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Author Topic: Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion  (Read 2626 times)

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Total Legend

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Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion
« on: May 29, 2013, 02:06:52 AM »

Thanks to everyone at FanimeCon who complimented me on this armor I worked hard on the last 2 weeks before Fanime. I remade my N7 armor based on last year's patterns I created to make it a lot lighter, flexible and tolerable.

Last year's armor nearly had me crying in pain from wearing it, I could barely move, it was hot and heavy; and it literally weighed 30 pounds. The new armor was designed to eliminate all those issues as well as others such as being easy to repair and readjust. I developed this N7 to be modular with all the pieces being held by metal screws. I deviated from the original N7 design to make this functional -- and more importantly comfortable.

The Old

Here is my old N7 armor which I stripped for parts. It was my first ever (for me), and was in fact a bit historic. The styrene used was 50 years old which likely made it the oldest existing N7 armor ever created. It pains me to see it in this condition.



The New

The new version was designed from the get go to be modular, you can see the diagramming on the styrene, and even a chasis fan which I had planned to install to keep me cool (never did finish that).

And because it was modular, I could easily repair parts if I had to without breaking the whole armor apart. I had to use metal screws to keep it all together, and molex connectors for the LEDs.



After I worked with the styrene I got into craft foam. The original plan was to use craft foam as a inner core only, with the styrene being the outer shell. For the arms however, styrene isn't very flexible, and at this point I just barely learned how to work with craft foam. I would have built the entire armor out of craft foam if only I knew sooner. Well, there's always Fanime 2014. :)





Here is a close up on the work done to the surface of the styrene, carving out shapes and using foam to add depth to the styrene. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the $0.89 cent FLAT BLACK paint from Home Depot turned out perfect for this.



And finally, the center piece of the N7, the back. I wired up my own LEDs to a rocker switch which allowed me to enter into Red (Renegade) or Blue (Paragon) mode, of course to display my current mood -- which landed in red a lot. Each of the two "kidney" lights have an array of 8 LEDs in Blue and 8 LEDs in red. They don't face outward, instead they face sideways to a styrene wall that bounces light around flooding the chamber. To make the LEDs look like one solid uniform piece, I covered it with some white diffused glass at 60% opaque. The same goes for the center lights, flooding a box with diffused glass.

The Decepticon emblem at the back was simply a dual-fanboy thing. Normally there's a generic circle there with more LEDs, but thought I'd do something different for fun. I didn't expect such hissyfit about it from some other fanboys though.



All in all, it was a generally easy build with 2-straight weeks of hard work. I saved my paper patterns from last year's Fanime which took me a month to build, and it paid off with a 2-week-better-than-before-build. It weighed less than 10 pounds this time, and I was actually able to move my arms a bit more. :)

Thanks for viewing and I would appreciate any feedback and any pics you might have taken of this with me in it as I don't have any!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 02:22:30 AM by Total Legend »
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Dreadhawk

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Re: Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 09:09:40 AM »

How did you do the LED strips? I've been trying to figure out a way to do things like that but my google-fu is failing me.
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Re: Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 12:09:31 PM »

How did you do the LED strips? I've been trying to figure out a way to do things like that but my google-fu is failing me.

I created my own LED strips with styrene and single LEDs I bought from DigiKey.

I cut strips of styrene, drilled several holes for the LED holders, and just plugged the LEDs in — then did some soldering/wiring. I made sure to not make the LEDs point outwards towards the glass since it would have a very non-uniformed look (LEDs are brighter at the tips). Instead, I built the strips of LEDs to flood the a small chamber with light, that is then diffused by the glass to make it look like a solid piece.

The diffused glass I had cut at Tap Plastics. It was only a few bucks at the time.

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Dreadhawk

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Re: Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 01:07:06 PM »

I created my own LED strips with styrene and single LEDs I bought from DigiKey.

I cut strips of styrene, drilled several holes for the LED holders, and just plugged the LEDs in — then did some soldering/wiring. I made sure to not make the LEDs point outwards towards the glass since it would have a very non-uniformed look (LEDs are brighter at the tips). Instead, I built the strips of LEDs to flood the a small chamber with light, that is then diffused by the glass to make it look like a solid piece.

The diffused glass I had cut at Tap Plastics. It was only a few bucks at the time.

So I count 14 LEDs per strip at a 90-degree angle?, which you're saying floods the chamber with indirect light? Is the entirety of the chamber natural white like the styrene?

I've tried to teach myself basic electronics but just can't grasp it for some reason. I've got all the individual parts but I can't seem to find the right type of circuit boards. I imagine if I knew enough, I could just splice them all together with wires like you have, but I don't really know how. Are there any websites you think might better explain than a guidebook that came with a beginner's circuitry set? Lol.
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Total Legend

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Re: Mass Effect 2 (2013): N7 High Fashion
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 08:43:54 PM »

I created my own LED strips with styrene and single LEDs I bought from DigiKey.

I cut strips of styrene, drilled several holes for the LED holders, and just plugged the LEDs in — then did some soldering/wiring. I made sure to not make the LEDs point outwards towards the glass since it would have a very non-uniformed look (LEDs are brighter at the tips). Instead, I built the strips of LEDs to flood the a small chamber with light, that is then diffused by the glass to make it look like a solid piece.

The diffused glass I had cut at Tap Plastics. It was only a few bucks at the time.

So I count 14 LEDs per strip at a 90-degree angle?, which you're saying floods the chamber with indirect light? Is the entirety of the chamber natural white like the styrene?

I've tried to teach myself basic electronics but just can't grasp it for some reason. I've got all the individual parts but I can't seem to find the right type of circuit boards. I imagine if I knew enough, I could just splice them all together with wires like you have, but I don't really know how. Are there any websites you think might better explain than a guidebook that came with a beginner's circuitry set? Lol.

Yes, the chamber is pure white like the styrene. It reflects well.

I didn't use any circuit boards, I soldered the wires and resisters to each LED and onto a 3-way rocker switch and a 3xAA battery pack. Last year I went a bit more fancy and used Molex connectors to make it all modular. I didn't use any sites to help me, so I couldn't refer any.

But someone on Cosplay.com did ask me for help on a wiring diagram and I sent her the one I drew up on Photoshop.



Although somewhat complex with larger designs, and with a 3-way rocker switch, the basics of my design is that you can add or remove LEDs as needed without having to worry about changing the voltage; and each LED is independent, so one LED in a chain going out will not take out the others or change the voltage.

After this was setup in my N7 Armor, I just did the math regarding battery mAh output and LED mAh consumption and I ended up with about 14 straight hours of battery life in full brightness, which was more than enough for the estimated 3 total hours I wore it that weekend.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 08:52:23 PM by Total Legend »
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