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!