Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 34 - Rough Mask

Still a rough, but looking much more like the final product now. It's only held together with tape right now, but when I get a final overall shape done, I'll attach the braided tubes permanently either with glue or by sewing them on.

Direct flash doesn't do the new mask any justice, but I usually can only work on this at night and available light is too dim. I took a closeup photo of just the new mask that will hopefully show some of the details a little better.

I still need to make the bridge of the nose that connects with the goggles. To prevent the goggles from fogging up (or at least minimize it), I'm going to glue on some strips of foam across the inside of the cheeks to act sort of like weather stripping. This should keep my breath from traveling up the mask and fogging up the lenses by forcing it to go either down or out through the vents in the front.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 28 - Custom Mannequin

To help facilitate fitting the armor (both the paper mockup and the real one), I'm making a custom mannequin of myself out of paper tape. I used the kind that they use for shipping boxes, so you have to wet the adhesive before it will stick. After you apply 3 or 4 layers of it, it gets pretty stiff once it's dry. Since it's impossible for me to cover myself with tape, I enlisted the help of my wife who did a great job so far on the torso. We started this somewhat late, so we'll have to finish the arms and legs another day.

On a side note, who knew this project would be such a multi-disciplinary endeavor? Sewing, shoemaking, vacuum forming, mold-making, and now mannequins...whew! Thankfully, the mannequin will be reuseable for anything else I decide to tackle (maybe not literally, since it takes so damn long to make one. Badum CHING).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 26 - More Armor

I've started doing a paper mockup of the arrangement for the muscle armor. (It's made from old reports and faxes from work, so I'm doing what I can to recycle.) I'll be making most if not all of the armor initially in paper so I don't waste any of the more expensive materials. You know what they say: measure twice, cut once. This version needs some tweaking of the proportions (as you can probably tell, I'm not quite as muscular as the Delta Force guys in the game), and the angles of the collarbone area are a little too steep I think, but it's a start. I think when it gets down to the actual materials, I'll have to make a flat paper pattern (like with normal sewing projects) in addition to this mockup so I can align all the pieces properly.

I haven't made much progress on the boots yet, because I still have to figure out how to cover it with the straps properly (glue or sew?) and how to make the back ankle area. I was thinking of either cannibalizing an old pair of inline skates or fabricating it from scratch with plastic or craft foam.