Only the second time we’re getting together for the build, but we’ve already got most of the actual body hashed out. This is nearly zero to Gundam in four days. I like to think we’ve become more efficient at mobile suit design and production since we’ve been doing this for five years now.
Since we knocked out most of the central body like the torso and head last time, this time we’ll be fleshing out the rest of the suit with the limbs. We have the general measurements for the legs, but it’s still up to me to basically design them around those measurements from scratch.
Starting with the knee unit.
I’m approaching the construction in a similar way to Gunpla, with the lower legs being made up of two halves, with a knee piece and separate calf sections. This means a lot of trial and error with sizing and fitment, but that’s why we template on paper first.
The lower leg’s shape is there, but something about it is off – the front section is too flat, despite my attempts to cut the foam in a way that would allow the bottom to flare out, giving it the distinctive hourglass shape.
I was more successful in getting that effect with the rear section, thanks to some cuts that curved inwards at the middle.
I couldn’t stand the look, so we’re cutting the shin area out and bringing the middle in to hopefully curve it.
Calves are going to be tricky, since they’re meant to be single pieces that bulge quite a bit.
My solution is to go at it in a similar fashion to how we build our helmets: create the shape, and template its surface. To create the calf bulge, I just stuffed some paper into a mountain and held it all together with tape.
From here it’s the same game as the helmets – wrap in foil, wrap in tape, and draw/cut some patterns.
Final product isn’t as defined as I would’ve liked (I should’ve padded more paper to make the mountain larger) but it works overall.
Inserted to the legs. Hopefully some Kwik Seal and smoothing will make the seam running down the calves less prominent.
Went ahead and cut the front of the shin area a bit more to pull it in and give the legs overall a curvier look, rather than being flat cylinders. The one on the left is after the curve revision, the right is before the changes.
Hello Kwik Seal, my old friend.
Carving and cutting the details.
Thruster blocs built into the back of the legs. I almost considered making them articulate, but ultimately determined it was too much work for not enough return; you’d barely see these pieces once the suit’s together anyway.
For the actual thrusters, they had to be cones rather than just open cylinders, so my approach was to make it out of four trapezoids.
Test fit. The legs are long, but that’s how they should be, given Wing’s ridiculously lengthy lower body proportions. This is the lowest they’ve ever sat in any of our Gundam suits, since the suit’s ankle will really be at the bottom of the wearer’s foot.
While I was working on the legs, it was my partner’s charge to get the arms out.
So, the lower arms have a bit of a unique feature that causes issues when we try to translate it into a cosplay suit. Wing, as we all know, is a transformable mobile suit, which means it goes from giant robot to giant plane/bird/flat robot, and a part of that alternate mode is some kickass bird claws, which happen to be mounted in front of the elbows. This means we have no choice but to make them articulate, otherwise we won’t be able to bend the suit’s elbows.
At first, my partner had the idea of making mounting brackets out of foam and drilling a hole through them so they would accept a peg that would allow them to move.
The peg would just be the wooden handle of one of our leftover foam brushes.
‘Tis the idea.
The design of the claws within the arm didn’t really work with the brackets though, so that initial idea was scrapped – but we’ll still be using the wooden peg.
This time we’ll just be drilling the hole through the claw, inserting the peg, and gluing the ends of said peg into the lower arm assembly.
Simple, if a bit precarious due to the lack of any other reinforcement for now.
With the limbs mostly done, we could move onto the skirts, but that presented its own problems, due to Wing’s ludicrous proportions. Everything on the suit is slim and long, and to make everything flow, the skirts have to be as long as the torso. This would be a challenge.
The initial measurement for the front skirts didn’t work out – we took the empty space between where the chest ended and the lower legs began and found that it was simply too small – so of course we go bigger.
In order to avoid collision with the lower leg, we’d have to boost the new skirts higher into the abdominal area.
Looking sketchy, but it might work.
Front skirt unit finished.
Partner building out the rear skirt.
Most of the central suit is now done – which means next time we’ll need to start designing and figuring out the key mechanisms that take more than just foam, like the feet and wing units.
Read on the rest of the build here: