Step 3: Patterning your armor

A solid project always starts with solid blueprints. There are numerous ways to go about getting these, and with videogames being 3D modeled in the first place, a savvy builder can extract game files into 3D models which can be manipulated in a ton of programs.

A friend of mine was able to pull the game files from Skyrim into a series of 3D models I could rotate and view in Photoshop. I used these to take still screengrabs of the armor from head-on angles, then traced the patterns into flat shapes in Illustrator. This took some tweaking; the initial blueprints I made were often too small when wrapped around a curved shape, so they needed to be modified here and there.

I have a duct tape mannequin I made of my torso which makes projects like this much, much easier to work on. After printing out a set of armor templates, I'd loosely tape the parts together onto the form to approximate the shape of the armor. If pieces needed to be adjusted, I'd make alterations to the pattern, then print out a new piece.

Paper is a good analog for Wonderflex. While Wonderflex can take some gradual compound curves, it generally doesn't like to make any sort of "dome" type shape without darting or trimming it in order to do so. In the first photo, you can see how the seam line in the middle of the chest allows an outward compound curve, since the two facing edges are convex shapes. If you can build elements like these into your patterns, you'll save yourself a lot of frustration when trying to shape the Wonderflex later on.
<p>When you say &quot;NOTE: I got a little overzealous and did this before I had the armor strapping and rigging sorted. Its a better idea to wait until you've got all the snaps and screws in place before painting the inside of your armor.&quot; in step 15. Can you please elaborate on what you mean?</p>
<p>could I purchase one?</p>
<p>Do you take commissions? If so please let me know, I would love to commission you for a simple chest plate and headdress :)</p>
<p>He does do commission work and might be willing to take on your project. Check out his website at</p><p>http://www.volpinprops.com</p>
<p>What is the purpose of the damp towel in Step 7? Does it affect the texture of the Wonderflex? Did you have any problems with the wonderflex sticking to the towel?</p>
I love the depth and detail of this instructable and of how you created everything! Thank you so much!
<p>Thank you so much, this tutorial is so in depth and easy to follow! </p>
<p>Can I use the techniques described here, with the apoxie sculpt, on worbla? Or will this only work with wonderflex?</p>
<p>wow just wow you have such great costumes and props. </p>
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<p>This online store is now shipping Wonderflex:</p><p>WWW.COSPLAYSUPPLY.EU</p><p>Fast delivery into Europe!</p>
<p>dear volpin, i am an aspiring prop maker and this instructable inspired me to make my own suit of armor, its my first costume, check out my instructable on it and tell me what you think! </p>
Only bad thing is, Wonderflex is so expensive.. So if you're poor (like me) you can't afford to really do anything with it.. Sadly.. :(<br><br>Amazing btw!! 0.0
<p>try using cardboard instead, then use pepakura armor techniques to finish it, like bondo and fiberglass</p>
<p>Mr. Krix (Volpin) you are the BEST propmaker of all time!!</p>
<p>Oh, well doesn't this look complicated..... At least it's totally worth it!</p>
<p>honestly i want to make stuff like this, or anything from video games in general, but i have no idea where to start! Extremely jealous! You do brilliant work!</p>
<p>THIS. IS. CRAZY GOOD! This makes me want to be the dragonborn for halloween :)</p>
Ya I was wondering about the thickness and also, could you give the dimensions of the paper blueprints of this?
<p>You said that wonderflex comes in three different thicknesses, so I was wondering, what thickness of the wonderflex did you end up using?</p>
Cool.How did you make the mannequin?
Hi is it possible if I can buy from you the blueprints for this armor
Super cool! Reminds me of Narnia...
This is just... wow... it looks EXACTLY like the game :O
A really great tutorial, but how did you get the fur on there in the final piece? I might have missed a step or something but did you just glue it on the armor when you finished?
I am now buying wonderflex in truckloads
Can you help me with extra details just comment back and i will tell you my email i want to make thanks by the way nice cosplay
How much did you spend cause im making a helmet right now and a have $60 so will i have enough for the chest piece
I'm gonna try and keep to a 100$ budget. Don't know how it's going to turn out.
:P This will be perfect for Project Mystogan. If you can make this I hope I can make what I need
Early in the video about weathering you were applying decals to the gun. <br>I was curious as to the method and materials used. It looks to me like it's a screen printing setup, and am wondering what methods you used to create the screen, I've done homemade screen printing before, and it looked nowhere near as nice as that.
awesome + sauce = this !
Smithing increased to 100!
By the gods you are the Dragon Born
Great stuff, Harrison - really nice instructable.<br> <br> One thing you might want to check out is Smooth-on's <a href="http://www.smooth-on.com/Epoxy-Putty-Free-F/c1390_1391/index.html" rel="nofollow">&quot;Free-Form Air Epoxy Putty&quot;</a> as a replacement for Apoxy Sculpt - it is crazy-light, carves and smooths well, is super easy to mix (knead) about the hardness of maple... and did I mention light? (it will float in water).&nbsp; I've been using it to replace some of my uses of Magic Sculpt and have been impressed with it.
does it shrink when hardening?
Not that I've noticed - no appreciable amount, anyway - and can't think why it would. It's composed of glass micro-spheres and epoxy - so there's nothing to shrink, really.
Thanks for the info on Free-Form Epoxy Putty. It looks like a very useful product.
Congratulations on your win! Well deserved! <br>
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can&rsquo;t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
mother of Gods!! this is one of the most detailed &amp; impressive I'ble i have seen! <br>any I'ble for the battle axe too??
I don't have an instructible for the axe, but I did detail the build process of it on my website: http://www.volpinprops.com/steel-axe-skyrim/<br><br>Thanks for the compliments!
I'll bet this costume is an attention-getter at all the Renaissance Festivals. :)
your paint job is pristine. flawless! i can't say enough good about it! <br> <br>
What an amazing tutorial! I hope to try this out for my Loki!Avengers costume this year! <br>One question though, about how much wonderflex did you use for this costume? I know it is more the the amount I would need for my armor (Loki's is pretty few and in between for his &quot;casual&quot; costume), but I would like to start stocking some up for more costumes/crazy stuff. <br>Thank you for taking the time to read my plea, and fo making this fantastic tutorial! :D
Funny, I was just checking out your new site like an hour ago. Then I'm looking over instructables and thought, that axe sure looks familiar. Awesome stuff man. Thanks for continuing to sharing your processes. I've been meaning to try some Wonderflex. You and Mike over at Blind Squirrel might just have inspired me to finally do it.
great job ,i go to ren-fest every year for swords and armor,never miss one in fla <br>yours look real good, <br>also other states been to them
I am impressed that you give such good insight: such as, the 2 different surfaces. Well, done. <br>

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