July 22, 2008

Further Armor Work

I did quite a bit of work on this last night, at the expense of a boring reading assignment, and I couldn't find my camera for photos. I picked up a couple of cheap clamps at the hardware store after work, which have been very helpful keeping pieces together, as the glue takes a couple of hours to dry. I'm finding that the superglue (which dries quickly) and the Gorilla Glue, which bonds harder, but takes longer, is a good combination. The Gorilla Glue is also pretty easy to remove once it drives, and I've been using a knife and sandpaper to get rid of the excess that has been coming out as it expands.


Glued: Forearms, Upper arms, Shins, Thighs, thigh straps on Ab piece and the two shoulder straps to back plate. This part was easy with the clamps, as I just glued the seam together and clamped it, and they're holding together very, very well, and the plastic has enough flexibility to put on and over my leg.

Snapped: Backs of one thigh, half of another, waiting for the other parts to completely dry before putting them on. I tried the first thigh piece with the snaps and it's holding together wonderfully. I'm a little worried that the glue will seperate over time, so I'm mixing glues a little, but if the first one is any indication, it'll hold nicely, and make the entire thing easier to get on and off. Already, I can see that the right thigh (which is a big smaller for some reason) fits better because there's a little extra space allowed by the snaps now, which is very handy. Finally, I took off the sniper plate's velcro and glue on a pair of snaps, which I'll finish glueing to to the shin later today. I'm going to leave the bandolier as is, because the velcro works perfectly as it currently is, and there's really no need to change it over.

Next up: I need to finish gluing the forearms, which should take all of two seconds, and then glue the shoulder straps and backplate to the chest plate. I've glued down the velcro on the shoulders, which should actually keep it all together with the shoulder. Next, I need to finish assembling the snaps (square of plastic and a front or back glued together), which I allowed to dry overnight, then affix them to the left thigh and both shins, six sets total. I also need to touch up one of the thighs on the inside, adding in a bit more glue.

Coming out of this, I think that the only parts that I haven't modified are the shoulder bells, drop boxes, bandolier and detonator. Gluing parts together means that I won't be able to completely disassemble the armor like I usually do, but it's a small tradeoff for something that'll make this armor a lot easier to maintain. Because frankly, I'm sick of duct tape.

I'll take some pictures tonight and post them up tomorrow.

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