In my initial plan to redo this tutorial, I had planned on slathering on all of the bells and whistles: posting detailed patterns, making full motion video of every step, materials list, the whole nine yards. In fact, I had taken several hours (176 separate clips) worth of webcam video and was industriously editing it towards this very end....
And then...as I was sinking my teeth into the project... I realized just how tedious, hideous and brain-meltingly AWFUL a task video editing really was. I mean, filming and hammering out the occasional small-project tutorial really isn't all that taxing, but when you have 900 megabytes worth of material to go over, it can be downright soul-sucking. (Also, at the rate I was getting it done, it's highly unlikely I would have had this tutorial finished before Christmas.)
So rather than hammer away at this boondoggle for the next few months, trying to produce something polished (or at least coherent), here's what I'm going to do...
I'll post all of the information I currently have on the project, which should go a long way towards helping you make it.
Here's a link to the original Cosplay Article that inspired me to make this project:
Here is a folder where you'll find my newly revised (as of July 2007) pattern pieces. I pretty much changed ALL of the pattern pieces in some way shape or form. Included are some assembly instructions and Ed reference pictures...
The patterns should be to the proper scale. You should be able to right-click and capture the patterns and then print them out using a graphics program like Photoshop. You can also print out the patterns to scale using Microsoft Paint. (Just remember to enter your Page Setup and enable the program to print the images out over multiple pages--not have the images scaled to just a single page.) Whatever you do, DO NOT simply print the patterns out using your computer browser--they will NOT be to scale. Use a graphics program to print them out.
Since some of the patterns are larger than a typical 8-1/2" x 11" sheet, you may have to crop the image files and/or grab the patterns and move them around the page in order to print them out in their entirety. (Then you can tape the printed-out sections of the patterns together to form whole patterns.)
These patterns are, of course, one size fits all. You may have to alter certain parts of the patterns to get them to fit YOUR body proportions. This is something you'll have to work out for yourself. Needless to say, if you have experience with drawing or drafting clothing patterns, you'll have an easier time of it.
Please read and familiarize yourself with my Main Armormaking Tutorial before you attempt this project, as much of the info you'll need to know about materials and methods can be found in the Materials and Construction sections. This is a project with an Intermediate-Advanced difficulty level so I'd recommend developing your armormaking skills with smaller, simpler projects before you tackle this one.
Taking Proper Measurements...
It's something you have to do if you want to make a well-fitting suit of automail. Here are the list of measurements which I ask to have sent to me before I embark upon this project:
~Chest/bust: under the arms and around the chest, at the part that sticks out the most
~Shoulder length: Shoulder to shoulder.
~Waist: Around your belly button.
~Arm length: Shoulder to wrist/shoulder to elbow
~Widest part of your bicep with a bent arm
~Widest part of your forearm
~Distance from wrist to tip of middle finger
~Distance around palm (without thumb)
~Shirt size (for reference)
These should be taken with a soft measuring tape--the kind which you'll find for sale at most fabric stores.
Once you've printed, cut out and assembled the patterns, fit them to your fingers and arm. Tape on additional paper where you need the pattern to be bigger and cut it away at the sections where it needs to be smaller. You may want to make a prototype design for your automail out of tagboard/posterboard, which is a little stiffer than paper and will give you a good idea of how much mobility you'll have once your automail has been assembled.
Upon working out the final shape of the pattern, it's time to start the actual construction of this project.
Here's a materials list I included with my first draft of this tutorial. Hopefully you'll find it handy:
In the small handful of videos that I managed to finish, I am constructing the armor using styrene coated with silver PVC vinyl. Any sheet material that is thicker (and/or a different color, like the tan sheet I used for the upper arm piece) is 3mm thick craft foam, available at most craft/fabric stores.
Here are links to the videos I managed to finish, which contain some construction notes about the steps they cover:
Fingerplates: Part 1
Fingerplates: Part 2
Fingerplates: Part 3
Hand Piece: Part 1
Hand Piece: Part 2
Hand Piece: Part 3
Hand Piece: Part 5
Making the Grill
I do have 100 or so video clips that I haven't edited yet. (About 772 MB worth of material) (If you want to try editing them and sending them to me to post, you're more than welcome to.) Here are the online folders in which I have posted the remaining clips:
Automail Videos 01
Automail Videos 02
Lastly, here is a link to my old online automail picture tutorial:
That part of the tutorial doesn't cover the making of the fingerplates (and doesn't deal with the complete use of vinyl when covering the armor.) But it should give you a good idea of how things should be put together.
Here's a section I wrote up that deals with the new fingerplate patterns: (Ignore all the outgoing links to this section. It will not be added on to.)
Sorry again to have to do things this way. If you have any questions or comments on anything, you can post them on my Prop Blog.
Back to Amethyst's Armormaking Tutorial