Moderator Power armor

Posted: November 15, 2011 in costume, prop
Tags: , , ,

I’ve always wanted my own power armor. There is far too much inspiration here for me to list it all out.

Here is a gallery of inspiration and goodness

I’ve been thinking of these guys as “Mods”, short for moderators. They are the Enforcers; remotely motivated Drones. This is the large Encounter suit, fitted with sensor arrays and used by VN units to extend their capacity with communication, recording and defensive capabilities.

I found the tactical helmet at an army surplus, the face-mask is a 3m respirator, placed on a hairstyle dummy head. I like the way they fit together, and it gave me a starting point.

I started assembling the suit on a mannequin torso, using a low temp thermo-form plastic mesh, to create a lightweight body shell to attach the armor plates to.

I managed to get ahold of some motorcycle parts and found myself thinking back to Robotech; the Cyclone bikes, which transformed into armor, yes please.

I used long bolts through the existing holes in the motorcycle body to space the plate away from the torso and position it, then used my heat gun to reform the plastic mesh to the plate as well as slightly warping the plate itself to conform to the torso.


I debated using them for awhile but I had these arm-pods I vacuum-formed while I was working at M-5, which fit in with the manufactured look of this suit;



With the mesh on the inside the chest plate was wearable,



Started painting and weathering the arm-pods to match the rest of the armor. I also added airsoft gloves, and chose the base for his side-arm The belt-fed nerf Vulcan;



A black jumpsuit and some tool belts to tie the ensemble together.



The suit still wasn’t feeling substantial enough. I wanted this to be really hulking. I ended up with the dashboard from a touring bike, like a Honda Goldwing. Really, a part like this has a ton of potential, so it took awhile to figure out exactly how it fit, but I kept coming back to shoulders and cowl.


The circles that help the gauges perfectly fit battery-operated LED tap lights. I secured it with some suspender straps and cut sections out to allow some arm movement while it rested on the shoulder.



The Chest plate was a tight fit so a bit more heat forming was needed;


At this point it was wearable, though not the most comfortable. But that is exactly the point of test-fits, to see how it needs adjustment to be wearable. I wanted to see how it’d look on a location. So we went out to the Hunter’s point Naval shipyard. This was the only shot I was able to get before the cops asked us to leave;

Watching this showed me a lot of places that needed work; the mid-torso, upper shoulder for comfort, the openings in the chest plate and shoulder rig, the legs…

The shoulders’ compartments looked too empty, such a large platform would definitely carry more equipment, sensor arrays, communications, I liked the way these Nerf guns fit, and their shape seemed to compliment the lines already ther;


I chopped the handles of the Shoulder pods so they would fit back into the compartment a bit more, and used I heat-form plastic to hold them in place. I also added rubber kneepads with foam inserts to the inside of the shoulder to make it more comfortable.

To better handle the mid-torso I picked up an airsoft Molle-style body armor, which adds a much better texture than the jumpsuit alone.



I started filling the chest openings with fans, lenses, and other parts to show more of it’s function as an I/O device.



My concerns now; armor for the legs since he looks a bit top heavy, the chest plate and shoulder should interlock for more stability, the gun needs more work, fill out the spaces in the chest plate, and generally make more function visible in the suit.

He still has a way to go before I’d consider him done, but this is a good document for his start.

  1. Grit Philm says:

    Wow, Looking really sharp!

    Looking at the video, I would suggest that you add some weight to the bottom of the ammo belt to keep it from swinging so much. Fishing weights in the last chamber should do the trick.

    I’m also seeing some ear in the later shots and think that something like this would fill in the gap:


  2. Thanks! Those are some great ideas. I wonder where I might be able to find some of those rubber gaskets, might be worth going to a pick and pull… actually that might be a lot of fun to do with cameras and costumes…

  3. James says:

    CV joint boots, should be able to get those off of any front wheel drive car, not all are split on one side though so removal might be a pain…

  4. James says:

    Spend some time browsing some of the import tuner websites. Some of the body kits are pretty wild and may be a good source for inspiration or kit bashing….

  5. Emilio says:

    Hello here!

    I found your website casually, and I liked what I saw. I´m in project for work in own designs of helmets and later if everything goes well of suits. Really nice idea the motorcycle front, I thought something similar long time ago for a LARP armor haha, keep on working in this great idea, I really like this kind of futurist style.

    Good job and good luck from Spain

  6. […] Drab Future, The Von Neuman Moderators are the eyes and hands of the network. These agents exist to gather information and track […]

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