Showing posts with label Subject Delta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Subject Delta. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time To Suit Up – Part 2 – Subject Delta


Subject Delta builds always have a lot of pieces and parts.  Typically just when I think I’m done, I look and see that I have more to do.

Helmet – Check
Drill – Check
Backpack with tanks – No-Check
Suit Patched and Weathered – No-Check
Weight Belt – Are you kidding me!  I completely forgot!  ARGH!

After I got over my fear from the failed Night Guard build, I tackled the backpack and tanks.

The 2011 model had the tanks and pack were bolted directly to the frame inside the helmet.  This added bulk and weight and made traveling with it a pain.  Since the new goals were easier and lighter, I decided to make a real pack that could be bolted directly to the helmet and removed for transport.  Given the helmet is fiberglass and Bondo, it should take the weight, as long as I keep it as low as possible.

Let’s begin with the backpack base.

Yup.  That’s a popcorn bucket lid.  It’s tin.  It’s light.  It’s just about the right size.  All I had to do was add the PVC frame and some lights.

Two of these battery powered LED strips I got on sale at Home Depot will be mounted behind the lid and provide backlighting for the Eve and health tanks.

The other tanks simply needed to be tubes.  If I could store things in them, like water bottles or spare batteries, that would be a plus.  I tried a couple of different methods before settling on:

IMAG0829                                      IMAG0830

Two Folger’s coffee cans glued together.  Light and provide storage.  I used a little fiberglass and Bondo to smooth out some seams and details, but mostly it was glue and paint.

The smaller tank is just a piece of poster board that I soaked in resin and then added a band of fiberglass to reinforce the area where the nozzle would be.

These tanks are on my back.  Very few will actually even see this.  I’m not going to waste a lot of time on these kind of details, unless I was doing this for a contest.  This is for fun.  I’m going to keep it fun.


Results after painting.  I used my same technique from last year in painting these.  Age and rust effects are fun.

Now for the Even and health.  Again, I went through a couple of tests before getting to the final version.  Mainly leak tests.

DSCN0820 (2)

Most people use hair gel for the fluid.  I’ve talked to one person that used Gator-Aid in his build (brilliant!), but I’m kind of hung up on corn syrup and food dye.

DSCN0821                          DSCN0822DSCN0823

Now time to mount the backpack.  This I couldn’t get wrong.  I had to plan it out carefully and execute it once.  There's not a lot of weight, but enough to make me a little nervous.  I epoxied a piece of 3/4” MDF to the helmet to make up the hollow in the lid and provide a little more support.  The method I chose for the actual attaching was spring hollow wall anchors and washers.  Works great.

Oh, and I did have to cut the bottom off of the PVC frame so it would all fit in the trunk. I added two PVC couplings so I can attach it and remove it as needed.

I used much hot glue in attaching these things, and they’re holding well.

Backlighting looks too cool.



Now for the suit and weight belt.  The 2011 suit was a bit small.  I ordered a Tall, but got a regular.  The 2012 is a Tall, thank heavens.  Still, I was able to recycle a lot of the bits and details for the 2011 suit to the 2012 suit, like the patches, elbow and knee pads.

One piece I really wanted to upgrade was the Eve tube that runs down Delta’s left arm.  I had it last year, but you couldn’t see it.  Blue tube on blue suit.  It should have glowed, so let’s make the 2012 upgrade glow.

I basically made a foam pad for the tube to rest on, hollowed out the middle, and filled it with LEDs.


Now the belt was going to be easy.  Foam rectangles glued to a belt and weathered with shoe polish.


There was one more piece to add.  Something to the inside shoulders of the suit:
These are two pieces of foam rounded over my shoulders.  I call it the “Notman Device” after my friend Megan Notman.  She was concerned about the weight of the helmet on my shoulders and recommended some sort of frame or padding.  This also helps raise my shoulders and takes some of the weight off my head.  Turns out using a hard hat for the base causes the weight to be transferred right to your head and neck.  Joy.

The final suit turned out really well.  Just needs some weathering.

Weathering by coffee grounds and shoe polish.  It’s subtle, but just what I was after.



All I have to do now is pack it up, travel it to Dragon*Con, and have so much fun wearing it.  If you see me, come up and say “Hi”!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Subject Delta’s Drill Arm 2012 Edition


Last year’s drill was huge and heavy.  Wearing it actually did mess something up in my elbow and it hasn’t fully recovered.  So if I was going to do this again this year, I had to keep it light and build in better supports.

Keeping it light means using some materials that may not stand up to the drill motion.  That means it might not spin.  If it does, yeah!  If it doesn’t, yeah!  As long as it doesn’t cause me pain, I’m going to be happy.

Like last year, the main structure is PVC pipe.  Unlike last year, it is lighter amounts of PVC and has some flexible supports.

IMAG0702IMAG0703IMAG0704       IMAG0705IMAG0706IMAG0708

Everything is held in place with pop rivets.  The two cuffs actually help to distribute the weight to my whole arm and shoulder.  The blue pipe is actually a flexible PVC wire conduit.  It’s been used in a lot of builds this year.  Now on to the mechanics.  Time for another drill to die.

IMAG0698Pretty well gutted.

IMAG0700The new support system.

IMAG0710IMAG0711Not a lot of clearance for fingers here, but you can see the custom made pistol grip.  Much more comfortable than last years model.

                                          Beer.  So many uses.

Now for the *%$&#(#$$! cone.

I struggled with this for a while, but managed to get it eventually.IMAG0723

Now for resin and then fiberglass.

Now, the blades.

Lots of sanding, Bondo, sculpting putty, primer, and paint later and it’s done.

IMG_7238IMG_7239IMG_7240IMG_7241IMG_7242IMG_7243IMG_7244IMG_7245IMG_7246IMG_7247This is the battery pack for the drill.  The intention was to keep the whole thing self contained so I could take it off if I needed to without much help.

So, the big question, does it spin?  Sadly, no it does not.  Something broke lose on the drill shaft inside the cone and it does not spin.  Honestly, that doesn’t bother me at all.  I just wish I could get the drill motor out so I could lighten it up even more.  Plus with thing being made of fiberglass, if it did spin, it could actually hurt someone.  It still has enough oomph behind it to make a good melee weapon or a good “Either get on the escalator or get out of the way!” convention prod.