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DavicusPrime's Sci Fi Kit Silliness

743 Views 20 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  DavicusPrime
So I've been playing airsoft for a few years now and have done so wearing plain clothes that just happen to be black or kinda close to OD green. I think it's time to actually go for a theme other than Thrift store casual + Plate Carrier.

I'm really not a Milsim guy, so I'm avoiding anything intended to be straight up modern military. I want to go Sci-fi! But I don't want to just copy one of the common sci-fi franchises (Halo, Star Wars, 40K, etc.). So I'm making things up as I go. Starting with something easy and slowly increasing my "Cosplay" and fabrication skills.

Step 1: Buy a
Needs to be a bullpup​
Prefer it uses M4 mags​
At least shoots alright out of the box or has a solid warranty​
And not too expensive​
Step 1 Complete. I got me an APS UAR V2 from Taiwangun. A bullpup that uses M4 mags with a 1 year warranty and under $200US shipped.​
Green Blue Air gun Trigger Line

Step 2: Make an accessory for my Spacegun using a new material or skill
The front of the UAR is kinda... Meh​
It needs a foregrip, I think, but not just some off the shelf thingy​
Inspiration takes hold: the foregrip of a 40K Boltgun
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Wood
New Material: 10mm and 2mm EVA foam​
It must attach to the bottom picatinny rail​
And it must not get in the way of breaking down the gun​
Cutting mat Line Gas Rectangle Font
Human body Audio equipment Gadget Personal protective equipment Auto part
The Concept:
Dusting off my old drafting kit from college I came up with this​
Green Rectangle Font Line Handwriting
Proof of Concept:
Made a mock-up out of card​
Creative arts Flooring Pattern Art Origami paper
Green Gadget Trigger Rectangle Engineering
The Build:
I made myself some templates to trace the pattern on the 10mm EVA​
Pattern Symmetry Plant Font Circle
I cut out the "slices" and did a lot of sanding to get to this point​
Green Air gun Blue Cutting mat Trigger
Green Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory

...To be Continued​
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Step 2: Make an accessory for my Spacegun using a new material or skill
The Build (Continued):
Observations so far:​
  1. Didn't need to bevel the whole rear slice, just removed a wedge for the trigger guard
  2. Decided to drop the "slip guard" on the front to simplify the design
  3. The general shape of the grip is good but is too plain w/o the grooves in the Bolter example
  4. Sharp edges and round shapes are a pain to get to look good
So I modified the design to include a wrap of 2mm EVA with cutouts for the grooves​
Resulting in an addition to the pattern​
Handwriting Rectangle Line Font Pattern
I used the cutouts on the drawing to mark where I needed to avoid putting glue on the main body of the grip before gluing it to card​
Turns out 13 layers of glue adds 3mm to the overall length of the grip​
This is what it looked like after gluing it over the main body​
Green Cutting mat Circuit component Machine Electronic instrument
I learned that getting a large sheet of foam glued in place is a pain in the backside​
Some of the grooves are distorted because I wasn't careful enough locating things before the glue set up​
But it still works if you don't look too hard​
The hole is where the pin that marries up to the front groove on the rail goes​
Shockingly, I located the pin hole perfectly on the first try​
The Painting:
...To be Continued​
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Step 2: Make an accessory for my Spacegun using a new material or skill
So over several days I got somewhere between 6 and 8 coats of plasti-dip (lost count) and finally some Matte Black spray paint and the results are as pictured below​
Green Rectangle Cutting mat Fashion accessory Engineering
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Font Grass
Green Blue Cutting mat Air gun Trigger
Cutting mat Green Gas Engineering Machine
Trigger Air gun Machine gun Gun barrel Shotgun
Trigger Air gun Gesture Outdoor recreation Machine gun
Step 2 Complete.
That's it for now. I've got a couple ideas percolating in my noggin to get me closer to my goal. I'll post more as soon as I have something interesting to show y'all.​
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I like it!

Now make it shoot 100 RPS "space lasers" :D
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Now make it shoot 100 RPS "space lasers" :D
Then no one would play with me. :cry:

Funny. The picture the site picked for the thumbnail is the bolter. Talk about false advertising.
Step 3: Gonna Make me Some Sci Fi Armor
What's it going to look like?
Spent a bunch of time looking at my plate carrier and hunting down sci fi military art and I have no freaking clue what will look cool without screwing up my range of movement.​
So I got a screen grab of the plate carrier I have and started measuring and drawing...​
Guitar accessory String instrument accessory Electronic instrument Musical instrument Gas
I made a quick mockup of the center 4 plates with foamcore (which I didn't think to take pictures of) and found it lacking. I was thinking that having separate plates would let me move better but it really didn't make sense. Also multiple plates kinda looked funky. So back to the drawing board...​
Outerwear Sleeve Line Balloon Electric blue
The above is probably the direction I'll start with. All the lines on the breastplate are the result of building the shape out of multiple smaller geometric shapes. The actual plate would be a single solid piece. Trying to keep the design fairly simple to make it as easy to make as possible. I may find that I need to add some embellishments to make things interesting to look at, but that will be a future problem.​
The hardest part of designing this thing will be making the flat patterns for all the curved bits that make up the Shoulders and Paldrons. The front and back plates are all pretty much flat (I may end up actually curving them with the ole heat gun but the flat pattern wouldn't need changing. The vambrace and greaves I had in mind are all curvy and thus are a whole level of difficulty higher. So I think the main chest and back plates will be my first project.​
So... What am I going to make it out of:
EVA is easy enough to work with that I won't need to learn too many new skills nor purchase new tools to work it. But it's way too soft and pliable for anything I'd subject to BBs and/or go barreling through underbrush with. I've seen the aftermath of tests folks have done, and Plasti-dip and paint isn't going to hold up to any real world use. I'm kind of curious how the handguard will hold up to actual play. But if it were covered by fabric (and the freaking bullet proof contact cement I used for the handguard holding it on) I think it might have the resilience I'm looking for.​
So the materials have been decided to test out:​
  1. 10mm EVA foam
  2. Duck Cloth/Canvas
  3. Contact Cement
Make a Test Piece:
To Be Continued...​
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Step 3: Sci Fi Armor (Continued)
Test piece
So I made my first test piece...​
Cutting mat Green Blue Rectangle Line
It's a 3" x 3" piece of 10mm EVA, beveled on the edges and coated with an old scrap of black canvas I had laying around. I used Gorilla Clear Grip Contact Adhesive, which is the same stuff I used to glue together my foregrip. I'm going to give it until tomorrow to fully cure before I shoot it up to test the durability.​
Lessons learned so far: gluing the rather thick fabric on the foam was about as annoying as I expected. Trying to minimize visible folds on the edges was where I expected things to be very annoying. I was not wrong. I worry about keeping it pretty when I go to make larger, more complex shapes. I may need to put it on in multiple panels which will probably force me to dredge up my 8th grade home-ec sewing skills. All I hope for is for it to not be ugly as hell.​
When I make the actual plates I intend on starting with a khaki colored fabric. Then using spray paint to add some greens and browns into something approximating ATACS-FG.​
Eventually I'd like to get some thin ABS sheet to add to the top of the plates for looks, but that's for future me to explore when I know more of what I'm doing.​
Next Up: Durability Testing
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Seems like quite the interesting project. Not gonna lie, I show up to the field in a fishing shirt and running shorts and call it a day, but I would certainly complement the guy who showed up wearing this!
So far the only interesting kit in our group of players has been one of the kids* running with a black plate carrier he painted with a Punisher skull, a sniper riffle and a shotgun in a back scabbard. Otherwise we all run with M4s and wear a random mishmash of street clothes and army surplus.

All my stuff is thrift store purchases and a cheap pair of walmart rubber boots. And after three years of trudging through swamp and blackberry thickets they're looking pretty thrashed and the right boot started leaking.

I've been meaning to pick up a matching set of camos, but have been focused on just getting my gear sorted out on a limited budget for my clothing to be a priority. The first priority was to get to the point where I was self sufficient without needing to borrow anything. Now that I've got the minimums covered on equipment, I figure it's time to have some fun with the outfit.

The rest of the "adults" I play with might be too practical to join me in my eccentricity but maybe some of the youths might be influenced to add some flair to their set-ups.

(* Kid being relative. He's my friend's oldest child, 22 years old and recently married. In our group of players we're divided into two categories: The Kids and The Dads, even if some of those kids have gone and become dads themselves.)
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I have a couple of buddies who are pretty into their kits, but it never appealed to me to spend money on things like MOLLE pouches, when I could instead spend money on my build and smack all those guys in $1000 kits.

On the other hand, myself and a few friends have started showing up to the field wearing Hawaiian T-shirts, so that promises to offer some good fun...
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One of my old paintball buddies lives over in Idaho (uncle to that 22 year old Punisher fan). He has been part of MAG Airsoft over in the Boise area and was telling me about a team that frequents their events that all wear blue plaid flannel shirts. He has gotten into the water transfer business and sent me pics of a drum magazine and canteen one of them commissioned him to make with that same blue plaid pattern.

The spirit of fun the Blue Plaid and the Hawaiian shirt folks represent is what I want to get in on. Plus if I ever get an opportunity to hit-up one of those spiffy fallout or zombie scenario games I've heard about on the eastern side of the country, I'll be ready. :alien:
Sounds better than the guy who shows up wearing a pink tutu and a unicorn hat….:unsure:
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...but it never appealed to me to spend money on things like MOLLE pouches...
The only reason I have a plate carrier is to hold my 1 extra magazine without worrying about it falling out of my pocket. :) If I ever act on my desire to upgrade to a drum mag, I wouldn't have a reason to wear it at all.

Sounds better than the guy who shows up wearing a pink tutu and a unicorn hat….:unsure:
My wife would be soooo jealous. :LOL:
I hope your wife can’t grow such a patchy beard…;)
I hope your wife can’t grow such a patchy beard…;)
Only one of us gets to have a beard and I already called dibs before we married. :cool:
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Hay, that’s the same conversation we had! 🤪 👍
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Step 3: Sci Fi Armor (Continued)
Durability Testing
Finally got around to shooting my test article. I know the gun was chonoed at 345-350 FPS with 20s at the point of sale. I used my normal 25s however so I'm guessing they were flying somewhere in the 330-340 fps range.​
I shot it about 50 times, some at point blank, some at 10 yards.​
Green Rectangle Cutting mat Composite material Pattern
Green Rectangle Flooring Cutting mat Mat
Visually, it doesn't look all that bad. You can see where the BBs left some plastic on the fabric and there are a few spots where you can see a slight depression.​
But running my finger over he surface right after the fact, there were dimples all over the place. The deepest seemd to be 1-2mm deep. However, after letting it sit for a few minutes, most of them filled back in. The worst spots were the few that hit the edge of the beveled area and even they puffed back up to a point. I'd say after about 10 min the worst hits recovered 90%.​
It's not as smooth as it started, but if that's all I have to deal with, I think we're in business. Definitely makes me want to pursue the ABS sheet idea eventually. It might be a nice way to rehab any plates that get chewed up too badly from use.​
Lesson Learned: When a BB hits the EVA "plate" they bounce back with enough speed that goggles are a MUST. Made me nervous after the first shot went sailing past the side of my head and bounced off my car. Definitely needed to plan that out better.​
It also indicates the foam isn't absorbing all that much of the impact, just redirecting it. Which is probably why the damage left behind is as minor as it was.​
So we're at another stopping point until I acquire some khaki fabric and finalize the chest and back plate designs. After that I'll need to get some tan 1" strapping and velcro so I can make the MOLLE straps on the back.​
(To Be Continued...)
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Step 3: Sci Fi Armor (Continued)
Breast plate Mock-Up Part 2
So I made another mock-up of the latest breast plate idea and I remembered to take a picture of it before I cut it up.​
The material is foamcore. If you're not familiar with it, it's a 5mm sheet of styrofoam sandwiched between 2 pieces of poster board. You can get sheets of the stuff at the dollar store (but it's more paper than poster board if you go the dollar store route). For quick mock-up work the cheap stuff is the best. And a little white glue is all you need to stick things together.​
I doubled up the chest to get the 10mm thickness of the EVA I have and I bevelled the edges like I intend for the EVA. The lower three plates are a single 5mm layer. I intend on doing the same varying thicknesses on the the back. I need to score some duct tape to stick it to the carrier so I can see what it looks like on me. So I guess that'll be next.​
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Step 3: Sci Fi Armor (Continued)
Breast plate Mock-Up Part 3
Turns out I had duct tape...​
I will definitely need to shape the breast plate. You can see how the three piece strip along the bottom curves nicely to my gut. The top plate needs to do the same as well as curve in a bit toward the neck line. I might go with a curved single piece instead of the three connected rectangles.​
You can see that I tried scoring the breastplate to let it flex but that still didn't work all that well.​
I'm itching to start making the chest plates ASAP, but I don't have all the materials yet. Perhaps I should try working out how to sort out the shoulders to keep myself occupied for the time being. :cool:
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Step 3: Sci Fi Armor (Continued)
Breast Plates WIP
I cut out the Breast plates and beveled the edges... poorly. Trying to cut the bevel on such a soft material even with my sharpest knife didn't work well. Needed to take a few days adding filler to all the gouges I caused before I could start gluing the fabric on. It also appears that I'm going to have to adjust the measurements to account for the fabric and glue adding to the perimeter of the plates.​
I haven't glued the backing onto the Large plate yet. And I'm still trying to sort out how to the do the MOLLE strapping to attach them to the vest. I was contemplating connecting the two plates together with a piece of fabric on the back. Then I would run straps to connect the whole thing rather than trying to make straps for each plate individually.​
I've got a few days to figure it out before the last of my strap materials lands on my porch.​
My research in how other folks bevel the edges of their projects yielded that they use a dremel. So I had to buy a new dremel as my old one died after a couple decades of loyal service. It'll take longer to sand the bevels, but hopefully it'll mean a lot less fixing my mistakes trying to do it with a blade.​
Next actions:​
  1. Design and cutout the two plates that go on the MOLLE straps on the shoulders above the breast plate.
  2. Bevel it with the new dremel
  3. Try to figure out the design for the rest of the plates that cover the shoulder straps and how it'll connect to the back of the vest.
One random note: that test part from before has fully recovered from the abuse I inflicted upon it. After sitting for a couple days every dimple caused by BB impacts has vanished. This was unexpected and makes me even more confident that this project will hold up to actual use.​
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