This year I wanted to start with something complete new. I’m always searching for new materials, techniques and challenges. So the new MMO from NCsoft, Aion – Tower of Eternity, had some very good exsamples. There were a lof of commercials I saw on TV or the Internet and the details of the armor sets shown below were just awesome. I googled a bit and found a webside with all of the armor sets from the game. And I have to admid that I looked for the hardest and most complicated set in the game. I decided for this one:

I have never built an armor like this before, so I was eager to learn something new. And I already knew how I wwould realise it: Wonderflex.

I heard a lot about this material and read many reviews and tutorials. I already had the money and got my roommate into it, too. Two orders with shocking taxes and shipping costs followed.

Please look at the shipping costs and cry for us! But that was nothing compared to the customs…

So you see, it’s very very expensive for me, to order it to Germany. But this awesome material inspired me SO much that I ordered it a second time. Now I had 7 jumbo sized Wonderflex boards. This should be enough. Or at least I hope so…

Here is a pic of this stuff and a further thermoplastic material called ‘Friendly Plastic’.

My first experiments with this stuff ended in a completely finished bracer piece. I could not stop to work with it, he he. The day ended at 3 o’clock in the night. Wonderflex stunned me completely!

And here is a little making of my first work:

 At first I cut the form I needed for the bracer out of craft foam. Always make copies of these, because it’s very hard to find the right form a second time if you make a mistake!
The second step was to cut fitting parts out of wonderflex for the craft foam. Be sure that the wonderflex part is somewhat bigger than your craft foam part. Now you have to heat the wonderflex. For base parts like the bracer itself I took a 3 mm thick craft foam, for detail parts only 1.5 mm. Wonderflex becomes very soft and flexible when it’s warm enough, almost like fabric. Then you can put it on and around the craft foam and form it like you want. For the base part I used only one wonderflex part for covering, for details I made a sandwich of 2 parts wonderflex and one part craft foam. Watch out that you use the right side of the wonderflex. It has one surface with a fabric structure and one rough side. I use the rough one, because if you cover it with Gesso it gets a flat and soft surface.

The second bracer followed:

And also 2 pauldrons:
First one…

… and for the second one I made a tutorial for you:

Like always I used half a styrofoam ball as the base and cut the form out with a cutter. Then I covered it with 3 thicks strips of wonderflex. Unfortunately you cannot form Wonderflex on curves like on this ball perfectly. So you see, I got some ugly foldings there. Not so nice, is it?
But we have a solution for this problem: Friendly Plastic

Friendy Plastik is the granule I ordered with my Wonderflex. It’s also a material which you can form after you heated it. A hairdryer or hot water are enough for this and you can model it, when it becomes transparent. (You see it in the first picture. Some of the granules are already transparent.)
Then you take some pieces and press it on your wonderflex. Spread it well on the foldings and borders. Unfortunatly the plastic will already be cooled when you are finished. But you just have to heat it a second time to continue working. When your Friendly Plastic parts are transparent again you have to search a hard, flat surface like a desk. Keep in mind that this surface is clean and don’t have any PVC on it. Wonderflex and Friendly Plastik loves to glue itself to everything it finds. Now you have to press the part of the Wonderflex and the granule as hard as you can on the desk. Press, roll, heat and repeat it. Over and over, until you get a smooth and flat surface and all of the irregularities are covered with Friendly Plastic. Now you can add some patterns and details with wonderflex if you want. Just cut your form out and heat both parts, to put it together.

Now comes the dodgy part:

I already told you how to build your puzzle parts.
For 3 dimensional details you can use Friendy Plastic. Loops, flowers, points, etc. Just try it and play a bit with it. Heat it a bit, form it and put it on your wonderflex. You don’t need any glue for this, because Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic become very sticky, when they are warm enough. So be careful with your clothes, carptes, PVC or other Wonderflex/Friendly Plastic parts. So you only have one chance to put the parts right togehter. Otherwise breaking it will end with flaws and holes. But just in case you can fix this too, if you have no other option. So with a bit of luck and skills your armor parts are finished. And tadaaaaa, finished!

Now we get to my feet armor stuff:

As usual: Styling, trimming, blow-dry.
It could be difficult to find the right form, because you often have to think in 3D but to paint it on a 2D paper. So try a bit, until you are satisfied with your pattern.

Small parts, which don’t have to be as thick as a normal armor part can be cut out of just two pieces of wonderflex. For this you can heat long pieces and put them together. Now you have a double layer wonderflex. Press it well and watch out for air holes inside it. As long as it’s warm it’s very easy to cut your form out. But with the missing craft foam inside there is no more steadiness. So be very careful!
Now you have a very flexible wonderflex part and can make curves like in the middle picture. But the cutting and forming make also some poor borders. I covered it with some stripes of wonderflex and built a nice armor look with it.

In additon, I have to tell you that this feet armor consists of 20 seperate parts. So you see, it’s a huge puzzle you have put together if you want to build such an armor and you need a lof of time and patience for it.
But it’s worth it!

Now I have to get busy again and I wish you a happy new year! ^^

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