I have been having discussions with Dave Chater, president of the Community Connected HackSpace  (CCHS) about our interest in film costumes and prop building. We thought about getting a  building day together at the CCHS. As we both have a strong interest in cinema and technology, it seemed to be a natural conclusion to get together to explore how both disciplines can come together to create new and cool things.

At our first few meetings, I started shaping some aluminium plates into armour for a costume I have been working on. By using an english wheel to put pressure on the plates, and them back and forth, you can curve and curl the straight pieces into a more functional plate that fits around your body. Right now I have been working on the chest and shoulder pieces.

Aluminium is rather thin.  It takes some effort to feed the plates back and forth to get the sale you’re after. It’s kind of like origami, but with metal. I can only imagine how the armour plates for real battle armour were made, as this method would not work to weaken the metal. In the end, sometimes you just need to pound away at the piece, and the only thing you can do is pick up a hammer.

After all the forming had taken place, I used an orbital sander to smooth out the surface and give it a uniform finish. I was very happy with the result, and realised that these aluminum pieces would come out very smooth after being painted and primed.

These were new techniques for me to learn and I was happy to add this to my skill set.

For those in Melbourne, we hold our Costume build days at the CCHS on the first Sunday of every month at 10:00 AM. You can find the details of our March build day here.

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