NCR Ranger Armor // Fallout

About: I'm just a poor high school student who loves video games, pasta, and sleeping in.

Intro: NCR Ranger Armor // Fallout

Getting bored of all the other projects i'm working on, this weekend I decided to do a quick armor build. I made this more as a skill building exercise, rather than an actual costume. This armor is based on a NCR Ranger's chest plate (from the game Fallout). Full disclosure, I have not played Fallout yet, so the armor probably is not super accurate, but I thought it looked cool.

This build didn't cost me a cent, because I owned all the materials, and it took about 8 hours to complete.

Step 1: Materials

- A .5" inch foam mat.

- Exacto knife / blades / personna blades

- Dremal and a sanding bit

- Hot glue gun / hot glue

- A heat gun

- Acrylic Paint

- Painter's tape

- Salt

Step 2: Patterning and Foam Shaping

To begin with, I drew out the basic shape on some newspaper. I put it on my maniquin and added some darts to the chest. I drew out the pattern on the foam, then I drew out where I wanted the detail pieces. Next I cut everything out with an exacto knife. I ended up with 11 pieces. I had 9 large detail plates, and 2 thin pieces that would inlay in between the plates.

I heated the foam up and molded it with my hands to get the curves I wanted. For the chest piece I used a ball to help form it. I'd just heat up the foam, then press it over the ball. Shaping is quite easy if you take your time, but be careful so as not to burn yourself, or the foam.

Step 3: Dremaling

I took my dremal with a sanding bit and went over all the edges to smooth them out. I also added some battle damage to the foam.

To make it look wore, I raked the dremal over the pieces I wanted to be scuffed up. I added some bullet holes, and some scrapes.

Step 4: Putting the Pieces Together

If you remember when I cut everything out of foam, I had the 9 plates, but I also had the foam I cut the plates out of. I wanted my armor to have more dimension, so I took the thin foam scraps, and glued them between the plates. I made sure to glue them so the plates stuck out, but the scraps were inverted (It's easier to look at the pictures). I cut the extra foam off with a personna blade (an exacto knife would work just as well)

Step 5: More Gluing and Inlaying

I did the same thing to the waist of the armor, then glued it to the top.

Step 6: Gorget

So the armor I based this off of, has this weird neck guard thing (someone informed me it's called a gorget). It's not high enough to really protect your neck though, so I'm not really sure if it has any use other than for aesthetics.

I took a foam scrap, and drew out the shape, then I cut it out. I cut the widest side of the trapezoidal shape, at a steep angle, so that it would sit properly on the armor. I cut two channels in the foam ( not all the way through the foam ), then glued the channels together, so I had a slight curve to the gorget. I marked where I wanted to put the piece then glued it on.

Step 7: Painting

Before I began painting, I carefully went over the whole piece with a heat gun on low heat. I did this until the foam started to look a little shiny. This helps close the pores in the foam, so you don't have to use gobs paint later on. It's basically a poor man's sealant.

I painted the whole thing in a blue wash, then went over it with a dark blue.

Step 8: Stickers

So the armor from Fallout has some things stenciled on it. On one breast there is a fist, the other LAPD RIOT, and on the gorget's the numbers 08. I really didn't want to free hand these on armor, so I decided to use painters tape.

I taped some pieces down on my cutting board, then drew out the stencil, I wanted. I cut out the pieces with an exacto knife. This gave me some nice stencils to paint over.

Step 9: More Painting.

I transferred the tape to the armor, and painted it white. Some of the edges were smeared, so I cleaned it up with some more navy paint.

To begin weathering, I started by adding black to all the low inlaying parts of the armor, then added some scuffs on the rest of the chest.

Next I took some silver paint, and smeared it over all the edges, and into the damage I had inflicted earlier. This makes it look more like chipped paint.

Step 10: Rust Rust Rust

I wanted a really old, beat up look, so I painted rust over all the silver I had made.

To make the rust, I mixed burnt umber, orange, and salt together. The salt is what really makes it look realistic in my opinion, it gives it a nice grainy texture, like actual rust has.

I dabbled black paint in the ridges and holes of the armor to add even more depth.

Step 11: All Done

There we go, I think for a one day build it turned out quite nicely.

If you are confused by any of the steps feel free to ask me in the comments, or message me. :)



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    22 Discussions


    11 days ago

    Could you send a picture of the back, and how to strap it on?


    12 days ago

    Wow! That’s so cool. The salt idea is brilliant!


    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Also, how do you wear this? I am not sure how to put it on, I just want to know. Thanks!


    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thanks, I saw this and was confused. I thought that might be what you meant, butwasn't sure.


    8 months ago

    Hey so first off, this looks absolutely amazing. Question though, a lot of tutorials recommend plastic dip and contact cement, any advice on these products?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    I have tried using Plasti dip twice and both times I've hated it. Maybe its the MN weather but Plasti Dip always seems to bubble up giving my props a bumpy texture. I used it on my foam Loki helmet and it made it all lumpy and wouldn't sand down. I heard if you put Plasti Dip in a can of warm water it won't do that, but I haven't tried it after my bad experiences. To seal my props I usually do 2-3 coats of Elmer's glue or I heat seal it. I've learned over the years that if you don't seal your props and they are malleable the paint can start to crack over time especially if you use spray paint. As for contact cement I absolutely love it! I used to use hot glue as adhesive for all of my foam props, but hot glue is very bulky and can lead to weird lumps on your seam lines. I started using contact cement last year and it is absolutely fantastic, it's so much cleaner and quicker to use because you just slather it on the two surfaces you want to glue together, let it dry and simply press them together. Just make sure when using contact cement, you are in a well ventilated area or outside. Contact cement is great for gluing seam lines on, but I use super glue for details a lot. I believe this was the last build I made out of foam that comprised of only hot glue as an adhesive just because of how easy contact cement makes projects.


    1 year ago

    I love the shape, color, and rust effects of the armor. You could make more detailed stencils, though. Overall, I loved it!


    1 year ago

    This is nothing less than outstanding!! But be careful, the right person see's this, and you will be making props and who knows what for these big movie companies. This is the most realistic armor I have ever seen someone build. It truly appears to be rusted, wonderful job!!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Wow, very nice! I've never worked with foam like this, but you make it look very approachable.

    And as others have said, great work on the weathering!


    1 year ago

    I've never played Fallout but your build looks sweet. I've never used foam but seeing so many cool 'ibles has me wanting to try something.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    I highly recommend using foam, It's very forgiving, light and cheap.

    Pernickety Jon

    1 year ago

    Very good, especially the ageing; the rust especially so.
    How did you heat the foam early in the project - the heat gun again?
    The 'neck thingy' is a 'Gorget'; originally a piece of armour to protect the throat and neck. It's use later diminished to ornamentation. Has lately returned to increasing use on police/military armour and Fallout LAPD riot vests.

    1 reply