Working on the torso was the next step. My plan was to have the Warlord stand roughly 26 inches at the top of the shoulders. This meant the torso needed to be 15 inches tall. I decided to use various thicknesses of PVC sheets for most of the construction. I chose this material because it is inexpensive, easy to cut and glues exceptionally well.
The bottom is made from 3/4″ expanded PVC. The front and back are 1/4″ solid PVC. In retrospect, I would use expanded for the front and back. I wanted the solid for additional strength, but the solid PVC is far heavier and I really did not need the additional stiffness and I would have been better with less weight.
I cut 3 inch hole in the bottom and glued in a PVC reducer to mate with the hips I built. I then cut the front and glued it to the bottom. Note the stiffener.
Next I added an identical piece for the back with another stiffener.
Here is a view from the front and 3/4 front.
Next I will post the shoulders.
I saw this guy at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA over the weekend.
This is one impressive Dark Angel costume.
It is typically said to take it from the top, but in this case I decided to start at the bottom. As I mentioned, I wanted something that was more than just toes connecting to the lower leg, so this meant creating a foot and ankle.
In this case, I started with a 1.5″ to 3″ PVC adapter and cut it to be about 1.25″ tall. This would serve as my foot. The basis of the toes would come from 0.5″ expanded PVC cut and beveled in layers. I would later add some detail parts to make them more interesting.
I wanted the model to be able to pose the model. This meant I needed to create joints. I had already decided to build the lower skeleton from PVC tubes. This approach allowed me to prototype quickly and make changes easily. Because I wanted movable joints I needed to develop a good joint design that worked with the PVC and one that was easy to build. My choice was to use PVC t-connectors as the basis for the joints.
I made the joints by cutting a t-connector and inserting the next size smaller in the larger t-connector and gluing the end portion of the larger t-connector back to hold the smaller t-connector in place. These joints are used for both the ankles and knees.
Along with hips made from 90 degree elbows, this gave me a lower body that could be posed into basically any position. Ultimately, I may be forced to pick a pose and glue the joints once the model is complete to provide the stability I need, but at least I will be able to create a natural pose and then lock it down.
So at this point I am ready to start working on the armour and torso.
I started by finding a basic look I wanted to use as inspiration to build from. After spending a lot of time looking at old Epic models and sites like Dakka. I found these guys: The-TitanManufactorum.
Their designs are nice, big and not too difficult to build, but without being too boxy.
They have lots of nice detail and don’t look like a typical scratch build titan.
After looking at these titans a lot I decided I wanted to model from the same basic profile, but with some key differences.
- I like the angles, but I think some curves will add a lot to the feel. Particularly for the lower and upper leg locations as well as the corners of the rear engine compartments.
- Some of the gears in these designs appear to not actually be able to produce the motion the are responsible for. I wanted to use some of the traditional hydraulic actuators for movement because I think they will better reflect what they are supposed to do.
- The feet and toes on these models, are nice, but they don’t have the look and feel of stability and ruggedness that I want. To me, it appears that there is no actual foot, but the toes just connect to a point at the bottom of the leg. To improve on this, I want to make actual foot elements with fewer toes made from thicker material and with several layers.
- Many of the panel lines appear to be there just for the sake of detail and would not actually be there in practice. I will try to put panel lines in natural locations.
- These models appear to be built of foam. I like this from a weight perspective, but I wanted something more sturdy and with cleaner edges. To accomplish this I am using expanded PVC for the outer armor plates. This material is reasonably light, quite strong, glues extremely well and in relatively cheap.
Stay tuned for more updates as I start posting the progress of the project.