World Cosplay Magazine España brings you: NerdCore Creation
A few days ago we discovered something worth knowing. We tweeted the video of a great artist who had made an impressive armor.
Dave Barnes is an Australian who in his spare time as a hobby is dedicated to cosplay and 3D creation.
The prop of Reinhardt’s character from Overwatch has not gone unnoticed, neither in events nor in social networks. His great work and dedication has made this armor touch the perfection in cosplay.
We were talking to him and he gave us an interview where he tells us his story. We hope you like it:
First of all we want to thank you. We are impressed with your work and when we saw it we wanted to show it to the rest of the world.
Who is Dave Barnes? What exactly does he do? Are you cosplayer or do you only make 3D creations?
I’m just a normal dad with a normal job, I work behind the scenes in TV broadcast, who started making cosplay for my kids, then it escalated. I just do cosplay in my spare time. If you were to categorize me, i think i’d fall into to the ‘maker’ class, happy in the garage making, designing, failing, burning, breaking. For me 3D just became something that I needed to learn to get parts of my suit to a level I wanted, the hands were initially handcrafted from scratch but i needed more out of them so I learnt Fusion 360 and went from designing a cube to making hands 🙂
We have seen in your social networks your work….. What is Nerdcore Creations?
Nerdcore Creation (no ‘s’ on the end ;)) was just an extension of my gamertag across the years, in SW:TOR I was NerdRage or NerdGasm or LeClubNerd (early 90’s coverband reference ;)) or NerdCore ..so I stuck with Nerdcore.
I’ve only done two full cosplay’s so far but I do like documenting the builds of them, so I put a lot of process work up that may be interesting to other builders as well as cosplayers in general.
I think we all draw a lot from each other and the more evryone posts of how the workings do what they do the better, for example, people seem to be surprised at the movement on the Rein suit but for me that was number one in getting it right, that and the scaling. It had to look right. So i based the size on how big I could conceivably make it while still being able to move. So i think it’s approx 95% full size to in game.
The first measurement was from my groin to the base of my neck so that the torso would fit and all other measurements were based off that. To scale everything correctly I used Armorsmith written by Randy Cavanagh – http://thearmoredgarage.com – this is an amazing peice of cosplay software, in fact, the rest of the designs you see on my instagram are aall Armorsmtih screenshots, I’ve grabbed the game files, converted them, thrown them into Armorsmith, resized them to the average human proportion for male and female, then exported them and uploaded the files. The files I then upload so people can unfold paper patterns and just start making.
How do you start this 3D creation adventure and end up making such awesome armor? Tell us about your beginnings
For my son’s 13th birthday in 2016 he wanted to go to OzComicCon, I said ‘I guess we have to dress up what do you want to go as?’, he said ‘Boba Fett’ It took me 9 months to build 2 suits and we went as father and son Boba Fett’s and had a blast. We watched the cosplay competiton and @HenchWench just blew me away with her epic WoW Orc. I just thought it was so amazing so I watched a lot of youtube, and I mean a lot. I watched
and so many others and I dived into The Replica Props forum www.therpf.com here is where some of the best builders in the world happily share their build processes. It’s here i found this thread by Mike Wiggins https://therpf.com/showthread.php?t=239205 and it gave me a guide to get started on my Rein. From there every part was a learning process.
Have you made more suits like Reinhardt’s from Overwatch or was that the first one?
This is my only large suit so far. I have to have some connection to the character to want to make it, when I played Overwatch I was a Reinhardt main when i started building and a Mercy main when i finished it took that long lol. I do love Space Marines and I did play Space Hulk back in ’92 but I don’t know the lore so at this point I feel I couldn’t suit up as something like that … I could make one though, never say never.
What materials are the most used to make this cosplay?
The main materials are EVA foam on a PVC pipe frame. The outer panels of armor are EVA foam with aerated PVC fused to it so they are rock solid. Aerated PVC is my favourite material, it’s called different things in different countries due to trademarks, in the US it’s called Sintra and in Australia it’s called Palight butn if people search for aerated PVC sheet they’ll find it. It’s normally 3mm thick, it cuts with a normal craft knife, it bends with heat like EVA but holds it’s shape better and it sands like MDF..it’s a stunning material to work with, it also paints and weathers really nicely.
What has been the most difficult thing for you to create that armor?
The hands have been a labour of love, I want them to pick up the hammer.
I’m almost there, they can pick it up but there are some issues. The V1 hands were scratch made and were controlled via cords to my fingers with bungie cord to pull the fingers back straight.
The dissadvantage of this is that they have no strength to pick things up, they move and that’s it, also when they are not being moved the default position is fully extended fingers which means you walk round looking like you have ‘jazz hands’, it’s a personal preference and not for me.
I wanted something better. So I started looking at a mechanical solution, this is where I delved into 3D design and Fusion 360, i then developed a bit of arthritis in my hands which makes it even harder to work them so i’ve moved to servo’s and am powering them up instead but this means fitting these into an already existing hand and there are problems getting things aligned. I’ll get there 🙂
How long did it take you to build the complete cosplay and what are its measurements?
It took 18 months to build but it was stop start, this is just a hobby, it was weareable after 7 months and won Best in Show at SupaNova Sydney in 2017, but a lot broke on the day and i was never happy with it.
It’s approximately 220cm tall, 150cm wide from shoulder to shoulder and 105cm deep at it’s deepest point.
Is the armor design made by you or have you used templates from an existing file?
The templates were from the game files straight out of the game…this is how Blizzard intended him to look so that’s how I made him 🙂
Does the armature have an electromechanical mechanism to set it in motion or is it all manual?
At the moment the left hand has 3 large servos. It’s a work in progress.
An important question: we see that inside your work you use both eva, foam or worbla rubber as well as 3D printing and other materials. How did the creation of these works come about? The projects come up before you bought the 3D printer or you already had it and that’s why you decided to make this kind of props?
There’s no Worbla on this one, i’ve not been lucky enough to work with that material yet.
As for the 3D printing, when i was doing my Boba Fett i was scratch making everything but i was troubled by the detail on his wrist rocket, I found a file on www.thingiverse.com and used www.3dhubs.com to have it printed locally and I picked it up.
This is great for people who don’t own a printer, you can find a design you want or design something yourself and 3Dhubs will find you someone close by to print it.
I did eventually buy my own printer and I told my wife that’d it’d pay for itself, lol, 3D printing can have a steep learning curve when you first start i’m getting there and luckily for me most of my work gets sanded and post processed so i’m not looking for perfect prints. One day i’ll find the time to focus a bit more and maybe i’ll be on 3Dhubs myself and the printer will eventually pay it’s way.
HULKBUSTER – HEROESANDMORE
How many conventions have you worn the armor to?
3 so far, SupaNova Sydney 2017 where i fell off the stage, ComicGong 2018 and SupaNova Sydney 2018. My next is GammaCon in Canberra.
Have you ever taken part in a contest? You’ve earned it
I have entered 2 contests so far and have got 2 gold medals 🙂 I have been accepted into GammaCon and with any luck i’ll also be accepted into OzComicCon..i have my giant fingers crossed.
Did Blizzard give you any credit for the creation of this character? Tell us about it.
I haven’t spoken to Blizzard yet..if you want to point them in the right direction then by all means do so lol 🙂 Speaking of Blizzard, It took me a few days to catch up watching the Overwatch League vods, I was so happy to see LA Valiant win Vs NY Excel (Maybe I should repaint into their colours!) Shout out to Mercy main and fellow Aussie Scott “Custa” Kennedy. The matches were so exciting, you guys played so well, much love <3
What advice would you give to all those who, after seeing your armor, would like to get started in cosplay and do a job as impressive as yours.
Watch youtube..watch Evil Ted Smith, Bill Doran, XRobots..watch them all, even the old ones…read, all the threads on www.therpf.com they are giving you free information, absorb all that sweet, sweet information before you even put pen to paper or make that first cut into foam.
So he told us his story and the creation of his cosplay NerdCore Creation. The WoCoMag team would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview and look forward to seeing you around Europe sometime. You can follow all his steps and his work through his social networks:
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