won't look good if you try fastening them together from the inside.

Next thing to construct are the shoulder thingies (or "pauldrons", as they're called.) These I made by buying a cheap plastic bowl from a thrift store and cutting two round, dish-like pieces from it. (They weren't big enough, and I had to add a section to them using friendly plastic.) I made the decoration for the shoulder thingies using a sheet of craft foam which I cut a pattern out of using an xacto knife and which I then glued to the surface of the shoulder thingie.

Here's a picture of my initial attempt. (http://amethyst-angel.com/chrisshoulder.jpg )

After this picture was taken, the brilliant idea came to me to tear off the foam decoration and reattach it to cover the rougher section of the added plastic, which I did. I then painted it using silver and black model paint, which I mottled with a brush so that the surface of the armor would look like actual metal.

Here's what it looked like after painting. (http://amethyst-angel.com/chrispauldron.jpg)

The next thing to do was to make a method of attaching it to the torso of the armor. I'm still in the process of painting the torso, but I have most of the front done (save for some touch-up work I've yet to do.) I will also have to spray a sealant of some kind over it, to protect the finish. (Said sealant might also dull the finish, although I can probably dab splotches of bright silver paint over areas of the armor which aren't touched or rubbed against often.)

Here's what the armor looks like after it's been painted and after the pauldrons have been attached. (http://amethyst-angel.com/chrisarmorpaintedstand.jpg)

I don't think it's half bad considering it's my first try at a suit of armor. This costume will also require my making gauntlets and foot armor, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of results I'll be able to come up with. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Oh, and for the record, here's a reference pic of what the finished costume should resemble. (http://www.cosplaylab.com/cosplayers/costumes/detail.asp?costumeid=10319) As you can see, I've got a long way to go.

(Here's an interesting note: If Lady Chris were a real life person, there would be NO way she could ride a horse while wearing this armor. She wouldn't even be able to sit down. Isn't it nice how anime and video game characters can ignore the laws of physics, especially when it comes to their outfits? Of course, for a real life person like me, all it means is that it's going to be all the more harder for me to move around while I'm wearing this thing. Oh well...)

Tenshi
12-14-2002, 04:53 PM
::falls down in worship:: I love you <3. We don't know each other, but I love you!

LOL, silliness aside, thank you so much for that. I think your armor looks wonderful! I'm printing this out right away ^_^.

cutekawaii
12-14-2002, 05:21 PM
Wow. Just....wow. Amazing.

*edit*

::claps:: Wow again. just...omg....incredible. Wonderful....words cannot describe my awe...

*another edit*

Exactly what kind of plastic sheeting are you talking about?

Karrzor
12-14-2002, 09:16 PM
Actually from the pic it looks like the armor was designed to allow enough leg movement to the side to allow the mounting of a horse. As for sitting well most knights didn't do a lot of sitting in their armor. It often was only donned for tourneys or on the morning of a battle.

Amethyst Angel
12-14-2002, 09:18 PM
I don't know the name of the brand of plastic, since it's something I found lying in the garbage can at work... But I can ask around and find out what it is and where the company gets it. All I know is that it's extremely thin but extremely stiff--and thus far, it seems to take paint well... Stay tuned...

(I could probably swipe a few more pieces of the plastic and send them to anyone who wants them, providing they pay for the postage. Lemme know if you're interested...)

Celine
12-14-2002, 09:35 PM
Wow, your first attempt at armor? ^^ I can't believe that! It looks simply incredible. I can't wait to see how your gauntlets and other remaining pieces of armor turn out. Though I doubt I'd be able to make anything half as cool as yours, the detailed instructions are fabulous! ^_^ How does the cost and time involved with your process compare with fiberglass, incidentally?

Chris does a remarkable amount of sitting in the game, actually...

psythe
12-14-2002, 09:40 PM
Impressive, very impressive. :bigtu:

TyJILDown
12-14-2002, 09:49 PM
*dies* OMG...this gives me insperation do to Casca as well as doing -nice- armour for my Marth costume!!!

Bell-chan
12-14-2002, 10:30 PM
The armor looks so incredible! I also couldn't believe that it was your first time with armor! (This helps a lot too, since I need a armor-like thing for a costume I'll work on soon ^_^) It'd be great if you could send some of that plastic to people! (I'd love to get some of that stuff...@_@)

!*Jessi-Chan*!
12-14-2002, 10:51 PM
WHOO HOO! This is like completly amazing! *saves to her folder* MUST save! I needed a 3rd costume too! And this gives me a great idea for an original! Hm...how long did it take?

Amethyst Angel
12-15-2002, 01:36 AM
Actually from the pic it looks like the armor was designed to allow enough leg movement to the side to allow the mounting of a horse. As for sitting well most knights didn't do a lot of sitting in their armor. It often was only donned for tourneys or on the morning of a battle.

True, but even with side leg movement, the point where Chris' armor comes down in front would probably stab any horse she's riding on. (I notice that cavalry armor of the medieval period usually has a gouge in front to allow for the shape of the horse.) But no matter. Lady Chris is an anime character so she can pretty much get away with wearing whatever she likes, regardless of whether it obeys the laws of real world physics or not. (Although I, unfortunately, cannot. No horse-riding for me. Dang.)


How does the cost and time involved with your process compare with fiberglass, incidentally?

It depends. If you've got a workshop and tools which can handle fiberglass, and you feel like going through the trouble of casting a mold from your body with which to shape the fiberglass around, well, then, it might work out for you. I however, prefer my method because (a) I live in a small apartment and possess no tools more complicated than a flathead screwdriver. (b) Fiberglass stinks to high heaven and can be dangerous to work with if one doesn't take the proper precautions, and (c) If you use foam to shape your armor, you can actually cut it and fit it to shape onto your own body while you're wearing it. (Preferably before you paint it, of course...) Costwise, I'd have to say, getting the materials to do the fiberglass casting cost me roughly 50 dollars, while the foam and glue cost me about 30. (The plastic was free, as I got it out of the trash bin at work.)


The armor looks so incredible! I also couldn't believe that it was your first time with armor! (This helps a lot too, since I need a armor-like thing for a costume I'll work on soon ^_^) It'd be great if you could send some of that plastic to people! (I'd love to get some of that stuff...@_@)

I'll see what I can do. As I said, I'll try and find out what kind of plastic it is and where the company gets it. In the meantime, I'll just keep on collecting it... Thanks for the nice comments, everybody! ^_^

Amethyst Angel
12-15-2002, 01:39 AM
Oh, forgot to mention the time it took me to make the armor: About a week and a half (not counting delays involved in going out and buying the materials I needed when I ran out of them.)

Tenshi
12-15-2002, 02:13 PM
Ok. . .I went down to Home Depot today and went on a hunt for the plastic sheeting. What I found there was acrylic glass and Lexan. Acrylic glass isn't going to help you because it's not very flexible, but a very thin sheet of Lexan isn't too bad. Unfortunately, I could only find it as thin as 3mm (1/8") but I think it bends well enough. As for this poly- stuff, my dad told me it's hard to find, and he only knows of one store here in town that carries it. It's called GE Polymer, so maybe if you run a search on Google you'll find something.

I also stole a piece of very thin (about 1mm) Lexan from my dad ^_^. This stuff bends very easily. There's also a number for the manufacturer, GE, on the masking. It's (800) 451-3147.

Tenshi
12-15-2002, 10:12 PM
Ok. . .don't use that 3mm Lexan I mentioned earlier. It's impossible to cut without a dremel or something comparable. Damn, I just wasted 12 bucks >.<. However, the 1mm seems to be working well, and my scissors go through it. How thick is the plastic you're using, Amethyst Angel?

Oshi
12-15-2002, 10:28 PM
WHOA.... Like Jil doing Marth, I am definately doing this for Roy....

HiImKing
12-15-2002, 10:31 PM
Your armor looks great!

The names of many kinds of plastics starts with the prefix "poly"..... :p

Was it slightly translucent? I would guess it's high density polyethylene...

You said a week and a half... how many days/hours, of the week and a half did you actually work on it? (I just want to compare how long it takes to make something...)

What tool and method did you use to cut the decorative pattern on the pauldrons?

What kind/brand of paint did you use?

===============================
I'm working with 1/8" low density polyethylene... and it hurts my hand enough, cutting this stuff continously for 5 minutes... I'm afraid to touch hdpe (although I should probably start using hdpe so it doesn't get scratched so easily... 1/16" sheet shouldn't be too bad.)

After two hours straight, my hand muscles would be completely fatigued, and unresponsive... I'd resort to cutting with the force and weight of my arm and body, to close the upper half of the shears, and the floor to close the lower half. :)

===========
You can't find plastics in Home Depot. People working at Home Depot don't even have a clue what "plastic" is, or what its properties are (as I've found out...). Plastics the material (not plastic the pvc pipe) don't play that big of a part in the do-it-yourself construction of houses apparently.

Here's a fun crash course on plastics...
http://www.sdplastics.com/plasline.html

I'm buying my plastics from a nearby warehouse that sells only plastics...

Now if someone would enlighten me about foam... maybe my hand would hurt less... :)

Amethyst Angel
12-16-2002, 09:01 PM
I HAVE FOUND IT!!!

I have found the name of the Mystery Plastic. It's called Poly-STYrene. My company gets it from TO Plastics in Minneapolis, MN. This company and others can be found on a list of plastic suppliers located here: http://www.plasticsusa.com/database/

The polystyrene comes in lengths of 40" x 84 " (I can get it through my company at a cost of about 6 dollars a sheet, which is a discount from the wholesale price. For what it would cost me to send a roll that big through the mail, though, it would probably be worth you guyses while to seek out a plastic supplier in your own area. )

Remember folks. It's called Polystyrene. (Oh, and the thickness I use for my armor is about 1 millimeter. It's really not very thick.)

You said a week and a half... how many days/hours, of the week and a half did you actually work on it? (I just want to compare how long it takes to make something...)

I worked on it about one to two hours a night on the weeknights and about 4 hours per day on the weekends. (Not bad considering I have a full-time job, although to be fair, I have virtually no life...)


What tool and method did you use to cut the decorative pattern on the pauldrons?

I cut that out of a sheet of thin (1/8") craft foam. The foam can be found at Michaels, and JoAnn's fabrics as far as I know. (You can buy it in bulk during the Holidays). Here are some pictures of the stuff: http://www.joann.com/catalog.jhtml?CATID=2052&PRODID=11238

What kind/brand of paint did you use?

I used testor's model paint, as I wanted something I could dab on and do effects with (although testor's spray paint would work if you just want a solid surface.) Polystyrene seems to take acrylic paints well, although you'll have to cover it with a clear satin acrylic varnish. A special note for painting on foam surfaces: The foam will absorb the paint, so you'll either have to give it many coats, or there's this stuff you can buy at JoAnn's called Foam Finish, which you can spread out on the surface of the foam to make it smooth. (Or you can just cut out a layer of polystyrene or thick tagboard and glue it on top of the foam. It's up to you.)Good luck!

A J
12-16-2002, 10:25 PM
I was going to say it's probably polystyrene. :)

It's the stuff they use to do vaccuum forming. You can get it really thin or really super thick. If you're in California, best place to look is Tap Plastics. Great store... lots of nifty stuff.

Edit: Forgot to add...

You can also use it for armor by heating it with a heat gun and bending it. Take some practice but works decent.

These shoulder pieces were done with polystyrene and an embossing heat gun:
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=79508

Amethyst Angel's armor is a hell of a lot more impressive tho. :)

[Edited to fix image link]

Karrzor
12-17-2002, 12:07 AM
I think you wrote earlier that you would send some of that plastic to those interested. I am interested and perfectly willing to pay for the postage.

Michi
12-17-2002, 01:25 AM
*bookmarks thread* Much thanks, Amethyst Angel. ^^ I intend to work on three matching sets of chest/shoulder armor for my friends and I (not working alone, of course!) for FanimeCon in June, and this will help a whole lot.

I also now intend to bug and visit AJ for tips. :P

HiImKing
12-17-2002, 02:00 AM
Ya. Polystyrene's probably much easier to work with. polystyrene's what plastic scale model kits are made off.

=========================

Polyethylene, on the other hand... virtually all forms of adhesives can be peeled cleanly and effortlessly off the surface. I rivet and screw my plastic together. :) Polyethylene also does not hold any detail... it is flexible, slightly slick, oily, and rubbery... I originally chose polyethylene because I was thinking, "ya, I'll poke less people's eyes out if I use a flexible plastic", but it's turning out not to be so.... the points are still pretty sharp. :)

==============

I would also look into polyethylene foam... I think that's what those Japanese folks use to make armor... I think my target material is physically crosslinked polyethylene foam (aka gymnastic mats)... I'm just too lazy to locate a supplier... :)

========================

Good luck on your armor... gauntlets would be a good challenge. You'll probably spend as much time on them as you do the rest of the suit. :)

Amethyst Angel
12-17-2002, 08:41 AM
Polyethylene, on the other hand... virtually all forms of adhesives can be peeled cleanly and effortlessly off the surface. I rivet and screw my plastic together. Polyethylene also does not hold any detail... it is flexible, slightly slick, oily, and rubbery...

One word about polyethylene: Some paints and adhesives have a hard time sticking to it, so I've heard. The warning on my can of testor's model paint says not to use it on polyethylene. (PolySTYrene, however, seems to be able to take any kind of paint without trouble...)

I think you wrote earlier that you would send some of that plastic to those interested. I am interested and perfectly willing to pay for the postage.

Okay. I'll see what I can do about getting some. The post office likes to slap on an extra charge for oversized items so I wouldn't be surprised if the postage turned out to be ten dollars or more. But maybe it won't. Who knows?


Good luck on your armor... gauntlets would be a good challenge. You'll probably spend as much time on them as you do the rest of the suit.

Yeah. I'LL say... I found a pattern for them online... I'll have to do some experimenting and see how well it works out...

Rosiel
12-17-2002, 09:19 AM
> Okay. I'll see what I can do about getting some.

Actually, I'd love to get my hands on some too... I'm tired of dealing with flash metalling for armor and want to re-do my Seed greaves as well as attempt some fancier armor-making... =)

You've inspired me!

Now if only I could finish what I am currently working on before planning /more/ costumes...

Amethyst Angel
12-17-2002, 06:02 PM
Good news! I just got myself 2 rolls of 40" x 84" polystyrene at work today. (Although it was kind of a pain in the butt to get so this will probably be the last of the stuff I get for a while...) They cost six bucks apiece. If you're interested in getting your hands on some, let me know. (I figure 1 roll would be enough to make 1 suit of armor with.) The stuff is very thin, mind you, probably less than a millimeter, but it will cover foam sheeting like a dream.

Of course, it will be first come, first served as far as these two rolls are concerned (and YOU of course must pay for the plastic AND the postage. ) So let me know if you're interested...

TyJILDown
12-17-2002, 07:10 PM
I'm sending ya a PM right now Amethyst Angel...

HiImKing
12-17-2002, 11:37 PM
Painting polyethylene:

Actually, I'm painting it fine. I read about how-to by rummaging through a bunch of cosplayer's web sites... (sorry I can't remember who's...)

Use car paint. Many car parts are made of plastic (mostly ABS). Cars are flexible. When cars get into small accidents, like a shopping cart hit, they bend, and flex back. So car paint is quite well suited for use on plastics. Car paint also gives you a wiiiiiide selection of colors.

I use:

Plasti-Kote Flexible Bumper & Trim Adhesion Promoter
to roughen up the surface for painting. (Well, according to the instructions, the adhesion promoter is to prepare for priming... but... I'm lazy so I'll skip priming and go right to painting. I see no difference. :) )

Then I use Plasti-Kote touch up paint.

Plasti-Kote brand paints are found at your local Pep Boys.

Actually, I found that areas I've forgotten to spray the adhesion promoter on still takes the paint fine. But I'd better play it safe anyways. :p

Shadra D
12-19-2002, 11:28 PM
AA~~

Somewhat off topic, but I wonder...

... if you are thinking of doing any Suikoden Fanart n_____n o/~ I haven't seen any of your stuff for a while ;.;

And also, maybe you should find out where your company gets its rolls of that stuff o_o; I'm sure you don't want to be the source of it forever (Even if it might get you a pretty penny o/~ )

Amethyst Angel
12-20-2002, 12:46 AM
... if you are thinking of doing any Suikoden Fanart n_____n o/~ I haven't seen any of your stuff for a while ;.;

Well, that's because most of the stuff I've been doing lately is stuff people haven't been able to see...and probably won't see for a while... Right now, I'm trying to catch up with my Hamlet manga which I haven't updated for the past two weeks now. and the rest of my energy is being directed towards finishing my Escaflowne Thumbnail Theatre feature. So.......fanart? Might be a while before you see any more of THAT...



And also, maybe you should find out where your company gets its rolls of that stuff o_o; I'm sure you don't want to be the source of it forever (Even if it might get you a pretty penny o/~ )

No. I'm selling it at cost. I've sold one roll already and when the next one's gone, I won't be getting any more for a while. As I mentioned in an earlier post:

I have found the name of the Mystery Plastic. It's called Poly-STYrene. My company gets it from TO Plastics in Minneapolis, MN. This company and others can be found on a list of plastic suppliers located here: http://www.plasticsusa.com/database/

So there you are...

Damn, why do I always stay up way later than my bedtime? I know it's not good for my health....

Shadra D
12-20-2002, 01:44 AM
>Well, that's because most of the stuff I've been doing lately is stuff people haven't been able to see...and probably won't see for a while... Right now, I'm trying to catch up with my Hamlet manga which I haven't updated for the past two weeks now. and the rest of my energy is being directed towards finishing my Escaflowne Thumbnail Theatre feature. So.......fanart? Might be a while before you see any more of THAT...

AH! Slayers Hamlet! I just thought about that the other day (due to, I admit, the greatest mp3 I've ever found...). I'm happy to hear you've kept with it! Two weeks is a very short hiatus, don't feel bad n_n

The Escaflowne thing is new, though o.O Hmmm... ~.~

As for the Polystyrene, thanks for the webpage link (I missed that x_x;;; )

Anyway, right o_o n__n

katrinastrife
12-21-2002, 07:08 AM
as everyone else has said, that looks REALLY awesome!!! ^^;;

Anyway, I think I'm DEFINITLY giving this a try for the armor on my kuja costume... ^_^v

Thanks for all the spiffy info!

engrish
12-21-2002, 11:52 PM
I honestly was very skeptical about your techniques when I first started reading your post but once I saw the pics all doubt has been erased and I have been humbled. *falls to knees and bows*

hoshikage
12-22-2002, 01:03 PM
Amethyst Angel: I am very impressed by the way the armor is turning out. I would love to be able to see the finished product in person someday, because it looks so cool! ^_^ Thank you so much for posting such a detailed description of how you made it! *takes copious notes* ;)

Best of luck with the rest of the armor! ^_^

--Starshadow, searching for her spool of white thread... know it's around here somewhere...

HiImKing
12-22-2002, 04:13 PM
Amethyst Angel just curious... as a graphics designer, did you graduate in fine arts? How do you paint like that... where do you go or read to learn how to paint...

I wish I could paint like that... :)

Shadra D
12-22-2002, 06:33 PM
I won't answer for AA in terms of her own way of painting, but I can say as a general rule that people learn to paint through observation (looking at other people's paintings), knowledge of materials (experimentation) and above all else,

PRACTICE. There is nothing more important than practice in the arts, this I can say with the utmost confidence. Talent is a great bonus, but it can only get you so far. It's the same with cosplay, or with any skill. To learn new techniques, improve your old ones, and become more efficient and more skillful, practice practice practice.

That said, I'll let AA answer the question herself n.n;

Amethyst Angel
12-22-2002, 07:59 PM
Amethyst Angel just curious... as a graphics designer, did you graduate in fine arts? How do you paint like that... where do you go or read to learn how to paint...

I received a BFA in graphic design from SCSU college in 1998. Classes I took which were really helpful on the fine arts front were Life Drawing, Painting and Color Theory. I also spent a good deal of time in the college costume shop as part of my work/study. (One of the plays we did was based on the life of Joan of Arc,-- which is where I learned all about the making and painting of armor.)

I'd definitely have to say, if you're a college-age cosplayer, that if your school has a theatre department, try to get assigned there (or volunteer to work there.) It's a good bet they'll also have classes on costume construction for theatre majors. (Take them, even if you aren't planning to major in theatre. You'll learn a lot about clothing from different time periods and how it gets put together.)

And lastly, practice, practice, practice. I've got most of the gauntlet put together. I'll have to post a picture of my progress one of these days...

HiImKing
12-24-2002, 01:50 AM
Oh, I just noticed Dark Knight does have Chris's armor. You can compare your effort to his... (just keep in mind he's been doing this for how long... 20, 25 years? :) )

http://www.ops.dti.ne.jp/~darkk/irai/irai.htm
http://www.ops.dti.ne.jp/~darkk/irai/curis1.jpg
http://www.ops.dti.ne.jp/~darkk/irai/curis2.jpg
http://www.ops.dti.ne.jp/~darkk/irai/curis3.jpg
http://www.ops.dti.ne.jp/~darkk/irai/curis4.jpg

He's selling it for 72000 yen. ~$597.81 USD... wow, that's really cheap... he must be able to build in incredibly fast to get the price so low...

Amethyst Angel
12-24-2002, 02:17 PM
Oh, I just noticed Dark Knight does have Chris's armor. You can compare your effort to his... (just keep in mind he's been doing this for how long... 20, 25 years? )

Whoahoooaahh... It's very nice. Although considering that I don't have a nice workshop or vacu-forming equipment or dozens of years of experience, I'd have to say that my effort looks.....okay, crappy when compared with that. But I figure that if I can at least get it to look as if it WASN'T something I hot-glued together during the plane-ride to the convention, I'll be happy. Thanks for the pictures. They should be good for reference.

I've gotten the gauntlets all constructed (The left one anyway,) I'll have to paint it though before I feel comfortable exhibiting it. That'll have to wait until after Christmas, methinks...

Happy Holidays, everyone!

HiImKing
12-24-2002, 05:07 PM
Ya, yours looks pretty good too.

He doesn't use vacuum forming I don't think. It's all made of polyethylene foam, then covered a thin sheet of colorful plastic.

That thin colorful plastic... it seems all too abundant in asia's arts and craft and kids stores... yet I cannot seem to locate any here in the US... what's with that...

And the polyethylene foam too... :) Polyethylene foam is a thermal plastic, like polystyrene, and can become malleable with a little stove top heat. (Just don't fry it and release toxic gases...)

If you look around his site, you'll see that he makes patterns with poster boards, then cuts out polyethylene foam versions of them, then bends them to shape, then covers them with the plastic sheet...

It all sounds easy... if someone does indeed sell the material in the United States! Aaaargh! :)

Shadra D
12-24-2002, 10:33 PM
I believe that the plastic you're talking about is called 'Friendly Plastic' here in the US. Sadly, they're sold in only small strips, and I've had a hard time finding them these days. I've used them a lot in jewelry making in days past.. it's neat stuff!

Basically, then, He'd be making the form of the armor and putting it together, and then he'd cover it with a sheet and probably uses a heat gun to shrink it, keeping the form underneath together and tight.

It's not an -easy- thing unless one has years and years of experience and research in armor making, materials (both real and simulated), and patternmaking. Just because one has the materials doesn't mean they can make something amazing right off the bat n_n; I think that AA's hard work and craftsmanship shows her skill and talent. I'd love to see what she can do in 27 years of practice, but then it would be less of a hobby and more of an obsession n_n;

Amethyst Angel
12-25-2002, 12:12 PM
Merry Christmas everybody!

Thanks for the nice comments, Shadra. I have to say I am very impressed with Dark Knight's work, no matter how he puts it together. (The fact that he can make malleable plastic look as good as vacu-forming makes it all the more impressive.) It'd be nice if the site were in English so I could get a better idea of how he makes his creations.

I guess what I'm trying to emphasize in my thread is that a person doesn't need fancy materials or vacu-forming equipment to make decent-looking armor. Sure, it'd be nice to have a big, tool-filled workshop at our disposal, but some of us (dorm and apartment dwellers in particular) don't have that option and must resort to using stuff which, for the most part, we can only find in fabric stores. (Or in the trash bins near the drafting tables at our workplaces. ^_~)

Well, anyway, sorry if I'm sounding petulant about the whole deal. I appreciate the help and comments. I have to agree with Shadra that friendly plastic IS hard to find, and extremely hard to work with if one CAN find it. (When melting it, you only have a split second to work with it, and if you don't heat it high enough, you only wind up putting your fingerprints in it. If you heat it too high, it becomes a sticky, unworkable mess. Oh, and you can kiss goodbye any pots you use to melt it in and any utensils you use to work it with. )

Well, gotta go now. Hope y'all are having a nice Christmas!

AA

A J
12-25-2002, 02:30 PM
I'm with AA. Friendly Plastic is evil to work with... :)

But if you're so inclined and want it in big quantities:
http://www.jewelrysupply.com/EJS/fppellets.htm

I've never ordered from them so I dunno how they are but I've had this site bookmarked in case I ever do need the stuff.

Happy Holidays everyone!

HiImKing
12-25-2002, 03:23 PM
friendly plastic isn't it. They're simple, colorful acrylic plastic sheets. They're pretty easy to work with. Kids can do it.

Friendly plastic looks scary. doesn't look friendly at all. :)

MikigamiTokiya
12-25-2002, 05:15 PM
kick ass costume! very impressive indeed!

Amethyst Angel
01-01-2003, 09:26 PM
Thanks. Well... I FINALLY got the armor-plated shoes finished. A picture has been attached for your perusal. I built them by gluing foam and polystyrene sheeting around an old pair of shoes and then reinforcing the glue with stitches in a couple of key places. I took care to only glue the bottom edges of the sheets near the sole to leave room for movement between the plates at the top. (Which will make the shoes infinitely easier to walk in, I imagine.)

I've got the gauntlets all finished, structure-wise. I still need to paint them. Unfortunately, I ran out of silver paint and, this being New Year's Day, none of the small hobby shops were open. (Michael's was open, but I already cleaned it out of silver hobby paint long ago.) Oh well. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures of the gauntlets soon... Happy New Year's everybody!

Shadra D
01-02-2003, 08:19 AM
Shiny Shoes are always a big hit at cons, for some reasons... But you'll be wearing shiny everything, I'm sure you'll get comliments left and right anyway!

*wistful sigh* It's so lovely.. I can't wait to see the gauntlets! n_n And when I can access a scanner again, I'll scan the manga image of Chris' uniform under the armor, if you wanted to get that part completely accurate (IE: Have something to wear in the evening that isn't completely bulked up *laughs*)

Waiii~

Rosiel
01-02-2003, 08:59 AM
> Shiny Shoes are always a big hit at cons, for some reasons...

The only problem is that some people will drop to their knees and take pictures of your shoes... then not take pictures of the rest of the costume. X__X Whee.

Kamui Motoaki
01-02-2003, 09:22 AM
wow. . that looks great! ^_^

A J
01-02-2003, 04:57 PM
Quick question AA. What are you using to paint it? I've used silver spray paint for things and I don't think it looks as good as whatever you're using. Are you using the silver paint Michaels carries specifically for plastics?

Danka for any info. :)

Amethyst Angel
01-02-2003, 08:13 PM
I use silver Testor's model paint to paint the polystyrene sheeting. (After all, that's what models' are made of. ) I use silver mixed with a little black. (Dabbing the darker paint on the areas near the joints so thay have that 'rusty, lived-in' look.)

A word about the foot armor--it takes more of a beating than the rest of the armor, so TWO layers of polystyrene sheeting glued to each other may not be a bad idea when making the plates...

*wistful sigh* It's so lovely.. I can't wait to see the gauntlets! n_n And when I can access a scanner again, I'll scan the manga image of Chris' uniform under the armor, if you wanted to get that part completely accurate (IE: Have something to wear in the evening that isn't completely bulked up *laughs*)

Ooh. That would be nice! Thanks! I've already bought a good deal of the fabric, including some liquidy gold fabric which was selling at JoAnn's for 5 dollars a yard (down from it's oriinal price of 20 dollars a yard.) I love After Christmas Sales!

kelldar
01-02-2003, 08:27 PM
that's SWEET!! And to think I kept ignoring this thread cause I thought somebody was asking about making armor and I knew I had nothing to add... ><; Now I want to remake my lina armor!! Great job and thanks!
(I like the marx brothers poster btw XD)

Amethyst Angel
01-04-2003, 06:11 PM
Whew. It's finally finished. The gauntlets, I mean. Here's a photo of them:

http://amethyst-angel.com/chris_gauntlet1.jpg

I made them in two different parts--the cuff and the glove. The glove I made by taking foam and plastic sheeting (which I warmed into a slightly curved shape using a curling iron) and sewing it to a brown work glove. (Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the palm of the glove. I'll have to do that at some later point.) Anyway, all the joints are articulated and it moves pretty good. (I won't be able to crochet or do anything of that nature while I'm wearing them, but I can still grip things reasonably well.) The fingerplates do look kind of stubby, I'll admit. (Although that might have something to do with the fact that I have really stubby, sausage-like fingers. No wonder my cats are always trying to bite them.)

I'm going to set this aside for awhile until I've finished the fabric part of Chris' costume. I may experiment with making other armor-type things in the near future, though. Stay tuned...

Kenshin Ken
01-04-2003, 09:31 PM
Very impressive work! ^_^.. I was about to use fiberglass or possibly use Thermoform plastic for aromor..* when I can get the money to do it* but this looks very spiffy! ^^

TyJILDown
01-04-2003, 11:31 PM
Wow those look GREAT!! I got all the materials to try making some armour so I'm gonna start off small with just making my wristbands for my Kiros costume then work on armour for Marth.

Thanks for all this help AA!

StacyMichelle
01-05-2003, 12:21 AM
Girl, you are on a roll! I have always admired your work, all of it... and this is very impressive. It's nice of you to share your process; people like me can learn from what you have done ^_^

Amethyst Angel
01-07-2003, 10:17 PM
Thanks.

And now, I'm pleased to announce that I've taken all the info and advice I received on that thread and turned it into a webpage:

http://amethyst-angel.com/armormaking.html

Someone mentioned using this advice to remake their Lina Inverse shoulder armor. Well... that kind of gave me an idea, and so I went ahead and made some of my own, just to see if I could do it. You'll find the results posted on that page as well...

Don't know what I'll do with the Lina Armor, seeing as how I haven't got the figure to pull off a Lina cosplay. I'll probably sell it on ebay, once the convention season starts to pick up again...

Ciao!

Mizuho
01-07-2003, 11:51 PM
Seriously, your armor is breathtaking. I was sitting in my seat going, "Oh. My. God.... WOW!"

Please keep us updated on your costume! I'd be interested to see how it fits and what it looks like on a real person with realistic proportions. How far are you from completing the entire costume?

By the way, how do you form the initial pattern with newspaper? Is it supposed to be a stiff pattern that forms to your body? That's the one part that I was confused about. ^_^;

Great job on the gauntlets and shoes, too. *_* Again, your armor is amazing.

Amethyst Angel
01-08-2003, 08:43 AM
By the way, how do you form the initial pattern with newspaper? Is it supposed to be a stiff pattern that forms to your body? That's the one part that I was confused about. ^_^;

Well, one needn't necessarily use newspaper. One can use fabric, or, since this is armor, thin, pliable cardboard may be of use. Just something which can be laid out over your body and cut and altered to make a pattern from. (Oh, and when fitting, it would probably help if you had someone else fit the cardboard/newspaper to your body and take your measurements for the best accuracy.)

Here's a website which offers a few tips on sewing techniques and fitting fabric garments. (I'm sure it would probably come in handy when it comes to fitting armor:)

http://sewing.about.com/cs/alterations/index.htm

Good luck!

ME-MANIA-Sama
01-10-2003, 02:14 PM
Okay... will this work with Weapons though? I remember awhile back somebody telling me how to make B Movie cheap budget swords that looked realistic... I'm trying to figure out what to do with my Ashton Anchors Swords...

Amethyst Angel
01-10-2003, 10:41 PM
Okay... will this work with Weapons though? I remember awhile back somebody telling me how to make B Movie cheap budget swords that looked realistic... I'm trying to figure out what to do with my Ashton Anchors Swords...


Hmm. It kind of depends on how complicated the weapons are. Some of the techniques I've outlined should be helpful with weapons. (Have you any reference pictures of the swords I could have a look at? Might help me think up a few suggestions.)

With swords it's usually good to start with a wood or plastic base. Try taking an existing costume sword and modifying it. That's what I did for my Utena Sword of Dios. It was basically a Walmart cheapie I painted to look like the one in the show. It was nice and durable, too. Look around. Maybe you'll find something you can use ...

ME-MANIA-Sama
01-11-2003, 06:37 PM
Yeah, but these aren't normal swords... here...

ME-MANIA-Sama
01-11-2003, 06:39 PM
This one too...

ME-MANIA-Sama
01-11-2003, 06:41 PM
and they're this thin...

Anime_kidd2k2
01-11-2003, 07:30 PM
wow. just wow. i cant believe that thats yer first armor! i woulda thought that u were otaku wit that armor! now i wanna do some1 wit armor! maybe butz! from ff5! wit the knight job! YAY!

Amethyst Angel
01-12-2003, 12:30 AM
and they're this thin...

Hmmm. The swords seem fairly simple in design. You could probably make them out of wood (if you have the necessary tools handy.) Or, if you don't, hire someone to make the blade part for you and you yourself could make the handle out of craft foam or foamcore...



wow. just wow. i cant believe that thats yer first armor! i woulda thought that u were otaku wit that armor! now i wanna do some1 wit armor! maybe butz! from ff5! wit the knight job! YAY!

Hmm. Butz. What's HE look like?...

ME-MANIA-Sama
01-12-2003, 10:55 AM
'eh, but would your method work with them if they're that thin? Because it seems like it could possibly work...

Anime_kidd2k2
01-14-2003, 02:33 PM
>Hmm. Butz. What's HE look like?...

well, u cant reely see him, it IS ff5, theyre just little sprites. but his knight job thing has a red armor, and, uh....i gotta play it! *fires up emulator* yay! ill get back to ya with the rest! :D

TheLoneWolf
01-15-2003, 10:44 AM
Its been said many times before,I know......but thanks Angel!
Your tutorial helped me through my costume ALOT!

One question though,how would one do the fore-arm armour in the picture below? I'm trying to get it to stick out the way it does but I can't seem to get it to do that and how to get the armour to indent the way it does in the center of the hand.Also,for the armour on his other shoulder,I just use 1-2 layers of foam,right?


P.S:You used sliver/aluminium spray paint for your armour?

TheLoneWolf
01-15-2003, 10:57 AM
Oh,and before I forget,my experimentation with your technique says an easier to get stiff plastic would be Mylar Plastic....just a tip!

Amethyst Angel
01-15-2003, 10:40 PM
One question though,how would one do the fore-arm armour in the picture below? I'm trying to get it to stick out the way it does but I can't seem to get it to do that and how to get the armour to indent the way it does in the center of the hand.

Boy. That's a toughie. Good GOD that thing is complicated. It helps if you can imagine how you'd cut it out of fabric. (And if you don't mind having seams at the sides of it, you can cut it curvy and glue it together at the sides, trying to get the seams as close together as possible.) Y'know, this is something which looks almost like something you'd find on the BioWeapons.com (http://www.bioweapons.com/) website. (It's a site run by a guy who made his own "Guyver" suit. He sculpted it and cast it out of fiberglass, although I think there's a section where he teaches how to cast using thermoplastics as well.) I have to admit, some things are just so curvy and unnatural-looking you almost HAVE to resort to casting them out of some resin-type material...


Oh,and before I forget,my experimentation with your technique says an easier to get stiff plastic would be Mylar Plastic....just a tip!


Hm. Hadn't thought of that. Is that something which takes to being painted readily? (BTW, I used Testors silver model spray paint for my armor)

Oh and before I forget, seeing as how polystyrene seems so hard to get ahold of, I called T.O. Plastics and they told me I could put in a bulk order with them for some plastic sheeting, if anyone's interested. (The sheets are huge, about 84" long and..I forget how much wide...They're big, though.) The cost will be about 5-10 dollars per sheet plus what it would cost me to ship it to you. (Around 8.50 per sheet.) If you're interested (and a lot of you would HAVE to be in order for me to go through all that trouble,) send me a PM.

TheLoneWolf
01-15-2003, 11:00 PM
Boy. That's a toughie. Good GOD that thing is complicated. It helps if you can imagine how you'd cut it out of fabric. (And if you don't mind having seams at the sides of it, you can cut it curvy and glue it together at the sides, trying to get the seams as close together as possible.) Y'know, this is something which looks almost like something you'd find on the BioWeapons.com (http://www.bioweapons.com/) website. (It's a site run by a guy who made his own "Guyver" suit. He sculpted it and cast it out of fiberglass, although I think there's a section where he teaches how to cast using thermoplastics as well.) I have to admit, some things are just so curvy and unnatural-looking you almost HAVE to resort to casting them out of some resin-type material...

*Nods* That it is,unfortunately,I really wanted to stay away from resin,fibreglass&such.Yare,Yare..........

Hm. Hadn't thought of that. Is that something which takes to being painted readily? (BTW, I used Testors silver model spray paint for my armor)

Yup,it takes to paint very well.It's available from most art,crafts,departmental&hardware stores! It's just a tad less stiff compared to polystryene,though.

Amethyst Angel
01-15-2003, 11:56 PM
OOh. Here's something I just found in my e-mail in-box...

I found a site that has polystyrene. It is actually listed under styrene but they have a variety of thicknesses down to 2mm I believe. you can find it at http://www.usplastic.com/ from here click on the plastic products pull down and select "Sheet, Rod, Shapes" then click on "Styrene" then click on "High Impact Styrene Sheet" You can purchase directly from them and the thin sheets are only about 5 dollars. Although I don't know how much shipping is since they are located in Ohio.

Please let others know about this so that they can make great simple armor too!

MariEllen
A.K.A. Lady Axum



Okay folks! A possible online supplier of polystyrene. There ya go...

TheLoneWolf
01-16-2003, 05:37 AM
Is this the same as the stuff you&me are using? Usually,high impact stuff has properties differring from those of it's kin.

Also,accepting that the "Shell Bullet" armour would be hard to do,any tips for the simpler version of it:
http://www.geocities.com/zescryed/pics/ep9/18.jpg (cut n' paste for this link)
http://www.roserevolution.com/holy/kaz1024.jpg

TheLoneWolf
01-16-2003, 11:50 AM
Firstly,you use hot glue for your layers of foam?
Will spray-on glue work instead?
Also,I checked around,and I confirmed from ppl at Michael's and Home Depot:
For the same thickness,Mylar Plastic Sheets are stiffer than Polystyrene Sheets.
And,as you probably surmised,you can get Mylar sheets from almost every arts&crafts store.Hope this helps!

Amethyst Angel
01-16-2003, 08:57 PM
Firstly,you use hot glue for your layers of foam? Will spray-on glue work instead?


I use hot glue. IMO, spray-on glue is crap. I can never get it to stick to anything. I can't even get paper to stick together using that stuff.



Also,I checked around,and I confirmed from ppl at Michael's and Home Depot: For the same thickness,Mylar Plastic Sheets are stiffer than Polystyrene Sheets.
And,as you probably surmised,you can get Mylar sheets from almost every arts&crafts store.Hope this helps!

I'll check it out.

In the meantime, I just went over to the company supply bldg today and picked up 10 sheets of the polystyrene. If anyone's interested, PM me and I can send you the details.

TheLoneWolf
01-16-2003, 10:07 PM
And about the armour I was trying to make....any tips?

Amethyst Angel
01-17-2003, 12:57 PM
Well, you could try paper mache for the curvy parts and make the rest using craft foam and friendly plastic. You could also try making some kind of understructure for the forearm using 1/4" thick craft foam sheeting sewn together, and then cover up over the seams with a thin layer of bondo or fiberglass. (Just make sure it doesn't bend or lose it's shape while setting.) Hope that helps.

Shadra D
01-17-2003, 02:49 PM
(pssst! AA, I have your scans! O_O drop me an e-mail so I can get them to you! o.o)

Meanwhile, I stare at the many many pieces of foamboard just begging to be used for something ._. myaa.

Amethyst Angel
01-17-2003, 10:24 PM
(pssst! AA, I have your scans! O_O drop me an e-mail so I can get them to you! o.o)

Ooh! Ooh! Scans! Me want!... Only I don't seem to be able to access your e-mail addy from either here or your website. Mine's dietzt@cloudnet.com if you wants to send them that way....

THNX!!!!

TheLoneWolf
01-19-2003, 10:46 AM
Alright...second question:

Foam Melts at about 80 degrees.
Hot Glue is hot at about 200 degrees.

I'm not quite sure about how one can hotglue plastic to foam?

Amethyst Angel
01-19-2003, 12:01 PM
Depends what kind of foam. All I know is that I've hot-glued plastic sheeting to foamies craft foam sheets lots of times with no trouble.

I've also gone and picked up something called E-6000. It's an adhesive which comes in a tube and which I hear is every bit as good as hot glue without the heat. You might want to give that a try if you have an aversion to glue guns.


(Oh, I might have mentioned this, but I've got more sheets of that plastic sheeting available. PM me if you're interested in getting some.)

HiImKing
01-19-2003, 04:05 PM
Hey, I just located some foam that I've been looking for... in the form of a 20" x 72" soft cross-linked 1/2" polyolefin camping pad, at Wal-mart for $5.88 + tax, in their outdoors section. It's a solid sky/pool blue color, and rolled up.

It's a decently large sheet, for use under sleeping bags, or for sun tanning. It has creases on the surface (from being rolled up), so this foam might not make a good final surface. But I'm going to try to work with it... it may be easier than gluing together 20 of Jo-Ann's thin little foam sheets. :)

Originally I built my 3 foot tall shield with PVC, and it weighs about 10 pounds... I think a foam version of it will cut the weight down by 70%... :p

Anime_kidd2k2
01-19-2003, 10:54 PM
hey i hav one of those! its blue and foamy and not very soft! so why they make it for sleeping on i dont know....so maybe if i make a ferio outfit i can use that! good idea ^_^V

(hey AA we hav the exact same numbers of posts rite now! ^_^)

Sipesh
10-13-2003, 12:08 AM
Just for the heck of it, the term for foot armor is sabaton. Sorry, I'm a Ren Faire geek.

PretearWink
10-15-2003, 10:06 AM
Thanks so much AA for all your wonderful help and tutorials^_^ Your armor is so beautiful^_^

I'm embarking on my first armor project and I was wondering if you had any advice about 'chestoral' curves and curves in general^_^

I'm making Knight Utena and I was wondering how to make her chest armor, specifically. I'm probably going to be using your method for everything else, but that chest plate...I can't seem to figure out how to do it ^^;

Here's a pictue of it^_^

Thanks so much for any advice!

Amethyst Angel
10-15-2003, 01:08 PM
Just for the heck of it, the term for foot armor is sabaton.

Ah, I always wondered....


I'm making Knight Utena and I was wondering how to make her chest armor, specifically. I'm probably going to be using your method for everything else, but that chest plate...I can't seem to figure out how to do it ^^;


Yes. Ladies chest armor has always had me stymied as well. I know of a friend who made a Lenneth Valkryie breastplate by using shiny spandex for the part which went over the chest (and armor for everything else.) I also heard of someone who made a Deedlit breastplate by covering fabric with resin.

I'll look into this problem. Maybe I can find some other ideas to post here...

kdthompson
10-19-2003, 11:39 PM
While we're on the subject of breast plates, I have a question about fastenings. I suppose the main reason I'm worried is because I'm crossplaying and don't want to end up crushing myself when I put it on.

I'm going to be making a Juste Belmont costume sometime in the future, and I was planning the breast plate, I wasn't exsactly sure how to make the thing close. I remember you mentioning some kind of clasp, but what about lacings of some sort? Would that work too or whould it not hold propperly and be hard to open it to get in and out of?

And, this is abit off topic of armor making, but I've been wondering this for quite some time now; have you been to any Florida cons over the summer and if so, did you attend MetroCon in Tampa, Fl? I thought I spotted you there but I wasn't sure, so I didn't approuch the cosplayer.

Amethyst Angel
10-20-2003, 11:38 AM
I'm going to be making a Juste Belmont costume sometime in the future, and I was planning the breast plate, I wasn't exsactly sure how to make the thing close. I remember you mentioning some kind of clasp, but what about lacings of some sort? Would that work too or whould it not hold propperly and be hard to open it to get in and out of?.

I would think lacings would be alright to use. Or buckles. Small utility buckles can be found at tandyleather.com and you can get leather from buying thrift store belts and cutting them into strips. It's not all that hard to get in and out of, but I would recommend having a friend lace or buckle you in, since it generally IS hard to move your arms when your torso is encased in armor of any sort.






And, this is abit off topic of armor making, but I've been wondering this for quite some time now; have you been to any Florida cons over the summer and if so, did you attend MetroCon in Tampa, Fl? I thought I spotted you there but I wasn't sure, so I didn't approuch the cosplayer.

Who, me? The only con I've been able to attend in the past year is AnimeIowa. Although I'm hoping I'll be able to attend more than one con in the upcoming year, finances permitting. (If only my ship would hurry up and come the hell in already. *sigh*..)

Ali
10-20-2003, 12:29 PM
THANK YOU!
This will certainly help a lot. I've been fiberglass phobic for a long time now, and I always shy away from armor costumes. (no longer!)

I can't believe I don't remember seeing the costume at Anime Iowa though... I do remember your Rose Bride dress from the year before. Ah well... 'spose that's what happens when I get trapped in the dealer's room the entire time.

Seig Warheit
10-20-2003, 06:01 PM
This could help me with my Seig Warheit costume...

kdthompson
10-20-2003, 07:40 PM
Thank you so much for the advice; I'll probably go witht he lacing though; less expensive and generally easier to hide under the coat I'm going to be waring with that costume.

*snaps, hearing that she wasn't at the con* shucks. Well, I'm glad I didn't approuch her then; I would of been horriblly embarassed for being wrong. All the same, I hope to manage to catch you at a con.

insaneamoeba
10-23-2003, 08:34 AM
I just have a quick couple of questions about this technique. First - When you make the cardboard/foam base, you just cut out the pattern (flat) then use the leather glue to bend and keep the base holding it's shape? Was a bit confused by that part. ^^;;; and Second - when you put the styrene over the base, is it the glue gun that allows you to form the plastic to the foam base, or do you shape it first with a heat gun?

I plan on using this technique for my Iria costume, so any other tips of suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, AA, this is a great method, and I'm really excited to try it!

musica heart
12-07-2003, 05:10 PM
I am a new comer to plastic workings.
My problem is as follows.
I am in the need to make some very larg plastic shoulder pieces,(the shape needed to be made is at the attacment below...the line represents what it would look like if the butt end was right in your face. The actual piece is an oval shape.)
Would polystyrene and a heat gun work for this? Or would i need to look into another material? kind of stuck here. :woah:
any tips would be more then wonderful.
thankyou

Amethyst Angel
12-07-2003, 07:27 PM
I just have a quick couple of questions about this technique. First - When you make the cardboard/foam base, you just cut out the pattern (flat) then use the leather glue to bend and keep the base holding it's shape? Was a bit confused by that part. ^^;;;


I think I answered this question in a private e-mail (it certainly looks familiar), but I'll address it again here.

I changed that part of my tutorial. It is unnecessary to coat the foam with shellac in order to shape it. You have other options. Let's say you want to make a gauntlet. Here's what you do: You 1) make your pattern and determine the final shape for the armor piece, 2) you cut the armor piece out of foam, 3) you cut a piece of plastic sheeting slightly larger than the foam piece (to account for the increased surface area you'll have once you've bent the foam piece around your arm) 4) you apply hotglue to the foam and then, starting with one edge, lay down the plastic sheeting over the gauntlet, bending the gauntlet slightly and holding it in the shape you want it to be. (Do not bend the gauntlet too much, as the foam is sproingy, and if bent too far it will spring back and create ripples in the surface of the plastic. ) 5) Once the armor piece has cooled, release your hold on it, and it should remain bent. (Many armor pieces, if they are part of a larger set of armor, won't achieve their final shape until after they have been attached to the other armor pieces in that set.)


and Second - when you put the styrene over the base, is it the glue gun that allows you to form the plastic to the foam base, or do you shape it first with a heat gun?

I find pre-shaping the plastic to be unnecessary. The heat from the glue-gun the shape of the foam, and the force you have when you squeeze both together should be enough for the armor to hold it's shape.


I am a new comer to plastic workings.
My problem is as follows.
I am in the need to make some very larg plastic shoulder pieces,(the shape needed to be made is at the attacment below...the line represents what it would look like if the butt end was right in your face. The actual piece is an oval shape.)
Would polystyrene and a heat gun work for this? Or would i need to look into another material? kind of stuck here.

I couldn't get the attachment to work for me. If you want to PM and send your images to me, I'll try to answer your question.

As a rule of thumb, my method is only good for creating flat, planular surfaces. Anything with a rounded surface will have to be done a different way. (paper mache, fiberglass, finding a rounded plastic object like a bowl or a shoulder pad which you can alter into a piece of armor, etc.)

Hope that helps!

Oshi
12-08-2003, 03:09 PM
I plan on using this method for my Roy armor... And I had this idea...
When putting the styrene on the foam base, I thought of this: taking a hot hair dryer and blowing it on the plastic to help soften and mold it...? Dunno how sensitive styrene is to heating though, so thought I'd run it by you first ;D

Amethyst Angel
12-08-2003, 09:06 PM
I plan on using this method for my Roy armor... And I had this idea...
When putting the styrene on the foam base, I thought of this: taking a hot hair dryer and blowing it on the plastic to help soften and mold it...? Dunno how sensitive styrene is to heating though, so thought I'd run it by you first ;D

It depends on the thickness of the styrene. I've never heated styrene myself although I'm sure a hair dryer might work. (The general practice, though is to melt the plastic in the oven. You have to be careful while doing this though, as it can release deadly fumes and make your oven unfit for cooking things if you do it often enough.)

melloncollie
12-09-2003, 05:15 AM
wow what an amazing thread!! I'm gonan go out and find me some bowls to do a decent tifa elbow pad... and finnal get started on my terra outfit (shuolder thingies )
ohh thansk so much for all this info!!

PretearWink
12-10-2003, 04:08 PM
I have a quick question for the almighty AA ^_^: If I got the .040 styrene would I be able to sew through it? If not, would it be alright to get a thinner grade, or would a thinner grade have any pitfalls? ^_^ Thanks!

kdthompson
12-18-2003, 10:23 PM
I'd just like to thank you again for all your help. I've started making my first piece of armor, and it's going fairly well. Thanks again.

sheepsarai
06-22-2004, 09:41 PM
hello! ^-^ i have been dorected here from the questions page on the cosplay main page nand im not sure if you can help me but i have questions for you! Im sorry if im in the wrong place!
I ahve to make some small peiice of armor (ff9 beatrix) pretty much, some foot armor, some armor for over the hands and armor over one elbow. Could you advice me in an easy way to go about doing this? i dont know alot about workign with well... different types of materials like others, tho i see the words styrene on here alot and i have worked witht hat breifly once before.... anyway thanks in advance! >-<

Amethyst Angel
06-24-2004, 02:39 PM
The URL for my armormaking tutorial is:

http://www.amethyst-angel.com/armormaking.html

I have a cosplay site with an armor gallery and a page linking to other tutorials. You'll find it here:

http://www.amethyst-angel.com/cosplay.html

Hope that's helpful...

sheepsarai
06-24-2004, 10:46 PM
thank you so much!!!!!!

Akiko Ki
06-24-2004, 11:35 PM
Oh my I read through your hole tutorial and you gave me new hope for makeing my armor for my secert costume haha but ya I love you for it cause I hate fiberglass even though I use it for my props I hate working with it and don't try to as many times I can. ::hugs you :; thank so much hehe I can get the plastic cheap to my moms work uses it and they are gonna give some to me for cheap.

Zero_1369
09-01-2004, 09:23 PM
Very useful.. I was so worried how I was goin' to manage cosplaying Spark. Thnx alot..

Aaron
09-10-2004, 03:40 PM
Umm... I dont know if this has been mentioned before, but. Polystyrene plastic is use for making/custom model kits and some toys. Legos are made of Polystyrene, and a haidryer will work perfect for heating it. I use a hairdryer for heating it to customize my zoid model kits [extra weopons/boosters/blades]. Like I said this has probably already been coverd but I was just makin shure. BTW great tutorial and fairly simple lookin too.
Do you know how i could make cylindrical spikes to go on my armor I'm making; I'm trying to make Inu-Taishou's armor from the third Inuyasha movie.

Amethyst Angel
09-11-2004, 01:26 AM
Make the spikes out of paperclay and apply a clear varnish to seal them. You can usually find paperclay at Michael's or at other craft stores...

Anna
09-11-2004, 01:37 AM
Ummm, I was kinda wondering, are you going to make a tutorial for Ashe's armor?

avskull
09-11-2004, 01:46 AM
Hairdryer work for plastic? I thought it was a heat gun you use on plastic O_o

Aaron
09-11-2004, 03:15 AM
Hairdryer work for plastic? I thought it was a heat gun you use on plastic O_o

Well personally..... I have no clue what a heat gun is....... but my mothers hairdryer was gun shaped and put out heat :cool:

Amethyst Angel
09-11-2004, 10:10 AM
Ummm, I was kinda wondering, are you going to make a tutorial for Ashe's armor?

I might, but it would have to wait until after AnimeIowa next week, (which is when I plan on wearing the armor).

Hope I can get it to the convention in one piece ^_^.

NecromanticChii
02-06-2005, 04:31 PM
I think ( just fell in love with you. ^_^ I needed to know how to make armour for Hikaru off Rayearth for her advanced battle outfit. Plus I have to make the armour for lantis. *hugs you and says thankyou*
edit 1: Where could I find plastic sheeting, and aproximatly how much would it cost?

Amethyst Angel
02-06-2005, 07:04 PM
You'll find information on possible places to find plastic online in the materials section of my armoring tutorial:

http://amethyst-angel.com/armormaking_materials.html

Sheets can cost anywhere from 8 - 20 dollars. Of course, a good placve to find cheap styrene sheeting is ebay. (Look under "styrene" or vacu-forming".) The thickness you should get is .030 (and if you can find a sheet at least 4' wide, that would be large enough for most armoring projects.

Good luck!

sesshomaru guy
02-06-2005, 11:18 PM
whoa....im in aww i read through everything awsome armour!im going back and forth to either use my friends tutorial or yours for my sesshoumaru armour...*thinks very hard*

RandomPrefect
02-07-2005, 12:06 AM
you... are... awesome.... i now know how to remake deedlit and have it look good, your armour is beautiful the paint effect is perfect.. *worships*

NecromanticChii
02-09-2005, 09:03 AM
Thankyou for helping me. ^_^

Riji
02-09-2005, 10:40 AM
Your technique is awesome. :bigtu:

For anyone who's thinking about ordering styrene from www.usplastic.com (http://www.usplastic.com), their sheets are solid white so it makes making trim on an armor piece a bit more difficult. They ship really fast though, and are really nice. I only bought two sheets and they called me and offered me 10% off my next order. :thumbsup:

Fireshark
02-09-2005, 04:28 PM
For my armor, I didn't use the plastic sheeting, but I did follow the technique. I found this plastic-like white stuff at a store called Michael's that we have here in California. A white, flat stuff with a wiipe-on-wipe off quality, like temporary whiteboard. It was only a dollar or so a sheet. Something like that. it worked fine, though I had to test to find a paint that would work. (I did). I used it for my Roy armor (pictures in my stuff). :)

Kaja-tan
12-31-2010, 06:45 PM
yay! you are a life saver! a minty wint-o-green one. My favorite! this is amazing. I thank you a lot because I was trying to think of so many ways to make armor. But always drew short. Bu I have one final Question. Could you use plastic milk cartons also? I am trying to just make "armored" gloves.