The creation of the Hazardous Environment Suit












- Jehudah Design







With all the back details finished, I could fill in the remaining gaps at
the sides of the back.




Back when I didn't know how to sculpt 3D models, or had access to tons of clay and casting materials to make this armor the proper way, I had
to come up with another way of making the armor with what I had, resulting in shaping each piece out of cardboard to coat them with
fiberglass reinforced polyester that would then become the armor parts.









Waking up from stasis in a different building, I could continue making
the rest of the HEV suit parts out of cardboard, only this time the
cardboard molds would be scaled down for fiberglass application on
the outside instead.

The first part I started making was the groin armor that is much larger
and more complicated than its Mark V equivalent that is more like a
waist armor instead.

















Waking up from stasis again in a different building, I could finally
apply the coats of fiberglass reinforced polyester over the HEV armor
molds to see what it would all become, starting with the groin armor.

Here you can see how removing a hardened fiberglass shell from a
positive mold would magically turn it into an armor part, even if this
method is absolutely awful.


After adding a few more lines here and there, I started getting a good
idea of what the scale of the control panel and the rest of the armor
should be.

It's a shame that the Mark V HEV suit doesn't even have this control
panel that would have made the whole suit look far more
technological.
It all started with this small part that I later learned was from a
scratch ticket stand that I also turned into the eye tubes of my
Tusken Raider mask.

Since it had the same shape and size as one of the HEV control panel
parts, I traced around it to grow the rest of the drawing out from it to
get the armor to the right scale.
Using the measurements from the control panel, the part above it with
the lambda symbol was drawn to what I thought would be the
appropriate size.
Comparing the scale of the original HEV neck opening against
Gordon's head, I then proceeded to draw the neck opening of my
armor after the scale of my own head.
After the fiberglass reinforced polyester had cured, the cardboard
molds were removed from the armor parts by soaking them in water,
though most of the duct-tape was still sticking to it.

It was around this time that some old guy in a blue suit put me into
stasis for some reason.
After waking up from stasis, I discovered the remaining HEV parts had
been smashed to pieces in another building, so I had to repair them
with a few rounds of packaging-tape.
Having run out of polyester resin, I had to merge all the parts together
with fiberglass mixed filler.

It was around this time that some old man in a suit put me into stasis
again until further notice.
With all the rounded shapes in place, the bicep armor molds could be
wrapped up in packaging-tape as well.
All the shapes of the forearm armor were drawn onto two panels of
cardboard that could then be curled up into the forearm armor molds,
similarly to how the shin armor molds were made.
After the forearm armor molds were curled up into a cylindrical form,
the surfaces were of course also covered in packaging-tape.

It was around this time that some old guy in a blue suit put me into
stasis again for some reason.
As you can imagine, the shin armor molds were also covered in
fiberglass reinforced polyester.
With all the parts in place, the groin armor was wrapped in with
packaging-tape that would work as a mold-release now that the
fiberglass reinforced polyester would be applied to the outside of the
armor molds instead.
To fill in the gaps in the groin armor, the gaps were traced onto a
sheet of paper, and the paper templates were then traced onto
cardboard panels that would fit perfectly into the gaps.
With the last of the shape molds repaired again, the application of
fiberglass reinforced polyester was completed, and resulted in a big
pile of random armor parts that didn't look like much at that point.
With two more panels added to the bottom sides, the front of the
chest armor was completed and could be further marked up just to
vaguely see what it all might look like in the end.
After cutting open the neck hole, the neck padding part was attached
to the other parts, and I do realize it sort of looked like a toilet-seat at
this point.
The flimsy cardboard would of course not stay in the proper shape
around the arm openings, so cardboard plates were attached to the
inside of the arm openings.
Several more strips and panels of cardboard were added to fill in the
shapes of the back parts.
The recessed vent area on the back panel was also added, along with
the rest of the shapes for the lower back.
After realizing what a bad idea it was to cast the chest armor in
separate pieces since the parts no longer fit together properly, I
decided to merge all the parts together to cut them apart after
everything had been further reinforced.

Thick cardboard frames were put inside the openings of the chest
armor to properly align the parts before merging them together.
The back of the groin armor was meant to have a gap that shows
some of the abdominal armor through it, so it was left open to waste
less materials.
To start making the thigh armor, a top pieces was made to match with
the bottom openings of the groin armor.
After the bottom pieces were made, four narrow strips would connect
the top and bottom pieces together at the right height.
Four larger panels were made to go in between the four narrow strips
to fill out the shape of the thigh armor.
The edges of the two front panels were shaped in a specific way to
make the front of the thigh armor more rounded than the back.
After marking up the recessed areas on the sides of the thigh armor,
the shapes were cut out from the rest of the thigh armor to be
repositioned in the right location.

Several rounds of packaging-tape were also applied over the thigh
armor to work as a mold-release.
Most of the measurements of the shin armor were taken from the one
full-view picture that exists of Gordon Freeman in his HEV suit since
the game model is really not detailed enough to measure everything
from.

The measurements were drawn onto a sheet of cardboard that could
simply be curled up into the shin armor itself.
The bottom of the shin armor was shaped to the appropriate
dimensions to fit perfectly over a pair of boots that I bought for the
HEV suit.
With some packaging-tape all over the surface, the shin armor molds
were completed.

The other details on the front of the shin armor would be made later
on since these molds are not really the greatest for making finer
details.
Eventually all the molds for the lower half of the armor were ready for
fiberglass application, and I could place them all together to get a
vague preview of what at least half of the HEV suit might look like in
the end.
The bicep armor was loosely based on the shape of my Stormtrooper
costume's bicep armor since they seemed to have about the same
size.
The thigh armor molds were also covered with fiberglass reinforced
polyester, such as the idea always was.
The bicep armor molds were covered with loose strands of fiberglass
in polyester just to see how it would compare to the woven fiberglass,
and I found it to be much better for filling in corners and other
complicated shapes on the inside of the armor parts.
After some searching through many stores, I finally found the
materials needed to make this armor, and it would be the first time of
many more to come that I made anything out of fiberglass reinforced
polyester.
The chest armor was made slightly oversized to apply the fiberglass
reinforced polyester on the inside, so the pieces were cut open to
apply it.
After some more marking, the chest armor was ready for application
of fiberglass reinforced polyester.
The parts underneath the back of the neck rim were added next.
Two more strips of cardboard were added to the sides of the torso
armor, connecting to the top half of the control panel part.
The areas underneath the arm openings were made as long strips that
were marked off where to trim them down to the right size.
With the front of the shoulder parts cut to the right shape, the rest of
the shoulder parts could be attached to the other parts.
Two small pieces were made for the shoulder parts so I could more
easily cut the front edges to the right shapes without having to handle
the full length of the shoulder parts.
Before I could continue shaping the bottom of the chest armor, the
control panel part had to be attached underneath the lambda symbol
part.
After making a cardboard equivalent of the lambda symbol part, I
could make the neck rim of the chest armor to fit with its dimensions.



Placing all the newly fiberglassed armor parts together, the HEV suit
looked like complete crap in this state and made me want to restart
the whole project, but I thought as long as the end result looks good,
it should be worth finishing it.

It was around this time that some old guy in a blue suit put me into
stasis again for some unknown reason.
The forearm molds were coated with grid-woven fiberglass that I
discovered would not wrap around the details as easily as loosely
woven fiberglass would, so I would only use this type of fiberglass on
large, flat areas instead.
All the previously loose parts of the chest armor were further secured
together with fiberglass reinforced polyester before the final
applications could begin.

A heat-gun was also used to soften up the polyester so the chest
armor could be further reshaped into perfect symmetry.

Jehudah Design - Gordon Freeman - Hev Mark IV - The Creation Of The Hazardous Environment Suit - 001
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