So, this is my project log of a set of Ulthwé Farseer Armour/Robes.
I’ve seen a million and one Space Marines, a few hundred thousand Imperial Guard, and about a dozen Eldar. Most of which are (no offence intended) low budget creations.
I recently managed to acquire £2500 to spend how I like, so this is going to be rather more of an extravagant undertaking. Hopefully, however, it won’t take all that to get some decent quality! Looking at the cost of various materials, I think I can complete it in under, oh, £300? Let’s see how that estimate holds up…
I’ll be explaining everything as I go along. This is my *first ever* attempt at anything remotely like this, so I’m basically searching youtube and google for tutorials on every step.
Here’s the basic outline/plan, starting from the top and working down:
1. Singing Spear. ~35mm diameter, 6ft tall, hollow chrome pole. Will be cut in half and have a screw inserted so that it comes apart into two more portable sections of 3ft (i.e. will fit in the car). Spearhead is yet to be designed, but will probably be MDF or plastic as a full-on metal spear is frowned upon by the police (and probably conventions) most of the time. Some tassels and a metal rune will be created to hang from the base of the head, which will also screw in, giving me a staff in three pieces total.
2. Helmet, Shoulders, Gauntlets and possibly Chest armour. PDO files ripped from the Dawn of War computer game, and opened in Pepakura (google it) a 3D imaging program. It basically converts 3D images such as a helmet into 2D “nets” which can be printed out onto card or paper. You then cut them out, stick them together, and you have a mock up of the item. To make this durable and functional, you then coat the card in resin, fiberglass the inside, and coat the inside and out with automobile filler.
3. Undersuit. Black poloneck with judo pants, dyed black and elasticated around the ankles to give that baggy look the Warlocks have. Black gloves.
4. Oversuit. Will buy a good quality black robe from a fancy dress supplier (not the crappy nylon stuff, some nice cotton/wool creation) which will then have a border sewn on with some runes along the bottom hem. Will plan a bit more of the modifications to it when I actually have it in front of me. Will add waist sash, shoulder strips and pouches etc as I go along.
5. Shoes. Probably black plimsoles, seems to be the best match to Farseer shoes I can find.
So in the end, we're more or less aiming for something similar to the middle Farseer:
DISCLAIMER: These steps are a GUIDE only. Always read the label of any product you use. Always wear your protective gear. This guide contains the use of resin, fiberglass, filler, spray paint and other solvents that can be HARMFUL or LETHAL if you do not take the CORRECT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. I do NOT recommend that anyone under the age of 18 attempts this unsupervised. Do NOT fuck about with these chemicals, and don’t attempt anything unless you are absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing. WATCH a handful of videos on youtube. READ more than one tutorial from more than one person. Do not hold me accountable for any damage to your person or property that results from you being an idiot.
Armour (Card stage)
- Free Pepakura Software (Viewer and/or Editor, Online)
- Card as thick as your printer will take it. My smaller pieces were on 180gsm and the helmet on 250gsm. The colour doesn’t matter. (Hobbycraft)
- Scissors (Hobbycraft)
- PVA *or* a Glue Gun (Hobbycraft)
- Steel Ruler (B&Q)
- Scoring tool (can use a dry pen, back of a craft knife, whatever, Hobbycraft)
- Cutting Board (needs to be rigid to get good scores/folds, MDF offcut)
- Various Items for pushing recalcitrant card together. Something thin like a giant needle, small knife, sculpting tool or something in that vein.
Download Pepakura. (There are loads of tutorial vids about the ins and outs of using this program, I strongly suggest watching/reading at least two different ones before starting)
Find a PDO file of what you want to create. Google around what you’re looking for and something should come up somewhere, I found the Eldar stuff on 4shared.
Check the scale is correct. The really simple way to check this is to measure the body part the item is supposed to go on, and make sure the size in mm is correct. For example my bracers were initially too small, so I measured the length of my forearm and knocked off a few centimetres so I didn’t foul my elbow joint. Remember for helmets you need space for lining, ears, and so on, so if in doubt, add an inch or two.
Print your item.
Spend hours and hours and hours cutting out the pieces, scoring along the lines, and gluing them together with either PVA or a glue gun. The glue gun sets faster, but that’s a plus and a minus, as if you get it wrong you can fuck up the entire thing and have to reprint (a pain). PVA gives you time to check that the piece fits 100% before you let it dry on, but obviously takes a little longer. As I get more confident/faster at the assembly stage I might start to use a gun.
Eventually, you’ll have a completed item, in this case, a bracer. You can see my WIP Shoulderpad on the table.
Armour (Resin stage)
- Fastglas Polyester Resin (Halfords)
- Fastglas Hardener (Halfords)
- Disposable paintbrushes (B&Q – as cheap as you can get them, they’re pretty much one use only)
- Cup for measuring (10ml at a time)
- Cup for mixing (Disposable, Morrisons)
- Disposable Gloves
- Mixing stick
- Respirator (IMPORTANT. Fumes are TOXIC. Unless you are completely outside on a summers day with a nice breeze, ALWAYS wear a respirator. And probably even then. I used a proper refillable one that I already owned, but the disposable foam ones are fine too. B&Q)
Take your assembled item, and stand it up somewhere you don’t have to touch it much. Helmets especially will need a stand of some kind.
Before beginning work, check the temperature. In order to set the resin properly, you want it to be ~15-20 degrees Celsius for the entire time you are working. In the UK that’s unlikely to be viable outside unless it’s summer, so I recommend a garage or conservatory with a sealed door between you and the rest of the house. Where possible open a small window, or have the door open a fraction to let the worst of the fumes out.
Put on your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and mix some resin according to the instructions on the tin. For the fastglas stuff that’s 2-3cm of hardener for each 10ml of resin you pour out. I would never use more than 10ml at a time, for two reasons:
1. You only have about 10 minutes (at best) to work with the resin before it becomes too tacky to spread. Unless you rush (never rush) you’re not going to get too much surface area done in that time.
2. If you slop too much on at once, the card can deform or bend. Work in stages, and let it cure between each stage. For this gauntlet I did the entire outside in one go with 10ml, waited for it to cure fully (about half an hour/45 mins) and then did the entire inside with another 10ml.
Remember, ANYTHING is better than having to redo a piece from scratch unless you have masochistic tendencies or a fetish for cutting and scoring cardboard. Work slowly, carefully, and make sure you cover every square millimetre of that thing. Don’t slop it on, brush it on.
Leave it overnight to cure completely before proceeding to the next stage. Here’s my ingredients and the gauntlet with both coats fully cured:
Armour (Fiberglass stage)
Important: If your item has a lot of interior angles, corners and places that are otherwise hard to get fiberglass cloth to sit nicely in, you can skip ahead to the Filler stage on the next page and do that on the inside FIRST. This creates a much smoother, more organic surface for the cloth to sit on. I didn't know this when I started, but will be doing it for all future items!
- Fiberglass Cloth (Halfords)
- The same resin you used in the last step, along with all that mixing stuff and PPE
- Spray adhesive (Hobbycraft)
- Protective Goggles
You should now have a fully cured item. By fully cured I mean “not tacky”. If it *is* tacky after being left overnight, it means you didn’t use enough hardening paste. Don’t worry, just brush all the tacky areas with TALCUM POWDER. Just brush it on nice and light, and come back in a few hours. It should no longer be tacky to the touch.
Put on your PPE, including goggles. Cut your fiberglass cloth into small squares suitable in size for the object you are making. I’m making fairly small items so far, so my squares are about 5-10cm on a side.
Spray the inside of your item with your spray adhesive.
Start placing your squares of fiberglass inside, over the adhesive. Take your time. Minimise any overlaps, make sure there aren’t any edges sticking up, and try to minimise the amount of loose threads you have to deal with, don’t be afraid to go over the edges, we will tidy it up later. In fact you’ll want to go over the edges a little bit, because they’re one of the parts that needs the most reinforcement, because they take the most wear.
Coat the entire inside again with the resin. Again, take it easy. 10ml at a time. Make sure you get as much of the fiberglass lying flat as you can, because trying to reach inside your item with a power sander can be a real bitch. Once you’re done take the time to look around for any bits sticking out and press them down.
Optional: If you want your item to be *totally* indestructible, you can fiberglass the outside too. I’m not doing it because it can cause issues with fine detail and the texture. However on things like Breastplates that are big, open shapes with little detail, go ahead and slap an outside coat on. It’ll probably outlive you.
Armour (Tidy up phase)
- Rasp or coarse file (A big one, B&Q)
- A power drill/dremel/rotary tool with a cutting blade and a sanding blade
- PPE (Goggles and Respirator)
Simple enough, go over everywhere and tidy it up. If you need a smooth curve, start smoothing out the lines that the Pepakura model is made from. Eldar armour is entirely made of curves, so a lot of work for me here! Only sand/file until you start to hit paper, then stop. We’ll be going over it with body filler anyway, tidying up at this stage is basically to help get the texture right and minimise the amount of sanding you need to do at the second tidy up stage.
Cut off the fiberglass that hangs over the edges, and *very* carefully check the inside of any items you’re going to wear, especially helmets, as exposed fiberglass can irritate the skin at best, and cut you badly at worst. Make sure it’s all nice and smoothed out! Do as much of the work as possible with the rasp and/or file. They’re big tools, so use them for the big jobs. Use the rotary tool to get into the hard to reach places, or awkward angles you can’t get the rasp into.
You can see in a couple of the shots where I've gone too far through the resin with the rasp, and then cleaned it up with normal filler (not the autobody stuff). You don't need to be totally precise about this as the next stage is to cover the whole thing in filler anyway.
Farseers are the greatest,cant wait to see more
Cool fair point, i have always fancied using the stuff for a project so im gonna watch to see how rgis turns out, was going to mention that plumbing pipe might be better for the staff, its light, cheap, durable and alot easier to get joints for.
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Wow this is awesome! Can't wait to see it finished, Fibreglass i find is really good you just have to be careful and prepared gloves and stuff don't get the resin on your hands it goes hot quick believe me :/ Tip for the fibreglass stick with layers lots of them and give it loads and loads of time. Its a nice progress though. For some reason I would think black flip flops could suit the farseer as well just so he is more ninja :P +rep
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