The Dragon Ronin Astray Part III

Prototyping dilemmas

Progress is slow because of this weather, but I managed to get a few things done. I've finished making the second armor attachment that simulates the forearm muscles. Since the second one was the symmetric mirror image of the other, it took me a bit longer to make.

Now I need to make another pair for the other arm.

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The layered armor/shield: the design looked good on paper, but I came across a few problems while building it, the main one being it's too bulky for my taste, so I had to rethink the design. This won't go to waste though, since I may use this for the shoulder armor.

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The redesigned Arm shield. I bent beams and plates and used the custom armor as a mold for the main frame. The beams will serve as thr framework for the layered armor.

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Looks better, I believe. The top of the frame latches on to the custom armor, but I will still have to make a socket for it to secure it on to the arm.

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 I was going to finish the one of the arm shields first before making the other one when I realized I will have symmetry problems later on, so I scrapped that idea and started on the other shield.

For this, I used a strip of styrene and a 2mm beam for the framework. Styrene is flexible enough to be bent into shape without heating (pla plates also becomes "softer" with narrower strips), though I am careful with over bending since these materials do have a critical breaking point.

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I cemented it section by section, allowing the strip to settle on to the beam, and bent it according to the shape of the prototype. I overbent it a little and secured the end with tape. This method will help hold the bent shape as the cement cures.

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After the end frames have cured, I worked on the main frame work. Beams can be easily bent into shape and will hold that shape once the other parts of the frame have been attached.

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End to end alignment check.

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Bristol board. Gotta love 'em for their handiness in prototyping.

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I used the bristol board as templates for the Arm Shield. I used 0.5 mm styrene sheets. Though easier to bend, 0.5mm springs back more readily than 1.0mm sheets, depending on the shape and area. To keep their bent shape, I lined the edges of the sheet with 1.0mm beams, bent into shape. The beams also gave the illusion of the armor being thicker than it actually is.

Much like the frame, I allowed a slight overbend and secured the tips with tape while the cement cures. Once cured, the cement allows the part to keep its bent shape while keeping some of it's springyness, which I also exploit like a snap on mechanism on at least one layer.

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Test fit.

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Now for some more bristol board fun.

I posted this earlier.

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While letting the arm shield settle onto shape, I started working on the rest of the layered armor. This one goes on the crotch guard. Unlike the rest of the armor this is a one-piece but made with 5 separate parts. I've shaped parts 3-5 slightly differently from each other.

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When assembled, this will have a "snap on" mount and the pieces will be cemented together like this.

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