GAT-X105E Strike Noir Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: Stargazer

Cosplayer: k4tt

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

Judges' Award - London MCM Expo May 2010 - Saturday

13th June 2010: New Frame and Wing Mount Built Due to how the wing mount has been made, I have to integrate the frame into the back panel. This means that each Gundam will have its own frame instead of a shared one.
The wingmoung is about the same waight as the old one, except it's at least 5 times stronger ^__^
I'll upload a photo of the mount and frame later one.

6th June 2010: Rebuild Underdway Okay, There were a few hot days last week, and I stupidly left some of the suit in the car.
The result, is that most of the original hot glue stripped off the Foamboard, and even worse, the panels on each side of the Foamboard was peeling away from the foam.

Most of the pieces are still there, and I have to remake the right foot (as this is what broke on Saturday, forcing me to pack them away as it would be too dangerous to hobble about with a semi mended foot)

I've started on the new body frame, which the existing shell will wrap around. This will effectively strengthen the torso, and provide a new mount for interchangeable wings.

I'm doing this alongside my Deathscythe as the frame will accommodate for both Gundams.

17th May 2010: Started Base Painting Okay, i've started to trim rough edges, and try to smooth out corners. It's still not working very well, but I started to paint the base layer of the torso, guards, feet and wings. I'm using an acrylic spray as the base, and will apply a second coat plus varnish for the top later depending on how it looks. I'm still trimming the edges for the legs and arms (basically all the white/grey bits) so i won't know how they will turn out until I start painting them, which will hopefully be tomorrow.

16th May 2010: Lack of inspiration so close to expo = epic fail I still have to paint the thing. I haven't even thought about how I'm going to fill any gaps around the edges of the foamboard to give it a smoother look. All the black pieces are okay as the paint can semi obscure imperfections, but the arms and legs simply cannot be avoided. *sigh*
I will spend whatever time I have left over the next week to try and get as much painted as possible. Then I will have to work on last minute electronics. I still have to finish building the wings, the second pistol. I've given up on the swords, they will just have to stay mounted in the wings as I can't reinforce the handles.

wish me luck...

8th May 2010: Lower Legs in Progress Okay, I've spent most of last couple of nights and all of today working on getting the basic shape of the legs going. My first attempt was initially too tight, so i ended up making alterations and recutting the side panels. At the moment they are both a nice snug fit, and I am still able to bend my legs.
My next step (no pun intended) is to make the ankle shields (to cover my feet) and the actual Gundam Feet, which should put me about 30cms off the ground :s

29th October 2009: Hands in the making I've started working on the hands now. I didn't get a chance to do any work on this leading up to the October Expo, so it's nice to finally get things going again.
I'm making the fingers in three parts, plus knuckles. Once I have all 4 fingers and the thumb, I will be mounting each piece onto plastic mesh for flexibility, then binding them onto black gloves. Once painted, I will be looking at getting hold of rubber tape or some sort for additional grip. I wanna be able to hold chopsticks with these things. ^__^

1st October 2009: Not much more progress on this Been working on something else at the moment, so i had this on hold, but I did buy a massive sheet of Model Foam for the feet. Proper solid material, almost 2 inches thick, so I should be able to cut a few sheets, stack up, and model around them, for some platform goodness. ^__^

28th August 2009: Detachable Shoulders Okay, I already have both arms done, but not joined. I started on the shoulders, and couldn't decide where and how to mount them. So, I had a little inspiration, and made them slot into the sides. Yes, that's right, the shoulders have now been built as detachable pieces, meaning, easier to store, and also easier for me to wear!! So far, I am able to get the helmet, torso, arms and shoulders on by myself, which may prove useful later on. I still need to finish off the shoulder pieces, which I will hope to get done in the next day or two.
I may even start painting the base coats, just to see what the whole thing will look like. The only trouble, is that as the costume is generically black, the photos may not come out as clear as just with the plain foam boards. I'll see what happens.

23rd August 2009: Time for some Arms Okay, I have some time and hopefully a little inspiration. I know that I haven't fully finished the Torso, but I will probably work on the arms this week.
I've also got a plan for how I'm going to do the back and the wings, but that will come in a later journal.

Arms should be fairly easy compared to the rest of the build, as they're simple geometric shapes, and all detail can be added on later.

Will probably update this journal with a WIP photo at some point, before submitting a proper one.

18th August 2009: I officially hate soldering, fingers got too close to iron... Okay, I decided to make the first of many of the LED units for my build. The standard kit comes with Red LEDs, which i know are pretty bright. I replaced these with Yellow ones, only to find that they're not quite as bright as I hoped they would be. I'm not sure whether the battery is low, or whether the LEDs are genuinely not bright enough.
I may buy a pack of bright white LEDs to see if they do the trick, and use tinted transparencies to add the colour.

Attached is a picture of the unit available from Maplin for about 4 quid.
It's called Battery Saving Lamp (Code: MAP402) with 4 red LEDs that flash on and off at interval.
Notice that one of the IC's pins is sitting outside of the socket.
I did this to disable the flashing, and make the lights constant. (Incidentally, I used this same method when I made Nanoha's Staff for my wife)

Works well so far, but I know that Maplin sell an LED Torch (Code: MAP401) that has a single/dual bright white LED, but it's more than a fiver :S

Anyway, I shall see how the rest of the electronics go.

17th August 2009: Materials Okay, I probably should have put this one as my first journal, but hey, better late than never.
the idea behind this journal, was to outline what I've actually been using for this build.
I know that many people who do armour type cosplays, tend to use the godlike substance of Plastazote, and possibly funky foam/craft foam.

Normally, I would have gone for this too, but for some strange reason, i went with ....... *drum roll* .......Foam Board.

"What Madness" I hear you say.

Well, to be honest, i was kinda skeptical to begin with as well, but with that in mind, I still went with the foam board, for one thing only. Rigidity (without the use of additional materials (fibreglass/resin/plaster etc etc)
I'm not skilled in fibreglassing, latexing, plaster claying etc etc, so i just wanted something that i could put together, and once binded (hot glue stick gun FTW) it would be in a state where I could just spray paint it.

Anyway, so far, the build has been going well, and I'm lucky to have a fellow cosplayer (Odd-One-Out) to set the bar in terms of build quality and finish, because it means I always have a goal to aim for ;)

7th August 2009: Electronics Damn I hate soldering!!
This weekend I'm hoping to get the rest of the helmet sorted out.
I only have 2 LED units, so for the moment I have to decide whether to use them for the helmet or the gun, or both. i think I'm going to need more, but they've run out of the normal LED ones :(
Anyway, I also have some painting to do, so if I can get enough inspiration, I'll have something I can be proud of ^__^

Edit: Okay, so I had all the electronics prepared, but....I couldn't find my soldering iron >__<
Anyway, I started working on the eye unit. Took a stript of 3mm clear acrylic, used a heatgun to bend in three places so that it can be mounted inside the helmet. Then mounted a strip of yellow transparency film front and back.
I need to look for yellow transparent acrylic as that would be the perfect material to use for the eyes, but I wanted to try different methods first. This way is okay, but I can't get the glowiness from the eyes when I pass light along the edges, *sigh* Will have to wait and see how this helmet turns out. I may even attempt a plastazote version at a later date as that stuff seems to be much more manageable.

23rd July 2009: Starting Point Okay, I've started to make this thing now. It appears to be going well. I've made 1 prop and the front part of the headgear, and part of the chest.
I was worried at first, because all the smaller pieces looked odd, but once everything started piecing together, it was becoming more and more familiar.
I'm still leagues behind another fellow cosplayer, so I really need to step up a gear and get shifting on my work ^__^


Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 8th July 2009
You know I like this, haha.

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 6th August 2009
Too cool for school Vince, this already puts Wing to shame!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 6th August 2009
lol, it's still early days yet Phoebe. i will relax when the whole things actually starts to look like a gundam.
I think the feet are probably going to be the most important.

hmmm, wondering whether to change the title of the cosplay. Not sure how many people will know what a GAT-X105E is ^^;

Berserk667 avatar

Berserk667 - 7th August 2009
holy cow thats looking awesome already O_O

FairyPorchQueen avatar

FairyPorchQueen - 7th August 2009
:O wow!

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 7th August 2009
Nice work K4tt ^^ i direct you to www.mechacosplaytips.tk if it still works and go through some of Eva's tutorials. And try and get what you need before the site closes. :( But it's got some good leg and feet ideas.

Regards

Venom

xaerael avatar

xaerael - 9th August 2009
ah, one of my top 10 favorite mobile suit designs. not as cool as the hyaku tho ;p

construction looks good and clean!

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 16th August 2009
The light is damn cool. Sir!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 19th August 2009
Thanks Phoebe, but judging by my last electronics attempt, it hasn't quite worked out how it's supposed to look. I think i need to think up another idea >__< Whatever happens, I want lights dammit!!!

Mothfox avatar

Mothfox - 20th August 2009
looking great i look forward to seeing more and have you though of using battery powered xmas lights?

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 21st August 2009
Torso pics - it is exciting seeing this progress. Your Gundam is gonna look badass when it is finished. :)

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 22nd August 2009
Wow, looks amazing so far!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 23rd August 2009
Thanks for the comments people.

@Mothfox. I didn't think about xmas lights, purely because the ones I have run on normal bulbs, and I think to get the strength, I really need LEDs instead of filaments.

@Ranma1-2. ^__^ I think it will only look badass IF i can get it painted to a high standard. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to use as a base, because there are still so many rough edges, and I suspect that I'll be using a lot of epoxy putty and sticky plastic >__<

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 23rd August 2009
This is looking BADASS; Vince your house isn't exactly the cleanest but the Gundam is looking clean ;)

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 23rd August 2009
LOL Phoebe. almost 5 years of crap accumulated in the flat :p
did you mean the carpet not clean (lots of bits from the cutting) or the storage boxes behind the TV? >__<

I'll be sure to replace that photo with a "cleaner" one ;)

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 26th August 2009
Hey k4tt, i used LED's but got two for you to check out. Also something else your going to need :).

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?TabID=1&ModuleNo=35769&doy=18m5 - super bright LED's

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?TabID=1&ModuleNo=36398&doy=22m7 - 8mm panel LED's

http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ITAG=SPEC&ModuleNo=30269&doy=18m5#sp... - Ball Bearing Fans 50mm. Best thing ever invented for cosplay helmets.

Regards

Matt

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 27th August 2009
Thanks for the links. I actually bought most of my electronics and LEDs from Maplin already, but didn't want to invest in the super bright LEDs due to cost. Looks like I'm probably going to have to. As for the fan, I didn't think about installing one as the helmet is a pretty tight fit. I might be able to get two in the sides, but not sure how restrictive it would be. Otherwise, I'm looking at hidden ventilation to help with the air flow.

Ikkaku-kun avatar

Ikkaku-kun - 27th August 2009
thats the single sexiest thing ive seen since last expo 8D

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 30th August 2009
Slow down mate, you are waaay ahead! Haha! Good to see the pics, every new pic makes me more and mroe excited.

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 30th August 2009
lol. Pheebs, Are you forgetting that I have to make two of these things. I want to at least finish mine, so that I have more time to work out whether I'm going the same route for the second one. I'm putting the electronics on hold for the moment. I want to get the rest of the build done, and painted, to give me more inspiration.

Captain_Marvelous avatar

Captain_Marvelous - 1st October 2009
this is looking really rad :)

kirato avatar

kirato - 13th December 2009
This is looking A-M-A-Z-I-N-G cant wait to see the final production line ;D

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 1st March 2010
This is so cool i can hardly express it in words O_O

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 31st March 2010
Eeeeeee Vince excited!

Anime_Angel avatar

Anime_Angel - 30th April 2010
looking forward to seeing this one at the expo^__^ I wish I made a better effort with cosplay for May lol

Anime_Angel avatar

Anime_Angel - 30th April 2010
dunno when it'll be finished but it will be by the end of the year, am gonna make more progress on it after the expo with 2 hour sessions and knowing me, I can always afford it lol

Ichigo-Chan avatar

Ichigo-Chan - 3rd May 2010
I can't believe I never commented on this because it looks absolutely amazing.

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 3rd May 2010
Whoa, Vince! Wings look incredible!

Defrain avatar

Defrain - 5th May 2010
looking awesome

Anime_Angel avatar

Anime_Angel - 8th May 2010
OK this is turning out to be a little too good lol, I think you will be in a photography swarm with this thing on lol

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 8th May 2010
lol thanks Rik, but trust me, this thing looks pretty raw and messy at close up. I really need to get cracking on sealing all the joints, and then painting the damn thing. First things first though. need to finish the waist area and the feet *sigh* too much to do, so little time...

Anime_Angel avatar

Anime_Angel - 8th May 2010
lol, should have started sooner lol
but yeah, I don't think anyone may care how bad it may be close up because they normally judge the effort mostly because they are always a few feet away lol

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 13th May 2010
EXCITED MUCH?!

Legs look stunning, suit up is impressive

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 13th May 2010
Really nice work K4tt.
Nice to see the whole suit together for the first time. I agree with you on your proportions comment. Are your feet on raised platforms inside the suit? if so I don't think you need the extra boost of height - your own body proportions look like they will be tall enough just wearing flats. Easier for you to walk in too, cuz you can feel the floor.

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 13th May 2010
@Ranma1-2
My feet are indeed on raised platforms. despite the suit not being as colossally tall as I hoped, the issue is that in the suitup, i wasn't wearing shoes or anything, i was just in my socks, and although the proportions might look okay (if not a bit too tall), ideally i need to make the platforms on the feet a little shorter to compensate for the soles of the footwear that I will be using, hence why I wanted to trim off a couple of inches.
Granted, the ankle shields will obscure the view of my footware, but I really wanted the whole thing to look absolutely proportional. i don't think I'll ever be 100% completely happy about this build, but it will leave me open for improvement for future cosplays ^__^

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 13th May 2010
Hmm yeah. The only other thing you could do to make it look less tall is bulk out the width somehow.

Duo Maxwell avatar

Duo Maxwell - 14th May 2010
Its looking awesome!!!~ Can't wait to see it finished!~

Pez avatar

Pez - 16th May 2010
Really, REALLY can't wait to see this!

Anime_Angel avatar

Anime_Angel - 16th May 2010
Gotta admit, you sure are gonna finish this in time for the Expo^__^

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 17th May 2010
Looking forward to seeing this at Expo - good luck!

DefineImagineMJ avatar

DefineImagineMJ - 17th May 2010
I've not seen Gundam Seed really (first disc only), but have seen and own all of Gundam Wing. Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing this if I manage to come across you at expo!

Ragepotato avatar

Ragepotato - 17th May 2010
Insanity! XD Can't wait to see it!!

-Phi

VeXerLINK avatar

VeXerLINK - 18th May 2010
Wow, this looks EPIC!

Are you going both days to expo? I hope to see you there so i can take pictures of you...if you let me X3.... this will be awesome to see.

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 19th May 2010
Thanks people! ^__^ I'm slowly getting there. I still need to finish off the helmet wings and gloves, but the painting is coming along.

@Rik
yeah, fingers cross, it looks like it might be ready for the Expo

@Slimdefinition
I was tempted to do a Gundam Wing cosplay, but Pheebs (Odd-One-Out) beat me to it :(
Strike Noir is actually featured in a spin off called Stargazer, but the model is still loosely based on the Strike

@Phi >__< Insanity indeed. what the hell was I thinking?? btw, I NEED to comment on your Recon Armor

@Tanuki-Otaku
Yes, I'm going on both days. I've spent too much time and effort on this cosplay so I need to make the most use of it :)
Come look for me. I'll probably be lurking somewhere alongside a fellow Gundam (Wing Zero)

Tsuchinoko avatar

Tsuchinoko - 20th May 2010
Wow, this is really impressive!
Looking forward to seeing this ^_^

CrystalNeko avatar

CrystalNeko - 31st May 2010
How on earth I managed to miss this both days was beyond me! The finished product looks so amazing! Congrats!

Amy-Lou avatar

Amy-Lou - 31st May 2010
Incredible cosplay, hope we'll be seeing it again :)

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 31st May 2010
This was an incredible costume. I'm so sorry that things broke but well done for still standing and for going on the stage. And of course for getting the Judges Award - well deserved.
Thank you for the Pocky; a very sweet thought but I was more than happy to help.
I look forward to seeing the remake in October! =^_^=

SephNoir avatar

SephNoir - 31st May 2010
I loved this so much! Congratulations on the award! I'm really looking forward to seeing it again in October!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 31st May 2010
@CrystalNeko
Unfortunately I only wore it on Saturday and was mostly over by the CosplayDesk doing initial repairs. Couldn't wear it on Sunday as it would have taken too long to fix as it pretty much fell apart at the end of Saturday

Thanks for the support everyone. I really appreciate it.
I'm hoping that my budget for October will allow me to fully reconstruct all the failed parts of the suit, as well as strengthening them, and perhaps implement new features as well ^__^

Ichigo-Chan avatar

Ichigo-Chan - 31st May 2010
Soooooooooo sad I missed this! I was really looking forward seeing this on the weekend, but sadly I never had a ticket to watch the masquerade. From the photos it looks absolutely amazing, all the hard work and effort paid off.

Defrain avatar

Defrain - 31st May 2010
this was absolutly awesome

Odd-One-Out avatar

Odd-One-Out - 31st May 2010
Too cool to spend some time with you and your wife, thank you for being there!

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 1st June 2010
Enjoyed seeing this for real. Nice meeting you in the masquerade queue too. :)

Ragepotato avatar

Ragepotato - 1st June 2010
Hey Vince! It was brilliant to meet you guys too! We're just sorry we couldn't have spent more time talking with you! Hopefully see you again in October! <3

-Phi

lastordersuk avatar

lastordersuk - 1st June 2010
great job on this man, and congrats for the masquerade

ElegantAura avatar

ElegantAura - 1st June 2010
Congratulations on your award, and wow this was truely fantastic!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 1st June 2010
Thanks everyone. Was great meeting you all and gaining some new friends too! ^__^ Hopefully see you all in October

LittlePidgey4 avatar

LittlePidgey4 - 2nd June 2010
Awesome mech costume is awesome. :D

VeXerLINK avatar

VeXerLINK - 2nd June 2010
Thankyou for the comment, it makes me happy :D I really really wanted to see your costume but i didn't :(

If you want I could upload so close up photos of the complete swords?

X

twilight_suzuka avatar

twilight_suzuka - 3rd June 2010
Awsome Gundam, amzing skill constructing them

kiichan avatar

kiichan - 3rd June 2010
Awesome work, I can't believe how rammed in there you were! Well done!

Speckles avatar

Speckles - 4th June 2010
I saw this whilst outta costume and this was brilliant! And thanks for commenting on my angewomon and Erza, I shall aim to not disappoint ;) also rewearing angewomon so you can see her next october ;) looking forward to your next cosplay! G'luck!

k4tt avatar

k4tt - 4th June 2010
Thanks for the comments ^__^

@Tanuki-Otaku - I'm hoping to get Noir repaired for Saturday so you might see it then.

@kiichan - hahah, yeah, I was packed in really tight in the suit. couldn't actually sit down for the whole day!! :(
by the time I took it off, I had bruises on my neck and shoulders.

@Speckles - Yay. hopefully I'll be able to see your Angewoman in october!! WIll definitely be looking out for you!!

Annadill avatar

Annadill - 5th June 2010
this was a great suit shame i missed it, but it was great chatting with you on the sunday :D

Smallfry0 avatar

Smallfry0 - 5th June 2010
It was great to see you ^^ on and of the stage well done on u awarde u really did an epic job ^^

PinkCharlieBear avatar

PinkCharlieBear - 6th June 2010
This was totally amazing @_@ I take my hat off to you and your skills!
Award was very much deserved!!

Limegreenjelly avatar

Limegreenjelly - 7th June 2010
O.o inspirational :)

RebaSephiroth2 avatar

RebaSephiroth2 - 25th July 2010
That is amazing and well done you for The Judge's Award. ^_^

cowiee avatar

cowiee - 8th April 2011
I remember seeing you at expo.
You really did look amazing!

.neverbell avatar

.neverbell - 9th April 2011
so amazing >.< what sorts of materials did you use?

Manticore Arts avatar

Manticore Arts - 3rd October 2011
Oh god did this just make me scream! This is awesome! Love the detail and scale to it and how sleek it looks!