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Author Topic: Umpire Leg guard turned Steampunk Leg Brace  (Read 2259 times)
Sir Farthington-Smythe
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Canada Canada



« on: May 06, 2016, 03:33:28 am »

I've decided to Steampunk it this Halloween. A tad early, but not really considering the work ahead of me.  Since I am somewhat of a cripple (broke my spine a few years back), and walk around only by aid of a cane, I thought it would be fantastic to fashion a Steampunk leg brace for my gimpy leg, and an arm brace for my cane arm.  This thread will cover the tactilization of the former.  The latter shall be dealt with in a separate thread when I finally get around to that part of the project.

Here's where I'm at so far.  Went to the local sporting goods shop and picked up a pair of umpire's leg guards. Modern ones, not the old pillows with straps.  They are umpire black faux leather with plastic armour.  I will probably either spray the plastic to a metallic sheen, or rub 'n' buff 'em to make them appear brass.  Not sure whether to leave the black faux leather as is, or try to recolour it with rub 'n' buff to try to give it a reddish tan look.  I am fashioning a piston using a plumbing nipple for the barrel and a steel rod for the shaft.  I have a braided hose connected to the piston barrel, and the other end to a T-fitting with a pressure gauge on the opposite side of the T and the vertical of the T connected to the knee plate.


The Umpire's Leg Guard in it's original form.


Where I plan to place the piston.


Where I plan to place the gauge and T-connect.

My local HW stores were sold-out of the 3/8" compression to 1/4" MPT converter I require to attach the braided hose to the T-connect, so you don't see that in the pictures.

The gauge has a black housing, which I shall change to make it look more brass-like.  It is not a liquid filled gauge, so I plan to pop the lens out and replace the back plate with something more befitting Steampunk style.  My T-connect is galvanized , so I'll have to brassen it up a touch.  Or I could just take it back, and go to the HW store next door to the one where I got it and pick up, I don't know, a brass T-connect.

The plan is to build a toe plate from sheet metal or similar and leather scraps from a local tannery.  The end of the piston rod will connect to the toe plate which will be strapped to my shoe and stitched to the bottom of the shin skin.  I am looking for ideas on how to best mount the piston barrel to the shin plate (it should be hinged), and the end of the shaft to the toe plate (this also should be hinged).

I have already run into a touch of a snag.  The nice Champion Sports logo between the knee and shin plates has got to go.  I have tried using WD40 to remove it, but no matter long or how often I soak it, it just does not want to come off.  Any ideas as to how I might get rid of the logo?

Also: Should I bother trying to recolour the braided hose, or leave it as-is?
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 03:50:49 am »

Try a Miracle Eraser for the logo.....maybe.
I'll be watching. Wink
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Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
**
Canada Canada



« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 06:05:47 am »

Try a Miracle Eraser for the logo.....maybe.

Good suggestion.  I have tonnes of those lying around.  Not sure why I didn't think to try that out.



It takes quite a bit of elbow grease, but as you can see, the logo is slowly fading away.  If I had a power sander, I'd probably rig up a miracle eraser pad for it to make it a bit easier, but if it works, I won't complain too much.
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 04:28:05 pm »

This looks interesting - watching, with popcorn!
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2016, 06:13:28 pm »

I've decided to Steampunk it this Halloween. A tad early, but not really considering the work ahead of me. 

(snip)

It's never too early to start preparing for Halloween  Wink

This is looking nice and interesting. I'd leave the hose as is, and as for the logo, to save some work what about a brass plate rivetted over it (or something with the appearance of such) giving the maker's details?

Yours,
Miranda.
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 09:17:09 pm »

Went to the not-so-local HW store and managed to find that 1/3" compression to 1/4" MPT fitting.  While I was there, I picked up a brass T-connect.  Way better than the galvanized one I had.  So many brass fittings, it was hard not to pick up a few more items and try to incorporate them somehow.  The clockwork in my brain is spinning away.
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2016, 04:35:12 pm »

... as for the logo, to save some work what about a brass plate rivetted over it (or something with the appearance of such) giving the maker's details?

I had thought of something like that as well.  Something like this, perhaps?
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Caledonian
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Netherlands Netherlands


the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 05:35:00 pm »

I'm loving this idea, so I'll be following for updates!
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2016, 04:40:47 am »


As you can see, with a little more elbow grease, I managed to remove nearly all the white bits of the logo, however; as you can also see, you can still see where all the white bits used to be.  I may try going over this area with a bit of shoe polish to mask the existence of a logo.  If I decide to keep the leather black, it should look fine, but I may still have a brass plate done up.  By done up, I mean 3D printed in caster's wax, plaster mold made from wax, wax dripped out during kilning of plaster mold, and finally, casting molten bronze into the plaster mold, let it cool, then break apart the plaster, tumble polish, hand polish.  That simple.  Haha. As an added step at the end, I might even try some patina rub 'n' buff to antiquize it a bit.

I hope to pick up the spray paint tomorrow to begin the process of bronzing the plastic plates.

You might notice, as I have noticed, the stitching around the knee plate.  While the knee plate itself is held on by two rivets, the stitching prevents the knee plate from moving about - an important feature, considering the weight I plan to add to it.  To make it a bit more authentic, rather than painting over the thread which would impede the sanding between layers, I plan to remove the thread before applying the paint, then replace it with 28 AWG solid brass wire.  It will definitely help sell that the knee plate is metal rather than plastic.

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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2016, 08:50:17 am »

Here is a rendering of the ID plate I hope to have done up.


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Hektor Plasm
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


All-Round Oddfellow.


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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2016, 07:08:57 pm »

Interesting build, and going nicely, if I may say so.
I'm interested in oval plaques like this; I wonder if there was any sort of standard- they are all over Victorian builds, and all seem to be similar, yet different. Nice going with the modelling, by the way  Smiley

HP
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"all die! o, the embarrassment."
H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

Some musings:-
http://hektorplasm.blogspot.co.uk/
Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2016, 09:08:23 pm »



Here is the shin plate immediately following the second coat of paint.  I sanded a bit early, I think, since you can see some lovely scrapes.  This doesn't concern me too much, since I have possibly seven more coats to go.  Besides, I think marks like this will help add the realism.  After all, a sheet of brass pressed and tooled into a shape such as this is bound to have a few scrapes.  It's not particularly warm or dry outside today, so the paint is taking longer than usual to dry to the point of being sandable.  Depending on the weather over the next few days, it might take a few days to finish this plate.

Before I paint the knee plate, I plan to drill a hole and insert a NPT threaded brass plug from behind, and epoxy into place.  I will then put a bead of caulking around it on the front of the plate.  That way, when I paint the knee plate, the bead of caulking will hopefully end up looking like a weld.

I'm still juggling some hinge ideas, and am completely open to suggestions.  I might draw up some of my ideas and post them here to get some opinions.

Sadly, I broke the needle off of my pressure gauge.  Silly people making the needle shaft out of plastic.  Sheesh.  First time this has happened to me.  At least the local HW store was nice and refunded my money, anyway. They didn't have to, because I'm the one who broke it.  I find if you're nice to them and calmly explain what happened, they're usually fine with making exceptions.  I picked up a different gauge; one with a regulator.  The drawback of the new gauge is that it has an all plastic housing with a clear plastic cover.  I'm hoping to be able to remove the plastic lens and install a glass lens with a brass or faux brass ring.

I also picked up a short union from the HVAC section.  It is the ideal size to use for making the toe plate.  The spray paint I am using tells me in big red letters "DO NOT USE ON GALVANIZED MATERIALS", so I guess I'll have to prime the heck out of it first.  No biggie, still have tonnes of primer left over from some body work on my wheels, so... YAY!!!
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2016, 10:14:46 pm »

The sun's come out.  Here's coat 3.  I'll give it extra dry time, as I am still scraping down to the plastic.

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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 01:06:06 am »

....9 coats of paint....how thin are they going on?!
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2016, 02:02:28 am »

....9 coats of paint....how thin are they going on?!

Quite thin indeed.  Sanding between coats thins them out a bit.  It's the price to pay for a smooth finish.  That said, it may not take as many as nine coats, but that's an exaggerated maximum.  I'm hoping for fewer, but aiming for perfection (or a close approximation thereof).
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2016, 03:48:55 pm »

Here is the fourth coat before sanding...


As you can see, the black plastic still shows through after the fourth coat, so it may take nine total after all.  I started with 400 grit paper, but have since changed to 600 grit.  I'll just keep at it until it's good.  When I did the body work on my auto it took a lot of patience.  I lost count on how many primer coats I applied before it was ready for paint, and then lost track of how many paint coats I applied before it was ready for clear coat.  I think it was only 3-5 clear coats.

Thanks everyone for your interest in my project.  It helps motivate when I know folks are watching.
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SeVeNeVeS
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England England



« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2016, 04:10:00 pm »

Just a thought here but does the paint have to be perfect? Could you not use the black showing through as wear and tear, natural scuff marks and maybe add a few more by a bit of scraping.

I believe it is called Distressing to add the effect of age and use. Undecided

Here's a crash helmet I did, black polycarbonate, sprayed with various colours, distressed and used a soldering iron for battle scaring. As I say, just an idea, maybe....
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 04:45:28 pm by SeVeNeVeS » Logged

Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2016, 07:08:14 pm »

...does it have to be perfect?Could you not use the black showing through as wear and tear, natural scuff marks and maybe add a few more by a bit of scraping.

I believe it is called Distressing to add the effect of age and use.
I agree that it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect, and I certainly don't mind scratches and gouges, and distressing, but I suppose by "perfect", I mean to say matching perfectly with the vision in my brain.  Haha.  As I get closer to the final coats of paint, I may even add some tool marks.  I will probably scratch the paint while trying to attach the piston.  We'll se when we get there.  Which reminds me, I should get to work on some hinge concepts.

Fantastic work on that helm, btw.
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Maets
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2016, 07:39:35 pm »

Good start, but remember, steampunk is not just for Halloween.
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
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Canada Canada



« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2016, 08:14:08 pm »

Good start, but remember, steampunk is not just for Halloween.

Too true.  But deadlines are nice to have.  Grin
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2016, 08:23:38 pm »

After the sixth coat, here is how it compares to some real brass...
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
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Canada Canada



« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2016, 12:45:15 am »

Seven coats, and the shin plate is now "brass".

How's it look?

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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2016, 05:36:14 pm »

Removed the knee plate, and installed the 1/4 MPT plug.  Just need to pick up some more epoxy to secure it.  It's holding pretty good and steady just being press-fit, but once it has some weight on it, who knows, so I must make it a permanent a bond as possible.

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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2016, 06:15:12 pm »

Remarkable attention to detail! I'm looking forwards to seeing what you have planned for the mechanism.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Sir Farthington-Smythe
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2016, 01:47:10 am »

Remarkable attention to detail! I'm looking forwards to seeing what you have planned for the mechanism.

Yours,
Miranda.


Thank you, so am I.  Went for a stroll through the local HW store for inspiration.

Here's the current progress report:

After a few coats with the knee plate on its side, there as a bit too much dripping and running, so I continued with it propped on a Macca's coffee cup.  That did the job, no more running paint.  Here it is with six coats.  No need for a seventh.


Here is how it looks with the T-connect:


Here it is placed loosely on the rest of the piece:


By now, I started noticing some of the paint beginning to flake off the edges of the shin plate and it was quite susceptible to scraping, so I shall have some touch-up to do.  To prevent this from happening on the knee plate, I clear-coated.  Now I have to touch up the shin plate with another layer or two of paint, then a couple of layers of clear coat to give it a nice solid finish.

I am still on the hunt for a good pressure gauge.  None of my local HW stores seem to carry them any more.  The one I broke must've been the last one.  Sure, they sell them attached to regulators for about three times the price. I shall keep my eyes peeled.

After the clear coat sets on the shin plate, I will be able to stitch the knee plate in place with less fear of damaging the shin plate in the process.  I'm also in the process of modeling some hinge and guide ideas.  These will no doubt have to be custom made.
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