Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Back To The Drawing Board


Since I'm stuck with a few obstacles to sort out right now, I decided it's a good time to step back and jump  on the computer and do a little designing again. Picking out a few good Gundam Strike Freedom logos and some randomly generic "Caution" icons to cover the costume.

Found a few images online, but they're too low res. And my costume is super large scale, chances of finding 'decals' to fit my scale are next to none. So, I'd have to recreate them all. Part of the fun!

A couple of work-in-progress logos.

Design: Shoulders, Arms, and Chest

And to continue the costume build past the helmet, here I start to see how the next stage would be. The shoulders, arms, and torso. 

I always said that if I can't get the proportions to work for my body, I wouldn't continue with the costume.  Do it right or don't do it at all. My goal from the beginning was always to make a "chibi" version of Gundam. Specifically, the FW Converge series of Gundams. (Pictured top right)

Roughing in the initial sketches over my body, I maybe able to get the shoulders and arms right. But, unfortunately, the torso isn't looking good. I just don't have a skinny waist to pull it off. So, it seems the costume will end there. Well, I still can get the chest finished.

I think that's good enough. It'll have all the elements I want in the costume. Building the legs would just restrict my movements anyways.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

All Primed Up


All the major pieces are complete. And a few smaller details. The entire head was painted primer. Was super excited to get to this part. But, that excitement quickly turned into disappointment. Now that the entire head was one solid colour, ALL the detail errors is visible now! Had to fill in areas with putty. Some I'm still hoping I can fill in with paint later. (Hoping the paint is thick enough to do so)

Obstacle: There was a gunk of hot glue between the helmet and the "sideburn". Even after I cut out as much as I could, the mess was still clearly visible. A total eyesore! UGH!! Either I go back in and just pick at it with a knife or razor until it's all gone... or just figure out a way to just cover it up. I doubt the paint is thick enough to cover this one up. Solution: yet to be figured out.

Looking pretty good sitting there... from afar. BUT...

Obstacle: And this one is a HUGE one. I had to try it all on. With everything on. Wanted to see the weight and its distribution. And it's not good. Not good at all. The V-fins, while isn't that heavy in my hands independently, weighs significantly more when it's mounted on the forehead. This is because it's a good distance from my own head/neck. When in motion, this weight is even more noticeable. Even though the entire head with all the gizmos only weighs 4 lbs. it's pretty light. BUT, I'm in it for the comfort as well... remember, no compromises. I want this thing to be super light. As if I'm only wearing a hat. A hat that I can wear for an extended period of time. I could mold and cast the entire unit in foam. But, that's really REALLY expensive. Solution: yet to be figured out.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Face Detail:

Sitting there, looking at the face... I felt it needed a bit of make-up. A little something something to make her prettier for a fun night out. Bit more detail work.

 Some paneling

 Some Eyeliner

Obstacle/Challenge: What do I do for the eyes? I want something yellow, like the show. Preferably, something that can glow/light up. Has mechanical detail, like the mohawk lens. And, most importantly, it MUST minimize my obstructed view! Solution: Yet to be figured out.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mohawk Lens


There is a forehead camera on most every Gundam. It's in the area right above the V-fins.

The lit green box above the eyes.

Putting in video cameras and integrating a sort of CCTV system into the helmet proved to be too expensive, I'll just make something fancy in its place. I'll leave that option open when I win the lottery. Then again, if I win the lottery, I'll build a full scale working Gundam!

 Building the mold out of plasticine. Designed it with random shapes so it looks anime-ish/mechanical.

Built up walls for the pour

Here's a quick video of me mixing up the resin...

Gave a couple days to dry and harden up good. 90% of all the tiny bubbles also rose up to the surface and popped. (I had initially coaxed some of the bubbles out of the corners/cracks with a pin) Take the mold off, scraping out the plasticine out with sculpting tools. Getting it out of every nook and cranny.

Tinted it clear blue. Planning on putting some LEDs behind it to shine through. The light should refract around the odd shapes I made. Showing all the detail.

Made a little box to mount the LEDs ... whenever they come in the mail.

The test fit. Lookin good.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I'm Your Fan


Now, to install the second fan. This one is in the back end of the "mohawk". Where all the hot air rises up and the fan will draw it outward.

A view through the tailpipe/thrusters

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Now That's Prime

Let's get some colour onto these pieces! Well.. for starters, we need to prime anything that will be painted.

This looks good in matte grey. Hmmm.. not a bad colour choice!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Light Em Up


Time to dabble in the wiring. Not my forte, that's for sure. But, I know the basics... enough to get by on this project. Not going to do anything crazy. 

Back on the machine guns:
With the flashlight disassembled, I soldered a positive and negative wire to their respective points no the circuit.

Tested it out with the battery pack that came with the flashlight. You can see a rough schematic drawing of my circuitry of all the elements going in to the helmet. 4 switches that would control the lighting and fans. Power drawn from a small portable 12v battery.

Wish I did know more about electronics , or else I really would go nuts. (fog generator, strobing lights, neon lighting, motorized faceplate, pop-up panelling, robotic voice changer, etc. ... possibilities are endless!)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Switch it up

Needed to find a good place to install the switch plate.

 Inside? On the back? Or the brow ridge? Under the chin?
 I think this is the way to go. Easiest to access. Those switches would be covered up by the "goatee"

Only thing I have to sort out is all the wiring that needs to get to switch plate. Obstacle being the fact that the wires needs to travel around a retractable face. Not really a big deal... since I built a convenient "channel" into the hinge point. Where I can pipe all my wiring through without the worry of any of the wires pinching by the pivoting action,

With a "scratch of the chin", I'm able to turn on all my lights and fans now.

Mohawk Dressing


Looking at the top piece, aka "mohawk".. it looked kind of boring. So, spicing it up...

Friday, 17 February 2012

Max Thrust


Again, like the machine guns, this exhaust port/tailpipe was originally printed out from Pepakura. And eventually decided against the laborious work in folding the insane small triangles. Thinking a simple pipe would do the trick!

Sandwiched 3 pieces of plastic, beveled it, heated it up, curled it up...

A bit o slicin' and dicin'

No one would care how much work was involved in getting that subtle curve into those tiny pieces... but me. O.. and now you. haha

Most of these detail bits are designed on the fly and in my head. It's a hit or miss process.

Here, I thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if I can design a cool afterburner looking plates?!?" 
Uh... looking at it completed.. it's a big no. No, it isn't cool.

I'm lame.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

More devils. In the details.

Machine Guns:

The machine guns were designed in Maya and eventually printed out from Pepakura. But, a quick glance at the insane work to make those out of paper... I said, "screw that!" I figured I can fabricate something from scratch much easier.

I had originally wanted to put actual video cameras into these spots. Then have these cameras hooked up to a pair of virtual glasses. That way I can see everything in front of me. Rather than the tiny eye holes in the face mask. Alas, that was a really expensive route. And my compromise was to just put LED lights in that location.

Picked up these cheapo LED flashlights from the dollar store! Clamped them down on my vise and sawed them in half with my trusty Dremel tool.

Now, it's the perfect size. Even has the placement of LEDs that makes it look like machine guns! Perfect. With 2 mounted on either side of the helmet, I'd get a great flood light in front of me. Perfect for night walks. If I had a dog, I'd TOTALLY walk it at night with the helmet on.

Dressing it up. Here I'm heating up a PVC pipe so I can wrap it around the "machine gun"

Voila. Randomly designed on the fly. Using whatever scraps I had in front of me.