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Unread 06-24-2009, 02:39 AM   #1
zenithvsp
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Q/R: Gundam Suit Creation Discussion V.1

Okay, so we all know Gundam cosplayers catch our eyes like the speed of lightning right? And unfortunately, it makes some of us (like me) want to go back home and make our own "suit of armor". Well that's exactly what I'm doing, and it's proved to be a challenge indeed. Getting the precise measurements, and blowing it up to proportion to fit my body whilst keeping the overall look of the suit. *Gives me a headache thinking about it!* But that alone isn't enough. Me as a somewhat "perfectionist". I look aside from those "tedious" things, and add my own "flare". Which is a gift I'm told.....teeheehehe Well at any rate, many people ask me from looking at my process of making these wonderful project(s) of mine state; how do you get the right proportions?, what do you base it off of? And my favorite one; "what are you going to finish making it with?". And my answer is....I have no clue! There I said it Yeah Yeah I know it's sad, but I have asked myself that same question over and over. Now knowing my abilities and "willings" to do the finishing touches to my project(s). I want....or should say, "request"....fine! Ask you guys on what you use for your gundam and or other cosplay(s) and how you finish it. Now I know there are threads, tutorials, and other websites from which these can be found. But I want to compile all of those into one single thread if possible. And actually make a "DISCUSSION" about this topic.

Oh and if you must know.....I have, quote on "have" planned to finish my gundam project out of fiberglass using a tutorial via www.405th.com But using a base via a type of cardstock or posterboard if you will. Typically found at your local office store, but I got my stuff at Kmart. So ha! And basing everything off of reference pictures and model kits, basically anything/everything you can get your hands on. Sometimes I use Gundam Pepakura files, downloadable online. Some of these include; Hazel Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Ex-S Sentinel Gundam, Jegan, Zaku II, RX-78-2 Gundam, Hi Nu Gundam, and various super deformed Gundams. I am sure there's more, but they are quite hard to find! Well at any rate, I found that working with fiberglass is very serious tough work and can be potentially hazardous. But can be done. I also found out (the hard way) that it's nearly impossible to sand a flat surface on fiberglassed material, no matter how hard you try. You must, and I will quote "must" have some sort of filler to pull that off. So in the long run, fiberglassing a whole body suit isn't the best option for time and your pocket's sake. Let alone your body itself. Now let me give you a generalization of what I mean, ex;

-one quart of fiberglass resin is $14
-fiberglass mat is $6
-goggles/gloves/respirator/brushes/sand-paper/tools/etc $100+
-body filler $10
-spot putty $8
-primer $4
-paint $4
-clear coat $4

Now those prices are rounded up, and are not accurate to every single retailer. And they are just the price for one item(s)! Now of course you can substitute, price pinch, and whatever. From my experience one quart of fiberglass resin usually gets about 3-4 parts at most to be completed, using about 75% of the fiberglass mat at that. And let me tell you, fiberglass anything is very hard and tedious to work with. And I don't plan on using it for quite a longggg time. So that's just a little insight as to what I've come to experience. Let me know what you guys think
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Unread 06-24-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
striker0
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Wow, talk about a lot to read. But here's what I've done ever since I started doing mecha cosplaying (this will be my second year doing it).
If this is your first gundam cosplay, go on the cheap. As in, invest in.......
CARDBOARD!
Yeah, cardboard. If you go to your local grocery store, or any place, ask them if you can have the boxes that they got their shipments in. More times than not, they will happily give it to you since it will keep their dumpsters open for other trash besides cardboard. And if they ask why do you want it, answer honestly with "Oh, I'm trying to build something out of recyclable goods." This way, you can amass a crapload of cardboard for pennies on the dollar, or even better, free, while at the same time, helping keep the landfills free of a material that can be recycled. And, if you have to, go dumpster diving. Just make sure the cardboard is on top so that no nasty stuff is touching the building material. And while you do work with the cardboard, you're gonna need more than a single layer to survive a convention hall, and walking around. You're gonna wanna go with a 4-layer, cross-grain type build all around. Cross grain means you have one grain going one way, and with the next layer, you have the grain going the other way. And hot glue is your best friend. Don't go with low temp stuff, because if you live in a area with high humidity, it will come apart. Stick with the high temp stuff, and make sure you have a pair of work gloves so that you can work comfortably, without running the risk of getting hot glue on your hands and getting nasty water blisters because of the burn. Now that leaves you with two other things: poster board and paint. More times than not, it would be cheaper to buy a package or poster board just in case you screw up, you just need more. Arts and crafts stores are a major plus. One place where I get my poster board is Michael's, which I get a sheet for 59 cents, and it's a pretty big piece. But if you're planning on making a gundam cosplay that has a large surface area, do invest in the packages. As for paint, dude, stick with cheap spray paint. It doesn't have to be Krylon or any other of the big name stuff. If you feel uncertain about a certain off brand, buy a single can, spray paint a poster board, and see how it results. If it sticks nicely and doesn't flake off, then guess what, you're good to go.

As for proportions, that is something you need to experiment on. If this is your first gundam cosplay, don't worry about it. Make it in proportion to your body, given that you don't have a extra long torso and short legs. But all in all, just have fun with it. No sense in going all out, making a sweet gundam cosplay, and in the process you get so frustrated that you wanna give up. If it gets to be too much, take a break. Curl up on the sofa or your bed, have a nice drink, and watch some giant robots duke it out. Trust me, after a break everyone once in a while, you will feel better, refreshed, and more enthusiastic about your cosplay. Oh and take your time.

And if there is something that I didn't cover that you need help with, check out Featherweight's mecha cosplay tutorial. I don't remember where I found it, but it's out there. It's very useful.
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Unread 06-25-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
zenithvsp
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Yeah I do apologize for the excessively long introduction n' such. However, very informative post you have provided striker! I think Featherweight's mecha tutorial is good, but the layering up with cardboard and posterboard seems a little tedious, and not to mention difficult. I will give it a try though, and I'll let you guys know how it turns out *thumbs up

-Jarred
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Unread 06-25-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
striker0
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Ah, with the layering.

It's not really difficult, but I will agree with the tedious part. When I first started doing it, I got uninterested rather quickly, but that's because I was working with no music around. Word of advice, have music playing while you work on it. Something that gives you a good rhythm, and helps make this tedious job actually enjoyable.
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Unread 06-25-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Yeah, I barely got done with one part today using that technique. And I was like, oh man....only 75 some odd more parts to go! Haha But yeah, I would have to agree with you on that! Music is always good to have, especially gundam "type" music. Because well for one I am making a gundam, and two....I don't know what their saying in Japanese, so I won't get tired of that songs so fast! Hehe, I always listen to my MP3's in my little "work station", I think it's too small to be one though....Oh right, as of right now I'm painstakingly stuck on making the head...as I type this actually. I have the face plate all worked out, it's just the actual roundness of the head and construction (stability) that has me on edge. Maybe I'll mix up my work or something. Probably going to work on the legs next, who knows..

-Jarred
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Yippy! I am nuts, I am actually trying the foam board route with some fossshape (hasn't worked yet) Here is the one I am making http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616538/

Its for my hubby and here are the boots thus far, three weeks to Otakon! I am finishing up a commission and it will be my main focus then after. my hubby is 6'6" and wears a size 16 shoe, he fits in pretty perfect. I actually am experimenting on using a floating system. everything is attached to other pieces via elastic, so as he walks the boots automatically adjust to the position

Boots
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616386/
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Unread 06-26-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
Kenmichi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alterationsbyem View Post
Yippy! I am nuts, I am actually trying the foam board route with some fossshape (hasn't worked yet) Here is the one I am making http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616538/

Its for my hubby and here are the boots thus far, three weeks to Otakon! I am finishing up a commission and it will be my main focus then after. my hubby is 6'6" and wears a size 16 shoe, he fits in pretty perfect. I actually am experimenting on using a floating system. everything is attached to other pieces via elastic, so as he walks the boots automatically adjust to the position

Boots
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616386/
I think I understand what you're getting at. It seems you've already constructed the sole, but I would have recommended using 4 pivots, 2 on each boot, with a soft rubber sole. As the sole bends the parts of the boot don't bend, but rater swivel on the pivots. This would require some very precise measuring and cutting but would look and work really well, and could be applied to the other joints.
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Unread 06-27-2009, 02:47 AM   #8
zenithvsp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alterationsbyem View Post
Yippy! I am nuts, I am actually trying the foam board route with some fossshape (hasn't worked yet) Here is the one I am making http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616538/

Its for my hubby and here are the boots thus far, three weeks to Otakon! I am finishing up a commission and it will be my main focus then after. my hubby is 6'6" and wears a size 16 shoe, he fits in pretty perfect. I actually am experimenting on using a floating system. everything is attached to other pieces via elastic, so as he walks the boots automatically adjust to the position

Boots
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alterat...ly/3655616386/
Oh that is a unique mobile suit to be doing. And your "hubby" is almost the perfect size as well (height wise), so lucky for you guys! Not to mention the legs are already looking good Instead of the picture you are referencing to in your post, I would recommend using some of the pictures located here:

http://www.dalong.net/review/pg/p05/p05_p.htm

You can also access the tabs for that page as well, that look like this;

Information 박스/런너/매뉴얼/부품도 (Misc. Info including the booklet/manual)Part Review 부분리뷰 (A series of pictures of each part of the Gundam)Review 리뷰 (A variety of the completely assembled Model kit Pictures)".

That website houses a ton of part by part pictures of the model kit, as well as the manual/booklet. So no worries on reference pictures. As for the material, I would recommend using Wonderflex or Styrene. Both types of malleable plastics that are ideal for straight/semi-round parts. Also Bondo Plastic Body Filler or Paperclay, that can be used ontop of folded cardboard to get rounded parts that are difficult to replicate. You can use a variety of combinations between those options, however that's just my opinion. As far as the feet go, you can approach that how ever you please, they can pivot, or be stationary (only ankle moves, no joints). That would be the easiest. Using just a pair of old shoes and screwing the soles onto wooden blocks/pieces and building the foot ontop of that. Though I have yet to try it, we'll keep our fingers crossed Also for the floating system you mentioned, that would in fact work. But for cosmetic and functionality purposes, I would recommend a hinge system of some sort. But that would be to complicated for a simple part, however that's up to you.

-Jarred
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Unread 06-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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Okay I'm almost finished with the head, and I have been wondering. To make cardboard/cardstock round, wouldn't I need some type of resin or clay? I've done some googling and searching on here, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Sure I've come across paper clay on paper mache, but that's not what I'm doing. I wanted to find some sort of spray or a type of brush on material to make my existing paper (on my helmet) sort of strong maybe? Then put on some like plastic body filler or clay perhaps? Because I don't want my paper to get warped on the process. Any suggestions?

-Jarred
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Unread 06-27-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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thanks for the pics, I took about 130 off of the movie endless waltz, but these add more realism
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Unread 06-27-2009, 07:50 PM   #11
zenithvsp
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Yeah don't mention it. I would highly suggest you use the pictures I have supplied you with to achieve the most realism as well as accuracy. Please feel free to post up any other questions you may have, and good luck!

-Jarred
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Unread 06-29-2009, 08:04 AM   #12
alterationsbyem
 
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So attempt 2 at the knees was much better last night. I used foamboard that was covered in a papermache type stuff. It is working out so much better and it is very strong. I giggle when I picked up the fully dry item this morning, onto thighs and belt. Otakon is coming up fast...
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Unread 06-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #13
zenithvsp
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Do you mind providing pictures for the thread? Also when is the "Otakon" any how?

-Jarred
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Unread 06-29-2009, 05:11 PM   #14
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here is the pic after the second coat of paster of paris stuff


www.otakon.com
July 17 - 19 2009
Baltimore MD
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Unread 06-29-2009, 06:46 PM   #15
zenithvsp
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Awesome! That material you used looks much more promising compared to what I'm using. Which is cardboard, fiberglass resin, and paper clay. Ha Well hopefully in the near future I can take some pictures of....something that's finished....or somewhat. What time frame are you trying to make the suit in (how long do you have)?

-Jarred
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