How's it going my fellow Vod. Got some stuff done over the weekend and got pics done today to provide some updates to the build.
I've got the majority of the main armor plates done as far as basic cutting and forming and here's a pic of the main parts as they stand for now, minus the backplate which is not pictured here:
They are in a rough state as all I've really done is design them, cut them out, form them and in the case of the thinner detail parts, cut them out and glue them on as well.
Here is a view of the arms:
I'm not 100% happy with the right shoulder plate right now which is the boxy one on the left in this photo. I had to do some intricate forming to get the right shape and it took a bit of engineering to do it as I want the angular shape. I may redesign this piece, but not sure yet. Also, not sure I like the cover detail piece on top of it. As you can see I've got the basic bicep plates done and am going to go with a bracer style hard gaunts.
Here is the right leg pieces:
I plan on attaching the boot plates to a pair of boots, once I decide on which ones to go with, but for now they are basically just formed, using a pair of my old military jungle boots.
Here is the left leg pieces:
As you can see, the knee plates are attached to the shins permanently. I'm not sure on the blocky transition at the bottom of the knee piece, and am thinking of tapering it upwards into the main plate, some way. Again, these are rough formed, and not detailed yet, so still lots more to do.
Here is a shot of the Chest Hose assembly. The lower left is the chest side and the upper right will connect to the backpack/jetpack:
This is a detail view of the chest side:
Basically I'm using a hydraulic/refridgerator/sink braided hose with hose connections for the chest hose. Since it is attaching to the chest in the front, I wanted to have the "L" connection so it would point towards my shoulder and over to the back. The black stuff is heat shrink tubing applied to the hose to give it a different look. Also, where you can see threads where the hose connector connects to the L piece, will have rubber "O" rings put on there like the back piece. I don't have any in the size needed for this connector and have to pick up some here in a couple days to fill in that gap.
This is a detail view of the back connection:
When you tighten down the connector to the fitting, it leaves some of the threads showing and I didn't like that. So I, figured use rubber "O" rings to fill in the gap and they look cool in the process. Where the 2nd set of "O"rings meets the octagonal piece will actually be inside the pack and will not be seen. I'm going to use a washer to help push up against the wall of the pack to hold the connector tight. The hose will be disconnected from this end when I need to take the torso apart. The chest side will be hard/permanently mounted to the chest. I also like the fact that the "O" rings make the whole thing look more sealed and airtight as well.
When I was planning the torso pieces, I needed to figure out a way to strap the front to the back over the shoulders. The thing is I just didn't want to put a strap over it with a typical buckle showing. So after some thought and looking at parts I had, I came up with this configuration:
The basic assembly is a formed and cut piece of foam on each end. The strapping itself is a piece of heavy duty nylon strapping with a piece of needlepoint grid plastic literally machine sewn to the top of the strapping piece. I used the sanding bit on my dremel and made a space for the strapping under the foam pieces so that they would sit flush against the top of the shoulder. The "bolts" you see are Chicago Screws which go all the way through and will be used to attach the shoulder connectors to the shoulders. I will use washers on the underside for reinforcement. The strapping will allow some flex so that I can slide the whole torso assembly over my head. If they break or mess up, I can undue the Chicago Screw and pull it apart and replace them if needed. Right now, I'm thinking of leaving a gap between the front and back torso pieces to have some flexibility there for putting the torso on. The sides will have a gap built in and a strap going from front to back to connect the sides. I still need to work on that as well.
This is what they look like loosely placed on the shoulder:
I haven't drilled the holes through the shoulders yet, as I need to do some more fitting and forming of the front to back to make sure I have good alignment of the front to back straps.
I like the way the strapping looks and I'm thinking of using them for all my strapping pieces on this kit. It will also keep it uniform for the total look. I will adjust the strapping sizes to the pieces, but really like the way the strapping looks. Haven't decided on the final color of the white plastic though. Thinking it might be a metal or copper or such metal finish. Since it is attached to the nylon already, I'll probably have to use "rub-n-buff" or such to color them. Or I could also just paint on the finish using my model brushes so it doesn't mess up the nylon strap. Which also means that for the rest I need to paint the plastic grids first, then sew them to the strapping. LOL, oh well, welcome to on the fly engineering.
Well, that's it for the major updates for now.
Work on detailing all the main plates with lines and textures and such to give them dimension.
I picked up a piece that I will be using for the little chest box that will be on my right front and need to get it in place, fitted in and figure out any more chest parts that will have LED lighting and put in the LED lighting kit to light up some bits on the front, etc...
Work on making the rest of the strapping for the armor attachment
Make the/sew the soft armor cod piece
I need to look at working on the buy'ce.
I need to pick up washers and more "O" rings for the connector pieces.
Work on attaching the chest hose to the chest at some point
Work on the shoulder strap alignment and fitting
Still researching on my weapon build
Once the details are done, actually glass the plates and work on hardening them
etc. etc. etc...long way to go.
Again, thanks for the feedback.
:-) More to come soon....