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Unread 08-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
doctorkrueger
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Question Mass Effect N7 Armour Help?

Alright, I've been searching all kinds of tutorials and blogs, but I still have a few questions from a list that I've tried to narrow because I didn't want to spam the forum with things that have been answered already. I am, as the title might hint, about to begin working on a set of EVA foam armour, based on this template.

My questions, though, are as follows:

1. What thickness of foam do you suggest for this build?
2. I read that most people will use between 14-18 squares-- is this an accurate assumption?
3. I know, this is an idiotic question, but HOW ON EARTH do I work the curvature on the chestplate?! (I've never built anything with EVA before, but I have done small projects with thinner craft foam... does heat come into play? What kinds of supplies will I need for this step?)
4. Any ideas on the best paint to use over foam?
5. This part is far-off and unrelated to the foam questions, but I do want to put lighting into the back eventually... and I was wondering if anyone knew of a solid and involved tutorial (I can be fairly incompetent at times.) that would give me an idea of what I needed to do.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
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Unread 08-08-2013, 01:38 AM   #2
Kelley
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1. Not sure. Sometimes thickness used varies from piece to piece within a project, too.
2. You can take measurements and/or draw out a pattern to be sure. It will of course depend on the size of the foam sheets - some are larger, some smaller.
3. Yes, heat - it's the same thing as craft foam.
4. There are lots of good videos and written tutorials out there about this. Make sure you understand how and seal the foam first before painting it.
5. I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but you try searching "working with LEDs for costumes" or something similar if that's what you're referring to.

You would also likely get a better response in the Props forum (also, it would help for a bigger/clearer reference picture - and definitely character art since that will give a better idea of things like thickness that a template won't).
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Unread 08-08-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelley View Post
1. Not sure. Sometimes thickness used varies from piece to piece within a project, too.
2. You can take measurements and/or draw out a pattern to be sure. It will of course depend on the size of the foam sheets - some are larger, some smaller.
3. Yes, heat - it's the same thing as craft foam.
4. There are lots of good videos and written tutorials out there about this. Make sure you understand how and seal the foam first before painting it.
5. I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but you try searching "working with LEDs for costumes" or something similar if that's what you're referring to.

You would also likely get a better response in the Props forum (also, it would help for a bigger/clearer reference picture - and definitely character art since that will give a better idea of things like thickness that a template won't).
Thank you for your answers! Actually, the template that I posted was a tiny version of what I have-- I saved individual PSD files of each piece, and I suppose that's what you meant by a bigger or clearer reference. I have time, so I want to make sure that I do this the right way, instead of rushing to finish. As for the LEDs, that's right-- I think I found a good tutorial based on the lighting in a TRON costume, though, so I'll look further into that (Also, my dad may have some insight in that realm, so I'll check with him, too.).

I was looking around the other forums, and you're absolutely correct about the placing... there's also one based completely around Mass Effect and I can only assume that some of those members have built this armour before, but... do you know how I go about moving a post..? (Sorry, still a bit new to figuring out the site!)
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Unread 08-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Check this: http://volpinprops.blogspot.com/search?q=n7
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Unread 08-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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1. For my N7 armor I used the standard thickness (1/4" or 1/2" I think?).

2. I used a total of two packages of EVA foam interlocking floor mats: 8 squares total (I'm 5'4, 114lbs for reference). I cut it extremely close on materials. I also supplemented some of the accents/smooth parts with thick sheets of craft foam though.

3. To get the foam to curve you are going to want to use a heat gun. EVA foam takes really well to heat (it's a fantastic material). The hardest thing I ran into was the female chest armor. I ended up marking out where I wanted everything to be on the back side and picked up one of those cheesy plastic coconut bras from the local dollar store (they had a bunch of luau stuff). I took it apart and used the plastic bra cups to mold the heated foam over (be sure to heat from the back mainly; You may have to heat the front part as I did but be careful because too much heat WILL melt the foam. I had to do it a little at a time). I also hear that placing the foam sheet in the oven will make it super easy to mold but I didn't want to put foam in my over (toxic fumes and all that).

4. I kept my foam grey but used normal acrylic craft paint for the stripes. Spray paint works on EVA foam as well without dissolving it like a lot of other foams.

5. For the lighting I made deeply indented sections to pop thick glowsticks into. I was on a tight budget and schedule but it ended up looking really good. I wanted to use EL wire but wasn't able to for this project; If you want to go that route you can get it online and I've also seen small sections of it for sale at Party City.

Be sure you wear safety equipment when you heat the foam! A respirator mask is especially recommended.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Also, I recommend using a heated blade to cut out the shapes of the armor pieces. Using a regular blade will result in jagged edges and they are really a giant paint to get smooth. I started off this way and even after sanding, heating, and smoothing out the edges, it still wasn't completely flat.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Its a bit scattered through the pages and not super "tutorial like" but you can see some of the steps this guy did for his N7 armor. (on the right side is a build day list you can see more progress)
http://bioweapons.wordpress.com/2010...7-armor-build/
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Unread 08-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stax View Post
1. For my N7 armor I used the standard thickness (1/4" or 1/2" I think?).

2. I used a total of two packages of EVA foam interlocking floor mats: 8 squares total (I'm 5'4, 114lbs for reference). I cut it extremely close on materials. I also supplemented some of the accents/smooth parts with thick sheets of craft foam though.

3. To get the foam to curve you are going to want to use a heat gun. EVA foam takes really well to heat (it's a fantastic material). The hardest thing I ran into was the female chest armor. I ended up marking out where I wanted everything to be on the back side and picked up one of those cheesy plastic coconut bras from the local dollar store (they had a bunch of luau stuff). I took it apart and used the plastic bra cups to mold the heated foam over (be sure to heat from the back mainly; You may have to heat the front part as I did but be careful because too much heat WILL melt the foam. I had to do it a little at a time). I also hear that placing the foam sheet in the oven will make it super easy to mold but I didn't want to put foam in my over (toxic fumes and all that).

4. I kept my foam grey but used normal acrylic craft paint for the stripes. Spray paint works on EVA foam as well without dissolving it like a lot of other foams.

5. For the lighting I made deeply indented sections to pop thick glowsticks into. I was on a tight budget and schedule but it ended up looking really good. I wanted to use EL wire but wasn't able to for this project; If you want to go that route you can get it online and I've also seen small sections of it for sale at Party City.

Be sure you wear safety equipment when you heat the foam! A respirator mask is especially recommended.
This was really super helpful, thank you so much! And I rather like the idea of using glow sticks for now, too. I'm running with only a month to get this finished now, so I'll probably focus on the armour first and deal wih the lighting for the next event.

Thanks again!
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