While building the Space Marine costumes, I didn't have access to any of the technology of the 41st millennium. As a result, I had to settle for making them not weigh tons. I also had to have people follow them around to make sure they wouldn't trip or fall over or bump their heads while walking through doorways.
Since I didn't like the idea of having the finest warriors of the Imperium of Man being shepherded around by a handful of people in jeans and t-shirts, I needed another option. The other option: have each of them accompanied by a small retinue of Imperial Guardsmen from the Cadian Regiments.
Here's a shot of the finished Guardsmen with one of my Space Marines:
For more pictuers and details of the build process, read on...
Just like the Halo Marines I built in 2011, this project started with Pepakura build. The digital models were pulled from the Space Marine video game. Here's all of the pieces built:
Once all of the paper models were made, each of the parts was then coated with polyester resin to make them more rigid:
After reinforcing the inside with a couple of layers of urethane casting resin, the Bondo smoothing begins:
Test fit with beginning of sculpted detail on helmet:
The complete helmet model also included goggles and a facemask. In order to maximize options, I figured I might as well make the facemask too:
I also tested a couple of pairs of goggles to see if they would fit with the helmet:
The first few pairs didn't really work out.
After reinforcing the chest and back pieces, I mounted them to a piece of MDF and then it was time to throw them on the vacforming table. Here's the first pull of the chest formed in black .040" ABS sheet:
And the back:
With the helmet smoothed out and shiny, it was time to mold. It just so happens that this was the same time as the sculpt for the Halo EVA helmet was ready to mold, so that's the huge helmet on the right:
The mold was made in much the same way as the rest of my helmet molds, starting with a silicone RTV jacket mold:
Then finishing with a 2-part fiberglass mothermold to keep everything straight:
The shoulder plates had started really bothering me at this point. Here's a shot of the reinforced vacforming bucks:
The original plan was to make them quick, easy shells vacformed in ABS and trimmed to fit. Unfortunately, they just looked cheap and flimsy. The solution was to add some thickness to give the illusion that they were actually built out of some sort of metal plate.
This was accomplished by making a form for a border piece to attach along the edges. Here's what the improved shoulder forms looked like:
The form on the left is used to shape an inside border that makes the shoulder plate look like it's almost an inch thick.
Shin Guards and Kneepads
The shin guards are pretty simple shapes, so I couldn't think of a reason to go through the trouble of building forming bucks. Instead, I decided to form them out of foamed PVC sheet. I started by building a rounded form and a paper template:
Then I cut pieces of foamed PVC (also called "Sintra") to the same shape as the template. Then, one at a time, the pieces were placed in a toaster oven until they were warm enough to shape by draping them over the form:
NOTE: heating up plastics in an oven like this will release every kind of poisonous vapor imaginable. It'll make you naseous, give you nostril cancer, and it probably kills baby kittens. If you decide to do this, wear a respirator, work in a well-ventilated area, and stay away from unwitting innocent bystanders.
Once the parts had cooled, they stayed in whatever shape they were bent to. This was repeated until I had several pairs:
I also made 8" squares which were bent over the same form to make the back side.
Here's a pair all put together with a pair of black combat boots:
The soft parts were fairly simple at first. I started with a set of tan BDU Trousers and a tan BDU blouse that look like this in the catalogs:
Pants were completely unaltered. The shirt needed some work. It started with the removal of all of the pockets. Then the buttons. Then the strip of button holes and the cover flap from the left side of the shirt were cut off and attached to the new front panel.
Here's a pair all fitted up after the alterations:
My first impulse was to paint the hard parts with Rustoleum Army green. Once the paint dried, I realized it was WRONG:
The much better option was Krylon Ultra-Flat Olive:
Sorry, that picture is wrong. The only proper expression for Imperial Guard cannon fodder is some sort of abject fear:
Since the parts still looked way too clean, the next step was to do a quick blackwash as well as stencil on some unit identification markings:
Remember the facemask? I almost didn't. Here's a shot of it with a bit more bodywork done:
After molding and casting and painting, it came out like so:
Somewhere along the way I started stocking up web gear and pouches for these guys:
The canteen is an old US-issue cold weather canteen. The pouch on the right is a new MOLLE ammo pouch.
I also sculpted out these little emblems to add to the gear:
The winged skulls were designed to glue on over the "US" on the canteen pouch.
So here's the whole rig without the chest armor and the helmet:
And here's what it looks like with all of the parts put together (including a lasgun prop from a talented fellow maker by the name of Matsuo):
We had a bit of fun screwing around with the camera:
The goofy action shots were fun:
But the best part was taking them out with the Space Marines:
Now that I've had them out and about a couple of times, I've come up with lots of improvements and alterations I'd like to make.
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