Thursday, April 13, 2017

Building the Fallout 4 T-60 Power Armor Part 1: 3D Models and Scale

I suppose I've never been accused of being especially sane.  That said, I suppose the worst of my big, bad ideas always start somewhere.

This idea started with some box art.  Specifically, I was walking through the software section of some kind of store and was stopped short when I spotted this:

Back then I didn't know what the hell that thing was supposed to be.  I just knew that I wanted one.

I've usually got a pretty big backlog of projects on my "need to build" list.  So it wasn't any kind of impossible to resist the urge to start cranking out pieces and parts for this project the moment it caught my eye.  That's good because, while the helmet was pretty nifty, the rest of the suit could have used a lot more design work.

Fast forward a while and they made a sequel:

This one didn't really make me want to stop everything and build it.  Crisis averted, I managed to happily go on about the rest of my days until...

Fallout 3:

Suddenly the design stopped being about goofy retro sci-fi or funny parrot-faced weirdness and everything about it looked awesome.  This one got me even more interested.  Still, I thought the rest of the armor that went with the helmet left a little to be desired:

Don't get me wrong.  It's pretty cool.  But for some reason it seems like the design team finished working out the details on the head and shoulders and said, "good enough."  The rest just seems somehow lacking.

Then this happened:

The first time I saw the trailer for Fallout 4, I knew I wasn't going to be able to resist the urge to put this thing together in real life.  From head to toe, the whole suit was covered in interesting details and design quirks.  The final stroke was seeing how the whole thing was worn.  It turns out the wearer climbs up into the suit and stands on footpads about a foot or so up off the ground, then the suit closes around them.

The arms are a similar arrangement.  The wearer's hands reach into the middle of the armor's forearms and the hands you see from the outside are mechanical extensions.

This means that I get to make another giant suit of armor that will make a six-foot wearer into a seven-foot plus behemoth.

Challenge accepted.

When it started to look like I was going to have a lull in my project schedule, I began to shop around for digital models.  
Enter Joost Driesen.  When I was searching the interwebs for 3D files or someone to make them, we worked a trade and he sent me all of the models I'd need in order to build this monster.  You can see some of his other work here:  LINK.

Anyhow, within a few hours, he'd sent me this:
Models In Progress

And a couple of days later this:
Models In Progress

So I got started picking out the various pieces and parts and getting them ready for fabrication.

The first and possibly most important step was to decide on a scale.

In the game, the suit makes a full height human stand head and shoulders above another human adult.

I'm a little on the short side, so I started by generating a digital model with proportions that roughly approximate mine.  Then I just scaled the suit to look right standing next to me:

Digital Scaling

At this scale, the full suit will be just under seven feet and one inch tall.  Sideshow collectibles makes a 1/6 scale action figure based on this suit that's 14-1/2" tall.  You can see it here: LINK.  If their scale is correct, the full-sized version would be seven feet and three inches tall.

Given the variable heights of the wearers, I'm calling it close enough.

Stay tuned for the next update and I'll explain the process of turning all of these bits and bytes into pieces and parts...

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