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Today I shaped the bicep armor. I started with an oval shape and put two elastic bands through it to attach to my arm.

Then I took a second oval and cut out a channel for the LEDs to go into and glued it all together. I made sure to bend the oval to shape to my arm before gluing it all together. It gets a little uncomfortably hot, but a good technique was to strap the bottom bicep layer to my arm first, apply the hot glue to the top layer and smash it on while I was wearing it. This made the glue dry to the curvature of my arm.

Here is the first layer:

And here is the second layer:

 

And the assembly:

A view of the back elastic straps:

All I need to do now is paint the sucker and wire up the LEDs and glue the diffuser down.

The other day I had wired up the LEDs that go on the back part of the armor. I still need to glue the foam diffuser over it and then build the disc mount for the back. Somehow by magic, a 2-liter bottle fits the inner diameter of the identity disc perfectly… time to drink up.

 

I painted the chest and back armor assembly a few days ago. I ignored painting the straps since they will be replaced anyway.

Next I started to lay down my LED SMT strip in the grooves and proceeded to wire them up to a 12V source.

Here is a test light of just the bare LEDs:

Since the LEDs show up as point sources of light, a diffuser is needed to muddle out the light. I used some of the closed cell polyethylene foam from the iron man costume.

Now with lights:

I crafted the rear armor and attached it to the front armor. The shoulder straps will be cut and replaced with cloth because the cardboard straps aren’t very flexible and make the assembly fit weird. Still searching for a way to mount the disc, but I found that a 2-liter bottle fits the inside of the disc perfectly.

 

I received the 300 SMT LED Roll and a roll of black elastic strap for attaching everything together. The LED roll operates off 12V DC.

I also started crafting the chest plate. I started with a computer component cardboard box. It is thin cardboard (not corrugated), but still quite strong.

I have cheated and started on the disc much earlier. I completed my first disc, but did not take any progress photos along the way. On my next disc, I will document all the steps required for modification.

The original disc only lit up on one side and had 6 LEDs for the outer ring and 2 LEDs for the inner ring. The LEDs did not stay on indefinitely and were activated by a momentary button (that also toggled light animations and sounds).

 

The modified disc has a cut out rear section so both sides light up. I have packed 12 LEDs on the inner ring and 18 LEDs on the outer ring. The sound is still fully operational, but the light animations no longer function. Instead, I have the ability to toggle the inner and outer ring independently.

And finally, some comparison shots:

My project for Halloween 2011 is going to be a TRON Legacy costume. It won’t be anything very specific, but I will loosely base it off of Sam Flynn’s suit from the film.

There will be two layers.

Under layer: Simple tight-fitting black clothing. I am debating whether or not to get a spandex body suit for this or to just wear what I have available.

Armor layer: Will be made using cardboard and left-over polyethylene foam sheet from my Iron Man costume. I have purchased a 5 meter roll of SMT LEDs mounted on a strip. I will use these to illuminate the armor layer. There will be at least 6 armor pieces: Chest, Back, Upper Arms (2), and Thighs (2). Depending on the mobility and time, I may add Forearms and Shins. The idea is to use the armor pieces as mounting points for the LEDs. Minimal armor is best. The back armor will be used to mount the identity disc(s).

Which brings me to the next point. The identity disc. These will be modified Disney Delux Tron Identity Disc toys.

Reference photos:

And there was an interesting artwork I found online with the suit simplified: