I'm posting most of this from a thread I made on the Armorers Coalition board a month ago, so it is a repeat to those of you who are also on there.
Here is a new process I tried to make some parts with that some of you guys could use fairly easy.
I wanted to see if this works on something small first since my intentions is to try this on a much larger non-fett project. Anyhow, I had a pile of those foamie sheets laying around in my garage and it gave me an idea to try something.
I've always liked BM Fett armor the best after seeing it in person. It has the nicest thickness, contours, along with beautiful edges on the armor IMO. I've got great Fett armor myself from BKBT, but its fiberglass. Personally, I don't like working with fiberglass, I prefer to work with resins. I'd would have loved to put some of those details like the nicer edges on my own Jango armor, but I would of had to grind the overall size down to do that. Since my body size was already pushing the max size for my Jango armor, I thought I'd give it a go myself. In comes the foamie sheets. Why foamie sheets? I thought maybe the foam sheets would make it easier to get the nice compound curves to the armor.
I started by making a drawing of the armor shapes on paper, then traced them onto the foamie sheets. I then brushed resin on them, 3 coats each side, letting it harden between coats. I then took out the heatgun and carefully started to bend the parts. Used various buckets to form the collar, shoulders, and ab, while using a shot filled bag for the 2 chest parts. I then started to smooth out the parts with poly-flex filler, also building up any additonal thickness needed with it.
Everything worked fairly well but I ran into a couple snags. You have to make sure you get an even coat of resin on the foam sheets or you end up with soft spots, plus the 2 chest parts gave me fits fits getting nice curves to them. I don't think I would make the chest parts out of the foam sheets if I had to do them over. You end up with the same wrinkles that you would if you tried to heat and bend a sheet of plastic. I ended up adding regular bondo to the backside of all pieces to stiffen them up which was also something unexpected I had to do. The chest parts ended up being msotly bondo in the end due to problems with flexing of teh parts.